In the News

  • 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.

  • Friday, Oct. 25, 2019

    Scarred by Grizzly Bear, Biologist Turns the Other Cheek

    Four decades after surviving a grizzly bear attack, retired Utah State University professor Barrie Gilbert is advocating for better understanding and treatment for his attacker’s kind. “I had a very strong feeling that bears needed better press,” Gilbert said as he walked in Logan Canyon. “Especially grizzlies. I think that the tales and folklore about grizzlies are all about the danger that they are.” Ironically, Gilbert’s face was pretty much ripped apart by a grizzly, way back at the beginning of his career as a wildlife biologist. Decades later, the injury is still obvious: severe scarring and a missing eye on the left side of his face. For anyone who might have trouble looking at his face, that’s their problem, he said. “I’m the same guy, I just got a new face. Now, if there was a Brad Pitt with a face transplant, I probably would have taken that,” he said with a chuckle. ... Gilbert’s new book is called “One of Us: A Biologist’s Walk Among Bears.” He believes scientists themselves have contributed to the grizzly problem by over-managing bears with excessive capturing and collaring, a practice that Gilbert believes “is actually making bears man-haters, and in my book, I talk about it.”

  • The Herald Journal Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019

    10th Circuit Court Brings Judges' Bench to USU

    Logan is not the usual setting for the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which normally presides in Denver, but on Tuesday morning the Russell/Wanlass Performance Hall at Utah State University was filled with spectators as three circuit court judges heard oral arguments for four different cases. “This is a branch of the government that people don’t get a lot of exposure to, and this was an opportunity to be in a literal first row seat to the 10th Circuit Court,” said Neil Abercrombie, director of USU’s Institute of Government and Politics. ... The Circuit Court of Appeals is the second-highest court in the United States, falling only the U.S. Supreme Court in authority. The 10th Circuit hears appeals from the state supreme and district courts across the states of Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Kansas. The presiding judges on Tuesday morning included Chief Judge Tymkovich and two Utah natives, Judge Scott M. Matheson Jr. and Judge Carolyn McHugh. They heard arguments about tax claims, drug sentencing enhancements, alleged discrimination and retaliation and a case of determining inadequate health care.

  • Standard-Examiner Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019

    Denver-based Federal Appeals Court to Visit Utah State Campus

    A federal appeals court will pay Logan a visit on Tuesday to hear arguments for four cases. Three judges from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals will host hearings on Oct. 22 at the Russell/Wanlass Performance Hall on the Utah State University campus. The event is the first time that circuit court judges have heard arguments in Logan, according to a news release for the event. The event is a rare opportunity for students and members of the community to witness second-highest level of courts in the country take place. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals is located in Denver, where the hearings are typically held. For the appeals court system, the country is divided into 13 circuits. The 10th Circuit covers Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. ... Though the event is sold out, a stand by line will be available. A live stream will also be set up at the Eccles Conference Center Auditorium, and those seats will be given out on a first-come, first-serve basis. Those who attend are encouraged to arrive early to the event to go through security. No electronics of any kind will be allowed into the performance hall, including phones, laptops and cameras. Attendees must provide a photo ID to be admitted.

  • The Herald Journal Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019

    USU Professor Highlights Utah Women in New Historical Book

    A new book written by a Utah State University professor explores the stories of various trailblazing women from Utah history. “We have such a limited view of Utah history,” said Emily Brooksby Wheeler, an adjunct history professor at USU. “People think, ‘Oh it's just pioneers and polygamy and we’ve heard all the stories.’ … But there is so much more.” To showcase some of the stories she felt were missing, Wheeler decided to write a book that explored Utah’s story through women. The finished product, entitled “Utah Women: Pioneers, Poets, and Politicians,” is available Nov. 11 and includes stories of women from a variety of ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds. ... There are many other women highlighted in Wheeler’s book, including Chipeta, a Native American woman who was an ambassador for peace; Emma Dean Powell, the wife of famous Western explorer John Wesley Powell; and Claire Ferguson, who was the first female sheriff’s deputy in Utah and possibly the nation. The purpose of the book is “to show the diversity and variety in Utah’s history,” Wheeler said. “I think it is fascinating to find the stories of especially the women who are less well-known and to bring their stories to light. And maybe it is helpful to other people to read through their stories and to find a connection with them.”

  • Cache Valley Daily Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019

    Space Dynamics Lab Cameras Now Orbiting the Earth

    Following NASA’s successful launch of its Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON), two instruments containing cameras from the Space Dynamics Lab (SDL) at Utah State University are now in a low-earth orbit. Jed Hancock, executive director of programs and operations at the SDL, said ICON will study weather conditions in the Ionosphere. “Just like you would create a weather station to measure the weather on earth, we’ve created a weather station — a payload that is on a satellite — that orbits about the earth and makes assessments of what’s happening in the space weather,” Hancock explained. “And this is super important because this is the boundary layer where all of the communications from space that we rely on every day — GPS, satellite — all those kind of communications go through this.” ... Hancock said the ICON mission seeks to help scientists understand this weather interaction that can cause disruptions in Global Positioning System satellites and radio frequencies. The two instruments containing SDL cameras are the Michelson Interferometer for Global High-resolution imaging and the Far Ultra Violet imaging Spectograph.

