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M AY 2014

Pathway’s 100th domestic site opens in Rexburg » By Caleb Trujillo

The clock showed 15 minutes until 6 p.m. and eager Pathway students were already entering the Church building—a full half-hour before their gatherings began. With only one week of their first semester under their belts, many students at the Rexburg Pathway site have already felt a great difference in their lives. BYU-Idaho introduced Pathway in 2009. What started as a humble pilot program of three sites in the United States serving 50 students has emerged into a successful educational system of more than 160 worldwide sites, serving thousands of students each year. Nearly five years after the program began, Pathway has come full circle with the opening of its 100th domestic (U.S and Canada) site—right in BYU-Idaho’s backyard.

over the age of 31. As is typical program wide, each student has a unique story and journey that have brought them to Pathway. Twenty-three-year-old Sheila Dunn is a perfect example. Sheila Dunn

Pathway is just the first step to what I’m doing; it’s like a building block for my plans. CAMERON CHRISTENSON

“I found it rather poetic that Rexburg would be our 100th domestic site,” said J.D. Griffith, managing director of Pathway. “We did not do this by design; it simply happened this way. We are so excited to be able to bring the blessing of Pathway to our friends and neighbors.” Pathway opened in Rexburg in April and is currently serving 73 students, 50 of whom are between the ages 18-30 and the rest

“Just in these two weeks of Pathway, I have a greater sense of my daily routine and schedule,” Sheila said. “I stay at home with our son so I have to balance not only my Pathway classes, but also family and home responsibilities. A structured time for scripture study has helped a ton.” Sheila and her husband, Christopher, are originally from Hemet, Calif. As he has started his nursing degree on campus at BYU-Idaho, she has stayed home with their son, Bruce. Sheila was first introduced to Pathway by her mother-in-law, who is currently in her final semester of Pathway in Hemet.

“My younger brother is also doing Pathway with me, so it’s nice to have a built-in study buddy. We have the unique opportunity to sit down and discuss the course material with each other on a regular basis.” continued on page 6 M AY 2 014


Chemistry major presents research in Washington, D.C. » By Brock Allen

In the burgeoning area of undergraduate research, the Council on Undergraduate Research’s annual “Posters on the Hill” conference is a great opportunity for students to share their research with government officials, and gain experience for their careers. Paul Powell, a senior in the Department of Chemistry at BYU-Idaho, was one of 60 undergraduate students from across the nation invited to share his group’s research at this conference.

At this conference, Powell had the opportunity to present his research to many government officials, including the staff members of Congressman Mike Simpson, and also Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch. He said the experience of presenting to these men would be something that will help him immensely in graduate school, and his career. “It’s hard to explain science in a way that’s not only understandable, but that’s significant for your audience. That was what I was learning throughout this experience. I got better at it through each meeting,” said Powell.

Powell has been working under the direction of David Collins, a faculty member in the Chemistry Department. Since arriving at BYU-Idaho, Collins has Undergraduate research has participated in many sidebeen one of the best ways to projects with his students. help students gain this type of These were small projects experience. that didn’t go very far, but L to R: Paul Powell, Sen. Jim Risch, and David Collins gave the students some “The opportunities that we experience. While he didn’t mind doing these projects, he still provide with undergraduate research here improve the student’s wanted to do research that would not only benefit the students, ability to enter the work force or enter graduate school. The but also the scientific course work provides the community. foundation they need, but ultimately after they have But with a lack of funds acquired that foundation, and resources, he knew it they need to apply it in some would be difficult. He began way,” said Collins. looking for old techniques that didn’t require expensive This is the purpose of instruments, and found the “Posters on the Hill”, and potential of combining both the general purpose of the thin layer chromatography Council on Undergraduate and electrophoresis, which Research. As they continue are two different techniques to promote student-faculty used for separating collaborative research, they chemicals. By combining the hope to see more and more techniques and using them undergraduate students Powell presents his research as part of “Posters on the Hill.” simultaneously, they have go into the work force and seen great progress in the way chemicals can be separated. They graduate school better prepared, and more capable in their fields. have been working and improving on this research since 2010. “The course work provides the foundation they need, but Powell started with this project around two and a half years ago, ultimately after they have acquired that foundation, they need and is now the student who has been involved with the project to apply it in some way. This research offers freedom to the the longest. He has also presented about their research previously students, it offers independence to the students, and offers a at the Research and Creative Works Conference, and at the Idaho unique excitement that they can’t get in a traditional laboratory Academy of Science Symposium. This experience helped him environment,” said Collins. develop his presenting skills, and in part was why he was chosen to attend “Posters on the Hill”. Powell is a great example of what this research can do, and how it can prepare BYU-Idaho students for the future. “Students were chosen not only on the quality of the research they did, but also on their ability to present it to a non-technical audience,” said Powell.


