E MPLOY E E NE W SL E T T E R
M AY 2013
Geology instructors tour historical sites in Italy » By Spencer Allen
The tram slowly ascended toward the peak of Mount Etna. On board sat six instructors from the Department of Geology and their spouses. With each passing moment, the final destination seemed more uncertain as the overcast sky appeared closer. Stopping a safe distance from the peak, the doors of the tram opened and the group was greeted with sounds and a scent that would cause most to stay inside the tram. From the top of the peak, gigantic cannon-like sounds boomed. The cause of the noise was revealed, as a scent that would make the sulfur fragrance at Yellowstone National Park seem enjoyable began to penetrate the air. Mount Etna, an active volcano, was erupting. Over the week break between the winter and spring semesters of 2013, the full-time instructors in the Department of Geology brought their understanding to life with a 12-day tour of Italy and surrounding sites. The trip included a visit to Rome, Florence, and Venice as well as noted natural disaster locations including Pompeii, Herculaneum, Mount Vesuvius, and the volcanic Greek island of Santorini. The group was also fortunate enough to witness a small eruption from Mount Etna, the tallest volcano in Europe, which has erupted 11 times since the beginning of the year. Seeing the sites and enjoying the Italian cuisine and culture wasn’t the only thing the group anticipated and appreciated.
This trip will fundamentally change the way we teach. ROBERT CLAYTON
“Throughout the trip we discussed and reflected with one another about how this trip will fundamentally change the way we teach,” said Robert Clayton, instructor in the Department of Geology. “Being in Pompeii, the ancient Roman city that was buried by ash from an eruption in 79 AD, was a very personal experience. When you see bodies of people who were trapped in the volcanic eruption or observe furniture and paintings inside the home of the victims, the whole experience is brought to life.” Besides the pictures and videos the group took together that they will show to future classes, Clayton hopes to add personal experiences to bring the cases to life. “When we talk about our case studies in natural disaster, we always need to put a human face on it,” Clayton said. “We can’t be so detached and think there was this huge landslide or earthquake or eruption and leave it at that. We have to know that this affected people and individuals.”
Instructors from the Department of Geology tour the Colosseum in Rome.
Apart from the instructors who had served missions in Italy, no other instructor had been to Italy before. Regardless of the lack of time in the country, the instructors only relied on tour guides in Herculaneum, Pompeii, Rome, and Santorini. The rest of the time, they depended on each other and the research and understanding gained prior to the trip. M AY 2 013
Excerpts from President’s Executive Group Q&A April 2013
Question: Why do new employees have to wait for three years to participate in the Higher Education Assistance Program? What does the university offer new employees to further develop their skills during that three-year window? Beth Baldwin: This is a topic that we have discussed frequently. The reason a three-year waiting period is currently our practice is to balance retention costs, savings, and projected value. It would be nice if we could offer it sooner, but we must be frugal with the dollars that are spent and protect, with some confidence, the long-term investment that we’re making in an employee. While someone is waiting the three years, I recommend they consider using their BYU-Idaho tuition waiver. They may be able to cover some undergraduate prerequisites for the graduate program they hope to enter. They will also gain a greater understanding of the institution through a student experience, not just an employee experience. That always adds value for us as we serve here. Question: What insights resonated with you in your role as president here during general conference? President Clark: I did have some thoughts about BYU-Idaho in general. One of them was the current focus on the rising generation and helping them be
ready for the incredible work the Lord is preparing them to do. The Lord is setting in motion things that are going to have incredible impact on these young people and, therefore, on us. Those who come to
The Lord is setting in motion things that are going to have incredible impact on these young people and, therefore, on us. PRESIDENT KIM B. CLARK
school over this next decade are going to need and want more from us. We have to get better at what we do. We really need obedient, faithful, and consecrated people on this campus and in the kingdom to
accomplish all the Lord has for us to do. Another thought was the wonderful, beautiful talks about the Redeemer, who lives and loves perfectly, purely, and unfailingly. He will lift and strengthen you no matter where you are. He will cleanse you from sin—you just need to come to Him. He is always there. Question: Where are we campuswide with implementing the student employment model? Is there anything you see that we can do to make it run better? President Clark: We are making good progress in learning what a student-led model can do. It’s being implemented all over the place, and we’re seeing lots of great innovation take place in various departments. It is opening eyes all across the campus as we find ways to give students opportunities to learn and grow while still getting excellent performance in the organizations. So there are lots of opportunities, but we are still discovering the limits and how to make it work. As we move forward, one thing we recognize is the need to find ways to share experiences. UPCOMING Q&A The next Q&A session will be held Friday, June 14 at noon in the MC Little Theatre.
