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TRADITIONS • Marching through the Arch • Memories of Davis Field • Homecoming Festivities

olors & adition

Carry the Colors & Keep the Tradition



921 South 8th Ave., Stop 8265 Pocatello, Idaho 83209-8265 (208) 282-3620 Dr. Arthur C. Vailas President

Carry the Colors & Keep the Tradition

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Traditions and Memories In my eight years here at Idaho State University, I’ve been touched by the passion and commitment of our Bengal community. As we’ve shared memories and created new traditions, I’ve grown to truly love this University. In honor of these great stories, we’ve chosen to dedicate this edition of the ISU Magazine to the traditions that inspired so many memories for generations of Bengals. You’ll read about the great Spud Bowl, homecoming traditions throughout the years, our history of commitment to veterans and one of our newest traditions, Bengal Wednesday. We honor one of ISU’s most iconic images on campus – the Red Hill “I” – as we work toward the establishment of a new symbolic icon. As we look toward the future, I’m pleased to announce the opening of the Bengal Pharmacy in Arco – Idaho’s first, full-service telepharmacy. This innovative facility will provide critical health care access to one of our state’s many rural communities and hands-on experience for ISU’s pharmacy students. This is just one of the many ways Idaho State is fulfilling its mission as Idaho’s leading health care university. We’re breaking ground on many new initiatives, including the Treasure Valley Anatomy & Physiology Lab at our Meridian Health Science Center. The facility will be the first of its kind in Idaho, ensuring the highest level of health-science education for our students while opening new doors to medical research. In addition, we recently received a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to produce medical isotopes at our Accelerator Center. This groundbreaking research could lead to more effective treatments for some cancers. This spring we were proud to announce that ISU had a record number of Fulbright Scholars, which is a testament to our exceptional faculty. We also unveiled the winner of our “Ultimate Bengal” social media scholarship competition. The competition, the first of its kind in higher education, attracted nearly 180,000 entries and raised awareness about our great institution. As you can see, all of us here at Idaho State have many reasons to be proud of our beloved University. With our history of excellence, how can you not be proud to be a Bengal? I know I am. Go Bengals!


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Arthur C. Vailas, Ph.D. President, Idaho State University

FALL 2014


On The Cover In this special edition of the ISU magazine we focus on some of the most memorable traditions throughout our history. The cover collage features thousands of Bengal memories in the shape of one of ISU’s most iconic images – Swanson Arch. Read more about the history of Swanson Arch on page 24.


Photo illustration by Joey Gifford

Celebrate! On Saturday, May 10, Idaho State University celebrated the accomplishments of the Class of 2014, which included 2,450 graduates.


Photo by Bethany Baker

Thousands of students share their pride on social media — one is named the Ultimate Bengal.


Saying farewell to a campus icon.



President’s Message


Wheatley Receives Honorary Doctorate


Construction Begins on Treasure Valley A&P Lab

ISU’s Fulbright Scholars


A Hero for Veterans


Leaders in the Rodeo Arena

Stephens Center Recognized


Bengal Pharmacy Opens in Arco


Save Your Ears


Wildlife Management Program to be Expanded


ISU Names Ultimate Bengal


Bengal Wednesday Shows Campus Spirit


Military History on the Forefront


Homecoming Traditions


Swanson Arch has Strength to Endure


History of the Spud Bowl


Saying Farewell to a Campus Icon


Alumni Trackings, including a national award winner, a friend who shows how much he cares, the space battery lady and an alumna who keeps finding ways to give FALL 2014


Wheatley Receives Honorary Doctorate


Idaho State University awarded an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree to Jack R. Wheatley, benefactor to Idaho State University and other universities and former northern California real estate developer, during Commencement on May 10.

Record Number of Fulbright Scholars Named

In addressing the Class of 2014, Wheatley said, “ISU was a stepping stone for my life. We learn as we go along and in the choices we make, and one of the important things in my life was to recognize the gifts and talents I was given and to magnify them.”

Four ISU faculty members were named Fulbright award recipients for the 2014-15 academic year: Dr. Rajendra Bajracharya, Dr. Cynthia Blanton, Dr. Philip Cole and Dr. Corey Schou.


Wheatley’s roots began in Southeast Idaho, growing up in the small agricultural community of Robin. He attended ISU for one year in 1945 before graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point and pursuing a career in the construction industry. The Wheatley family has donated more than $1 million to ISU for student scholarships and beautification efforts.

Construction Begins on Treasure Valley Anatomy and Physiology Laboratories Dr. Laura I. Vailas and President Arthur C. Vailas join Jack Wheatley and his daughter, Victoria Schmidt, before the 2014 Commencement ceremony.







Every ISU home game weekend, members of the Gate City Rotary Club will: • Mount an ISU Bengal flag on your front lawn or business. • Collect, clean and store the flag for safe keeping.




includes shipping and handling


To order, send an email with your name, address and phone number to SPONSORED BY POCATELLO’S GATE CITY ROTARY CLUB


All Proceeds go to Gate City Rotary for projects like: ISU Academic Scholarships | ISU Music Camp Scholarships | Rotary Youth Leadership Awards | Dictionary Project for School Dist. 25 Third Graders | Portneuf Greenway Project | Polio Eradication | Idaho State Civic Symphony | Back-to-School Backpacks for Needy Kids | Peru Emergency Baby Delivery Kits | Nigerian Village Clean Water Project

In January 2015, Idaho State University-Meridian Health Science Center will be the home of the new L.S. and Aline W. Skaggs Treasure Valley Anatomy and Physiology Laboratories (TVAPL). “This facility will be the first of its kind in Idaho, ensuring the highest level of health-science education for our students while opening new doors to medical research,” said ISU President Arthur C. Vailas during the groundbreaking ceremony on June 24. The TVAPL—located in the Health Science Center’s east wing— will include a cadaver laboratory with 12 gurney stations and virtual anatomy and physiology labs. Through distance-learning technology and the Idaho Education Network, ISU will be able to provide anatomy and physiology presentations to high schools across the state, including lessons in forensics, sports medicine, nutrition and healthy lifestyles. Scheduled for completion in late January, the TVAPL will cost $4 million. In 2013, the Idaho Legislature appropriated $2 million toward construction and ISU secured the remaining portion from private donors, including The ALSAM Foundation, which is the charitable trust of the late Sam Skaggs and his wife Aline. “A training facility like this one is critical to the education of Idaho’s next generation of health professionals. I’m delighted to see so many in our community step forward with such generous support, especially St. Luke’s and Saint Alphonsus hospitals and the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health,” said Susie Balukoff, co-chair of the TVAPL fundraising campaign and a former ISU Foundation board member. The other campaign co-chair was physician Tommy Ahlquist, an ISU Foundation board member and chief operating officer of Gardner Company, a commercial real estate firm with offices in Boise.

ISU breaks ground on Treasure Valley Anatomy & Physiology Laboratories in the east wing of the ISU-Meridian Health Science Center. From left, Kendra Witt Doyle, Blue Cross of Idaho; Dennis Mesaros, St. Luke’s Health System; Linda Payne Smith, Saint Alphonsus Health System; ISU President Arthur C. Vailas; fundraising campaign co-chair Susie Balukoff; Dr. Terry Brady, Delta Dental of Idaho.

Bajracharya, professor and coordinator of geomatics technology in the College of Technology, received a Fulbright Scholar award to Kathmandu University in Nepal.

DR. CYNTHIA BLANTON Blanton, assistant dietetics professor in the Division of Health Sciences, earned a Fulbright Scholar Award in nutrition to Canada.

