University of Utah, DSU partner in new physician assistant program

A partnership with the University of Utah will offer a new physician assistant program at Dixie State University.

Representatives from both DSU and the U of U are planning a new physician assistant program that will start in May 2018. 

Carole Grady, vice president of academic affairs, said the program will take a while to develop because it’s still ongoing. The partnership is not only between DSU and the U of U, but it also involves Dixie Regional Medical Center.

Grady said the partnership involves Dixie Regional Medical Center because DSU needs their physicians to be willing to help the students in the program, and they are. 

Dr. Steven Van Norman, chief medical officer at Dixie Regional Medical Center, said people from the center “look forward to the strength future graduates will bring to local healthcare in the coming years.”

Only 15 students will be accepted into the program initially, and if things go well, over time there might be a possibility of increasing the number of students that can be enrolled, Grady said. 

“The students will typically go through several months of classroom experiences, and then they will have preceptor experiences in the community with physicians,” Grady said.

Caylie Hancock, a freshman nursing major from Bountiful, said she thinks this program is a great opportunity, and students who have an interest in the medical field should take advantage of the program.

“It’s broadening the medical field and giving the students at DSU different opportunities,” Hancock said.

It took some “good connections” to start a partnership with the U of U, and it ended up benefiting both universities, Grady said. 

“From [the U of U’s] perspective, it gives them the opportunity to serve a part of the state that they haven’t been able to serve before,” she said.

Grady said this partnership will bring more opportunities in the near future with the U of U and also other universities.

DSU representatives are thinking about partnering up with the U of U again to offer its physical therapy program on campus.

“Outside of the health sciences area, [DSU] is partnering with Utah State University,” Grady said. “In January, they are going to offer their Executive [Master of Business Administration] program on our campus.”

DSU will also have its first opportunity to provide one of its programs to another college’s campus.

“We are just entering into discussions, with sort of a reverse idea, where we have been approached by Salt Lake Community College to offer our respiratory therapy program on its campus,” she said.

Grady said this partnership can provide a good example to other institutions.

“Sometimes we think the colleges and universities in Utah compete with each other; in some respects they do,” she said. “But on the other hand, this is a great example of the cooperation and collaboration that can happen among institutions.” 

New mentoring program plans to help freshmen succeed

Dixie State University’s Student Success Program has goals to make the college life easier for incoming freshmen.

The program kicked off last year as part of the Student Success Center. It aims to help freshmen feel more comfortable in the college environment through the use of student mentors. 

The majority of students in the program are specifically assigned to a mentor, but students who don’t have a mentor can meet with one if they need additional help. Mentors are assigned based on the student’s major. 

David Roos, enrollment services executive director, said the program is about student connection.  

“A lot of what the program is trying to do is get students connected with students and having them help each other,” Roos said. “We’ve found that younger students actually appreciate upperclassmen who come and help them.”

Roos said the biggest challenge for new students is making it past the first year.

“[College] is a big transition from high school,” Roos said. “It’s not always obvious what you need to do to make it through that first year.”

Other schools in Utah, such as The University of Utah and Brigham Young University, also use success workshops and programs to enhance a student’s college experience. 

Roos said the other success programs in Utah gave him inspiration to start the Student Success program at DSU.

“You don’t have to look very far to see examples of programs that are working,” Roos said. “We’re working to emulate some of the things we’ve seen that are working.”

Roos said other programs are targeting students that are more at-risk for dropping out of school, as well as at risk courses— courses that are a struggle for many students. 

Programs that target at-risk courses are called supplemental instruction. Roos said he would like to have more supplemental instruction in the Student Success program as it moves forward.

Coy Cox, a junior criminal justice major from St. George, said he enjoys being a Student Success mentor.

“One reason I like [mentoring] so much is remembering what it was like to be in my first semester of college not really understanding how things work and not really knowing where to get my questions answered,” Cox said.

Cox said it feels good to help students get help, especially due to the struggles he went through. 

