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Info for Researchers

Research Updates

  1. Mentoring Topic of the Month
  2. National Research Priorities for 2015
  3. NIH Changes Application Submission Policy
  4. Work Smarter, Not Harder! Contact your Librarian!
  5. For Scifinder Users
  6. Core Facility Available
  7. Supporting Scientific Discovery through Norms and Practices for Software and Data Citation and Attribution
  8. 3rd Annual Science Filmmaking Workshop
  9. Upcoming Research Grant Opportunities
  10. Grant Writing Crash Course
  11. Upcoming Classes in the Research Administration Training Series (RATS)
  12. Research News & Publicizing Research


1. Mentoring Topic of the Month

The end of semester is a busy time! Summer is right around the corner and it is often the most productive research “season” on campus. Start thinking now about what you would like your graduate students to accomplish over the summer. Since your students’ success is your success, developing great practices in graduate student mentoring will pay big dividends throughout your career.

So, this month’s topic is devoted to Best Practices in Graduate Student MentoringDavid Kieda, dean of the Graduate School, has provided some very good advice, resources and recommendations.  Please take a moment to read through these ideas and think about them with others in your department. They will help you plan and execute an excellent research summer.


2. National Research Priorities for 2015

At a recent meeting of the ASEE Engineering Research Council in Washington, DC representatives from many of the government funding agencies made presentations about their funding priorities and anticipated funding levels for FY2015. PDF copies of their presentations available for your review are located here.


3. NIH Changes Application Submission Policy

On April 17, the National Institutes of Health made a major change to its application submission policy. Previously, NIH had a ‘two strikes’ policy that gave investigators only one additional chance to resubmit a proposal to the NIH before being required to substantially change the scientific focus of any subsequent applications. Under the new relaxed policy an investigator will still be given a second chance to resubmit a research proposal after incorporating reviewer’s comments. However, if the proposal still fails to be accepted after a second review, investigators now will be able to resubmit the same research idea as a new application multiple times. As noted in a Science Insider article, this is a significant change that should help new investigators in what can be a very competitive process.


4. Work Smarter, Not Harder! Contact your Librarian!

Librarians at the University of Utah are available to help you navigate the information maze. We invite you to schedule a one-on-one research consultation with library experts and subject liaisons. Areas we can help you with include:

  • Identifying appropriate databases and resources to locate information for research grants, projects and assignments, and developing successful search strategies
  • Using citation management tools like EndNote, EndNote Basic and Zotero to organize citations and full-text articles, and writing papers with correctly cited references
  • Setting up monthly, weekly or daily saved searches and alerts
  • Using citation metrics to determine the impact of your research
  • Partnering with you to create a thorough literature search for grant proposals including writing data management plans and searching patents
  • Uploading  your presentations, posters and articles to USpace (our institutional repository)
  • Providing access to and help using technology, including 3D printing, a Bloomberg Terminal, and a wide variety of software applications

The above list is just a summary of how we can help! Librarians are committed to supporting and facilitating the research activities of the University; we organize, maintain and provide access to literature and information resources in order to ensure 24/7 access to online resources and offer consultations to ensure your success in using these tools.

If you need help finding information you can schedule an appointment to meet with your academic librarian, or just stop by the service desk.

Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library

  • Phone: 801-581-5534
  • Email:
  • Consultations:
  • Ask A Question:

J. Willard Marriott Library


5. For Scifinder Users

Have you learned to use the Sciplanner and incorporated it into your workflow? What is CAS doing about the Java issue? Have you noticed that structure drawing has been simplified by the integration of Scifinder into ChemDraw? Are you not getting the results you want from your searches of Scifinder and can use some assistance?

Representatives from CAS are coming to present on Scifinder, May 8, 2014,10:00-11:30 a.m. in HEB room 4429TBBC and again, 1:00-3:00 p.m. in HSEB room 3515C. Please RSVP Daureen Nesdill  letting her know which session you will attend.


6. Core Facility Available

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance:  Providing Answers to Scientists and Engineers for 60 Years

Rabi and coworkers made the first observations of the intrinsic angular momentum of nuclei (nuclear spin) by applying resonance techniques to molecular beam experiments in the late 1930’s. The phenomenon was named Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR). A decade later Block and Purcell made the first observations of NMR in the condensed phase (liquids and solid materials). Based on an extensive early characterization of nuclear spin properties, it was recognized that the local chemical environment of the nuclei influenced the signals recorded by the NMR experiment. Pake, Freeman, and Richards established that NMR could be used as a tool for determining molecular structure by analyzing the NMR spectra of gypsum samples.  Martin Packard made the first high resolution NMR observations in the liquid state in 1960, and within a couple of years the first commercial NMR instruments appeared. The field has been driven by a continuous and remarkable series of innovations through to the current time.

