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USU names new executive director for Moab, Southwest regions

FILE "“ Utah State University professor Lianna Etchberger has been named the executive director of the University’s Moab and Southwest region.
FILE "“ Utah State University professor Lianna Etchberger has been named the executive director of the University’s Moab and Southwest region.
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LOGAN — Utah State University professor Lianna Etchberger has been named the executive director of the university’s Moab and Southwest regions.

Etchberger, who begins her new role at the beginning of July, has more than 22 years of academic, professional and university service in the USU regional campus system.

She comes to Moab after recently serving as a faculty member for the biology department at USU-Uintah Basin. She was promoted to full tenured professor in 2015 after starting in the Uintah Basin as an adjunct lecturer in 1995.

“Dr. Etchberger will excel in her new role bringing innovative leadership skills and a wealth of regional campus experience to the Moab and the Southwest regions,” Laurens H. Smith, USU’s interim provost, said in a statement. “She knows firsthand the value USU brings to a community, and she embraces the regional campus mission of access and outreach.”

Etchberger earned a bachelor’s in microbiology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a doctorate in molecular biology from the State University of New York in Stony Brook. Prior to USU, she worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Arizona.

As part of the move, Moab will also gain a strong visionary and rural education advocate in Etchberger’s husband, Rich, who is also a USU vice provost.

“Having the Etchbergers as a USU resource in Moab will be a tremendous asset to the local community,” Smith said in the statement.

Steve Hawks , former USU-Moab and Southwest Region dean and executive director, will collaborate with the Etchbergers to ensure community needs are addressed. Hawks intends to return to teaching. He has also been charged with growing regional campus enrollment in the new master of public health program coming to USU in the fall. He will continue to reside and teach in Moab.