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Chemistry faculty member honored by Idaho Academy of Science » By Brock Allen

The Idaho Academy of Science recently honored a BYU-Idaho faculty member with one of its most prestigious annual awards. Hector A. Becerril-Garcia, a member of the Department of Chemistry faculty, accepted the Distinguished Science Communicator award March 24, 2014 in Idaho Falls. For three years Becerril has been helping with the development of the BYU-Idaho Research and Creative Works Conference. Brian Pyper, a faculty member in the Department of Physics, started the conference in 2006, but Becerril has been the chair of the committee since 2011.

Hector A. Becerril-Garcia

Michael Petty, a student in the Department of Psychology, performed surveys based on the effect the conference had on presenters, judges, mentors, and spectators. These surveys have provided the faculty with much needed information, which has shown them many areas they can improve on. With this knowledge, the conference has grown rapidly, and gone from 60 presentations to 300 in these three short years. But Becerril knows that the numbers don’t reflect the true growth of the conference. “It’s not the number of projects, it’s the people, and when you step into that room, everyone feels validated, important, recognized. They feel proud of what they’ve done. You give them an audience, and they do really well. For some people that’s the first time that has happened,” Becerril said.

Along with this rapid growth, he is constantly seeking to help our faculty members to be involved with this conference, and to look at it as a non-threatening way to help their students prepare for the future. “I’m always striving to encourage any faculty members that want to support the students. I want the faculty to know that we appreciate their effort. We know that it is difficult to be in classes, then take a student on the side and do a meaningful, professional project. It’s a lot of effort. The conference exists because of those faculty members.” Becerril said. Many of the faculty members have been able to see how much this conference has helped the students. “This is real world skills being learned through a project that we are doing on the side,” said Shane Ruebush, a faculty member in the Chemistry Department. The Idaho Academy of Science regularly attends the conference to judge many of the presentations, and to support the research that is presented. Through attending the event, they have been able to see the great benefits provided by this conference, and wanted to publicly recognize Becerril for his service with the Distinguished Science Communicator. The Distinguished Science Communicator award is one of three esteemed awards given annually by the Idaho Academy of Science. This award honors exceptional science-related accomplishments. Scientific research, teaching, writing, or other works in different fields of science in Idaho are the different categories that are looked at for this award. The Academy President and Executive Director choose a panel of three qualified individuals to review the nominees and make a recommendation to the Executive Committee.

Home & Family Development faculty and students attend UN conference » By Paul Morgan

Students and faculty from BYU-Idaho recently traveled to New York City to participate in the Commission on the Status of Women. The conference took place in March and was held at the headquarters of the United Nations.

group dedicated to strengthening and preserving the family unit. Students were then able to get to work meeting and talking with several of the ambassadors and delegates from the many countries that had converged on the UN.

Timothy Rarick, a faculty member in the Department of Home and Family Development, along with Boyd Baggett, a faculty member in the Department of Religion, traveled with students to attend the conference. Once in New York the group joined with members of United Families International, a pro-family

“When we are meeting with ambassadors and delegates one of our goals is to give them materials to help them understand the actual intentions and language of the documents being created at these conferences,” said Rarick. “We talk to them about pro family and give them a negotiating guide that helps

them discern what the language used in the documents is really saying. The conference ran for a total of two weeks, with faculty and students participating for the final five days. Among the many opportunities to meet with delegates from across the globe, faculty and students also had the challenge of sponsoring two events that allowed them to speak to large groups of visitors at the UN. “I saw students stand up and speak in front of people from around the world continued on page 4 M AY 2 014


Student Activities: empowering students to act in blessing the lives of others » By Austin Cary

It’s a weeknight at the 4-plex playfields on 7th South and they’re packed with students. Some of them are huddled around a football with flags on their waists, some are tossing a Frisbee as they jog onto a field, and others are laughing and cheering. Forty recreational sport games will be played this night without a single full-time employee in sight. Some may think it’s unusual to have students run major university activities, but in BYU-Idaho’s Student Activities Program it’s the norm. “We feel it as part of our charge, within the Activities Program, to put students in positions to serve and lead in such a way that when they leave BYU-Idaho they will be a blessing wherever they go,” said Layne Kinghorn, a director of the Activities Program. “We have found that students are very capable.”

reputation of the university and the Church, as well as the safety of students. Beyond that, the advisors let the students run the program, make mistakes, hit dead ends, get into tough situations, and ultimately be successful—all the while trusting that the power is within them to act for themselves. “We have an opportunity to give students a chance to lead in a semi-secure environment, and we are okay with mistakes and we are okay with failure only because we know it is going to make them better when they leave BYU-Idaho,” said Kinghorn. “Our goal is to help students experience the power to act for themselves and do more than they ever thought possible.” The true worth and impact of the Activities Program was described by President Henry B. Eyring when he prophesied in 2001 that BYU-Idaho students would be “natural leaders” who would become “legendary in their capacity to build people around them and add value wherever they serve.”

