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Regional campus professor wins prestigious award

By Boden Lamb

For the first time, a faculty member from one of Utah State University’s regional campuses has won Utah’s Carnegie Professor of the Year award.

Etchberger, a wildlife science professor at Utah State’s Uintah Basin campus, was honored at a reception at the David B. Haight Alumni Center on the Utah State University campus in Logan on Thursday.

Among those in attendance was Derrik Tollefson, an associate dean of the Uintah Basin campus who has a close relationship with Etchberger.

“We are proud to have him as one of ours and the Uintah Basin is lucky to have him here,” Tollefson said. “What sets him apart from other professors is his connection with his students. He leads by example and is a really easy man to get along with.”

Etchberger was given several gifts throughout the night, and the A atop Old Main was turned blue to show gratitude for his efforts.

Money for the USU Uintah Basin scholarship fund and a leg lamp — a replica prop from one of Etchberger’s favorite movies, “A Christmas Story” — were among the gifts that Etchberger received.

“This is truly a major award,” Etchberger said. “I was given a Red Ryder BB gun last year.”

The reception included remarks by many of Etchberger’s peers and former students.

The event closed with Etchberger telling several stories to the audience. His stories reflected his jovial-yet-hardworking nature and invoked many laughs from the crowd.

Etchberger was left nearly speechless near the end of the event as he tried to convey his gratitude to all those who attended the reception.

“This is making me hoarse,” he said. “I never get hoarse during lectures. Thank you. This is truly awesome.”

Utah State University boasts having more Carnegie award winners than any other institution in Utah, and has has won the award five out of the past six years.

-mdl