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Spring 2017

Volume 4, Issue 1

The Honors Review A Newsletter from the Honors College at Boise State University

In This Issue Launching into the Future 2 Honors Snapshots

A Note from the Dean In the last newsletter, I opened my note celebrating the fact that we had grown by 40% and welcomed a total of 560 Honors students to campus. This year we welcomed 720 Honors students to campus, an additional jump of 28%. Our dizzying numbers suggest that we must be doing something right, and that is gratifying for our hardworking staff and me. That staff has also grown to serve the needs of so many bright students. I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Shelton


Eating Critically

3 Smelling Fishy & Loving It 6

A Veteran’s Experience

4 Changing Directions


energy of excellent students Woods as our Interim Associate from across this campus. Dean. Dr. Woods has been at What follows in these pages Boise State for 22 years and in gives a testament to the that time has served as a professor of history and long-time varied experiences of our associate dean of the university’s students and the ways we try to support them. division of social sciences. He is one of the most popular teachers on campus, a prolific researcher (seven books to his name), and a true mentor to students. Additional new members of our team include Kate Huebschmann (English & Visual Art/Honors ’13), our new academic and fellowships advisor, and Anna Matejcek, the first ever Honors graduate assistant. What all of this amounts to is a program teeming with the Dr. Andrew Finstuen, Dean Boise State Honors College

The Honors Review

Launching into the Future Jenni Domanowski Senior, Materials Science & Engineering

To this day, I am

encouraged, pushed, and inspired by Honors College faculty and fellow students, and it is because of this

influence that I had the confidence to reach out to Barbara Morgan,

retired NASA astronaut and retired Educator in Residence at Boise

joke that I’ve taken a tour of the

U.S. by pools, but in all seriousness,

had otherwise if I weren’t a student-

just how much her guidance and

states across the U.S. and to

Because of the confidence she

experience firsthand what different

childhood dreams of working at

NASA into my reality. Growing up

in my small town north of Seattle, I had never heard much about Idaho

except for its famous reputation for

My first encounter with

Barbara began with me sheepishly

athlete. It was exciting to visit

would be the place that turned my


swimming provided me with travel experiences that I wouldn’t have

I never imagined that Boise, Idaho

State, during my early years of

areas of the country were like.

However, the most rewarding part was that I was not swimming for

myself, but for my teammates and

for Boise State—these experiences are the foundation of my pride in being a Bronco.

It was also during my first

asking for an autograph, unaware of support would impact my life.

helped instill in me, I have since completed three separate

internships at NASA Marshall

Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL; NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, OH; and NASA

Goddard Space Flight Center in

Greenbelt, MD. I have worked on projects that range from

potatoes. However, that all changed

semester when I was introduced to

investigating coatings and films

Boise State University, courtesy of

been under the impression that

engines and protect telescope

when I took a recruiting trip to

the Women’s Swimming & Diving

team. As I was welcomed into and

ushered around Boise, I fell in love

with the honest, hardworking spirit of the college, the tight-knit feel on

campus, and the surrounding

the Honors College. Initially, I had joining would place too large of a strain on myself as a student-

that will reduce heating in rocket components, to experimenting with

aerogel-infused, felt composites that

athlete and materials science and

will protect spacecraft upon re-

would have it, I was accidentally

trapped in forest fires.

engineering major. But as fate

placed into an Honors designated

entry, as well as firefighters that get Most recently, I returned to

discussion section, an event that I

NASA Goddard this summer as a co

part of this community, and upon

It was here where I was exposed to

Branch. Once I graduate from Boise

to attend Boise State.

organization, as well as the

permanent, full-time position. As I

beauty and genuineness of the city.

I wanted nothing more than to be a returning home, I made my decision I began my freshman year

fully embracing the fierce spirit and drive encompassing Bronco

athletics. While workouts were

rigorous and demanding, the thrill

of competing against schools nationwide made it all worth it. I like to


like to deem as a “happy accident”. the overwhelming support from this passionate belief in a meaningful education. I officially joined the

Honors College my second semester, and it was delightful taking classes that allowed me to connect my

university courses to the big picture of what my education meant to me.

