Presidential Distinguished Professors Recognized

OGDEN, Utah – A professor who inspires students to lead healthier lives and another who brought the engineering program to fruition and prominence are Weber State University’s 2014 Brady Presidential Distinguished Professors.

Jennifer Turley, chair of the Department of Health Promotion and Human Performance, and Kirk D. Hagen, chair of the Department of Engineering, will receive their awards April 25 during WSU’s 143rd commencement ceremony.  

"Both recipients of this year's honor are shining examples of Weber State University faculty,” said President Charles A. Wight. “Their dedication to their areas of study, their students and this university is an inspiration, and Weber State is extraordinarily grateful for their many contributions."

The WSU Board of Trustees selected the recipients, who each will receive a cash prize of $16,000. The funds, payable over four years, may be used to further professional academic goals. The honorees also will retain the Presidential Distinguished Professor title throughout their tenure with the university, and, upon retirement from WSU, “emeritus” will be added to the end of the title. The professors also will be featured on the Honor Wall for Presidential Distinguished Professors, which is located on the second floor of the Stewart Library in the west atrium.

The recognition was established in 2006 as a way to recognize WSU faculty members who demonstrate excellence in teaching, scholarship, research and community service. A generous gift from Rodney and Carolyn Brady provides funding for the program. Rodney Brady served as president of Weber State from 1978-85.

Jennifer Turley

Health Promotion and Human Performance chair Jennifer Turley has taught at WSU for the past 16 years. A nutrition professor, Turley contributed to her department’s growth at WSU Davis and worked with faculty from various disciplines to launch a nutrition foods lab and greenhouse. She also founded and directs WSU’s online nutrition program.

Sariah Crowton, who enrolled in Turley’s online Science and Application of Human Nutrition course, admired her professor’s willingness to interact with students.

“She is very knowledgeable and at the same time down to earth,” Crowton said. “She humbly takes time from her busy schedule to stop and help with any questions. Even though it’s an online class, she is always available to help.”

WSU student Heidi Jenkins said her most memorable course from Turley was Food Values and Diet Design, in which Turley wrote the text and essays for the course and implemented the use of iPads to facilitate learning. 

Turley received the George and Beth Lowe Innovative Teaching Award and the Exemplar of Technology Delivered Instruction Award in 2005.

Kirk D. Hagen

Department of Engineering chair Kirk Hagen, who has been with WSU since 1993, was instrumental in the creation of WSU’s first engineering program and secured accreditation for that program after becoming chair. An expert in the areas of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer, he has written three books, one of which has sold more than 25,000 copies worldwide.

Weber State alumnus Steven Maughan said that Hagen made him realize that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

“I was blown away by the fact that he singlehandedly authored his textbook ‘Heat Transfer with Applications,’” Maughan said. “The textbook has 676 pages!”

Hagen also served as an inspiration to WSU alumna Camila Coria, who is now a doctoral student at the University of Nevada, Reno’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
“Dr. Hagen is more than just a professor,” Coria said. “He is a long-term devotee to his students’ education and to the Department of Engineering at Weber State University. I can only hope to follow Dr. Hagen’s path and be equally influential and dedicated to my students and university.”

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Michael Vaughan, provost
801-626-6006 •
Shane Farver, executive communication coordinator
801-626-7439 •

Brady Presidential Distinguished Professors

Craig Oberg
Gene Sessions
Sam Zeveloff

Eric Amsel
Yasmen Simonian
Michael Wutz

Bradley W. Carroll
Brian Davis

Jim Christian
Brenda Marsteller Kowalewski
Susan Matt
Adolph Yonkee

John Cavitt
Lauren Fowler
Ed Walker

Brooke Arkush
Judy Elsley
Yu-Jang Yang

Diane Kawamura
John Mukum Mbaku

Hal Crimmel
Adam T. Johnston
Shane J. Schvaneveldt

Jennifer Turley
Kirk D. Hagen