In the News

  • Jackson Hole News & Guide Monday, Jan. 06, 2020

    Give Your Dog the Gift of Choice

    Imagine you lived a life in which your entire day was dictated by another: when you got up in the morning, what you ate and when; who you interacted with; when you were left alone and for how long; where you slept; when, what and with whom you played; where you went for exercise and activities — even when and where you were allowed to eliminate. In addition, imagine being often “made” to do things you didn’t want to do. How would you feel? Like a dog, perhaps. In America many dogs are completely dependent upon humans. While that is certainly part of the deal with being a domestic animal, dogs’ lives have become dramatically more controlled in recent times, and people’s expectations of their canine companions have increased as well. ... The world of canine behavior and training continues to progress, and one of the most compelling topics as of late consists of the ideas of consent and choice for our companion animals, which raises the question: Is choice necessary for a canine well-being and happiness? Susan Friedman, a psychology professor at Utah State University who has pioneered the application of applied behavior analysis to captive and companion animals, believes so, as do many others in the canine behavior world. “The power to control one’s own outcomes is essential to behavioral health,” she is quoted saying in “Training a dog to make choices,” an article that appeared in Whole Dog Journal in October 2016. “Research demonstrates that to the greatest extent possible, animals should be empowered to use their behavior to control significant events in their lives. When a lack of control becomes a lifestyle, it may result in aberrant behaviors.”

  • Thursday, Jan. 02, 2020

    USU Showcases Historical Outdoor Products in Online Exhibit

    Throughout the years, Utah State University has seen many advancements in outdoor recreation through the creation of ground-breaking products and technology. But university officials didn't have a place for them to be seen collectively, by students or the public, until now. Clint Pumphrey, manuscript curator for the school’s Special Collections department, helped solve this problem with the creation of the Outdoor Recreation Archive. The display manifests the history of the outdoor industry by compiling around 1,600 items donated by collectors, enthusiasts and lovers of the outdoors to be preserved and studied, according to Pumphrey. ... Those who would like to view these items can do so in person by visiting Utah State’s reading room, located on the lower level of the library. The physical items are preserved and protected in temperature-controlled environments so they can continue to be enjoyed for years, Pumphrey said. ... The collection is accessible to the public on their website as well as in person at Utah State University’s Merrill-Cazier Library.

  • The Herald Journal Monday, Dec. 30, 2019

    'Founding Father of Performing Arts in Logan,' W. Vosco Call, Dies at 91

    Just a week shy of his 92nd birthday, W. Vosco Call died on Christmas Eve, leaving behind a legacy of stage directing excellence and generational storytelling. “There are not too many people like him left,” said Vosco’s grandson, Richie Call. “I have said that frequently throughout my life but that’s the first time I’ve said it since my grandpa passed, and it kind of chokes me up to say because he really was a relic of a time gone by.” ... He attended USU straight out of the U.S. Army on the G.I. Bill, and after earning degrees from USU, the University of Washington and the University of Minnesota, he worked professionally across the country from New York to California. “He did it all,” Richie said. “By the time he was my age, he had played every major Shakespeare role that there is, some of them more than once.” When faced with a choice between returning to USU as a faculty member or heading to L.A. to pursue a movie career, he chose the more familiar of the two. Vosco oversaw a renaissance of the theater department and the acquisition of the Lyric Theatre, which to some community members marked the genesis of Cache Valley’s flourishing performing arts hub.

