Utah State University News


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Utah Public Radio presents UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY NEWS - the podcast home for all of UPR's reporting on USU.   


Developing A Sars_CoV_2 Vaccine, Part 2

Apr 23, 2020
CDC Public Health Website

Medical experts have often expressed hope that a vaccine for the SARS_CoV_2 virus, which causes COVID-19, will be developed within the next 12 -18 months. What exactly goes into making vaccines that are both safe for humans and effectively provide a protective response to exposure to a virus?

Courtesy of Nielsen Family


Being a new parent can be exhausting. 


Jordan: “You’d be falling asleep and you’re so tired and then you have some kind of thought of, ‘Oh, he’s in the bed with us,’ and  you forgot that you put him in his crib, so he’s in the crib, but then you’re all stressed looking through the bed trying to find him.” 


USU campus activities are cancelled at a time of year when leisure outdoor fun is most popular.
Utah State University

The COVID-19 pandemic has displaced students attending universities and colleges throughout the state of Utah. Many of them are completing their last week as online students for the first time. Utah State University's Vice President for Student Services, Dr. James Morales spoke to Utah Public Radio about ways the university is working to meet student needs from a distance.  


COVID-19 has caused many students to face both acute and significant financial hardships. Many students have been asking if they could be refunded their student fees for the semester. Although Morales said this is not possible, USU is working to help students.

USU Updates On Fall 2020 Semester

Apr 17, 2020

When USU President Noelle Cockett addressed the university community Friday in a virtual town hall, a topic of concern was how the upcoming fall semester will be held. 

USU Town Hall With President Noelle Cockett

Apr 17, 2020

On Friday, President Noelle Cocket held a town hall to provide updates and answer questions related to COVID-19. You can watch the meeting here.

This isn’t breaking news, but every one of us is feeling some tension, a lot of uncertainty.

And if you are, so are your kids or, sometimes, grandkids, in the case of Vonda Jump Norman, an assistant professor of Social Work.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the Bear River Health District increased from 48 cases Friday to 52 cases Monday.  Utah State University has been asked to work with local health officials to prepare a contingency  housing plan  for non-emergency community sheltering should there be a drastic increase in the number of cases.

Robyn Hunsinger


Personal protective equipment is in high demand right now for essential workers.Community members are working together to produce the needed gear.      

A family enjoying the Logan River
Frank Howe


In 2011, extensive flooding in Cache Valley caused widespread damage to both buildings and land along the Logan River.  This led to the formation of the Logan River Task Force; this group of Utah State University scientists and other experts in riparian and river restoration worked with Logan City and Bio-West, Inc. (a local consulting firm) to develop a long-term restoration plan that prevented flooding while balancing both social and ecological values of the river.  


Three USU Aggies Named 2020 Goldwater Scholars

Apr 3, 2020
USU Today


Utah State University students Matthew Hogan, Andrew Kjar and Jenny R. Whiteley were named 2020 Goldwater Scholars in a prestigious national competition that recognizes outstanding achievements in science and mathematics. 

Utah State University has reported three coronavirus cases. USU made the announcement Tuesday that two cases had been confirmed.  That number has increased by one as of Wednesday.

"We have been expecting that someone would be diagnosed,” said Amanada DeRito, spokesperson with Utah State University. “At this point it was just inevitable."

First Cases Of The Coronavirus Confirmed In USU Community

Apr 1, 2020

Utah State University has reported its first two coronavirus cases Tuesday night.

One person is an employee who has not been on campus for more than 14 days, officials said in a statement. The other person is a student who lives off campus. Both are quarantining at home and have not been hospitalized.

Managers of a campus food pantry are asking for donations to help feed students and faculty who don't have enough money to buy food. 


There is lots of information about the coronavirus on the internet and it can be hard to discern what is accurate. Professors from the Department of Journalism and Communication at Utah State University shared some tips for how to tell what is fake news and what is not.

Utah State University President Noel Cockett released information on Saturday about ways the university would approach a Level 1 status in efforts to continue mitigation for the coronavirus pandemic.

Utah State Today

This moment in our history is, without doubt, difficult and uncertain.

It’s also, says social worker Vonda Jump-Norman, an “unprecedented opportunity that we may never have again.”