NMR provides strategically important answers in two main areas of research. One area involves confirmation of the presence of a specific molecule. For example, a researcher may wish to confirm that a specific (previously known) molecule is present in a sample. Over the past decades the NMR spectra of virtually all commercially available small molecules have been recorded in one of several spectral databases. Many research compounds have also been included in the spectral databases. Comparison between the spectrum of the research compound and the reference data can be used to confirm the presence of the compound. In some case, the NMR spectra can serve as a fingerprint for the sample, which can be compared with spectra of other samples to confirm identity. Fingerprinting is especially useful in application to complex materials which include mixtures. Another common use for NMR is to identify an unknown compound. Imagine that you have obtained material from a natural source and have identified components that have interesting physical or chemical properties. Detailed analysis of NMR data of the purified fractions can be used to determine complete structure of organic natural products and both homo- and heteropolymers.

Samples can be liquids, most commonly solutions, or solid materials. Solution NMR analysis can be conducted on sub-milligram quantities of material in favorable cases. Solid state NMR analysis generally requires more material than does the solution NMR case, in the range of 100mg to 300mg.  Analysis most commonly focuses on the NMR spectra of protons (1H nuclei) and the 13C isotope of carbon, but virtually isotope with a non-zero spin is a candidate for NMR investigation (2H, 11B, 15N, 19F, 17O, 23Na, 29Si, 31P, and more).

The University of Utah maintains excellent NMR facilities, with state of the art instrumentation, easy access, and abundant opportunities for training. The best way to determine whether NMR can aid your research program is with a consultation, which costs nothing other than a few minutes of your time.  For further information please contact Dr. Peter Flynn, Director, D.M. Grant NMR Center by telephone at 801-581-3828, or via Email.


7. Supporting Scientific Discovery through Norms and Practices for Software and Data Citation and Attribution

Please read the Dear Colleague Letter regarding Supporting Scientific Discovery through Norms and Practices for Software and Data Citation and Attribution


8. 3rd Annual Science Filmmaking Workshop

The Center for Science and Mathematics Education is pleased to announce the 3rd annual Science Filmmaking Workshop, May 5-9, 2014, 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. at the University of Utah. This intensive workshop, taught by two National Geographic documentary filmmakers, provides effective tools and training for faculty, staff, students, and other community members who wish to use the medium of film to disseminate scientific and/or mathematic information. Visit the CSME website or see this flyer for more information!

To register for the workshop, please fill out our online form and make your final payment at least two weeks before the event.


9. Upcoming Research Grant Opportunities

Limited Submission Opportunities
National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) Program
Internal Deadline: May 6, 2014
NEA Art Works
Internal Deadline: May 19, 2014

Diabetes Research Career Initiator Award
Internal Deadline: June 1, 2014

Diabetes Research Accelerator Award
Internal Deadline: June 1, 2014

Brain Research Foundation
Internal Deadline: June 1, 2014

Edward J. Mallinckradt Jr. Grants
Internal Deadline: June 1, 2014

William T. Grant Scholars
Internal Deadline: June 1, 2014

Searle Scholars Program
Internal Deadline: June 1, 2014

External Funding Opportunities
Dana Foundation: Clinical Neuroscience Research
Dana Foundation accepts applications on a rolling basis.

Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences-2014 (ROSES-2014)
Deadline: April 30, 2015

Faculty Research Infrastructure Award Program
Deadline: May 1, 2014


10. Grant Writing Crash Course

October 10-12, 2014

The Lodges at Deer Valley Resort

Park City, Utah

Open to all Faculty members and Postdoctoral Scholars!

Using a unique and proven method to learn how to write a fundable proposal, the Grant Writing Crash Course provides one-on-one mentoring by successful University of Utah Faculty Grant Writers. Participants complete a series of short exercises prior to the Grant Writing Crash Course, drafting text that will be refined and assembled under the guidance of faculty mentors into critical sections of their proposal. Several essential topics are covered in focused brief lectures and discussions, including the strategies and mechanics of effective proposal writing, how to sell your project (and yourself as Principal Investigator) to a sponsoring agency, the criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your proposal, pitfalls to avoid in grant writing, how to develop aims and justifications, the ins and outs of major funding agencies, and the political, social, and psychological aspects of “grantsmanship.” Focused, intensive work sessions provide participants with ample uninterrupted time to craft and recraft their thinking, writing, and presentation based on real-time constructive feedback from faculty mentors, enhancing their proposals and increasing the likelihood of their success.