  • Salt Lake Tribune Monday, Dec. 30, 2019

    Former USU Basketball Coach Ladell Andersen Dies at 90

    Ladell Andersen, who won nearly two-thirds of his basketball games as the coach of Utah State, BYU and the Utah Stars of the ABA, died Sunday in St. George. Andersen was 90. He also spent 10 years as USU’s athletic director and was a Utah Jazz consultant after retiring from coaching at BYU in 1989 at the age of 60. Andersen played basketball for USU after graduating from Malad (Idaho) High School and became a University of Utah assistant coach under Jack Gardner in 1956. He took the USU coaching job in 1961 and posted a 173-96 (.643) record in 10 seasons, coaching star players Wayne Estes, Cornell Green, Shaler Halimon, Marvin Roberts and Nate Williams. Not since the Andersen era has USU produced a player who spent significant time in the NBA. The Aggies made five NCAA Tournament appearances under Andersen, whose teams reached the Sweet 16 twice and the Elite Eight once. ... He has been inducted into the Utah State Athletics Hall of Fame and the Utah Sports Hall of Fame.

  • Deseret News Friday, Dec. 20, 2019

    USU is Making Strides to Improving Accessibility in Utah

    It is imperative that state public colleges and universities increase and maintain accessibility for students to earn a postsecondary credential. But accessibility means more than just making college available so students get into college — accessibility means making the entire college process as equitable as possible so students who need individual support receive it leading up to, throughout and even after they graduate. Studies have shown that individual lives and entire communities are enhanced by increased attainment of postsecondary credentials. Our system of public colleges and universities is working to make sure that people from all walks of life, in all communities across the state, have an equitable college experience for heightened success in life. This past year, Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities made great strides to increase accessibility, create a more inclusive community and improve the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families. ... The USHE Regents applaud Utah State University’s efforts to increase accessibility and improve services for people with disabilities including our students, local communities and individuals abroad. We also applaud other USHE institutions’ efforts to make their campuses more accessible, and we look forward to supporting them in their efforts to impact students’ lives for the better.

  • Cache Valley Daily Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019

    USU Graduate Named as Head of the Utah Division of Water Resources

    Utah State University graduate Todd D. Adams has been named as head of the Utah Division of Water Resources. He has been appointed by Department of Natural Resources Executive Director Brian Steed to replace the Eric Millis, who retired after nearly 32 years with the division. After graduating from USU with both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in civil engineering, Adams began his career with the division in 1990. According to a press release, he has served as the division’s deputy director since 2013. ... Adams has also served as Utah’s Division of Water Resources legislative liaison since 2009, helping legislators shape many bills relating to canal safety, water conservation, secondary metering and more. “I’m a believer in our division’s mission to ‘plan, conserve, develop and protect Utah’s water resources,’” said Adams. “We will take a look at what we’re doing and look for ways to do it better and make sure it’s in harmony with our mission. We have great staff, and I’ve been fortunate to have been mentored by our outgoing director who left things running very smoothly.”

  • Utah Public Radio Monday, Dec. 16, 2019

    Popular Bicycle App May Change User Behavior

    Strava is a fitness tracking app mountain bikers can use on their smartphones. It connects with their bike’s computer, allowing riders to track and record their activity and then create visuals of their progress. But it may be changing how people recreate. “I’m specifically interested in how Strava may shift the focus away from the ecological resource and towards the more quantifiable fitness and performance metrics of the experience," said Noah Creany, a PhD student at Utah State University who studies recreation ecology. Creany's goal is to help managers understand how Strava use fits into the larger-scale of landscape use in recreation areas around Orange County, California. ... “We need to be mindful of how smartphones affect our thinking and behavior," Creany said. "I would encourage everyone to be skeptical of the gear we take with us when we recreate and reflect on whether it’s benefiting the experience or whether it’s becoming the focus of the experience. It may be diminishing the restorative benefits we get from experiences in natural areas.”

  • College Gazette Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019

    The Top 10 Public Universities On the Rise

    Historically, Utah State has been among the most accomplished public universities nationwide. Alumni of Utah State include 7 Rhodes Scholars, 1 Nobel Prize winner, 34 Goldwater Scholarship recipients, and a MacArthur “Genius” fellow. In the 90s, Utah State saw a significant surge in growth, with an endowment increasing from $7m in the early 90s to $80m by 2000. As of this writing in 2019, the endowment stands at over $370 million. Utah State has risen to become a highly-respected research university, earning the “very high research activity” R2 designation from the Carnegie Classification. ... Utah State is home to a number of highly rated programs, including the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, a program characterized by experiential learning.

