Submitted by: Kerry N. Tobin - December, 2021
Professor, Manufacturing Engineering Technology, 1981 – present
The College of Engineering, Applied Science & Technology (EAST) has evolved through the years from a few students in small technology classes to a college with over a thousand graduates annually. The only two constants in EAST are the way we put the student first and change. Departments change with class offerings, subjects, faculty, and equipment. New Buildings are built and old buildings are used, torn down, and built again. Industry often drives the changes along with developing technology. History never sits still. The College tries to keep up with all the great things going on.
The students have become smarter and more tech savvy. They are still the most important asset at the university. They have been guided and instructed by caring administrators, faculty and staff (1940-2014) (2014-2021). EAST is now divided into seven distinct Departments, each serving a unique set of students. One of the experiences that EAST offers students is the opportunity to participate in “hands-on” design and build Senior Projects.
After 40 years of teaching at Weber State College/University, I had a desire to compile a historical record of technology at WSU and the people who made it happen. The main content starts with the appointment of a Dean in 1967 and continues to the present, 2021.
As I started doing the research for this project, I realized there was much more to the history than numbers and facts. In fact, the more interesting history was in the personal stories of the administration, faculty, staff and students. Over the course of several months I reached out to many people and asked them to submit their personal experiences as stories and/or anecdotes to this work in progress. I was pleasantly surprised at the responses I received. People are what makes an institution such as Weber State a great place to work, study and spend an important part of one’s life.
First of all, I wish to thank my wife, Shanna. Had I done this without her, no one would want to read it. She spent many hours at my side, editing and polishing it.
The scope and breadth of this history was made possible by the many contributors who shared their personal views and stories. Their submissions can be found throughout the EAST webpage.
Other people who helped make the project a success are:
- Kandice N. Harris, Weber State University Archives Coordinator, was the first person who shared and fueled my enthusiasm for the project. She had access to and provided me with valuable historical information.
- Alexis Stokes - Digitization Processor and Oral History Assistant, Stewart Library, Digital Collections. Alexis supported me from the beginning, providing additional valuable information.
- Diana Meiser, EAST Librarian, photographed and shared the Senior Project Hall of Fame.
- Peter Vanderhave - Instructor/Chair/Construction Management Technology. Peter worked behind the scenes to enhance the department’s webpage.
- John Kowalewski, Executive Director of Marketing & Communications, connected me with Paul Grua, Director of Athletic Communications. Thank you, Paul, for providing the Damian Lillard Hall of Fame acceptance speech YouTube link.
- Marni Tobin, daughter-in-law, proofreader of the anecdotes and histories submitted by the contributors.
- Ana Reyes - Web Designer & Communications Specialist guru. She worked patiently with me to create and tweak what you see on the EAST website.
In conclusion, over the 40 years I have been a faculty member plus six years as a student, I have had the opportunity to associate with a wonderful group of people who only get more interesting the more I find out about their lives. They are extremely talented in their endeavors and a fun bunch to work with. Their passion for their chosen professions and love of teaching make them interesting to be associated with. Even though they have a diverse set of talents, they all have a common goal. That is, to serve the student. We at Weber State know that the students are the most important part of a University, even though some of us think, on occasion, that we could get a lot more done without them. But we wouldn’t be here without them. All of the faculty in the various technology disciplines at Weber State know that graduates can (and several did) have a lucrative career working in industry. We find great job satisfaction teaching at Weber State. The students supply us with a myriad of experiences since most of them are considered non-traditional. Some of them own small businesses and many have worked for companies and have a lot of industrial experience. Most are in dead-end jobs and, upon graduation, get an increase in pay of 25% or more. They come to Weber State to gain an education that will allow them to make in impact on the community and industry.
I feel great pride at graduation times seeing the students go on to a career that will provide them with an increased income and job security.
If you have a personal story or anecdote to share, please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.
Kerry N. Tobin