Attendance is highly limited. Registration fees for the October program include two nights lodging at the Deer Valley Resort, use of recreational facilities, and most meals. A spouse/partner and up to two children are welcome to accompany the participant (additional charge if more than two children attend). If you do not have seed or personal funding available for the registration fee, we encourage you to discuss other options with your Department Chair or Research Dean.

To register for the October 2014 program, or for more information, please contact Tony Onofrietti, Director, Research Education, at 801-585-3492 or at

The Grant Writing Crash Course program is sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research and are led by Dr. Gary C. Schoenwolf, Distinguished Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy.


11. Upcoming Classes in the Research Administration Training Series (RATS)

For questions concerning RATS, please contact Tony Onofrietti (801-585-3492) or visit the RATS website

Establishing an Umbrella IRB Application for Secondary Data Analyses
Tuesday April 29 10-00-11:30am
HSEB, RM. 3515D

Introduction to ClinicalTrials.Gov
Tuesday April 29 2:00-4:00pm
HSEB, Rm. 1730

Utah Population Database: Use of a Pre-Research Query Tool
Wednesday April 20 11:00am-1:00pm
HSEB, Lab 3100A

Clinical Research Budget Development, Negotiation and Oversight
Thursday May 1 2:00-4:00pm
HSEB, Rm. 1730

Publishing Smart: How to Make Your Article Visible
Thursday May 8 10:00am-12:00n
M Lib, Lab 1735

Utah Population Database: Access and Approval for Research Projects
Thursday May 15 10:00am-12:00n
HSEB, Rm. 3515C


12. Research News & Publicizing Research

Interested in the cool research going on at the U? For the latest news on research, go to news. If you are interested in publicizing your research, guidelines and information on how to, along with contact information, may be found at: Publicizing Research and Working with the Media.

Announcements of Interest

The Roger and Dawn Crus Center for Renewable Energy

On Monday April 28, 2014 the Department of Metallurgical Engineering celebrated the grand opening of the Roger and Dawn Crus Center for Renewable Energy.

The Center for Renewable Energy was recently established at the U and is dedicated to education, research and outreach. The center will be the focal point for community activities to educate the general public and encourage K-12 students to study science and engineering-related disciplines focusing on renewable energy.


Staff Excellence Awards 

Nominations are now being accepted for the Staff Excellence Awards. Twenty-four staff members from six districts (academic affairs, administrative services, general administration, hospital and clinics, other health sciences, and student affairs) will be recognized for superior service and ongoing contributions to the U. From these 24, six will be chosen as the winners of the Staff Excellence Award. Each recipient will receive a $5,000 honorarium, a special plaque and their name will be added to the perpetual plaque on display in the Human Resources Building in Research Park.

Click here for full details.


History of Cooking with ChocolateA History of Cooking with Chocolate
Wednesday, May 7, 7 p.m.
Natural History Museum of Utah

Proclaimed food nerd, Vanessa Chang, explores the different uses of cacao by culture and era, ranging from Ancient Mesoamerican civilization to modern day use by looking at the science behind cacao, cocoa butter, and cultural tastes. The lecture will be held in the Community Room of the Natural History Museum of Utah and includes three tastings of chocolate recipes throughout the ages. Space is limited and reservations are required! Click here to reserve your seat now.


Spring 2014 Grades Due May 12

Grades for Spring 2014 classes are due May 12 at 11:59 p.m. Submitting grades by the deadline is extremely important because students may be delayed graduation or prevented from accepting employment opportunities or face other repercussions when grades arrive late.

A quick reference guide, training manual, and other grading information are available online to assist faculty with grading.  If you have any questions please contact or call 581-8969 for assistance.

Visit  for online modules and resources. Topics include the basics of the flipped classroom, finding other flippers and flipped resources in your discipline, how to flip for all learning styles, active learning techniques, technology and creation of video lectures, planning content for the flipped lecture and face to face experiences, using assessment to improve your flipped classroom, and taking the leap to fully flip. Each module takes about an hour.

