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JULY 2013

Physics students benefit from collaborative relationship with INL » By Spencer Allen

Evan Hansen, a Department of Physics faculty member, was preparing for an upcoming semester teaching computational physics when a surprising source reached out to help: Dr. Michael Tonks, a computational nuclear engineer at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). Tonks offered his expertise and that of his colleagues as a resource for helping students learn about specific computational techniques they would focus on in the class. Wanting his students to appreciate and understand how professionals go about their work, Hansen accepted the invitation. Although the initial plan was to simply learn by observation and discussion, Hansen and his students received much more than they bargained for. At first, the students were assigned to study the research publications of scientists at the INL. As the group progressed in their research, another INL scientist, Derek Gaston, came to speak to the students and the department. Shortly afterward, his visit raised student interest and excitement around the INL computational work. Not long after the seminar, Dr. Tonks invited the group to tour the INL and set up an opportunity for class members to hear seminars from and to speak with some of the top scientists in computational nuclear engineering in the country as well as see INL supercomputing facilities. Shortly after the group of students visited INL, Aaron Butterfield, a senior studying physics, received an offer to intern with the organization. During his internship, he worked closely with Tonks. The duo worked on ways to improve the efficiency of nuclear fuels. At the end of his internship and with the aid of Tonks, Aaron’s work deduced that some standard assumptions of how nuclear fuel and its materials age are wrong. As Butterfield was finishing his summer work, Tonks surprised him with a continuing position at INL.

“This was a huge boost for us in the department,” said Hansen. “You’re always hopeful that someone will be land an internship. But to have guys not only get internships, but to really impress these incredibly successful scientists is huge.” The following year, the department experienced another wave of encouragement as two students from the next computational physics class landed internships at INL. Joe Carmack, now a recent graduate, added to the computational work BYU-Idaho students are doing at INL while physics senior, Derek Anderson’s experimental work is poised to forge new links between computational and experimental work there. “Joe’s work with molecular dynamics as well as Aaron’s internship the previous year have put us on the map with the nuclear fuels computation group,” said Hansen. “Some scientists at INL are now calling the department a gold mind due to the dedication of the students and their ability to work with INL scientists to master difficult concepts.” The connections at INL have opened excellent opportunities for computational work in graduate school. In particular, two students are making the move to Fayetteville to attend the University of Arkansas with Dr. Paul Millett, an INL scientists who recently accepted an assistant professor position at the U of A. His first concerted effort to build his research group at the university has been to personally recruit students from the BYU-Idaho computational physics class and offer them generous funding to do their doctorate work with him. “These past few years have been incredible for the students in the class. A primary contributor to our students’ recent success is the BYU-Idaho Learning Model,” said Hansen. “Before coming to class, the students do everything within their means to understand the material. When class begins, they are anxious to share and learn from both their peers and the instructor. Not only does this help the students excel in the classroom, but it makes them really stand out as they employ the same pattern at INL.” J U LY 2 013


Horticulture students gain unique experience at Portland Rose Parade » By Spencer Allen

Back Row: Jennifer Nielsen, Hilary Hunsaker, Peyton Tanner; Front Row: Amanda Larson, Dayrol Griffin, Wendy Infanger

Over 100 years have passed since Portland, Ore. began the Portland Rose Festival. Nicknamed “The City of Roses” for its ideal climate and growing conditions for the flower, visitors from local towns and foreign countries make the trip to Portland to view floral designs and creations made by some of the world’s most notable florists. In addition to service projects and other family activities, the festival is highlighted by the Grand Floral Parade, which often requires the help of trained volunteers. For the fifth time in as many years, four BYU-Idaho students and one faculty member made the journey to Portland to participate in the parade. The parade, which is the second largest rose parade in the country, provides a unique hands-on laboratory experience for horticulture students.

Together they work to decorate floats using a wide range of flowers from roses to gladiolus to tropical flowers. In the recent past, a single float has had over 7,000 red roses. The students also spend time networking with vendors and wholesale retailers in the metropolitan area. “This experience opened the students minds’,” said Wendy Infanger, instructor in the Department of Applied Plant Science. “The fact that they helped participate in a big event, applied what they have learned in the classroom, and contributed to something has stimulated their confidence. They’re much more confident with building designs, especially large designs. They’re much more apt to experiment and be creative. They’ve seen ordinary materials in a different manner, and it has opened new possibilities.”

