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E MPLOY E E NE W SL E T T E R

F E B RUA RY 2014

Beautiful murals now grace the walls above the Manwaring Center ballroom.

New phase of Legacy Hall honors Spirit of Ricks and athletics » By Clint Urick

The second phase of Legacy Hall in the Manwaring Center has been completed and now showcases the important role of athletics in the history of BYU-Idaho, while highlighting the unchanging principles that continue to guide the university today.

“We had to comb through 100 years of Ricks College history to find names, dates, and people involved,” said Arnold Thiebaud, manager of Creative Services. “We went through thousands of pages and photos, searched through hundreds of trophies, and interviewed past athletes and coaches.”

The exhibit recognizes the rich history that athletics brought to the university and also shows that the valued principles of the university are interwoven into all its programs.

The second phase took more than a year to complete due to the extensive research required to track down information, create various design concepts, and produce the final display. The end result is a beautiful product that reminds us of the fundamental qualities that athletics brought to the university.

“We wanted people to understand that there are enduring characteristics at this university that transcend into every aspect of our lives. Athletics was one of the many ways to show that,” said Merv Brown, managing director of University Relations.

Although intercollegiate sports are no longer a part of BYU-Idaho, the values they The new exhibit includes trophies and other athletic stood for remain. The new exhibit adds to the memorabilia from the Ricks College era. previously completed sections of Legacy Hall honoring the people and defining characteristics associated with Brown worked with a talented group of people to complete the university. the project. Several university employees, students, alumni, and supporters contributed to the task. “Holistically, Legacy Hall is a tribute to the long-lasting principles that continue to guide BYU-Idaho,” said Thiebaud. F E B R UA R Y 2 014

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Instructor helps students gain experience in family advocacy » By Paul Morgan

Timothy Rarick

Since joining the Department of Home and Family Development in 2011, faculty member Timothy Rarick has made significant refinements to the Child and Family Advocacy course. In the process, he has given students an engaging experience that allows them to become more familiar with the doctrine of the family and understand the need to protect and strengthen it at the national, state, and local level.

“I really feel that protecting and strengthening the importance of the family is something we all intrinsically desire once we learn about it. I can’t see how somebody, once they understand the Plan of Salvation and really understand what’s going on in the world today regarding the family, could not be compelled to do something,” said Rarick. Rarick has incorporated several unique and innovative opportunities within the Child and Family Advocacy course that give students a chance to really become involved in advocacy for the family. They also teach students the necessary skills required to address the many diverse issues that surround the family including: understanding and influencing the political process, using social media to address family issues, and writing and speaking persuasively. One of the many successful practices used in the class has been to ask students to carry out an in-depth study of a particular topic

threatening the family including cohabitation, same-sex marriage, abuse, religious intolerance, and pornography to name a few. Students must then write and submit a persuasive article that uses the skills they have learned to United Families International, a pro-family group dedicated to preserving and strengthening the family unit. Each student has the chance for his or her article to be published in the form of an alert email that is sent out by UFI, and potentially read by more than 100,000 people. This exercise has proven incredibly successful each semester with a majority of the participating student’s articles becoming published by UFI. “I want students to have the experience of knowing that they can make a difference. Many people have contacted students to compliment their work. The students in my class often write incredibly powerful and compelling articles that make people stop and think,” said Rarick. Rarick has also established a field trip at the end of each semester that acts as the culmination of the course. The field trip to Salt Lake City gives students the opportunity to meet and learn from Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox of Utah, state senators and representatives, and Bonnie L. Oscarson, the Young Women General President. Students also meet with UFI representatives and other child advocacy groups to discuss what can be done in day-to-day life. Rarick has also spent the last year meticulously developing and structuring the Child and Family Advocacy online classes that are now available.

Department of Plant Science partners with University of Idaho » By Austin Cary

For the last three decades, the BYU-Idaho Department of Plant Science has participated in the Annual Potato Conference presented by the University of Idaho. Last month, the yearly event yielded particularly impressive results: several BYU-Idaho agronomy students landed internships and the department identified some new student-mentored research projects. “We have an agreement with the University of Idaho in which they are very kind and generous to us,” said Greg Blaser, an instructor in the Department of Plant Science. The conference provides great insights into topics such as potato production, pest control, and fertility, but equally important is the opportunity to network. The internships came as students reached out and made their own connections with the companies attending the conference.