FLIP & CHIPS Lunchtime “crash course,” May 19 – 23.

Experience the flipped classroom yourself while you learn to flip your class.  Watch or read online content first, then join an in-person or online discussion. There is no cost and modules are freely available. To register for FLIP & CHIPS, please email Melissa Johanson.


Chocolate: The Exhibition at Natural History Museum of UtahMemorial Day Weekend
May 24 – May 26

Celebrate Memorial Day weekend with the Natural History Museum of Utah. Activities begin at noon and end at 4 p.m. Click here for more information.

  • Chocolate tastings in the special exhibits gallery.
  • Hands-on activities for all ages—cocoa grinding, residue tests, and more.
  • Chocolate experts on hand sharing their knowledge of the plant, the products, and the culture of chocolate.
  • Mayan Dancers


Salt Lake Tribune’s Online Book Club
“Seven Summers” by Julia Corbett, U communication professor

TheTribune’s Jennifer Napier-Pearce hosts a live video chat at on Julia Corbett’s book, May 30 at 12:15 p.m.

Corbett, a U communication professor, writes about fleeing Salt Lake City every summer — pets and power tools in tow — to build a cabin in Wyoming. Like a contemporary homesteader, the writer wrestles with rural sexism and her own naivete while she’s carefully observing the rhythms of wildlife and the seasonal changes on her property.


Time to Update Your CenturyLink Dex White Pages Listings 

The deadline to submit your additions, corrections, or deletions for the CenturyLink Dex 2014-2015 Salt Lake City White Pages is May 16, 2014. The charge is $6.00/month per listing line. Please email changes to


Gretchen_7UMFA Executive Director Selected for Prestigious Getty Leadership Institute

The Utah Museum of Fine Arts is pleased to announce executive director Gretchen Dietrich has been selected as one of 39 museum executives worldwide for the Getty Leadership Institute’s 2014 Executive Education Program for Museum Leaders. Dietrich is the first woman from Utah chosen for the program.

The GLI 2014 Executive Education Program, the world’s foremost professional development program for senior-level museum executives, features a comprehensive and intensive curriculum aimed at deepening participants’ leadership skills in order to manage change and forge success in the global museum field.


Two New Deans Announced

Keith_Diaz_Moore_imgKeith Diaz Moore will join the U as the next dean of the College of Architecture + Planning. He will begin on August 1, 2014.

Diaz Moore joins the U from the University of Kansas, where he has been a faculty member of the department of architecture since 2006. He has also served as both the chair of the department of architecture and associate dean for graduate studies in the School of Architecture, Design and Planning.

“We are pleased to have Dr. Diaz Moore join the great team of architects, planners, scholars and educators that comprise our amazing college,” said Ruth Watkins, senior vice president of academic affairs. “He is energetic and inclusive in his leadership style, and the focus of his work on aging populations is an excellent fit for our community.”


HenrySWhiteHenry S. White, a distinguished professor of chemistry and former chair of the University of Utah’s chemistry department, will serve as the new dean of the university’s College of Science starting July 1.

“The college has excellent faculty, students and staff, and I would like to see us work together on new initiatives so the university will be recognized internationally as an institute of the highest caliber in sciences and mathematics education and research,” says White, an electrochemist who joined the university’s faculty in 1993.

“This will require continued efforts in recruiting and retaining the most creative and diverse faculty, as well as the recognition of the growing importance of multidisciplinary and collaborative research with new partners across campus – and beyond – on diverse topics such as drug discovery and alternative energy,” he adds.

Academic Senate Agenda


May 5, 2014

1. CALL TO ORDER: 3:00 p.m. in 1750 HSEB

2. MINUTES: April 7, 2014



a. Appendix I:  Resignations, Administrative and Faculty Appointments

b. Appendix II: Career-line, Adjunct and Visiting Faculty Appointments

c. Appendix III: Emeritus Appointments




8. SPECIAL ORDERS – Annual Elections

a. Election of Senate President-elect

b. Election of Senate Executive Committee

c. Election of Senate-elected Committees (instructions for online voting)


a. Revisions to Policy 6-203 and 6-201


a. Faculty Review Standards Regulations, Policy 6-303, 6-310,& Rule 6-310

b. Proposal for BA Program Consolidation of Middle East Studies

c. Revised Proposal for Second Language Teaching and Research Center (L2TReC)