DR. PHILIP COLE Cole, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Science and Engineering, received a Fulbright Scholar Award in physics to Germany.

DR. COREY SCHOU Schou, professor of informatics and director of the ISU Informatics Research Institute (IRI), was selected for a Fulbright Specialist project in New Zealand at University of Waikato this summer. “This is the first time Idaho State University has ever had four faculty selected as Fulbright scholars in the same year,” said Dr. Laura WoodworthNey, ISU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “It is a testimony to the quality of this University as a whole that we have four individuals selected from a diverse set of academic fields.” The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.”

FALL 2014


A Hero of a Dog

Leaders in the Rodeo Arena

There is a new ‘Hero’ at Idaho State University in the form of a labradoodle puppy who will serve veterans and be a new mascot for the ISU Veterans Sanctuary.

Idaho State University’s Kimberlyn Fitch, defending national champion, continued her reign as one of the top rodeo competitors in the nation, finishing second in breakaway roping at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming in June.

“I have a lot of vets in recovery and wanted to be able to provide them a service that is out of the box,” said Todd Johnson, director of the ISU Veterans Sanctuary. “Hero will be a day-to-day fixture at the Sanctuary. Vets will be able to take her for a walk, throw her a ball or just sit on the floor with her and love her up.”

Hero, a cross between a black labrador and standard poodle, will receive specialized training and spend days at the Veterans Sanctuary and nights with Johnson and several backups when needed. Expect the dog to be a regular fixture at events involving veterans or the Veterans Sanctu-

The American Falls native narrowly missed the title by 2.5 points — Central Arizona College’s Macy Fuller won the event with 242.5 points, Fitch was second with 240. “She is amazing and consistency is her game,” said Melisa Moon Giannini, ISU Rodeo Team advisor. “Kimberlyn came so close to getting her second national championship, but she should have some future opportunities – she’s only a sophomore this year.”

To make a pledge to this project visit, select payment type and under “direct my gift as follows,” select “other” to enter the keywords “Hero Project.” ary at ISU and in the community. “One of our veteran students named her Hero to indicate her mission and academically link her to the literary char-

acter from Shakespeare’s comedy Much Ado About Nothing,” Johnson said. The Veterans Sanctuary has received some donations to help with the project, but is still raising additional funds for food, veterinary care and training services for Hero. A funding support channel has been established through the ISU Foundation.

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The defending national champion ISU Rodeo Club women’s team finished sixth in the competition. This year’s winning team was Central Arizona with 635 points. “I’m proud of all of our team members who competed,” Giannini said. “It is a tough competition. The best of the best are there.” Fitch also placed 19th in barrel racing. Other Bengal competitors at the event included Mallory Driscoll, from American Falls, who finished 22nd in the barrel racing; Dallen and Megan Gunter, from McCammon, who finished 30th in team roping; and Pocatello’s Shelby Freed, who finished 35th in goat tying. In the men’s competition, Montpelier’s Brady Pitchford competed in the tie-down roping competition, but was injured. “We’re already excited about next year,” Giannini said. “We should have another good team.”

Photo courtesy of Casper Star-Tribune

Johnson noted that support dogs have proved effective in other settings and believes Hero will be a hit at the Sanctuary as well, providing a positive, calming interaction for student service members and veterans.


Kimberlyn Fitch ropes a calf. The ISU Rodeo Club women’s team finished first in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s Rocky Mountain Region during the 2013-14 season for the second consecutive year. The men’s team finished seventh in the Rocky Mountain Region this year.

Stephens Performing Arts Center Nationally Ranked The $34 million L.E. and Thelma E. Stephens Performing Arts Center was recently ranked No. 4 on a list of “The 25 Most Amazing University Performing Arts Centers” by the national website Built primarily with the generous support of Thelma Stephens and hundreds of private donors, the 123,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art complex debuted in October 2004.

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FALL 2014


The Key To Long-Term Growth Is Sustainability

NEWS BRIEFS gist and ISU pharmacy residents, with constant video supervision by a licensed pharmacist located at the Bengal Pharmacy on the ISU campus in Pocatello. Clients will receive medication prepared under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, and can receive a private consultation with the pharmacist via video.

The men and women at Simplot’s Don Plant produce crop nutrients that are used by farmers in every state west of the Mississippi River. These nutrients enhance soil fertility and allow the American

The innovative technology will provide both critical health care to the community and hands-on experience for ISU’s pharmacy students.

grower to produce the abundant supply of healthy fruits and vegetables we all enjoy. Many of these same folks have also been key in stimulating the growth of Pocatello and Chubbuck as well. In fact, after nearly 70 years, you’ll now find second and third generations of Simplot employees coaching little league and soccer, and picking up where their fathers and mothers left off…helping their community wherever they can.

Bengal Pharmacy Provides Innovative Approach to Rural Health Care

But, nowhere is the company’s bond with Pocatello felt more passionately than in the Simplot Games. For 35 years we’ve worked hard together to create a world-class

Gary Michaelson knows first-hand the need for quality medical facilities in rural areas.

high school track and field event that illustrates for young and old alike that the future is what you make of it.

Bringing Earth’s Resources To Life

When the Arco resident and president of the Lost Rivers Medical Center Foundation had a heart attack many years ago, his heart specialist in Idaho Falls said he would not have survived if it hadn’t been for the care he received in his hometown at Lost Rivers Medical Center. “I would not have survived the drive across the desert,” he said. “It’s life-saving to have medical facilities nearby, and that’s very difficult in these rural areas.” When the community’s only pharmacist, Steve Streeper, announced his retirement in 2014, there was a potential gap in services for the Arco community. Bengal Pharmacy LLC, owned by the Idaho State University Foundation, began working with the Lost Rivers Medical Center to develop a plan for continued access to medications. Nationally, since 2006, nearly 300 rural communities, including four in Idaho, have lost their only pharmacy.

Michaelson says he is grateful that he and other community members will still have access to life-saving medications when needed. Without a nearby pharmacy, Michaelson says he would have to drive more than an hour from his home to the next nearest pharmacy in Blackfoot. “It’s critical. We’ve got to have a pharmacy,” he said. “When you need medication, you need medication. You can’t always drive across the desert for medication.” The new pharmacy is the state’s first full-service telepharmacy. It will be staffed with a pharmaceutical technolo-

“The creation of the Bengal Pharmacy at Lost Rivers will not only advance the College’s research opportunities but has also helped implement our rural pharmacy residency program,” said Dr. Paul Cady, dean of the ISU College of Pharmacy. “It’s an innovative and cost-effective approach, offering critical pharmaceutical care to the community.” CEO of Lost Rivers Medical Center, Brad Huerta, ’97, said the care his facility provides is enhanced by the project. “Lost Rivers Medical Center couldn’t be happier with this partnership. It is an exciting collaboration for all involved,” he said. Michaelson has worked on the pharmacy project since its beginning, and he said he appreciates the work the ISU College of Pharmacy has done to create the state’s first telepharmacy in his community. “I really appreciate ISU for everything they’ve done,” he said. “There has been a lot of work involved, and without the help of a lot of people, it wouldn’t have happened.”