“If [students are] struggling in class, it feels good to see them turn things around,” Cox said. “Being able to get the help they need and being able to do things that they maybe thought they couldn’t do before.”

Cox said the biggest issue is trying to “break down the wall” that’s preventing students from seeing the mentors as peers.

“A lot of the students we contact see us as an authority figure,” Cox said. “[The students] kind of have this mentality that ‘this guy’s trying to get after me because of my grades or attendance.’ They don’t really want someone they don’t know very well holding them accountable.”

Roos said his ultimate goal for the mentoring program is to see every freshman have someone to turn to for help. Getting students connected is a step toward success. 

Students interested in getting help from the Student Success program can email [email protected] or call 435-652-4691.

Storm football shattered at Homecoming

   Azusa Pacific University spoiled the Storms’ Homecoming hopes Saturday night. 

Dixie State University kicked off its final season in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference in upsetting fashion, dropping the conference opener to the Cougars 34-5. 

“We have to figure some things out,” head coach Scott Brumfield said. “We have to be able to throw the football, and we’ll try and work on that during this short week.” 

After a scoreless first quarter, freshman quarterback Blake Barney was intercepted for the second time, setting APU up with good field position. APU capitalized just a few plays later on a 25-yard touchdown reception by wideout Tarik Myles. Myles hit pay dirt again on the next possession as he wrestled the ball away from a DSU defensive back in the end zone, extending the Cougar lead to 14-0. 

APU scored again on the opening possession of the second half with a 15-yard scamper from running back Kurt Scoby, who wound up at APU after signing at DSU and spending the summer working out in St. George. 

On the ensuing possession, Dixie State turned the ball over deep in its own territory, setting APU up to put the game out of reach. However, the Dixie State defense stepped up to the challenge. The Storm stuffed Azusa at the goal line and took over at the 1-yard line. 

Senior running back DeJon Coleman took the first down handoff 59-yards in what could’ve been a huge momentum changer. Unfortunately, the Storm couldn’t capitalize as the APU defense held them to a field goal. 

Scoby found the end zone again, this time from 49-yards out, extending the Cougar lead to 28-3. 

One of DSU’s only positives of the night came on the next possession as the pass rush forced an APU intentional grounding penalty in the end zone, which resulted in a safety. 

Azusa took the wind out of the Storms’ sails just minutes later when Cougar backup quarterback Andrew Elffers took a read-option 70 yards for a touchdown to extend the lead to 34-5.

DSU came into the game as the top rushing team in the GNAC and continued to perform well in that facet, but its one-dimensional offense couldn’t find the end zone. 

Wide receiver Demarrio Hammonds, a freshman general education major from Oakland, California, said he was disappointed with the offensive performance after the game.

“The defense did an outstanding job,” Hammonds said. “They always make big plays and force turnovers, and our offense can’t click.” 

DeJon Coleman rushed for 106 yards while Barney and freshmen tail back Orlando Wallace combined for another 100 yards.

In total, the Storm rushed for 216 yards but were held to an all-time low 20 yards through the air.

DSU will attempt to get back on track Friday when the Western Oregon University Wolves visit Hansen Stadium at 6 p.m.

Volleyball starts conference season strong

Dixie State University volleyball began its month long home-stand with three conference matches last week. 

DSU opened up Pacific West Conference play with an exciting matchup against Notre Dame de Namur University Wednesday. 

The Storm dominated the first two sets, beating the Argonauts 25-17 and 25-14. NDNU flipped the script in the next two sets, winning 25-22 and 25-19 and forcing a decisive fifth set. 

The Argonauts came out hot, jumping out to an early 8-5 lead and looking poised to complete the comeback. The Red Storm had other plans. After a timeout, DSU went on a 10-1 run to fight off NDNU’s late push. 

