E MPLOY E E NE W SL E T T E R
N OV E MB E R 2013
Teaching in the Lord’s Way: PARALLELS BETWEEN THE BYU-IDAHO LEARNING MODEL AND THE CHURCH’S YOUTH CURRICULUM » By Austin Cary
“We believe that here on campus we are striving to become master teachers—teachers who would teach in the Savior’s way.” That sentiment from David Magleby in the Department of Teacher Education led him and fellow faculty members to meet earlier this semester with the designers of the Church’s new curriculum for youth, “Come, Follow Me.” During that meeting, it was confirmed to Magleby and his colleagues that the missions of BYU-Idaho and the Church are closely aligned when it comes to effective teaching and learning. The similarities are particularly apparent in the university’s Learning Model. “When members of the committee of ‘Come, Follow Me’ said, ‘we think the youth have the capacity to act,’ that spoke to me,” Magleby said. “I believe God wants schools where students act. I think students are just a lot more capable than we give them credit for. In the Church we are beginning to recognize that to build capacity, young people need to act.” Magleby notes that even though it is the responsibility of students to act for themselves, there are ways for teachers to help them. “In every case a student has the opportunity to act,” he said. “Our tendency is to assume students won’t act unless required to do so. This
leads us to assign until students believe they are overwhelmingly busy. We act upon them by piling it on, basically saying: ‘here are more pages to read, more problems to do, and here’s more stuff for you to go work out.’ Now, the window of opportunity to make their own choice about that narrows.” One of the ways Magleby has learned to help students act is by following the Savior’s example in extending invitations. “I do not need to compel and command in all things,” he said. “I invite students to do things. I invite them to accept invitations. If they accept my invitation that’s much more powerful than ‘I obeyed, I was compelled, therefore, I did.’” The power of an accepted invitation comes from an individual using his or her agency to call upon the Spirit. This personal agency is essential in both “Come, Follow Me” and the Learning Model. The similarities between the two are striking. “I look at the world in principles,” Magleby said. “If you take teaching in the Lord’s way, and you look at what they are trying to propose, and you look at the principles in the Learning Model you will see a lot of overlap. That is another reason why it just makes sense. In the end we are talking about questions as invitations, the Spirit being the true teacher, acting versus being acted upon, and loving someone enough that you would help them.”
N O V E M B E R 2 013
Excerpts from President’s Executive Group Q&A August, September and October 2013
Question: Can you tell us why there is a residency requirement of 15 credits before you can pursue an online degree? President Clark: This issue actually goes back many years, when BYU’s Continuing Education wanted to offer a degree online. After considerable discussion, two things happened. First, they were given permission to offer a Bachelor of General Studies, but it was restricted to people who had been admitted to BYU and who had spent at least one year or 30 credit hours on campus. It was done primarily to make sure a student had gone through the admissions process and to limit the degrees to that population. If a student had been on course to get a degree, it gave them an option to finish their degree online. That’s the only degree that BYU has ever allowed online. So when the other CES universities began to think about offering online degrees, a residency requirement was established to create some consistency. As we began offering an associate degree online, the residency requirement was refined to 15 credit hours. There have been modifications to that requirement over time. For example, the Board has approved some limited situations with BYU-Hawaii in which they are allowed to offer an online degree without a residency requirement. My guess is this opportunity will expand, and the day will come when we won’t have residency requirements for online degrees. That’s already the case for Pathway. If you’re in the Pathway program, you don’t have to be here on campus to get a degree. I think it will eventually be that way for anyone who would like to pursue an online degree with us. Question: Can you tell us about the Pathway annual report you recently gave to the Board? President Clark: It went very well. The Pathway annual report is a brief overview of the program––a kind of snapshot of where we are. Pathway has three main objectives: first, to help those who participate get the gospel deep in their hearts and develop their faith in the Savior; second, to become a life-long learner; and third, to help them lead and support a family and live providently. 2
l B Y U - I DA H O N E W S & N O T E S
This fall we have roughly 7,000 students participating in Pathway. We have about 620 church service missionaries across the world, and this semester we hope to have about 1,500 speaking partners. I shared those figures with the Board and then took them through some of the financials for Pathway, which are very interesting. Our strategy with Pathway has been to leverage the campus, meaning we use essentially the same courses, the same systems for faculty, and so forth that we use online. To use an accounting term, Pathway is not “burdened” with overhead. It can run relatively efficiently. It’s really a miracle.
