Biology and Agriculture
Allen C. Christensen, ’57, has replaced N. Paul Johnston, ’66, now retired, as the director of BYU‘s Ezra Taft Benson Agriculture and Food Institute, a privately supported, nonprofit organization that aids faculty and students in researching and implementing technology to help the poor in developing nations.
Keith A. Crandall, assistant professor of zoology, has received a substantial grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the evolution of HIV. He and other researchers have completed an assessment of tools integral to scientists studying fast-changing viruses, developing drugs tailored to an individual patient’s genome, and tracking the movement and vitality of groups of endangered species. The study’s findings were published in the Nov. 20, 2001, issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Chair of BYU‘s Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Department David L. McPherson, ’67, led a team of four BYU faculty members and four graduate students on a research and humanitarian aid trip to Hanoi, Vietnam. The group helped establish a program for fitting hearing aids and educated Vietnamese physicians on how to better treat those who suffer from hearing loss. McPherson plans to return with students to Hanoi this spring.
Engineering and Technology
Several BYU civil engineering students successfully competed in the “spaghetti bridge” competition at the Utah Department of Transportation’s engineering conference. BYU entries won for strength, aesthetics, and efficiency. The students whose bridge won for strength were Johanna Apezteguia, ’02, Sarita L. Kessler, ’03, and Damaris Helps Kjar, ’02. The bridge of Jeanne M. Bowie, ’03, Wade R. Sticht, ’04, and Rutheyi Thompson, ’03, won the award for the most aesthetic bridge and was the overall winning bridge.
Using a supercomputer, cutting-edge animation software, and BYU‘s virtual reality theater, industrial design students recently created a variety of 3-D concept cars for Ford Motor Company as part of their transportation design class. Basing their designs on a variety of adjectives like high-tech, playful, and aggressive, the students worked with Ford consultants throughout the semester then presented their completed cars at the virtual reality theater in December.
Family, Home, and Social Sciences
Sven E. Wilson, ’89, an assistant professor of political science and an adjunct assistant professor of economics, has been named director of the public policy master’s degree program. He is replacing Dennis L. Thomson, ’77, who is retiring from teaching.
Brent A. Barlow, ’66, an associate professor of marriage, family, and human development, hosted a conference at BYU in December titled “Get Married, Stay Married” for both single and married members of the community.
Fine Arts and Communications
Associate professor of theatre and media arts Barta L. Heiner, ’71, will receive the Excellence in Theatre Education Award at the 2002 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival conference in Hayward, Calif. This is the third year in a row that a BYU faculty member has received this award.
Health and Human Performance
Mark A. Widmer, ’88, associate professor of recreation management and youth leadership, is working with School of Family Life professor Thomas B. Holman,’76, and undergraduate students on a project to explore the effects of parallel versus joint recreational activities on marital strength.
Head athletic trainer George Curtis has been given Training and Conditioning magazine’s Above the Call award for performing CPR on and saving the life of aBYU professor last year.
Jerry W. Larson, ’74, a professor of Spanish and the director of the Humanities Research Center, has created software that tests language learners’ verbal skills and helps teachers monitor students’ improvement.
Religion and the Founding of the American Republic, a recent exhibit at the Harold B. Lee Library, featured rare documents from the Library of Congress that testify to the role of religious beliefs in shaping America. The exhibit was chaired by John W. Welch, ’70, a professor of law, and was accompanied by a lecture series that included Andrew C. Skinner, dean of religious education, Richard C. Howe, chief justice of the Utah Supreme Court, and W. Cole Durham Jr., a professor of law.
Beginning this fall the Marriott School of Management will offer a bachelor of science degree in information systems. The new major will replace the information systems emphasis in the business management degree program and will serve some 180 students during the program’s first year.
Norman R. Nemrow, ’78, a teaching professor of accountancy, received the Governor’s Points of Light Award for his volunteer work at BYU. Nemrow has been a full-time volunteer at BYU since 1992, donating both his time and his teaching salary to the university.
The College of Nursing has added a new graduate degree specialization, the adult medical-surgical clinical nurse specialist. The new program is coordinated bySandra S. Lookinland, professor of nursing, and will teach students to apply research findings to evaluate patient care.
Patricia Rushton, ’77, associate professor of nursing, is gathering information on Latter-day Saint nurses who served during wartime. This study is the first of its kind to bring together the personal histories of LDS nursing veterans.
Physical and Mathematical Sciences
Lara J. Wolfson, an assistant professor of statistics, has testified before the Supreme Court as the main expert witness in a case regarding the 2000 U.S. census. The state of Utah is trying to convince the Supreme Court that faulty census practices cost the state its fourth congressional seat.
The diaries of Mark Hill Forscutt, a 19th-century English convert to the Church of Jesus Christ and, later, a dissident, were recently discovered by Richard N. Holzapfel, ’80, associate professor of Church history and doctrine, and Eric P. Rogers, ’90, a graduate student. The diaries, some of the more significant personal records of the Restoration, will be housed in the Harold B. Lee Library as a permanent collection.