And the Blatt Goes to: Counseling psychology and special education professor Tina Taylor Dyches (BS ’86) received the Burton Blatt Humanitarian Award for her contributions to the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities.
Engineering and Technology
White House Honor: Mechanical engineering professor Christopher A. Mattson (BS ’99, MS ’01) became the second BYU professor to receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the White House’s highest award for young researchers.
Family, Home, and Social Sciences
Pops’ Persistence: Dads are in a unique position to help teens develop persistence, according to research by family life professors Laura Padilla-Walker and Randal D. Day (BS ’73, MS ’74, PhD ’79). Their study, published in the Journal of Early Adolescence, was featured by the Atlantic, ABC News, and more.
Fine Arts and Communications
Re-Creating the Universe: The Universe, now an online daily news source with a weekly print edition, has a new director, Steven R. Fidel (BA ’84). Fidel is a former multiplatform reporter at KSL and Deseret News. He designed the first mobile electronic edition of the Deseret News.
Critical Languages: Six BYU students received U.S. De-partment of State Critical Language Scholarships to study languages abroad. Pictured from left to right, James C. Juchau (’12), Kelly L. Danforth (’12), and Robert E. Bonn (’12) went to Morocco, as did Gregory L. Coy (’14) (not pictured). Elizabeth K. Nielsen (’14) went to Russia; Alex P. Williams (’14) to Tajikistan.
Recommended Reads: The Kennedy Center’s fall 2012 book of the semester is The Civil War of 1812, by Alan Taylor, who will lecture at BYU on Oct. 17. The summer book of the semester was Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea; watch author Barbara Demick discuss the book at more.byu.edu/envy.
Religious Value: Professor Elizabeth A. Clark (BA ’94, JD ’97) discussed religion’s distinctiveness and importance in the context of contemporary controversies, such as exemptions for religious employers, in the Law School’s Religious Freedom Discussion Series. Watch her lecture at more.byu.edu/religious.
Soiled Ecosystem: Biology professor Richard A. Gill (BS ’93) and colleagues from Duke and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have the dirt on climate change—literally. After studying grasslands in Texas, their research shows that increasing levels of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere are changing plant and soil interactions, impeding plants’ ability to use excess carbon dioxide. Their findings are published in Nature Climate Change.
Grants Granted: The Center for Audit Quality awarded two research grants to Steven M. Glover, director of the School of Accountancy. His projects will investigate auditors’ views of audit quality, earnings quality, and fair value measurements.
New Dean: Patricia McArthur Ravert (BS ’75, MS ’94) is now dean of the College of Nursing, replacing recently retired dean Beth Cole. Ravert formerly served as an associate dean and as coordinator of the Nursing Learning Center and Clinical Simulation Laboratory.
Physical and Mathematical Sciences
Molecular Shapes: Mass spectrometry fails to describe the shapes into which molecules fold, but chemistry professor David V. Dearden (BS ’83) has discovered a new method to do just that by observing how a molecule interacts with a target gas. The method, described in Analytical Chemistry, is already being used to study the future of molecular nanotechnology.
Top Two of 2012: Two recent releases from the Religious Studies Center received the Susan Easton and Harvey Black Outstanding Publication Award: Against the Odds: The Life of George Albert Smith, by Mary Jane Woodger (BS ’80, EdD ’97), and No Weapon Shall Prosper: New Light on Sensitive Issues, by Robert L. Millet (BS ’71, MS ’73).