Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology Winners Announced

The award program is celebrating its 30th anniversary

SALT LAKE CITY (Jan. 5, 2017)—Gov. Gary R. Herbert, along with the Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) initiative and the Governor’s Office for Economic Development (GOED), today announced the winners of the 2016 Governor’s Medals for Science and Technology. The medals will be presented to 11 individuals and one company at a 30th anniversary awards dinner on Jan. 18.

“The medal recipients are true leaders in innovation, serving as educators, mentors and influencers statewide,” Gov. Herbert said. “Innovation drives Utah’s thriving economy and unmatched quality of life. I commend the winners for excellence in their fields and for their important work, which will benefit Utah residents for generations.”

Since 1987, the Governor’s Medals for Science and Technology have been awarded to residents and companies who have provided distinguished service or made significant contributions to Utah’s advanced scientific and technological knowledge, education and industry. Nominations are reviewed by an advisory panel before formally presenting winners to the governor.

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This year’s 12 medals are awarded in the categories of academic/research, higher education, K-12 education, industry, government and one special recognition. The 2016 recipients are:


  • Cynthia Burrows, Ph.D.—Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry, University of Utah
  • Cynthia Furse, Ph.D.—Associate Vice President for Research, University of Utah
  • Timothy McLain, Ph.D.—Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Brigham Young University
  • Terry Messmer, Ph.D.—Professor and Extension Wild Life Specialist, Utah State University | Director, Utah Community-Based Conservation Program
  • John Morrey, Ph.D.—Research Professor, Director of the Institute for Antiviral Research, Utah State University
  • Kyle Rollins, Ph.D.—Professor of Civil Engineering, Brigham Young University


  • Adam Beehler—Lecture Demonstration Specialist for the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Utah


  • Debra Spielmaker, Ph.D.—Professor, Utah State University | Project Director, USDA-National Agriculture in the Classroom Program and Team Leader, National Center for Agricultural Literacy


  • Lawrence Thatcher—CEO, Thatcher Group


  • ENVE Composites—Ogden, Utah


  • Robert Baskin, Ph.D.—Supervisory Hydrologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Utah Water Science Center


  • Dr. Vivian Lee—Senior Vice President for Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine, University of Utah | CEO, University of Utah Health Care

To request individual interviews, please contact Michael O’Malley at 801-538-8879 or


About the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED)

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) charter is based on Gov. Gary R. Herbert’s commitment to statewide economic development. The state’s economic vision is that Utah will lead the nation as the best performing economy and be recognized as a premier global business environment and tourist destination. GOED provides extensive resources and support for business creation, growth and recruitment statewide, as well as programs to increase tourism and film production for the benefit of Utah residents. All administered programs are based upon strategic industry clusters to develop a diverse, sustainable economy. GOED accomplishes its mission through unprecedented partnerships. For more information please contact: Aimee Edwards, (801) 538-8811 or


The Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) agency advances the Governor’s commitment to maintaining Utah’s position as the best performing economy in the nation and be recognized as a premier global business destination. USTAR is a long-term, state-funded investment designed to strengthen Utah’s knowledge economy and create a technology ecosystem that enables ideas to seed, grow and thrive. Funded in March 2006 by the State Legislature, USTAR’s diverse portfolio of investments will recruit and retain top researchers to the State’s research universities; support technology entrepreneurs through training, funding, incubator and accelerator programs and broker technology transfer by connecting capital, management and industry.  For additional information please contact Justin Berry at

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