Organizational and personnel changes made in Academics A number of organizational and personnel changes have been announced for the Academics area at BYU-Idaho. Sid Palmer, who currently serves as an instructor in the Department of Biology, will assume the role of Academic Coordinator. Palmer replaces Larry Thurgood, who is departing to serve as a mission president. In his new role as Academic Coordinator, Palmer will work directly with Kelly Burgener and coordinate with others in the Academic Office. Ed Sexton, who currently serves as the Associate Academic Vice President 2
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of Curriculum, will assume the duties previously performed by Rob Eaton, who is departing to serve as a mission president. Sexton’s new position will be Associate Academic Vice President of Curriculum and Online. Some of Sexton’s previous responsibilities, such as graduation and the academic calendar, will be transferred to Ric Page. Responsibility for the catalog has been transferred to Student Records and Registration. Ralph Kern, who currently serves as director of Library Services, will assume the role of Associate Academic Vice
President of Student Connections. Kern replaces Guy Hollingsworth, who is departing for Afghanistan on a one-year deployment. Lynne Anderson, who has been serving as director of the Testing Center, has been appointed director of Campus Curriculum Development. She will direct a team of curriculum designers and developers in assisting colleges, departments, and faculty with the creation of face-to-face, hybrid, and competency-based courses. The search for her replacement as Testing Center Director has begun.
Road to Rexburg: Stephen Turcotte » By Spencer Allen
As a first-year graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stephen Turcotte noticed two young men on campus asking other students for directions. Or so it appeared. Wanting to help, he approached the young men in white shirts. Before he could ask if they needed any assistance, one of the young men asked, “Do you know anything about the Mormon Church?” The question startled Stephen Turcotte Turcotte, but in retrospect, that question and those young men had a greater impact on his future than any professor at MIT.
challenging times and helped me strive to be the best that I could be.”
With a life of physics and engineering in front of him, Turcotte had enjoyed the first few weeks on the MIT campus pursuing his passion for science. His professors and fellow classmates were some of the best in the nation. However, after his initial encounter and three follow-up meeting with the missionaries, he accepted the invitation to be baptized. This proved to be an unforeseen change in his life as he put his schooling on hold after his first year of graduate studies to serve a mission for the Church in Monterrey, Mexico.
Some of the more notable work while working at the SDL included contracts for the Department of Defense and NASA. It was during this time at the SDL that Turcotte received an offer from Ricks College. “I wasn’t expecting an offer from Ricks,” he said. “At the time I was responsible for the optical testing of an infrared telescope which was part of a NASA mission. It was the mission statement of Ricks College, to build testimonies of the gospel, that helped me to change the direction of my career.”
“My mission in Mexico was an incredible experience,” said Turcotte. “It was humbling for me as I tried to learn and master the Spanish language. My recent conversion and desire to share my newly found knowledge motivated me during those
In the fall of 1997, Turcotte accepted a teaching position at Ricks College and has been here ever since. “I love teaching at BYU-Idaho. Interacting with our students here is what motivates me to be the best teacher that I can be,” he said.
Upon his return to the United States, instead of returning to MIT, Turcotte decided to continue his studies at the University of Utah. Although his initial graduate coursework plans of following the path of his undergraduate degree in Applied and Engineering Physics, a unique project in optics intrigued the young scientist otherwise. Turcotte decided to switch his science emphasis and later received his masters and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering. “Once I finished my education at the University of Utah, I began working as a post-doc at Utah State University. While at the university, I did research and worked with a group of scientists on a variety of projects. Eventually I was hired at the Space Dynamic Laboratory in Logan,” said Turcotte.
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.byui.edu/Policies/policy2_11.htm and should be reviewed by all supervisors of student employees. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Human Resources at Ext. 1700.