-op with the Materials Engineering State, I will transfer to a

look forward to the future with stars in my eyes, I am grateful for my

experiences at Boise State and how they have allowed these stars to

actually materialize into a career path beginning at NASA.

Spring 2017

Thinking, Cooking, & Eating Critically Lisa Francis

Class of 2016

One of the ideals of higher education is

teaching students to be critical consumers of ideas and information. For many students,

The second half of the class was

spent in lecture as we ate our wonderful

creations. We learned about the history of

this lesson is limited to a shift away from .com

the ingredients we prepared, the cultures that use

Honors College pushes that ideal further. As an

the real thing over the food industry alternative. We

sources, into the world of academic databases. The

them in a variety of ways, and the nutritional value of

Honors student, I have been equipped to consume

took the level of analysis I am used to applying to

lens. This last semester, I had the opportunity to

industry of food and our own role in the machine of

history, media, vocation, and even logic with a critical extend that mindset into the world of food.

In the fall of 2015, I caught wind of a rumor

textbooks and journal articles and turned it on the America’s food system.

When we went home, we kept a daily blog or

that the Honors College was going to be offering a

journal on what we were eating, where it came from,

response was of skepticism because I could not

professor helped us gain insight on how we could use

colloquium on food culture and cooking. My first envision a manner in which the

Honors College could maintain its

standard of academic excellence in a cooking class. This skepticism was replaced with intrigue as I

learned more about the purpose,

why we were eating it, how we prepared it, etc. Our

healthier, more sustainable and simply

“The motto of our kitchen was, ‘If grandma did not know the ingredient, do not use it!’ ”

structure, and instructor of the

more delicious ingredients in lieu of old habits we had grown accustomed to.

For example, tomato sauce from a jar is

a staple in my childhood home. I would have considered adding meat to a jar like that to be cooking from scratch.

class. Luckily for me, I also was awake well before

Now, knowing how easy and exceptional my dishes

filled up in under 60 seconds.

desire to purchase the nutrient drained, sugary

registration went live because the seats of this class As a brief summary, we spent the entire

semester learning from a French chef about what we

become when I use real tomatoes, I no longer have any alternative they sell in stores.

With the class over and having had time to

eat and how we can do better. Typically, we would

reflect, I realize that I don’t have to completely swear

possible to retake ownership of our food from the

still enjoy celebrating at a nice restaurant or using

spend half the class in the kitchen learning that it is

off eating out or taking short cuts with meals. I can

industry we have turned to. We learned about how

mayonnaise that I did not make myself. The beauty of

turning them into a twenty-minute masterpiece.

my food choices. I can recognize that Subway is not

quick, easy, and inexpensive lentils can be, while

Without sugar, flour, or pre-made ingredients, we

swiftly made mouthwateringly delicious meals

together, complete with several courses and a variety of vegetables that would have made grandma proud.

The motto of our kitchen was if grandma did not know the ingredient, do not use it!

the class is that I now am equipped to be mindful in

cheaper, healthier, or faster than what I can make at home. I am not captive to the idea that a vegetarian meal can only be a salad, nor the belief that for

anything to be delicious I have to pay someone else to make it. I get to engage critically and thoughtfully, and that is freedom.


The Honors Review

A Veteran’s Experience With Boise State Christopher Daigle Class of 2016

Last May, Boise State University celebrated the spring 2016 graduates at commencement in a show of enthusiasm and reflection. Thousands of people gathered at the ceremony to acknowledge students’ efforts, accomplishments, and to recognize their academic careers. Through all of the chaos that comes along with graduation ceremonies, I was reminded of how important this day and coming to Boise State has been for me. I would like to tell you my story so that perhaps you can see the university as I do.

summer of 2013 and was accepted.

