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Herald Journal Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017

USU Community, Supporters Top Off New Life Sciences Building

Utah State University students, administrators and supporters of the school braved the cold on Tuesday to sign their names on the last steel beam needed for the new Life Sciences Building before watching crews put it into place. ... The brief “topping off” ceremony was just one of the ways USU marked the construction of the new Life Sciences Building — a $45 million, 103,000-square-foot facility school officials consider long overdue. College of Science Dean Maura Hagan credits the builder, Salt Lake City-based Jacobsen Construction, with the idea to have a topping-off event. The idea came in a telephone conference between USU and the construction company last week, she said. ... Administrators and students say the Life Sciences Building is needed to replace current outdated facilities and alleviate a shortage of laboratory space. ... These days, topping off ceremonies are conducted at major universities as well as at institutions and businesses around the United States and the world.

UB Media Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017

USU Extension Receives Grant for Training Next Generation of Farmers

Utah State University Extension recently received a grant worth $599,615 from the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program to help increase the number of beginning farmers in the Mountain West. The grant, provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, will be used to establish three farm incubator sites across Utah that will include space for demonstration gardens. The grant will also cover workshops and training designed to increase understanding, knowledge and success for future and current farmers. According to Kynda Curtis, USU Extension food and agricultural marketing specialist, this grant comes at an important time for Utah agriculture. ... USU Extension will partner with New Roots, an agriculture and food access program that already provides farmer training for refugees and immigrants. USU Extension will use this grant to further expand New Roots by providing additional land and the resources needed to make this program accessible to additional refugee farmers in the Salt Lake area. ... “This project will lead to increased understanding of small-scale farming systems and provide important economic development and access to fresh produce in rural areas,” Curtis said.

Herald Journal Monday, Dec. 11, 2017

Virtual Reality Lab Opens to Students in Merrill-Cazier Library

Study Room 113 in Utah State University’s Merrill-Cazier Library isn’t just a space to hit the books — since last Tuesday, it also functions as a virtual reality lab. ... “I think it’s going to be really popular,” said Todd Hugie, director of library information technology at the Merrill-Cazier Library. It’s no Holodeck — the VR Lab is a small study room with a powerful PC connected to a Vive headset. The Vive is a “room-scale VR” platform from Taiwanese electronics manufacturer HTC and the U.S.-based Valve Corporation, which runs the popular Steam video gaming service. With more traditional VR headsets like the Oculus Rift, users stay in one spot but can look around at a virtual world completely surrounding them. With room-scale VR, users can move as well as look around. Two sensors up in the corners of the room track the position and motion of the headset and the two handheld controllers, and when a user approaches a wall, a green grid appears in the virtual world to show its location. And while an onlooker can’t see the 3D virtual world surrounding someone using the VR Lab, they can see a 2D version on a flatscreen monitor. ... The study room can only be reserved by USU students, but Hugie said students are free to bring interested faculty and family members.

Herald Journal Saturday, Dec. 02, 2017

USU Teach Teens to be 'Upstanders' Against Violence, Bullying

“What we’d like to do, as a state and as a community, is to get more people to be that interventionalist; more people to be the one who steps in, inviting others to help,” Marty Liccardo, a specialist with the Utah Department of Health said. “When we are that person, the diffusion of responsibility disappears and bystander intervention comes in.” ... That was the main message of the Upstanding Youth Leadership Conference at Utah State University on Saturday. The conference — sponsored by the Logan-based nonprofit Citizens Against Physical and Sexual Abuse, partnering with USU and others — sought to teach teenagers how to effectively conduct bystander intervention, and become what event organizers called “upstanders” in their schools and communities. ... Jill Anderson, executive director of CAPSA, hopes teens who attended the conference learned how to be “up standers” in their schools and communities. ... Whether it’s skills he can use in high school or college, Ames is “grateful” for the Upstanding Youth Leadership Conference.

Herald Journal Friday, Dec. 01, 2017

Cache Valley Native did White House Christmas Decorations

The handiwork of a Cache Valley native has been in the international spotlight recently, since the son of a former Logan mayor helped decorate the White House for Christmas. Nicholas Watts is currently an event planner with HMR Designs in Chicago, but he graduated from Utah State University in 2006. He was tasked with decorating the inside and outside of the White House according to First Lady Melania Trump’s wishes. ... This year’s holiday theme for the White House is ”Time-Honored Traditions,” paying homage to 200 years of White House holiday customs, according to information provided on the White House’s website. ... USU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences congratulated Watts on Twitter, mentioning he graduated 11 years ago with a degree in American studies and a minor in Russian. Evelyn Funda, an associate professor of English, knew Watts as a student at USU. She remembers him interning for then-Sen. Ted Kennedy and developing an interest in politics, as well as an interest in event planning by helping organize the annual Small Satellite Conference. ... HGTV will air a special on the White House holiday decorations on Dec.10 at 4 p.m.

Utah Public Radio Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017

Students Around the Country Display Art in Utah State University Show

Various prints hang on the white walls. Clay mugs and colorful sculptures sit on pillars resting against the sparkling wooden floor of the Tippetts and Eccles Gallery during an art showcase called Paper and Clay. “There’s functional stuff, utilitarian, also a lot of sculptural stuff, so it has a full range of work that’s in there. Same with printmaking. There’s stuff that’s much more derivative of the landscape and then stuff that’s more conceptual,” said Tom Alward, a USU graduate student in the ceramics program. “It set out to unify some of the elements that bring those mediums and components together. A big part of the show for the jurors and people that put together the show was what are the pieces that showcase the material and really speak to the authenticity of printmaking and clay work, so those were really the unifying elements that brought the work together,” he said. Students from around the western United States applied online to enter their work, and the show is almost fully funded by the art school’s differential tuition. 

