DISCOVER WHY PEOPLE ARE SAYING,
I CHOSE ISU
Meet the preceptors training the next generation of health professionals.
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the building of a baja buggy.
Community rallies to support ISU alumnusâ€™ classroom dream.
IDAHO STATE U N I V E R S I T Y 921 South 8th Ave., Stop 8265 Pocatello, Idaho 83209-8265 (208) 282-3620 isu.edu Dr. Arthur C. Vailas President Dr. Kent M. Tingey, ’97 Vice President of University Advancement Dr. Adrienne King Director of Marketing and Communications COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS
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Emily Frandsen Thomas Attebery, ’16 Chris Gabettas Dr. Adrienne King Krystoff Kissoon, ’16 Andrew Taylor Crystal Valdez, ’16 Joey Gifford, ’03 Bethany Baker Julie Hillebrant, ’00 Joe Marley, ’04 Dave Van Etten
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FROM THE PRESIDENT
I Chose ISU At Idaho State University we create opportunities. Laura and I chose ISU because we believed that we could make a difference here. We are both passionate about education and the opportunities it provides our students. We enjoy being a part of the campus community, whether it’s a simple walk on the Quad, volunteering with Benny’s Pantry or reading to the children at the Early Learning Center. Much of ISU reminds me of my childhood home. I grew up in a small city in a caring and open community. Like many of our students, I am a first-generation college student. I benefitted from the generosity of others, receiving a football scholarship to attend college. I’ve been blessed with a wonderful career — thanks to the support of others. ISU is my opportunity to give back. In this edition of the ISU Magazine we feature several of our Bengals’ personal stories and why they chose ISU. We highlight the critical role our preceptors play in developing the health care professionals of tomorrow. We give you a behind-thescenes look at the building of a baja buggy. You’ll also read about the shenanigans of a certain furry friend — everyone’s favorite mascot, Benny. It’s been a very busy few months at Idaho State University. As you may have heard, ISU recently received notification from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities that our accreditation was reaffirmed (Page 6). This is a testament to our faculty and staff’s dedication to academic excellence and student support. I am grateful to our entire campus community for their hard work and dedication to our University. You can view the Commission’s response online at idahostateu.com/accred_eval. Indeed, great things are happening at ISU. Laura and I consider it a great honor to be a part of the Bengal community. I hope you share our pride in choosing ISU. Go Bengals!
Arthur C. Vailas, Ph.D. President, Idaho State University
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On The Cover Discover why people are saying â€œI Chose ISUâ€? in the cover story on page 18. Photos by Bethany Baker and Chris Gabettas Composition by Joey Gifford
Polished: Thousands attended the annual Chrome in the Dome event in March, featuring 150 classic cars and 25 motorcycles. All of the funds raised at the annual event support College of Technology scholarships. Photo by Bethany Baker
IN THIS ISSUE
24 ISU’s beloved mascot Benny the Bengal has been making fans smile for more than 50 years.
30 Joined at the Hip: Meet ISU’s first-ever class of four-year nursing students. 3
ISU’s Accreditation is Reaffirmed
I Love ISU Campaign Raises Scholarship Funds
A Mammoth Find
ISU Captures National Title in Debate
Merril Hoge Returns to ISU
School of Nursing Receives Top Honors
ISU Student’s “Got Talent”
Mice in Space
Preceptors: From Classroom to Practice
School of Performing Arts Attracts Talent
The Nuts and Bolts of a Baja Buggy
I Chose ISU
Alumni Trackings, including the first-ever four-year nursing class, a top higher education leader and how one outdoor enthusiast is bringing his curriculum to life
ISU’s Accreditation Reaffirmed
Annual “I Love ISU” Campaign Raises More than $194,000 for Scholarships Rick Cheatum of ISU Credit Union was one of the 175 volunteers from Pocatello, Idaho Falls, Blackfoot and American Falls who worked together to gather pledges through weeks of peer-to-peer contacts and calling efforts.
The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) has reaffirmed Idaho State University’s accreditation after the completion of the Fall 2014 Year Seven Evaluation. “We are pleased that the NWCCU and the peer evaluation committee recognized ISU’s commitment to academic quality,” said Dr. Laura Woodworth-Ney, provost and vice president of academic affairs. In reaffirming the University’s accreditation, the Commission commended ISU on several key areas including campus safety, culture of student support and community outreach efforts. ISU was also applauded for the recent program prioritization process, which engaged campus constituents in “a thoughtful, comprehensive, and inclusive process” guiding the institution’s strategic planning and budgeting efforts. The NWCCU’s evaluation committee also offered recommendations, including aligning core themes, indicators and benchmarks more directly with the University’s mission statement, building upon ISU’s present governance framework, integrating all campus plans into a comprehensive planning process and improving assessment efforts. “We will address these recommendations as we work together as a campus community in our strategic planning efforts,” Woodworth-Ney said. The NWCCU is an independent, non-profit membership organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the regional authority on educational quality and institutional effectiveness of 162 higher education institutions in the seven-state Northwest region of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington.
Van der Schyf Named Vice President of Research and Graduate School Dean Dr. Cornelis J. (Neels) Van der Schyf, most recently the dean of the ISU Graduate School, has been named vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School. “I am excited about this new position,” Van der Schyf said. “This is a logical ‘marriage’ of the research and graduate school components of the University. Graduate students and their mentors are per definition, intimately involved with research. This is a model that has worked well at other universities.” Van der Schyf’s position has been redefined; he will hold the dual titles, reporting directly to ISU President Arthur Vailas as vice president for research, and to ISU Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Laura Woodworth-Ney as dean of the Graduate School.
Van der Schyf joined ISU in May 2013 as dean of the Graduate School and professor of biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences. Prior to joining ISU he was associate dean for research and graduate studies, founding chair and professor of pharmaceutical sciences in the College of Pharmacy, and professor of neurobiology in the College of Medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED). Van der Schyf earned his Bachelor of Pharmacy, Master of Science, Doctor of Science (Ph.D.) and DTE degrees from North-West University (NWU, formerly Potchefstroom University) in South Africa, and spent 1986-87 as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Connecticut and at the National Magnet Lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
A Mammoth Find Extracting the fossil remains of a 70,000-year-old-plus mammoth skull and tusk this fall was one of those Idaho State University research stories that went viral – and the project couldn’t have occurred without the work done by ISU undergraduate and graduate students.
“Fossils are rare and very fragile, so complete specimens are few and far between,” said Jeff Castro, ’14. “Dreams are made of this sort of project, and even careers. The discovery of Rufus has provided an excellent opportunity to expand my knowledge of Pleistocene Proboscideans, including recovering one from the field.” ISU students who helped with the extraction and casting included Castro, Career Path Intern (CPI) graduate students Travis Helm and Adam Clegg, CPI undergraduate students Kyle Hand and Casey Dooms, and a volunteer graduate student Josh Eppley. The rest of the team consisted of ISU’s Dr. Mary Thompson, ’98 and ’05, and Sean Hess and Jenny Huang from the Bureau of Reclamation. The Bureau’s David Walsh also photographed, shot video and publi-
Bureau of Reclamation photo by Dave Walsh
The mammoth, which its founders named Rufus, was reclaimed by the Idaho State University Idaho Museum of Natural History (IMNH) for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation at American Falls Reservoir in October.
cized the project.
ISU students, from left to “This has right, Casey Dooms, Adam been a critical Clegg, Jeff Castro and Travis undergraduate Helm, help excavate a experience, which mammoth skull last October. could contribute to potential future employment or acceptance into a graduate program,” said Dooms, a geosciences major at ISU. “I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to lead this dig. This truly is a unique experience, which the vast majority of undergraduates do not get.”
The ISU team is grateful to Rufus for all the opportunities he is providing to expand knowledge and add to the IMNH’s mammoth collections. Reconstructing and preparing the cranium is another interesting part of the project. There are only about six other mammoth assemblages within the museum’s collections and none of them are complete. Rufus provides the opportunity for ISU researchers to discover something new. Andrew Taylor
ER T N CE S ICE V SER T EN D STU
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Hoge Makes Return ESPN analyst and former Pittsburgh Steeler Merril Hoge, ’87, visited Pocatello in March to meet with students and to receive the Homecoming 2014 Distinguished Alumnus award. While on campus, Hoge met with students in the sport science and physical education program and talked to them about his battle with concussions and cancer, and the importance of hard work and dedication to a goal. Hoge said the lessons he learned playing football at Idaho State University were lessons he has carried with him throughout his career. “Idaho State University gave me an opportunity to start on my journey,” he said.
ISU Captures National Title in Pi Kappa Delta’s British Parliamentary Debate Competition Seniors Patrick Loftus and Brock Sondrup won the Pi Kappa Delta National Championship in British Parliamentary Debate at a tournament at Ohio University, bringing home ISU’s first-ever national championship in debate. Loftus and Sondrup competed for three days culminating in receiving the championship’s first place, top superior award in British Parliamentary debate. British Parliamentary debate is team debate where four teams from different schools compete in a single round. The teams are then ranked from first place to fourth place and points are assigned. Loftus and Sondrup were ranked No. 1 in 75 percent of their debates. ISU students Tristin Herup-Wheeler, Aurora Zantman and Mike Eyre also traveled with the Debate Society team to Ohio. According to Scott Jensen, the national tournament director, PKD welcomed 75 schools from 30 states and more than 2,100 entries in 23 different events.
