In the News

  • 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.

  • The Herald Journal Tuesday, Sep. 24, 2019

    Behind the Jerseys: Logan Woman Keeps Players in Aggie Blue & Fighting White

    Stacks of Utah State University football jerseys cover the surfaces of Melinda Garren’s kitchen from the counter to the chairs. The spaces not covered in jerseys are filled with a cutting mat and her sewing machine. Garren moves methodically through the piles in front of her. She picks up a jersey, lays it down on the counter, smooths the fabric with her hands and pulls out old threads that used to secure a player's name to the material. After double-checking a list with the players' names and numbers, she sets a new nameplate on the material and measures how it needs to fit. If the fabric is too long, she cuts it before spraying it with an adhesive and pinning it onto the fabric. Once the jersey is ready for her to sew, it goes into a new pile. It’s been 10 years since Garren began the job of sewing names and patches to the USU football jerseys. At this point, she can’t quite remember how it came to be that she was offered the job, but she said it must have started with a conversation between her husband, Bill, the athletic department’s director of video services, and Mike Bair, who oversees the equipment. ... “Uniforms have got to look sharp,” Bair said. “They have got to look good for every game, so it is important that we have someone that we can rely on to make sure those uniforms look the best that they can.”

  • The Herald Journal Monday, Sep. 23, 2019

    New Composting Service Among Presenters at Food Summit at USU

    It has been nearly eight months since Anthony Whaley started a curbside-compost collection service in Cache Valley. “We are excited about the feedback we are getting from the community as well as our subscribers,” Whaley said. The idea for the service came after Whaley, a Utah State University graduate student, and his wife moved from a home with a backyard to an apartment and began composting indoors. When they realized some of their friends in similar situations were also interested in composting, Whaley decided to start the business Compost Cache Valley. ... Whaley was part of many student groups and local organizations presenting on Friday during the Utah Higher Education Food Summit at USU. Started in 2016, the event’s purpose is to provide a place to discuss different efforts to fight campus and community food insecurity. Rebecca Charlton, an assistant professor in food sciences and an honors professor at USU, attended the idea fair and showcased some of the research projects her students have done over the past few years. The projects included connections between food waste and food insecurity and studying how educational information can improve food donation results.

  • Monday, Sep. 23, 2019

    Wildfire Can Pose Risks to Reservoirs

    Over the past 30 years, wildfires have gotten bigger, stronger, and occurred more often. As climates continue to warm, this trend will likely continue, causing disruption to landscapes and water systems alike. Wildfires are destructive to ecosystems, but they can also set the stage for future issues. "After a wildfire, particularly a high-severity wildfire, you have significant impacts to the soil that affects the infiltration of water," says Brendan Murphy, a research associate at Utah State University. ... In the western U.S., reservoirs provide long-term storage of water for tens of millions of people. The researchers used modeling to understand the locations and severity post-wildfire erosion could pose to downstream reservoirs. Murphy and his colleagues are investigating what effects wildfires might have on downstream reservoirs. Murphy will give an invited talk about their research at the GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix on Sunday morning. ... They are initially testing their new modeling on six reservoirs around Salt Lake City, Utah, but have plans to expand across the entire state. Murphy says the team is hoping their new modeling will help bring researchers together in predicting the risks from post-wildfire sediment at a landscape scale. The team has been meeting with state and federal forest agencies as well as landowners and water managers to discuss risks and mitigation. "Fire is not something we can avoid," says Murphy, adding that people need to become more accustomed to seeing fire on the landscape and dealing with the outcomes. Murphy says, "If we want to do a better job of managing our water resources moving forward, we need to do a better job of managing fire."

  • Cache Valley Daily Wednesday, Sep. 18, 2019

    USU a Leader in Nuclear Engineering Research

    Two large grants totaling over $830,000 serve to support Utah State University’s standing as a national leader in nuclear engineering research. Dr. Ryan Berke is an assistant professor in USU’s department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. They give us a lot of flexibility to do all sorts of nuclear-related work ”These are fantastic grants,” Dr. Berke exclaims. “They give us a lot of flexibility to do all sorts of nuclear-related work. We are the nearest PhD-granting school in any of our engineering programs to Idaho National Lab where a lot of the federal nuclear research goes on. So this really helps us to have a lot of flexibility and resources to be able to continue the great collaborations we do with them.” ... The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently awarded the two grants. Dr. Berke says the funding will support scholarships, fellowships and faculty development. In addition to an active student chapter of the American Nuclear Society, USU is also home to the newly-formed Thermohydraulics and Material Properties Research Center.

  • The Herald Journal Tuesday, Sep. 17, 2019

    USU's Caine College Welcomes New Dean

    Nearly a decade after its founding, the Caine College of the Arts at Utah State University is welcoming its second dean. “I’m the person that has to fill the really big shoes of our founding dean, Craig Jessop,” said Dean Rachel Nardo as she spoke to students and faculty last week at the college’s convocation. “I was going to get some of those clown shoes, but I just put on my high heels instead.” ... Dean Nardo compared the quality of education at the Caine College of the Arts to that of an arts conservatory. As the new dean, she said her next focus will be ensuring students are able to meet the demands of a 21st-century workplace. This includes integrating the arts and technology in classroom settings and remaining up to date on what employers need. One way Nardo wants to do this is by using certificate programs to fill in the gaps and better provide students the skills they will need after graduation. ... Inclusion is also an important focus for Dean Nardo. In conjunction with the university’s newly opened Latinx Cultural Center, she wants to reach out to that community and help those students feel welcome. She also wants to ensure LGBTQ+ students feel welcome in the college. “We want to be inclusive,” Nardo said. “Everyone belongs here.”