Cache Valley Daily Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017

USU Extension Awarded Grant from Yamaha for Sage-Grouse Conservation

Utah State University Extension’s Utah Community-based Conservation Program (CBCP) was recently awarded a $12,500 grant and two ATVs from the Yamaha Motor Corporation. The grant will support field research designed to balance recreation on public lands with sage-grouse conservation, and was awarded as part of Yamaha’s Outdoor Access Initiative to promote safe, responsible off-road vehicle riding and open, sustainable riding areas. USU Extension CBCP and the Yamaha Motor Corporation, along with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Utah Public Land Policy Coordination Office, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and Cache Honda Yamaha, of Logan, Utah, partnered to create The Sheeprock Sage-grouse Management Area Sage-grouse Conservation Initiative. ... “The work USU Extension is doing is a great example of institutions and agencies coming together to find ways to create and protect access to public land for all types of recreation,” said Steve Nessl, Yamaha’s ATV/SxS marketing manager. ... Terry Messmer, USU Extension wildlife specialist and CBCP director said that innovative partnerships are the future of wildlife management and conservation. ... Through partnerships like this, Messmer said USU Extension has a long history of serving the citizens of Utah and the West by providing the best information on the management of western lands.

Utah Public Radio Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017

Crossing Borders: Women's Associations in Morocco - A Source of Inspiration

Facilitated by an International Initiatives Grant through the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, a nine-person research team from Utah State University traveled to Morocco to find their academic objectives spark realizations of global proportions. “My goal was to introduce others to how the majority of the world lives, which is not how we live in this country. And insure that those who go, come back understanding that not every Muslim is a terrorist.”vThat’s Peg Petrzelka, Utah State University professor of sociology, describing a recent study-abroad trip to Africa, specifically Morocco, in a rural community near Marrakesh. The research team focused on the role of civil society organizations, or women’s associations. Rebecca Walton, professor of English explains. ... The research team accomplished many of their goals – creating meaningful cultural exchanges, seeing how the rest of the world lives, and observing civil society organizations in a non-industrialized country context. The next step in this journey is applying the inspiration of Moroccan women’s associations to community life at home.

Cache Valley Daily Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017

USU Aviation Program Purchases Helicopters from Mountain Ridge Helicopters

For nearly 80 years Utah State University has been providing flight training programs. As planes and aviation technology have evolved since then, so has USU's approach to preparing students for a career in the skies. “We’ve had a relationship down at the airport since 1939 training pilots," says Bruce Miller, Department Head of the School of Applied Sciences, Technology and Education at USU. ... In 2013 the university began a partnership with private flight school Mountain Ridge Helicopters at the Logan-Cache Airport. ... Now, that relationship has evolved as the helicopters have been sold to the university and the instructors are now USU employees. ... Miller says the relationship with Mountain Ridge Helicopters and USU has been a good one. They are located next to each other at the airport and the efficiencies of combining both a fixed wing program with a helicopter program makes a lot of sense for the university. ... Miller says many of the students will have had some kind of triggering event in their lives that made them want to become a pilot, like taking a helicopter ride as a tourist over the Grand Canyon, Hawai'i or Las Vegas. And then they focus on achieving the goal of becoming a pilot, themselves.

The New York Times Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017

Seeking the Source of the Vanishing Great Salt Lake

The Great Salt Lake in Utah is roughly the same area as 75 Manhattans. It feeds and houses millions of birds of hundreds of species, provides the namesake of Utah’s capital city and some credit it for the state’s trademarked claim to “the greatest snow on earth.” And it’s vanishing. ... “Do we want to in 50 years change the name of our city to Salt City because the lake has gone away?” asked Wayne A. Wurtsbaugh, a retired aquatic ecologist at Utah State University. He and his colleagues reported in an analysis published in Nature Geoscience last month that human consumption — not seasonal fluctuations or climate change — is primarily to blame for the Great Salt Lake’s desiccation. They hope that creating a better understanding of water flowing into and out of the lake may serve as a model for managing salt lakes that face similar threats. ... In the case of the Great Salt Lake, the researchers warn that another 30 square miles of lake bed could be exposed in the next 30 to 50 years if planned development and overuse continue. ... To save bodies of water like Great Salt Lake, reducing consumption will be critical in arid basins, the authors argue. They recommend a careful analysis of how lake water is moving in and out of lake systems to identify distinct sources of declines, as they have with Great Salt Lake. Doing so will help regulators better weigh trade-offs between water use and maintaining lakes at sustainable levels.

Deseret News Monday, Nov. 27, 2017

USU Names New Chief Fundraiser

Utah State University has selected Mathew T. White to be its new chief fundraiser as vice president for advancement and president of the USU Foundation. ... His fundraising experience includes major gifts, endowments, principal gifts and annual giving. ... White will spearhead a new universitywide fundraising campaign that builds off a previous endeavor in which the university raised $512 million — more than doubling its original goal by the time the campaign ended in 2012. White replaces Dave Cowley and Neil Abercrombie, who have been acting vice presidents for advancement since April 2016. 

Herald Journal Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017

USU, Tech Council Encouraging More Women to Graduate with STEM Degrees

When Joanna Boyd arrived at Utah State University several years ago, she thought she wanted to major in statistics because she enjoyed it so much in high school. But her thoughts about that subject later changed. ... So Boyd switched her major to mechanical engineering. Set to graduate next year, she has her mind set on a job in the field at a time when women make up less than a quarter of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) jobs in Utah. Not only that, but advocacy organizations, including the Women Tech Council, say retaining young women like Boyd in STEM majors and getting them to graduate with such a degree is difficult. Cydni Tetro, co-founder of WTC — an organization of women and men focused on the economic impact of women in the technology sector — said there’s a significant number of women who initially pursue a STEM degree and later switch to another program of study.Though some state and national data doesn’t show a lot of good news for women in STEM, there are some bright spots. ... USU’s enrollment of women in STEM degrees is seeing an increase of 21 percent over the last three years, according to data provided by the school.