In 2013, over 3,000 students volunteered as leaders, facilitating over 160,000 individual student interactions with the Activities Program. These experiences ranged from the massive productions Guided by full-time employee mentors, students lead out in the Activities Program. of Guitars Unplugged and I-Cover to the Temple-to-Temple Relay, guitar workshops, weekly dances, and Kinghorn said that prophetic vision continues to shape the fitness classes. Activities Program and the experiences it seeks to provide students. “If you walked through the Student Activities office and could see what is happening, the students are running it,” said Kinghorn. “President Eyring is very specific about what the students at “There is no way our 13 advisors could ever accommodate the this university will be capable of doing,” Kinghorn said. “In the sheer volume of what we do. For that reason it becomes critical grand scheme of things, it’s not about me or the student leaders. that the students do it.” It’s about what we all are trying to provide for someone else. If we keep that as our focus then our student leaders will be able to The 13 advisors in Student Activities take what they call the truly make their service a remarkable experience.” “white knuckle approach.” Emphasis is placed on maintaining the

UN conference: continued from page 3 who didn’t speak their language or maybe had different views on the family, and I saw those students speak boldly, with power. The spirit was there in great abundance,” said Rarick. While time was primarily spent with delegates and ambassadors, students cherished the task of speaking publicly as advocates of the family unit. With a panel of four speakers at each event, both students and faculty were able to challenge difficult topics and ideologies promoted by opposing groups, as well as further promote the importance of the family unit in society. Rarick’s speech, titled “Fathers, Be Good to Your Daughters,” received a standing ovation from the large group comprised primarily of women from across the globe.


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“The reception my speech got was amazing. It showed that people really are seeking for eternal truths,” said Rarick. “I really enjoyed being able to hear both sides of the argument, it gave me such a fire inside to advocate the family and the importance of saving the family unit from damaging practices and dangerous legislation, said Emily Bleazard, a student majoring in child development. “I loved working with the different people at UFI. It’s always good to know that there are other people who are just as committed to preserving the family as we are.”

Automotive Technology majors benefiting from focus on engineering » By Austin Cary

When you think about an automotive program at the college level you might think of classes that only produce skilled mechanics trained to service cars. While that’s certainly one possible outcome of BYU-Idaho’s Automotive Technology program, students are preparing for a variety of professions in the field.

Students in this program gain the education and skills required to work in this industry through a combination of lectures and practical experiences in the Auto Lab. The lab is central to the student’s education, providing them professional experience in evaluating, testing, and rebuilding vehicles from the community. “The Auto Lab is a very practical experience for our students,” said Miller. “When you experience the technology firsthand you get a much more thorough understanding of it than by reading about it in a textbook.”

“I think a lot of people are under the mistaken idea that the Department of Automotive Technology is only training mechanics,” said Justin Miller, a faculty member in the department. “What we’re actually doing is training engineers.” Pressure on the automotive industry to produce safer, more efficient, and technologically savvy vehicles is fueling the creation of a staggering amount of specialized careers. Those include engineering and prototype building to testing and evaluation of vehicle parts and materials—professions students in the BYU-Idaho’s program are being trained to do.

Recently the skills of students in the Automotive Technology program were tested as they competed at the state level for the chance to represent Idaho in this year’s National Skills USA Olympics, the nation’s largest industrial and trades competition. After taking first place in several events a BYU-Idaho student was awarded this opportunity. This recent achievement exemplifies the success of students in BYU-Idaho’s Automotive Technology program. Miller notes that the department’s job placement rate is 100% in the automotive field, and BYU-Idaho graduates can be found in nearly every major company in the automotive industry.

BYU-Idaho automotive technology majors enjoy a 100% job placement rate.

“There is a demand for educated and skilled people with an automotive degree and an engineering, manufacturing, or welding fabrication minor—people who know how to problem solve and how to make, design, and test vehicles,” said Miller.

