Two years ago, the University of Utah started a new program designed to help students succeed by connecting them to individuals, offices and programs that can enhance their university experience.

The Student Success Advocate program, believed to be the first of its kind in the country, places advocates where students are – all over campus – and aims to help them take steps known to lead to degree completion, such as getting involved on campus, setting academic goals, declaring majors, seeking financial resources and meeting with academic and career advisors.

Six student success advocates roam campus, meeting students on shuttles, in the library, in the student union or walking to class. They all have master’s or doctoral degrees and are familiar with higher education and its numerous, and sometimes overwhelming, wealth of resources. They are also prepared to answer questions about pursuing graduate school and have a sound understanding Success-Advocates-infographicof the theory behind college student development, communication and motivation.

We sat down with Amy Bergerson, director of the Student Success Advocate program, to learn more about how faculty and staff can use the program to help students they interact with.


How can student success advocates support faculty and staff in the work they do with students?

Student success advocates have knowledge of many resources with which faculty and staff may not yet be familiar. We work with students in a holistic way, trying to understand the many facets of their lives and how they fit together. We help students develop strong study skills and habits, manage their time, set goals and determine how to attain those goals. We provide information about campus resources and opportunities, and we assist them in managing the stress that can arise during their time at the University of Utah. Our presence on campus allows you to focus on your teaching and research, knowing that students have the support they need to succeed.


How do student success advocates cultivate relationships with students?

We literally meet students wherever they are – in classroom buildings, the library or Union, or riding the shuttle or TRAX. We ask lots of questions to develop an understanding of each student’s unique situation, and we listen carefully, so we can begin working with them in a way that supports their definition of success. We consistently remind students that we are here to advocate for them and to assist them in learning how to advocate for themselves.


If I want a student success advocate to visit my class, how would I arrange for that?

Student success advocates are happy to visit your class and share our work with your students. We invite you to visit our website and peruse the bios of our six advocates to find the one you think best fits your students. You can also call 801-587-8556 or use the “Contact Us” form on our website, and we will arrange for an available student success advocate to visit your class.


If I have a student I am concerned about, how can I refer them to a student success advocate?

If you feel like the student’s needs are urgent, please call our office, 801-587-8556, and we’ll find an available student success advocate to meet with them right away. If the situation does not need immediate attention, referring the student to our website to select an advocate they’d like to work with – or better yet, sitting down at a computer and assisting them in this process – is a fantastic way to get them in touch with us.


What are some indications that a student is struggling that I should be aware of?

Students can struggle both academically and personally during the course of a semester. Some indications of academic struggles are: missing class, not turning in assignments, declining performance on assignments and exams and not participating in class. These behaviors can also indicate personal issues in students’ lives, and you may also be concerned if students’ body language or demeanor changes over the course of the semester, if their personal hygiene seems to decline or if they experience significant changes in behaviors. Often, students will indicate they are struggling in their writing. Student success advocates are happy to support you in assisting students who are struggling.


What theoretical approaches shape the work of the student success advocates?

Our work is grounded in the following theoretical approaches: college student development theory, communication theory, conflict mediation, learning theory and identity development theory. These theories incorporate the many experiences students have while in college, including developing their identities through learning and experience. Basing our work with students on these approaches strengthens our ability to serve students in a holistic and meaningful way.


It didn’t take Schaeffer Warnock long to fall in love with Utah’s ski country. The first time he hit the slopes at Alta as a 14-year-old, he knew being outdoors during the winter would be a part of his future.

Aura Optics slopes 2His passion grew in high school, when he and buddy Jake Nelson made the rounds at Snowbird, Brighton and several Park City resorts. In the classroom at Skyline High School, the teenagers had their first brush with entrepreneurship through designing a clothing line as part of a graphic design class —an endeavor they launched as their first startup after school, pushing hoodies and hats through a company website.

That experience set the stage for the two to become college entrepreneurs when enrolling at the University of Utah, where this year the two are students at the David Eccles School of Business. While many of their peers are beginning the job hunt for post-graduation life, Warnock and Nelson have traveled further down the road of entrepreneurial success with the launch of their own company, Aura Optics, which creates customized goggles that are changing the landscape of the ski wear industry.

The students’ product is based on a simple concept. Avid skiers and snowboarders end up spending several hundred dollars on several pairs of ski goggles, with lenses designed to help navigate the weather conditions of the day.Aura Optics assembling

What if, Warnock and Nelson wondered, they could design a customizable goggle with interchangeable lenses at a more affordable price point of $100 to $200?

With help from the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at the University of Utah, Warnock and Nelson worked to develop a prototype for their idea. They launched a fundraising campaign at to help finance production, raising about $30,000 in the process over the course of this past summer. That money, coupled with grant funding from the U’s Entrepreneur Club —which is affiliated with the Lassonde Institute —assisted in moving production forward.

“During our time working at ski-snowboard shops, we noticed a huge price break in goggles. Either customers shelled out and bought a high-end pair of goggles, or they paid much less but sacrificed performance. When customers paid top dollar for high-end equipment they found themselves limited in color options or were unable to find exactly what they wanted. There had to be a better choice,” said Nelson.

