Weber State announces 2023 Brady Distinguished Professors

Three faculty members have been named Weber State University’s 2023 Brady Presidential Distinguished Professors, representing the fields of radiological sciences, psychology and electrical computer engineering. 

The honor was established in 2006 to recognize WSU professors who demonstrate the highest quality teaching, scholarship, research and community service. A generous gift from Rodney and Carolyn “Mitzi” Brady made recognition funding possible. The late Rodney Brady served as WSU president from 1978 to 1985.

Robert “Bob” J. Walker

Through 40 years of dedicated service to Weber State, radiologic sciences professor Bob Walker has demonstrated his commitment to students, peers and the university through impeccable instruction and teaching; scholarship and service; and dedication to equity, diversity and inclusion. 

His accomplishments include renaming the radiologic sciences department to the School of Radiologic Sciences, establishing the seventh Master of Science in Radiologic Sciences degree program in the country at WSU, and building one of the first 3D reconstruction and hard modeling labs for medical imaging technologists. Walker also helped develop a limited license to full certification Weber State program in Arizona, which enrolls first-generation college students, single parents and predominantly underserved populations. 

Honors include being named the inaugural Dumke Endowed Chair in 2014, Dumke College of Health Professions “Teacher of the Year” in 2018, and Fellow of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists in 1992.

Nationally, Walker was the youngest elected president of ASRT in 1992, which also earned him the distinction of the only person to be elected president from Utah. 

Walker celebrates the commitment of his fellow faculty members and staff in their joint effort to develop and deliver radiological sciences education around the world. The School of Radiologic Sciences holds a coveted top three program ranking at WSU for its number of graduates. The school saw a 34% enrollment increase this year alone.

Leigh Shaw

For over a decade at WSU, psychology professor Leigh Shaw has actively engaged students by promoting their natural curiosity and desire to learn. She is at her best when explaining to students the deeper conceptual issues in what appear to be everyday phenomena. Shaw is skilled in helping students recognize and appreciate the value of psychology in life and gets them excited about the discipline. Through this pedagogy, Shaw fosters students’ understanding of psychological theories, concepts and research, along with their ability to think like scientific psychologists. Her teaching style is so infectious that students hurry to register for her classes before they fill up. 

Shaw’s scholarship continues to be in demand as publishers, conferences and journals seek her review. Alone, she produced 75 papers, presentations and successful grant applications with students. 

Shaw has a passion for ensuring her students excel in general education coursework. Under her leadership as director of general education, the interdisciplinary WSU Course Program was developed, piloted and approved as a permanent addition at the university. She helped make Utah System of Higher Education history when collaborating with department chairs, college advisors and the Office of the Registrar to create a review process for transfer students’ general education petitions — the first of its kind at a USHE institution. She personally reviewed hundreds of petitions, enabling transfer students to earn attributes for courses that did not transfer as general education, making their road to completion less rocky. 

Justin Jackson

Electrical computer engineering professor Justin Jackson is lauded by students for his vast knowledge base, effective communication of course concepts, flexibility in course delivery and a willingness to help students succeed. He has supervised 29 senior projects, advised four graduate student projects and served on three graduate students’ committees. 

Jackson was instrumental in developing the Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering and single-handedly designed the four-year plan for the degree, along with required and elective course options. In collaboration with his colleagues, he developed and designed the two-year plan for the Master of Science in Computer Engineering and Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and designed the four-year plan for the Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering. He also developed two new graduate courses to support the Master of Science in Computer Engineering and helped advance an innovation center at Hill Air Force Base in collaboration with Lockheed Martin, Weber State and Hill. 

One of the highlights of Jackson’s 16-year tenure at WSU was working with the legislature to create the electronic engineering program. His current research includes software-defined radio, printed semiconductor materials, and very-large scale integrated circuit design. He currently works with undergraduate and graduate students on projects in these areas, including the development of networking protocol discrimination techniques in SDR for antenna characterization and 3D printed solar cells. 

Beyond academia, Jackson serves as a technical advisor for an elementary school’s vex robotics team and as a recruiter for engineering programs at several area high schools, Salt Lake Community College and Hill Air Force Base.