questions that led to interactions with peers and faculty. These interactions I thought with the hardships I engendered deep friendships which led endured, college would be simple. I was to enjoyment even during the most a veteran of four deployments, a test trying of times. I came to know the pilot, and was just knocking on the Honors College and Economics door of a corporate position at my old department as places where help is company. How could this thing where just an email, phone call, or a knock teenagers go to “find themselves” be away; this is not well advertised and challenging for me? My naïveté caught might be the single greatest aspect of up with me when I realized how much my college experience. The helpfulness I had to work. I quickly learned the of everyone around you encourages fault in comparing the difficulties of collaboration, camaraderie, and disparate experiences and was openness. How could you put that on a humbled. At 27, I sat in my first college brochure? class where I was forced to think and Since 2004, I worked in defense approach problems in ways I never had For all of the difficulty the first as a soldier and civilian, flying before. For my first semester, a semester was for me, I made it unmanned aerial vehicles. This summer, I took 14 credits because I through. After my ambitious start, I work brought me around the world heard a full load was 12 or more; no felt as though I could tackle anything where I saw some of the best and one told me summers were condensed. college had to offer. My peers and worst parts of humanity. During my faculty became my largest resource in Just as the difficulties of my fourth deployment, my wife packed ensuring my progress continued. I previous experiences and college were our home in Utah and moved to the learned later though, just because I incongruent, so were the stakes. For Boise area to be close to her family could do something, didn’t necessarily example, no lives were at risk when I while I was away. When I returned mean I had to or even should. Learning took math exams. For myself, and for in the spring of 2013, my wife and I to take on what was necessary and many veterans I assume, this is decided I needed to pursue a new learning to say no seems just as important toward healing and moving path. So, I quit my job and we important to success in college as forward that college is uniquely packed up to move back to Utah working hard. The theme of qualified to offer. The only thing on the where I planned to attend college. overextending oneself is pronounced line is your GPA. This isn’t necessarily within the Honors College. Such is the On our way out of town, our unique to Boise State, but is something nature of a place filled with students dog leapt from the truck and was I recognized as a rare opportunity – to striving to make the most of their later found with injuries that led to be in a place where the consequences of college experience. him being put down. We were failure are so much smaller than crushed. Already dealing with the nearly anywhere else. When planning my semesters, difficulty of transitioning from war, we my friends and I tried to take classes The stakes may have been decided to minimize our hardship and together. Because many of my friends smaller, but I needed support from settled in Boise to be near family for are Honors students, we didn’t many corners of the university to support. Still wanting to attend college, necessarily pursue the same fields. So, ensure I did not fail. Figuring out how I applied to start at Boise State in the I typically took just below the credit to navigate college required asking


Spring 2017 overload limit to keep up with them. Some advantages to this were finishing a four-year degree quicker than expected, having a diverse schedule that led to a broad knowledge, and spending time with my friends. Taking Honors classes led to great opportunities to hone my research as well as network with inspiring and helpful people from myriad disciplines. While all of that’s great, the tradeoff for overextending is often burnout. When it felt as though I was the only person going through the slog of overextending myself, the Honors College reminded me that my experience was not unique and there were others fighting similar battles. Connecting with these people, high-achieving students and outstanding faculty members,

helped me push through when it felt like I couldn’t go on. My connections in the Honors College acted as cheerleaders and confidants.

struggles, and goals. The retreat reminded me just why I was in college: to grow into a more thoughtful person.

By the end of each semester, my friends and I were spent; we each leaned on one another for support. Often, I found myself in Associate Director Annal Frenz’s office for a pep talk about my research, classes, or my work as a teacher’s assistant. Conversations with people not specializing in quantitative fields presented a fresh look at my problems; I learned to appreciate the perspectives and knowledge of those in different fields. Over a weekend on the Honors retreat, I learned just how amazing the students and faculty of the Honors College are through listening to their accomplishments,

Boise State taught me how to think and how to accomplish goals in ways I never expected or experienced previously. It allowed me to be a beginner again, to start over, and to learn new ways for everything. I hope this ode to Boise State and the Honors College conveys how special I think it is to have been a student here and how fortunate I believe you are to be here now. Whether you are here serendipitously as I was or because you always knew you wanted to be a Bronco, I hope you will make connections with your peers and faculty and take advantage of all the university has to offer.

