Utah Tech University


We interview students and faculty about their research.
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Faculty Highlight: Professor’s Research Looks at American Democracy

Jeremy Young

Jeremy Young grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona and was an award winning high school concert pianist. While attending St. Mary’s College of Maryland as a double major (history and music), his love of music eventually gave way to his attraction to history and historical research. He attended graduate school at Indiana University and joined the faculty at Dixie State University in the fall of 2016. Dr. Young also directs DSU’s Institute of Politics.

This past July, his book, The Age of Charisma: Leaders, Followers, and Emotions in American Society, 1870-1940, published originally by Cambridge University Press in 2017 was released in paperback. Research for the book included months of data mining through newspaper databases and archival collections. The resulting book shed light on the role that early charismatic movements played in American democracy. In addition to the book, Dr. Young’s recent essay entitled, “Why Democrats are Thinking About Electability All Wrong” was published as on op-ed in the Washington Post.

Faculty Highlight: Bringing to Light the History of Childbirth, Midwifery and Public Health in the U.S. Borderlands

Heather Sinclair

Heather Sinclair, Assistant Professor of History, is one of Dixie State University’s newest faculty members and she comes to DSU with an interesting background. After receiving her B.A. in History from Duke University, Heather worked as a midwife in El Paso, Texas and later received her Ph.D. in History from the University of Texas at El Paso. Her continued interest in reproductive healthcare in the U.S. borderlands with Mexico became the focus of her research and she brings to DSU a strong background in the U.S. borderlands history of childbirth, midwifery and public health.

This November, Dr. Sinclair presented a paper on the subject at the National Women’s Studies Association Conference in San Francisco and her forthcoming book, Birth City, examines battles in the twentieth-century border city of El Paso, Texas over reproduction, motherhood, midwifery, the medicalization of childbirth, infant mortality, and vital statistics viewed through the lens of race and settler colonialism.

Professor Sinclair also has a forthcoming paper entitled, “Barred from Birth: Mexican Women and the Restriction of Maternity Care in El Paso, Texas,” currently under review with the Journal of Women’s History. For more information, contact Heather Sinclair at heather.sinclair@utahtech.edu.

Faculty Highlight: A Discerning Eye for Movies

Tim Bywater

English Professor Tim Bywater has a critical eye for film and has been teaching film studies and film criticism for more than 30 years. This year, Dr. Bywater with University of Utah co-author Tom Sobchack published his fourth book. The Discerning Eye: Perspectives for Watching, Reflecting on, and Writing about Movies http://bit.ly/2Mi1xAP published by Kendall Hunt examines various perspectives for watching and critically reflecting on films. “Story driven fiction satisfies an undying human urge,” Professor Bywater points out in the book. “For ages, written literature was the primary source of these stories but film is becoming more and more the supplier of the public’s need for pleasures derived from stories,” he says.

The book is a result of almost 11 years of work and research. Professor Bywater’s motivation for writing the book was his love for his students and his desire to provide them with a useful resource. “Part of being an English teacher,” he says, “is to write and to communicate ideas. My desire to do that is why I created this book.” For more information contact Professor Bywater at bywater@utahtech.edu.

Faculty Highlight: Professor Shares her Passion for Geology through her Publications

Janice Hayden

Dixie State University Geology Instructor Janice Hayden decided in the 8th grade that she wanted to major in geology and become a professional geologist. Her experience growing up on a ranch, looking for survey markers and property lines on maps and her early fascination with earthquakes and volcanoes led her to that decision. As a result, she has had an amazing career as a Petroleum Exploration Geologist, a Field Geologist for the Utah Geological Survey and for the last six years, as a full-

time instructor of Geology at DSU. Her interest in geology is contagious. “Because we live on Earth, everything in life is based on geology,” she points out. “It boils down to how we can minimize the risk of living with geologic hazards and how we as a society choose to utilize geologic resources in providing goods and services. The impact of those societal choices has significant ramifications on the Earth system, including climate change. So what we do with the Earth has huge effects on our lives.”