Excerpts from President’s Executive Group Q&A May 2013

Question: Has the university considered a Pathway site in Rexburg? President Clark: Yes, the Board approved a site for Rexburg. Establishing a site here raises a lot of issues, such as access to the campus and housing. Once we know what our policies will be on those issues, we will open the site. It will be a great blessing to people. 2

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Question: Within the context of a rapidly growing online program, what is the role of the campus? President Clark: It is important for us to see the campus as an engine of learning, both in terms of resources and in actually educating and helping students learn here on campus. We have to add some capability on campus so we can

play this dual role more effectively in the future. And we’re doing that. Over time, the campus will become both a place of teaching, which will continue to be our primary and dominant activity, and a place of development activity, which will create new things that help educate our students and build the lifeblood of the university.

Road to Rexburg: Ross Baron » By Matt Urick

Considering his early career in finance and his various investment endeavors, Ross Baron never thought he’d end up teaching religion at BYU-Idaho. But eight years later, he’s still here.

Ross Baron

“I absolutely love my job,” Baron says. “I seriously leap out of bed excited to go to work everyday.” Baron, a southern California native, teaches in the Department of Religious Education.

Baron’s previous career path showed no signs of working in any capacity for the Church. He graduated with a degree in finance from BYU in 1984, upon which he began working in Houston in real estate investment banking. In 1986 Baron moved back to southern California to pursue a career in the private equity field. He even successfully started his own private equity firm. “That was what I was going to do,” Baron says. “I was going to make a career out of working in private equity and investment banking because I loved it.”

During this time Baron started teaching early-morning seminary. Upon observing Baron teach, an institute director told him this is what he needed to do. And in 1993, he became an institute director—a job he held for 12 years. As an institute director Baron would receive the generic emails that would show openings at places such as BYU-Idaho. He says he didn’t know why, but he felt very impressed to apply. Not only did he feel impressed to apply at BYU-Idaho, but he felt great about that decision. “My wife and I visited Rexburg for my interview and so the department could observe me teach,” Baron says. “And we absolutely loved it. There is a very strong spirit on this campus and we were excited to be a part of it.” Ross Baron never expected to move away from the world of finance and pursue a career at BYU-Idaho, but life happens. “I just celebrated 20 years of working for the Church,” Baron says. “This is exactly where I’m supposed to be and I couldn’t be happier. Teaching at BYU-Idaho is a powerful assignment; I’m very blessed.” When asked if he’d ever wish to jump back into the business world, Baron pulls no punches. “This is my life now, and I feel I am one of the most blessed guys in the world,” he says.

Math instructor works on compiling wisdom of retiring employees » By Spencer Allen

In addition to the normal commemorations for retiring faculty member, Daris Howard, an instructor in the Department of Mathematics, is working on a unique project to further celebrate careers spent in the classroom.

Daris Howard

Throughout the semester, Howard has conducted multiple interviews with several recently retired faculty members or those on the verge of retirement.

These conversations have provided each participant a chance to share unique learning experiences, different methods used to improve teaching abilities, and perspectives gained while teaching at BYU-Idaho. The idea came to Howard as he attended the funeral of the late Ellis Miller, a former instructor in the Department of Physics. “I had a great admiration for Ellis,” said Howard. “Although we worked in different departments, we had grown close through a

handful of projects we had worked on together. As I reflected on the things I learned from him, I realized that there were many lessons I learned from him that others couldn’t simply because they never had the chance to associate with him. I’m hoping that this project will close this gap and allow students and instructors to learn from past employees.” Wanting a well-rounded perspective, Howard has focused the project on employees representing a broad range of subjects from physical education to animal science. “Due to the different disciplines, each employee we interviewed has had a unique experience in the classroom. From preferred teaching methods to skills developed to help students, each interview was unlike any other,” said Howard. “However, regardless of the differences, each shared a common thread. All expressed a deep love for BYU-Idaho and the students they worked with.” Howard plans to share his project in an upcoming edition of Perspective, the faculty magazine. After the initial publication, Howard plans to include one feature article spotlighting a former employee in the following issues.