Herald Journal Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017

Students Tackle Homelessness at Annual HackUSU Coding Marathon

The fight to end homelessness in Utah got a push this weekend from a group that may surprise some — college hackers. Scores of college students circled their laptops in the Eccles Conference Center for the third annual HackUSU “hackathon.” From 9 a.m. Friday to 9 p.m. Saturday, students worked in teams to plan and author computer programs. While in the public consciousness hacking is often associated in the public eye with cyber crime, HackUSU Director Haley Manning said they use the term to mean building and repurposing technology to solve problems. ... This year, the hackathon added a special competition category: Hack Homelessness. One of HackUSU’s sponsors, Utah Open Data Catalog, brought a vast collection of data about Utah’s homelessness problem and resources, and they introduced students to the issue in workshops Friday afternoon. ... At the end of the marathon of development, students submitted projects to be judged in several categories.

The Times-Independent Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017

County, City Sign New Agreement with USU

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) to set the stage for the development of a satellite campus of Utah State University (USU) in Moab was signed on Thursday, Nov. 9 by Grand County Council Chair Jaylyn Hawks, Moab City Mayor Dave Sakrison and USU President Dr. Noelle Cockett. The memorandum, which calls for a $5 million fundraising effort to be undertaken by county and city leaders, was signed during a meeting of the USU-Moab advisory council at the campus of USU-Extension. The MOU, while offering the promise of a new campus in Moab, is non-binding, stating, “It is understood and agreed that this letter of intent is a preliminary expression of our general intentions. The parties intend that no party shall have any contractual obligations to the others ... until a definitive agreement has been fully executed and delivered.” According to Grand County Councilmember Curtis Wells, the MOU, which expires Dec. 31, 2018, is a “formal handshake to move forward in good faith on the infrastructure development of the future campus.” ... The campus will be part of a larger complex that includes zoned housing areas that will help address the affordable housing needs of the community. 

Herald Journal Monday, Nov. 13, 2017

USU International Students Bring Cultures of Home to Campus Event

Utah State University student Abdullah Haggi said that before he came from his native Saudi Arabia to study in the U.S., he believed in a lot of the stereotypes of America because of what he saw on social media. But Haggi issued himself a challenge: He would come to the U.S. with an open mind, “listening with my ears, seeing with my eyes,” he said at the “Around the World Night” event Monday evening on campus. ... Around the World Night gave international students an opportunity to share their country’s culture with others at USU. The evening included manning informational booths, samples of food, a fashion show and musical performances. ... Around the World Night, conducted in the Taggart Student Center International Lounge, kicked off weekday festivities for the university’s International Education Week, Nov. 11 to 17. The week’s worth of activities stems from a joint initiative between the U.S. Departments of State and Education, according to Janis Boettinger, USU vice provost and the director of the school’s Office of Global Engagement.

Deseret News Monday, Nov. 13, 2017

USU Partners with Operation Hat Trick to Support Cache Valley Veterans

Utah State University will honor Cache Valley veterans during its “Salute to Service” football game against Hawaii on Saturday. As part of the celebration, USU has partnered with Operation Hat Trick and local vendor Locker 42 to sell merchandise featuring a camouflage design paired with the American flag. Proceeds from the sale will go toward the Cache Valley Veterans Association and, in addition, Operation Hat Trick is providing a donation of $3,500 to the organization with a check presented by John Hartwell , USU vice president and director of athletics, during the game. Merchandise is currently on sale at both Locker 42 locations in Logan and North Logan. Items will also be available at USU football game. The public may also purchase discount tickets to Saturday’s game for military personnel, veterans and their families at utahstateaggies.com/ticketpromos with the code, SEATSFORSOLDIERS17.

The Pyramid Wednesday, Nov. 08, 2017

Snow College Announces Partnership with USU

Students studying business will soon have additional opportunities to complete a degree because Snow College and Utah State University (USU) recently announced a new partnership to begin with the fall 2018 class schedules. The new partnership between the USU Jon M. Huntsman School of Business and the Snow College Business Department will provide a way for Snow College students to remain in Ephraim while earning a USU bachelor’s degree in either business administration or marketing. Students who complete their two-year Associate of Science Business degree at Snow can seamlessly move into their third and fourth years as they complete a USU bachelor’s degree. ... Snow College President Gary Carlston applauds the partnership: “Snow College is pleased to join with Utah State University in offering this exciting opportunity for students. Working together, we can provide a great benefit to students and increased support for economic development in our six-county service area.” In addition to the two bachelor’s degrees in business administration and marketing, the Huntsman School will also deliver minors in entrepreneurship and technical sales. Both minors could be valuable additions to the business-related majors and also to the two bachelor programs at Snow College in commercial music and software engineering.

Herald Journal Tuesday, Nov. 07, 2017

USU Offers 19th Century Portrait-Taking, Utah Pioneer Women Exhibit

Getting your portrait taken using 19th century photographic techniques or seeing a new student-led exhibit about the significance of the state’s women pioneers are just a few of the things Cache Valley residents can do this week. It’s all thanks to events organized by Utah State University with support from the Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum in Logan. “Digital knowledge is wonderful but we are losing the heritage of knowing how to solve problems with yesterday’s technology, which is still of importance,” wrote Sharon Johnson, director of the museum, in an email to The Herald Journal. ... USU also opened an exhibit on campus called “Echoes: Reflecting on the Strength and Grit of Pioneer Women,” borrowing some artifacts from the DUP museum and featuring artistic interpretations of Utah women pioneers. ... The “Echoes” exhibit is set up from Nov. 6 to 10 in the Projects Gallery on the ground level of the Chase Fine Arts Center at USU. A reception is planned from 6 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 9.