Everywhere we [the Apostles] go, the priesthood leaders thank us for Pathway. This program is having a wonderful effect on the Church. E L D E R RU S S E L L M . N E L S O N
We’ve been able to create this organization, develop it, and become operational in 90 sites in the United States and about 55 internationally. We’ve already seen about 1,600 students matriculate in the university. That has all been done without any request for new appropriation from the Board. I also reviewed with the Board how we are leveraging the Church by using existing facilities such as institute buildings and stake centers. That’s allowing us to operate Pathway at a very low resource cost and at very low tuition to students. Over the next couple of years, Pathway will be operating cash positive so we’ll be able to continue moving forward without asking the Church for appropriations. That causes the Board to beam. They just love that. I also shared an interesting challenge we face in Utah. We opened a site in Sandy about two years ago. This fall we had about 360 applications in Sandy. We opened Taylorsville as a new site this fall, and
received about 440 applications there. The word is spreading in Utah about Pathway, so much so that people are driving from as far away as Logan and St. George to participate. So we know there is a lot of need there, and we’re working to develop an approach for Pathway that’s specific to Utah. When the presentation was over, it was clear the Board was very pleased. Just before the meeting moved on to the next item, Elder Nelson said to President Monson: “President, I’d just like to say something. Everywhere we [meaning the Apostles] go, the priesthood leaders thank us for Pathway. This program is having a wonderful effect on the Church.” President Monson said: “That’s wonderful.” It felt really good. Question: Any feelings or impressions you can share from general conference? President Clark: It was a wonderful conference. There was a great spirit there and wonderful teaching. I was struck by a couple of things. First, there were so many talks focused on essentially the same thing. There were about a dozen talks focused on hastening the work of salvation in its various dimensions. I think it’s pretty unusual to have that many talks focused on a single topic like that. It reflects a deeply held feeling among those who spoke that this is a remarkable time in the history of the Church and in the world. One of the things that makes it remarkable is that the Lord is hastening His work and it’s incumbent upon all of us to find out what we need to do and what we need to change in order to be part of the Lord’s hastening of His work. There were also a number of talks about the need to support and rescue those around us and about the need to be open and welcoming. Other themes were apparent, such as marriage and the family, women in the Church, and the priesthood and women. I thought those messages were very important. NEXT Q&A WITH PEG Tuesday, December 17, 12 p.m. MC Special Events Room
Department of Theatre and Dance produces play geared toward children » By Paul Morgan
The Children’s Theatre has long been an important way for the Department of Theatre and Dance to instill and perpetuate an appreciation for theatre productions for youngsters in our area. Omar Hansen, faculty member in the Department of Theatre and Dance, has once again provided an opportunity for local children to have exposure to the intrinsic wonders of the stage with his original play and main stage production, This Castle Needs a Good Scouring. The play, written by Hansen and directed by student Joe Lawless, ran from Nov. 12-16 in the Snow Black Box Theater. While Hansen sat firmly at the helm of this production as playwright, lyricist, and set designer, the play was predominantly student-led. While not all students involved in the production were required to be theatre majors, many theatre majors took advantage of this wonderful opportunity to hone their skills and exhibit their passion for the stage. The new Children’s Theatre emphasis is also a welcome addition to the major and will see an
influx in the number of students becoming involved in future endeavors. “I’m really excited about this production. The student involvement and participation has been fantastic and the department has really supported me,” said Hansen. Hansen, who originally wrote and produced the award-winning play several years ago, decided to adapt it into a full musical and proceeded to write all new music for the production. An integral focus of the Children’s Theatre at BYU-Idaho is not only to grant students the opportunity to perform, but also to ignite the imagination of children who are brought to campus to see the shows. In the past 15 years thousands of school children have been able to visit BYU-Idaho to watch and enjoy productions performed by the Department of Theatre and Dance. “There is nothing more fun than performing for kids,” Hansen said. “Many times they come in with a skeptical attitude, but leave with a skip in their step and a positive outlook.”
Students and faculty perform in This Castle Needs a Good Scouring. N O V E M B E R 2 013
Instructor named president of national sports medicine organization » By Paul Morgan
Eli Lankford, an instructor in the Department of Health, Recreation and Human Performance has been nominated as the president of the American College of Sports Medicine, Northwest Chapter.
This prestigious opportunity will not only help further establish the reputation of BYU-Idaho, but will also be a useful tool to help students gain opportunities to foster relationships with other professionals in their chosen vocation.
