WSU Names Collaboration, Hinckley Award Winners

OGDEN, Utah – Weber State University English professor Judy Elsley has been named the 2009 John S. Hinckley Fellow, while WSU’s High Altitude Reconnaissance Balloon for Outreach and Research (HARBOR) team is the 2009 Exemplary Collaboration Award winner.

Elsley, who has taught at WSU since 1990, has been described as “a consummate teacher, a respected scholar and tireless supporter of the Weber State University community.” In addition to her work in the classroom, Elsley has mentored students through her role as Bachelor’s of Integrated Studies program coordinator (2000-2007) and in her current role as director of the Honors Program. As former student Whitney Douglas wrote: “In her I found a professor who could teach me to write well. Equally important, I found in her a reader who cared about what I wrote, who heard my voice, and who knew me.”

The author of two books, four book chapters and 15 refereed articles, as well as co-editor of a third book, Elsley is a regular presenter at national and regional conferences each year. Her scholarship explores the semiotics of quilting and writing personal essays. She earned her doctorate from the University of Arizona.

Elsley established the Rising Star Scholarship in 1999 to support the educational goals of non-traditional, female students at WSU.

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 HARBOR team received the 2009 Exemplary Collaboration Award, in recognition of the teamwork demonstrated by 13 students and nine faculty members from four academic departments (physics, geosciences, construction management technology, and computer and electronics engineering technology) in the College of Science and College of Applied Science & Technology respectively. The group built and promoted a high-altitude balloon system as a near-space platform for student and amateur research projects in science and engineering. A latex, helium-filled balloon carries a payload for experimental equipment and a command capsule for ground communication. After traveling more than 78,000 feet into the atmosphere, the system uses a parachute to return the equipment safely back to Earth. The HARBOR group’s vision, dedication and teamwork led to the successful maiden launch of the research balloon in July 2008, offering new undergraduate research opportunities for future students and faculty.

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Michael Vaughan, provost
801-626-6006 •

Judy Elsley, English professor
(801) 626-6801 •

John Armstrong, assistant physics professor & HARBOR team leader
(801) 626-6215 •

John Kowalewski, director of Media Relations
801-626-7212 •