I CHOSE REAL-WORLD EXPERIENCE
I CHOSE ISU
“I feel proud when clients become confident in their business endeavors. Working at Bengal Solutions has built my confidence and has really enhanced my communication skills. I am forever grateful to ISU.” KOFI SAAHENE, ‘15 MBA AND MACC GHANA, WEST AFRICA
MBA program now available online. For more information: isu.edu/cob Pocatello | Idaho Falls | Meridian | Twin Falls 8
Discover your future at isu.edu
Nursing Receives Top 5 Recognition ISU’s School of Nursing was recently recognized as one of the best programs in the West. In addition, the University’s online master’s program was named to the College Choice Top 50 MSN programs in the country. NurseJournal.org, a global media website for nurses and health care professionals, ranked ISU fifth out of 442 nursing schools in the West. ISU’s NCLEX pass rates are consistently more than 90 percent and are well above the national average. ISU also rated high in affordability and value.
Engineering Day More than 400 students from area junior high and high schools competed in the annual National Engineers Week Student Competitions at ISU’s campus in Pocatello in February. In addition to the competitions, students were given the opportunity to tour the University’s engineering facilities and see live demonstrations.
“The School of Nursing at ISU prepares exemplary nurse leaders who integrate education, service and research to enhance the quality of life for diverse and rural populations,” wrote College Choice editors.
Colla b ora tion
The Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) consortium is a powerful example of how universities and national laboratories, in partnership with the state, can leverage each others' capabilities to: generate more influential research educate a new generation of research professionals help industries solve pressing problems provide citizens and their representatives facts and information to make informed choices about energy and natural resources. To w o r k w i t h C A E S v i s i t www.caesenergy.org
Photos provided by Samantha Lange
ISU–Meridian’s Samantha Lange Displays Talents on National Stage and in Classroom Samantha Lange, 24, had a good reason to miss her department’s new student orientation at Idaho State University–Meridian in late August. The first-year physician assistant studies student was in New York City, competing for $1 million and a Las Vegas show on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” Lange was performing with the national jump rope team Flight Crew, which made the 2014 semifinals of the toprated talent show. “It was a blast. I loved it. It was the best experience,” she said.
Lange is completing her first year of the 24-month Master of Physician Assistant Studies program. The PA program blends her love for microbiology — she holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Idaho — with an interest in medicine and a desire to help people. “The human body is like a puzzle,” she said. “When a piece to that puzzle is missing, you have to try and put it back together.”
NOT CHILD’S PLAY Raised in Eagle, Idaho, Samantha started jumping rope in elementary school. She participated in the American Heart Association’s Jump Rope for Heart Program and started performing with her school’s team when she was in the third grade. In eighth grade, Lange jumped with the award-winning Summerwind Skippers before joining the national jump squad Flight Crew. Both teams are based in Boise. Every kid has probably jumped rope, but Flight Crew’s brand is extreme — seven guys and three girls performing flips, syncopated steps, spirals projected from trampolines and other gymnastic moves that seem to defy gravity. Performance requires finesse, athletic ability and guts. Judge Heidi Klum was so impressed with Flight Crew’s technical skill and showmanship that she brought the team back for the semifinals as her wild-card act after the
jumpers were booted off in an earlier round. Above left: Practicing with teammates in Lange says she’ll New York City during never forget the thrill of performing before a rehearsal for America’s live audience in Radio Got Talent in August 2014. City Music Hall — one Above right: On stage, of the most famous with the judges in the stages in the country foreground. and home of the Rockettes. Close to 10 million viewers tuned in for the Aug. 26 semifinals, according to Nielsen ratings. Despite a flawless performance, Flight Crew was eliminated from the show that night. “We can’t be sad we didn’t make it any further than we did because it was such an amazing experience,” said Lange. Thanks to the national television exposure, Flight Crew has been invited to perform at NBA half-time shows and university athletic events around the country. Lange’s academic commitments have kept her grounded in the Treasure Valley for the time being, but she still helps coach the Summerwind Skippers. She says the discipline of a demanding sport like jump rope has prepared her for the rigorous PA program. “I know the importance of committing to something and being there,” she said. “Becoming a physician assistant is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I plan to make it work for me.” Chris Gabettas
Mice in Space Dr. Shawn Bearden was awarded a grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to fly mice on the International Space Station in 2015 and 2016 to study how to protect astronauts from visual and possible cognitive impairment during long-term space missions. “This problem is at the top of NASA’s priority list of physiological and health concerns for space exploration,” said Bearden, director of the ISU Biomedical Research Institute and an associate professor of biological sciences. NASA has been concerned for many years that some astronauts are developing visual impairments. With the International Space Station, astronauts are staying in space for longer periods of time, and visual impairment is a growing concern. He explained that the visual impairment suffered by some astronauts may be a result of the increased pressure on the eye that occurs in the weightless “microgravity” environment in space. On earth, gravity pulls our body fluids and blood toward the ground, away from our heads. In a microgravity environment, however, fluid and blood distribution shifts, increasing in the head. This is why astronauts faces look so puffy while in space.
NEWS BRIEFS “While pressure shifts are the focus of our hypothesis, astronauts are also exposed to other environmental stresses not found on earth, such as higher levels of both radiation and carbon dioxide,” Bearden explained, “and we are also conducting ground-based studies to evaluate some of these effects alone.” One or a combination of these stresses produces what is called visual impairment and intracranial pressure syndrome. “The head is not used to those pressures and, in some ways, it is much like the sensation of hanging upside down, but for the astronauts it occurs for 24 hours a day,” Bearden said. The increased pressure causes the back of the eye – the retina – to be pushed forward and flattened, among other structural and functional changes. The pressure also can result in blood vessels leaking in the back of the eye.
Bearden’s ISU lab was invited to participate in the project because of its expertise and track record in understanding the leakage of tiny blood vessels, the capillaries, in the central nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal cord and retinas of the eye. ISU will take part in two flights of mice on the International Space Station. With the expert assistance of the astronauts, ISU researchers will study the structural and molecular changes that have taken place and determine the extent of adaptation and damage. Bearden’s lab has studied the breakdown of the blood-brain barrier in mice and discovered some of the molecular reasons and causes of it. His lab has also found some ways to fix the breakdown of that barrier in mice. Furthermore, his lab has discovered that this breakdown of the brain-blood barrier in mice precedes cognitive decline. Bearden is studying whether fixing the breakdown in the blood-brain barrier may also fix the cognitive decline that follows it. In addition to this project with NASA, his lab is also funded by the National Institutes of Health. Andrew Taylor
Preceptors TRAINING THE NEXT GENERATION OF HEALTH PROFESSIONALS
Inside Boise Family Medicine Center, Dr. Dale Mock sits at a desk, talking about his young charges—Maddie Connley and Dave Nelson, two Idaho State University-Meridian physician assistant studies students completing a five-week rotation in his bustling city practice. “I consider them my kids,” Mock chuckles. He’s dressed in a white lab coat with a stethoscope slung across his shoulders. Pinned to his lapel is a green button that reads: “Trust me. I’m a doctor.” At age 76, Mock has practiced family medicine longer than Nelson, 36, and Connley, 26, have been alive. And he has no plans to retire any time soon. “I still have a great passion for what I do,” says Mock, who graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine in 1969. That’s great news to the Division of Health Sciences (DHS) and its 20 health professions programs which depend on
health care practitioners or preceptors like Mock who provide hands-on, real-world experience and training for ISU health professions students. “Without preceptors, we wouldn’t have the ability to supply adequate clinical education to our students,” says DHS Vice Provost and Executive Dean Linda Hatzenbuehler. The Master of Physician Assistant Studies program requires students to complete eight five-week rotations to comply with national accreditation standards and guidelines established by the PA profession. Rotations — which begin a year after classroom study — include internal and outpatient medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, emergency medicine, surgery and psychiatry. Other programs, such as nursing, pharmacy and the communication sciences, also require clinical rotations in addition to classroom study.
HANDS-ON, REAL-WORLD EXPERIENCE A typical day finds Connley and Nelson examining and diagnosing patients, reviewing charts, discussing courses of treatment and prescribing medication — all under Mock’s watchful eye. The practice is busy — it’s not unusual to have 20 to 40 appointments a day. “We see all ages from cradle to one foot in the grave,” Mock says. On a Friday afternoon in January, Mock, Connley and Nelson review a lung X-ray attached to a wall near an exam room. The image was taken that morning after a patient came in complaining of a Left: ISU-Meridian PA students Dave Nelson (left) dry cough. “He had and Maddie Connley review a history of inhala lung X-ray with preceptor ing leaves so we Dr. Dale Mock. were worried about Below: Nurse practitioner mold inhalation,” Katy Searle works with a Connley says. patient. After a consultation with Mock who recommended an X-ray, Connley determined the patient was suffering from bronchitis and treated him. “I love the fact that the rotation is so hands-on. Dr. Mock has us working directly with the patient, building our confidence,” said Connley, who got hooked on medicine her senior year of high school and holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from University of Nevada, Reno.