d. Athletics Advisory Committee Charter Revisions

e. Honors Integrated Minor in Ecology & Legacy

f. Discontinue Communication Minors and Teaching Degrees

g. Proposal for a Combined BS/MS in Chemistry

h. New Department of Entrepreneurship and Strategy

i. Dual Degree for MRED and JD

j. New emphasis in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner


a. Student Textbook Savings Committee Report

b. Rule 5-200B Paid Time Off (PTO), Holidays, and Other Paid Leave for University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics Staff Members

c. Report of the Senate Activities for AY 2013-2014


a. April 2014 President’s Report

b. Announcement of President-Elect and Executive Committee



Campus Construction Updates


  • Parking and transportation during commencement: All lots, including pay lots and meters, will be open to the general public at no charge Thursday, May 1, and Friday, May 2. Where possible, employees are encouraged to take public transportation. More details are available here.
  • Minor preparation for the new Basketball Training Facility has begun to the north of the Huntsman Arena. Construction for this project will close a portion of the sidewalk directly to the south of HPER East. After commencement, a small number of parking stalls in the northeast corner of the parking lot east of the Huntsman Center will be closed to serve as staging for construction materials.
  • Soon after commencement, a project to install a chilled water distribution system will begin to move through the southeast quadrant of campus. The chilled water is piped to buildings to provide cooling and air conditioning. Installation of the system will begin near the Field House and will move north toward the Emery Building on Presidents Circle. The project will be complete in the fall. In May, check the Facilities Management website for more information on this project and accessible routes in the area.



  • Parking between the Fieldhouse and the law building is temporarily open. A limited number of parking spots near the new law building remain closed, and most spots will close again after May 24. Vehicles can park in the stadium lot while construction is underway.
  • Ten parking spaces on the west end and 10 spaces on the northeast corner of the parking lot to the north of Merrill Engineering will be closed as part of a staging area for campus construction projects. The parking spaces on the west end will reopen in June. The parking spaces in the northeast corner will be unavailable through 2015.

Public Transportation

  • The campus shuttle and UTA bus stop at the Fieldhouse will be closed for the duration of construction on the law building (through early 2015). Instead, use the existing stop around the corner on University Street to catch red and green shuttles.

Sidewalks and Pedestrian Traffic

  • The south side of the sidewalk in front of the Pioneer Memorial Theatre is temporarily closed while a new route is constructed. The new route will improve accessibility from University Street to the theatre for people with disabilities. Access to the west side of the theatre will remain open during construction. The project is scheduled to be completed by April 30.
  • One of the sidewalks between the Union and OSH will be closed temporarily while improvements are made that will enhance accessibility for people with disabilities. Construction will be completed mid-summer.
  • The sidewalk and road along the east side of the George S. Eccles Student Life Center are closed. Pedestrians approaching from Trax or Legacy Bridge are routed south and east between the Donna Garff Marriott Honors Residential Scholars Community and the soccer field.
  • The south entrance to the law building remains closed for the duration of construction (through early 2015). The sidewalk on the north side of the law building is open and has been reconstructed to be accessible for people with disabilities.

Construction and New Buildings

  • The Critical Infrastructure Upgrade continues to move through campus with current work at the substation on the east side of Rice-Eccles Stadium, near Life Sciences and along Ft. Douglas Boulevard. Landscape crews will soon re-sod, replace and enhance disrupted areas.

More Information

  • Have a maintenance issue that needs to be addressed? Fill out a work request to get the project started.
  • A map of construction zones and timeframes is available here.
  • For more information on current or upcoming projects click here.
  • Connect with Facilities Management on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Visit Commuter Services’ website for detailed information about parking, alternative transportation, events and more.

The U to Graduate 7,947 Students

commecementGeneral commencement ceremonies at the University of Utah will be held on Thursday, May 1 at 6:30 p.m. in the Jon M. Huntsman Center.

Scheduling the event in the evening continues a tradition begun in 2013 to make the ceremonies more readily accessible to students and their families. Commencement is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

“Commencement is the capstone of our students’ experience at the U,” says David W. Pershing, University of Utah president. “We want the ceremony to reflect that and for the celebration to be among the highlights they will remember as they begin the next stage of their lives.”

By the numbers

The class of 2014 is comprised of 7,947 graduates from 76 countries, 50 U.S. states and 28 Utah counties.

