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M A R C H 2014

Student Living: A practical model for building Zion » By Austin Cary

Six years ago, Troy Dougherty, director of Housing and Student Living, along with a council of seven students, organized Student Living, a model that would give vision to thousands of BYU-Idaho students that building Zion is a practical and achievable goal. “What is the practical work required of [us] in [our] apartments and homes that will create and cultivate a culture of Zion?” Dougherty asked in a devotional address given January 21. “Student Living provides an answer.” Student Living is now BYU-Idaho’s official model for governing student housing because of its capacity to lift students to higher planes of thought and activity, which stands in striking contrast to the university’s previous model. Before Student Living, the university used resident assistants to enforce rules, a

system common among universities. Over time, Kevin Miyasaki, vice president of Student Services and Activities, recognized students were developing a dependency upon them and never fully learning how to govern themselves.

Where there is no vision, the people perish. PROVERBS 29:18

“There was a lot of ‘being acted upon’ going on, even a dependence on it—to the point where apartments wouldn’t depend

upon themselves to be responsible, but would depend on other people,” said Miyasaki. “They would say, ‘Well, it’s the RA’s responsibility to make sure we are in on time,’ or, if they were not abiding by the rules, ‘The RA is not doing his job.’ We had that type of environment going on.” In addition, Miyasaki realized this dependency wasn’t the result of students lacking any capacity for self-government but rather, under the RA system, the opportunity to do so didn’t exist. “We had become BYU-Idaho in 2000, and as we became a more mature student body, we started to feel that the level of responsibility and capacity of our students increased,” said Miyasaki. “But what we had didn’t match that. We knew we needed to do something different.” continued on page 2 M A R C H 2 014


Experiential learning for psychology majors also benefits school district » By Clint Urick

BYU-Idaho has been working with the Madison School District for nearly a decade to help children and make the community a better place. Eric Gee came to BYU-Idaho to teach psychology in 2005 after working at an evaluation consultant firm where he gained experience in research and program evaluation. Shortly after his arrival in Rexburg, Eric Gee the Madison School District approached the university to help evaluate a recent grant they had received. With Gee’s previous background, he was uniquely qualified to assist the school district in this evaluation. The grant the district received was the Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SSHS) grant. The federal grant was given on the condition that they set aside money to evaluate the program’s effectiveness. Gee involved psychology majors to help with the data and other aspects of the evaluation. They went over the goals and objectives of the SSHS program and evaluated how they were reaching those goals. “It’s been a great service to the community,” Gee said. “We don’t use a lot of resources and we help the community save money.”

The work the university provided was very beneficial to the community, and when the SSHS grant ended in 2009, Madison County brought BYU-Idaho back to assist with the next grant: Systems of Care. The Systems of Care program helps troubled children find help in more places than a therapist’s couch. It gets several other parties involved. Teachers, parents, and other members of the community can help these children and Systems of Care was implemented to show them how. Once again Gee and students were able to provide a service and evaluate the effectiveness of the program. These evaluations consisted of a great deal of data collection. It proved to be a great opportunity for the students. “The important thing is that I’ve had students involved. They’ve learned how to use the tools in the field and how to interact with participants. They’ve assisted in data collection, and we’ve even developed our own assessments. Ultimately they’ve learned how the organization works in different settings,” Gee said. Gee has been able to work with more than 20 students and many great community members during the past eight years. He said it has been a great experience for everyone involved. “It’s been good for me, our students, and the community,” Gee said. “They’ve been great to work with.”

Student Living: continued from page 1 A decision was made by Miyasaki, President Clark, and Garth Hall, who at the time was serving as vice president of Student Services and Activities, to replace resident assistants with a system that would place full responsibility on students for their actions. The success of which would entirely depend on how effectively students apply gospel principles in a variety of housing situations. This monumental task—to seek God’s will for developing this new system—was entrusted to Dougherty, who felt inspired to call a council of seven students to assist him. After a semester’s worth of counseling, pondering, and praying, Dougherty and his council developed objectives; established love, shared responsibility, and mutual respect as guiding principles; and created a system to administer the application of those principles tied to wards and stakes. “I really appreciate that the Spirit worked on Troy Dougherty, and told him that this was something he needed to do,” said Miyasaki. “The Lord was able to work through him and all of