“As our individual collection of goggles continued to grow, we became increasingly frustrated with even top-of-the-line equipment. Jake and I found ourselves taking two or three pairs of goggles for each ski day because we knew they would fog,” added Warnock.

“We decided if we had this much trouble others had to be having the same problem. We set out to make a high performance goggle that performs better, costs less and is more customizable than any other goggle on the market. We determined that we could do better than what was out there,” said Warnock.

Aura Optics smileThis winter Warnock and Nelson have officially begun production of their goggles, which tout a variety of characteristics that make them unique to the marketplace. The goggles are designed to bring skiers and riders clarity while riding down the mountain, and also while traveling back up. Warnock and Nelson said the product appeals to customers because of five elements:

– Spherical Lenses, which provide a wider range of vision, minimize distortion and offer superior protection against fog.

– AuraFlow, a concept in which five vents let the goggles and the face of a skier-rider breathe, preventing moisture and heat buildup.

– HighFit, a design element of the overall fit of the goggles, in which they sit higher on the face to allow a skier-rider an easier way to breathe.

– SoftFit, a design element in which the thermoplastic polyurethane frames are 30 percent softer, which allows them to be more flexible in order to give a skier-rider a better fit for comfort and wind blocking.

– HandsOn, a concept which ensures a skier-rider stays fog free everywhere on the mountain, by doubling down on anti-fog. The goggles contain both a preliminary manufactured anti-fog coat, and also a secondary treatment applied by hand to every lens.

Response to their product has been overwhelmingly positive, with Warnock and Nelson moving on to the next phase of marketing their company and exploring its evolution.

“We are, first and foremost, a company created by those who ride, for those who ride,” said Nelson. “Our motto is that we strive for perfection. We’re only getting started and I can’t wait to see what’s next.”

Aura Optics slopes“We love the look of our goggles and everything about them,” added Warnock. “We’re glad we are bringing something new to an industry that we are passionate about.”

The students’ success story is one of many to emerge from the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, an interdisciplinary division of the David Eccles School of Business, which offers a wide variety of programs and engagement opportunities for students to learn about all phases of the entrepreneurship and innovation process.

“The story of Aura Optics is one that shows how experiential learning can push students to reach new goals and find themselves on the fast track to entrepreneurial success before graduation in some cases,” said Troy D’Ambrosio, executive director of the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute. “We are already a nationally-ranked university for entrepreneurship. We are proud of the role we play in helping students like those involved with Aura Optics pursue their dreams.”

For more information about Aura Optics, visit


To commemorate the founding of the University of Utah on Feb. 28, 1850, the U Alumni Association will celebrate four outstanding alumni and two honorary alumni at the annual Founders Day banquet, Tuesday, Feb. 24, at the Little America Hotel, beginning with a reception at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7.

This year’s Distinguished Alumnus/a Award recipients are Gregory J. Goff, a leader in the energy sector; Brent C. James, an internationally known expert in health care delivery; Gretchen W. McClain, an accomplished aerospace engineer; and Clayton J. Parr, a widely respected natural resources attorney. Naturalists and philanthropists John and Melody Taft are the 2015 Honorary Alumni for their extensive contributions to the U’s Taft-Nicholson Environmental Humanities Education Center.

The Alumni Association will also recognize Emily Dart, a senior pursuing an honors degree in biology, who is the 2015 Founders Day Scholarship recipient. The $8,000 scholarship is awarded annually to a student who has overcome difficult life circumstances or challenges and has served the U and the community.

Distinguished Alumnus/a Awards:

Gregory-J.-GoffGregory J. Goff, B.S. ’78, MBA ’81
In his first job after his Master of Business Administration, at Conoco Phillips, his employer recalls he quickly realized Goff was “the smartest person [he’d] ever worked with” and fast-tracked him into leadership. He held senior leadership positions, including chief executive officer for Conoco JET Nordic (based in Stockholm) before being recruited in 2010 by Tesoro to become its president and chief executive officer. Since he became CEO, the company’s stock and growth have soared, and in 2012, ranked him the No. 1 mid-cap CEO based on the previous two years’ metrics.

Brent-C.-JamesBrent C. James, B.S. ’74, B.S. ’76, M.D. ’78, M.St. ’84
Chief quality officer at Intermountain Healthcare, James also teaches at Harvard University, Tulane University, the University of Sydney and the University of Utah. As head of the Institute for Health Care Delivery Research, James has instructed health care leaders from throughout the world, and he has often testified before congressional committees. He serves on a committee for the National Academy of Sciences and a foundation board of the American Medical Association, and he has published articles in medical journals including the New England Journal of Medicine.

Gretchen-W.-McClainGretchen W. McClain, BS’84
A brilliant engineer, McClain started her career in the defense and aerospace industry with Hercules, Atlantic Research and Grumman Corporation before joining NASA in 1990. During her nine years with NASA, she was a senior leader in guiding space shuttle initiatives and played a pivotal role in the successful development and launch of the International Space Station Program as chief director of the space station and deputy director for space flight, managing the space station’s $2 billion annual budget. She went on to become CEO of the global water company Xylem, where she was one of the only 24 women in the S&P 500.