Pharmacy Tech Juel Lambert and ISU Pharmacy Resident Jessica Vickers tend to prescriptions at the new Bengal Pharmacy. 10

FALL 2014


When musician David Wood performed around the country with the Boise-based psychedelic surf band TEENS, he’d look out into the audience and see hundreds of young fans rocking to the music. “But no one was wearing hearing protection,” he says. That troubled the 28-year-old audiologist-intraining, who knew loud music could do a number on your ears if not kept in check. So for a senior project, the Idaho State University–Meridian doctoral student decided to create a website — — aimed at preventing noise-induced hearing loss in young concertgoers. The site uses clever videos, graphics and photos to explain how loud noise can damage the tiny hair cells that send sound to the brain, causing permanent hearing loss. How loud is too loud? A live rock show is between 110 and 120 decibels—about as loud as a chainsaw. Exposure at that level for as little as 90 seconds can begin to erode hearing. “So imagine what the typical two-hour rock concert can do,” says


Wood, who is set to graduate in May 2015. Wood compares noise-induced hearing loss to eating a lollipop: the first few licks have minimal effect, but repeated licks slowly dissolve the hard candy shell, leaving nothing. His advice isn’t to settle for a seat in the back row to save your ears. Instead, he recommends hearing protection—foam, flange or custom-designed earplugs that block noise without sacrificing the live concert experience. You can sample the plugs virtually on his website. Wood says is the only website he’s aware of geared to concertgoers ages 18 to 29, but the information is useful for all ages. National hearing organizations and concert promoters are giving the website high marks. Within four days of launching the site in late April, there were 1,000 page visits, each lasting about seven minutes—enough time to browse the information or watch a video. “Now it’s in the back of their minds, ‘I need hearing protection,’ ” says Wood.

FALL 2014


Left: From left, Christina Hauser, undergraduate student in GIS studies, Jeff May, GIS master’s student, and Keith Weber, director of the ISU GIS Center, use RECOVER in the field. Right: A screenshot of the RECOVER program’s computer interface.

In the past, the information collected on everything from burn severity and fire intensity to slope, vegetation and soil type would have taken weeks to collect and distribute. Now the distribution of that information — to firefighters in the field on their cell phones and other mobile devices and to managers on their computers in remote locations — takes just minutes, and field updates can occur almost live.

Wildfire Management Program to be Expanded As scientists predicted another above-normal fire season, Idaho State University researchers prepared to expand a program to assist with planning and recovery of wildfires. The GIS-satellite imagery decision support system designed by the University’s GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Training and Research Center, in


RECOVER was developed for the state of Idaho during the last fiscal year with funding from NASA’s Applied Sciences Program. During the next three years, with an additional $1 million in funding, this innovative program and firefighting tool will be expanded to include Arizona, California, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. collaboration with NASA, helps land managers plan for wildfire recovery. It has been tested successfully in Idaho with a planned expansion throughout the western United States. “This is a game changer for wildfire prevention, mitigation and recovery after a fire,” said Dr. Howard Grimes, vice president for research and economic development. “Using big-data approaches to solving real problems is a new and critical direction for GIS researchers.” It takes only five minutes for the Rehabilitation Capability Convergence for Ecosystem Recovery (RECOVER) system to produce a detailed report that gives the Bureau of Land Management or other agency wildfire managers the information they need to plan for the recovery of a wildfire and it can also be used for the active fighting of a wildfire.

Its creators and emergency managers are only now beginning to understand the many uses for RECOVER. “It can be used for recovery following any natural disaster — earthquakes, large landslides, hurricanes and other disasters of similar magnitude,” said Dr. Keith Weber, director of the ISU GIS Training and Research Center, and principal investigator on the project. “It is a framework and a foundation to support decisions on recovery management during and just after an event, and for long-term management.” NASA and ISU initially partnered with the BLM and the Idaho Department of Lands, but plan to extend their partnerships to the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, Idaho Transportation Department and other agencies.

“We’re very excited about moving RECOVER into operational use over the next three years, and involving other partner agencies is a huge boost to the project. RECOVER is an important contribution by NASA’s Applied Sciences Program to the nation’s wildfire management efforts,” said John Schnase, senior computer scientist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. He said that RECOVER creators are using a variety of advanced cloud computing, web services, and data grid technologies to dramatically improve the decision-making activities associated with fighting wildfires. “We’re also setting the stage to use new types of observational data that will be produced by future NASA missions,” Schnase said.

FALL 2014


ISU Names Ultimate Bengal It may have been the two hawks she saw while driving back from work in the morning or the prayer she gave. Whatever it was, Chastity Lee had luck on her side as she was awarded the $13,000-plus Idaho State University Ultimate Bengal Challenge scholarship package in April. “It’s awesome,” Lee said shortly after receiving the scholarship package. The ISU social media contest running from Jan. 14 to April 23 attracted nearly 180,000 entries. Lee was among the challenge’s 70 randomly selected finalists. Most of those finalists gathered at the donkey basketball game hosted by the ISU Student Activities Board at Reed Gym on April 23; Lee’s name was randomly chosen, and she was announced as the contest’s winner. “Today I prayed, because in my culture you are supposed to pray to our old people. So I prayed this morning that hopefully I could get it,” Lee said after learning she

was the winner. “And when I was driving back from Fort Hall this morning, because I work at an elementary school out there, I saw two hawks, so I blessed myself with them, and I’m just more blessed that I won this.” The 21-year-old prenursing major is now a sophomore at ISU. Lee went to high school in Winslow, Arizona, but she grew up in Teesto, Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation. A member of the Navajo Nation, Lee was crowned Miss Native ISU by the ISU Native Americans United student group in November. She’s been active at ISU, taking a full load of classes, and has been participating in the University’s Career Path Internship program, working as a tutor at Fort Hall Elementary School and working with Drusilla Gould, senior lecturer in the ISU Department of Anthropology.

“I hadn’t been applying for scholarships lately, so I am blessed that I won,” Lee said. “Now I have to keep going to school and graduate.” Part of the reason she wants to graduate is because she has three younger sisters and she wants to be a good role model for them, Lee said. As the Ultimate Bengal winner, Lee will receive a year of in-state tuition, one year of campus housing, a one-year meal plan, a $1,000 ISU Bookstore credit, an iPad, a reserved parking pass, a Student Unions bowling and billiards card, and ISU swag, including a jacket and polo shirt. “This unique social media competition was unlike anything seen in higher education,” said Dr. Adrienne King, ISU’s director of marketing and communications. “ISU is proud to be leading the way in innovative communications, and to offer this scholarship opportunity to such an outstanding student.” Stuart Summers, co-chair of the ISU Social Media Committee and director of marketing and recruitment for the ISU College of Technology, noted how much the Ultimate Bengal Challenge has benefitted ISU’s social media efforts. During the challenge’s timeframe the number of ISU Facebook followers increased by 55 percent, Twitter followers increased by 52 percent and Instagram followers increased by 78.4 percent. “The contest was wildly successful,” Summers said. “We had entries from all over Idaho, from throughout the United States and from far continents. Universities from throughout the country have expressed interest in our challenge. The challenge has attracted a lot of positive feedback for our University.”

ISU Ultimate Bengal winner Chastity Lee with Benny the Bengal after she was presented with the award.




ISU Spirit Showcased Every Wednesday Every Wednesday, students, faculty and staff members are walking across campus and studying in classrooms decked out in ISU gear to support one of the school’s newest traditions: Bengal Wednesday. Students dress up every Wednesday in their orange and black attire to show their school spirit, and their support of ISU. Students seen wearing their ISU gear can be rewarded with coupons, candy and sometimes more apparel. Craig Joseph, ’99, the assistant director of admissions and a member of the group who established Bengal Wednesday, said it was started to create a spirited atmosphere that prospective students wanted to be a part of. “Atmosphere and presence are important because prospective students don’t want to be a part of something that shows no pride,” said Joseph. Prospective students are not the only ones who benefit from the spirit that Bengal Wednesday brings. New students, graduate students and faculty show their support for ISU on Wednesdays. “It’s a way to frequently show our school pride,” said Kyle Son, a junior and current ASISU student body president. “It shows that you are a Bengal like all of the people here.”