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“The conference opens up doors not only for learning but for other opportunities for our students,” said Blaser. “We wouldn’t do it if it weren’t for the students.” This wasn’t the first time BYU-Idaho students have benefited from this relationship with the University of Idaho. Last year the Department of Plant Science teamed up with the University of Idaho and the Idaho Wheat Commission for research that garnered global recognition. Delegates from China came to Idaho to learn from the work that was done by the combined efforts of students from BYU-Idaho and the University of Idaho. “In agriculture, as we went from a two-year institution to a four-year university, it took a lot of help from other universities and companies to put us on the map,” said Blaser. “The University of Idaho has been tremendous to work with.”


Research by CIT major published by Cornell University journal » By Austin Cary

Tic-Tac-Toe: a child’s game, a way to pass time, or the door to multifaceted discoveries? During Spring Semester 2013, Diego Carrión mingled the simple game of Tic-Tac-Toe with the complexities of computer science and mathematics. Although this combination seems out of the ordinary, it actually complemented his instructor Lee Barney’s student-driven teaching method.

Much of their research was to pursue a vital component for the program: a recursive algorithm, which is a recurring sequence of instructions that finds the permutations of two sets of data. When the algorithm was developed Carrión was able to present it at BYU-Idaho’s Research and Creative Works Conference, and he was urged to find a publisher for his outstanding work.

“What I try to do is be a mentor,” said Barney. “I say, ‘If you want to be a professional, here are some things you should be fluent in. How would you like to become fluent in them? Why don’t you brainstorm some projects that use those kinds of technologies and I will do my best to mentor you.’”

Earlier this semester Carrión’s work was accepted into Cornell University’s online journal, the arXiv. Even though the work was published under Carrión’s name, he pays a special tribute to the invaluable contribution of his instructor.

This freedom incited Carrión’s creativity and interests. He chose to develop a program that would generate all the possible outcomes of Tic-Tac-Toe, which at first glance may be easily misjudged as child’s play for the two skilled programmers. The endeavor drove these two innovators past their understandings and into original research. “We had no idea what we were getting into,” said Carrión. “We dove into some very complicated computer science theory.”

“The way he taught the class was the main reason why this algorithm was developed in the first place,” said Carrión. “He tries to work with you more as a mentor than an instructor.” Barney’s mentorship led him and his student to what President Clark would define as their “personal frontiers.” As a result Carrión gained more than just a good grade, a completed program, and a published paper. He gained what he describes as a “priceless” and “essential” growing experience—all of which was done inside a typical BYU-Idaho classroom that was patterned after the principles of the Learning Model.

Animal science majors exploring ways to boost livestock development » By Austin Cary

Just west of Rexburg at BYU-Idaho’s Livestock Center, research is being done to guard against the threat of a global food shortage. Increasing human populations are putting pressure on farmers to learn how to produce more with less.

In the coming weeks that question will be answered with the help eight sheep. Each lamb was specially prepared for the research, which includes placing controlled amounts of diatomaceous earth directly into their stomachs. Every 10 days researchers will rotate the amounts of diatomaceous earth each sheep receives. They will then examine whether the substance improved digestion.

This vision of increasing the efficiency of food production to sustain the world’s growing population has inspired animal science majors Mel Hansen and Hanna Munns and graduate Tawnii Maughan to test whether a feed additive called diatomaceous earth, a form of fossilized algae, can help livestock develop more quickly. “The population of the earth is expanding. We need to grow and produce more than we ever did in the past,” said Maughan. “We need to be able to know if this is going to help.”

Animal science students conduct research with sheep at the BYU-Idaho Livestock Center. The research is looking for ways to increase livestock productivity.

The idea behind using diatomaceous earth is simple: having the animal consume it with its normal feed means the animal will digest more of its food. But does it work?

“As animal science students, we talk a lot about being able to do more with less,” said Hansen. “In the future we will need to produce more with less land and less pesticides—less of everything. These studies are important so we can know how to make our animals and land use more efficient.”

In addition to the contributions this research is making to the animal science industry, Hansen is seeing benefits for her own career plans. “Being able to gain experience like this and to educate people why we are doing this—that will help me in any industry I go into,” she said. F E B R UA R Y 2 014

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Pathway set to open 100th domestic site in Rexburg » By Caleb Trujillo

In April, Pathway will open its 100th domestic site in Rexburg. Since its creation in 2009 under BYU-Idaho, Pathway has provided academic opportunity to thousands of members of the Church across the world.

old, have English language proficiency, attend weekly gatherings during the semester, and be a member of the Church. No fees or standardized test scores are required to apply. Designed to give students the confidence and skills needed to succeed in college, Pathway is a low-cost educational opportunity that combines online courses with local gatherings.