  • The Herald Journal Friday, Dec. 13, 2019

    Thomas Edison Students Take a Deep Dive into History

    Seventh and eighth grade students at Thomas Edison Charter School set up elaborate displays and donned colorful costumes on Thursday for this year’s History Fair. Students began working on their history projects in August and chose to create an exhibit, performance, documentary, website or research paper on their chosen historical topic. JoLyne Merchant, a history teacher at Thomas Edison’s south campus, said she encourages her students to research, analyze and present on a topic that they are passionate about for their projects. “I think they become an expert in an area, and they feel knowledgeable about something, and it gives them power,” Merchant said. “ Because then they know: I can learn things, I can research, I can answer intelligently about the things I’ve been able to do the work and find out the information for.” ... The Cache/Box Elder Regional History Fair will be on March 20, 2020, at Utah State University, and students who qualify there will move on to the state level, with the opportunity to move on to compete at the national level. “Ever since we started doing this, which has been I think about 15 years, we’ve sent somebody to the national competition every year,” Merchant said. “We’ve had actually multiple kids be in the top 10 regularly in the national competition.”

  • Sunday, Dec. 08, 2019

    New Tech from USU grads at Garmin Lets Planes Land Themselves

    Airplanes help us get across the country, and even around the world, but the question on a lot of people's minds may be, 'What happens if the pilot can't fly the plane anymore?' That's where Garmin's 'Autoland' system could come in handy, which uses several factors to land a plane automatically in an emergency. Two of the people working on this new tech at Garmin are graduates of Utah State University; Bailey Scheel and Eric Sargent. Sargent is a Flight Test Pilot and Scheel is an Aviation Program Manager. ... Garmin flight operations performed just over 900 autonomous landings with the Autoland system and Sargent says he tested it 200 times. "This really gives an opportunity for people to feel more comfortable on the airplane. especially your passengers and your family," says Sargent.

  • The Herald Journal Friday, Dec. 06, 2019

    Light the A: USU brothers Build Internet-connected Aggie Memorabilia

    Two brothers from Utah State University want to enhance the fan experience for their fellow Aggies. And they plan to do it through IOT technology — the internet of things. John and James Swensen launched a Kickstarter in May for a 3D-printed miniature replica of the True Aggie Block “A.” Similar to the illuminated “A” on the Old Main Tower, the 3D-printed miniature announces victory for Aggie sports by lighting the “A” blue by way of a WiFi connection. John said the user can customize the sports the device responds to (football, basketball, volleyball, etc.), and also has holiday color patterns as well. ... John said he tries to keep his website updated with current stock, but an influx of orders could push shipping the memorabilia back. He said there is interest in creating products for other universities in Utah, as well as stocking their products in Aggie merchandising stores. “We’re working like crazy — printing 24/7,” John said. For more information, visit

  • The Herald Journal Thursday, Dec. 05, 2019

    Entrepreneurship Students Think Outside Box to Aid for USU Sub for Santa

    Gifts, wrapping paper and holiday music filled the classroom in Huntsman Hall at USU, where over 50 students gathered Tuesday evening for the Gift Wrapping Social for the Sub for Santa service project. For the past four weeks leading up to the social, students in the Entrepreneurship club worked together in teams to invest $25 of startup funds from The Center of Entrepreneurship to run a small business to raise funds for Sub for Santa. Together, they raised $5,513. This far exceeded the expectations. ... With the money that was earned, each group took a list of needs and wants for each family and went shopping for gifts. “We were shopping today and I was holding all these presents for a little girl and I got emotional thinking about how this was going to change her Christmas this year,” said Jess May, the spouse of a club member who was invited to help. “It is special to imagine a family on Christmas open these gifts knowing that someone is out there looking out for them.” By the time the presents were all wrapped up, the cars were running out of space to hold all of the gifts. “This is not a bad problem to have,” Winward said, smiling.