Professor Hayden has spent her career communicating the importance of geology to others both as a teacher and as a researcher. She has an expanding list of publications that are useful to students, professional geologists and tourists. Her book, Zion National Parks Shuttle Stops – Landscapes Guide and Glossary published in 2017 is used by visitors to Zion National Park. Her most recent publication, as second author, is Introduction to Geology for Non-Majors, 4th edition, published in 2018 by Kendal Hunt. Her next publication, Inverted Topography in St. George, Washington County, Utah will be published this year in the Utah Geological Association’s Geosights of Utah.

Current research includes a flooding hazard study for the City of Springdale of the Virgin River corridor through Rosenberg Associates Engineering, a mineral study to meet BLM requirements for a proposed new reservoir site for Washington County Water Conservancy District, and involvement with the International Continental Drilling Program sighting a location on Sand Mountain to drill a scientific core through the Lower Jurassic and Triassic rock section working with geologists from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, funded in conjunction with the National Science Foundation. For more information, contact Janice Hayden at hayden@utahtech.edu.

Student Highlight: Junior Computer Science Major Models Spread of Dengue Fever

Ammon Taylor

Farmington, Utah native Ammon Taylor transferred to DSU as a sophomore from Weber State University. One day in his math class, professor Vinodh Chellamuthu announced that he was seeking a volunteer to take over a research project dealing with Dengue fever. The project included some scholarship money and Ammon was interested. The computer science major and math minor spent over 200 hours during the summer constructing a computer model showing the relationship between spread of the Dengue virus and temperature. The purpose of the model was to develop a temperature-dependent mathematical model that can predict the spread of the Dengue virus between mosquitoes and humans. The model could be used by mosquito abatement centers to determine optimal strategies to mitigate disease outbreaks.

Ammon first presented the results of his research this past October at conference in Bryce Canyon. Following that, he was invited to present his research in January, 2020 at the American Mathematical Society conference in Denver, Colorado. Ammon feels that doing research has been rewarding, “It feels like I’m actually doing something more than just passing tests. And I’m helping solve real problems,” he said.

Ammon plans to graduate next year, look for a job and possibly later attend graduate school. “Having some research on my resume will help either way,” he commented. For more info contact ammon.taylor@dmail.utahtech.edu or vinodh.chellamuthu@utahtech.edu.

Student Highlight: Math Major Noelle West has Multiple Opportunities to Present Her Research

Noelle West

Noelle West liked math in high school and saw her high school calculus teacher, Mrs. Genco, as a role model. Her teacher was influential in her decision to enroll in college as a math major. While a college sophomore in Michigan, Noelle read a paper by DSU mathematics professor Chellamuthu. “I thought that he was researching important problems and I was really inspired,” Noelle said, “so I decided to transfer to DSU.”

After arriving at Dixie State, Noelle met professor Chellamuthu and told him about the paper she had read. He invited her to enroll in his independent research class. As part of the class, Noelle conducted research related to the spread of the West Nile virus. Her poster, entitled, “A Mathematic Model of West Nile Virus: The Effect of Interaction Between Humans, Mosquitoes, and Birds,” won an Outstanding Student Poster Award at the January 2019 Joint Mathematics Meeting held in Baltimore, Maryland. In August 2019, Noelle again presented her research at MAA MathFest in Cincinnati, Ohio.

This past semester, Noelle revisited the model adding the effects of passive immunity and vertical transmission to the computer model and in January 2020 she was invited to present her improved model at the Joint Mathematics Conference in Denver, Colorado where she again won an outstanding poster award.

In addition to doing research, Noelle is active in leadership positions at DSU where she is currently Secretary/Treasurer and Past-President of the DSU chapter of The Association of Women in Mathematics. Noelle will graduate this June and plans to attend graduate school. “I’d like to eventually teach at a university,” she said. For more information, contact noelle.west@dmail.utahtech.edu or vinodh.chellamuthu@utahtech.edu


Research office

Email: research@utahtech.edu

Phone: 435-879-4488

Office: HCC 488