Nurse practitioner Katy Searle considers precepting a way of mentoring the next generation of nurse practitioners, who have advanced nursing training and can practice independent of a physician. “It’s carrying my education forward. Somebody was my preceptor, and I could not have learned what I did without the really good preceptors I had,” says Searle, a 2004 graduate of ISU’s Family Nurse Practitioner program and owner of the Firth Medical Center, PLLC. As the only primary care provider in Firth — population 406 — Searle and her staff see every type of patient from children to elderly patients with complicated medical conditions. Since 2005, approximately 20 ISU students have precepted with Searle. The minute they set foot in her clinic, she stresses the importance of building a patient’s trust and leaving no stone unturned in the examination room. “We are an extremely rural community. A nurse practitioner is often flying solo with no back up from a huge medical team, especially in a rural community. You have to listen carefully to what the patient is telling you so you don’t miss something,” she says.
Like Mock, Searle also provides students with a taste of the business side of medicine from balancing budgets to sifting through complicated paperwork. Back in Boise, it’s approaching late afternoon. Mock, Nelson and Connley
“The preceptorship is an amazing bridge from classroom to practice.” – DAVE NELSON PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT STUDENT
are finishing up with the last few patients before the weekend. But Mock isn’t done just yet. “Before students leave each day, I like to ask them what they’ve learned — what pearls can they take with them,” he says. The answer comes easy to Nelson, who marvels at Mock’s half century of medical experience and thirst for new knowledge. “Dr. Mock is very good at listening to his patients. I think that’s something I will always use as a clinician,” says Nelson. Chris Gabettas
“The preceptorship is an amazing bridge from classroom to practice,” says Nelson, a University of Idaho public relations graduate who spent 10 years in medical sales before enrolling in the PA program.
PAYING IT FORWARD ISU has 400 to 500 preceptor sites around the country. Clinicians, health care practitioners and affiliate faculty volunteer their time. If ISU had to pay its preceptors, the “cost of health professional education would double if not triple,” says Hatzenbuehler.
They come by the thousands, sometimes from hundreds of miles away, attracted to Idaho State University through the varied and many outreach activities offered by the ISU College of Arts and Letters School of Performing Arts. “I hadn’t even considered coming to ISU until I came to the camp,” said Montana Webb, an ISU sophomore from Mountain Home who is majoring in music education. Webb attended the Marching Arts Academy when she was in high school. “Coming to the camp my junior and senior year as a drum major from my high school was a really big deal for me,” she added. “It was nice to come to a new environment, meet some new faculty and new people, and learn about a whole new music program other than what I’d known.” Webb’s experience is not unique. Exposure to ISU through camps, clinics and performances is extensive and is one of the primary recruiting tools for the School of Performing Arts. Outreach activities offered by the School of Performing Arts are too many
to list, but include the music department’s ISU Choral Festival, Choral Invitational, Jazz Fest, Day of Percussion, Concert Band Festival, Summer Strings and Piano Institute (in conjunction with the Idaho State Civic Symphony) and the Marching Arts Academy. “Our outreach activities are tied to our core mission themes of ‘Learning and Discovery’ and ‘Access and Opportunity,’” said Dr. Thom Hasenpflug, director of the School of Performing Arts, and chair and professor of percussion in the music department.
“We want students to get the ISU experience early before they go to college so they know all we offer in the performing arts,” he continued. “We want to put on high-quality activities and have them see and experience them firsthand so they can say, ‘hey there is a lot on this campus,’ look at the Stephens Center and be exposed to all of our quality programs and talented faculty.” Those efforts can be very successful. “I really loved the faculty here,” Webb said. “They were really open to being helpful and talking and reaching out to
“We live in a place where you can go to a beautiful hall and interact with other people and hear Beethoven or Stravinsky, and go to a stunning theatre and watch a play by Shakespeare. It’s the difference between existing and living a more full, interesting and multi-faceted existence.” – DR. PAT BROOKS, DIRECTOR OF BANDS
prospective and current students. I like how they push the limit in a good way, they strive for excellence and they expect a lot from you. They’ll do whatever it takes to make sure you can be the best you can be, and then some. That was true at the camps and it is true as a student.” Chad Gross, associate director of the School of Performing Arts and professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance, said he looks forward to the one-act competition that ISU has hosted for the past decade during April. The competition attracts more than 150 prep students from as far away as Boise, Utah and Wyoming. The participating schools attend workshops and compete in the one-act play competition. “It’s exciting. Each year it grows,” Gross said. “It is great to give those incoming freshmen a chance to interact with our students and faculty, and see our facilities, the state-of-the-art Stephens Center with all of its venues, set design facilities and the costume shop. A lot of those students who come to the competition end up enrolling at ISU. I don’t think we’ve had a better recruiting tool through the years.” Exposure to the arts at ISU also helps in recruiting students from other disciplines that may have not otherwise come to the University.
JUNE 22-26, 2015
Marching Band Leadership Camp JULY 14-17, 2015
“We get a lot of other students from other majors,” Gross said. “We get a lot of double majors that came here because they were impressed with our programs and facilities, and could also pursue another major like engineering.” Although these outreach activities are helpful and effective in recruiting students, they are important for other reasons as well. “Culture is a quality of life issue and the School of Performing Arts is a magnet for that,” said Dr. Patrick Brooks, director of bands who puts on Jazz Fest and other outreach efforts. The Jazz Fest, held in February, brings in world-class musicians to ISU and this year featured Grammy awardwinning jazz tenor saxophonist Bob Mintzer and keyboardist Russell Ferrante. This duo provided clinics for ISU and prep students. Mintzer and Ferrante also performed in a concert with the ISU Jazz Band and also performed off-campus for community members in a quartet. “The School of Performing Arts is a focus for the arts for the University, community and educational system, and our outreach is a big part of that,” Brooks said. “We live in a place where you can go to a beautiful hall and interact with other people and hear Beethoven or Stravinsky, and go to a stunning theatre and watch a play by Shakespeare. It’s the difference between existing and living a more full, interesting and multi-faceted existence.” Andrew Taylor SPRING 2015
The off-road buggy built from scratch by the members of ISU’s Society for Automotive Engineering can go up to 40 miles per hour, pretty fast for a homebuilt machine with a 10-horsepower engine. And fast might sound great for a competition, but club members have more to think about than just speed. The vehicle they are building in a large laboratory room in the engineering building has to be fast, but it also has to endure a strenuous set of tests, from a hill climb to a maneuverability course with tight turns, bumps, ruts, dropoffs, sand and gullies. Most difficult of all, however, is the 4-hour endurance course, an event which stopped last year’s Idaho State University team when the tie rods on its buggy broke. Club member and senior mechanical engineering major Jacob Peck thinks 40 miles per hour might not propel them to the finish line. More torque is needed, he says, to get up the large hills. “That’s too fast, probably,” he says. “We need to be around 25 miles per hour.” This year, team member and fellow senior mechanical engineering major Chad Clayson says, the goal is to finish every event, and to improve their position – last year’s team finished 83 out of 115 teams.
Left: The team members built their 2015 Baja Buggy from scratch, making it lighter than previous versions. Right: Team members Jacob Peck and Mike Echevarria discuss placement of the brake pedal. Far right: The team discusses plans for the 2015 Baja Buggy. 16
“The whole race will be a test of what we can do,” Peck says. “We want to finish it.” Competition at the annual Baja Buggy events, held each year in three locations in the United States and in Brazil, South Africa and Korea, is fierce, and the event is popular. Spots for the Portland, Oregon event, where ISU will compete May 27, sold out in less than 10 minutes. Teams from around the world attend, but not all drive. First, they must pass a rigorous inspection, where every piece of the buggy undergoes a technical inspection, from shocks and brakes to the engine. Last year was the first time an ISU team passed the technical inspection. Along with offering a good test of knowledge, the Baja Buggy competitions are designed to help student engineers gain experience that will help them in their future careers. It has already worked – Peck, who graduates this May, recently interviewed for a position, and the employer cited his Baja Buggy work as one of the reasons he is a promising prospect.
Each team member has spent hundreds of hours on the design and construction of the buggy, welding pieces together, installing parts, testing them, measuring, taking them apart and installing them again. One afternoon, the team learned the front shocks were too big. At another meeting, they redesigned the rear control and jack shaft mounts to help them move more smoothly. It’s the perfect mix of precision and creativity, Peck says. Everything must be placed in an exact spot in an exact way to make sure the team’s ideas and goals can come to fruition. “We have a plan,” Peck said, “but all the pieces have to come into place. The work has been difficult, but worth it.” “It’s been rewarding,” he said. “I’m anxious to get behind the wheel and see how it performs.” Emily Frandsen
The experience, teammate Mike Echevarria, a senior mechanical engineering major, says, is exactly what he and his classmates hope for in a career. “I think designing will be in all of our futures,” Echevarria says. Peck and Echevarria attended last year’s competition to observe. They decided to build a new frame for this year’s vehicle, focusing on making it lighter. They also worked to improve the steering and power distribution.