  • The Herald Journal Tuesday, Sep. 17, 2019

    Utah State to Host First Chocolate Expo Next Week

    The whole community is invited to free classes, tours, samples, competitions and more at the first Aggie Chocolate Expo next week. The expo will start at 11 a.m. and go until 8 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Aggie Chocolate Factory, located at 1111 N. 800 East in Blue Square. ... Expo events will involve more than just tasting the Factory’s organic “bean to bar” chocolate, though. Attendees will be treated to free classes from industry professionals across the U.S., tour the chocolate factory and savor samples of the five new Aggie chocolate items making their debut. ... Based on the Chocolate Factory’s Grand Opening, Anderson said there could be a few thousand attendees. Because public parking is limited at Aggie Blue Square, Anderson recommends people pay a few dollars to park at Aggie Terrace (600 North and 700 East) and ride the free Aggie shuttle to the Expo. Normal university and city parking regulations will be enforced. More information and a complete itinerary can be found at

  • The Herald Journal Monday, Sep. 16, 2019

    Aggie Coaching Great John Ralston Dies at 92

    Before the Aggie football team started going to bowl games on a regular basis and recording double-digit wins in a season, there was a short stretch nearly six decades ago when Utah State had some of its best success on the gridiron. There is a four-year stretch that is still the best in program history when looking at that many seasons in a row and calculating winning percentage. Guiding the Aggies during that run was legendary coach John Ralston. While he only spent four seasons in Logan, he had fond memories of Cache Valley and returned when he could. Ralston, who was at the USU helm from 1959-62, passed away last Saturday in Sunnyvale, California. He was 92. ... During his four years at USU, the Aggies went 31-11-1 (73.3 percent, which is the best of any Aggie football coach with at least three years at the school) and played in two bowls. Many long-time fans still argue the 1959-62 era as one of the best in football. ... Ralston’s 1961 squad is the last team in USU history to go undefeated during the regular season as the Aggies went 9-0-1 mark before losing to Baylor, 24-9, in the Gotham Bowl.

  • Cache Valley Daily Monday, Sep. 16, 2019

    Pulitzer Prize Finalist to Deliver Annual Arrington Lecture

    Stanford University historian Richard White, a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, will deliver the 25th annual Leonard J. Arrington Mormon History Lecture Thursday, Sept. 19 at the Logan Tabernacle. He will talk about the impact of the transcontinental railroad, which was supposed to insure the growth of the far west, but he says some states lost population after the railroad was built. ... Dr. White taught at the University of Utah in the early 1980s and says he was privileged to know Dr. Arrington then. ”He was still alive and at that time was not only the dean of Mormon historians, but he’s one of the people who got me interested in economic history in general. He was, for those doing western history, a sort of larger-than-life figure.” The lecture begins at 7 p.m. at the Logan Tabernacle and it is free.

  • Wednesday, Sep. 11, 2019

    Logan Ranked the Best College Town in Utah for 2019-20 School Year

    Logan, the home of Utah State University, has been named the best college town in Utah. The kudos came from, a research organization that, according to their webpage, puts in hours of research in order to recommend the best products to their readers. In this case, the product is the best college town in Utah. And their recommendation is Logan. ... Then, using data from the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they analyzed the overall population and the student population. They looked at rental costs, the cost of a college education in the town and the number of transportation options. The unemployment rate was also a factor, as well as bar availability.

  • Utah Public Radio Tuesday, Sep. 10, 2019

    Utah State Safe Makes Safety More Accessible

    After the False Code Blue sent out last spring at Utah State, there have been many changes to the emergency notification system for students, faculty, and families. UPR’s Meghan Nelson was able to talk to Utah State University’s public safety department to find out more. Last spring, while trying to work on the emergency alert system, Utah State University sent out a false active shooter alert to students, faculty, and families. The university’s Executive Director of Public Safety, Earl Morris, explained that the institution has since made it their goal to finalize updates for a better emergency alert system. ... The university has created a new app called Utah State Safe. Anyone who registers and downloads the app will be able to receive Code Clue alerts, and use the other safety features at any moment. “The app really creates kind of an essential focal point for safety on campus everything that you might need in regards to safety is going to be on the app and were also adding additional features" said Amanda DeRito, Utah State’s Director of Crisis Communication and Issue Management. ... Although the university will still be sending out Code Blue alerts through email and text message, the Utah State Safe app runs off of Wi-Fi or cell service, which makes it more accessible than the Code Blue alerts ever were before.

  • Standard Examiner Wednesday, Sep. 04, 2019

    Utah State Tops Weber State in Annual 'Blood Battle'

    Weber State was only one unit short of its goal of 199 units of blood during its annual blood drive with American Red Cross. A unit of a blood is about one pint. As part of Weber State’s drive, which ran Monday through Friday last week, 229 people registered to donate blood, with a total of 107 first-time donors who participated, according to Kurt Lyman, account manager with American Red Cross who worked with Weber State in running the drive. The blood drive is part of an annual “Blood Battle” with Utah State, which tends to bring in more blood donations because fewer students commute to the school. Utah State brought in 402 units of blood, 107% of its goal of 370 units. The drive brought out 444 people who registered, 180 of whom donated for the first time. ... Donations have become increasingly important as the American Red Cross responds to areas impacted by Hurricane Dorian. According to multiple outlets in Utah, the Red Cross in Utah has already sent blood, as well as local volunteers, east to be ready when the storm hits.


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