A total of 8,398 degrees will be conferred, more than the number of students as some receive more than one degree. There will be awarded 5,417 bachelor’s degrees; 2,045 master’s degrees; 673 doctorates; 127 juris doctorates; 79 doctors of medicine; and 57 doctors of pharmacy.

Of this year’s graduates, 4,280 are men and 3,667 are women. The average age of bachelor’s degree recipients is 26; the youngest undergraduate is 15, the oldest is 70. The average grade point average for this group is 3.3. The average age of students receiving graduate degrees is 32. The youngest student receiving a graduate degree is 21 and the oldest is 71.

The largest number of undergraduate degrees awarded were in the following 10 departments, respectively: psychology, communication, human development and family studies, economics, nursing, exercise and sports science, accounting, biology, sociology and mechanical engineering.


University of Utah President David W. Pershing will officiate at the commencement.

The featured speaker is Alex Smith, University of Utah graduate, philanthropist and quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs.

The student speaker is Janine Henry who is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in strategic communication and a minor in writing. Her speech is entitled “For the Small Things.”

Schedule for college convocations

Individual college convocations are scheduled on the following days, times and locations:

Thursday, May 1, 2014:

  • Social & Behavioral Science, graduate students: 10 a.m. Kingsbury Hall

Friday, May 2, 2014:

  • Architecture + Planning: 3:00 p.m., Olpin Union Ballroom
  • David Eccles School of Business: 4:30 p.m., Jon M. Huntsman Center
  • Education: 6:00 p.m., Kingsbury Hall
  • Engineering: 7:00 p.m., Jon M. Huntsman Center
  • Fine Arts: 1:00 p.m., Kingsbury Hall
  • Health: 11:30 a.m., Jon M. Huntsman Center
  • Humanities: 2:00 p.m., Jon M. Huntsman Center
  • Mines and Earth Sciences: 12 noon, Olpin Union Ballroom
  • Nursing: 8:00 a.m, Kingsbury Hall
  • Pharmacy: 9:00 a.m., Olpin Union Ballroom
  • Science: 3:30 p.m., Kingsbury Hall
  • Social and Behavioral Science undergraduates: 9:00 a.m., Jon M. Huntsman Center
  • Social Work: 10:30 a.m., Kingsbury Hall

Friday, May 9, 2014:

  • S. J. Quinney College of Law: 10:00 a.m., Kingsbury Hall

Saturday, May 24, 2014:

  • School of Medicine: 10 a.m., Kingsbury Hall.

Transportation and parking Campus parking lots may be used at no charge during commencement and convocation ceremonies. As campus parking is limited, visitors are encouraged to use the free U shuttle service to travel between commencement events. Shuttles run throughout campus and are scheduled every 10 minutes. The U campus is a TRAX free fare zone on May 1 and 2.

Those unable to attend commencement will be able to watch the live stream on the university’s website here or watch the rebroadcast on KUED Channel 7 Saturday, May 3, 2013 at 5:30 p.m.

2014 Faculty Awards and Honorary Degrees

2013commencement23wHonorary degrees will be presented to H. Roger Boyer, doctor of business; Richard E. Kendell, doctor of humane letters; Alex Smith, doctor of humane letters, and posthumously to Lewena “Tye” Noorda, doctor of fine arts.

The Rosenblatt Prize for Excellence, a $40,000 cash award and the most prestigious honor the university bestows on its faculty, will be announced May 1.

The Distinguished Teaching Award recipients for this year are: Vincent Cheng, Shirley Sutton Thomas professor of English; Joel M. Harris, distinguished professor of chemistry; Christine A. Jones, associate professor of French; and William Jeff Metcalf, assistant professor of English.

The Calvin S. and JeNeal N. Hatch Prize in Teaching is awarded to Theresa A. Martinez, associate professor of sociology.

The Distinguished Scholarly and Creative Research Award recipients are: Andres Villu Maricq, professor of biology; and M. Denise Dearing, professor of biology.

The Distinguished Innovation and Impact Award recipients are: V. Kim Martinez, associate professor of art and art history; and Glenn D. Prestwich, presidential professor of medicinal chemistry.

The Distinguished Faculty Service Award goes to Hester L. Henderson, associate professor of exercise and sport science.

The Distinguished Professors are: Ellen Bromberg, modern dance; Chris Ireland, medicinal chemistry; Gary Keck, chemistry; Timothy Smith, psychology;  and Hong Yong Sohn, metallurgical engineering.

