Campus briefs


Vitaly Churkin, the Russian Federation Ambassador to the United
Nations, will lecture at Utah Valley University’s Timpanogos Room
located in the Library on Monday, March 16, from 10-11 a.m.

“We and other universities [in the state] have been trying to get a
Russian Ambassador here for over a decade,” said Dr. Rusty Butler,
associate vice president for international affairs at UVU. “We are
very fortunate to have him coming to UVU.”

Churkin replaced Andrey I. Denisov in May of 2006 as the current
Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the U.N. Prior to
his most recent assignment, he was a Russian Federation
Ambassador-at-Large to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2003-06) as well
as Russian Federation’s Ambassador to Belgium (1994-1998) and Canada

“To have a man of this stature is, of course, a huge opportunity for
us at the university and for our students, faculty and others to
dialogue with him directly,” Butler said.

Churkin, who is fluent in Russian, French and English, is also the
chairman of the Senior Officials of the Arctic Council.
Churkin is a 1974 graduate of the Moscow State Institute of
International Relations. In 1981 he earned a doctorate in history from
the USSR Diplomatic Academy.

The event is open to UVU students, faculty members and the public.


Registration for summer classes begins March 25. In celebration, a summer kick-off is scheduled the same day, March 25, in the Courtyard from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for students to have fun and learn more about what UVU has to offer in the summer. J-Dawgs will be served at a discounted price along with snow cones. Also, shirts will be given out and representatives from the Office of Extended Studies will be available to answer any questions regarding summer classes.

Summer at UVU offers several benefits for those who choose to enroll. Some benefits include free summer parking, smaller classes and shorter semesters. Also, non-resident and international students are given in-state tuition prices.


When UVU’s Susan Rasmussen assigned each member of her nursing class to complete a five-hour service project as part of the course, she didn’t quite know what their reaction would be. While watching her class band together to make name cards for infants in Newborn Intensive Care Units (NICU), she saw it proved to be more than just an assignment.

“I thought maybe they were fulfilling a requirement, but when they
were through, everyone thought it was a lot of fun and we learned from each other,” Rasmussen said. “I told them stories about children in NICU and the difference they could make [in the children’s lives]. The whole purpose was for them to reach out.”

Under Rasmussen’s direction, nursing student Kimberly Northcott, a second-semester nursing student, organized the service activity as her honors project. Fellow students in her class collected paper and supplies from family, friends and faculty and even received donations from several local scrapbooking stores.

Twelve class members and seven volunteers gathered together Feb. 28, and in three hours made close to 200 handmade name cards to be placed on the isolettes of ill babies in a effort to help ease the stress of the parents.

“Walking into the NICU and seeing all the tubes and all the machines and seeing their baby hooked up to all these things is overwhelming for the parents,” Northcutt said. “If they see something that shows a little bit of care for the emotional side, I think it is really appreciated.”

Jenna Fankhauser, who graduates from the nursing program in May, has witnessed first-hand how name cards can make a difference in the lives the families who have children in NICU.

“I’ve been in NICU a couple of times and the parents and families
do appreciate it,” she said. “It’s nice to know you can help out
– not physically take care of them, but emotionally take care of

The students are putting the final touches on the cards, which have
boy, girl, twin, holiday and other themes, before delivering them to
area hospitals in Utah and Salt Lake County in the next couple of

National Briefs

Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi received three years in prison for an incident in which he threw his shoes at former President George W. Bush during a December news conference in Baghdad. He was sentenced for assault on a foreign leader. When he was sentenced he yelled, “Long live Iraq.” Many in the Middle East consider him a hero for displaying his anger about the U.S.’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003.

The international space station crew had a close call with space junk last Thursday. The three crew members had to take refuge for 11 minutes in an Soyuz escape capsule because of a threat of collision with a piece of space debris that was about one-third of an inch in width. The crew was able to safely reenter the space station after having retreated to the escape capsule.