Honors Snapshots: 2016 David Brooks Lecture

Groundbreaking for the new Honors Building, opening summer 2017

Our largest Fall semester graduating class—2016


The Honors Review

Smelling Fishy & Loving It Bailee Riesberg Senior, Biology

As I sit here in Boise halfway through

rescue email for potential rescues, and

reflecting on my California adventures

San Francisco in case any calls were

my final year at Boise State, I am

that launched two summers ago. I

enjoyed an unforgettable experience rescuing and rehabilitating marine

mammals with The Marine Mammal Center (TMMC) in Morro Bay, an

irreplaceable opportunity that has had lasting effects on my future goals.

Morro Bay is a small coastal

town known for Morro Rock, a state historic landmark, and its resident family of sea otters. The biggest

reaction I received when I arrived at

the center regarded my roots in Idaho.

checking in with the main hospital in made in the night. Each day was a whole new can of sardines! I never knew what my day would end up

looking like—from entangled whales to seizing sea lions, even newborn otters. When the rescue line would ring, it was anyone’s guess what the caller

would have in store for us. We never

waterproof pants, and was out the door

consist of being gone on a tough rescue

house, I felt immediately drenched and

knew if that day’s adventure would

for eight hours, so we were always on our toes.

Night rescues were permitted

in two minutes. Upon leaving my realized it was pouring buckets

outside. It hadn’t rained all summer,

and yet on the night of the 1AM rescue

Because Idaho is a land-locked state,

only on a single, long beach-the Oceano it was a downpour. We arrived on the

told people my heart was in marine

recreational motorized vehicles as well

dunes. The dunes allowed access to

scene and met the park rangers who

mammal rescue. I grew up with fond

as RVs for overnight camping, so

With headlamps and gloves, we

vacations and marine biology camps,

times of day. One night, after a long

baffled looks became common when I

memories of the ocean from family

all contributing to my interest in the marine sciences. The minute my car rolled into town I could smell the salty sea mist

coming through

the windows, and I knew I was

home! There was something about

immediate rescues are required at all

sea lions up ocean cliffs, I finally

flopped down onto

My days at TMMC began by

checking on the patients that had

stayed overnight with us, checking the


When not on duty, I still craved

slam shut.

male sea lion tear the fishermen’s

my eyelids to Instead, my

phone rang. It

was my boss. I knew this was

I had been waiting to do all summer.


rescue. What a night!

moments with marine life. I spent my

This was not the case with the

in on the freeways took some extra

caught glimpses of the lightning storm

my bed ready for

going to be the night I would have the

California driving, however! Blending

successfully rescued the sea lion and

hard day of lifting multiple 150+ pound taking place over the ocean during the

the simplicity of small beach town

living that I embraced immediately.

had been keeping an eye on the girl.

chance to do a night rescue, something She told me that there had been a

seizing, female sea lion on the beach of

Oceano. As exhausted as I was, I knew this was a once in a lifetime

experience, and I was ready. I pulled myself together, threw on my

time off down at the docks watching a scraps to shreds, in awe of his massive, wild beauty. Looking back, I would

relive my summer rescue adventure in a heartbeat. Coming home exhausted

after a 12-hour day of hauling sea lions and smelling like fish may sound

terrible to some people, but to me it

was so rewarding. After my internship with The Marine Mammal Center, I am even more anxious to enter this

field as a career, and I look forward to

more of the unknowns my future holds!

Spring 2017 even longer until you face the

Changing Directions

music. It might work out. It

might not. I started a masters

Don’t be scared. You can do it.

program at Georgetown the fall

Cameron Crow

after I graduated, so I know from

Class of 2012

first hand experience. Before you make a multi-year, many-

thousand-dollar bet about what

You don’t have to know what career you’re going to

you’ll want your career to be, try

Healthy, in fact. When I graduated with a Political


out a job first to see how you like

want. Things are going to change, and that’s normal. Science degree in May 2012, I thought I would spend

my whole career in Washington DC foreign policy. Since then, I’ve worked at four companies, in three states, in

three industries, and doubled my salary. There was luck involved, but several lessons learned made it possible.