The Salt Lake Tribune Tuesday, Nov. 07, 2017

USU Study Says Climate Change is Pushing Plants to their Limits

If you have a garden, there’s a good chance it is filled with signs of climate change, though they might not always be what you would expect. It seems obvious that as global temperatures increase, flowers might be inclined to bloom earlier. But Will Pearse, an assistant professor in Utah State University’s Department of Biology, had a hunch that the effects of a changing climate could be more profound. So Pearse, who has a background in evolutionary ecology, used unconventional statistical techniques to show that flowering plants may indeed be struggling to adapt — not just blossoming earlier in some cases but becoming less consistent overall in when they bloom. Those findings were published Monday in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution. “Our work provides new insights into how human activities have altered today’s climate by contrasting the time a flower bloomed in the past to observation in the present-day,” Pearse said in a statement. ... Pearse said his next research project involves using analysis of plant data to develop a model for predicting when plants will bloom should the climate continue to warm — an important tool to help humans adapt to climate change, given that most people food starts out as a flower.

Herald Journal Monday, Nov. 06, 2017

USU Students Wear Red for Slain UofU Student

Michael Scott Peters, president of the Utah State University Student Association, admits when it comes to his closet, the color red is hard to come by since he wears so much blue cheering on the Aggies. But he managed to find a red T-shirt and wear it Monday to show support for the University of Utah and ChenWei Guo, a UofU student from China who was shot and killed during an attempted carjacking Oct. 31. ... Peters advertised the initiative at a recent USU event and on his Twitter feed, which showed a poster asking students to “Stand up against violence. Wear red with us” Nov. 6. ...  Peters hoped wearing red Monday made an impact with USU students, even those like him who did not know Guo. ... The death of Guo “hits close to home” for Elijah Toa, who is from Clearfield and has friends and family who attended UofU. “You send your child to go to this school, to get an education, to be safe because it’s a better environment than they’re currently growing up in, and then they die — that’s just really sad,” Toa said. “The main message of today was to really to stand against violence and really make aware to everyone that we care about one another. I think that’s a message that’s very televised here at our school.”

Herald Journal Thursday, Nov. 02, 2017

USU Marks Day of the Dead with Procession Across Campus

Utah State University students and others sang Spanish songs to the sounds of acoustic guitar and brass on Thursday as they marched on campus to mark Day of the Dead. The procession honoring the Mexican holiday, which is commonly celebrated by Latino populations in the United States, was organized by the USU Latinx Creative Society and included several people who have participated in years past as well as some newcomers. ... Crescencio López González, USU assistant professor of Spanish, talked about the meaning of Day of the Dead. “Death is the ultimate equalizer of every individual,” González said. “From the point of view of Latinos, it is something not to be afraid of and to be celebrated. … Day of the Dead is also a reminder that life is fragile. … You can die the next day, in an instant, any moment, and be gone forever.” ... González said it was important to share Day of the Dead with the campus community and general public.

Herald Journal Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017

USU Documents Lives of Valley's Hispanic Community in New Film

A documentary sharing the experiences and realities of Cache Valley’s Hispanic community will be screened this week at Utah State University as part of the school’s Day of the Dead festivities. The film, “Logan iSomos tus Vecinos!” (Logan, We Are Your Neighbors!), is scheduled for a screening at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, in the Taggart Student Center auditorium on campus. ... “Logan iSomos tus Vecinos!” is the product of a USU club called the Latinx Creative Society, which set out to capture the lives of Hispanics in Cache County, according to the film’s director, Crescencio López González, USU assistant professor of Spanish. ... “The film will definitely imprint the idea of a community — that is the main goal of the film,” he said. “That everyone comes out of the movie saying, ‘Yes, this is a community, it’s growing and we’re proud of it.’”... González said the documentary to be screened Thursday is “just the beginning” of the Latinx Creative Society’s work documenting Cache Valley’s Hispanic population.

Herald Journal Monday, Oct. 30, 2017

USU Students Don Halloween Costumes for Climbing Competition

With songs from “The Addams Family” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas” playing in the background, Utah State University students tested their skills climbing a campus rock wall while dressed in Halloween costumes Monday. The Send for the Dead Costume Climbing Competition, hosted by USU’s Campus Recreation department, went on for several hours inside USU’s Aggie Recreation Center. For 50 minutes, the students had the chance to climb more than 30 routes marked in different colored tape. ... Chase Ellis, USU’s campus recreation director, said Monday’s event was part of the department’s series of bouldering competitions for the students. “Just as it being Halloween, we decided to add a little flare to it, asking those to come in costumes to kind of switch it up,” Ellis said. “The university does so many fun activities around Halloween, I hope they realize this is another avenue they can come take a break and be able to enjoy the Halloween spirit that’s here on campus.”

Deseret News Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017

USU Professor Hopes Robotic Hives will Help Honeybees

As a beekeeper, Vladimir Kulyukin is worried about the plight of the honeybee. As a computer scientist, he hopes to help curb colony failures by creating robotic hives. The associate professor of computer science has been with Utah State University for 16 years and has spent half of that time as a beekeeper in Cache Valley. After a reading an article in Time magazine in 2013 about colony collapse, Kulyukin set out to find a way to incorporate his technical background to collect a dataset to help evaluate the health of a hive. ... That winter, Kulyukin put the BeePi into two of his overwintering hives on private property in Cache Valley to fine-tune the device and test its systems. Since the initial testing, Kulyukin has collected hundreds of gigabytes of information as he has improved the design. ... While the BeePi is still in its infancy, Kulyukin organized a Kickstarter campaign to source funds to build two additional monitors to be used at another beekeeper's hives in the valley. ... Kulyukin hopes as they dial in the BeePi and get more backers, the project will attract biologists, entomologists and event climate scientists, as well as those who may not realize what contributions computer science can make on honeybee research.

Deseret News Monday, Oct. 23, 2017

USU Wins Top Newscast Award from Emmy Organization

Broadcast students in Utah State University’s Department of Journalism and Communication took home the award for best newscast from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ university competition. The academy, the organization responsible for the Emmy Awards, announced the Student Production Awards Oct. 14 in a ceremony prior to its Regional Emmy Awards gala. A-TV is the university’s private cable TV system. ... This is the second year that USU has brought home best newscast award. In 2016, it was shared with the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Communication at Arizona State University.