J U LY 2 013


Departments collaborate to craft successful Patriots and Pioneers concert » By Paul Morgan

The Patriots and Pioneers concert has been entertaining and inspiring the BYU-Idaho community for the past several years. As the concert approached its fourth annual celebratory presentation, the focus was centered on the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and President Abraham Lincoln’s profound Gettysburg address. The Patriots and Pioneers concert was held on July 13 in the BYU-Idaho Center. The concert signified a collaborative effort from multiple departments on campus, including the Departments of Music and Theatre with assistance from the BYU-Idaho Center staff and Center Stage. The event was brought to fruition through the efforts of Randall Kempton, director of Collegiate Singers; Eda Ashby, director of Women’s Choir; Kevin Brower, director of Men’s Choir; and Justin Bates, Artistic Director.

are such great professionals, and while many, many hours are put into such a program, the benefits to students and to the community are tremendous. I felt that the finished product was one to be extremely proud of. Edward Herrmann was so very pleasant to work with, and the students both on and off stage gave their very best to a performance that brought an uplifting and powerful message to those in attendance.”

...while many, many hours are put into such a program, the benefits to students and to the community are tremendous.

This carefully crafted concert was an impressive display of both patriotism and veneration that beautifully captured the principles and values that established this great nation. The intermittent sequences of musical numbers and readings provided a heart warming and at times moving experience that was enjoyed by all.

The first Patriots and Pioneers concert took place in the Barrus Concert Hall back in 2010, but has since been relocated to the The concert was comprised of a mixture BYU-Idaho Center in order to accommodate DIANE SOELBERG of musical performances from Men’s the show’s growing popularity. With past C H A I R , D E P T. O F M U S I C Choir, Women’s Choir, Collegiate appearances by guests such as Alex Boyé the Singers and the Symphony Band. Special show has been incredibly well received and guest actor and narrator Edward Herrmann accompanied the has become a major feature in many peoples calendar. concert, providing the voice of President Lincoln. The show offered a wonderful mixture of patriotic and “It is always a pleasure to work on collaborative events like gospel heritage based themes in a culmination of impressive Patriots and Pioneers,” said Diane Soelberg, chair of the performances from the choirs and the symphony band to the Department of Music. “Our faculty and staff here at BYU-Idaho narrators. 4

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Department of Home & Family Development implementing infant lab » By Paul Morgan

A crucial emphasis for everyone within the BYU-Idaho community is the continual pursuit of education and personal development. As each of us engages in the quest for developing essential skill sets necessary to our progression, we are unequivocally able to benefit from the special environment that has been culminated and established here on this campus. “The interaction between our interests and the environment in which we study and work is a fundamental key to our development as people. Our personalities, ideas and opinions can be greatly influenced by how we interact with our surroundings,” said Mike Godfrey, instructor in the Department of Home and Family Development. Within the department, the fundamental principles of the BYU–Idaho Learning Model are applied to even the youngest members of our community. As well as the already existing preschool offered in the John L. Clarke Building through the College of Education and Human Development, a new infant lab is currently in the process of being developed and implemented. This new lab will allow parents whose children range from six to 18 months to come and be a part of a mixture of enrichment activities to watch how the children grown and advance. These short lab sessions will teach and encourage interactive parenting, and will be an indispensible tool for parents and students looking to help their children progress.

Children who currently attend the preschool range from 18 months to 5 years old. They are provided with activities to help them maximize their learning while still having fun. The outdoor play areas allow youngsters to take part in less structured activities. These activities that focus on nature and playing together, are a major key in the social development of the children. While the preschool offers some typical commercial climbing frames and other playing apparatus, it is the custom built indeterminate shaped wooden structures that have been integrated into the playing areas that really stimulate the imaginations of the children. “The structures have been designed and built to increased the versatility of the play area, and give the children an opportunity to use their own imaginations. These structures have been everything from campsites to castles and everything else,” said Godfrey. From playing with the playground musical instruments to planting their own garden, the children are taught and helped by the student members of staff to have fun and respect others. It is here at BYU-Idaho in the Department of Home and Family that the children’s development and early education is of paramount importance.