Make a plan. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter what the plan is. People with plans are thinking about how things fit together, about trajectories, about how to get to the next step, about who can give advice. It’s a way of

thinking that moves you forward instead of keeping you in the same spot. A great resume is one that shows

someone has made progress towards their goals, even if it’s in an unrelated area.

On the job training. What’s

better than getting paid to learn? If you look in the right places, there are companies that want

to hire you even though they’ll need to teach you. You probably won’t be able to jump from your

current job directly into your ideal one, but over the course of a few years you can probably get

where you want to go without going into debt. It

took me a one year job stint to move from NSA to my goal of a San Francisco tech startup.

Get a new job, responsibly. When the time comes to

make a switch, you need to get disciplined. Don’t feel like you can’t leave. Business is business. You’re not that

Then change it. At some point, you’re going to need to

special, and everyone is replaceable. That said, don’t run

yourself miserable. Even if you feel really confident now,

leave a job. Otherwise, you’re going to be less

change part (or all) of your plan, or you might make

for the door too soon. You should find a job before you

you probably have no clue what you’re going to like a few

attractive to employers, your money will start

years from now. Sure, you’ve studied your field for three years. No, you don’t know what it’s like to work in it. In

all likelihood, it’s going to take you lots of different jobs to find a good fit. Accepting this can be scary, but it’s also liberating.

It’s not all about your major. Don’t panic, Psychology

running out, and you’ll be really scared.

Start working on that plan. Figure out where you want to go, and what will get you there. Figure out which of your skills and experiences are

transferrable and leverage them. Talk to people that are already there and ask their advice. And don’t

majors, there’s a job out there for you. Sure, it might take burn any bridges. The most important asset you have you a little longer to get your ideal non-psychology job

than someone with the corresponding major, but you can still get there. I never wrote a line of code in college, but

now I do it every day. You’ve got two main options to get that job in a new field.

is your reputation.

Don’t stress too much about your future. You’re going to need to make a change at some point, and each experience you have can help you with your

next step. Don’t meander without direction, but don’t

Graduate school. This seems to be most Honors rush the process. You’ll figure it out with time. -students’ first thought, but it shouldn't be. You

think you know what you like, but you might not. Cameron Crow is a Data Analyst at Kount, a technology You have almost no real experience. If you jump into grad school right away, you’ll be waiting

company in Boise. In his spare time, he mentors graduating seniors interested in data analytics. You can connect with Cameron at


2017 Featured Honors Events Distinguished Lecture Series: April 17, 2017, Jordan (SUB) The Honors College welcomes Dr. Sarah Lewis as our spring 2017 Distinguished Lecturer. Assistant Professor of African American Studies and History of Art

and Architecture at Harvard University, Lewis has written extensively about race, contemporary art, creativity, and culture.

Film Screening of An American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story: March 8, 2017, Skaggs Hall (MBEB)

Produced by Dean Finstuen, this documentary offers a stunning portrait of

Niebuhr’s many contributions to Christian ethics and political thought, together with new insights concerning his influence on Martin Luther King, Jr. The

showing will begin at 6:00pm in the Micron Business and Economics Building.

Goodbye Driscoll/New Building Opening

The Honors College will move into our new home this summer, and we invite you to join us as we say goodbye to Driscoll Hall and celebrate the opening of

our new building. Event details will be sent to students and alumni later in the semester.

Learn More About Honors Whether you are a student, prospective student, alumnus, or community member, we encourage you to visit the Honors College. We are happy arrange for you to sit in on an Honors class or answer any questions you might have about the Honors College experience. Please feel free to contact us at 208-426-1122 or

For more information on Honors events, visit


The Honors Review Honors College Boise State University 1910 University Drive Boise, Idaho 83725 208-426-1122

Honors College Staff Dean Andrew Finstuen

Associate Dean Shelton Woods

Associate Director Annal Frenz

Assistant Director Christopher Hyer

Assistant Director Emily Jones

Development Director Argia Beristain

Academic & Fellowships Advisor Kate Huebschmann

Graduate Assistant Anna Matejcek

Boise State University Honors College Newsletter - Spring 2017  
Boise State University Honors College Newsletter - Spring 2017