While there are over 150 operating sites throughout the world, serving nearly 7,000 students, Rexburg will be the 100th site to open in the United States and Canada. For those interested in finding out more about the program, Pathway will host a kickoff fireside open to all local Church leadership and interested students on Sunday, February 23 at 7 p.m. The fireside will take place at the meetinghouse on 170 W. 1st S. in Rexburg, next to Porter Park. Those who attend can expect an introduction to the program, and Pathway representatives will be available to answer questions.

We are so excited to be able to bring the blessing of Pathway to our friends and neighbors.

Students earn college credit that is eligible for transfer to BYU-Idaho and other universities. The program takes three semesters, or one year, to complete and can lead to professional certificates and degrees. For those who face barriers of cost, time, fear, or lack of confidence to succeed in a university environment, Pathway provides an educational opportunity never before thought possible. While the Pathway home office is located in Rexburg under BYU-Idaho, an individual site has never before existed within the city.

“We know many members of the Church face barriers in obtaining education,” said Bryan Justesen, director “I found it rather poetic that Rexburg of domestic Pathway sites. “So even in a would be our 100th domestic site,” said J.D. GRIFFITH town that hosts a large university where J.D. Griffith, managing director of Pathway. few who desire to attend are turned “We did not do this by design; it simply away, we will still find many interested happened this way. We are so excited to be students. With the combined efforts able to bring the blessing of Pathway to our of local ecclesiastical leaders and service missionaries, Pathway friends and neighbors.” can deliver powerful blessings to the lives of many more Church members and their families.” With the announcement of the Rexburg site, Pathway has seen its program come full circle and it is expected that sites will Pathway is designed for students of any age, old and young. continue to dot the Earth. However, those who apply to Pathway must be at least 18 years

BYU-Idaho math competition open to local high schoolers » By Austin Cary

BYU-Idaho invites local high school and home schooled students to attend the 4th Annual Regional Mathematics Competition: Math Madness, and compete for scholarships towards a STEM major (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) at BYU-Idaho. The conference will be held Wednesday, March 12 from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Manwaring Center. The scholarships will be awarded to the students with the highest scores on either a calculus or statistics exam.

you can do with it, the conference will address this question. ‘Come excited and leave inspired.’”

“Students often ask, ‘were I am going to use this math?’” said Heidi Turner, an instructor in the BYU-Idaho Department of Mathematics. “Mathematics is inspiring because of all the things

For more information and to register, contact Heidi Turner in BYU-Idaho’s Department of Mathematics by calling 496-7548 or emailing turnerh@byui.edu.

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A pre-calculus exam will be available for students who do not feel prepared to compete but want to participate. While the exams are being graded, participants will be entertained with math related activities and have the opportunity for career exploration in math related fields.


Two student performing groups headed to regional conferences » By Paul Morgan

BYU-Idaho’s Symphony Band and Collegiate Singers will have the honor of representing the university in March by performing at their respective regional conferences. “To be asked to perform at these conferences is a huge step for the university in building our reputation,” said Diane Soelberg, chair of the Department of Music. “I am incredibly pleased with the past performances we have given and look forward to the opportunity for the students to continue to grow through this experience.”

The BYU-Idaho Collegiate Singers

The Symphony Band has been invited to perform at the Regional College Band Director’s National Association (CBDNA) Conference in Reno, Nevada, while the Collegiate Singers have been invited to perform at the Regional American Choral Director’s Association (ACDA) conference in Seattle. Both invitations The BYU-Idaho Symphony Band to be a part of the musical program at each of the two conferences come as a direct result of successful auditions. The Department of Music welcomes these wonderful opportunities to represent BYU-Idaho at a regional level, and know that they will provide the university with more opportunities to show the dedication of its faculty and students.

