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Husband and wife work as USU professors

staff writer

Published: Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 12:04


PROFESSOR ANDY ANDERSON sits in his office. Anderson and his wife both work at USU as professors. MICKELLE YEATES photo



USU biology department professor Andy Anderson and his family have excelled in their intellectual fields due to dedication and passion for their work.

“My wife, as I tell everyone, is the better half of our family,” Anderson said. 

Andy’s wife Sher Anderson teaches classes out of their house on natural childbirth, nutrition and mother-daughter puberty topics, Anderson said.

“A lot of mothers and daughters have a lot of trouble talking about puberty and my wife gets them going, gets a bunch of them in the room and they all work it out,” Anderson said.

Sher Anderson comes to USU and gives lectures on midwifery and on natural childbirth. She is an RN and she was an active midwife for many years, but is now more into education.

“She’s very good at what she does,” Anderson said. “People call nonstop and it’s never for me.” 

The Andersons have two children, Lucas and Lara.

“Lucas is a mechanical engineer and he’s working on his thesis this very week to complete his masters degree,” Anderson said. “He is working very industriously on his masters thesis, and then I have a daughter who is much smarter than I am.”

Lara Anderson is a theoretical physicist and was the first Rhodes Scholar from USU in the last 20 years. She went to the University of Oxford in England for four years to do theoretical physics and then attended the University of Philadelphia for a postdoc. She is currently doing postdoc work at Harvard.

“She even married a theoretical physicist in England,” Anderson said. “Yes, we fear for the children.”

Anderson said he can’t take credit for his children’s accomplishments: It’s really his wife who influenced them. 

“She started when they came out and kept homeschooling them until they took their test for college admission and they were homeschooled the whole time: turned out very well,” Anderson said.

Anderson has a Ph.D. in medical microbiology. He now teaches human anatomy, human dissection, human physiology, bioethics, advanced human physiology and elementary microbiology at USU. He is also the pre-health advisor for students interested in preparing for medical school or dental school. 

“One of the reasons I enjoy my job so much is if you’re exposed to a lot of different classes you start to find out that everything’s connected,” Anderson said. “You’ll hear a thing in one class and then you’ll hear it in another class in a different way, and another class in a different way. I always am thrilled to find something in one class relates to another.”

Anderson loves the subjects he teaches and enjoys teaching so many classes. He likes seeing how the concepts from all the different classes work together and incorporate into each other, he said.

“Andy requires a lot because he teaches so well, so a lot of people will complain that Andy’s tests are really hard and unbeatable, but he can make his tests so challenging because he teaches at a very high level and expects his students to put the time needed to do well,” said Chance Christenson, a pre-medical student at USU and Anderson’s teaching assistant.

As Anderson’s teaching assistant, Christenson said he sees how intelligent and passionate Anderson is about what he teaches. Because of this, he expects an amount ot excellence out of his students and is willing to go above and beyond to help students who are really putting forth the effort to learn the material, Christenson said.

“The material is very interesting and Andy is a great teacher,” Christenson said. “It’s just a matter of understanding it to a broad depth.” 

The whole goal is to drive the students to passion. Employers are looking to see how passionate applicants are about what they do, Anderson said.

“I mean a lot of people are doing classes just because someone told them to but actually have a story or a job and to really want to do it every morning,” Anderson said. “That’s what everybody wants — to have passion.”



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