Current students like the effect that Bengal Wednesday has on the atmosphere on campus and in their classrooms. “Having school spirit creates a positive environment for both teachers and students,” said senior JaNeil Wolfe. “That environment is one of the reasons I like attending ISU.” Bengal Wednesday not only allows students to show their school spirit, it helps

Terry Fredrickson, ’03, CEO of New Day Products and Resources, takes pride in being one of the businesses in the community to participate in Bengal Wednesday. The Orange and Black Store, a part of New Day, offers discounts every Wednesday and holds a drawing for a free ISU T-shirt. The store also sells $5 ISU T-shirts, which gives everyone an opportunity to own one.

“Having school spirit creates a positive environment for both teachers and students. That environment is one of the reasons I like attending ISU.” – JANEIL WOLFE, SENIOR

bring them together as one. “When you are on a diverse campus like ISU, people can be wearing all different types of logos,” Son said. “But when everyone wears their orange and black on Wednesdays, it signifies our unity as one school.” The Pocatello community also plays a big role in Bengal Wednesday. Employees at banks, restaurants and corporations dress up in their orange and black gear. Some places offer special discounts or chances to win prizes.

“My goal is for every ISU student to have an ISU T-shirt to wear every Wednesday,” said Fredrickson. “I know that students can be strapped for cash but you really can’t beat a $5 shirt.” Bengal Wednesday not only represents the unity shown on campus, but also the unity shown between the community and ISU. “It brings a sense of pride on a much larger scale,” said Son. “It brings us closer together as a community and school.” Melissa Lee, ’14 FALL 2014


Through the Years

Military History on the Forefront When he talks about the University’s rich military history, Foundation Director Scott Turner, ’72 and ’74, likes to tell the story of Edgie Eckbert.

Student Army Training Corps and 100 men enrolled. It was that same year that the students voted for compulsory military training at ISU.

In 1909, Eckbert built a plane out of bamboo fishing poles and shellacked bed sheets. He conducted a failed flight experiment off Red Hill, giving him bruises and an end to his short aviation career.

It wasn’t the last time that military programs helped the University survive and thrive.

“I guess that was Pocatello’s first Air Force,” Turner says with a smile. Idaho State University’s true military history, however began nearly 100 years ago, during World War I. In 1917, during the first few months of the war, enrollment dropped by 50 percent. With the enrollment decline came a budget decline, and the school nearly closed. Luckily, the federal government established the

In 1941, all but 500 of ISU’s students left to fight during World War II. It was the Navy’s V-1 Program, where students were trained in aviation, and later, the V-5 Aviation Program, and the V-12 Program, a one-year officer training program, that kept the University open. When the war was over, veterans returned to ISU, ready to study under the GI Bill. In 1947, there were 1,809 students enrolled at ISU. More than 1,000 were veterans.


A cavalry regiment was stationed in Pocatello. The stable was an old wood structure located in the current parking lot behind Gravely Hall.


Students leave for World War I. The Idaho Technical Institute suffered a 50 percent enrollment drop during the first few months of war. The federal government established the Student Army Training Corps, and more than 100 men enroll in the program. Four students were killed in World War I.


Students vote to require compulsory military training.


The Works Progress Administration builds an airstrip at the current Holt Arena location.


A U.S. Army base is constructed west of Pocatello.

Veterans have always brought a strong work ethic and new life to the University, Veterans Sanctuary Director Todd Johnson says. Today, members of the Armed Forces Veterans Club continue the tradition, offering support to one another and service to the community at events such as the Homeless Stand Down. “Vets are strong, capable people who are an asset to our University,” Johnson said. “These people are born to serve. It’s in their nature.” As director of the Veterans Sanctuary, it is Johnson’s job to help bring more veterans to the ISU community, and to help ensure their experience is a good one. At the Sanctuary, veterans can receive help navigating Opposite: Veterans’ Day Memorial the paperwork involved with veterans education Dedication on Nov. 11, 2011. That day was chosen to dedicate the new flag memorial benefits. at Cadet Field. The Sanctuary and its partners also help student veterans navigate through academia, Above: ROTC Pershing Rifles inaugurate an environment that can be very different from Father’s Day with a 21-gun salute. the structure of the military. Employees at the Sanctuary are dedicated to serving as advocates to veterans and their families in any way needed, Below: Navy students in Eva Wier’s classroom; Arriving on the University of Johnson said. Idaho – Southern Branch in 1944; President At the Sanctuary, students can find help with Vailas assisting with the raising of the flag classes, resumé advice, and even have access to on Nov. 11, 2011. a “career closet,” where they can find business clothes for job interviews. Sanctuary employees can also help veterans find assistance for any physical and mental health needs. Equally important, Johnson says, they can find a place where they belong. “We just want to be the first place they come,” he said. “We’re trying to provide an environment where they can be themselves.”

1942-43 The Navy begins its V-1, V-5 and V-12 programs at University of Idaho, Southern Branch. The purpose of the programs was to train officers while offering a bachelor’s degree. During World War II, 2,200 men and 96 women served in the armed forces. Sixty-one were killed. 1944

Congress passes the GI Bill, which gave returning service members the opportunity to receive a college degree.


Mandatory ROTC ends at ISU.


The Veterans Sanctuary is dedicated.


On Nov. 11, a new memorial, dedicated to veteran students of all wars, is dedicated on the northwest corner of Cadet Field.

Emily Frandsen



FALL 2014


Idaho State University students have always found ways to celebrate Bengal spirit and welcome alumni home. Here’s a look back at what ISU students have done to celebrate Homecoming over the years.

The Interorganization Council sponsored the Homecoming dance with assemblies and rallies held before and after the parade. Every building on campus had a Homecoming display and was decorated with that year’s theme. The dorms held open houses. “Queen of the Day” was selected at the Homecoming assembly and the football game was played on the square in front of the student union building, which is now Hutchinson Quad and the Administration Building.




Almost everyone on campus took some part in Homecoming. There were beanies, rah-rah boys and an innocent spirit that dominated the college scene. The Spurs and Cadettes sold mums and welcomed alumni. Sororities and fraternities planned special activities for their own alumni. Alumni of all ages got reacquainted at a special banquet, while students worked on banquets, programs, awards, the parade and the dance. The Homecoming Queen’s coronation ceremony was held prior to the Homecoming dance. The event was held in the ballroom in the Student Union (now the Administration building) and all attendees were dressed in their formal dresses and finest suits and ties.

This era provided students the chance to celebrate Homecoming as a four-year university (1963). The campus was energized with activities such as noise parades, lawn displays, dance decorations, skits, parade floats, noise rallies and the lighting of the “I” on Red Hill. During this time, ISU football games, particularly those at Homecoming, were televised throughout much of Idaho and Montana. During Homecoming week, dorm residents conducted lively campaigns supporting their candidates for Homecoming Queen. Members of Spurs sold refreshments at the football game in the Spud Bowl, the ISU Bengalettes marched in the annual parade with the marching band, twirlers and majorettes and performed at halftime of the football games. At the Homecoming dance, trophies were presented to winners of the Homecoming competition in the areas of skits, floats, lawn displays, noise parade and an overall sweepstakes winner. Alumni held “round-up” dinners at the Bannock Hotel and hosted social hours and dancing.