M AY 2 013
Inner-city Chicago youth learning and growing in rural Idaho » By Matt Urick
Each summer 10-12 BYU-Idaho students receive the opportunity to attend the Chicago Urban Studies tour. They spend four days in the Chicago inner city observing the living conditions and lifestyles of young men ages 12-15. They then fly out to Victor, Idaho, where they spend the next 10 days at a camp and participate in various activities. Grover Wray, director of the program and instructor in the Department of Social Work, has been in charge of the program since 2001. “The program really lets the boys just be boys,” said Wray. “It’s a wonderful and eye-opening experience for both the students and the boys.” The program started in the late 1980s when an elder’s quorum president and Relief Society president from the Hyde Park Ward in south Chicago noticed they were losing a lot of their youth to the streets. They contacted what was then Ricks College to find out if they could help in some small way. Ever since then the institution has been quietly helping and mentoring these young men. “The purpose of this program is to help these young men learn life skills,” Wray said. “We want them to prepare for the challenges they’ll face in the future.” The students create their own mentoring curriculum for the camp in Victor. Wray believes that is part of the reason the program has been such a success.
“Many of the kids will attend for the four years in which they are able to,” Wray said. “And due to the fact that they get to do different things each summer keeps them coming back.” He added that the boys never call it boring, and that tells him they’re heading in the right direction. “The biggest thing I hope these boys take away from this experience is that they know they’re worth something,” Wray said. “I hope they know they’re valued. I hope they’ll become leaders. I want them to make something of themselves.” Wray added that some of the best moments of this program come years later, after they boys have been out of the camp for some time. These moments include the boys serving fulltime missions, getting a college education, and marrying in the temple. Reggie Radford, a student at BYU-Idaho, is a product of the Chicago Urban Studies tour. “It’s absolutely the reason I’m here at college today,” Radford said. “To be honest, I would have never known this place even existed if it wasn’t for Grover and the camp.” Radford is currently studying communication and is expecting to receive his mission call this month. He added that if his departure date is after August, he’s going to volunteer at this year’s camp, which begins Aug. 11 and lasts through Aug. 24. The program is partially funded by the Inner City Youth Charitable Foundation and the university.
Automotive Technology students sweep Skills USA Idaho competition » By Spencer Allen
For the fifth time in seven years, BYU-Idaho automotive technology students finished first, second, and third at the Skills USA Idaho competition. “This is a huge confidence booster for all of us in the department,” said Justin Miller, coordinator in the Automotive Technology program. “The recent successes we’ve enjoyed have helped our students gain experience and exposure in the industry as well as effectively show individual areas of strength and room for improvement.” In addition to sweeping the automotive technology event, students in the Automotive Technology program won the technical math event as well 4
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as place first in job interviews competition. “Our students are dedicated and here to learn. We have found that they learn best by doing,” said Josh Tollefson, instructor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. “We have them work on live vehicles with real problems. This helps the students learn to problem solve and think critically. As a result their determination and confidence of their knowledge in the field grows.” Ray Ricks, a senior in the department, won the automotive technology event. He will compete in June at the Skills USA national competition in Kansas City, Missouri.
Faculty artwork on display at Spori gallery » By Paul Morgan
It’s not everyday that members of the faculty here at BYU-Idaho get the chance to present their passion and their expertise on a grand scale. For this reason the faculty art show is a wonderfully unique opportunity. The art show gives faculty members of the Department of Art the exciting and demanding challenge of submitting one or more pieces that they have created for an exhibition comprised entirely of the department’s own work. The exhibit will feature around 40 original compositions that represent the many disciplines practiced within the department: sculpture, painting, ceramics, graphic design, and photography
are among the many branches of art represented at the event. The show is a biannual occurrence that gives students and members of the community an opportunity to view and appreciate the high standard of work produced by the Department of Art. “I want people to open their minds and gain new insights as to what art is, and can be,” said Kyoung Dabell, Art Gallery Assistant. “Within this show there are many abstract compositions like sculptures and paintings as well as other conceptual pieces that make you want to think and develop your own idea and understanding of what those pieces might be and what they represent.”
The faculty art show is not only for the enjoyment of those already involved and interested in art. The show is also an opportunity for people who may be unfamiliar with the art world to have an inside look at the many wonderful intrinsic ideas that art can stimulate and cultivate. The exhibit commenced with an opening reception on Thursday, May 2, and is open until Friday, May 24, to faculty, students, and the community to enjoy this exciting and thought-provoking experience. More information about the faculty art show can be found online at www.byui. edu/spori-gallery.