DSU freshman outside hitter Taylor Duryea had 21 kills and seven digs in her home debut, junior Delayne Daniel posted another double-double with 19 kills and 18 digs, and senior middle blocker Makenzi Bird-Murphey finished with 12 kills, seven digs and a team-high five blocks. 

Bird-Murphey, a communication major from St. George, said that the win was a huge confidence booster for the team. 

“We haven’t done very well against [NDNU] for a long time,” Bird-Murphey said. “We were sick of losing, so this was big for us.” 

The Storm kept things rolling Saturday against PacWest bottom feeder Holy Names University. Dixie State downed the Hawks in dominating fashion by winning in consecutive sets, 25-16, 25-22 and 25-16. 

DSU finished with a hitting percentage of .299 while holding HNU to just .114. 

Duryea had another strong showing, posting a match-high 10 kills and a career-high hitting percentage of .600. Junior middle blocker Lindsay Jones added nine kills and four blocks in the victory. 

The Storm improved to .500 in conference play at 2-2 while dropping the Hawks to 1-10. 

DSU won its third straight match on Monday when they faced PacWest newcomers, the Concordia University Eagles. The 6-8 Eagles came out hot, jumping out to an early lead in the first set. DSU fought back and tied the game at 15 before pulling away to win the opener. 

The Storm outlasted CU in a tightly contested second set that was ended by a Duryea ace. After the Eagles dominated the third, DSU responded in the fourth set to avoid a decisive fifth. Dixie State recorded a season-high 91 kills in the victory, led by Duryea’s 11. 

“We showed just how good we can be this week,” said Duryea, a communication major from Logan. “Now, we need to do that all the time. This team is so fun to play with. We are going to do awesome things together.” 

DSU will attempt to extend its three game home winning-streak on Saturday at noon against Azusa Pacific University.

“God of Carnage” kicks off Dixie’s theater season

Dixie State University’s theater program pulled the curtains back during homecoming week.  

The opener premiered Thursday and is the first main stage production to have a student director.

Tiffany Herzog, a senior theater major from Brigham City, was offered the opportunity to direct “God of Carnage.”

“I was super, super terrified for all of it,” Herzog said.

The faculty department had confidence in Herzog that she could handle the stress and responsibility of being a director and determined she would benefit from the experience, said Michael Harding, an associate professor of theater and head of the department of theater and dance.

“God of Carnage” is set in France inside a family home. Two sets of parents come together to civilly discuss a brawl that occurred between their younger boys, and they slowly devolve into children themselves.

“It is really about maturity or the lack thereof,” Harding said. “Who is at fault? Is it the kid who is bullying, or is it the parent?”

“God of Carnage” differs from previous plays shown at DSU because it is contemporary and a “little harsher,” Harding said.

“Everybody is like, ‘more Shakespeare,’ but Shakespeare is naughty,” Harding said.

“God of Carnage” is a dark comedy rated PG-13 for language and a few graphic scenes.

Audience members also receive a different experience with the play being shown in the black box theater, instead of the main stage in the Eccles Fine Art Center. This allows actors and details of the play to be close and personal, Hertzog said. 

Planning for “God of Carnage” began at the end of March, casted for four actors and two swing actors, and has about 12 to 15 students involved in the production.  

Each of the theater productions at DSU is planned six months in advance with the next production beginning every two months.

“Barnum” is currently in rehearsal, “The White Whale” rehearsal will begin soon, and auditions for “The Country Wife” in late October. “God of Carnage” will be shown again Oct. 1 through the 3 at 7:30 p.m.

This upcoming season for the theater program is one of the most diverse DSU has had, Harding said.

“Barnum” is a musical with a circus plot, “The White Whale” is a devised play where actors follow the story plot but create the script, and “The Country Wife” is a restoration comedy.

“Being a university, it is our job to expose not only [the] community, but particularly our students to what is out there,” Harding said.

Harding said the program has changed a lot in the nine years he’s been involved. The growth will come now that DSU is a university, he said.

“Now we are poised to grow,” Harding said.