I CHOSE ISU As Idaho State University embarks on a rebranding campaign, the University is focusing on its greatest asset – our people. ISU is, at its core, the combined experiences of our alumni, students, faculty and staff. Discover why these Bengals chose ISU.
“I could see they loved what they were doing,” she said.
Andrea Vicic, ’14
MBA CANDIDATE Andrea Vicic likes a challenge, whether she’s sprinting around the track in Holt Arena or studying group dynamics in the workplace. An ISU track and field star and College of Business scholar, Vicic grew up in White Rock, British Columbia near Vancouver. A full-ride track scholarship brought the 22-yearold Canadian to Bengal Country in 2010 — a decision she has never regretted.
Vicic credits her professors with “humanizing” business, teaching her that business isn’t merely about making money and managing the bottom line. Rather, business can improve lives and make the world a better place. Vicic found the group dynamics of business fascinating as well— for example, how ineffective teamwork can sink the best of ideas. “I learned that in everything you do, business is involved regardless of your career path. Business makes the world go round and round,” she said.
In spring 2014, Vicic earned a bachelor’s degree in business management and received an Outstanding Student Achievement Award from the ISU Office of Alumni Relations. Last fall, she enrolled in the College of Business’s rigorous Master of Business Administration program. She also competes on the women’s track and field team in the heptathlon, a grueling event consisting of seven running, jumping and throwing events.
As an athlete and scholar, Vicic has learned the importance of time management in achieving her academic potential. You’ll often find her studying in her favorite library computer lab, a place where she can focus without distraction.
Despite having parents successful in Canadian business and finance, Vicic wasn’t sure what she wanted to study in college. After taking a few accounting and business classes as part of her general studies, she decided on business management, thanks to the enthusiasm of her professors.
Vicic is exploring career paths as she completes her last few semesters at ISU, a campus she describes as rich in diversity and opportunity. Chris Gabettas
Stephen Agyenim-Boateng, ’17 PHARMACY
Stephen Agyenim-Boateng traveled 7,000 miles and crossed seven time zones to study pharmacy at Idaho State University. “I came here because it was affordable and Idaho State has one of the best pharmacy schools in the United States,” said Agyenim-Boateng, 24, who was born and raised in Kumasi, Ghana in the rain forest region of West Africa. He’d also heard good things about Bengal Country from his older brother Roger, who earned his undergraduate degree in accounting at ISU. The son of a banker and a teacher, Agyenim-Boateng knew he wanted to study pharmacy the moment he graduated from high school. “My motivation was my little sister who has sickle cell disease. I’d like to do drug research to help sickle cell and cancer patients,” said Agyenim-Boateng, who is wrapping up his second year in the fouryear Doctor of Pharmacy program at the ISU-Meridian Health Science Center. After graduation, he is considering a fellowship at the Cancer Research Institute or the St. Jude Children’s Sickle Cell Research Foundation. Sickle cell disease is an incurable form of anemia where there aren’t enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen throughout the body. Patients often experience pain, fatigue and are prone to disease and respiratory issues. AgyenimBoateng’s sister, who is 16, manages the blood disorder with medication. At ISU-Meridian, Agyenim-Boateng has had the opportunity to visit the pharmaceutical research laboratory of Dr. Kirk Hevener, an ISU professor on the cutting edge of infectious disease research and drug discovery. “My experience at ISU has been amazing and challenging. It takes a lot of commitment. I think the professors do a really good job,” said Agyenim-Boateng. The student pharmacist said he appreciated the opportunity to participate in the ISU-Meridian/Ada County Commu-
nity Health Screening program, now in its fifth year. Six times a year, faculty and health professions students screen citizens for a variety of conditions, from high cholesterol to HIV, and provide preventive health education. The free screenings not only give the student clinicians valuable hands-on experience, but provide a valuable service to underserved and uninsured adults in the Treasure Valley. “I think it’s a blessing just to be able to help people in the community,” said AgyenimBoateng, who represents ISU in the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation, an organization of 350,000 students worldwide who work to promote improved public health through information, education and networking. Agyenim-Boateng has adjusted to life in Idaho just fine and enjoys playing soccer, football, basketball and ping pong when he’s not cracking the books. “I’m open to trying new things — except for camping, definitely not camping. That’s why we have hotels,” he said with a laugh. Chris Gabettas
Layha Spoonhunter, ’17 POLITICAL SCIENCE
ISU’s Layha Spoonhunter, who was honored last year as one of “25 under 25” of the top youth leaders in Indian Country by the United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) Council, has met, campaigned for and danced for President Barack Obama.
Wyoming and to the Fort Hall Indian Reservation are the main reasons Spoonhunter chose Idaho State University.
Spoonhunter, a sophomore majoring in political science, was active in both of President Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns. In 2008, he met Obama in person at a rally in Casper, Wyoming, and served as the youngest delegate to the Democratic National Convention. He also danced at Obama’s 2009 inauguration with an Eastern Shoshone group and at Obama’s 2013 inauguration with the Wind River Dancers.
“My sister graduated from school here and she always talked about how ISU was a good school for my degree (political science),” said Spoonhunter. “The fact that I have family here, my dad’s older sister lives at Fort Hall, is also a plus. I’d come up here for the Fort Hall Powwow every year and I always liked visiting my sister here on campus. I always liked the campus.”
“It was unique to be involved with such a historic campaign,” said Spoonhunter. With UNITY, Spoonhunter has been active planning the group’s annual National Unity Conferences, including the 2015 conference in Washington, D.C., that attract more than 1,000 Native American Youth from more than 140 tribal youth councils throughout the United States. At ISU, Spoonhunter is vice president of the student group Native American United (NAU), and has helped organize the ISU Powwow and other activities. He is slated to be NAU’s president the 2015-16 academic year. Spoonhunter was also crowned NAU’s Mr. Native Two Spirits ISU at the group’s royalty competition in November 2014, where he competed against Miss and Mr. Native ISU. “When I got here I joined Native American United and it really has become sort of like a family to me,” Spoonhunter said. “Helping NAU and helping Native students is really important to me.” Academic reputation and Idaho State University’s proximity to family, his home in
It was also important for Spoonhunter to be within a five-hour drive of his hometown of Ethete, Wyoming, on the Wind River Reservation where he grew up. On his mother’s side he is Eastern Shoshone and on his father’s side he is Northern Arapahoe and Oglala Lakota. He claims a lineage that goes back to Chief Washakie on his mother’s side and to Chief Crazy Horse on his father’s side. Andrew Taylor
Dr. Mary Thompson, ’98 and ‘05
SENIOR COLLECTIONS, IDAHO MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY “I felt like I had come home.” This is how Dr. Mary Thompson, senior collections manager for the Idaho Museum of Natural History (IMNH) at ISU, describes her reaction to the first time she visited the Pocatello campus in the summer of 1989. Thompson applied to 13 different institutions for graduate school, including ISU and Harvard. She was accepted to all of them and offered scholarships or teaching assistant positions at each. What made the crucial difference for her was going to visit the schools. “In 1989 Greg McDonald (who I worked with) and I were doing a dinosaur dig in Colorado and he suggested that while we were in the area we should go up and take a look at ISU,” said Thompson. “I absolutely fell in love. I loved the campus and the area. And the people I met were just so incredibly welcoming.” ISU was the last place to send Thompson an acceptance letter. “I was on pins and needles. I was just so convinced that this is where I should be that I turned down all the other schools, including Harvard,” Thompson said, “I could have gone to Harvard, but I chose ISU for my graduate studies and it was the best decision I ever made.” Thompson finished her master’s degree at ISU in 1998, by which time she was also working full-time and being a teacher’s assistant. She was hired by the IMNH that same year, and continued her studies, earning her doctorate from ISU in 2005. As senior collections manager, Thompson oversees the paleontology and Earth sciences
collections. The collection, which includes some very impressive bison and mammoth skulls, is in high demand. “It’s a premium collection we’ve got here. Scientists come from all over the world to see our fossils,” said Thompson, who also teaches classes and does research at ISU. “Getting to go out into the field, work hands-on with fossils, teach, and do research is all really fantastic,” she said, “This is the best job I could have asked for.” A native of Bridgetown, a suburb of Cincinnati, Thompson earned a radiologic technology associate degree from Xavier University after graduating from high school in 1972. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Mount St. Joseph University and completed an internship at the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History. Thomas Attebery, ’16
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, THEATRE Vanessa Ballam, an assistant professor of theatre, came to ISU because she was impressed by the Stephens Performing Arts Center, the chance to work in a theatre program with direct interaction with students and ISU’s support for the arts. “It’s wonderful to have a job where I can teach and mentor students in the classroom as well as perform and direct,” Ballam said, “From a very young age I knew I wanted to be a theatre performer and a teacher, so it’s kind of the perfect situation for me.”
