Weber State University Magazine Spring 2012 : Page 4

WEBER WATCH w s u n e w s & e v en t s john kowalewski and brice wallace , university communications running away with a title In dramatic fashion, the WSU women’s indoor track team won the 2012 Big Sky Track and Field Championship in late February. The Wildcats edged two-time defending champs Sacramento State 132-131 to claim their ninth title in 25 years, and first since 2007. Following the win, head coach Jim Blaisdell was named the Big Sky Women’s Indoor Track and Field Coach of the Year. Sarah Callister, Women's MVP of the Big Sky Championship trailblazer Heather Wokurka ’05, ’11 didn’t just earn her diploma in December. She also became the first graduate of WSU’s new electronics engineering (EE) degree program. Wokurka, whose first degree was in the electronics engineering technology program, pursued her latest studies while working full time as an electrical test engineer at ATK’s Promontory plant. Designed to meet the needs of local industry, the new EE degree program has attracted more than 140 students, far exceeding orginal enrollment projections. The program is preparing for its accreditation review. Wokurka looks to be the first in a long and steady line of newly minted electronics engineers. Living the Dream WSU’s Dream Weber program is expanding to help even more students pursue their educations, without worrying about the price tag. The Dream Weber program provides free tuition and fees to Utah resident students whose annual household income is equal to or less than $27,000 and who are Pell Grant eligible. The increase in qualifying household income and the addition of fees are the result of a $1 million gift from Kem and Carolyn Gardner . Since its wsu magazine | spring 2012 inception in 2010, the program has supported 1,445 students. 4

Weber Watch

John Kowalewski & Brice Wallace, University Communications

<b>Running Away With A Title</b><br /> <br /> In dramatic fashion, the WSU women’s indoor track team won the 2012 Big Sky Track and Field Championship in late February. The Wildcats edged two-time defending champs Sacramento State 132-131 to claim their ninth title in 25 years, and first since 2007. Following the win, head coach <b>Jim Blaisdell</b> was named the Big Sky Women’s Indoor Track and Field Coach of the Year.<br /> <br /> <b>Trailblazer</b><br /> <br /> <b>Heather Wokurka</b> ’05, ’11 didn’t just earn her diploma in December. She also became the first graduate of WSU’s new electronics engineering (EE) degree program. Wokurka, whose first degree was in the electronics engineering technology program, pursued her latest studies while working full time as an electrical test engineer at ATK’s Promontory plant. Designed to meet the needs of local industry, the new EE degree program has attracted more than 140 students, far exceeding orginal enrollment projections. The program is preparing for its accreditation review. Wokurka looks to be the first in a long and steady line of newly minted electronics engineers.<br /> <br /> <b>Living The Dream</b><br /> <br /> WSU’s Dream Weber program is expanding to help even more students pursue their educations, without worrying about the price tag. The Dream Weber program provides free tuition and fees to Utah resident students whose annual household income is equal to or less than $27,000 and who are Pell Grant eligible. The increase in qualifying household income and the addition of fees are the result of a $1 million gift from <b>Kem</b>. and <b>Carolyn Gardner</b>. Since its inception in 2010, the program has supported 1,445 students.<br /> <br /> <b>What’s Up, Doc?</b><br /> <br /> Did you know that Utah is home to the world’s smallest rabbit? <b>Jennifer Schmalz </b> ’11, who graduated with majors in zoology and botany, has spent parts of the past two years studying pygmy rabbits (Brachylagus idahoensis) and their habitat, with her “classroom” being remote, windswept rangeland near Woodruff, Utah. Schmalz first learned of the little creatures, which typically weigh less than a pound, as part of a research project funded by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.<br /> <br /> <b>Risky Business</b><br /> <br /> Parents, take heart. Research conducted by WSU psychology professors <b>Eric Amsel</b> and <b>Leigh Shaw</b> indicates that teenage risktaking may not be simply the inevitable consequence of adolescents’ raging hormones or immature brain development. Instead, the findings reported in the Journal of Research on Adolescence suggest that parents and others can help adolescents anticipate the ramifications and regret that they will experience if they undertake risky activity. Amsel says proactive parenting can help teens learn how to make better decisions.<br /> <br /> <b>Mobile Mentality</b><br /> <br /> With smartphones, tablets, e-readers and laptops, it is difficult to disconnect in today’s world. Against that backdrop, WSU faculty <b>Scott Rogers</b>, <b>Susan Matt</b> and <b>Luke Fernandez</b> taught a course this spring asking “Are Machines Making Us Stupid?” The course, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, featured directed readings and explored whether constantly being connected prevented more in-depth, reflective thoughts. As part of the course, William Powers, author of <i>New York Times</i> bestseller <i>Hamlet’s Blackberry</i>, spoke on campus and offered advice on how to balance our digital lives.<br /> <br /> <b>Making Connections</b><br /> <br /> More than 180 youth came to WSU in January to play with LEGOS® — all part of a qualifying competition put on by the nonprofit organization FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). FIRST stages robotic competition programs encouraging students to excel in math and science. The competitions introduce schoolage children to real-world engineering challenges by having them build LEGO robots to complete specific tasks. Participants design, build, test and program the robots; apply math and science concepts; research challenges; learn criticalthinking, team-building and presentation skills; and compete at tournaments. This was the first time that WSU has hosted a qualifying event.<br /> <br /> <b>Across The Pond</b><br /> <br /> Assistant economics professor <b>Mary Wrenn</b> is trading the Goddard School of Business & Economics for Great Britain — Girton College at the University of Cambridge to be precise. Wrenn was selected for the Joan Robinson Research Fellowship in Heterodox Economics, one of the first of its kind in the world. During her stay in the United Kingdom, she’ll pursue her research agenda and also teach an array of economic courses.<br /> <br /> <b>Blown Away</b><br /> <br /> The first day of December 2011 was a bad-hair day at WSU, to put it mildly. A blast of arctic air came ripping down the mountains with winds of 40-50 mph and some gusts topping 80 mph. In its aftermath, the Ogden and Davis campuses sustained $1.84 million in damages and toppled trees. Fortunately, there were few injuries.<br /> <br /> <b>Extremely Medicine</b><br /> <br /> WSU athletic training students had front row seats for assisting in treating some of the most extreme athletic injuries on the planet. A contract between WSU and Winning Medicine International Corp. allowed students to work with athletes competing at Dew Tour stops in Utah. <b>Valerie Herzog</b>, associate athletic training professor and director of the Graduate Athletic Training Program, said that during these four-day competitions, students witnessed injuries that they might not see in 10 years working with football teams. In addition to helping medical staff treat injuries, the agreement allowed WSU students to conduct research aimed at better diagnosing concussions and other traumas. Such findings could eventually lead to better protective equipment. Beyond the Dew Tour, athletic training students and graduates work with athletes in professional baseball, football, ice hockey, soccer and arena football.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />

Previous Page  Next Page


Publication List
Using a screen reader? Click Here