A Look Back at the Year 2011 at WSU

OGDEN, Utah – As 2011 comes to a close, we revisit some of the people and developments that made news at Weber State University this year.



Fidel Castro's Daughter Visits WSU
Alina Fernandez, the exiled daughter of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, speaks at a special presentation in the Shepherd Union Building. 


Physics Professor Named Science Teacher of the Year
Weber State University physics professor Adam Johnston is named the 2010 Outstanding University Science Educator by the Utah Science Teachers Association.

Rotary Donation Supports Overseas Outreach Project
Thanks to the generosity of the Rotary Club of Ogden and the Ogden Rotary Foundation, 11 computer science students at Weber State University travel to Ghana in March for an extended spring break. In the process, they work to improve the efficiency of medical care in that nation.



Economics Professor Mbaku Named Brookings Fellow
Weber State University economics professor John Mukum Mbaku is named a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the influential Brookings Institution based in Washington, D.C.

Students Design ‘Tiny Houses’ With Big Benefits
Three students in the Design Graphics Engineering Technology program present their “Sustainability Through Size” senior project to executives at Nilson Homes. Their “tiny houses” would be environmentally friendly, inexpensive and designed for buyers who want to downsize debt and conserve resources.

Health Professions Students Hone Medical Skills During Simulation Exercise
The Dr. Ezekiel R. Dumke College of Health Professions holds an interdisciplinary medical skills exercise, offering students and faculty in all eight of the college’s academic departments an opportunity to gain experience working together and treating multiple patients in an emergency situation.



Serial Entrepreneur Takes Helm of WSU Innovation Center
Alex Lawrence, a serial entrepreneur, is named vice provost for Innovation & Economic Development at Weber State University. He will lead the Technology Outreach Center on campus that supports the Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) technology economic development initiative.

English Professor Heads to Mt. Everest to Solve Mystery
Weber State University English professor Mikel Vause is one of 20 men on an expedition to Mount Everest this April, with the goal of solving a decades-long historical mystery: Who was the first man to scale the world’s tallest peak?

Criminal Justice Students Get Ready to Riot
Thirty-three Weber State University students went to prison, thanks to their professor Bruce Bayley. The group of WSU criminal justice students traveled to Moundsville, W.Va., for a four-day mock prison riot training exercise held at a decommissioned state penitentiary.



Encouraging Creative Expression Leads to National Recognition for WSU Student
Amir Jackson, a Weber State University student who started a nonprofit organization to help at-risk youth, is one of the first individuals nationwide to be recognized as a Newman Civic Fellow by the Boston-based Campus Compact.

Wildcats Rally to Win America Sky Championship
The Weber State men's golf team rallies to overtake Sacramento State for a three-shot victory at the America Sky Golf Conference Championships in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Student’s Research Seeks Prescription for Pharmacy Fatigue
WSU psychology student Amy Friend conducts research into the toll that fatigue takes on pharmacists who work 12-hour shifts.



Goddard School of Business Welcomes New Dean
Jeff Steagall is named the new dean for Weber State University’s John B. Goddard School of Business & Economics.



Brine Fly Research Sends Student to International Conference
Amanda Truong, a junior studying zoology, travels to Kyoto, Japan for the annual meeting of the Society for Molecular Biology & Evolution. Truong presents a poster with findings gleaned from hundreds of hours of study during the past three years, collecting brine flies from the Great Salt Lake and examining them in the DNA Lab at WSU.

WSU Students Receive National Recognition at PBL Event
Weber State University students Samantha Casey and Tylor Turnblom take first place in the nation in business ethics at the Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) National Leadership Conference in Orlando, Fla., in June. Of the 12 WSU students who attended the conference, eight were ranked in the top 10 nationally in their respective categories.

Harrold Leads Social & Behavioral Sciences
Francis Harrold is named the new dean of the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences at Weber State University.