Clayton-J.-ParrClayton J. Parr, B.S. ’60, M.S. ’65, J.D. ’68
A leader in natural resources law for more than 40 years, Parr has been continually listed in The Best Lawyers in America and has chaired committees for the American Bar Association and the Utah State Bar. He has assisted with acquisition and exploration rights worldwide, as well as drafting and lobbying for geothermal legislation in Utah. He has mentored dozens of students and graduates of the U’s S.J. Quinney College of Law, where he has taught mining law, and he has published numerous scholarly articles and book chapters on environmental and mining law.

Honorary Alumni Award:

Melody-and-John-TaftJohn and Melody Taft
The Tafts are lifelong naturalists and philanthropists who now lead the Montana-based International Center for Earth Concerns. They led the donation of 16 acres of land and a renovated ghost town in Montana’s Centennial Valley to the University of Utah in 2012 for a new Taft-Nicholson Environmental Humanities Education Center, along with their friends Bill and Sandi Nicholson. The programs at the new U center provide an innovative educational experience that introduces students and visitors to the history and conservation value of the area.

Founders Day Scholar:

Emily-DartEmily Dart
Halfway through the spring semester of her freshman year in 2011-12, a hemorrhage from a malformed blood vessel in Dart’s frontal lobe made brain surgery an uncomfortable reality. She underwent the surgery in May 2012 and then began the arduous process of recovery. She now is back attending classes full time and plans to go on to pursue a master’s degree in public health and work in epidemiology and pathology.


Learn more about all of this year’s honorees at


Biology desperately needs more mathematicians and computer scientists to make sense of the overwhelming torrents of data that modern experiments produce. Some see it as a potential crisis for the field.

“We need to ready the biological research community for a new reality,” said James Keener, a professor of math at the University of Utah, which happens to be a leader in training data scientists to tackle questions in biology, ecology and medicine.

“No one has enough talent to be able to do everything. We really need to be creating collaborators,” said Keener, who was part of a panel addressing the problem at the annual meeting American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest gathering of scientists, which took place past week in San Jose, California. Frederick Adler, a professor of mathematics and biology at the U, organized the panel on biology’s looming shortage of data scientists.

Nobody’s sure how to squeeze more mathematics and computer science into the training of biologists—or biology into the training of mathematicians. Everybody’s worried about losing students with high-level skills in math and computer science to Wall Street firms and technology giants such as Google.

It’s a thorny problem made worse at many universities by the barriers that get in the way of collaborations across disciplines in research and teaching. “In many instances, it’s a huge volunteer effort, and faculty involved are not getting credit in their academic department for all of this interdisciplinary work,” said Vicki Chandler of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

At the U, a crew of biology-minded mathematicians have overcome many of the hurdles over the past decade. The Mathematical Biology Research Program has grown to include five mathematics professors, four post-doctoral fellows, 28 associated life sciences faculty and is now training about 40 graduate students. The research group formed the Center for Quantitative Biology, directed by Adler, to foster collaborations, host visiting scientists and help support grad students.

“We have established a culture where biology drives the math,” Keener told the audience at the AAAS meeting. “I think we are beginning to make difference.” The program’s doctoral graduates are landing tenure-track positions combining math and biology, he said.

Louis Gross, a professor of ecology, evolutionary biology and mathematics at the University of Tennessee, said: “The question is how do you encourage more of this program building.”


This year’s Natural History Museum of Utah’s 2015 Lecture SeriesEnvisioning the Futurefour speakers will examine revolutionary, cutting-edge innovations in the areas of medical science, astrobiology and technology that will significantly alter our everyday lives, and closer to home, will consider challenges and exciting opportunities in a rapidly expanding Utah.

Lecture attendees will hear science-based stories and listen to presentations on current studies and developments in the science world from scientists, science writers, filmmakers, professors and performers—experts in their fields of study.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world and all there ever will be to know and understand.” -Albert Einstein

The series kicked off with Nina Tandon, CEO and co-founder of EpiBone, the world’s first company growing living human bones for skeletal reconstruction. She is the co-author of “Super Cells: Building with Biology,” an e-book that explores the new frontier of biotech. Tandon is a TED senior fellow, a staff associate postdoctoral researcher in the Laboratory for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering, Columbia University and adjunct professor of electrical engineering at the Cooper Union.Caleb Scharf

The next presenter is Caleb Scharf on Thursday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. at the Natural History Museum of Utah at the Rio Tinto Center.

Based around material in his latest book, “The Copernicus Complex,” which was named the Science Book of the Year by The London Times, Scharf presents a grand survey of the quest to learn about life in the universe, what it all means and where it’s leading us, taking in cutting-edge science from microbes to planets, probabilities and cosmology. One ultimate goal of his research is to find planets that could harbor recognizable life and to detect the presence of that life. He will consider where the quest to find life in the universe may lead us.