Cache Valley Daily Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017

Ted X USU Aims to Inform and Enlighten in a Larger Venue

TED X USU is in its sixth year and is expanding in both the content of the annual event and also the venue. It will be held this Friday evening, October 27th, beginning at 6 p.m. in the newly-renovated Daines Concert Hall. It’s open to the public and involves local communities and presenters, in addition to international presenters. Anna McEntire of the USU Office of Research and Graduate Studies was a guest on KVNU's For the People program last week. ... She said the theme this year is “Movement” which is appropriate since they are moving locations. ... McEntire said many people have seen or heard TED talks online. They are generally shorter talks than you see in a typical lecture - 18 minutes or less- and designed to focus on ideas. ... They put them together focusing on the performance of their talks. They aim to inform but at the same time be really interesting and entertaining. Tickets are $25 with a $10 discount for card-holding USU students. You can get tickets at tedx.usu.edu or at the Caine College of the Arts website.

Herald Journal Friday, Oct. 20, 2017

USU Eastern Campuses get Iconic Block A Installed

As if sharing the “Aggie” name wasn’t enough, Utah State University Eastern’s campuses are becoming a lot more like Logan’s by adding their own versions of an instantly recognizable statue. The Price campus unveiled its Block A — made by USU welding students — on Oct. 14, the same day the Aggies faced off in Logan against University of Wyoming for the big Homecoming game. Another Block A will be shipped to the other USU Eastern campus in Blanding. Gary Straquadine, a vice chancellor at USU Eastern, said there was jubilation on the part of students when Price’s Block A was unveiled after a brief ceremony. ... USU Eastern still holds on to traditions from its College of Eastern Utah days. The school’s mascot is still the Eagle and USU Eastern students have their own tradition similar to Logan students’ “True Aggies” in which they become “True Eagles” if they kiss at Gibby Rock. Straquadine said the hope with the Block A on both Price and Blanding campuses is that students identify with the “Aggie family.”

Herald Journal Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017

'Clothesline Project' at USU Visualizes Discussion on Domestic Violence

Among the many T-shirts hung on display inside USU’s Taggart Student Center this week is one that tells the story of someone who was abused with finger paint. “We were covered in finger paint. You put us in a tub,” the shirt reads. “It took years to feel clean after what you did with your fingers.” That was just one sample of many stories in Utah State University’s version of The Clothesline Project, a nationwide effort to raise awareness of domestic violence. ... USU’s Center for Women and Gender collaborates with the Sexual Assault and Anti-Violence Information Office each year on USU’s Clothesline Project. Coinciding with October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month, The Clothesline Project was just one of many activities open to the public throughout the week. ... You can see the Clothesline Project on display in the International Lounge on the second floor of the TSC through Oct. 19.

Herald Journal Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017

USU Launches New Interactive 'Thrive' Website for Students

Utah State University launched a new website on Monday aimed mainly at providing students resources and tips they need to thrive in school. The website, thrive.usu.edu, tells students, “Don’t just survive. Thrive.” It features tabs for freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors to click on and learn how to navigate college and provide links to specific campus resources for help. The website includes several short videos with USU students. ... The nearly 2-minute clip is just a sample of what the site offers, according to Heidi Kesler, USU’s director of retention. Kesler came up with the idea for the website, which has been in the works for about a year. ... “If they feel like they’re not thriving, they can go there and either feel encouraged by the stories of others or informed about the resources that can help them so they don’t feel like the only option is to give up,” she said.

Herald Journal Friday, Oct. 13, 2017

Couple Showing USU pride as Homecoming Grand Marshals

When Utah State University alumni Willie and Patty Halaufia met more than 40 years ago, their first date started with a motorcycle ride up Tony Grove and ended with dinner at Sherwood Hills. All these years later, they are still happily married and proud to say they still have the Aggie spirit. They joined Old Main Society, attend football games religiously and, now, are being honored as the Grand Marshals for USU’s 2017 Homecoming. ... The couple sat down with The Herald Journal outside the Stan L. Albrecht Agricultural Sciences Building on Thursday to talk about their life, Homecoming and their advice for the Aggies of today.

Herald Journal Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017

Economist Talks Public Pension Systems at New USU Center

A renowned financial economist from Jerusalem gave Utah State University students a deep dive into the workings of numerous government social safety net systems from around the world, contrasting those with the United States’ Social Security plan. Eytan Sheshinski, a distinguished professor emeritus at Hebrew University, gave the lecture on campus during the first installment of a speaker series for USU’s new Center for Growth and Opportunity. ... Pension systems from European countries are “something to be learning from, I believe,” Sheshinski said. ... Sheshinski also talked about notional defined-contribution systems, a popular mechanism in places like Sweden, which allow the pay-as-you-go model — where today’s workers pay for today’s pensioners — while mimicking private plans. ... Frank Caliendo, director of the Center for Growth and Opportunity, said Sheshinski has held faculty positions at the world’s top universities and has advised companies and countries in public finance. ... Caliendo added, “The center’s going to be focused on excellent scientific research, and we hope that the campus community and everyone else will be enthusiastic and supportive of the work that we do.”

Herald Journal Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017

LatinX Student Union Raises More Than $800 for Puerto Rico

In an effort to bring awareness about the devastation in Puerto Rico, a Utah State University student group sold 543 tacos, raising over $800 on Thursday. The LatinX Student Union set up “Let’s Taco-Bout Puerto Rico” on the patio of the Taggart Student Center to raise funds and to help educate the campus community about the destruction the island took from Hurricane Maria, according to LXU President Luis Hernandez. ... Hernandez said LXU would likely be donating the money to Americares, which supplies medicine and other medical aid. ... Because of those donations, all proceeds from the Taco-Bout event will go straight to relief efforts in Puerto Rico, Hernandez said. Thursday’s figures totaled $543 from taco sales and $277 in donations at the table. “Every little bit helps, and it is great to see so many people coming out to support this. We have a donation jar and people are using it and I am happy because we are really making a difference,” he said.