Visual Arts Collaboration Earns International Award
Sticks + Stones, a collaborative design project led in part by Weber State University visual arts professor Mark Biddle, is named winner of the international Core77 Design Education Initiatives Award for its Berlin 2010 project.



WSU Celebrates Grand Opening of Wildcat Village
The construction of phase one of the brand new Wildcat Village is complete, and the first building is ready for students to move into for fall semester.

Ferro Named Dean of College of Applied Science & Technology
Computer science professor David Ferro is selected as the dean of Weber State University’s College of Applied Science & Technology.

WSU Sustainability Projects Soak Up the Sun
In an ongoing effort to be more energy efficient, Weber State University keeps busy during the summer installing solar panels.

New Dean Trades NSF for College of Science
David Matty is named the new dean of Weber State University’s College of Science.



Family Studies Research Receives National Honor
Family studies students Michelle Burton and Andrew Chris from Weber State University receive national recognition for their undergraduate research examining how religion affects stepfamily interactions.

WSU Becomes 'All-Steinway School'
Weber State University joins more than 120 global institutions of higher education that exclusively feature Steinway & Sons pianos for performance and music education.

History Professor’s Book Explores Homesickness
Weber State University history professor Susan Matt’s latest book, “Homesickness: An American History,” is released by Oxford University Press.



WSU’s Fall Enrollment Sets Another Milestone
For the fourth year in a row, Weber State University’s enrollment sets a new milestone, topping 25,000 students for the first time.

WSU Women Win Big Sky Cross Country Title; Men Second
The Weber State women's cross country team captures the Big Sky Championships in Pocatello, Idaho. The Wildcat men's team finished second in the conference meet.

Economics Professor’s Paper Wins Burkhead Award
A paper written by Weber State University assistant economics professor Brandon Koford is recognized as the best article of the year by the academic journal Public Budgeting & Finance.



Groundreaking takes place at WSU Davis Campus
Groundbreaking ceremonies for the expansion of Weber State University's Davis campus take place in Layton.

Coach Ron McBride Announces Plans to Retire at End of Season
Legendary Weber State football head coach Ron McBride announces he will retire at the end of the 2011 season, following seven years as head coach at Weber State and nearly 50 years of Division I coaching.

WSU Ramps Up Mobile Effort
As the demand for mobile technology increases, Weber State University makes a concerted effort to meet the mobile needs of those on campus — whether on an iPhone, Android or tablet.

Men’s Soccer Club Wins Sixth National Championship
The Weber State University men’s soccer club defeats the University of Missouri in Phoenix to win the 2011 National Campus Championship Series soccer title.

WSU Professors Research Reasons Behind Risky Adolescent Behavior
Research conducted by Weber State University professors Leigh Shaw and Eric Amsel looks at teenagers’ risky behaviors.

WSU Ethics Bowl Team Wins Regional, Advances to National Competition
A Weber State University Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl team tops nine others from seven schools to win the 11th annual Wasatch Regional Ethics Bowl Competition and advanced to the national championship competition.

WSU Student Researches Pygmy Rabbits and Their Habitat
Weber State University senior Jennifer Schmalz garners research experience studying the world’s smallest rabbit.



Windstorm Disrupts Campus Operations
Sustained winds of 40-50 mph, with gusts approaching 80 mph, force the cancellation of some classes and cause extensive damage across campus.

First Degree Recipient in New WSU Program Graduates
Among the December graduates at Weber State University commencement exercises is Heather Wokurka, the first-ever graduate of the new electronics engineering bachelor’s degree program.

John L. Smith Named WSU Head Football Coach
John L. Smith is hired as WSU’s new head football coach. Smith is a veteran coach who returns to his alma mater where he played football for the Wildcats.

John Kowalewski, director of Media Relations
801-626-7212 • jkowalewski@weber.edu
Brice Wallace, office of Media Relations
801-626-7581 • bricewallace1@weber.edu