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those who were involved in this process to develop this whole concept of teaching students correct doctrines and then their behavior changing, rather than having a system of controls and checks.” Over the last few years, the reach and impact of Student Living has surpassed expectations. Stake presidents, bishops, approved housing owners and their managers are all coming together, some of them not even members of the Church, to build Zion. But the greatest achievement of Student Living is not what is happening here on campus, but what is occurring in the homes of students through the rest of their lives. “My current role ecclesiastically is with a married student stake, and the number one outcome I see from Student Living is students understanding its principles before they go into marriage,” said Miyasaki. “Understanding what it really means to love, to have mutual respect, and to have shared responsibility, which is foundational in a covenant relationship with the Lord and in marriage.”

Health care administration major growing in popularity and impact » By Paul Morgan

Since its launch in 2008, the Department of Health, Recreation, and Human Performance’s health care administration program has grown in popularity, with 452 declared health care administration majors. Of the enrolled students, approximately one-third of those taking classes are online, with the remaining two-thirds on campus. “I never anticipated that we would ever get the number of students involved in the program that we currently have,” said Dennis Tolman, a faculty member in the Department of Health, Recreation, and Human Performance who helped establish the program. “I think a huge factor when looking at the success of the program is the economic climate and the job stability associated with this industry. Health care has been very strong throughout the country’s downturn.” As program director, Tolman had the significant challenge of creating and organizing the curriculum and requirements for each class within the major. As the popularity of the program has continued to grow, so too has the curriculum, with newly developed online classes as an adjunct to the already established courses.

With the ongoing growth, the university has added another fulltime faculty member, Angela Watkins, to work alongside Tolman teaching on campus. The university has also brought Aimee Zimmer on board to teach as an adjunct faculty, as well as three online faculty members to teach the new online courses. “Because of the growth of the major there has been a concerted effort within the department to create the necessary online curriculum and have the same high standard of content that we have already established here on campus,” said Tolman. The department has launched two online classes since last fall, and will continue to launch a new online class every semester until the core curriculum is available online in its entirety. The successes of the program are not only reflected within the popularity of the major among students, but also in the high number of students receiving placements in graduate programs and jobs in their chosen field on completion of the program. “What I’m most proud of is that we are impacting in a very positive professional way the lives of a fairly large group of students who are getting into professional careers that they couldn’t have qualified for before this major,” said Tolman.

A prayer in Romania answered from Rexburg » By Austin Cary

Nearly 5,700 miles away from Rexburg in Iasi, one of the largest cities of Romania, a small group of students from BYU offered a prayer for divine guidance. They were serving in one of Iasi’s orphanages and hospitals. They had been asked by a local school to create a curriculum and to teach English to a class of 5-7 years olds, an unexpected task they didn’t feel qualified to do. Around the same time, Lorie Tobler, a faculty member in the BYU-Idaho Department of Teacher Education, felt impressed to seek out professional development and felt drawn to the orphanages of Iasi. She was intrigued that BYU had a hands-on program where students could develop cultural awareness—an understanding she feels is essential for teachers. She wanted to learn how a program like this operated

and how students responded in such an environment. She also wanted to immerse herself in the culture, bring that awareness back to her students at BYU-Idaho, and teach them cultural awareness through personal experiences. “Usually professional development is just going to a conference and hearing people speak,” said Tobler. “But I wanted to have a ‘learning on the ground’ experience. I wanted to be in the orphanage working side by side with the students, other than just watching it.” Not knowing she would be the answer to many earnest prayers, she traveled the distance to Iasi prepared to serve in whatever capacity they needed for the duration of one and a half weeks. The BYU students were moved when they realized her background, and with her

help they established a curriculum to teach English. “They said, ‘We have been praying for some help.’ To me that was definitely touching that they needed help in an area that was my specialty,” said Tobler. “Because I had my own preschool before, taught first grade for eight years, and was a literacy couch at the school, district and state level, I knew what the curriculum needed to look like.” Now, having returned from Romania, Tobler has more than experiences teaching diverse students, and an understanding of how to operate a study abroad program, but a renewed testimony of a loving Heavenly Father that answers the prayers of all His children.