Horticulture students place 2nd in national competition » By Paul Morgan

A group of BYU-Idaho students recently “The event has the format of a placed second in a national horticultural horticultural Olympics and brings competition. Students and faculty travelled students in close proximity with the best to Colorado State University in Ft. green companies in the country,” said Collins, to participate in the 38thannual Reese Nelson, faculty member in the Professional Landcare Network’s Student Department of Applied Plant Science. Career Days event. “Not only is this a place where students can compete with other students in their The career day is comprised of 28 field, but it’s a unique experience where events that are both sponsored and they can rub shoulders with company judged by green industry representatives. representatives in the industry who come Attendance at the career day consists of 60 specifically to recruit fulltime employees schools and approximately 900 students and interns.” from across the nation, and is not only an opportunity for students to engage in The team of 17 horticulture students was friendly competition, but also serves as an accompanied and coached throughout the opportunity to impress potential future several events by Nelson and fellow faculty employers. member Byron John of the Department of Applied Plant Science. Successes

enjoyed by the students included Dan Quakensbush and Cameron Rutter, who were awarded first place in Irrigation Troubleshooting, Eric Anderson who won first place in Tractor Loader Backhoe Operation, and Ali Strate who won second place in 3D Exterior Landscape Design. “As a department we are always looking for opportunities to bring students and industry together. Right now we have a group of students visiting in Portland, and just last week I got back with a group of students that went on a fieldtrip to Dallas. We want them to be able to secure future employment along the way to getting their degree,” said Nelson.

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Pathway in Rexburg: continued from page 1 Sheila plans to pursue a nursing degree as well and is grateful for the opportunity to ease into the rigors of a college course load. Crystal Kelley Crystal Kelley’s journey to Pathway started recently at the waters of baptism. Originally from McKinney, Tex., Crystal desired to live in a different environment after being baptized last September. “I had a few friends here in Rexburg already going to school, and I prayed a lot before making the decision to come,” Crystal said. Since moving to Rexburg, Crystal has found a job as an assistant manager at a local retail store. Because of Pathway’s low tuition rate and the flexibility of online classes, Crystal can both work and start school. “I was going to wait and apply to start BYU-Idaho on campus in the fall, but I wanted something to do now. I had the desire to continue my education and feel involved, so I jumped at the opportunity when I heard about Pathway.” While she is not totally decided, Crystal currently would like to pursue a nursing degree after completing Pathway. Timothy & Brenna Bushman Pathway can offer hope and happiness in times of discouragement. After a serious injury to his biceps from working his job in construction, Timothy Bushman found himself unexpectedly unemployed. With little education past high school, Timothy and his wife, Brenna, turned to Pathway. “We had been looking for a way to go back to school and build our education. I knew I had to be educated—more than just life experience and high school,” Timothy said. “When I first heard about Pathway, it hit me like a bag of rocks that this is something we had to do. After we went to the informational fireside, that feeling only burned deeper and stronger.” Timothy aspires to earn a degree in psychology and help with youth. Both he and Brenna say their favorite part of Pathway is the discussion boards. They love learning from their classmates and seeing the change that Pathway has made in others as well. Timothy and Brenna hope their four children see their example of

obtaining higher education and follow suit. “It’s helping us open up,” says Brenna. “I know it going to make us stronger spiritually and help our family grow closer.” Cameron Christenson After initially learning about Pathway, Cameron Christenson, age 23, was instantly drawn to the program. Pathway offers Cameron the flexibility he needs to work two jobs and still earn some college credit. “I want to eventually pursue biochemistry or neurology,” Cameron said. “After Pathway, I will attend BYU-Idaho and then graduate school. I just got back from my mission, so I wanted something to get me into the rhythm of going to school while still earning a little money. Pathway is just the first step to what I’m doing; it’s like a building block for my future plans.” Cameron has enjoyed meeting new people and studying with the BYU-Idaho Learning Model. “I love being involved in discussions, and I’m excited to be the lead student,” he said. “Teaching the material to one another helps me retain the information.” Pathway not only benefits the students who participate—it also provides great personal blessings to the missionaries as well. “I have grown in my testimony of how much the Savior loves every person on this earth. There are no losers, outcasts, or rejects in His eyes. Pathway is really about hope, and it all goes back to the Savior,” said Elder Weyland, a missionary overseeing an age 18-30 Pathway group. Even though the students and missionaries of the Rexburg site have only taken their first steps in Pathway, they are excited about the future blessings that lie ahead. FOR SALE Rigby home for sale. Country living on over an acre of nicely landscaped, fully-fenced yard. Front porch and nice covered back deck. Five bedrooms, three bathrooms, plus office. $225,000. Call 201-3070. Find more information at

News & Notes A monthly publication of University Relations A D V I S O R Marc Stevens W R I T E R S Brock Allen, Austin Cary, Paul Morgan 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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News & Notes May 2014