Brady Presidential Distinguished Professors
The Weber State University designation of Brady Presidential Distinguished Professor recognizes and rewards faculty members who have displayed an incredible dedication to teaching and education.
Faculty members are nominated by current or past WSU colleagues, administrators and/or students. Nominees are screened and evaluated by a selected group of senior faculty and academic administrators appointed by the provost. The finalists are recommended by the president of the university to the Board of Trustees for approval.
Each professor receives a cash prize of $16,000, payable over four years, which may be used to further professional academic goals. Honorees also will retain the Presidential Distinguished Professor title throughout their tenure with the university. Upon retirement from WSU, "emeritus" will be added to the end of the title.
Funding for the annual recognition program was made possible by a generous gift from former Weber State President Rodney Brady and his wife, Mitzi. The program was established as a way to recognize outstanding WSU faculty members who demonstrate the highest quality of teaching, scholarship, research and community service.
2018 Brady Presidential Distinguished Professors
Dan Bedford knows how to tackle a difficult subject. An expert in climate change education, the geography professor blends teaching, research and service together for the benefit of his on campus and off campus communities.
A coauthor of the book Climate Change: Examining the Facts, Bedford has applied his expertise to general education coursework at Weber State University, community presentations and a collaborative Massive Open Online Course in edX that hosted 23,000 students from 165 countries. In collaboration with the Sustainability Practices and Research Center, he organized a 2017 workshop on teaching climate science for more than 30 teachers.
He has invited WSU geography students to participate in field work and research experiences, which has led many students to present at conferences. Trips with his students have included opportunities like the 2018 American Association of Geographers meeting. For his efforts in involving students in research opportunities, Bedford has received the Office of Undergraduate Research Outstanding Undergraduate Mentor Award for the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences.
Bedford has been a part of the WSU community since 2002 and has taught nine courses, both lower and upper division, during his time here. Among them is an interdisciplinary course on the Great Salt Lake. In the last five years, he has published three peer reviewed articles, a book chapter, and a textbook, given 10 conference presentations, and been awarded an iUtah grant. As part of that grant, he has led a National Science Foundation funded effort focused on a sustainable water future for the state.
Bedford is a two-time winner of the WSU Sustainability Scholarship Award and is a College of Social & Behavioral Sciences Endowed Professor. He was also a 2008 Honors Eccles Fellow and a 2009 Honors Nye Cortez Professor of the Year. He shared the 2015 Faculty Sustainability Traditional Research Award with three colleagues and won the 2016 Faculty Sustainability Non-Traditional Research Award. The peer reviewed journal Eos: Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, awarded him with the 2017 Editor’s Citation for Excellence in Refereeing. In addition, he was a finalist for the Crystal Crest Master Teacher Award twice.
As an accomplished scholar herself, Therese Grijalva has made it a point to play an active role in the scholarly development of Weber State University students.
Grijalva, a professor of economics, led the development of the first formal undergraduate research methods course in WSU’s Department of Economics. Since then, more than 300 students have participated in high impact research projects through that course. She has personally mentored more than 70 undergraduate research projects, and some have presented nationally and internationally.
Grijalva’s research record has set the example for her students. She has published 23 peer reviewed journal articles, and her work has been cited more than 900 times. She has written four book chapters and presented at more than 30 conferences and universities. Along with colleagues from other institutions, she conducted a comprehensive analysis for the Utah Governor’s Office regarding the benefits and costs of state and federal public lands in Utah. She also conducted economic studies for Cache County on waste management and recycling programs.
In 2016, Grijalva was appointed coordinator for a then-new scholarship offered out of the Office of Undergraduate research. The four year research scholarship makes discovery and research a central part of a student’s college education. She has served on various committees including the Research, Scholarship and Professional Growth Committee, Undergraduate Research Committee and the National Council on Undergraduate Research. She also worked with students and faculty from engineering, education and performing arts on a multidisciplinary service project to construct a full scale percussion playground for the Melba S. Lehner Children’s School at WSU. Grijalva, who loves how trails connect communities, serves as a trustee on Weber Pathways. As an advocate for social justice, she also serves on the Aquinas Institute’s Board of Trustees.
Grijalva was a recipient of a John S. Hinckley Fellow award and — as a member of the National Conference on Undergraduate Research Committee — the Exemplary Collaboration Award, in 2013. WSU’s Goddard School of Business & Economics has recognized her as a Willard Eccles Fellow since 2006.
As a communication scholar who studies how viewers see and process information, Sheree Josephson has been keeping an eye on what people keep their eyes on. Josephson — a 25 year member of Weber State University’s faculty — has been a pioneer in applying eye tracking research to visual communication. She first studied the use of color in newspapers for her dissertation project, and her research has since branched out into studying diverse areas such as television news design, webpage layout, typography, augmented reality, and cross-racial eyewitness identification.
A teacher at heart, Josephson has often looked for opportunities to engage students in her research. She has taught 23 different courses at WSU, including Honors and Master of Professional Communication classes.
Josephson has served as chair of WSU’s Department of Communication since 2012 and will begin her third term in that role in fall semester of 2018. Prior to her current position, she served as the founding director of WSU’s Master of Professional Communication program, and she contributed to the development of curriculum, entrance requirements and project and thesis standards for that program. She also served as founding advisor for WSU’s student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and the WSU chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, the national honor society for communication students. She was the faculty advisor for The Signpost, WSU’s student newspaper, for six years. Her students won the national Society of Professional Journalists award for college journalism three of those years.
She recently signed a book contract with Routledge Publishing to edit the second edition of Handbook of Visual Communication: Theory, Methods, and Media. Over her career, she has published a book titled Visualizing the Web: Evaluating Online Design from a Visual Communication Perspective, and more than 20 scholarly pieces, including book chapters and journal articles. According to Google Scholar, her work has been cited in almost 500 published scholarly articles.
The Honors Department recognized Josephson as a Ralph Nye Professor. She has received the George and Beth Lowe Teaching Award for her innovative approach to education. She has been a three-time finalist for the Crystal Crest Master Teacher Award.