BYU-Idaho graduate wins second award for Photoshop skills » By Paul Morgan
It is always wonderful for the BYU-Idaho community to hear of the success of its former students. Andrea Bradley, a BYU-Idaho alumna and communication major is no exception to that rule. Bradley has recently received her second Guru Award in photo retouching for her piece “Grey Andrea Bradley Porcelain” from the National Association of Photoshop Professionals at the Photoshop World conference in Orlando, Florida. The conference is the world’s largest photography, lighting, and Photoshop training event, providing opportunities to receive instruction from more than 35 renowned experts.
The Guru Awards are a special Photoshop competition specifically designed for attendees, and were created to honor and recognize design, photography, retouching, and creativity. Andrea won her first Guru award in in 2011, also in the photo retouching category. “Winning my second Guru for photo retouching was such a self-defining moment about where I need to take my career. I got the reassurance I needed that it’s time to be professionally doing the craft that captivated me seven years ago,” said Bradley. Bradley has lived in Monterrey, Mexico for almost four years now where she teaches 9th grade Advanced Photoshop at a prestigious English-immersed private school. She is also the Technology Integration Specialist and trainer for the school’s laptop and iPad programs.
M AY 2 013
Faculty member composes musical work inspired by President Clark’s book » By Paul Morgan
When President Kim B. Clark wrote his inspirational book, Armor: Divine Protection in a Darkening World, his aim was to provide clear and uncomplicated spiritual advice about how to overcome the hardships of the world put forth by the Adversary. In his book President Clark teaches that through reliance on the Savior and His Atonement, we can receive strength and the ability to withstand all that we encounter. He shares perceptions about casting off the effects of evil and donning spiritual armor to become a true follower of our Savior. Hyrum Conrad
Hyrum Conrad, an instructor in the Department of Theatre and Dance, was teaching a New Testament Gospel Doctrine class in Sunday School when he decided the inspiring points emphasized in President Clark’s book would make an impressive spiritual climax to the course. With the permission of Deseret Book and President Clark, Conrad produced a 40-minute narrative theatre script comprised of various excerpts from the book. These expressions conveyed the main points and helpful instruction within President Clark’s book. Several months after his Sunday School presentation, Conrad’s mind continued to return to the condensed script he had created. The impression came that the script could be enhanced by carefully selected pieces of music. These musical selections, combined with the readings, would help provide a new way of conveying President Clark’s important message. With renewed permission of President Clark, Conrad began working on “Armor,” a choir concert with readers. Conrad has also worked closely with Kevin Brower, dean of the College of Performing and Visual Arts, to select music for the presentation and utilize the strengths of Men’s Choir. A stirring original composition has been commissioned to conclude this concert.
College Avenue playfields open On the brink of pristine summer weather, students and faculty alike are beginning to take advantage of the relatively new playing fields off of College Avenue. The fields, acquired by the university in the recent past, were ready for use last October. “The purpose of the fields at the moment is for free play,” said Wayne Clark, University Operations Managing Director. “They are there for enjoyment and to provide room to toss a football or throw a Frisbee around. With that being said, we are not going to be putting up lights or bleachers and schedule sporting events. The fields are in a residential area and we expect all participants of the fields to be respectful toward the neighbors and the community.” Although students may enjoy the fields now, the ultimate purpose of the playing fields is yet to be determined. “At the moment the university is acquiring the property and managing it so we can meet future needs of the campus as they come along,” said Clark. “We anticipate that the playing fields will be used for housing complexes or similar projects.” The hope for the housing complexes in the future is to densify the living areas and avoid urban sprawl. The benefits of these complexes include ensuring more parking spaces for those needing to drive to campus each day and creating a safer environment for pedestrians and vehicles alike.
“Nothing like this has ever been done with the Men’s Choir before. It will be like having a spiritual conversation with President Clark through the voices of 50 young men,” said Conrad.
The concert will be presented at 7:30 pm on June 14 and 15 in the Black Box Theatre of the Eliza R. Snow Performing Arts Center.
Yamaha flute. Like new. Paid $400, asking $300. Call Shane at Ext. 7534 or Gail at 313-6656.
“‘Armor’ will run just over an hour, and allows people to hear and feel the power of President Clark’s insights. Explanations concerning what we each can do to live the gospel and be protected against the influences of the Adversary will be taught. We will be reminded that the whole armor of God is more than protection. Putting it on confers on each of us the personal capacity to be on the Lord’s errand in building the kingdom of God right where we are,” said Conrad.
Four all-season radial tires. Size 205/60 R 15. 16,000 miles. Asking $45 each. Call Ext. 3420.
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