Herald Journal Monday, Oct. 09, 2017

USU Homecoming Week Kicks off with Campus Street Painting

It didn’t seem like the ideal time to paint on the street when the USU Aggie Shuttle buses were making the rounds during rush hour Monday. But once the vehicles cleared out of the 800 East roundabout, students wasted no time with paint brushes and rollers. A sea of students painted giant logos of their campus organizations as a way to kick off the first weekday of USU Homecoming, Oct. 8 to 14. ... This year’s Homecoming festivities began with street painting over the weekend in Logan. The intersections of 400 North and Main Street, 1000 North and Lars Hansen Drive (800 East) were painted. For Logan Mayor Craig Petersen, a former USU professor and administrator, Homecoming serves as a way to bring the university and the city together.

The Salt Lake Tribune Sunday, Oct. 08, 2017

Utah State University Gives an Extreme Makeover to its Main Concert Hall

Craig Jessop was in the audience when Utah State University dedicated its new Chase Fine Arts Center, with its centerpiece Kent Concert Hall, on Oct. 18, 1967. Jessop, then a senior at Sky View High School in nearby Smithfield, thought it was one of the greatest things that had happened in the Cache Valley. Fifty years later to the day, USU will rededicate its renovated arts center with a gala concert in the brand-new Newel & Jean Daines Concert Hall, which shares a physical location — but not much else — with its predecessor. ... Lynn Thomas, director of production services and of organ studies at USU, was more direct, calling the old hall a Jack of all trades and master of none. ... “The hall’s been completely reimagined and redone. It was gutted from stem to stern — walls, floors, ceilings.” Designed by the Salt Lake City architecture firm of Sparano + Mooney with California-based Newson Brown Acoustics (whose projects include the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Disney Hall) and built by North Salt Lake contractor Gramoll Construction, Daines Hall will be unrecognizable to anyone who attended Utah State in the past half-century. ... The public will get a chance to check out the improvements during an open house Saturday afternoon, in the middle of USU’s homecoming celebrations.

Herald Journal Thursday, Oct. 05, 2017

USU Students Looking to Create, Fix Local Business Websites

A group of Utah State University business students has a fall service project that’s a pretty far cry from the typical leaf-raking. Huntsman Marketing Association students are looking for up to 40 valley businesses who want to build a website or spruce up their current ones. “One of the pillars of the Huntsman School is service,” said Jill Richardson, HMA president. ... Jamie Andrus, president and CEO of the Cache Chamber of Commerce, appreciated the students’ efforts reaching out to local businesses. ... Eric Schulz, HMA club adviser and senior lecturer in the Huntsman School, said working with businesses on websites gives students “real-world experience.” ... Business owners who are interested can inquire to the HMA via email. Once business owners apply they will receive an initial consultation from the HMA. HMA is hosting at least one meeting in November to help business owners one-on-one with their website. Businesses will have to cover the ongoing costs of their new website: Domain names cost $13 a year, and hosting fees will be $9 a month, according to HMA.

Herald Journal Thursday, Oct. 05, 2017

USU Unveils New 'Idea Factory' for Students

Utah State University President Noelle Cockett loves to tend to her home garden, so some students decided to help out — without getting their hands into the earth’s soil. On Thursday, they put the finishing touches on a gardening belt using equipment from the new “Idea Factory” on campus. A giant laser cutter housed there burned the Idea Factory logo into the belt, which also bore the USU seal. ... Thursday was the public unveiling of The Idea Factory, a one-stop shop for students within the college who want to turn their projects into reality. “What we want to do is to empower students to bring ideas on projects to life,” said Leo Alfonseca Perez, Idea Factory manager. “This is the place where you come with that idea and then we help you nurture that idea.”  ... Cockett praised the creation of the Idea Factory. “I think the more we can give students the real experience, from it’s just not the thinking and designing but all the way to the end, it’s going to be so beneficial,” she said. “One of the things we’re thinking about USU as a tagline is, ‘We’re doers.’ This is the perfect example.” The Idea Factory is similar in nature to another open space on USU’s campus: The Classroom Innovation Lab, where students and professors can try different equipment to see if they want to use it in their classes. The lab space opened at the start of the school year in USU’s Distance Education Building.

Herald Journal Monday, Oct. 02, 2017

Streets Fest to Close Aggie Bull-evard

The fifth annual Open Streets Festival at Utah State University will take place Tuesday afternoon along Aggie Bull-evard, prompting the roadway’s closure. Starting at 3:45 p.m. and running until 7:15 p.m. 700 North will be closed to normal car traffic as the festival celebrating a “streetscape without cars” and highlighting active transportation runs from 4:30 until 6:30 p.m. The roadway will be closed from the Big Blue Terrace to the east side of Edith Bowen Laboratory School. ... “Open Streets is a really cool, unique opportunity for students and community members to see what USU’s campus could look like if we cut down on car traffic and encourage students to explore alternative forms of transport,” Margaret McCarthy, Aggie Blue Bikes Program Coordinator, stated in a press release. ... Folks don’t have to be ‘serious cyclists’ to enjoy the benefits of biking, and that’s the message we want to communicate.”

Herald Journal Saturday, Sep. 30, 2017

USU Student Collects Ag Products for Texas

In what started out as a class project, a Utah State University student delivered nearly 25,000 pounds of supplies to a small Texas town still struggling with the effects of Hurricane Harvey. Hayden Mickelson, a marketing student, was tasked with developing a project that required 12 hours of service for his MHR 3800 class, but he quickly realized it was spiraling into something bigger than he ever imagined. “A few days after the idea, it was no longer about the school grade. It was about helping people,” Mickelson said. ... Sticking to his Lewiston roots, Mickelson used the cattle connections of his father, Marty, to begin collecting consumable supplies for the small town of Mont Belvieu that sits 30 miles East of Houston and is primarily an agriculture community. ... During his trip to Texas, Mickelson realized that many of the farmers and ranchers lost everything in their homes and barns. After returning to class at USU, he went to work on planning another trip, scheduled for the end of October. ... Continuing his partnership with FFA, Mickelson is reaching out to Utah and Idaho chapters to have them collect items to “give schools an opportunity to give back.”