Senior Rachel Bi shop loves the bo students than an nfire, which brin y other campus gs out more event. Each Hom students watch ecoming week, a giant tower of flames and get the football team in the mood to before the big ga cheer on me on Saturday “I’ve always lik . ed the bonfire,” she said. “It’s ju It’s one of the m st a really big pa ost well-attended rty. events of the ye ar. Everyone love s it.”

This decade ushered in the world-famous ISU Minidome. For the first time, ISU’s Homecoming football game was played indoors. Unfortunately, ISU lost the 1970 Homecoming game to Montana by one point, 35-34.



es participating in the Kendra Knapp, a senior, lov mut annual parade in the com parade, which is the bigges g tin see the community suppor nity. It is heartwarming to d sse to see young children dre the students, she says, and g on her alma mater. as future Bengals, cheerin “I y gets involved,” she said. “I love how the communit s.” really like the unity it bring

During the 1970s, all organizations — sororities, fraternities and dorms had extravagant floats. Homecoming Skit Night became a can’t-miss event on campus. The Homecoming Queen’s coronation was made a part of this event and added great excitement to the evening. A reflection of the times was witnessed at the Homecoming dance in the Student Union ballroom — no more long formals for the women and very few jackets and ties for the men. FALL 2014


Students continued the decades-old traditions of the Homecoming parade and game, and a week filled with competitions and fun. Homecoming reunions continued, and alumni continued to come home each year and celebrate with luncheons, awards and recognition ceremonies. Homecoming continued to be a festive time for the community, with door decorating contests on campus and window painting throughout Pocatello and Chubbuck.


The ISU student body, now more than 12,000 strong, became more involved in the administration of their university. Students developed new activities that included a pop chug, painting of graffiti in the Center Street underpass in Pocatello, window painting on campus and off, bonfires, Monte Carlo Nights and a tug-of-war competition. A casualty of this era was the Homecoming dance, traditionally held following the football game. Alumni gathered for the Founder’s Luncheon, open houses at the Magnuson Alumni House, Alumni awards and recognition events and after-game dances at local hotels. Homecoming reunions began to surface during this time, and groups, led by the College of Pharmacy, began meeting annually at this time.

Idaho State University Senior Tucker Taufoou didn’t know what the True Bengal tradition was until it smacked him on the lips. Taufoou followed the band of students who hiked to the pill ars on Red Hill the evening of Homecom ing week. It wasn’t until he arrived at the pillars that he learned that, in order to be a True Bengal, he had to kiss someone at midnight on the hill overloo king campus. “They just gave me some cha pstick and introduced me to a girl ,” he laughed. The True Bengal is just one of the many ways today’s Bengals celebrate Homecoming. For students, Homecoming week is filled with bonfire s, scavenger hunts, a parade, a royalty com petition and some epic club rivalries. Taufoou says he will always have great memories of racing acr oss the Quad to find the clue that would help his club win the coveted Spirit Log in the Spirit Log Hunt. Throughout the we ek, campus organizations participate in several competitions and the parade .

With a new century came a mix of new traditions at Idaho State University. Students hiked to the pillars on Red Hill to kiss their sweetheart at midnight and become True Bengals. Homecoming Week activities included tailgate parties, street painting contests, concerts, royalty pageants, spirit competitions and the annual bonfire and spirit rally.





Today’s students enjoy the same fun traditions as Bengals before them. Hundreds of students march in the parade, cheer on their team at the football game and attend the annual bonfire. Homecoming remains a wonderful time for alumni and students to share how much they love being Bengals.


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Hall. In 1973, the building was condemned and later removed, other than the arch.

Every year, when Coordinator of Special Events Allyson Johnson, ’05 and ’14, planned the annual spring March Through the Arch program, she got more excited for the day when it would be her crossing through the historic Swanson Arch into a new life chapter. This spring, Johnson was able to make the short but meaningful

journey through the arch with her 2-year old daughter Kaitlyn by her side when she graduated with a master’s degree in communications. For Johnson, coming through the arch offers a special connection to both the past and future of ISU, along with very personal cheers of congratulations from family, friends and fellow alumni. “I couldn’t wait until it was me,” she said. “The arch itself is such an exciting part of ISU history.” Swanson Arch is the remaining piece of what was originally the first building on campus. It was built in 1902 and named for one of the original members of the board of trustees, Theodore Swanson. Former Physical Plant Director John Korbis said one of his agonies was the demise of ISU’s oldest buildings. The absence of structural ties overloading the lava rock foundation, a 1936 earthquake and a 1953 tremor compromised the structure of Swanson


In the 1990s, Physical Plant Director Darrell Buffaloe informed administrators that pieces of the arch were falling off the top onto the walkway. It had been patched several times but the structure seemed to be shifting. The footings weren’t deep enough to stabilize it. Buffaloe didn’t see how it could be saved. Then-President Richard L. Bowen discussed the Arch’s future with the alumni office. “I remember shaking my head and flatly stating, ‘You get near it with a bulldozer and my alumni board will want me standing in front of it or tied to it,” said Diane Olson, ISU’s alumni director at the time (1986-1994). Bowen asked Buffaloe to get a structural engineer and figure out a way to save it. The Arch was saved, and today, it is the place where students both begin and complete their time at Idaho State University. In the fall, freshmen walk through the Arch onto campus, to symbolize their start of a new chapter in life, welcomed by cheering students. When they graduate, students walk through the arch out of campus and into the community, welcomed by family, friends and alumni.

The event has been a momentous occasion for students since 2000 when former Alumni Director Valorie Watkins started the tradition. “My first day as alumni director at ISU was spent at a CASE (Council for the Advancement and Support of Education) Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia. Discussions were about traditions on campuses across the nation,” said Watkins, ISU alumni director from 1995-2002. “One stuck with me – a bridge that students walked across at commencement, signifying the completion of their college careers.”

Far left and far right: Swanson Hall in the 1940s Students march toward campus during the new-student march and away from campus during the senior salute. Both are times to celebrate their accomplishments.

After several years of brainstorming with Connie Bowen, student leaders, deans and administrators, and especially the residence life department, the first “March through the Arch” event was held, with a small group of incoming students. Since then, the events have grown exponentially, and today students look forward to the tradition. “It happens at two of the most exciting times of the year,” Johnson said. “It’s such a special event.” Contributors: Former Alumni Directors, Diane Olson (1986-1994) and Valorie Watkins (1995-2002)

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Spud Bowl: Home of Many Great Bengal Athletes Davis Field, or the Spud Bowl as it was previously known, took its first breath on Nov. 11, 1936. In a football game featuring Idaho State University sporting legends Babe Caccia and Dubby Holt, the Bengals dropped a 32-19 decision to Montana State.

took place in 1961 during the Homecoming game against Montana State. Several days’ heavy snowfall pre-game left the entire structure blanketed. Holt said spectators had to sit at least five rows up to see over the mounds of snow.

But it was not ISU’s first on-campus football venue. ISU played its 1922-1935 home games at Hutchinson Field, which was located on what is now the Quad. Hutchinson Field had a small seating capacity, no bleachers on the side adjacent to Fifth Avenue, and kicks often landed in the street. A young future ISU Financial Vice President Bill Bartz was one of those hired for 50 cents a game to keep spectators from sneaking in.

A local contractor volunteered one of his bulldozers to plow the playing surface. It was a well-intentioned thought, but the ’dozer took grass off the field and the curb off the running track that circled the field.

