Tuesday, March 4, 2014
|Rich Gordon by the Olympic rings|
When the Olympics unfolded in Sochi, Dr. Rich Gordin was there—both behind the scenes and in the stadium while Team USA made its entrance during the opening ceremony.
Gordin is a sports psychologist in the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Department, and he has supported more than one Olympic team over the last 26 years.
“It was a special thing to represent your country and be there in that kind of atmosphere,” he said. “The athletes were very excited about the games, as they always are. There’s a genuine Olympic spirit there.”
He’s hoping for one more chance to support U.S. athletes in the Olympics, at Pyeongchang, Korea in 2018. It would be a good way to round out his Olympic experiences, which started in Seoul, Korea in 1988. He worked with the US Gymnastics team at the time. It would be nice to start with Korea and end in Korea, he said.
This year he helped support the U.S. Nordic Combined Team. In 2010 he worked with the same team, which ended up taking home its first ever medals—four of them.
He was happy to talk about his time in Sochi—which was a lot more secure and comfortable than media reports might have led viewers to believe.
Sochi had two clusters—the coastal cluster and the mountain cluster. “I was in the mountain cluster,” he said. “Just getting from Sochi into the mountains was incredible. They had to make new tunnels for a train and busses and roads…. Everything was brand-new, and I suspect every hotel was new within the last seven years. … The hotels were the highest-grade hotels you can have. You can’t make them any better than that.”
How was the security? “It was immense. There were so many police and security people and the checkpoints… they did it well, without being intrusive, but they got the job done.”
Even spectators had to have a background check, credentials and tickets. “I never felt unsafe.”
He had the chance to be a spectator himself, most notably at the final hockey game between the U.S. and Canada. “That was one of the best games I’ve ever seen,” he said. “It was a tremendous athletic contest.”
|Gordin poses with Colleen Hacker, sports psychologist for the USA Women's Ice Hockey Team, during a |
happy moment when the United States was ahead. Canada won gold in the final minutes of the game.
As for the Nordic Combined events, it looked like 2014 was Norway’s year. “We’ll have four years until Korea,” he said. “We’ll see what we do.”
Gordin will give an on-campus presentation about the Sochi Olympics on March 21 in HPER 135.
Monday, February 24, 2014
The Utah State Alumni Association is hosting another free Linkedin photo day! Come and get a free head shot taken to add to your LinkedIn profile.
Find our booth at the Spring Career Fair, Wednesday February 26th from 9:30am-3:30pm
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
|James Birch is the principal at Herriman High. He completed his administration certification in the School of Teacher Education and Leadership at USU.|
James Birch was recently named one of three principals of the year by the Utah Association of Secondary School Principals. He is one of two Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services alumni to receive that honor this year.
He received the award after opening a new, fast growing school: Herriman High. Faced with a large number of new teachers, he took steps to make sure they received the mentorship they needed.
“Almost 80 percent of our teachers have three years experience or less,” he said. “It’s great to have that youth and that energy but you need to provide them with the tools they need to be successful.”
He asked an experienced, board-certified, award-winning teacher named Donna Hunter to put together a program—and the Herriman Institute of Teachers began. It would offer tips on everything from classroom discipline to purchasing a lunch at school.
Don’t discount the importance of lunch, Birch added. New teachers feel uncomfortable around lunchtime on their first day, not just because they may not know know how to buy it, but also because they may not have a friend to sit by.
The institute brings new teachers in twice during the summer to participate in group activities. Each session lasts for three days. Experts come in to deal with a variety of topics: where to stand in a classroom, how to manage hall passes, ways to pose a question that encourages participation. The teachers are paid for the time they take to participate.
The meetings introduce teachers not only to best practices in the classroom, but also to each other. It helps them find other people to eat lunch with.
During the school year, institute members get together once a month for an open discussion of issues. (They call it the OK Corral.) “It keeps provisional teachers and those new to the building up to speed on what is happening,” Hunter said. “We also have a little workshop on a teaching strategy. … Jim pays for refreshments and makes sure we have administrative support. This helps teachers feel like they are in the loop.”
Hunter also goes into the classrooms to observe teachers. She then makes an appointment with them to evaluate what she saw. “I send Jim a report and he follows up on any problem areas, or commends those who are doing well.”
Birch said the observations work well because Hunter is a respected teacher but not an administrator. Teachers can learn from her without feeling like they’re in trouble.
Teachers also have the opportunity to go observe in other schools. “They always come back with ideas,” Hunter said. “Jim pays for the substitutes and encourages the reluctant to participate.”
These steps toward mentorship got the school off to a good start. “We did this the very first year we opened,” Hunter said. “Our teachers were friends, they looked out for one another. … We also have had teachers who started out as weak or lacking skills that have been nurtured along because they were willing to take advantage of what we have to offer.”