  • Utah Public Radio Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019

    Most Parents Think Interruptions From Phones Harm Families, Survey Suggests

    Preliminary results from a new survey suggest that the majority of people think interruptions from technology are harmful to their family. Technoference occurs when technology interferes with human interactions and relationships. “I admit it even happened to me.” said Dr. David Schramm, an assistant professor and extension specialist at Utah State University. “My son came up for breakfast one morning, and I’m on my phone, and he walked by me. And that’s when my wife had to call me out and she said, ‘Honey, say good morning to your son.’ That’s technoference. It’s influencing my life, it’s influencing others, even when they go out to dinner. I could see it’s a real big problem, so I wanted to do a little investigation of my own.” Schramm developed an online survey to investigate technoference. He distributed it to 631 parents across the United States. The survey gauged parents’ perceptions on how technology interfaces with family relationships and marital quality.

  • The Herald Journal Friday, Nov. 29, 2019

    New USU 'Highlander' Podcast, Magazine Cover Local Outdoors Scene

    People looking for a weekly glimpse into the outdoors industry have a new resource, thanks to a new podcast from Utah State University. USU’s outdoor product design program is 10 episodes into the Highlander Podcast, a weekly interview with figures in the outdoors industry from Cache Valley to international brands. “It’s just a lot of local stories about the importance of the outdoor industry here,” said Chase Anderson, who works in industry relations for the outdoor product design program. “Whether you’re more on the outdoor recreation side, or you’re a brand producing the products, we just want to tell stories why that’s important to the region.” ... The podcast is an outgrowth of Highlander Magazine, a student-produced publication examining the same topics. Student editor Mady Koller said the staff is getting ready to put out the second print issue, and response so far has been good. ... The podcast is available as “Highlander Podcast” on iTunes and other podcatching software, and episodes and articles are available at

  • Park Record Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019

    Ecology Presentation at Swaner EcoCenter Gives Public Something to Chew On

    Marshall Wolf, a Utah State University doctorate graduate in the watershed science department and the ecology center, wants to give the public a taste of his research about understanding beaver-mediated changes to stream habitat and ecosystems on the Swaner Preserve. He will give a presentation titled “Worth a Dam? Beaver Dam Analogs and the Swaner Preserve,” at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21, at the Swaner EcoCenter, 1258 Center Drive at Kimball Junction. The event is free, but registration is required. To register, visit Wolf will explain beaver dam analogs, which are human-made dams that diversify stream flows and help preserve water during the dry season. ... In addition to explaining the beaver dam analog, Wolf’s presentation will address beavers’ benefits and impacts on the local community, said Nell Larson, Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter executive director. “Beavers are a hot topic in our community, and they can be pretty polarizing, because of some of the challenges they cause,” she said.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019

    Technology Hurts Relationships, Raises Depression, Anxiety, USU Study Says

    A recent Utah State University study showed that too much technology can hurt our most important relationships while raising our levels of anxiety and depression. Dr. David Schramm, an assistant professor and family life specialist, surveyed 631 parents across the United States between the ages of 22-60. “I asked them about technology, especially in the bedroom, and on tables,” Schramm said. “I really wanted to get a better understanding of what parents think about how it’s influencing their parent-child relationship as well as the couple relationship.” ... Schramm said as we head into the holidays and time with extended family, we should focus on putting the phone down and being in the moment. “Thanksgiving is coming up, right? Put away the tech and focus on the turkey,” Schramm said. “Be aware of when you’re on your phone, when you’re on a device or when your child is. Be aware of that. If there’s human interactions that it’s interrupting, then I think we need to re-think about how often, and where we’re using technology.”

  • Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019

    USU Study: How Technology Impacts Relationships

    A new study by a Utah State University Assistant Professor helps us to understand the impact technology is having on our relationships. David Schramm, Utah State University assistant professor and Extension family life specialist, also known as USU relationship specialist “Dr. Dave,” said it is inevitable that technology creeps into nearly every aspect of our lives. He said he believes there are two important areas that must be consciously protected to help strengthen couple and parent-child relationships: in the bed and at the table. ... Schramm asked several questions related to technology use and these were the results: Eighty-eight percent agree that technoference is a big problem in our society, with 62 percent of those surveyed agreeing that it is a big problem in their family. Seventy percent reported that technology interrupts family time at least occasionally. Forty-five percent consider technology a big problem in their marriage.

  • Friday, Nov. 15, 2019

    To Save Biodiversity, Scientists Suggest 'Mega-conservation'

    While the conservation of charismatic creatures like pandas, elephants and snow leopards are important in their own right, there may be no better ecological bang-for-our-buck than a sound, science-based effort to save widespread keystone systems. And the majestic aspens could be a perfect start for such an endeavor. That's the conclusion of the researchers behind the first-ever compendium of world aspen communities. In their new publication, the researchers advance the idea of "mega-conservation," where the conservation of widespread, common, species—like aspen—may have a strategic advantage over traditional, single-species conservation."The significance of aspen is that they support large numbers of dependent species, meaning aspen are truly keystone species," said Paul Rogers, the director of the Western Aspen Alliance at Utah State University and a co-author of the report. "There are six species of aspen that span much of the northern hemisphere and similarities in these aspen ecosystems allow us to employ continental conservation practices with enormous benefits to world biodiversity."
  • Cache Valley Daily Friday, Nov. 15, 2019

    USU Educators Among Those Embracing Little Free Library Concept

    The Little Free Library (LFL) is a growing phenomenon. It’s the 10th anniversary of the first neighborhood book exchange, built by Todd Bol as a tribute to his mother, a school teacher in Hudson, Wisconsin. Bol has since passed away, but his legacy has grown to 90,000 libraries on a stick. The first one Bol built resembled a one-room schoolhouse. It was built out of wood from an old garage door. Cache Valley has its fair share of Little Free Libraries, with about 20 of them on posts in front of houses. Joyce Kinkead, an English professor at Utah State University, has one in a park adjacent to her house. She said nobody is in charge of the group, everyone is a steward of their individual libraries. “It’s kind of an organic process,” she said. “People learn about the libraries and either buy or build their own.” ... Jennifer Dunkin, a librarian at USU’s Merrill-Cazier Library, said she has one in her yard and it’s been a great experience. Her father-in-law built her library and painted the shingles blue to match the home they moved from. “It’s just a nice to see people take a book,” she said. “I try not to be invasive, but I feel like I should talk to them.” ... Mark Damen and his wife, Fran Titchener – both history professors at USU – have one on a post in front of their home. It’s near a bus stop and they gear theirs more towards children.
  • The Herald Journal Monday, Nov. 11, 2019

    USU's Assistive Tech Library Adds New Devices

    New adaptive technology is available to test out or borrow at the Utah Assistive Technology Program’s demonstration and loan library, including a C-Pen reader, an autonomous vacuum and apps for a smart tablet. “Don’t try to reinvent the wheel, people have already invented it,” said Dan O’Crowley, the Assistive Technology Program coordinator for the Logan office. The program is part of the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University. According to O’Crowley, the purpose of the demonstration and loan library is to allow people to try out the technology before they invest in it. ... The program has a variety of items for people to test, including lower-tech items like gardening tools that require less wrist movement, tactile dice and large-print playing cards. Higher-tech items include specialty silverware that helps people with limited wrist movement or tremors eat on their own.