Herald Journal Friday, Sep. 29, 2017

USU Secures $4M Grant for Web-Based Hydrological Service

Researchers seeking to how water moves through Earth’s environments and human homes may soon have access to more powerful tools for sharing their data, thanks to a USU-led initiative. Utah State University recently helped secure a $4 million grant from the National Science Foundation to continue building HydroShare, a worldwide data-sharing program for hydrological research. While a previous NSF grant allowed for HydroShare’s creation, David Tarboton, USU professor of civil and environmental engineering, said the latest $4 million will allow for “continuing development” of the web-based for hydrologists and share data. ... Tarboton said HydroShare makes it easy to publish data and models that substantiate hydrologic research. ... Jerad Bales, executive director of the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, said HydroShare has been used for several noteworthy projects. ... “HydroShare is providing a platform in which scientists from across the country, indeed globally, can collaborate on the development of new algorithms for the NWM,” Bales wrote in an email to The Herald Journal.

ETV News Thursday, Sep. 28, 2017

USU Eastern Hires New Associate Vice Chancellor

Utah State University Eastern has hired Dr. Jaime Cano to serve as Associate Vice Chancellor of Professional and Technical Education. Dr. Cano replaces Dr. Gary Straquadine, who held the position until recently moving to the role of Vice Chancellor for Academic Advancement at USU Eastern and Vice Provost for USU. ... “Dr. Cano is an exciting addition to the faculty and administration here in Price, and is going to be a great advocate and leader for our campus. And not just for the programs he will be working directly with, but for all of our academic endeavors,” commented Dr. Joe Peterson, Chancellor for USU Eastern. “I’ve been very lucky to work in a field that I enjoy, and with some great people at excellent schools. I’ve known Dr. Straquadine for many years, and am very excited for the opportunity to work with him again, and to be involved with some exciting programs at USU Eastern,” said Dr. Cano on his new role. ... USU Eastern’s Professional and Technical Education programs are one of the cornerstones of the Price campuses offerings, allowing students to gain a university education and degree while learning valuable work and trade skills like welding, automotive technology, health professions, and more. Students attend these programs from all over the state, and even from across the country, to take advantage of the combination of career and technical education and a university degree.

UB Media Tuesday, Sep. 26, 2017

USU Extension Partnership Builds Healthy Communities

Utah State University Extension was recently chosen as one of five Extension programs to lead the rest of the country in a new community health initiative. The National 4-H Council partnered with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with a goal to improve the health of 1,000 communities across the nation over the next 10 years. They plan to accomplish this goal by helping local health councils implement action plans that ensure community members can be healthier at every stage of life. ... According to the National 4-H Council, USU Extension was selected based on the program’s preparedness to drive innovation for other communities. “Being selected for this incredible initiative is a testament to the many Extension and 4-H faculty and staff who have done so much great work in the area of health already,” said Sandra Sulzer, USU Extension assistant professor of health and wellness. ... The partnership will focus on designing a sustainable network structure to promote health and well-being in communities across the nation, as well as creating tools for healthier communities and launching a training curriculum for local community advocates.

4-traders Saturday, Sep. 23, 2017

Wal Mart Stores : 'That's Through Us'

Move over, Aggie Shuttle! Some tractors would like to use Aggie Bull-evard. That’s exactly what happened Friday, as tractors of all shapes and sizes drove down the main artery of the Utah State University campus to mark the conclusion of College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences Week. ... Sure, the parade was about having fun, said Garret Folkman, a USU junior and president of the Agricultural Technology Club. But he also believes the event provides a serious takeaway about agriculture. “This is where your food comes from,” he said. “You don’t get your food at Walmart; it has to get to Walmart somehow, and that’s through us.” The tractor parade is considered a staple event at USU and was even immortalized this past year on a puzzle created by Provo artist Eric Dowdle. Royce Hatch, a principal lecturer in CAAS, said the parade began, in part, as a tribute to eight USU students and professor who died in a van crash in 2005. But more than that, he said, USU officials wanted to educate the public about USU’s founding and role in the state. ... One of the event’s organizers, Reganne Briggs, a USU student majoring in animal, dairy and veterinary sciences, said Friday was the first time she had the opportunity to go; her class was not in the middle of her event. “I think it’s great for students who don’t necessarily have a background in agriculture to see what really started this college, because it is a land-grant university,” Briggs said

Science Newsline Friday, Sep. 22, 2017

Ultra Light Aluminum: USU Chemist Reports Breakthrough in Material Design

If you drop an aluminum spoon in a sink full of water, the spoon will sink to the bottom. That's because aluminum, in its conventional form, is denser than water says Utah State University chemist Alexander Boldyrev. But if you restructure the common household metal at the molecular level, as Boldyrev and colleagues did using computational modeling, you could produce an ultra-light crystalline form of aluminum that's lighter than water. Boldyrev, along with scientists Iliya Getmanskii, Vitaliy Koval, Rusian Minyaev and Vladimir Minkin of Southern Federal University in Rostov-on Don, Russia, published findings in the Sept. 18, 2017, online edition of 'The Journal of Physical Chemistry C.' ... "My colleagues' approach to this challenge was very innovative," says Boldyrev, professor in USU's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. ... Such a property opens a whole new realm of possible applications for the non-magnetic, corrosive-resistant, abundant, relatively inexpensive and easy-to-produce metal. ... Still, he says, the breakthrough discovery marks a novel way of approaching material design. "An amazing aspect of this research is the approach: using a known structure to design a new material," Boldyrev says. "This approach paves the way for future discoveries."