Scharf is a British astronomer and the director of the multidisciplinary Columbia Astrobiology Center at Columbia University. He received a Bachelor of Science in physics from Durham University and a doctorate in astronomy from the University of Cambridge. He did postdoctoral work in X-ray astronomy and observational cosmology at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the Space Telescope Science Institute in Maryland. He has an extensive research record in observational cosmology but more recently works on topics in exoplanetary science and astrobiology.

Other presenters include:

Robert Grow

Robert J. Grow: Envisioning Utah’s Future: Challenges and Opportunities
Thursday, March 12 |7 p.m.
Salt Lake City Public Library, 210 E 400 South
President and chief executive officer at Envision Utah

By 2050 our population is projected to almost double. Will we have clean air to breathe? Enough water for our needs? Affordable energy supplies that don’t damage our air and environment? The answers to all of these questions depend on the choices we make, and Robert J. Grow from Envision Utah is bringing these questions to every Utahn to answer.

His eye-opening presentation will give an overview of the Your Utah, Your Future project, which was launched and endorsed by Gov. Gary Herbert in October 2013. Over the past couple decades, Grow has developed an expertise in facilitating regional stakeholders in creating multi-generational visions for major metropolitan areas of the U.S. and has worked with more than 80 metropolitan regions.

David Pogue

Keynote lecture featuring David Pogue: Disruptive Tech: The Unrecognizable World of Tech and Culture
Thursday, March 26 | 7 p.m.
Kingsbury Hall, 1395 E. Presidents Circle
General tickets $12 – on sale soon
Discounted tickets for University of Utah students, staff and faculty

As Yahoo’s tech reviewer, David Pogue has a front-row seat to observe the blazing-fast torrent of new inventions. Hundreds of gadgets and technologies come down the pike every year and plenty get lots of press, even though most of it is junk. The “tech” of our world – the cloud, drones, the quantified self, the Internet of Things, self-driving cars, augmented reality, etc., is changing faster and faster, with fascinating effects on the society and culture we once knew.

In this fast, funny presentation, Disruptive Tech: The Unrecognizable New World of Tech and Culture, Pogue will help us consider what we’ll gain, what we’ll lose and what beliefs may morph into something we’ve never seen before. He will stick his neck out to predict which will actually cause major, disruptive changes. He’ll display, discuss and even demonstrate the technological advances—in personal entertainment, cellular tech, Web 2.0 and more — that will have the greatest impact on society in the coming years.

Pogue is an Emmy award-winning technology and science writer with a degree in music from Yale University. For 13 years, he was the weekly personal technology columnist for The New York Times. He joined Yahoo in 2013, where he founded a new website for non-techies called Yahoo Tech. He writes and hosts segments for CBS News Sunday Morning and is known for his work on “NOVA,” the long-running PBS science show, as the host of “NOVA ScienceNow,” for his incredibly popular four-part “Making Stuff” miniseries, and for his show, “Hunting the Elements,” which earned “NOVA” some of its highest ratings in six years. With over 3 million books in print, Pogue is one of the world’s best-selling, how-to authors. He wrote or co-wrote seven books in the “For Dummiesseries (including Macs, magic, opera and classical music). In 1999, he launched his own series of complete, funny computer books called “The Missing Manual” series, which now includes 120 titles.


Former chair of the University of Utah Board of Trustees Clark Ivory established the U’s most prestigious student award last year, the Ivory Prize for Excellence in Student Leadership. Nominations are now being accepted for the 2015 award.

In an effort to enhance the undergraduate experience and encourage student involvement and leadership, the prize recognizes one to two students each year with a $2,000 prize along with a $10,000 donation to the recipient’s cause. The prize recognizes students for demonstrating a positive influence on student success and/or fostering efforts that have enabled meaningful change.

c2h promo_17

Photo credit: Jonathan Hickerson

Amanda Newman was the first recipient of the Ivory Prize for Excellence in Student Leadership. Through an Honors College Think Tank course, Newman, a modern dance major, was challenged to identify a problem in the community related to health care and propose a solution. She and her team started a student-led volunteer organization called Connect2Health that acts as a bridge between underserved patients and the resources needed to lead healthier lives. During its pilot year in 2012, the program had more than 45 student volunteers, a robust partnership with Fourth Street Clinic and served more than 1,000 people.

Nominations are due by March 2 and should include a completed nomination form, a nomination letter up to two pages in length and up to two letters of support. Awardees can be currently enrolled undergraduate or graduate students or those who have graduated within the past five years.

Head shot photo credit: Alyssa Tolman


As part of preparation for accreditation and in support of the emerging campus strategy effort, the Office of Academic Affairs will hold a series of campus dialogue sessions facilitated by Amy Wildermuth, associate vice president for faculty, and Kathryn Stockton, interim associate vice president for equity and diversity. The sessions will provide the campus community with information about strategic goals and offer participants insight from colleagues across the campus.

Monday, March 2, 12-1 p.m.
Promote Student Success to Transform Lives
Gould Auditorium, Marriott Library
Lunch will be served.

Friday, March 6, 8-9 a.m.
Develop and Transfer New Knowledge
Gould Auditorium, Marriott Library
Breakfast will be served.

