Richard Ingebretsen was awarded an Excellence in Education award by the Latter-day Saint Student Association.
Each year, the LDSSA honors an outstanding educator at the U who demonstrates “superior teaching skills, dedication to students, enthusiasm for one’s academic discipline and the love of learning in general.” Ingebretsen was selected this year based on hundreds of recommendations and comments from students at the LDS Institute of Religion.
According to a biography distributed by the LDS Institute, Ingebretsen is a U alumnus with a masters and Ph.D from the Department of Physics and Astronomy. In 1993, he graduated with an MD degree from the U’s School of Medicine and completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in emergency medicine. He is now the associate dean for Student Affairs in the College of Science and is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. In addition to teaching, Ingebretsen is also an emergency room doctor and has a medical practice.
Outside of medicine, Ingebretsen is an avid environmentalist who founded the Glen Canyon Institute and is the vice chair of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. He also founded Wilderness Medicine of Utah, where backcountry medicine is taught.
Ingebretsen cared for his mother as her health failed and his brother Jim as he battled a terminal brain tumor. After his father died, Ingebretsen took the role of caretaker for his then-teenage brother David, who today has nothing but praise for his older brother.
“Everyone is convinced they are Richard’s best friend, because he treats everyone as if they are,” David Ingebretsen said. “I’ve spent a life as ‘Richard’s little brother,’ and I could not ever hope for or have a higher or more desirable title.”
Kim Baird, the Institute support specialist, described Ingebretsen as an intelligent man with incredible heart.
“Richard is truly an outstanding human being,” Baird said. “He genuinely cares for each one of his students and takes a personal interest in being a role model.”