Rich Etchberger, a wildlife science professor at Utah State University’s Uintah Basin campus, has been named the 2015 Carnegie Professor of the Year for Utah by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
Etchberger, who created the wildlife science program at the Uintah Basin campus when he arrived in 1995, was presented the award during a ceremony Nov. 19 in Washington, D.C.
“I motivate my students to grasp the opportunities to change their lives, to earn a degree and to contribute to their community,” Etchberger said. “I have been extremely fortunate to work with an amazing bunch of undergraduate students over the past 20 years.”
That dedication and focus on his students’ successes is one of the many reasons Etchberger took home the award that salutes the most outstanding undergraduate educators in the country. As one of only 35 to take home the award, Etchberger is the 14th honoree from USU.
“Dr. Etchberger pioneered a very hands-on wildlife science bachelor’s degree at the USU Uintah Basin campus,” USU President Stan L. Albrecht said in a statement. “His vision has given local, often nontraditional students a route to professional careers they would never have been able to achieve otherwise. Graduates from his program now dominate the Bureau of Land Management activities and policies in the basin area, and he is responsible for balancing the basin’s environmental health with its newfound economic growth.”