Cache Valley Daily Wednesday, Sep. 20, 2017

Remembering the Roots of USU During CAAS Week

CAAS Week at Utah State University kicked off Monday and continues until Friday. CAAS is an abbreviation for College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences and the theme for the week is “Back to Our Roots” noting the university’s founding and history as an agricultural college and state agricultural experiment station. Even though USU now offers a myriad of programs and has changed focus over the years, Heather Lieber, CAAS Academic Senator, said it’s good for Aggie students to remember their schools’ foundation. “Definitely, countless programs that people can join here at Utah State but we’re bringing cows on campus, we’re bringing all these sorts of animals. This is the first time any of these students have even seen these animals in person. "Being able to touch them and giving people, even those who experience it for the first time, in a small way, is bringing back the roots of us as an agricultural college. ... Some of the activities still on tap include: a film screening on Food Evolution, a documentary on the controversy over GMO’s. That will be shown Wednesday night in the TSC Auditorium at 7 p.m.

Utah Public Radio Tuesday, Sep. 19, 2017

'Science Unwrapped:' Sharing Science with the Community

A group of scientists at Utah State University has developed a unique way to share their research with the community. Science Unwrapped is a program that teaches the public about science and how scientists learn to interact with the public. At the event, a diverse crowd of people, ranging from adults to small children, gathered in an auditorium at Utah State University to hear the first lecture in this fall's Science Unwrapped series. This week, USU Professor Johan du Toit spoke about living with large mammals. Nancy Huntly is director of the Ecology Center at USU. She said the College of Science started the program to share science with the community. ... “Science is one fundamental way about understanding the world," Huntly said. ... This fall, Science Unwrapped focuses on Ecology, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Utah State’s Ecology Center.

Cache Valley Daily Tuesday, Sep. 19, 2017

Local Group Studying Childhood Trauma

When the Northern Utah Trauma Resiliency Coalition was formed in the spring its three principles said the goal was to prevent childhood trauma from happening whenever possible through increased awareness and support, and to buffer the impact when it does occur. It is chaired by Dr. Ed Redd, Esterlee Molyneux, Executive Director of the Family Place, and Dr. Vonda Jump-Norman, a USU scientist in early childhood development. ... This new transformational group includes agencies, parents, physicians, clergy, school representatives, as well as those from civic, business and state organizations. ... She said they are working to create a trauma-informed community so citizens understand the impact of trauma on the development of children.

Good 4 Utah Monday, Sep. 18, 2017

Former Aggie's Documentary to be Featured in Raindance Film Festival

A former Utah State University student, now filmmaker, is taking one of his projects to the Raindance Film Festival. Casey Allred's film "Stolen Innocence" delves into untold stories of millions of girls who disappear from their homes and are forced into a life of sex slavery. ... My hope is that this film will inspire people to take action—to liberate these girls and women and give them the tools they need to build better lives," Allred said. As a senior at USU, Allred made the top 15 in the Students in Service Awards program for his work co-founding Effect International (now Effect.org), a national nonprofit organization focused on building schools in India and Nepal. The film, made in partnership with that organization, will screen twice at Raindance London.

Utah Public Radio Monday, Sep. 18, 2017

Logan Named a Top Foodie Destination

In September, Logan was listed among the top destinations to visit when it comes to finding not only unique, but quality food options by rewardexpert.com. This online service provides users information to help them get the most out of financial or travel decisions, and this time, they’re focusing on where to eat. ... Kaja Olcott, the communications director for Rewards Expert, says the ranking will help people find food experiences in lesser-known parts of the country. ... “I think that anyone coming to Logan can find something to enjoy. We have enough different foodie offerings. ... De La Cerda said. ... Although the four Logan restaurants the report lists aren’t necessarily what she thinks sets Logan apart food wise, the city has a wide variety of options, including many ethnic foods. She attributes this diversity to the presence of Utah State University, which draws students and faculty from around the world. 

KSL Sunday, Sep. 17, 2017

BYU, USU Scientists Say Fluids Study Could Aid Brain Injury Research

Researchers from BYU and Utah State say they have made findings about a phenomenon in fluids that could lead to better understanding and diagnosing traumatic brain injuries. ... The research suggests a new way to calculate a process known as cavitation — "a process well-known to engineers for causing damage in pipes and marine propellers," BYU spokesman Todd Hollingshead said. ... Thomson and Tad Truscott, a Utah State mechanical and aerospace engineering professor, say they were able to more precisely measure cavitation in a liquid that had been at rest. ... Truscott said he is hopeful their findings will benefit people at risk of traumatic brain injury, including soldiers and athletes. ... "The more information we have about an environment (in which traumatic brain injury occurs), the better we are able to design things for that environment," he said. "That just gives us another tool to use in the design process."

KSL Sunday, Sep. 17, 2017

Regents Plan to Improve Mental Health Services on Utah College Campuses

The Utah State Board of Regents on Friday adopted recommendations of a working group formed to address the mental health needs of students at the state's public colleges and universities. ... The recommendations include expansion of the SafeUT mobile app for college-age users, including personalizing the app for each institution and identifying a point of contact at each college or university. ... The genesis of the working group was the Utah State University Student Association in September 2016 declaring a "mental health crisis" on its campus. USU students were waiting four to six weeks to see counselors at the campus-run Counseling and Psychological Services due to a limited number of counselors and inadequate funding for services. The student government resolution was passed with the intent of encouraging student governments at other public colleges in Utah to pass similar legislation and work together to convince state lawmakers to boost funding for college suicide prevention and mental health programs, Matthew Clewett, USU's student advocate vice president, said at the time. ... USU President Noelle Cockett said she was proud of USU students bringing the issue to the forefront and how quickly the Utah System of Higher Education responded.

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