The meetings have been helpful to the new teachers, but Birch has also gotten feedback from a teacher who left for a few years and then returned to the profession. The mentorship program helped him feel comfortable getting back into school.
Birch said he wants to give young teachers—and all teachers—a kinder, more inclusive experience.
“Being a consensus-builder is something that I’ve learned to do well,” he said. “When you don’t include all of your school community, you might as well get involved in a land war in southeast Asia.”
Posted by Eej Cehs
Friday, February 7, 2014
Here are the top 3 Aggie stories you may have missed this week.
1.USU professor to walk in Olympics opening ceremony
Utah State University Professor Rich Gordin is no stranger to the Olympics, but this year he will move out from behind the scenes to march in the opening ceremony in Sochi, Russia.
The professor and sports psychologist from the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Department was invited to accompany Todd Lodwick, an Olympic silver medalist and member of the U.S. Nordic Combined Team. Lodwick was named the flag bearer for Team USA on Feb. 5.
Read more at http://news.hjnews.com/allaccess/article_ab025ffa-8f9c-11e3-a925-001a4bcf887a.html
2. President Obama Honors USU Alum Steven Cannon with Top Science Award
Utah State University alum Steven Cannon’90 is somewhat surprised he’s been singled out for the nation’s highest honor for science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their research careers.
“I’m 48 years old so, among my fellow award recipients, I’m a bit old,” says Cannon, a plant geneticist with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research Unit at Iowa State University in Ames. “But since I’m on my third career, I am in the early stage of my current professional endeavor. And I’m truly humbled by this honor.”
Read more here http://www.usu.edu/ust/index.cfm?article=53579
3. Lifelong learner: Woman who graduated from USU at 98 died Sunday
A woman believed to be the oldest Utah State University student ever to receive a degree died Sunday at the age of 100.
Twila Brian Boston passed away in her home Feb. 2, according to an obituary sent to The Herald Journal on Wednesday. She was born on a farm in Loa, Utah, on Sept. 7, 1913.
In 2012, with the help of her granddaughter, she proudly donned a cap and gown at USU commencement exercises and accepted a B.S. in American Studies.
Read More at http://news.hjnews.com/allaccess/article_44edecfe-8ee1-11e3-adf9-001a4bcf887a.html
Read More at http://news.hjnews.com/allaccess/article_44edecfe-8ee1-11e3-adf9-001a4bcf887a.html
Thursday, January 30, 2014
|Photo Courtesy of US News|
It's February 1st and some of our New Year’s resolutions may already be out the window. But this year, why not try a new approach?
Most media outlets bombard you with reasons why this year you should be different, or smarter, prettier or thinner. In 2014 we suggest you try to be the same, just a little better.
You've heard the expression, there's no need to reinvent the wheel. And we agree. While it's always good to make and accomplish goals, reinventing one’s self every 365 days can be a daunting and repetitive task.
Here are 3 ways to set and accomplish a goal that makes the same you just a little bit better.
1. Find an area that you would like to improve in.
Contrary to New Year’s messaging, you don’t have to reinvent yourself every year. In order to actually accomplish your goal, find something that you are already doing well but would like to do better. Would you like to eat a little healthier? Or is giving back to your community on your to do list?
Choose an area where a little improvement will go a long way.
2. Make a Specific and Measurable Goal
Rather than saying that this year you “want to eat healthier” make a specific plan of action. “This year I will eat at least one serving of vegetables each day.” Or you want to get your finances in order, make a goal to save a specific amount each month. These goals, though not drastic, will be easy to measure. Your progress will be noticeable and easy to chart.
3. Lastly, make your goals attainable. Though most of us would love to say we’ve climbed Mount Everest or become fluent in Latin, these are not attainable goals for some people.
You can start by making a list of skills you already have. Are you a good cook? Do you enjoy teaching children? Are you a great seamstress? By starting with what skills you already have, you can easily make a goal that stretches you and enhances your natural abilities. And this makes it more likely for you to stick to your new year’s resolution.
Written by: Liz Wilson
Monday, December 16, 2013
Here are the top stories from last week. Five stories that will make you proud to be an Aggie!
USU Entomologists Discover Two New Wasp Species in Brazil
Click here for more information http://www.usu.edu/ust/index.cfm?article=53463
Utah State's Matt Wells Named Mountain West Coach of the Year
Utah State Faces Northern Illinois in 2013 Poinsettia Bowl
Click here for more info http://www.usu.edu/ust/index.cfm?article=53457
USU Administrator Receives Governor's Medal for Science and Technology
Click here for mroe info http://www.usu.edu/ust/index.cfm?article=53464
USU Professors Receive "National Geographic" Research Grant
Click here for more http://www.usu.edu/ust/index.cfm?article=53446