“She just really seems to care about what I can contribute to this University,” Ballam said, “I could tell even just from my job interview that she is very involved with the College. I feel that ISU really values what I bring to the table.”
Ballam has been performing professionally and teaching theatre around the country for the past 15 years.
Ballam says that she is very excited about what her future at ISU will bring.
“I love that because of the size of the theatre program here I get to interact one-on-one with my students every single day. That’s very important to me,” Ballam said.
“I think that we can put ISU on the map in terms of theatre programs. One thing I’m doing right now is taking 10 of my seniors to 42nd Street in Manhattan to perform in a professional New York showcase, which will potentially get their feet in the door and open up post-college theatre opportunities,” said Ballam.
Ballam, who graduated from Utah State University and Indiana University, has performed with such companies as The Utah Shakespeare Festival, Pennsylvania Shakespeare, Music Theatre West, Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre and many more. Some of her favorite roles she has played include Eliza in “My Fair Lady,” Lilli Vanessi in “Kiss Me, Kate,” Desdemona in “Othello,” and Maria in “The Sound of Music.” She is very happy with the support and enthusiasm she sees for the performing arts at ISU, particularly from Dr. Kandi Turley-Ames, the dean of the College of Arts and Letters.
Thomas Attebery, ’16
Josh Kuntz, ’16
DIESEL MECHANICS Josh Kuntz, a sophomore in the College of Technology’s diesel mechanic program, is changing his life and his family’s. Kuntz is originally from Pennsylvania and moved to Pocatello six years ago. He started off working at Simplot as a laborer and quickly moved up to become a process operator. He was notified his section of the plant would be closing within two years. Kuntz sought help through the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program. The program is designed to help workers who have lost their jobs. Kuntz said after he left Simplot, he knew he wanted to go back to school. It was an opportunity to rewrite his future and transition into a new career. “I chose ISU, because diesel mechanics is something I did back home. So I knew it was something I enjoyed,” Kuntz said. “ISU has a good reputation for the diesel program, so I wanted the best education that I could get. Coming here and really learning about the program in depth is what got me motivated to do the best that I could.” Kuntz said he enjoys the hands-on experience within the program. Currently Kuntz is working on air conditioning units in diesel vehicles. He appreciates the knowledge he has learned over the semester, because he knows it will help prepare him for the field. “My professors are awesome. They are there for you 100 percent of the way and
are looking to help you succeed,” he said. “Dave Treasure helps me out a lot to get everything taken care of. He has been there right beside me and encourages me not to hesitate to ask questions. I really appreciate him.” ISU offers the diesel/on-site power generation technology to give students the opportunity to learn the proper procedures for servicing, maintaining and repairing all parts of the diesel equipment used in farming, construction and trucking industries. “I would like to do the on-site power generator. It’s not required, but I want the experience and knowledge,” Kuntz said. “There is always going to be a need for power, I know that my education from ISU will prepare me for the field, so I can go confidently in the direction of my career.” Crystal Valdez, ’16
We’d love to hear why you chose ISU! Email us your story at email@example.com.
Birthday: August 1, 1959
Height: 10 Stripes
Getting into mischief, taking catnaps, skateboarding, breakdancing and cheering on the Bengals
Favorite Song: Eye of the Tiger
Arch Nemesis: Waldo the Wildcat
Handheld signs, handstands, costume changes, portable kissing booth, bleacher jumps, impersonations, and crazy antics Benny the Bengal was the National Champion in the 2013 U.S. College Championship Mascot Division and won 2nd place in 2014 and 2015
Want to know more?
Ask Benny on Twitter with #AskBennyAnything
Idaho State University’s Bengal mascot is as popular as ever, but since he was conceived in 1959, he has evolved by changing looks, tricks and behavior. His antics now are strictly G-rated, but that wasn’t always the case, according to alumni who said some of the mascot’s former actions might receive a PG-13 rating. “It was fun being the Bengal. I had way too much fun,” said Greg Palmer, who performed as ISU’s mascot in the early 1970s. Palmer, who now lives in Topeka, Kansas, attended ISU 1969-1973 as a journalism student and was a member of the cheer squad, performing as the Bengal eight or 10 times. At that time, the mascot was only known as ‘the Bengal’ without the ‘Benny.’ “It was a lot of fun interacting with the crowd and the fans, and in those days the Bengal was a little less familyfriendly,” said Palmer, who was known for his half-court, back-facing-the-basket shots at Bengal basketball games. “Cal Percy was the most notorious of them all along those lines. Anything you ever heard about him is probably true and understated by half.” Percy was one of the first Bengal mascots from 1967 to 1969, when he wasn’t too busy earning All-American honors as a swimmer or riding his motorcycle over one of the steel spans of Holt Arena during its construction.
“Everything I did was in the spirit of fun,” said Percy, who now lives in Blackfoot. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from ISU in 1971 and is a member of the ISU Sports Hall of Fame. “I wasn’t trying to hurt anybody or cause a problem, it was just back in the 60s and we had a lot of fun in college.” Percy’s reign as the mascot is most remembered for an incident that occurred when the ISU men’s basketball team was playing back-toback, Friday-Saturday games against the University of Idaho. On Friday, the Vandal cheerleaders grabbed the Bengal’s tail and pushed him around. On Saturday, the Bengal retaliated. Percy survived his antics of that day and remained the mascot, but not before pleading his case in person before the State Board of Education, he
“For me, being silent was the hardest thing, especially for someone who likes to talk as much as I do,” Perdue said. “I never did talk, and never even growled. For me, as a person who knew half the students at ISU at the time, I wanted to say hi every time I came across them.” Not all the children he encountered were like Paxton. “The kids were great,” Perdue said. “You got a different variety: some were super excited and wanted to hug you, some were frightened of you and cried instantly, and some just wanted to pull your tail – that’s how I broke it up, really.
Benny’s fans are many and he is one of ISU’s most-loved ambassadors.
“For the most part,” he continued, “the kids really loved Benny and you could see parents’ faces light up because their children were so happy to see him. One of my goals at a football game was to touch every stair in Holt Arena and high-five every kid I could.”
Four-year old Paxton Collum loves Benny, especially dancing with him.
Although his close friends knew he was the mascot, Perdue said he enjoyed the anonymity of being Benny.
“His best move is when Benny twists his arms around,” Paxton said.
“It was an opportunity to kind of get away, if that makes sense, to be at a sporting event without anyone knowing who I was,” Perdue said. “I was surrounded by people, but at the same time I was in my own world. It was an opportunity to be someone other than myself.”
said. A sorority at the University of Idaho also chose him as its “Man of the Year” for his activities on the court that day.
“Paxton loves seeing Benny at the University events,” said Dr. Tracy Collum, Paxton’s mother and associate dean of the ISU Graduate School. “Whenever I ride my bike around the Quad I look for Benny because I know he lives on campus,” Paxton explained. “But shhh, it’s a secret.”
“It was fun being the Bengal. I had way too much fun.” – GREG PALMER, EARLY 1970s BENNY
Despite the adulation, you won’t hear Benny bragging about it: one hallmark characteristic of Benny is that he is sworn to secrecy and does not talk in public. “We want to maintain the integrity of Benny the Bengal,” said Kalee Kopp Ralphs, director of marketing and promotions for ISU Athletics. “We don’t want to reveal any information about him. That has been a huge part of our branding plan, and has helped out tremendously as we have moved person to person. We want fans to focus on Benny, and not a student dressed up as a tiger. We want them to feel like he has the same moves, and he is the same character we have created, despite the person that is inside.” The branding plan has worked very well. And, although current Bennys have a vow of silence, former mascots do not, including Joe Perdue, ’05, who was Benny the Bengal during the 2006-07 school year. A former distance-runner standout for the Bengals track and cross-country teams, Perdue earned a bachelor’s degree at ISU. He was working on a master’s degree the year he was Benny, while also working as a resident assistant at a dormitory and as a graduate teaching assistant in classrooms. 26
The Key To Long-Term Growth Is Sustainability 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 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. 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 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
ALUMNI TRACKINGS --------- 1970s --------Rafi Ahmed, ’72, BS, microbiology, ’74, MS, microbiology, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine’s newest class of 70 leading health scientists and 10 foreign associates. Ahmed is director of the Emory Vaccine Center, a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, a scientist at Yerkes National Primate Research Center, and Charles Howard Candler Professor of Microbiology and Immunology in Emory University School of Medicine. Anne Custis, ’70, BA, general consumer economics, and her husband Chuck were named retired educators of the year by AARP Wyoming. Custis taught family and consumer science for 30 years at the Central Junior High School in Sheridan.