 Monday, March 9, 3-4 p.m.
Improve Health and Quality of Life
Union, Panorama East
Snacks will be served.

 Tuesday, March 10, 8-9 a.m.
Ensure Long-Term Viability of the University
Health Sciences, HSEB Alumni Hall 2110
Breakfast will be served.

Please RSVP to Scott McMurtrey ( at least two days before the session you plan to attend. Note the date of the session you’re choosing in that email.




Diabetes-Prevention-ResearchAre you at risk for diabetes? Visit this link and take the quiz on the right side of the page.

If you score a nine or higher, the answer is yes, you are at risk.

If the answer is yes, and you want to join a 12-month research study that will help you learn more about decreasing your risk for diabetes, contact the University of Utah Diabetes Prevention Research Program at and provide your phone number.

A Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle coach will call you back and ask you a series of questions to determine your eligibility.

Click here to see the video about pre-diabetes.




Are you planning an event on campus? Check with the Office of the Building Official.

No matter how large or small, the Office of the Building Official can ensure the safety of our students, visitors, faculty and staff at campus events.

The Office of the Building Official inspects temporary structures, ensure access to exits, ADA accessibility and more. It also coordinates with other campus departments that oversee and approve events including the Office of Health and Public Safety, Landscape Maintenance and the Office of Equal Opportunity.

If your event will include any temporary structures like pop-up tents, stages, platforms, bleachers and fences or require portable toilets, you should obtain a permit from the Office of the Building Official. Permits are easy to obtain and free. Just contact their office two weeks prior to your event. The Office of the Building Official will send a representative out to inspect your event and issue a permit.

To find out more about permits and what steps to follow, contact Jayna Otto with Facilities Management by email at or call 801-585-6751.


New_CASChanges to the university log in pages has been delayed. The expected changes have been postponed until a later date. We’ll update you as soon as a new launch date has been scheduled.

If you have any questions, please contact your respective help desk or the campus help desk at 801-581-4000.





Alta-Sustainability-CropUniversity of Utah students, faculty and staff now have the opportunity to win one of four $2,500 awards for their efforts in sustainability, thanks to a generous gift from Alta Ski Area.

The award categories include “Campus as a Living Lab,” “Sustainability Community Partnership,” “Sustainability Integration” and “Sustainability Research.”

The Sustainability Leadership Team will select the honorees, and ecological literacy scholar David Orr will present the awards on March 6 during his campus visit. Winners will be contacted prior to the event.

To submit a nomination, visit the Alta Sustainability Leadership Awards webpage and complete the nomination form. Email the completed form to by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 19.


Campus Store-BooksHave you submitted your textbook adoptions for the upcoming semesters? The University Campus Store and Health Sciences Store are now taking your adoption orders for the summer 2015 and fall 2015 semesters.

The sooner textbook adoptions are sent to the Campus Store or Health Sciences Store the better, as the new semesters will be here quickly. If you have questions about submitting a textbook adoption please call Dave Nelson at 801-581-8321 or email him at

You can also submit adoptions from the Campus Store’s website at, hovering over “Faculty”and clicking “Submit Adoptions Here.”


JonChaika300dpiJonathan Chaika, an assistant professor of mathematics at the University of Utah, today was named as one of 126 young U.S. and Canadian scientists to receive a prestigious 2015 Sloan Research Fellowship.

The much sought-after fellowships and $50,000 awards are meant to “honor early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them as rising stars, the next generation of scientific leaders,” the nonprofit Alfred P. Sloan Foundation said in New York.

Chaika works on various problems in a mathematical field known as ergodic theory, which studies the way points travel through space over time. He focuses on spaces that have connections to geometry and topology, the study of shapes with properties that remain the same when the shapes are deformed.

“For more than 50 years the Sloan Foundation has been proud to celebrate the achievements of extraordinary young scientists who are pushing the boundaries of scientific knowledge,” said Paul L. Joskow, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

The Sloan fellowships are awarded in eight fields: chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences and physics. Candidates must be nominated by their fellow scientists. Fellows are selected by an independent panel of senior scholars.

Past Sloan research fellows include such intellectual luminaries as physicist Richard Feynman and game theorist John Nash. Since the program began in 1955, 43 fellows have received a Nobel Prize, 16 have won the Fields Medal in mathematics and 65 have received the National Medal of Science.

The foundation was established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., then-president and CEO of the General Motors Co. More information, visit Sloan Research Fellowships.


GabeBowen595Utah and parts of the West have seen abnormal warmth and little snow this winter, while the Northeast has been walloped by frigid cold and snow. This pattern, caused by an S-shaped jet stream path over North America, developed over the past 4,000 years and may get worse due to human-caused climate change, U geochemist Gabe Bowen concluded in a study that was published last year but now is more timely than ever (See article here).

Bowen says he used ancient climate records “to reveal how atmospheric circulation has changed, particularly looking at the path of the jet stream. When the jet stream is flat, shooting off the Pacific and across the western U.S., we get nice cold, fresh snow – the good powder. But when the jet stream is very wavy and S-shaped and shoots far north of us, we get sunshine and dry weather and the East gets clobbered by cold Canadian air. That’s what’s happening right now and during much of last winter. We believe we will see more of it in the future.”