  • The Herald Journal Friday, Oct. 11, 2019

    Utah State Students Show Off Skills at Artoberfest

    A live band, a chance to paint a pot for succulents and free hot dogs are among the many enticements that brought over 400 students to Utah State University’s Artoberfest on Thursday evening. “I am so excited about how many people came, and it was so unexpected,” said Nathan Scott, the Caine College of the Arts senator. “One thing we did different this year from years past, that I think really made a difference, was the versatility of performances. We had a band come play for the first hour followed by other acts I had never seen before.” ... Scott said he was blown away when he saw the long line of students stretching out of the door and down the hall. He said the turnout doubled and even tripled his original expectations, and it had a lot to do with the participation with everyone behind the scenes. “I gathered a lot of help from a large variety of people,” Scott said. “These people brought so many different ideas, which brought such a range of students to the event. And that is why it was such a success.”

  • Salt Lake Tribune Wednesday, Oct. 09, 2019

    Commentary: Our Wellbeing Ties Directly to Our Landscapes

    Land-use issues are people issues. Actions we take today will forever change and impact the land, so making wise policy decisions is critical as we plan our precious land resources for future generations. New research from Utah State University shows that Utah residents from every walk of life tie their very wellbeing to their connections with the land in their local communities and in the state more broadly. Utah State University researchers met recently in Salt Lake City with mayors, council members, legislators, resource managers, business leaders and the general public as part of a year-long series called Research Landscapes: Land, Air, Water. The land discussion was designed as an effort to show how USU researchers are working to provide policymakers with reliable, unbiased information and expertise to help them make decisions. ... USU researchers are in local communities across the state listening to local and professional knowledge, then bringing data-driven, unbiased information to the table. ... USU research shows that mountains, canyons, rivers and lakes are important to nearly everyone, yet highly valued natural areas are pressured by over-use from recreation. New research techniques and conflict management approaches can help local leaders navigate these challenges.

  • The Herald Journal Wednesday, Oct. 02, 2019

    Ex-Aggie Star Wilkinson to Give Interfaith Talk in Logan

    Overcoming obstacles and changing course in life will be the subject of a talk by former Utah State University basketball star Gary Wilkinson, presented by the interfaith organization “Cache Community Connections.” Wilkinson’s presentation, titled “Resilience: Failure is a Foundation for Success,” is scheduled Friday, Oct. 11, at 7 p.m. at Mount Logan Middle School. Wilkinson played basketball at USU in 2008 and 2009. During his senior season, he was Player of the Year in the Western Athletic Conference, WAC Tournament MVP and an All-American. ... Wilkinson’s story, however, isn’t all a fairytale, the press release notes. In 2001, he dropped out of high school months before graduating. A few years before that, he’d been cut from the Bingham High basketball team after clashing with coaches who thought he had an attitude problem. ... Cache Community Connections is composed of a group of interfaith religious and civic leaders. It extends an open door invitation to the leaders representing all religions and denominations and civic groups in Cache Valley in the belief that spiritual leadership and unity are vital to our community’s well being.

  • Cache Valley Daily Wednesday, Oct. 02, 2019

    USU Leader Delivers Her State of the University Message

    Utah State University President Noelle Cockett delivered her State of the University address Tuesday, unveiling her presidential priorities. Since USU is the state’s only land grant college, she said one priority is to expand outreach to Utah citizens in the areas of health and well-being. In a media gathering before her speech she highlighted the work of the new Sorenson Center for Clinical Excellence. ... This was the first state of the university address by Cockett, who was appointed the school’s 16th President in October, 2016. Speaking to students, faculty and staff she said she wants to strengthen USU’s trajectory of research distinction, communicate and develop the school’s excellence in water, land and air research, while facilitating student and faculty entrepreneurship. She said it is also important to increase diversity of students, faculty and staff, provide access to post-secondary education, promote inclusiveness and respect across the USU community and promote student success, including experiential learning.

  • Utah Public Radio Wednesday, Oct. 02, 2019

    USU President Names 'Diversity, Inclusion and Respect' Priorities

    “Diversity, inclusion and respect. These are very important values for me,” said Utah State University's president Noelle Cockett at her state of the university address on Tuesday. Though she introduced this initiative toward the end of her address, Cockett highlighted the importance of the goal as one of her top priorities for the upcoming year. “As people say, it’s not just diversity. You don’t just bring diverse people to a unit or a campus and hope it all goes well. We need to support this concept through inclusion and respect all across our community,” Cockett said. ... Campus safety was also discussed as an audience member asked her opinion on how to best protect students. “You know, I would like to say we will always keep our faculty, students and staff safe. That is a probably a promise that I just shouldn’t be making. But I think we can always do more to keep them safer.” ... New fundraising campaigns were introduced that will go toward increasing scholarships for women returning to college and first-generation scholars. Cockett said the goal was to "fund these programs in perpetuity." Other goals included continued support for the university's entrepeneurial and research endeavors.