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Religious Education faculty forges friendship with Palestinian family » By Paul Morgan

Bruce Satterfield, a faculty member in the Department of Religious Education, has been visiting the city of Jerusalem since he was a teenager. In February he traveled there once again, this time with a very specific purpose in mind. Satterfield spent 17 days interviewing a Palestinian man who was born in Jerusalem in 1931 and who has lived in the city Bruce Satterfield ever since. The man, who is known by the Islamic honorific title Hajj, spent time each day telling Satterfield a number of stories and experiences from his life. “The primary objective of my visit to Jerusalem was to record and organize an oral history for Hajj and his family,” Satterfield said. “He has lived there his whole life and has seen many of the modern wars and conflicts.” Satterfield, who has known and been friends with Hajj’s son for many years, had often heard the remarkable stories told by Hajj. “When I was visiting with Hajj and his family a couple of years ago, I remember him telling me these incredible stories about his life,” Satterfield recalled. “I asked his son if they had them written down or recorded anywhere and he said ‘no,’ so I turned to Hajj and asked him if I could come back and record his life, and he agreed.” The information recorded by Satterfield during his visit to Jerusalem will be compiled and then given to Hajj and his family

as a cherished history of his many noble and significant practices and experiences. Satterfield has been given approval to begin the transcription and compilation process during a faculty leave in spring. “To sit down and talk about all of the fascinating experiences that Hajj has gone through as a Palestinian living in Jerusalem was amazing,” Satterfield said. “One thing that really shone through in everything he was saying was the importance of honesty. Even if in certain situations being honest got him into trouble, in the end it always became a blessing to him.” Once his initial objective is finished, Satterfield will make the material he has gathered available for BYU-Idaho students and faculty. “I teach the course ‘Middle East: Roots of Conflict’ and thought it would be helpful for students to hear and read stories about someone like Hajj, who has been around many of the conflicts and difficulties within Jerusalem,” said Satterfield. The information recorded by Satterfield will not only be of great worth to Hajj and his family, but will also be beneficial to students and faculty alike as they examine the rich and often calamitous history of Jerusalem and the many diverse peoples who live there. “A huge benefit of these stories is the realization that we are not so different,” said Satterfield. “A lot of Americans hear Islamic people and automatically have a negative view because of extremists among those people, but you soon come to find out that they are just ordinary people trying to make a living and raise a family. You find out they are just good people.”

Teacher Education curriculum modified to meet new Idaho standards » By Austin Cary

New requirements for teacher certification in Idaho have led to significant revisions of the Department of Teacher Education’s elementary education curriculum. In addition to the normal K-8, all-subject teaching certification, future educators must now receive a middle school endorsement. To receive this endorsement, 10-14 credit hours and a state issued exam in a specific content area must be completed.

ELED students on the 2013-14 academic calendar have been required to select either a math, English, social studies, or science emphasis.

Announced in the spring of 2011, the state of Idaho gave universities two years to rework their curriculum to meet these new standards. Otherwise, students wouldn’t be eligible to teach without additional education.

“It’s a great advantage to our students. The students had a degree to teach K-8 all subjects, but the worry was how well they knew their content area to teach and just be a junior high science teacher or a junior high math teacher,” said Dana Johnson, a faculty member in the Department of Teacher Education. “Now our students can say, ‘No, I am highly qualified to teach junior high math.’ It will open the door for our students to be pretty marketable.”

Through the collaboration of several departments, the elementary education major was restructured to meet the certification requirements set by the state. As of July 1, 2013,


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Faculty see the new requirements will not only better prepare future educators, but will also give students an edge as they seek teaching positions in whichever state they choose.

BYU-Idaho construction management students pose with one of the trophies won during a recent competition.