“The principal reason I accepted the nomination was because it gives our students recognition and helps to represent the many great things that are going on at this university,” said Lankford. The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. The organization has a membership in excess of 45,000 that includes a diverse abundance of certified professionals. With five chapters spanning the United States, it is a remarkable organization for students to become involved with. As president, Lankford will serve a three-year commitment with the first year as the president-elect, which is a tutoring stage, the second year as
president, and the third year he will be the past-president where he will mentor and give advice. Since coming to BYU-Idaho, Lankford has been instrumental in establishing a science-based program within the Department of Health, Recreation and Human Performance. Through considerable work and dedication Lankford was successful in creating the exercise physiology major that has continued to grow in both success for students as well as in popularity as a focus of study. “It has been great to see the program develop and it’s been nice to have the support from other faculty who aren’t in the department. I couldn’t have achieved the success I have seen without high quality students and support from the university,” said Lankford. Lankford, who teaches Advanced Exercise Physiology, Foundations of Science 204-The American Epidemic, and a research class, also enjoys the opportunity to take student members of the ACSM to conferences where they can present research they have conducted and submitted in an abstract form to be reviewed by several faculty and professors from across the country. “Students here are able to do quality mentored research that is on par and in many cases above the standard of other institutions,” said Lankford.
Instructor improves student experience by authoring his own textbooks » By Austin Cary
After authoring three customized textbooks for his courses, instructor James Helfrich of the Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering has noticed something positive happen among his students. “I have a much higher percentage of students who come to class prepared, where before it was a real struggle,” he said. Inspired by a history of success and motivated by the demand for an adequate text in his second semester computer programming course, Helfrich is eagerly writing his fourth textbook. “We hope to get the same benefits we did out of our other textbooks, including having fewer pages for the students to read and get the same amount of information because it is more closely aligned with the class,” he said. Along with freeing students from lengthy and unnecessary material found in off-the-shelf texts that are not completely aligned with the course, another incentive for writing a textbook is the effectiveness of personalized material. “A generic, off-the-shelf text is written for all students, but I know my students,” Helfrich said. “I see them every day. I know how they look at things, what works for them and what doesn’t, 4
l B Y U - I DA H O N E W S & N O T E S
and so I can write a text exactly for them.” Once the text is printed or released online, the class benefits from a dynamic text. This is especially important in a field that is continuously evolving. “The text is much more responsive for the needs of the students,” he said. “If an example in class really resonated with the students, I simply update the text. Whereas with an off-theshelf text, there is always a couple of years of delay between a new development in the industry, and when the text gets updated.” Self-authored texts also remove a significant financial burden from students. When Helfrich’s textbook is completed, the cost for the course’s textbook will drop from $140 to BYU-Idaho’s printing cost of $29. If the book were to be published online, there would be no cost. Providing students with more effective and economical course material helps fulfill the university’s imperative to lower the relative cost of education. For Helfrich, it’s also a source of satisfaction. “Writing textbooks is among the most rewarding things I do,” he said.
Chemistry students present their research at the American Chemistry Society conference in Oregon.
Chemistry students participate in regional conference » By Matt Urick
BYU-Idaho students in the chemistry program had the opportunity to attend the Northwest Regional meeting of the American Chemistry Society (ACS) in Corvallis, Oregon this summer. The conference was held on the campus of Oregon State University. The conference program included a variety of workshops, presentations, and keynote speakers from all over the Northwest. Many of the students and faculty members conducted poster and oral presentations on their research and teaching practices. David Collins, an instructor in the Department of Chemistry, feels the conference was very worthwhile for the students.
Many of the students, such as Serena Michalsky and Tyler Southam, agreed the conference was of benefit to them as well. “The conference was a wonderful experience,” Michalsky said. “If given the opportunity to go again, I would because of all that I learned.”
The conference was a wonderful experience. If given the opportunity to go again, I would because of all that I learned.
“When we weren’t involved in our poster session, we had the opportunity to talk with the exhibitors from chemical companies, laboratory instruments companies, and universities,” Southam said. “I made several connections that may lead to graduate school or internship opportunities in the coming couple of years.” The students also had the opportunity to visit the Linus Pauling Institute, a research center named for one of the most influential chemists in American history. At the institute the students were able to actually hold a real Nobel Prize medallion.