  • The Herald Journal Tuesday, Oct. 01, 2019

    Cockett Delivers State of the University Speech at USU

    Utah State University President Noelle Cockett spoke to faculty, staff and students as part of her first State of the University address Tuesday morning. Cockett touched on what she saw as recent university success along with her vision for future inclusion and success of students. Cockett said all 10 of her presidential priorities fall within the university’s mission to emphasize research, education and outreach. The hope is that these priorities work together for longterm united success across the community and across the state, said Cockett. ... Cockett attributed the growing influence of the university to this history and said she is determined to blanket the state in Aggie blue. Being a land-grant institution ensures funding in order to continue to expand in the ways Cockett presented. “When the state needs research, education or outreach, I think they look to USU and I want them to continue to look to USU,” Cockett said. “We know how to do it.”

  • Utah Public Radio Monday, Sep. 30, 2019

    Aggie Chocolate Expo: A Unique Chocolate Experience

    One year ago, Utah State University was preparing for the grand opening of the Aggie Chocolate Factory - working both as a lavatory for food science students as well as well as an opportunity to teach the public the complexity of chocolate making. Now, one year later, the Aggie Chocolate Factory opened its doors to students, alumni and visitors with its Chocolate Expo. The expo allowed folks to sample the new Aggie Ice Cream flavor the Scotchman, a new cherry chocolate jam, and products from local chocolatiers. Throughout the expo, presentations were given from chocolatiers and researchers such as Silvana Martini. Martini is a food science professor at Utah State University where she focuses on fats, oils and sensory evaluation. ... Utah State University is home of the only university chocolate factory in the western United States.

  • Deseret News Sunday, Sep. 29, 2019

    How Important is Land to Your Well-being?

    With Utah’s population expected to double in just three decades, the impact to the state’s critical resources like air, land and water are at risk of being in jeopardy if that growth isn’t managed well. That takeaway is part of the focus of an upcoming event Tuesday at the O.C. Tanner headquarters from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at 1930 S. State. The Utah State University Research Landscapes event features USU researcher Courtney Flint, a natural resources sociologist, who explores the connection between Utah landscapes and personal well-being. The conference will emphasize the importance of managing the nation’s fourth-fastest growing economy against a backdrop of safeguarding natural and recreational amenities such as national parks and ski areas. ... The research that will be highlighted includes the work of USU faculty Steven Daniels, a sociologist, and Jordan Smith from the university’s Department of Environment and Society, as well as David Anderson and Jake Powell, who are both with landscape architecture and environmental planning at the university. Topics include wildfires, natural resource dependent communities, federally controlled lands and recreation in the context of well-being.

  • Utah Public Radio Wednesday, Sep. 25, 2019

    Mendez V. Westminster: USU Professors Discuss Desegregation Case

    Sylvia Mendez is an American civil rights activist of Mexican-Puerto Rican heritage. At age eight, she played an instrumental role in the Mendez v. Westminster case, the landmark desegregation case of 1946. The case successfully ended de jure segregation in California[1] and paved the way for integration and the American civil rights movement. ... Crescencio López-González is an Associate Professor of Latinx Studies at Utah State University. As a cultural studies analyst of U.S. Latinx urban literature and culture, his research focuses on analyzing the works of Latinx authors who write about the city in which they were raised and how growing-up in these environments shaped their lives, their communities, and their future. ... Marisela Martinez-Cola is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Utah State University. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Psychology and African American Studies. Martinez-Cola is author of the book (under review): "The Bricks Before Brown v. Board: A Comparative Historical Case Study of Race, Class, and Gender across a Chinese American, Native American, and Mexican American School Desegregation Cases, 1885-1947."
  • The Herald Journal Wednesday, Sep. 25, 2019

    Songbird Trackers: USU Researcher Studying migration of Lazuli Buntings

    Here’s a birdwatching tip. If you want to attract the region’s bright and colorful lazuli buntings to your feeder, use white millet — and white millet only. That’s the word from Utah State University ornithologist Clark Rushing, who knows a bit about lazuli buntings. This summer, Rushing launched a major study to track the songbirds on their winter migrations and evaluate the stresses put on their population. ... A handful of the feeders have been placed in Logan Dry Canyon and near the mouth of Logan Canyon at the USU Challenge Course. Others are stationed near the bottom and top of the Tony Grove road in Logan Canyon. ... Although all of Rushing’s feeders have been placed in the Cache Valley area, this is only because he is based here. The buntings are common throughout the Rocky Mountain West. ... Contrary to what the casual observer might think, high populations don’t translate into long lifespans for songbirds. Rushing said the average lifespan of a lazuli bunting is about a year, with about half of newborns not living beyond a month or two because of risks posed by predators and harsh weather. Still, the hardy survivors can live up to 6 or 7 years.


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