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Weber State’s renaissance man

eric swedinProfessor Eric Swedin is a long time faculty member of Weber State University who has taught in four different colleges on campus. Long-time friend and colleague, Mark Stevenson, described him as a polymath, an individual who is a master of multiple disciplines.

Swedin is a Weber State alumnus with an undergraduate degree in computer science and minor in history. After graduation he moved to Arkansas for work but he eventually decided he wanted to pursue advanced degrees and returned to Utah.

“He’s so knowledgeable on topics, he’s able to lecture without power points or referencing many notes, and able to get the students engaged in the conversation,” Stevenson said. “I don’t know too many people who have taught in so many different topics; he’s truly a renaissance man.”

He attended Utah State to complete his master’s in history. After earning his degree, he pursued a doctorate in history of science and technology in Ohio.

Swedin has worked in the College of Engineering, Applied Science and Technology (COAST), Goddard School of Business, the history department and the English department.

He has authored 11 books, his most notable being, “When Angels Wept: A What-If History of the Cuban Missile Crisis.” The book earned a Sidewise Award for Best Alternate History.  “That book [When Angels Wept] led to a couple of documentaries which I consulted on and my book was used as a partial basis for the documentaries.” Swedin said.

Swedin has also worked on two different project with the Dean of COAST, David Ferro. Ferro and Swedin were co-authors on, “Computers: The Life Story of a Technology, and Science Fiction and Computing: Essays on Interlinked Domains.” His latest work is an alternate history about World War II.

“He is prolific, he can’t help but write every single day, and he is interested in everything and has a prodigious memory,” Ferro said.

Around five years ago Swedin suffered an aneurysm. After receiving emergency care, he spent a few weeks in the hospital recovering. He doesn’t remember or recall most of this time at all. He only knows what others tell him about.

“It was a miracle he survived and has a made a full recovery. I think the only thing from it, is he seems to get tired more often but he doesn’t let it slow him down,” Stevenson said.

Swedin has served on multiple committees at WSU, and has been extremely diverse in his career contributing to the creation of different courses and teaching for four different colleges on campus.

“He’s been very supportive of the university,” Ferro said. “I don’t think people realize the time and effort he has put into service on committees regarding network security, Computing Resources (ARCC), the Lynx Banner transition.”


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