“Our students greatly benefited by presenting their research to a professional audience, meeting and networking for S E R E NA M I C H A L S K Y, C H E M I S T RY S T U D E N T future employment or graduate school, gaining specialty knowledge in the latest The society is looking forward to areas of research, and obtaining advice attending conferences in the future, from working professionals,” said Collins. “In fact, two older especially the 2015 ACS conference, which will be co-hosted by chemists on two separate occasions pulled several of our students BYU-Idaho and Idaho State University on the campus of ISU in aside and talked with them for almost an hour about careers in Pocatello. chemistry.”
N O V E M B E R 2 013
Instructor’s sabbatical introduces specialized field to Department of Mathematics » By Austin Cary
A recent sabbatical yielded an unusual result for instructor Paul Cox of the Department of Mathematics: deeper knowledge of a rapidly growing field still relatively new to BYU-Idaho. Known as mathematical biology, the discipline deals with how mathematics is used to aid in the study of biological systems. Cox’s inquiry in this area came from the realization that BYU-Idaho students were not being exposed to the topic, which is gaining prominence in the field. “It just struck me that in our curriculum we rarely had biological examples,” Cox said. ”I thought it would be good to put together some materials that we could use at various levels in our math curriculum to introduce our students to the idea that math is used not just in physics, chemistry and engineering, but in biology and life sciences too.” Under the overarching field of mathematical biology, Cox conducted research in areas of mathematical epidemiology, wildlife population, invasive species, and cellular processes. “My research was not research in the sense of coming up with something new, but it was very much geared towards curriculum,” he said. “So I read the current research in different areas and translated it into activities and problems and things we can use in our curriculum here to introduce our students to very real, very current issues in mathematical biology.” Based on his research, Cox has made a few alterations to the curriculum for his classes this semester. Topics in Mathematics is
being taught as an intro to mathematical biology for the first time. Introduction to Applied Mathematics and Elementary Differential Equations has changed by about 40 percent, and College Algebra has changed about 10 percent. His sabbatical not only enhanced his teaching repertoire but also strengthened his testimony of personal revelation. In determining where to perform his research, a distinct prompting came to Cox and his wife to go to San Antonio, Texas. That allowed him to take his family to see the San Antonio Missions and a national seashore where he unexpectedly stumbled across case studies for his research. While watching an educational video at the San Antonio Missions, he learned about a European disease that spread rampantly through the indigenous populations of Texas—a scenario that fit perfectly with his study of mathematical epidemiology. As they walked past a ranger station on their way to the beach, Cox noticed a sign concerning the loggerhead sea turtle population, a case study he had already begun. He was able to get in contact with the biologists involved with the effort and observe how they were measuring the population, gathering and incubating eggs, and releasing hatched turtles back into the ocean. Cox feels these experiences were not merely coincidences, but rather heavenly aid to provide BYU-Idaho students with exposure to the important field of mathematical biology.
Commemorating 125 Years
Students, employees, and alumni gathered November 9 for a commemorative photo to mark the 125th anniversary of BYU-Idaho’s founding on November 12, 1888 as Bannock Stake Academy.
l B Y U - I DA H O N E W S & N O T E S
Ezekiel performance showcases talents of BYU-Idaho faculty, students » By Paul Morgan
The talents of BYU-Idaho students and faculty were on display at the November 7 premiere of the original composition Ezekiel: Son of Man, written and developed by Department of Music instructor David L. Taylor and his associate and friend, Rachel Peck. The two performances in the Barrus Concert Hall showcased the talents of students and faculty members alike, including the RixStix Percussion Group, University Choir, Collegiate Singers, Michelle Broadbent (soprano), Heidi Spjute (alto), David Peck (tenor), David Olsen (bass), Ryan Nielsen (trumpet/ flugelhorn), and former Ricks College faculty member Rodger Sorensen as narrator. Taylor notes that it is a one of a kind work. “There are a substantial number of oratorios written for soloists, choir and orchestra; but this one is unique because of its instrumentation. As far as I can tell,
this is the first full-fledged oratorio to feature a percussion orchestra.” The five movement, 65-minute work outlines the calling and ministry of the prophet Ezekiel. “Each movement represents an important element of the ministry of Ezekiel and its impact on the children of Israel,” said Taylor. The impressive oratorio was a long time in the making. The origins of this production stretch back to 1994. Taylor received the initial suggestion from his colleague and friend David Peck to create a composition written for percussion ensemble based on Ezekiel’s vision of the Valley of the Bones. In 1997, after the initial success of a single movement work with text written by David’s wife Rachel, Taylor asked Rachel to write a libretto for a larger scale work that used the book of Ezekiel
in its entirety. After almost two years the libretto was completed and contained a beautiful and compelling overview of Ezekiel’s calling and service as a prophet of God. The libretto was placed in a folder and filed away, not to be looked at for another 10 years. In 2010, Taylor proposed writing the oratorio as a sabbatical project. The project was accepted and last fall Taylor felt it was the right time to proceed with the monumental task of writing the music to accompany Rachel’s libretto written 16 years previously. During the time spent writing the music for this production, Taylor is quick to mention the guidance and unmistakable promptings of the Spirit. “I humbly submit that the process of writing Ezekiel has become one of the most sacred and joyous experiences of my life,” said Taylor.