So it was no wonder that Caccia, in a 2006 interview with ISU Magazine, said of the new stadium, “We were real excited. Hutchinson Field held maybe 1,500 and we had 6,000 to open the Spud Bowl.” That crowd was the largest in then-Idaho Southern Branch history.

Another favorite was the 1969 48-6 win over Parsons College, in which quarterback Jerry Dunne rang up more than 400 yards of offense and threw six touchdown passes, four of them plus a From the many recent soccer and track and field championships to the days of school-record 261 receivbeing home to Idaho State University ing yards to All-American football, Davis Field has been a scenic wideout Ed “The Flea” Bell. place for athletic events. Both Bell and Dunne are in the ISU Sports Hall of Fame. Former athletic director and coach The Spud Bowl was Milton “Dubby” Holt is in the center. renamed Davis Field to Olympian Stacy Dragila is pole honor Dr. William E. “Bud” vaulting. Olypian Amber Welty is Davis, ISU president 1965doing the high jump. 75. It has been the home of ISU outdoor track and field for many years. Olympic pole vault gold medalist Stacy Dragila and NCAA high jump champ Amber Welty are two of many standouts who competed in the facility. A new running surface and field events venues were added in 1989.

The original idea for constructing an ISU stadium was proposed in 1933 by Athletic Director Felix Plastino. It was a good concept, but people started to wonder when the project exceeded cost estimates and required four separate appropriations to raise $180,000 to complete the project. It was a WPA (Works Progress Administration) Depression-era project designed to put the unemployed to work. So ISU had a new football stadium, but there was something missing. “It didn’t really have a name,” Caccia recalled. In the same interview, Holt credited former Idaho State Journal Sports Editor Ernie Stites with naming it. Holt said athletic officials at ISU and Maine were negotiating to play a home-and-home football series, with both states’ potato growers associations wanting to promote the games as the Spud Bowl. The matchup never materialized but Stites’ moniker stuck. The facility housed ISU home games from 1936-69, the final game being ISU’s 58-30 loss to Drake on Nov. 22, 1969. Holt was the first person anywhere to conceive of playing home football games in a covered on-campus arena and starting with the 1970 home opener, a 64-34 win over Nevada, Las Vegas, ISU has played its home games in the multi-purpose Holt Arena. The Spud Bowl has been the scene of many memorable football games. Perhaps one of the most memorable



Despite the gaffe, “we played the game and we beat them (14-12) and we weren’t supposed to,” Holt said. The 1962 Wickiup (ISU yearbook) called the game the Mud Bowl.

Track acquired a neighbor in 1998 when the University added soccer. According to Darrell Buffaloe, thenassociate vice president for facilities services, the old grass was removed from the playing field, replaced by new topsoil mixed with sand, and new grass was planted. Another endearing memory of Davis Field came in 2000, when thousands came to honor Dragila and give her a powerful sendoff to the Melbourne Olympics. Festivities took place in the high jump area adjacent to the stadium entrance. Patrolling the closest edge of the soccer field was soccer coach Gordon Henderson, making sure no one damaged even one blade of his grass. Glenn Alford

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SO LONG, The “I” on Red Hill has always been a part of great Idaho State University memories for Ryan Sargent, ’09.

watch football games at Davis Field when he was a student.

Sargent remembers sitting with his family and watching soccer and track and field meets on Red Hill underneath the “I.” When he was a child, he remembers looking up at the “I” when he came to visit his grandmother who worked at the University, and climbing up to the pillars and looking down on it. His father climbed the same mountain to sit under the “I” and

In June, after multiple engineering studies, the “I” was removed from Red Hill after erosion and large cracks created immediate safety concerns. Sargent was sad to see the nearly 100-year old icon go, but he knows that today’s students will find new ways to create traditions for future generations, just as generations before created traditions with the “I.”

“It was, and continues to be, an important icon for the University,” he said.

Sargent is a member of a committee of University officials, students, alumni and community members who are working toward creating a replacement for the icon. “It’s something we’ll always remember,” he said. “It was students who made the “I,” and students who celebrated the “I.” Although the “I” has always been a standard sight in the community, Sargent says it’s the experiences, such as lighting the “I” at Homecoming, that people will remember. And, although people remember the

symbol as an “I,” in the beginning, it wasn’t even the same letter. In 1916, a “T” was placed on Red Hill by the students, who were proud of the institution’s evolution from the Academy of Idaho to the Idaho Technical Institute. In 1926, the “T” became a tool for the students to display their desire for a four-year institution by changing their letter into the number “4.” When the Idaho Technical Institute became the University of Idaho Southern Branch in 1927, the “4” became the “I” that many generations of

Bengals remember fondly. The Red Hill Committee is currently exploring options to replace the “I” on Red Hill with another icon for students to treasure. Sargent says he hopes to help create something that will give future generations memories like he has had.

The “I” has been an icon of the Pocatello area for almost a century. It has served as a symbol of accomplishment, a signifier of change and a reminder of home for many throughout the valley.

“It’s important that we provide students with experiences that build bonds to ISU,” he said. “That holds real value.” If you have ideas for the Red Hill committee, you can send an e-mail to Emily Frandsen



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ALUMNI TRACKINGS John Keahey has written a new travel narrative Hidden Tuscany: Discovering Art, Culture, and Memories in a Well-Known Region’s Unknown Places. The book was released July 15. The publisher is Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press, New York City. Keahey’s next most recent book, published in 2011, was Seeking Sicily: A Cultural Journey Through Myth and Reality in the Heart of the Mediterranean. Descriptions of his books can be found on Kathy Weaver, ’65, BA, general consumer economics, was inducted into the 42nd Eastern Idaho Agriculture Hall of Fame at an annual recognition dinner March 21. Weaver was inducted for outstanding contributions to conservation, community involvement and as a spokeswoman for agriculture. She is only the second woman to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in the organization’s 42-year history. She currently serves as a supervisor on the East Side

Soil and Water Conservation District and as a director of the Eastern Idaho Agriculture Hall of Fame.

--------- 1970s --------Dr. Rafi Ahmed, ‘72, BS microbiology; ‘74, MS, microbiology, director of the Emory Vaccine Center, was named to Thomsen Reuter’s list of “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds.” Ahmed, a member of the National Academy of Science, is a world-renowned immunologist whose work during the past decade has been highly influential in shaping current understanding of memory T-cell differentiation and anti-viral T- and B-cell immunity. Polly Dahlke, ’77, BA, secondary education/ physical education; ’91, MPE, athletic administration, recently retired from Bear Lake High School, was inducted into the IAAA (Idaho Athletic Administrator’s Association) Hall of

Fame at their annual state conference in Boise, Idaho. Dahlke is on the IAAA Executive Board and is one of the Leadership Training Institution Coordinators for Idaho. She received the Idaho State Coaches’ Athletic Director of the Year Award in 2008, 3A Athletic Director of the Year Award in 2010 and 2012 and the State of Merit Award in 2011 for her service to the state.