The Early Career Teaching Award recipients are: Beverly Brehl, family and consumer studies; Kyle Dawson, physics and astronomy; Alf Seegert, English; and Courtenay Strong, atmospheric sciences

Ute Indian Tribe and U Renew Agreement

Ute TribeThe University of Utah and the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation jointly announced they have signed a memorandum of understanding allowing the University to continue using the name “Utes” for its sports teams.

The agreement was signed by David Pershing, president of the U, and Gordon Howell, chairman of the Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee, at an event in Fort Duchesne, Utah, headquarters of the Ute Indian Tribe.

“The Tribe applauds the University’s commitment to respecting the Ute name and culture and to using the name in a manner that accounts for and promotes the interests of the Tribe,” said Howell. “This agreement will do a lot to promote positive educational opportunities for Ute and other American Indian youth and will enhance the positive working relationship between the Tribe and the University.”

“The University is honored to be allowed to continue using the Ute name, which the school has done with Ute Tribe support since 1972,” said Pershing. “We have pledged to do so with the utmost respect, recognizing that the Ute name is at the core of the cultural identity of the Tribe and its members. In return, we are working actively with the Tribe to promote and support access to higher education among its members.”

One key to the agreement is an education campaign for campus and fans about the history of the Ute Indian Tribe, as well as communicating standards for appropriate fan behavior. The campaign aims to promote cultural understanding in order to avoid behaviors and misunderstandings that dishonor the Ute and other American Indian populations.

“An educated understanding of the tribal Utes — as well as other native peoples in this region — is fundamental to an informed history of our state,” says Pershing. “From that acknowledgement comes authentic and respectful fan behavior. ‘Go Utes’ is not simply distinctive shorthand for ‘Utah.’ It is a much-loved phrase that at its best recognizes — and values — the richness of Ute Indian history and heritage.”

The memorandum of understanding is a public document and is available online here.

Major points of the agreement:

—     Term is for five years, and will be reviewed annually.

—     The Tribe gives the University full support for the University’s use of the Ute  name.

—     The University commits to funding scholarships for American Indian students, including a permanent scholarship category for Ute Tribal Members.

—     The University will work with the Tribe to create enrichment and educational opportunities for tribal youth, with the aim of encouraging, inspiring and supporting them to lead healthy lives and to pursue post-secondary education.

—     The University will appoint, with approval from the Utah Tribal Leaders Council, a special advisor to the president on Native American affairs, who will serve as liaison between tribal leaders and the University.


The Ute Indian Tribe resides on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation in northeastern Utah. Three bands of Utes comprise the Ute Indian Tribe: the Whiteriver Band, the Uncompahgre Band and the Uintah Band. The Tribe has a membership of more than 3,000 individuals, with more than half living on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation. The Ute Indian Tribe operates its own tribal government and oversees approximately 1.3 million acres of trust land, which contains significant oil and gas deposits. The Tribal Business Committee is the governing council of the Tribe.

Hunting Our History

Grand staircaseStanding on a desert ridgeline in southern Utah with little vegetation visible for miles, one would be challenged to imagine the area under your feet as swampland.

More surprising yet – even for the researchers intimate with the region – is that most of the fossil animal and plant species discovered in the area known as Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument are unique; not found anywhere else in North America.

It is not a new idea that Utah was once on the shore of warm, inland sea, part of an isolated island-continent known as Laramidia. But the dinosaurs and other animals and plants being found there – dating back 75 to 80 million years – have confirmed a new idea; that this lost ecosystem is distinct from those found farther north in rocks of the same age.

That is the topic for “Dino Hunters” – a feature article in the current issue of National Geographic Magazine.

The story traces the footsteps of paleontologists on the hunt for fossils in this remote part of southern Utah who were aided for the first time by helicopter support made possible by a grant from the National Geographic Committee for Research & Exploration. Researchers from the Natural History Museum of Utah, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management have been working in the Monument for almost fifteen years, but have never before been able to access such remote parts of the Monument, where it is possible no other paleontologists have yet been able to reach, let alone with the equipment required to excavate their discoveries.

“For more than 14 years, the museum has been at work in Grand Staircase,” says Randy Irmis, curator of paleontology at the Natural History Museum of Utah and assistant professor at the University of Utah. “The discoveries there – nine new named dinosaur species and counting – have revealed a whole new ecosystem that existed 75 to 80 million years ago and tell a different story about the end of the age of dinosaurs in Utah.”

Read more here.

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