For more information, contact Gabe Bowen, associate professor geology and geophysics.

Office 801-585-7925, cell 765-337-3704


KUERVeteran radio news host, Diane Maggipinto, has accepted the position as Morning Edition host at KUER 90.1. Maggipinto will replace Dan Bammes, who left the station after 12 years for the communication director position at the Utah Foundation.

“After a national search for a local ‘Morning Edition’ anchor who could seamlessly replace Dan Bammes, we realized our most talented candidate was right here in Salt Lake. I am thrilled to welcome Diane Maggipinto as a permanent member of the KUER news staff,” said KUER News Director Terry Gildea.

Maggipinto brings more than a decade of radio production and hosting experience to KUER. She served as a morning and afternoon anchor at KCPW until 2006. Maggipinto has also lent her voice to several KUED television productions, narrating “The Alta Experience” among other documentaries.

Highlighted Events

Monday, Feb. 23 | 12 p.m.Sonia Salari 2
Social Work, Room 155 B

For more than two decades, Sonia Salari, associate professor and the graduate director in the U’s Department of Family and Consumer Studies, has researched, tracked policy and taught about fatal family violence and intimate partner homicide/suicide.

Salari will offer an overview of fatal family violence research and prevention, with a particular focus on middle-aged and older adults.  This free presentation is part of the Spring 2015 Interdisciplinary Seminar Series on Aging, presented by the U’s Center on Aging and the College of Social Work’s W.D. Goodwill Initiatives on Aging.  Please join us to learn more about this important topic.



Feb. 24-Feb. 28

Love-Your-BodyLove Your Body Week is part of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. It is a time to celebrate our bodies, no matter the shape or size, and all that we can do with our bodies.

It is also a time to be aware of the things that make us feel bad about ourselves and fight them with the things that make us feel good about ourselves. Most importantly, it is about learning to be comfortable with who we are.





ednesday, Feb. 25 | 9-10 a.m. | FREE
Gould Auditorium, Level 1Library Plan

Join us for a doughnut and a look at the Marriott Library survey results as we prepare to draft the library’s new strategic plan.




Wednesday, Feb. 25 | 7 p.m. | FREE

FilmCo-presented with the Utah Film Center. Additional support provided by CUAC and Modern West Fine Art.
“National Gallery” 181 min | 2014 | USA/France
Directed by Frederick Wiseman

In Frederick Wiseman’s 39th documentary, he takes the audience behind the scenes of London’s National Gallery, one of the world’s foremost art institutions. “National Gallery” is the portrait of a place, its way of working and relations with the world, its staff, public and its paintings.

Thursday, Feb. 26 | 12 p.m.Lunch-with-an-engineer
Engineer Eccles Boardroom, Room 1650

Join Leslie Morton for lunch on Thursday, Feb. 26 at noon. Morton is a principal and engineering team leader for the Salt Lake City office of regional engineering firm and a graduate of the University of Utah, College of Engineering, earning her Bachelor of Science in civil engineering in 1992.

Her 21-year career has been in the consulting industry focused on street and roadway design, water, sewer and storm drain design, site grading and drainage. Morton has managed hundreds of projects throughout the state, including many on the U campus. She is skilled at incorporating sustainable design techniques into her projects and has an extensive knowledge of project development, master planning and site design, giving her depth of expertise to provide solutions to a broad range of project challenges and concerns.

Please RSVP to

eb. 27-Aug. 2

saltContemporary artist Duane Linklater’s new exhibition, “salt,” on view Feb. 27–Aug. 2 at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibition uses the UMFA’s permanent collection to honor unknown indigenous artists and draw attention to the way their works of art are transformed when presented in museums.

The Ontario-based artist, an Omaskêko Cree from Moose Cree First Nation, is the 11th artist in the UMFA’s ongoing “salt” series of semi-annual exhibitions showcasing work by emerging artists from around the world.

“salt 11: Duane Linklater” opens Friday, Feb. 27 and will be on view through Aug. 2. The artist will discuss his work with Whitney Tassie, UMFA’s curator of modern and contemporary art, in a free event at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26.

For more information, visit


eb. 27-28 | FREE
Park City

WAF-symposiumThe Western Atrial Fibrillation (WAF) symposium assembles key global thought leaders for a collaborative discussion regarding the latest advancement in atrial fibrillation research and treatment. WAF features a distinguished faculty of physicians and researchers from six countries and 25 renowned biomedical centers around the world. WAF speakers and panels discuss topics such as the electrical mechanisms of atrial fibrillation, image processing to improve AF management, AF and heart failure, MRI-guided ablation, improvements in patient care and AF outcomes, microscopy to characterize fibrosis, drug therapy, ECG monitoring and technical advancements in the field of atrial fibrillation.

The Seventh Annual Western Atrial Fibrillation Symposium was the best-attended WAF symposium yet and a phenomenal success overall. WAF appreciates the insightful, diverse contributions by the symposium faculty and for the participation and feedback from all of the attendees.