Sister Mary Forman, ’70, BS, pharmacy, was elected as the 14th prioress of the Monastery of St. Gertrude on March 4. Sister Mary will be formally installed on June 13. She grew up in Boise, Idaho, where she was employed as a pharmacist after graduating from Idaho State University in 1970. Before entering the Monastery in 1973, and afterward, she continued her work as a pharmacist. Currently she is an Associate Professor in Monastic Studies at the School of Theology, Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota. She also teaches at the College of St. Benedict. Jim Goodman, ’74, BS, biology, has been named the new director of the Boise State Bookstore. Goodman has more than 15 years of progressive experience at the bookstore, most recently serving as associate director. Prior to joining the university, he worked in store and district management positions in both the office supply and sporting goods industries.
LaMar Isaak, ’73, Cert. auto and diesel mechanics, was recently inducted into the Idaho Cooperative Council Hall of Fame. Isaak, who raises cattle, sugar beets, corn, alfalfa and barley in Southeast Idaho, has served on the Idaho Cooperative Council since 2007. Phil Joslin, ’75, BBA, computer information sciences, was the 2014 Idaho State Journal Business Award winner in the Industry and Technical category. Joslin is the retired CEO of Farm Bureau Insurance. Ken Miracle, ’71, BA, anthropology, was named a finalist for the national “Heroes of Conservation” award presented by Field and Stream magazine for his work in greater sage grouse Continued on Page 31
Ryan and Kebai Bills took their family to the second annual Alumni Ski Tour event at Bogus Basin Resort outside of Boise.
2015 Professional Achievement Awards College of Business Rodney A. Davis College of Education Dr. Jacqueline (Royston) Thompson College of Technology David W. Baumert College of Pharmacy Adrian M. Wong College of Science and Engineering Natural and Physical Sciences Dr. Philip D. LaFleur College of Science and Engineering Engineering Kendal R. Tanner College of Arts and Letters Social and Behavioral Sciences Joshua Tolman College of Arts and Letters Fine Arts and Humanities Anne S. Voilleque’ Division of Health Sciences Dr. Thana Singarajah School of Nursing Blanche B. Willford
Outstanding Student Achievement Awards
Ryan Sargent, ’09, was recently named ISU’s associate director of alumni relations. As a student, Sargent served as student body president, and was a beneficiary of the Ifft Leadership Scholarship. The enormous number of opportunities is one of the reasons Sargent chose ISU. While studying political science, Sargent was able to not only participate in student government, but to serve as an ISU Ambassador, work as a research assistant and write a column for the school newspaper. After graduation, Sargent went on to study law at University of Idaho, and to practice civil litigation in Boise. He served as a deputy prosecutor for Power County before returning home to ISU. During his short time away from ISU, he kept in touch, serving on the alumni board of directors. “I love ISU,” he said. “There is nowhere better to work than on a college campus.” Today, Sargent is working to create new alumni association chapters, beginning in the Boise and Twin Falls areas. The goal, he says, is to give alumni a chance to connect with fellow Bengals, past and present, in their communities, and to help people rekindle their relationships with the University he loves. “They will give alumni a truly meaningful way to connect with the University,” he said.
College of Business Jameson Tyler Bastow College of Education Kayla M. Miller College of Technology Jakob P. Meng College of Pharmacy Lindsey Marie Hunt College of Science & Engineering Natural and Physical Sciences Douglas Rothmer Walker College of Science & Engineering Engineering Kyle R. Gagnon College of Arts and Letters Social and Behavioral Sciences Ashley Lynn Miller College of Arts and Letters Fine Arts and Humanities Daniel Shelden Division of Health Sciences Jennifer Kristen Brooks School of Nursing Madeline Woodhouse Graduate School - Master’s Candidate Rick T. Richardson Graduate School - Doctoral Candidate E. Scott Lee SPRING 2015
Nursing Class of 1956: “We Were Joined at the Hip” It was the early 1950s. Mary Ann McCaskill Legris was reading the Idaho State Journal when a story caught her eye. Idaho State College—about seven blocks up the street from her family’s home—was starting a new four-year nursing program. “I thought it bore looking into,” said Legris, who was on leave from her nursing studies in Salt Lake City. So she called up Idaho State admissions—ISC became Idaho State University in 1963— and transferred to her hometown nursing program. Tuition was around $36 a semester. And so begins the story of the Class of 1956—seven young women who were the first to graduate from the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program and their tale of enduring friendship. The others were Suzanne Lane Savage, Sally Bennett Barkdull, Elizabeth Clark Lusk, Loretta Neuman Zook, Edna Bennett and Arline Jones. “We were a good group. We helped each other and supported one another. We stuck together,” said Savage during a phone interview from her home in Vancouver, Washington. Today, all are in their 80s and several in the group remain in close contact. They exchange holiday cards, phone calls, emails, attend class reunions and maintain an interest in their alma mater. “We are fascinated—all of us—by the growth of the University. We keep pretty close tabs on what’s going on, especially in nursing,” said Legris, 82, who lives in Edmonton, Alberta in Canada. They are impressed with ISU’s growth in the health sciences, particularly the development of the ISU Health Science
Center in Meridian. They’re also amazed with advancements in nursing education, such as the use of computerized mannequins to simulate real-world patient scenarios. To appreciate the depths of their 60-year friendship, consider what it was like to be a student nurse back then. The women roomed together on the sixth floor of Bannock Memorial Hospital on the edge of campus, which provided them with extraordinary clinical opportunities and a front-row seat into the medical world. The program was rigorous and the pressures intense, but they still had time to enjoy campus life—movies, football games, and the Blue Room, a popular student meeting place and coffee shop. “We were connected at the hip. We were like sisters,” recalled Legris. When it came time to do their clinical rotation in pediatrics, the seven boarded a train in downtown Pocatello and traveled to Denver Children’s Hospital in Colorado. The group was forced to split for public health rotations in Idaho, but the student nurses still stayed in touch, thanks to Legris and her typewriter. She’d pound out letters to her classmates, who would add to them and mail them on until the letters had traveled full circle. The student nurses wrote about their clinical experiences and everyday life in their temporary communities. “I have copies. They are hilarious!” said Savage, 80, noting some of the letters
were full of good-natured Back row, left to right: Elizabeth Clark Lusk, Loretta Neuman, Suzanne Lane ribbing and Savage, Mary Ann McCaskill Legris girl talk best Front row, left to right: Arline Jones, kept between the sisterhood Edna Bennett, Sally Bennett of seven. After graduation, the women married, raised families and built rewarding careers in the nursing profession. They worked in a variety of fields, including surgery, public health, pediatrics, psychiatry and family medicine. Some worked as school nurses while others specialized in bedside nursing or taught in hospitals and universities. Savage and Legris taught nursing at ISU for several years before moving on. “Our ISU education was excellent preparation, primarily because of the clinical work. It was superb. We were able to jump into anything that came our way,” said Jones, 80, who now lives in Murrieta, California.
conservation. Miracle retired from the Idaho State Department of Agriculture as a human resources manager in 2008. Rick Palagi, ’77, BA, journalism, has been named CEO of Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital in Nevada. Palagi brings more than 30 years of health care management experience to the hospital. Marsha Smith, ’73, BS, secondary education, retired from the Idaho Public Utilities Commission in February 2015. An attorney, she had served on the PUC since 1991. Photo provided by the ISU School of Nursing
“I loved everything I did in nursing,” said Legris, who helped establish the first nongovernment funded palliative care unit in Alberta in 1981. At a nursing reunion several years ago, Legris and her husband swung by lower campus. They stopped near the site of the old student infirmary, where Legris and Savage taught nursing for several years after graduation and set up a skills lab in the basement. Legris sat on a bench and reminisced about decades gone by.
Mark S. Young, ’81, BS, political science, was appointed by Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter as the Region 6 representative on the Idaho Economic Advisory Council. The Council advises the governor and the Idaho Department of Commerce on furthering economic development within the state. Young is a branch manager and registered principal with Raymond James Financial Services. He has 30 years of business experience in the securities industry, beginning as a registered representative for Piper Jaffray & Hopwood.
--------- 1990s ----------------- 1980s --------Dr. Bruce Gestrin, ’80, MA, athletic administration, retired after 24 years of service to the West Ada School District. He had served as the deputy superintendent of the district since 2000. Brent Phillips, ’89, BBA, finance, was recently named president and CEO of Rapid City, South Dakota-based Regional Health. He most recently served as senior vice president of medical group operations for Aurora Health Care in Wisconsin, a job that included the title of president-Greater Milwaukee South, overseeing four hospitals. He previously held leadership roles with the Mayo Clinic and Sentara Healthcare. Warren Whitaker, ’80, BS, physical education, ’90, MPE, athletic administration, a Highland High School coach and teacher, was awarded an Idaho State Journal Business Award University Award in the K-12 Education category.
Bruce Call, ’93, BS, corporate training, has been named chief operating officer of The Super Dentists in San Diego. Formerly, Call served as chief operations officer for West Coast Dental in Los Angeles. Dana Evans, ’99, BS, psychology, is the new clinical director at The Army Substance Abuse Program in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Evans has more than 17 years experience in the mental health care industry, more than 13 years supervisory experience and more than eight years program management experience.