“Occasions like these are important because they are about letting people see how good our students are, not just their musical ability, but the goodness of who they are as a people,” said Randall Kempton, director of Collegiate Singers. The BYU-Idaho Symphony Band, which for this trip will be comprised of 54 students, is scheduled to perform six pieces for a duration of 45 minutes. The band will be led by Soelberg, and will also feature the Faculty Brass Quintet, which includes Ryan Nielsen on trumpet, Jon Klein on horn, Bryce Mecham on trombone, Golden Lund on tuba, and student Robert Sears also on trumpet, along with Darrell Brown who will conduct and exhibit an original piece. Within the program the band will present a special piece that was written by composer Benjamin Taylor. Taylor has transcribed his piece “Leaving White” especially for the Symphony Band. “The university will benefit tremendously from both of these trips. We have two really great programs lined up, and a truly significant opportunity to show what BYU-Idaho is all about and demonstrate what we are capable of musically,” said Soelberg. continued on page 6 F E B R UA R Y 2 014

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SIRI partnership provides benefits to BYU-Idaho and Rexburg » By Austin Cary

BYU-Idaho’s growing partnership with the Southeast Idaho Research Institute (SIRI) is becoming a valuable asset to the education of students and to the Rexburg economy. SIRI is the brainchild of BYUIdaho instructors Dan Moore and Glenn Embree. Launched in 2010, the program was originally designed to act like a grants office but it quickly became apparent the future limitations that model would bring. “The first year SIRI was created, we secured about $50,000 in grants and hired about 12 students to conduct research,” said Moore, who also serves as a member of SIRI’s Board of Directors. “But we realized we wouldn’t reach many students because there weren’t many teachers on campus applying for grants. Now SIRI does some grants, but mostly we interact

with companies from the outside world. They bring the project and funding and we bring the faculty-mentored student team to accomplish that project.” Once SIRI expanded its horizon to the “outside world” it experienced a 500 percent increase in total dollar amount in projects over the next two years. As a result it exploded with advantageous educational opportunities and employment for students. In 2013, clients poured about $300,000 into SIRI to employ around 85 students. “We are just growing like crazy,” said Moore. “We are projecting to be able bring in about $1 million in projects and employ 200 students in 2014. As we look even further down the road to the

next three to five years, we anticipate developing opportunities for about 2,000 students.” Students employed by SIRI start at $10 an hour, and, with experience, can move into manager positions ranging from $12 to $15 an hour. Moore says the partnership has proven to be a blessing for both BYU-Idaho and for Rexburg. “The magic of SIRI is that it provides benefits to the community in a way that educates students, allowing them to practice their craft and get paid for it,” said Moore. “The real service to Rexburg is the local economy is being boosted. Dollars that used to be spent in other places are now being spent in Rexburg.”

Performing groups headed to conferences CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5

The Collegiate Singers, under the direction of Kempton, will have similar opportunities at their conference in Seattle with a program consisting of 25 minutes of music. They will have the responsibility of representing the university and the Department of Music in front of an elite audience of music teachers, high school music directors, and students. “The performance will be a broad assortment of compositions, with a mixture of art music, some serious pieces, lighter pieces and then a selection of sacred pieces. The students have a message to share and will work hard to bring the spirit of the gospel to their performance,” said Kempton. Both groups will also be utilizing their journeys to Reno and Seattle by visiting and performing at several venues throughout Idaho, Utah, Oregon, and Washington. The Department of Music will use the time spent traveling to act as a tour, where they can demonstrate to potential BYU-Idaho students, and all others who are able to watch them, the competence and skill that is developed and maintained within the music program.

“Going to Seattle is a huge honor for the Collegiate Singers. Not only are we able to represent the school, but we are also going to be among an elite group of musicians,” said Marilee Decker, a performer in the Collegiate Singers. “I am ecstatic to be going to the conference where we will be recognized as an elite choir, and will get a chance to share our testimony and message.” FOR SALE Rooms for rent for single females. $375-435, depending on size/amenities. Three floors, 4 beds (2 masters), 2.5 baths, two living rooms, W/D, cable/Internet, A/C, granite counters, high ceilings. Available April. Call/text 351-1590. Kitchen range. GE duel fuel. Gas cooktop, electric oven, convection, self-cleaning. $400. Call Rick at 356-4800. Home for sale. Burton/West Rexburg. 2850 sq. ft. on 1.08 acres. Photos on Zillow.com, search: 3843 Wagon Trail Rd., Rexburg, ID, 83440. Call Jodie at 251-3623.

News & Notes A monthly publication of University Relations A D V I S O R Marc Stevens W R I T E R S Austin Cary, Paul Morgan, Clint Urick P H O T O G R A P H E R S Michael Lewis, Taylor Davenport, Leanna Davidson, Amy Stokes If you have any ideas for future issues, please e-mail newsdesk@byui.edu

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News & Notes February 2014