  • The Herald Journal Friday, Nov. 08, 2019

    ROTC Stands Vigil on the Quad at Utah State

    Utah State University Air Force ROTC cadets stood vigil on Thursday and Friday to honor service members who have been prisoners of war or missing in action. Around 5 p.m. on Nov. 7, the ROTC cadets started their 24-hour vigil. Every hour, two to four cadets took shifts in the honor guard — consistently marching around and keeping watch of the American flag, POW flag and the MIA flag centered in the middle of the Quad. Cadet Capt. Jacob Rieker, the public affairs officer for the USU Air Force ROTC, estimated around 100 cadets took part in the vigil. ... With his father currently serving in the Air Force, Rieker said the event is an opportunity to remember stories from his dad — stories of friends who lost their lives in service that Rieker had met visiting his dad at work. “The rest of the world may never know their story,” Rieker said. “But for this 24 hours, for me, personally, it’s them and all the others who never got known for their sacrifice.”

  • Utah Public Radio Tuesday, Nov. 05, 2019

    Day Of The Dead Parade Highlights Mental Health Awareness

    Students from Utah State University’s Latinx Creative Society celebrated Day of the Dead on Saturday. It was a parade that honored the dead, but also focused on ways to support those living with mental health challenges. Day of the Dead is an annual tradition where people of Latin heritage dress in vibrant colors with faces painted or masked to represent their ancestors who have passed away. ... Megan Warburton, also a student at Utah State, enjoyed the feeling of community. ... “I think it’s neat that they’re incorporating both that idea of family and recognizing mental awareness into one. They’re both so important and they go kind of hand-in-hand,” Warburton said. ... “To see how people are just like ‘this is important, I want to be part of this and I’m gonna show up,’ it just gives me so much more of a drive to do what I do every day,” Snelgrove said. The Day of the Dead celebration is led by a bride and groom dressed in traditional costumes, similar to those worn by family members who celebrate the day in Mexico as a way of honoring the dead and their heritage.

  • The Herald Journal Friday, Nov. 01, 2019

    Costumed Marchers Circle Campus for USU's Day of the Dead Procession

    Dozens of people joined the USU Latinx Creative Society for the group’s fifth annual Dia de los Muertos procession. The group, donning painted skulls and marigolds, looped its way through Utah State University campus singing traditional folk songs. Leading the way was Crescencio Lopez-Gonzalez, assistant professor of Latinx Studies at Utah State University. Lopez-Gonzalez said the main idea behind the Day of the Dead is to welcome loved ones who have passed away — to honor and commemorate the dead. ... This year, Lopez-Gonzalez said the group wanted to honor the indigenous, young children who die after being separated at the border. He said a few days prior to the procession they made altars to commemorate the deceased. “We welcomed them and we had food for them, and flowers and stories of them,” Lopez-Gonzalez said. “The festivities today is just to celebrate that they are here with us and that we haven’t forgotten them.”

  • The Hechinger Report Friday, Oct. 25, 2019

    Helping Students with Intellectual Disabilities Conquer College

    It was Day One of orientation for the 15 students in Utah State University’s program for students with intellectual disabilities, and the group was playing a game of Get-to-Know-You Bingo. Courtney Jorgensen, pen in hand, wandered the courtyard, searching for the unlikely individuals who didn’t use Facebook and didn’t like dessert. “I know one we both have!” Jorgensen’s new roommate, Jessica, exclaimed, marking an X in a box in the left column. “We both love to dance. ”It was a bittersweet moment for Casey and Dean Jorgensen, Courtney’s parents, who live two hours away from the college, in Grantsville, Utah. They’d always hoped that their daughter might be able to attend college, but a college education was never a guarantee. They were excited for her, but like many parents of college freshmen, not quite ready when the time came to go. ... Some students in the Aggies Elevated program, named for the university’s agricultural college origins, have Down Syndrome, some have autism and several have multiple diagnoses. All have IQs of 70 or less. Without a program like Aggies Elevated, many of these students would be living at home, working menial, minimum-wage jobs. The employment rate for adults with cognitive disabilities is just 19 percent, according to recent estimates. Those who do work make half of what adults without disabilities earn.


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