Supporters, alumni, faculty and staff honored at 2014 homecoming events: Merril Hoge, ‘88, Distinguished Alumnus Award; Bill Eames, ‘57, William J. Bartz Award; Dr. Jennifer Easton Attebery, Faculty Achievement Award; Randy Gaines, ‘01, Distiguished Service Award; Dr. Alex Bolinger, ’02, ‘04, Young Alumni Award; Drs. Ron and Linda Hatzenbueler , Homecoming Parade Marshals; Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation, President’s Medallion; Idaho Central Credit Union, President’s Medallion; and Lincoln and Linda Yamashita, President’s Medallion.
“I was sitting there telling my husband all about that lab and how wonderful it was and how Suzanne and I practically lived there. We’ve always talked about the fact that ISU set us on the right course. We have tremendous respect for our school,” said Legris. Chris Gabettas
Continued from Page 31
Don Furu, ’94, BS, corporate training, has accepted a part-time position as an associate trainer in the Idaho State University Office of Public Safety. Furu retired as a captain with the Pocatello Police Department after more than 33 years of service. He also works for PowerPhone, a company based in Madison, Connecticut, where he trains 9-1-1 dispatchers in a variety of topics including law enforcement dispatch, domestic violence, 9-1-1 supervision, suicide intervention and hostage negotiations. U.S. Army Reserve Col. Guy M. Hollingsworth, ’98, ME, curriculum and instruction, assumed command of the Joint Enabling Capabilities Command’s (JECC) Army Reserve Element on Aug. 8. Hollingsworth has had a decorated career in the military. His personal awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters and the Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, among others. Hollingsworth served as the senior training officer for the Idaho Military Academy and later as the special projects officer for the Idaho National Guard, reestablishing ROTC programs at Brigham Young University-Idaho and Idaho State University.
Jenny Krause, ’91, MA, athletic administration, has been appointed as the new Wisconsin outreach coordinator by the Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever organizations. Working with an extensive network of chapter volunteers, Krause will work to recruit and increase youth participation for upland hunting and other outdoor activities in their respective states.
Six Bengals were named to the ISU Sports Hall of Fame in fall 2014: Mandi Carver, ‘02, basketball; Nancy Graziano, senior women’s administrator and associate athletic director; Michael Harada, ‘66, swimming; David Pacheco, ‘80, wrestling; DeLane “De” Pankratz, ‘60, football; Becky Sondag, ‘92, track and field.
THIS SEASON, FLY YOUR OWN
“GO BENGALS” ROTARY FLAG 30
WITHIN THE POCATELLO AREA 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
OUTSIDE THE POCATELLO AREA
To order, send an email with your name, address and phone number to rotaryisuﬂags@gmail.com 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
ISU Alumnus Takes on Higher Education Challenges have increased the pressure on universities to become more agile and responsive to industry needs.
The pursuit of an MBA degree at Idaho State University sparked a lifelong love of learning and a career in higher education for Dr. Mark Mone, ’84. Mone credits his time at ISU for providing him with a well-rounded business background, applied research on economic development and teaching experience that set the stage for a future in higher education administration.
“This kind of organizational challenge requires rapid decision making which is often lacking in higher education,” he explained.
“I experienced a turning point at ISU because of the personal relationships with my faculty. The nice thing about ISU is how personalized and in-depth you can work with the professors,” said Mone. “The quality of education I received prepared me for the challenges I face today.” A first-generation college graduate, Mone spent 10 years working as a chef in the food and beverage industry before returning to college to complete his bachelor’s degree in management at Central Washington University. He later completed his Ph.D. at Washington State University. Now the chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), Mone has nearly 30 years of higher education experience and has taught courses ranging from managing people, to team building and communication, to behavioral research methods. Mone has been in administrative roles since 1997 at UWM and worked in both internal and external positions. He first worked in the UWM School of
Business where he was responsible for executive education and the Executive MBA program, and had roles later for finance, marketing and strategic planning on campus. He’s worked with scores of different types of organizations including manufacturing, financial services, health care, business and nonprofits, and others. “You really begin to see the role of a university and how it can make a difference,” he explained. His leadership expertise and knowledge regarding organizational change are essential in his current position. Mone is facing a challenging future, not unlike many higher education leaders. Declining state funding and rising student debt
What once accounted for more than half of UWM’s annual operating budget now represents less than 18 percent. With nearly 28,000 students, UWM is making national news with projected budget cuts of up to $40 million over the next two years. In the face of this challenge Mone is applying the business and economic knowledge he learned at ISU to control costs, mitigate the financial impact and establish strategic priorities including ensuring student success and raising the university’s research profile. Mone isn’t afraid to take on these challenges. The trick, he says, is keeping the calm and hanging onto the talent despite these challenges. His advice for recent graduates is to look ahead at the long-term and take on things they don’t know. “You never know what’s going to be around the next corner. The best thing you can do is look ahead and prepare yourself for any possibility. Build on your strengths and be open to feedback along the way.” Dr. Adrienne King
Robert McMinn, ’98, BS, zoology, a manager at Zions Bank Yellowstone Financial Center, received a 2014 Idaho State Journal Business Award in the Professional category.
Pauline Thiros, ’94, BS, ’99, MPE, has been named the new Idaho State University associate vice president for development in the ISU Foundation. Thiros has served in various roles for the ISU Foundation since 1997, most recently as director of planned giving. Prior to that, she was director of alumni relations for two different periods, ISU Capital Campaign director and director of development. She is a former Bengal volleyball player who was named to the ISU Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.
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The ISU Alumni Association treated alumni and their families to laser tag, pizza and more in both Pocatello and Twin Falls in August 2014. The Alumni Association holds events throughout the year. See the upcoming events calendar for details. SPRING 2015
Community Rallies to Make Dreams Possible The art projects in Melissa Hunt’s first grade classroom go beyond the typical scissors and glue. In her classroom, art equipment includes 3D printers. Also lining the walls of the classroom are tables with microscopes, a classroom set of iPads, a wireless headphone listening center, specialized magnetic building blocks and a large, state-of-the art smart screen where one might expect a chalkboard. “It’s been so fun to watch what my students can do with the technology,” said Hunt, who teaches at Stoddard Elementary School in Blackfoot. “It’s the way things have evolved in education. We need to put it in the hands of these kids at a young age.” The tools in Hunt’s classroom aren’t part of a traditional classroom setup. Each piece, and more, was purchased through the 70 grants Hunt has written in recent years to help equip her students with the tools they need. Her most recent grant, however, will help a lot more than just her first graders. In December, Hunt was the recipient of the Farmers Insurance Thank a Million Teachers $100,000 grant for technology in the school. The technology will not only be used in her classroom, but throughout the school, with “smart” Promethium boards for every classroom, along with tablets, computers and online curricula. The goal, Hunt says, is to make sure that when her students move on to older grades, they will continue to have the same opportunities they have in her classroom. “It’s so others can benefit from what I have in my classroom,” she said. “It was a gift I could give to the staff and to my kids.” To win the grant was a community effort. Hunt’s proposal was chosen as a finalist for the grant in September, and it was up to her and her colleagues to gather votes for her proposal on the Farmers Insurance website between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30. Her students and their families and friends rallied together, using social media and encouraging businesses to ask their employees to consider voting. Students made music videos and reminded their families to vote every day. Even Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s office got involved, posting pleas to its social media pages. Parents visited the local senior center, helping retirees set up accounts and vote as well. Hunt was touched by the outpouring of support.
“It didn’t matter, the generation or the income level. This was something where everyone could help,” she said. Farmers Insurance representatives surprised the school with the news they had won at a school assembly in December. She and winners from other regions across the United States were also invited to ride on a float in the Rose Bowl parade with comedian Jack Black and his favorite school teacher. The experience was unforgettable, Hunt said. She says she will never forget the cheering crowds, who began by cheering for Black, then, as they realized the float carried teachers, cheering for them as well. “They were saying, ‘Look — it’s Jack Black.’ Then it would turn to ‘we love teachers,’” she said. “We were all really touched by that. They treated us like royalty.” The lessons her students have learned from the experience are many, Hunt said. The class is already well-versed in gratitude, as they have written thank you letters for the many grants Hunt has written for the classroom. For this project, however, they had the sense of ownership that comes from helping make something big happen. When the truck with the smart boards arrived at the school, all of the students and teachers came outside to greet it. “These kids worked so hard to get this. They knew what they were working toward,” she said. “They’ve learned that if you think there’s something you want to do, or something you want to learn, you can do it. You might have to work hard, and you might need help, but you can do it.” Emily Frandsen
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Dr. Kent Tingey, ’97, DA, political science, ISU vice president for advancement, was awarded the 2014 Idaho State Journal Business Award in the Higher Education category. Jennifer Wheeler, ’94, BA mass communication, BBA, marketing, is the first executive director of the Idaho Oral Health Alliance. Wheeler will lead efforts with volunteers,
dental professionals, IOHA members, and industry partners to strengthen the IOHA infrastructure and help build on current initiatives.