University faculty and staff are invited to register and attend for free. For more information or to register. visit

Feb. 27-March 8
in STUDIO 115

school for liesThe University of Utah Department of Theatre presents “The School For Lies.” It investigates the power of truth and consequences, and the unappealing predicament telling the truth can bring. Through a series of comical shortcomings, we see rebellious truth telling in action and the reality of honesty’s flexibility. The cast of nine students invites you to sink into the script—rich with poetry, wit and charm, that leaves audiences thinking in free verse poem.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit




Friday, Feb. 27 | 6:30-9:30 p.m.
College of Social Work Atrium & Film and Media Arts Auditorium

In honor of Black Awareness Month, enjoy a formal reception (6:30-7:45 p.m.) before a visual and performing arts exhibition (8-9:30 p.m.).  This event is free and open to the public.  Please direct inquiries to

Saturday Feb. 28 | 10 a.m.–12 p.m. | $54.00
Charming Beard Coffee, 3340 S 300 West #2, Salt Lake City

Calling all coffee lovers.

This in-depth course provides insight into what goes into every quality cup of joe. Students will learn everything from cultivation of beans to the fine art of blending and roasting your own beans. Things will get deliciously aromatic as you learn about the equipment involved as well as the methods and processes used by coffee roasters while blending and roasting our own coffee. When all is said and done, gather for a tutorial on brewing, cupping and tasting the roasted blend created in week one.

To register or for more information, call 801-587-LIFE (5433) or visit

Sunday, March 1 | 7 p.m.

Libby Gardner Concert Hall
Faculty string players team up for Dvorák’s “String Quintet in G Major, Op. 77.”  All members of the Utah Symphony, violinist Ralph Matson, violinist Barbara Scowcroft, violist Roberta Zalkind, cellist John Eckstein and bassist David Yavornitzky focus their talents on tackling this major work, which showcases Dvorák’s gift for folding beautiful melodies into richly complex harmonic material.




Friday, March 6 | 12-1:30 p.m.; 1:45-3 p.m.
Olpin Student Union

Kochenour-Lecture-FlyerLecture: “Bringing Out Each Other’s Greatness” 12 p.m.

Jeannie Kahwajy is the founder and CEO of Effective Interactions, a firm specializing in personal effectiveness and organizational achievement. She is an expert in the mechanism of interpersonal effectiveness and focuses on applications in leadership, decision-making, negotiation and learning. She has worked with executives on six continents and has recently worked with the U.S. Department of State on how to create peaceful and profitable relationships through the language of leadership. Kahwaiy’s presentation will center on the dynamics of maximizing interpersonal interactions.

Symposium Theme: “Writing Your Own Story” 1:45 p.m.

Participants will choose from a variety of breakout sessions focused on taking charge of their life and future.

For information and to register for the symposium and/or lecture, click here.

Weight loss and fad diets

Do you have goals coming upon bathing suit season? How will you go about reaching those weight loss goals? Perhaps search the Internet for the latest diet, or maybe cut out all carbs or desserts, or how about tracking your daily intake and staying below the recommended caloric allowance on your tracking app. What is the best way to lose weight quick enough to stick to it, but to also be able to stick to it long enough to actually reap the benefits of changing your habits? Is it the latest diet?

weight scaleChances are that latest diet is a fad diet, something that promises quick results at often extreme costs and many times is not able to be followed for an extended period of time due to harsh or even unhealthy restrictions. Fad diets are found everywhere; they’re glorified all over social media, discussed in everyday conversations and promoted by self-proclaimed nutrition and health experts. Fad diets vary from low to no carbohydrate diets, cleanses, very low calorie diets and avoiding foods or food groups, they also frequently include dietary supplements or herbs. Over $2.4 billion is spent annually on weight loss products and diets, yet nearly 34 percent of the U.S. population is considered obese, and that number is climbing. Maybe those weight loss methods don’t work.

Why are fad diets so tempting?
-Thirty-four percent of Americans are considered obese. Obesity comes with higher risk of a variety of chronic diseases that affect one’s quality of life, lifespan and risk of developing additional diseases (3).
-For some people, lifelong habits lead to obesity. It’s not easy or quick to change those habits. But, our society craves fast results. Products with claims including better energy, rapid weight loss, etc. entice people who may feel like they have no other way to reach their (or their doctor’s or their family members’) health goals.
-Some people may not have the proper tools or know how on how to make changes that will last a lifetime.
-Some people may not want to change their lifestyle, so a diet that promises weight loss in a few short weeks or months seems more reasonable.
-Media portrayal of what we “should” look like has lead many to be insecure in their skin.
-Gripping advertising, big and exciting claims, as well as spokespeople who embody what prospective clients want to look like all pull consumers in who may fit into the aforementioned categories.

As noted above, one of the paramount factors of a fad diet is that they are not sustainable and therefore often lead to regaining weight, on the other hand, strictly following a restrictive diet long term can also cause health problems, even malnutrition.

