WSU Magazine Fall 2012 : Page 4

WEBER WATCH w s u n e w s & e v en t s NEWEST WILDCAT PROUD TO BE THE allison barlow hess, karin hurst and kimberly jensen , university communications TOP ‘CAT On Oct. 9, a tall, distinguished-looking man, with a youthful smile and the graceful gait of a long-distance runner, approached the microphone during a meeting of the Utah Board of Regents on campus and enthusiastically accepted the charge to “lead Weber State University in its next phase of development.” Sporting a vibrant purple tie, Charles A. Wight told a large crowd gathered in the Shepherd Union Ballroom that he was delighted to be named WSU’s 12th president. “I’m proud to be the newest Wildcat,” said Wight, who will replace F. Ann Millner on Jan. 1. Currently, Wight, who prefers being called Chuck, is associate vice president for academic affairs and dean of the graduate school at the University of Utah. A highly respected chemist and researcher, Wight is deeply committed to increasing enrollment and graduation rates, and advancing technology in education. He was among 50 candidates who emerged in a national search. Read more about Charles Wight, and his wife, Victoria Rasmussen, in the next issue of Weber State University Magazine. VIDEO wsu magazine | FALL 2012 Click here to view the presidential announcement. 4

Weber Watch

Allison Barlow Hess, Karin Hurst and Kimberly Jensen

<b>TOP ‘CAT</b><br /> On Oct. 9, a tall, distinguished-looking man, with a youthful smile and the graceful gait of a long-distance runner, approached the microphone during a meeting of the Utah Board of Regents on campus and enthusiastically accepted the charge to “lead Weber State University in its next phase of development.” Sporting a vibrant purple tie, Charles A. Wight told a large crowd gathered in the Shepherd Union Ballroom that he was delighted to be named WSU’s 12th president. “I’m proud to be the newest Wildcat,” said Wight, who will replace F. Ann Millner on Jan. 1. Currently, Wight, who prefers being called Chuck, is associate vice president for academic affairs and dean of the graduate school at the University of Utah. A highly respected chemist and researcher, Wight is deeply committed to increasing enrollment and graduation rates, and advancing technology in education. He was among 50 candidates who emerged in a national search.<br /> <br /> Read more about Charles Wight, and his wife, Victoria Rasmussen, in the next issue of <i>Weber State University Magazine</i>.<br /> <br /> <b>IF MEMORY SERVES</b><br /> Playing memory-enhancing computer games a few minutes each day can significantly improve a child’s ability to learn. WSU alumna Paula Fiet ’10 delivered that message to lawmakers at the prestigious Posters on the Hill event in Washington, D.C., in April. In the past eight years, seven WSU students have been invited to present their research at the annual gathering. Fiet, a mother of five, began her study at WSU, developed it further while completing a master’s degree at Harvard University, and continues her investigation as a doctoral candidate at the University of Utah.<br /> <br /> <b>INVENTORY INNOVATION</b><br /> Tracking inventory at Pioneer Adult Rehabilitation Center is easier and more accurate thanks to three engineering technology students. Clyde Conley, Zachary Lowder and Chris White turned an antiquated, paper-and-pencil inventory into a state-of-the-art electronic system tailored to the special needs of employees with physical and mental challenges.<br /> <br /> <b>BRIGHT IDEAS</b><br /> The new director of Weber State University’s Office of Sponsored Projects and Technology Commercialization is in the business of sharing ideas and solving problems. James Taylor hopes alumni and the community will bring their business and technology dilemmas to campus for a fresh perspective from creative students and knowledgeable faculty. By linking community questions with campus ingenuity, he envisions an entrepreneurial relationship where businesses glean valuable information, and students gain resume-building, practical experience.<br /> <br /> <b>SEEING IS BELIEVING</b><br /> Race can be a factor in how eyewitnesses identify criminal suspects. That’s according to communication professor Sheree Josephson who examined how individual witnesses visually track photographs used in criminal lineups. Her findings were recently published in a national research journal. Josephson hopes her study will impact how law enforcement agents understand and use eyewitness identification.<br /> <br /> <b>GREAT GREAT GREAT STRIDES</b><br /> Shortly after celebrating back-to-back Big Sky championships, the Weber State women’s cross country team ran away with its first ever NCAA Mountain Region title as well. Their victory in Fort Collins, Colo., qualified the Wildcats for the NCAA championships in Louisville, Ky., where they posted the highest finish in school history. Two-time Big Sky individual champ Amber Henry, who led her team in every meet this season, earned All-America honors for the first time in her cross country career. Coach Paul Pilkington ’81 was selected the Mountain Region Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. He had previously been named Big Sky Coach of the Year for the second straight season.<br /> <br /> <b>TALKING POLITICS</b> <br /> Utah governors past and present visited campus on Oct. 10 to launch the Olene S. Walker Institute of Politics & Public Service at Weber State University. Governor Gary Herbert and former governors Walker, Mike Leavitt and Norman Bangerter discussed current issues in a panel moderated by radio personality Doug Wright. “Creating the Walker Institute combines two passions of mine, education and politics,” says Walker, a Weber College alumna who hopes the institute will serve as a hub of political engagement for students and the community.<br /> <br /> <b>COOL ‘CATS</b> <br /> Weber State University is officially a “Cool School.” Sierra Magazine lists WSU as 74th in the nation in terms of sustainability efforts at college campuses. The Sierra Club praised WSU for converting university cars to natural gas, insulating its piping network, installing solar panels on multiple buildings, and upgrading to high-efficiency fluorescent lighting. These combined efforts saved an estimated $939,575 in fiscal year 2012.<br /> <br /> <b>COMBAT CARE</b><br /> For the next five years, Utah veterans will continue to receive free assistance in preparing for postsecondary education. A $1.6 million grant extends funding for Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) at Weber State. “It means a brighter future for many veterans, some of who are fresh out of combat and need extra support and confidence to achieve their educational goals,” says program director Randy Wilson.<br /> <br /> <b>SURVEY SAID…</b> <br /> Are gift cards the equivalent of cash in the minds of both givers and receivers? That’s something Weber State marketing professors E.K. Valentin and Anthony Allred ’84 hoped to find out in a joint study. The duo surveyed 317 Utahns and found that gift cards for household necessities, like groceries and gas, have no more charm than cold hard cash. The survey also revealed that most respondents would rather receive a gift card to Target than either cash or a gift card to Walmart.<br /> <br /> <b>ROCK HOUNDS</b> <br /> Looking to give children hands-on opportunities to explore science, WSU geosciences honor students spent the summer collecting rocks. Wielding hammers, chisels and picks, members of Sigma Gamma Epsilon, a national earth sciences honor society, collected enough samples to create rock boxes for 100 fourth-grade classrooms in the Weber School District. Each box contains 11 pieces of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rock.

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