--------- 2000s --------Scott Bradley, ’04, BS, microbiology, ’05, BS, clinical laboratory science, ’09, MBA, has been
named director of laboratory services, according to a hospital news release. Since starting with EIRMC in 2005, Bradley has been a phlebotomist, medical lab scientist, chemistry supervisor, assistant lab manager and lab manager. He holds a medical lab scientist degree and an MBA degree from Idaho State University. Continued on Page 37
Alumnus Thanks ISU for Growing Success in Art Career Tal Sampson, 2007 ISU alumnus and owner of Tal’s Plumbing Company, is more than a third-generation plumber—he is a rising artist. Sampson was born and raised in Pocatello. He first graduated from ISU’s plumbing apprenticeship program in 1990, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather who were both plumbers before him. In 2002, Sampson returned to ISU to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. He graduated in 2007 and received the Alumni Association’s Outstanding Student Award for the College of Arts and Letters. Sampson said he chose ISU because of the convenient location. “Pocatello was where I grew up and where I was going to stay, so ISU was the obvious choice for me. I’ve always been an artist and wanted to pursue that goal, so I decided to come back to study art and I’m glad I did,” said Sampson, “ISU was great to me. I can’t speak highly enough about ISU.”
For the past seven years, Sampson has been working on a project with the City of Pocatello to recreate an image of Chief Pocatello, a great chief of the ShoshoneBannock tribes.
The original painting was shown for the first time at ISU’s Alumni Art Show in 2009 and now hangs in Pocatello City Hall. Sampson also donated a print of the painting to the ISU Alumni Office.
“I worked closely with the Chief’s family for several years, doing research on the tribe and gaining their trust. I tried to paint their ancestor the way he would have represented himself in their culture, using the physical features of his two brothers as a reference point,” said Sampson.
“If we look back at history and the people we honor today, we don’t have a lot of Native American heroes. It’s important to bring role models back to all ethnicities. If we’re going to honor our veterans, we should honor theirs too—Chief Pocatello is a veteran of this country and fought for the rights of his people. He’s a role model for all of us in that respect,” said Sampson.
According to Sampson, Chief Pocatello was the first of nine chiefs to sign the Box Elder Treaty in 1863 and was honored with a general’s jacket by the American government. Sampson felt it was important to depict this in his painting as well as the Chief’s ceremonial war bonnet to indicate his status.
Sampson is currently working on other projects and hopes to be doing freelance art full-time soon. Krystoff Kissoon, ’16
Sampson said that the opportunity to attain his plumbing certificate from ISU made it possible for him to afford a house and support his family. “That schooling helped provide me a life,” said Sampson. “I could always draw, but ISU really taught me to study art and to look at the relationship between composition, content and context. I know so much more now about life subject matter in general just from my anthropology and history classes. There isn’t a class I took at ISU that didn’t help me get to this point. It was a phenomenal benefit for me to go Idaho State,” said Sampson.
Outdoor Enthusiast Brings Business Curriculum to Life quite a bit about the industry and our potential as a company.”
Two days after graduating from Idaho State University last December, Jake Semons, 28, was on a jet to Norway to live with his wife in her hometown of Skien.
Rugged Creek is in the process of rebranding itself with the introduction of their Grassroots Series of rods and reels “being 100 percent designed, tested and manufactured in the United States” and will retail at mid-range prices for the market, according to Semons. These rods will be available early summer 2015, and the reels will be available in limited quantities late 2015 with an official launch in spring 2016.
Semons earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the ISU College of Business. The Pocatello native met his wife, Gudrun, in Park City, Utah, when Semons was working at a ski resort. They lived in Norway before Semons earned his degree, but the couple moved back to the United States to pursue their educations. He and his wife attended the College of Southern Idaho for a couple of years, where Gudrun earned an associate degree, before Semons transferred to ISU to earn his bachelor’s degree. “Coming to ISU was an easy choice because Pocatello is one of the best outdoor junction cities of the West,” Semons said. In 2012, while Semons was pursuing his college degree, he started Rugged Creek Outfitters with his father, Mark Semons, owner of Semons Financial Group in Pocatello. “My dad has always been an entrepreneur, so I always thought that’s what I’d be,” Semons said. “Then an opportunity came around and we said ‘let’s just try this.’ If an opportunity is there, don’t pass on it if you have the resources and time.”
Rugged Creek (ruggedcreekflyfishing. com) started more as a personal project rather than a business. Semons and his father wanted to find a way to make their own rods for fishing. This project ended up making them some unexpected revenue, which opened the door for their company. Rugged Creek Outfitters specializes in switch rods and reels, which are designed to allow one- and two-hand casting. The company provided mid-range priced rods, reels, lines and combinations, a successful practice. “We started out by designing our products and using manufacturers in China, but since we started we’ve learned
“As we grew as a company, we found that we didn’t want to put our names on other people’s blanks (for fly rods) and sell them,” Semons said. “We want to make our own and we’re going to do that with a new series of rods and reels.” Semons is a proponent for both realworld experience and formal education, in no particular order, for learning how to run a business. “I am glad I stuck to it and earned my degree,” Semons said. “I think I learned more through my personal experience, but I think school has helped me avoid learning a few things the hard way. It was a unique situation to make a business mistake then go to class that night and learn why I made that mistake.” Andy Taylor
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Brooks Corbridge, ’06, BBA, finance, was promoted to commercial loan officer at the South Burley branch of D.L. Evans Bank. Corbridge has been with D.L. Evans Bank since 2007. Jackson R. Dille, ’04, BS, zoology, associate vice president investment officer at Wells Fargo Advisors, has been designated as a member of the firm’s Premier Advisors Program. This is the second consecutive year he has received this designation. He was recognized for achieving personal success through revenue generation, educational attainment and client-service best practices. Dille has been a financial advisor with Wells Fargo Advisors for five years.
Emergency physician Trent Jensen, ’05, BS, has joined St. Peter’s Hospital’s Emergency Department in Helena, Montana. Jensen earned his doctor of osteopathic medicine degree at Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He completed his emergency medicine residency and internship at St. Vincent’s Health Care in Erie, Pennsylvania. Ganesh Kadam, ’01, MS, engineering, has been named a supervising engineer in the Las Vegas office of Parsons Brinckerhoff, a global infrastructure strategic consulting, engineering, and program/construction management organization. In his new position, Kadam will provide technical and project management leadership on wastewater and water supply projects.
Raegan Moser, ’02, BBA, management, has been promoted to operations supervisor at the newly completed Ammon, Idaho branch of D.L. Evans Bank. Moser has 11 years experience in the banking industry. --------- 2010s --------Keanne Lambertson, ’15, BS, physics was featured in two pages of the March 2015 issue of PLUS Model Magazine. Lambertson currently lives in Butte, Montana, and is studying for her actuary license. Tyler Mecham, ’11, BS, physical education, is the newest doctor of physical therapy at Wright Physical Therapy in Twin Falls. He earned his doctorate of physical therapy degree at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions.
Upcoming Alumni Events MAY 2015 8 8
Alumni Awards Breakfast 9-10:30 a.m.,Wood River Room-Pond Student Union Building March Through the Arch, Senior Salute Noon, Swanson Arch
JUNE 2015 12 13 27
2nd Annual Laser Tag Young Alumni event 6 p.m., Laser Mania, Twin Falls Alumni Golf Scramble 93 Golf Ranch, Jerome Young Alumni Event, ISU Alumni Day at Lagoon Farmington, Utah
JULY 2015 17 18 30
Treasure Valley Alumni Gathering 6 p.m., Big Al’s, Meridian Steve Eaton Alumni Benefit Concert The Stonehouse, Boise Idaho Falls Chukars picnic and baseball game 5 p.m., Melaleuca Field, Idaho Falls
AUGUST 2015 12 21 23
ISU Alumni Mini Golf & Picnic 6-9 p.m., Outback Golf, Pocatello Young Alumni Event 5:30-8 p.m., Outer Limits Fun Zone, Pocatello March Through the Arch 5 p.m., Reed Gym and Swanson Arch
SEPTEMBER 2015 12 12 18
Sports Hall of Fame Ceremony Noon, Bistline Theatre, Stephens Performing Arts Center ISU vs. Portland State Hall of Fame game, Holt Arena ISU vs. BSU football, Alumni Tailgate The Stonehouse, Boise
OCTOBER 15, 2015
Alumni Board Orientation/Retreat | Noon-2 p.m., Magnuson Alumni House Homecoming Kickoff | 5-8 p.m., Pinehurst Nursery & Floral OCTOBER 16, 2015
Combined Breakfast, Alumni & Foundation boards | 8:30 a.m., Pond Student Union President’s Annual Address | 9-10 a.m., Pond Student Union Alumni Board meeting | 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Rendezvous A & B President’s Alumni Dinner | 6-9 p.m., Red Lion Hotel Past Board Reception | 6-7 p.m., Red Lion Hotel OCTOBER 17, 2015
Homecoming Parade | 9:30 a.m.-Noon, Downtown Pocatello Homecoming Tailgate | Noon, Holt Arena Homecoming football game vs. Eastern Washington | TBD, Holt Arena
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