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Experiential Learning


Creating a Family Home Built for Efficiency

Weber State students were honored with first place for energy performance, second place for presentation, and third place for engineering in the international Solar Decathlon Build Challenge sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.

In the challenge, student teams designed and built high-performance, low-carbon-producing homes powered by renewables. More than 100 teams, including those from Yale and Harvard, submitted detailed design proposals. From those, nine international teams were selected to build.

For the decathlon, 50+ Weber State and Davis and Ogden-Weber Technical College students, under the direction of Building Design & Construction professor Jeremy Farner, contributed to construct a net-zero home in central Ogden.

Wildcat alumni Melissa and Mark Haslam, who bought the home, are now enjoying energy costs of just over $100 annually or around $9 per month to connect to the electrical grid.

Community Education Covers Hot Topics

The College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, in partnership with WSU’s Division of Online & Continuing Education, held a series of virtual community courses, exploring relevant world issues with about 100 or more registered participants in each course.

“We offered these courses because we wanted to enrich our own — and our students’ — understanding of the issues shaping our lives,” said Susan Matt, history professor.

The first course, “Pandemics and People,” offered an overview of the effects of a global pandemic. Other courses examined polarization around the country, as well as the history of the civil rights movement and the continued fight for racial equality.

The college plans to unveil a new set of hot topics in fall 2021.

Approximate 2020–21 Course Enrollment

Pandemics and People

Politics and People: Election 2020


The Ongoing Struggle for Civil Rights in America


Why Are We So Polarized?

Strengthening Political Engagement During a Pandemic

The new leadership team at WSU’s Olene S. Walker Institute of Politics & Public Service hit the ground running with activities and events geared toward getting WSU and the surrounding community more engaged in and excited about the political process.

Devin Wiser and Leah Murray both took on leadership roles at the Walker Institute in 2020. Capitalizing on the political energy after the 2020 election, they planned virtual events and initiatives to get the community involved in civics and politics.

Walker Institute Events During the 2020–2021 Academic Year 

  • Voter Friendly Campus: WSU was designated as a Voter Friendly Campus for working to increase student voter registration through education and initiatives. The Walker Institute helped register 1,100 student voters before the 2020 election. 

  • Citizen’s Academy: WSU held a semester-long Citizen’s Academy course directed at community members, for which 95 students signed up. Attendees heard from speakers in different levels of government, including city, county, state and federal. 

  • Walker Civics Symposium: The center hosted a monthly symposium that featured high-profile speakers including Congressman Blake Moore, who attended to share his first-term priorities. 

  • Walker Economic Forum: This forum featured a panel discussion titled The Drying of the Great Salt Lake, which discussed current and future demands on the Wasatch Front’s water supply.

  • Presidential Art Competition: Local elementary schools submitted student art projects about students’ favorite presidents. Waldo visited the winning classrooms. 

  • Solve Climate by 2030: The center co-hosted Weber’s Solve Climate by 2030 event with the university’s Sustainability Practices and Research Center (SPARC). Speakers included Congressman John Curtis.

For information on upcoming events and initiatives or to donate, visit