How to spot a fad diet:
1. It sounds too good to be true (i.e.: it sounds very easy to follow), it is likely not effective.measuring tape
2. Terms such as “magic” are used. Nothing about the methods of weight loss is magical. You can’t get big results from sitting on your couch and eating potato chips all the time.
3. Herbs or drugs are touted, especially when they’re the practitioner’s brand.
4. It claims rapid weight loss (rapid weight loss is often achieved by making drastic eating and/or exercise changes, which are typically not as sustainable).
5. Rigid menus (like the previous red flag).
6. Quantities of foods are recommended, or foods/food groups are restricted (eating more fruits and vegetables are typically good, but if it touts a particular vegetable or restricts grains for example-probably not good).
7. A certain amount of weight loss is promised within a particular time frame.
8. Finally, it bases effectiveness solely on quotes from other dieters.

Many people are aware of basic nutritional principles, if a particular diet includes recommendations that are far from those principles, be wary of it’s effectiveness, safety and/or ability to be maintained for an extended period of time. I mean we’re rooting for lifestyle changes, not short term dieting after all (4, 5, 6).

What credible websites and blogs will include:
1. Clearly identifiable purpose.
2. Identities of who runs the site.
3. Names writers or editors AND lists credentials (for dietary advice, the gold standard in the U.S. is a registered dietitian notated as: R.D., RDN).
4. Facts and cited sources are included, not just opinions (if someone says that xyz is what happens to your body when you do xyz, or research shows that xyz…If they don’t cite it, it may very well not be real).
5. It contains links to other credible sites (hospitals, universities, national disease organizations).
6. Provides guidelines on how to use new information (4, 5, 6).

If a diet requires you to completely cut out foods that you enjoy, and that you are not allergic to or that make you sick, it likely won’t stick. Consider reducing your intake of a food you enjoy but may be higher in fat and calories than you’d like. Talk to your doctor or registered dietitian to determine if a diet is a good fit for you and if it has been proven to be safe and effective.


Heart in Hands1
You’ve probably heard a lot of news about eating right for a healthy heart—focusing on a diet low in fat and abundant in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. But did you know that the same nutrients are also good for your eyes? Read the full story here.

You wake up with a scratchy, dry and irritated throat. “A sore throat could be caused by a number of things from dry air to acid reflux to a cold or virus,” says Johanna Greenberg, a physician assistant specializing in family medicine at University of Utah Health Care’s Stansbury Health Center, located in Tooele County. Click here to read the four at-home treatments to try.

For more expert health news and information, visit


Meal planning may seem daunting, it may seem very time consuming, and may seem difficult. But taking some time to organize your meals for the week can save time throughout the week, save money, reduce waste and make it easier to eat healthier and get your vegetables in. Trust me, I’ve done it.

There are a few ways to meal plan. Depending on your needs, you should find some combination of these to make dinners easier, cheaper and tastier. You can choose which meals you’ll have for the week, you can make one base food and repurpose it into different dishes. You can actually prep lots of the food on a certain day and throw it together day-by-day. There are lots of ways to make it work.

Considerations when meal planning:

-Know how many meals and for how many people.
-Time constraints and timing. Will there be someone 60-90 minutes before dinner to prepare the meal? Or will it need to be a slow cooker meal or 30-minute meal?
-What you already have in the fridge and pantry. I hate wasting food, planning meals based on what I need to use up leads to less waste and fewer random nasty meals that use a ton of said soon to be spoiled food
-Food budget/sale items.
-Have kids? Let them participate. They can help choose meal ideas, help shop, help prep and help cook. Kids are more likely to try new foods and like something if they’ve had a part in making it.

How to meal plan:

1. Tally your meals (4 dinners, 2 lunches).
2. Note your constraints. Do you have to have a slow cooker meal one day because you’ll be at the office until 7 p.m.? Will you need something quick or portable?
3. Consider leftovers. Does your meal plan for more servings than you have eaters? Take a day out of the mix and allow for straight leftovers or repurposing those leftovers. This is a great way to reduce waste and save money.

Not sure how to meal plan still, take this quick food personality quiz.

Here are some great resources for basic recipes, how to be a master meal planner, meal planning for beginners and delicious family dinners for weeknights.


  1. Engle M.K. Protecting consumers from false and deceptive advertising of weight-loss products. (2014). Federal Trade Commission. Washington, D.C. Accessed on 7 December 2014:
  2. Federal Trade Commission. Complaint for permanent injunction and other equitable relief.
  3. Accessed on 7 December 2014:
  4. National Institutes of Health. What are the health risks of overweight and obesity? 2012. Accessed on 7 December 2014:
  5. Liu T, Howard RM, Mancini AJ, et al. Kwashiorkor in the United States: Fad diets, perceived and true milk allergy, and nutritional ignorance. Arch Dermatol. 2001;137(5):630-636. doi:10-1001/pubs.Arch Dermatol.-ISSN-0003-987x-137-5-dob0016
  6. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Web of confusion. 2012. Accessed 7 December 2014.
  7. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Nutrition Q&A: How can I spot a fad diet? Accessed 7 December 2014.
  8. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Staying away from fad diets. 2012. Accessed 7 December 2014.