WSU Names Hinckley, Collaboration Award Winners

OGDEN, Utah – Weber State University music professor Yu-Jane Yang has been named the 2012 John S. Hinckley Fellow, while WSU’s International Economics program is the 2012 Exemplary Collaboration Award winner.

Yang, an accomplished pianist who has performed in concert on three continents, joined the WSU music faculty in 1992. Known for her ability to train award-winning performers, she not only has grown WSU’s Piano Program, she has elevated its renown on the national and international stage.

That heightened awareness has helped Yang successfully recruit piano students from around the world to Weber State, in some cases eschewing famed conservatories like Julliard and Oberlin in favor of WSU. Under her tutelage, these young pianists have gone on to win prestigious competitions at the national and international level.

Yang is the author of numerous articles on piano teaching published in leading piano pedagogy journals. She is a sought-after teacher of both piano workshops and master classes as well as a judge of national and international piano competitions.

Yang was one of three national winners of the 1991 distinguished D.H. Baldwin Fellowship for Teaching Excellence in Piano. She received WSU’s Lowe Innovative Teaching Award in 2000 and was honored by the Utah Symphony Ballet Association with the Women in the Arts Award in 2008.

In addition, Yang was chosen to receive the Utah Music Teachers Association’s highest honor in 2010, the UMTA Legacy Award, and in 2011, the Music Teachers National Association named her a Foundation Fellow.

Yang, who is the 2010-12 Endowed Scholar/Artist in the Telitha E. Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities, spearheaded the Steinway Project at WSU. She worked to attain the prestigious “Steinway School” designation, which the university received in 2011. She was also named a WSU Presidential Distinguished Professor in 2011.

“Professor Yang’s superior teaching skills have been acknowledged through a stellar record of student evaluations, and her reputation as a teacher able to combine high – indeed, world class – expectations with a comfortable yet rigorous classroom atmosphere,” wrote a colleague in nominating her for the Hinckley Award. “Her achievements have gained WSU a truly international reputation and made her a tireless advocate for our institution.”

Since 1991, the Hinckley Award has been bestowed upon a member of the WSU faculty who has excelled in teaching, scholarship and service. The award is named in honor of Ogden businessman and WSU supporter John S. Hinckley, who died in 1990.

The university’s International Economics (IE) program received the 2012 Exemplary Collaboration Award, in recognition of the teamwork demonstrated during the implementation and later expansion of the program.

Building on an existing international faculty exchange program, the John B. Goddard School of Business & Economics organized a partnership with Shanghai Normal University (SNU) in 2008, making it easier for Chinese students to travel to Ogden and earn a bachelor's degree in international economics.

WSU’s Department of Economics worked with SNU to develop a “two plus two curriculum,” where students take courses in Shanghai during their freshman and sophomore years and in Ogden during their junior and senior years. They complete the same courses at WSU required of any other international economics major. The program recently expanded to include students from Korea’s Woongji Accounting and Tax College.

As of fall 2011, 83 Chinese and Korean students were taking classes through the International Economics program at WSU. Twenty-one students from SNU have graduated from the program, and the first student from Woongji will graduate this spring.

 “Creating this program would have been impossible without the support and dedication of a wide variety of WSU personnel,” said Jeff Steagall, dean of the Goddard School.

Those involved in the program include the faculty and staff of the Goddard School, especially economics professor and associate dean Cliff Nowell, economics chair Doris Geide-Stevenson, and the economics department. Also taking part were professors from the Telitha E. Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities, the College of Applied Science & Technology, and the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, as well as staff from Continuing Education, the International Student Center, and the Admissions Office.

The university will formerly recognize the recipients of both awards at a luncheon on March 20.

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Michael Vaughan, provost

Yu-Jane Yang, performing arts professor
801-626-7489 • 

Cliff Nowell, economics professor, associate dean of the Goddard School of Business & Economics
801-626-6488 • 

Amy Hendricks, office of Media Relations
801-626-6346 •
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