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ITLS Spotlight: Andy Walker

09/10/2020

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Andy Walker backyard under renovation
Walker's backyard in the renovation process

Dr. Andy Walker is the head of the Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences department, part of the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services at Utah State University.

Walker started at USU as a graduate student in 1998. After finishing his PhD, he took a job at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. He had the opportunity to come back to USU and the ITLS department as a faculty member in 2005. “I have really enjoyed my time here,” he said. “This department is full of good human beings who honestly care about their students. I’ve found that attitude is infectious and gets passed on to our students, too.”

Walker grew up where “all of the Boeing planes come from” — south of Seattle in a town called Renton, Washington. It doesn’t take much of an excuse for Walker to return to his native town, nevertheless he truly considers Logan to be his hometown where he gladly resides.

The city of Logan and USU have played important roles in the lives of all of Walker’s family. His wife received her MFT degree at USU and is currently working as a marriage and family therapist. Walker’s son lives and works nearby in Logan, and his daughter lives at home while pursuing her degree at USU.

Something that has helped Walker get through the pandemic is spending time with his two Soft-coated Wheaten Terriers, Juno and Ruth Bader Ginsberg (both of whom can be found on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter). Another thing that has helped keep him sane is lifting heavy concrete blocks to renovate his yard.

When asked to give some encouragement to those being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Walker responded, “One: If you forget what day it is—don’t be embarrassed. You are not alone. Two: Surround your virtual self with people who have that added bit of kindness, and limit your time with people who are spoiling for a fight. And Three: Wear a mask when you are in a public space. We don’t have a vaccine yet, and it’s one of the few ways to keep your loved ones safe and keep USU open.”