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New appointments for BYU's Freshman Academy

Academic Vice President Alan L. Wilkins announced two appointments in Freshman Year/Freshman Academy at Brigham Young University.

R. Steven Turley, professor of physics and former chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, was named associate dean of Undergraduate Education-Freshman Year, effective July 1; and Gary Daynes, director of service-learning for the State of Washington, was appointed associate director of Freshman Academy as of May 1. Both are recipients of Alcuin Fellowships for excellence in general education.

Turley replaces Clark D. Webb who is retiring in August, and Daynes fills a newly redefined position.

A former BYU honors graduate, Turley holds a Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He joined the BYU faculty in 1995 after nine years at Hughes Research Laboratories where he was a senior research staff physicist. His recent research has been in the area of extreme ultraviolet sources and optics; he has also done work in computational electromagnetics, plasma diagnostics, nonlinear optics, atomic, laser, solid state and intermediate energy nuclear physics.

Known for his enthusiastic and innovative teaching of Physical Science 100, Turley has also presented papers at national conferences on physics education.

According to George S. Tate, dean of Undergraduate Education, Turley is "simply an ideal person for this position. His administrative and diplomatic gifts are widely recognized, and his passion for first-year students –their challenges and potential—is both deep and contagious."

Turley is charged with spearheading the university's efforts to identify and evaluate the needs of incoming students and to find effective, collaborative means of addressing them. He also chairs the executive committee for new student orientation, a campus-wide cooperative undertaking.

Before his work with Campus Compact, first in Utah, then in Washington, Daynes, who holds a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Delaware, was a faculty member in the Department of History and also served as coordinator of American Heritage at BYU.

In these capacities he made important contributions to Freshman Academy, both as a teacher and an evaluator. He has published on historic preservation, service learning and the civic engagement of American students, topics that enriched his work with Campus Compact, where he helped develop service learning and civic engagement partnerships between institutions of higher education and communities. These endeavors were recognized with the Intermountain West Engaged Scholar Award.

According to Patricia A. Esplin, director of Freshman Academy, Daynes' "abilities and breadth of experience are valuable assets to the Academy as we seek to provide freshmen with an academic experience that helps them become well-rounded adults and connects them to BYU's rich intellectual, civic, social and spiritual resources."

The Academy, the BYU learning communities initiative for first-year students, currently enrolls about 40 percent of the freshman class.

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