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Students and faculty jockey for the journal

The annual conference of the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters brought colleges and universities from across the state to Weber State University on March 23.

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Staff checking in Utah Academy Sciences, Arts, and Letters Annual Conference participant. (Marisa Wolford / The Signpost)

During the event, students and faculty from Brigham Young University, Southern Utah University, Utah Valley University, Salt Lake Community College and WSU submitted papers to be considered for publication in the peer-reviewed “Journal of the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters.”

“It’s neat to have a conference at different campuses, so it’s fun to see and experience the environment that it provides,” said Nathan Thomas, associate dean of the Health and Lifetime Activities department at SLCC.

Those who submitted entries in the conference were also eligible to receive a cash award for the “Best Paper” in each division.

Division sessions included arts, biology, business, education, engineering, humanities/philosophy/foreign language, kinesiology and health sciences, language/literature, physical sciences and social sciences.

According to the Utah Academy Journal website, the program is a scholarly publication that is part of both the Wilson and EBSCO database systems. This allows research published in the journal to gain an opportunity for worldwide exposure and access.

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Particiapnts mingling before the lecture. (Marissa Wolford / The Signpost)

Participants met in the Wildcat Theater for the Distinguished Service Award and John & Olga Gardner Prize presentation. President-Elect and associate professor in English Rachel Keller hosted the award ceremony.

The first award was given to Alan and Jeanne Hall for their recognition of exceptional service to the higher education community in Utah. They established a foundation at Weber State to provide educational opportunities to the less fortunate and compassionate care to the community.

WSU history professor Gene Sessions received the second award for exceptional achievement by an academic professor in Utah.

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WSU President Brad Mortensen introducing start of lecture and speaker. (Marissa Wolford / The Signpost)

Sessions has been an ambassador for Weber State and Utah for giving his famous field trip along the Mormon trail to hundreds of students and interested individuals.

In acceptance of the John & Olga Gardner Prize, he provided an informal speech based off the Transcontinental Railroad.

Following the presentation, participants migrated to Tracy Hall for breakout sessions for the remainder of the event. Posters were hung in the Shepard Union for attendees to give a sneak peak at what they plan to showcase.

“The conference itself encourages everyone involved to find a talk that is being given that may be well outside their field and go learn something new,” said outgoing president of the Utah Academy Laine Berghout.


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