Phil Joslin, ’75, BBA, computer information systems, recently retired as CEO of Farm Bureau Insurance. Joslin worked for Farm Bureau for more than 40 years, 18 as chief executive officer. Joslin’s plans for retirement include spending more time with his wife and their 3-year-old grandson. Joslin is on the Portneuf Medical Center Board of Trustees and is a board member of the Portneuf Health Care Foundation, both of which he plans to continue. He has also been asked to be on the board for Idaho Business for Education, a nonprofit organizaContinued on Page 35

The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) has honored former Texas A&M University Director of Athletics and ISU alumnus Bill Byrne, as the recipient of the 48th James J. Corbett Memorial Award, the highest honor one can achieve in collegiate athletics administration. The Corbett Award is presented annually to the collegiate administrator who “through the years has most typified Corbett’s devotion to intercollegiate athletics and worked unceasingly for its betterment.” Corbett, athletics director at Louisiana State University, was NACDA’s first president in 1965. Additionally, Byrne will receive an honorary degree from the Sports Management Institute (SMI), an educational institute sponsored by NACDA and the Universities of Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Southern California and Texas. “I loved being an athletic director because of all the talented people I worked with every day. The athletes brought the vigor of youth and kept me young with their incredible desire to excel and persevere,” Byrne said. “I believe all of us lucky enough to work in this industry have the best jobs in the world. The Corbett Award is a special recognition of the people with whom I had the privilege

to work. They are the recipients, and I am the lucky one who gets to hold the trophy we won together.” During his 10 years at Texas A&M, Byrne led the University’s athletic program to unprecedented success on the field and in the classroom. Of the 59 Big 12 Conference Championships won by the Aggies in the league’s history, 45 were won after Byrne’s arrival, including a record haul of nine championships in the 2010-11 school year. Since the start of the 2006-07 season, Texas A&M’s coaches and student-athletes won 37 team Big 12 Championships. No other Big 12 school won more team championships during that span.

Photo courtesy of Texas A&M University

--------- 1960s ---------

ISU Alumnus Honored for Collegiate Athletics Career

Byrne also made stops at Idaho State, New Mexico, San Diego State and Oregon throughout his career. During his 29-year career as a Division I athletics director, Byrne’s teams amassed 30 national championships in football, track and field, volleyball, women’s basketball, golf, gymnastics, equestrian, bowling and cross country. His teams also won 144 conference championships.

joined society as exceptional citizens of their communities.

Byrne’s passion is the student-athlete and his emphasis on character, integrity, honesty, and compassion helped develop young people into responsible adults who

Bill Byrne graduated from Idaho State University with a bachelor’s degree in business in 1967, and a Master of Business Administration in 1971.

Byrne and his wife, Dr. Marilyn Kent Byrne, ’67, have two sons — Bill III and Greg. Bill is a vice president of Visa USA in San Francisco and Greg followed his father’s footsteps and is the director of athletics at the University of Arizona.

Join us in preserving the historic integrity of the Graveley Hall lobby. It will be restored so that our current student body can enjoy its historic beauty as a quiet and serene study space. For more information – Call Joy: at (208) 282-4899 Online:

Pocatello | Idaho Falls



Meridian | Twin Falls

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Crazy Idea

Gray and Skeesuck agree the worst part of their Camino adventure was the first day. A 200-meter stretch of the trail through the Pyrenees was so steep they had to take Skeesuck out of his wheelchair and carry him in a sling. There were hikers on the trail who gladly assisted. There were also naysayers. “We met about 40 people over the span of four days who told us we were crazy, that we’d never make it,” said Gray with a laugh. But they rolled on — slogging through mud and over dirt roads, making friends with strangers on the pilgrimage to Santiago.

I’ll Push You

Opposite: Patrick Gray (right) and Justin Skeesuck at Monasterio de San Julian de Samos in Samos, Spain. They had completed 80 percent of their 500-mile journey. Gray pushes Skeesuck along a city street in Bayonne, France, an hour northeast of St. Jean Pied de Port.

ISU Alumnus and His Best Friend Make Journey of a Lifetime

Gray, Skeesuck and Christie Taylor admire the sunrise on the way to Cruz de Fierro, near the highest point on the Camino trail.

Photo courtesy of emota, a San Diego video production company

Photo courtesy of Jasper Newton

With the blessing of their families, the men prepared for the journey by navigating the foothills and country roads around Boise. Gray hit the gym to build the muscle strength necessary to push the wheelchair and the 200-pound Skeesuck over the type of rugged terrain they expected to encounter in Spain.

Gray and Skeesuck covered anywhere from 13 to 25 miles a day, thanks to Idaho friends who joined them at various points on the trail to help push the wheelchair.

Their wives were there to meet them, along with hundreds of cheering strangers, who learned of the journey through global media reports.

It was also an opportunity to reflect on the depths of a bond that began in Ontario, Oregon, where the men were born about 24 hours apart 39 years ago. They grew up best friends, stood in as best man at each other’s weddings and today live three blocks from each other in Meridian.

As far as the men know, Skeesuck is the first person to complete the route in a wheelchair. A San Diego video production company is making a documentary about the journey for release in 2015.

Finish Line

It took Gray and Skeesuck just under six weeks to cross the finish line—the plaza in front of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela where, according to legend, the remains of the apostle, Saint James, are buried.

But Skeesuck and Gray say their adventure is about more than crossing a finish line. “We set out to show that limits don’t have to define you,” said Gray. “At the end of the day, you can overcome anything if you allow yourself to be lifted up and carried by a community of people who love and support you.” Chris Gabettas

What would you do for your best friend? If you’re Patrick Gray, you say “yes” to your buddy’s crazy idea and make it happen.



On June 3, Gray and lifelong friend Justin Skeesuck set out on a 500-mile trail though the rugged Pyrenees mountains of northern Spain called the Camino de Santiago. They completed the journey in 34 days — Gray on foot, pushing Skeesuck in a wheelchair.

When Skeesuck was 16, he was in a car accident that triggered a progressive autoimmune disease, which ended up paralyzing his limbs. But he’s never let the condition limit him.

“It was absolutely amazing. I don’t think there are any words that can adequately describe the joy,” said Gray, a 2004 graduate of Idaho State University-Meridian’s accelerated nursing

So in 2012, when Skeesuck saw a television show about the majestic Camino trail, he wanted to make the journey. When he told Gray about it, Gray responded, “I’ll push you.”

Photo courtesy of Jasper Newton

program and a St. Luke’s Health System program manager.

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tion through which Idaho business leaders work toward better education in the Gem State.

Pat Phillipp, ’72, BA, elementary education, was honored recently for her 40 years teaching at Our Lady of Lourdes School in Salt Lake City. --------- 1980s --------Sheree Wicklund Hammer, ’89, certificate, office technology, was selected to be the new executive assistant to Carlo Melbihess, director of facility and site services at the Idaho National Laboratory. Hammer has spent 23 years in various secretarial and administra-

tive positions, and has worked for the Idaho National Laboratory for the past 19 years. She assumed her new duties on April 28.

Tom Jurewitz, ’80, BS, pharmacy, is Pen Bay Medical Center’s new pharmacy director. Jurewitz will oversee organizational leadership for the pharmacy department, facilitate staff development and organizational advancement. He is an active member of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). He recently served at the national advisory level at ASHP as a Special Advisory Group member for Clinical Information Systems and Ambulatory Care Informatics in 2010 and 2011, respectively.

Jurewitz is currently participating in ASHP’s “Pharmacy Leadership Academy.”