Construction management students place third and sixth in regional competition » By Clint Urick

BYU-Idaho teams placed third and sixth at regional and national construction competitions last month in Nevada. Other BYU-Idaho participants performed well and the university was represented impressively at the competitions. In the Associated Schools of Construction Student Competition for Regions 6 and 7, BYU-Idaho took home a third-place trophy in the Mixed Use category, and a third-place in the alternate competition. Mixed Use is the blending of commercial and residential developments. The alternate competition is for alternates from several different universities to work together against other alternate teams. More than 40 universities attended the event.

internship offers,” said Shawn Jensen, a faculty member in the Department of Construction Management and advisor for the competition.

Students averaged about four interviews per person and multiple students received three to five job or internship offers. S H AW N J E N S E N , D E PA RT M E N T O F C O N S T RU C T I O N M A NAG E M E N T

Following the competition there was a job fair with representatives from over 70 companies, including some of the top construction companies in North America. “The best part of the event was that the students represented the university, the department, and themselves very well and that showed at the job fair. Students averaged about four interviews per person and multiple students received three to five job or

At the National Association of Home Builders competition, BYU-Idaho again performed well. Students worked on the project for about four months and presented their project proposals at the competition in February. They placed sixth out of 34 teams. “I’m very proud of them. They did a great job,” said Paul Scholes, one of the team’s coaches. One of the reasons the university attends these events is for the exposure, but the students also come away with a greater knowledge and ability to perform.

“The learning experience they gain here is invaluable. They get to network with people in the business, see real life problems, and have industry judges give them feedback that will prepare them for their careers,” said Scholes. Faculty and students are looking forward to competing again next year and continuing BYU-Idaho’s tradition of excellence. M A R C H 2 014


Revised approach to academic calendaring adopted To ensure BYU-Idaho meets its ongoing accreditation requirements, a revised approach to academic calendaring has been approved. This new approach, which will take effect at the beginning of 2015, was developed based on feedback obtained from faculty, staff, and students. The following guidelines were used to put together BYU-Idaho’s recently approved 2015-2018 academic calendars and will be used to guide future calendars: • Winter Semester will begin on or after January 2, with a move-in day, a Get Connected day, and the first day of class. • Winter Semester always has two Monday holidays. The Civil Rights Day and President’s Day holidays will continue to be observed on their respective dates. • Instructors of Monday-only labs will be asked to supplement their coursework in order to achieve course outcomes. • The potential exists (in 2016 for example) for Spring Semester to have two Monday holidays, with Memorial Day always on the last Monday in May and Independence Day in July occasionally falling a Monday. In that scenario, instructors of Monday-only labs will be asked to supplement their coursework in order to achieve course outcomes.

• Spring Semester commencement will take place no later than July 23. • The Pioneer Day Holiday will be inserted into the calendar on a day surrounding July 24, to allow the university the flexibility of an appropriate start date for Summer Session and to allow celebration of that holiday in connection with a weekend as often as possible (see the 2018 Approved Academic Calendar for an example of this approach). • Summer Session will generally be seven weeks long. However, in years when seven weeks will not fit between the end of Spring Semester and the beginning of Fall Semester, the first week of Spring Semester will be reduced by 1-3 days. Sufficient seat minutes will be provided to meet accreditation guidelines. • Fall Semester will begin on the Monday after Labor Day, allowing Fall Semester commencement to be scheduled sometime between December 12-18, depending on the year. Here is the rationale for these revisions to the calendar: • In order to fulfill its educational mission, BYU-Idaho must be able to offer three full semesters.

• A full Summer Session (half semester) must be offered in order to better accommodate students on Spring/Fall track and to serve the growing number of online-only students. It is anticipated that online and competency-based courses will be relied on more heavily during this teaching period. • Past experience has shown Winter and Spring Semesters can be fit into the schedule between January 2 and July 23. Ending by July 23 allows the university to include a full Summer Session before beginning Fall Semester on the Monday after Labor Day. • While there is support among some employees and students to expand the April break between semesters to two weeks, this can only be done at the expense of pushing Spring Semester commencement from July 23 to the end of July. This, in turn, reduces the Summer Session to a period of 5 1/2-6 weeks, making it impossible for the university to have a full Summer Session. Such a change would also reduce by one week the time employees can fit a family vacation into their schedules before their children return to school in mid-August.

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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


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March 2014 News & Notes