The National Institute of Health is spending $2.5 million dollars to work with USU's Institute for Antiviral Research on coronavirus treatments.
Sheri Anderson, Utah State University

Researchers at Utah State University’s Institute for Antiviral Research are at work testing antiviral compounds and licensed drugs for their effectiveness against the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), the cause of the Covid-19 pandemic. The institute specializes in developing animal models for testing antiviral agents and vaccines and is doing the coronavirus work supported by a $2.5 million research grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Nonprofits' Shelves Are Thinning, Too

Mar 24, 2020
Grocery stores unstocked due to panic-buying over the coronavirus.
prettyinprint / Flickr

As the global coronavirus pandemic continues, more and more people are relying on the services of non-profits. UPR’s Kat Webb has been visiting with different non-profit leaders in Cache County and today, our news director, Matilyn Mortensen, had a conversation with her about what she’s been hearing.  

USU Reschedules Commencement

Mar 23, 2020

Last week, Utah State University was among the eight state schools in Utah that announced it would not be holding commencement in the spring in an effort to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. University officials announced on Monday that commencement has been rescheduled for the end of August. 


Efforts to eliminate large gatherings continue across the state in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and on Wednesday all eight public universities in Utah announced their commencement ceremonies will be rescheduled or canceled. 

Shaking In The Valley?

Mar 20, 2020
University of Utah Seismographic Station Network

Residents throughout Utah were shaken out of their sleep by a magnitude 5.7 earthquake near Magna earlier this week. Feeling the shake in Cache Valley surprised and alarmed many northern Utah residents. Is northern Utah susceptible to a similar earthquake? 

USU Extension


After the earthquake in Utah on Wednesday morning, Utah State University Extension family andconsumer sciences educator Teresa Hunsaker provided the following tips. Hunsaker is a regular contributor to the  Utah Public Radio program "The Green Thumb."

With the recent earthquake near Salt Lake City, many people are wondering how they can be prepared if there are more to come.

Southern Utah University

Colleges and Universities in Utah, including the University of Utah, Utah State University, and Brigham Young University, announced Thursday they are no longer offering in-person classes for the time being. This in response to growing concerns about the spread of COVID-19, a strain of Coronavirus. Amanda DeRito works in Marketing and Communications at Utah State University. She says the change to online-only classes has caught professors and administrators off-guard.

Students at Utah State University who participate in Matthew LaPlante's crisis communication class have created a blog to share news stories about how COVID-19, or novel coronavirus, is impacting the community at USU.

USU COVID-19 Information Page

Mar 14, 2020
Cami, Flicker, creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Due to the rapidly changing nature of efforts to mitigate COVID-19, novel cornavirus, at Utah State University, a webpage with the most up-to-date information has been created. 

State Officials Announce COVID-19 Preventative Measures

Mar 12, 2020
USU President Noelle Cockett speaking at a press conference
State of Utah

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert says gatherings should be limited to 100 people for at least the next two weeks in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. UPR's Kerry Bringhurst tells us Herbert announced the measure at at a news conference Thursday where officials from the University of Utah and Utah State University said they are canceling in-person classes and moving the rest of the semester online.


Updated March 12, 2020

Classes Online March 18

Utah State University will move academic courses online on Wednesday, March 18. Classes on Friday, Monday and Tuesday, March 13, 16 and 17, will be canceled to allow faculty members time to move their classes into the online learning environment. This transition to online course delivery is part of USU’s efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to the campus community. The university will communicate directly with students as early as possible about when their classes will go online. 

USU Professor Featured On Academic Minute

Mar 4, 2020
Utah State University


The Academic Minuteone of the programs brought to you during Morning Editionand All Things Considered on Utah Public Radio, features researchers from colleges and universities, keeping listeners abreast of research and what's interesting and exciting. Hosted by Lynn Pasquerella, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, The Academic Minute features a different professor each day, drawing experts from top research institutions. 



Logan River’s Evolving Geomorphology

Mar 4, 2020


Logan River’s geomorphology, or landform, has changed very little over the past 150 years in the mountain canyons.  But where the river leaves the mountains and drops down onto Cache Valley’s floor, its geomorphology has changed dramatically.