J U LY 2 013


New policy for digital asset management




What is it?

What is it?

A digital content repository that incorporates learning objects, learning content management, and integrated content authoring. It stores and delivers content such as PDFs, images, PowerPoint presentations, Word documents, etc.

Online video platform to eventually replace the current streaming media server (Benjamin).

Who is it for? Faculty and employees who wish to share learning resources and other content and have it easily discovered by students, other employees, or the world. How long will content be stored?

Who is it for? Employees who wish to share video or audio content for academic, promotional and administrative needs with students, other employees, or the world. How long will content be stored? Until the date you specify or indefinitely (archived after 18 months of inactivity).

Home for sale, Hidden Valley subdivision. 3,420 sq. ft. 6 bed, 3 bath. 3-car garage. $263,000. Call Suzy or Josh at 201-4599. Land for sale, 0.32 acre lot with temple view. 621 Eaglewood Dr. in Rexburg. Utilities stubbed and ready to build. Call Bryun at 359-2929 or 356-3481. Piano for sale, Young Chang upright. Cherry finish in Queen Anne style. 13 years old. $1700. Can email pictures. Contact Brenda at 313-7097 or

How do I get started?

Indefinitely. How do I get started? Go to and login using your BYU-Idaho username and password. If you need training, you can call the FTC (Faculty Technology Center) at Ext. 7230, or you may contact Nate Wise or Mat Miles in the library.

Go to in your web browser to view content or upload your own video and audio files. For more information, contact Luke Hale in AV Productions at Ext. 3208.

Changes made to student employment policy Due to impending changes in health insurance requirements for employers nationwide, BYU-Idaho has reviewed its practices relative to all categories of employees on campus, including student employees. This review has led to a revision of the university’s student employment policy. These changes are designed to ensure the university continues to be a wise steward of available resources, including student wages. It is critical that all supervisors of student employees be aware of these revised policies and ensure they are followed closely. As before, students may work up to 20 hours per week during their on-track semester. Because of the impending changes to health insurance requirements, all student employees must adhere to this limit. Exceptions for a student to work full time during his or her off-track semester can only be granted once per academic year. Summer Session is now considered an academic period equivalent to the three semesters. This means the 20-hour per week limit for student employees applies during Summer Session. During academic periods when there is an official holiday (e.g., President’s Day, Thanksgiving, etc.) work hours are not to exceed 20 hours. Please ensure these requirements are communicated to the student employees you supervise. The complete student employment policy is available online at http://www2. and should be reviewed by all supervisors of student employees. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Human Resources at Ext. 1700.

Home for sale, 4,200+ sq. ft. 5 bed plus library/bedroom, 3 and 3/4 bath. Mother-in-law setup. Two-story entry and family room. AC, sprinkler system. Gas fireplace. Quiet cul-de-sac in wonderful neighborhood, across from park. $317,000. Call 403-7347. Schober organ, Free. In good condition; a few minor problems which can be fixed. Comes with instruction manuals. Call 2068609.

New department chairs announced Effective August 1: Steve Kimpel – Health, Recreation & Human Performance Kim Van Wagoner – Nursing Kimball Galbraith – Business Management Eric Gee – Psychology Darren Clark – Art Reed Nielsen – Design & Construction Management Steve McNeil – Physics Darin Merrill – English

News & Notes News & publication Notes of University Communications A weekly

University Communications 323 Biddulph Hall • Rexburg, ID • 83460-4660 • Phone: (208) 496-2000

A monthly publication of University Relations

A D V I S O R Andy Cargal A D V I S O R Marc Stevens W R I T E R S Scott Haycock, Stephen Henderson, Colleen Johnson, Kim Summers W R I T E R S Spencer Allen, Paul Morgan, Matt Urick P H O T O G R A P H E R S Michael Lewis, Doug McKay P H O T O G R A P H E R S Michael Lewis, Doug McKay, Marcus Journey, Lana Strathearn If you have any ideas for future issues, please e-mail If you have any ideas for future issues, please e-mail


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News & Notes July 2013  
News & Notes July 2013