Gary Parkin, ’84, BBA, management and organization ’89; BABS, business education, was named Pocatello High School’s 2012-2013 Teacher of the Year. Kelly Schild, ’89, BS, engineering (interdisciplinary), has been hired by URETEK Holdings, Inc. as sales engineer for the State of Idaho. His prior experience includes working as a facility engineer in the Naval Reactors Facility in Idaho and more than 17 years of experience in manufacturing, importing, distribution and sales. Continued on Page 37

Making a Name for Yourself When she first started school at Idaho State University, Kelly Lively, ’98, had no idea that one day she would be known as the “Space Battery Lady.” Lively is currently the department manager for Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and manages the INL team that fuels, tests and delivers RPSs that are designed to convert heat produced by natural radioactive decay of plutonium oxide fuel into electricity. She has been involved with the successful launch of two of these space batteries used for deep space missions. The first powers Pluto-New Horizons which will fly by Pluto in July 2015. The second powers the land rover Curiosity, which is currently collecting scientific data on the surface of Mars in Gale Crater. “It was very surreal to see my work in space,” said Lively. “You put your heart, soul and time into a space mission and there’s a lot of pride and excitement when it finally launches.” Lively also never thought that her degree in engineering would lead her to work with NASA. When first visiting the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, she was nervous about how her education would stand up to her peers with degrees from other universities. “My degree from ISU has certainly stood the test of time,” Lively said. In 2014, Lively was awarded the ISU Professional Achievement Award from the College of Science and Engineering, School of Engineering, for her work with Radioisotope Power Systems and career achievements. “I could not have been more honored that my peers would say such amazing things about my 34


performance,” said Lively. “I was thrilled to have received it and I’m really appreciative. The award is displayed for all to see on my office wall.” Besides working in the laboratory, Lively enjoys fishing on her 20-foot boat and can relate fishing to her work in engineering. She explained that with both you get to explore the unknown and see what you can find in space and also see what you can catch in the rivers. She has advice for students who are attending ISU and also for women choosing to obtain a degree in engineering. “Your degree is part of your toolbox,” Lively said. “Utilize your education and experience as a tool to achieve your goals and never give up.” Lively is getting ready to start another space mission entitled Mars 2020, which will launch a Land Rover onto Mars. Melissa Lee, ’14 FALL 2014


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Giving Back: Bengal Alumna Supports Volunteer Organizations Tammy Halstead is lending the same skills that made her a successful senior manager for cutting-edge businesses to help non-profit boards and community volunteer organizations, and to give back to the current students at Idaho State University. Halstead, who graduated from the College of Business in 1985 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting, has served in various finance and senior management roles with companies such as GoGoMobile, USWeb, ConnectSoft, Inc., and InfoSpace. At the latter, she joined as a corporate controller and went on to serve as senior vice president, chief accounting officer and chief financial officer.

As a member of the College of Business Leadership Board, one of her favorite initiatives is Bengal Solutions. She is currently working with the management team to grow the organization in order to provide more business students with opportunities to obtain real world work experience while at the same time providing valuable services to regional businesses and generating some additional income for the College. “This has been a fun and interesting project, and I hope my

Lisa Sherick, ’86, MED, special education; ’08, EDS, educational administration, became superintendent of Jefferson County School District 251 in June. She previously served as assistant superintendent and director of student services in Idaho Falls School District 91. --------- 1990s --------Kari (Hetcher) Aguila, ‘98, MS, geology, has been awarded a 2014 IndieReader Discovery Award for her suspense novel, “Women’s Work.” The award was presented at the Book Expo of America in New York on May 31. Aguila has numerous scientific publications from her years

A career is important, but her desire to “try to figure out ways to make a difference” is not limited to her professional accomplishments. Halstead has served on various non-profit boards, as a community volunteer or mentor with organizations including Washington C.A.S.H. (Community Alliance for Self-Help), Seattle Pug Rescue, TiE Young Entrepreneurs and City Year of Seattle. Now retired, she is focusing most of her energy on Pawsitive Alliance, a Seattle-area volunteer driven animal welfare organization working to end the euthanasia of adoptable dogs and cats in Washington. The organization’s mission focuses on increasing adoptions, supporting spay and neuter programs, and providing resources to improve pet retention. Their June multi-shelter adoption event resulted in 116 cats and dogs being adopted in just four hours.

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with the U.S. Geological Survey, but Women’s Work is her first novel. More information about her novel can be found at

Dr. Jason Brenchley, ‘97, BS, microbiology; ‘99 MS, chemistry, was named to Thomsen Reuter’s list of “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds.” Brenchley is a senior investigator at the National Institutes of Health. Donald Furu, ’94, BS, corporate training, is celebrating his ninth year at PowerPhone, a Connecticut-based company specializing in public safety training. He has conducted nearly 100 seminars in more than 20 states, and taught more than 2,000 students. Prior to working for PowerPhone, Furu worked as a Pocatello police officer for more than 33 years.

Ryan O’Hearn, ’99, BA, philosophy; ’10, MPA, political science, earned an Idaho Medal of Honor for his “acts of bravery and heroism deemed above and beyond the call of duty” at a ceremony in Boise in June. Nine years ago, O’Hearn rescued a paralyzed man from a house fire in Pocatello, saving the man’s life. --------- 2000s --------Sindy Byington, ’07, BS, microbiology, was accepted into Billings Clinic’s Internal Medicine Residency. She graduated from the Caribbeanbased Ross University School of Medicine and will complete her three-year internal medicine residency at Billings Clinic. Continued on Page 38

Tammy Halstead with a Giant Sea Turtle on a recent trip to the Galapagos Islands.

input is in some way making a difference,” Halstead said. She joined the ISU Foundation Board in 2013. For Halstead, it all gets back to education. “My parents paid for my college education — and I realize now how fortunate I was. I have met so many ISU students working one or two jobs just to afford to attend school. I still believe that education can and should be the great equalizer,” Halstead said.




(208) 933-2300

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Nathan Cuoio, ’07, BA, Spanish, joined the staff at Merrill & Merrill as an associate attorney in April. Cuoio is a fourth-generation Idaho and Pocatello native. He received his juris doctorate from the University of Idaho College of Law in 2013. Cuoio’s expertise is focused

in the areas of business law, contracts, estate planning, defense litigation and immigration law. He also provides legal services for employers with Spanish-speaking employees, as well as the Spanish-speaking community at large.

POCATELLO OLD TOWN FINANCIAL CENTER 253 S. Main Street | 208-233-1326

POCATELLO YELLOWSTONE FINANCIAL CENTER 1590 Yellowstone Avenue | 208-233-6176

--------- 2010s --------Mike Arnold, ‘13, BS, physical education, finished ninth in the pole vault at the USA Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, California. Arnold was an All-American at ISU after placing seventh in the pole vault at the NCAA Track and Field Championships. In his time in Pocatello, the Carson City, Nevada, native won six combined indoor and outdoor Big Sky championships. Dustin Heath, ’11, ME, education administration, was recently hired as principal at Mountain View Elementary School in Cassia County. Heath has taught sixth grade for the past eight years at Dora Erickson Elementary in Idaho Falls. Duane A. Nelson, ’12, BS, fire safety admininstration, has been named interim fire chief in Idaho Falls. Nelson began his fire service career with the Idaho National Guard in 1991. He joined the Idaho Falls Fire Department in 1997. Nelson was promoted to inspector in the Fire Prevention Bureau in 2007. --------- IN MEMORIAM --------Richard “Del” Slaughter, ’50, BA, Music, College of Arts & Letters, composer of Idaho State University’s fight song, died June 26, 2014, in Sandy, Utah, surrounded by the love of his family. Slaughter was born on October 31, 1927, in Idaho Falls, Idaho, to Wayne Rasmussen Slaughter and Mabelle Allene (Heath) Slaughter. Slaughter graduated from Pocatello High School in 1945 and shortly after joined the U.S. Navy, serving as World War II was winding down.

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He later graduated from Idaho State University and earned his master’s in music education from the University of Utah.

FALL 2014


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Profile for Idaho State University

ISU Magazine Fall 2014  

ISU Magazine Fall 2014