Instructor studies benefits of yoga during semester-long fellowship » By Paul Morgan
Yoga has long been a popular means of staying fit. However, Wendy Bone, an instructor in the Department of Theatre and Dance, was recently able to explore the numerous and diverse advantages that highlight yoga as an invaluable means of enabling dancers to more fully recover from injuries, as well as increasing their range of motion and overall skill in controlling their movements.
Bone recently returned from her semester-long fellowship leave bringing with her well-researched ideas and increased knowledge pertaining to her area of expertise. The leave included a three week study at the Samarya Center in Seattle, along with several smaller conferences, workshops and classes. “ I was able to completely immerse myself in research, discovery and exploration. I returned to the classroom with vigor and enthusiasm to share this knowledge with the faculty and students,” said Bone.
Bone’s project focuses on Integrated Movement Therapy (IMT), samatics development and exploration, current anatomy/ kinesiology research and development. Within her research Bone explains that IMT is a holistic therapeutic approach that uses philosophical, physical, and spiritual frameworks in conjunction conventional neurophysiological perspectives to address an individual’s imbalances and injuries. “My goal was to increase awareness in the benefits of yoga for dancers. I was able to study several different types of yoga including, Ashtanga, Bikram, Yin, Vinyasa and Ananda along with Ayurveda healing approaches,” said Bone. This valuable leave allowed Bone to attain significant hours towards her IMT certification, while also allowing her to both support and develop her current knowledge in the field of dance anatomy and kinesiology. Bone was also able to create a network of professionals who share the same passions and desire to develop safe practices and continued research in the field of muscular and neurological imbalances that effect efficient movement patterns and behaviors. As she integrates the knowledge and practices she has discovered and enhanced while on her fellowship leave, Bone has already been able to see success from her study among her students. N O V E M B E R 2 013
New electronic grade change portal a success BYU-Idaho’s new electronic grade change portal was officially launched Winter Semester 2013 and has proven to be a success. The new electronic process provides academic departments and faculty with a web-based interface which links directly to the university’s student information system. The workflow initially guides instructors through a small series of steps that can take less than 30 seconds to complete. Requests are then electronically routed for departmental approval before being routed to Student Records and Registration (SRR) where they are directly uploaded to the respective students’ transcripts. Once
New library director named Laurie Francis has accepted the assignment to serve as the new Library Director, with Shane Cole as assistant Library Director. This position will rotate approximately every six years, similar to that of a college dean.
uploaded, automated emails notify each student and instructor of the change. Previously, grade change requests were filled out on a triplicate form, manually routed for approval, and finally sent to SRR for hand-entry onto each student’s transcript. Instructors have described the new workflow as a definite improvement over the paper process.
To date, 2,869 grade changes have been submitted via the electronic workflow equating to a time savings of over 400 manual processing hours. In addition to time savings, the new process further reduces the risk of data-entry errors and loss of paper forms.
“A BYU-Idaho Christmas” to feature Nathan Pacheco
Thank you for your kind words, flowers, and condolences at the passing of my father, Leith Somsen. I appreciate so very much the people here at BYU-Idaho and their love and concern for me and my family at this difficult time. Randy Somsen
Singer Nathan Pacheco will be the featured guest artist at this year’s annual Christmas concert on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 7:30 p.m. in the BYU-Idaho Center. “A BYU-Idaho Christmas” will feature about 300 Brigham Young UniversityIdaho students, including the BYUIdaho Men’s Choir, Women’s Choir, University Choir, Vocal Union, Rixstix percussion group, a bell choir, dancers, and other students from the College of Performing and Visual Arts. Pacheco performed in July with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in its annual Pioneer Commemoration Concert. A graduate of Brigham Young University, this classical/crossover singer was a featured vocalist during the 2009 tour for “Yanni Voices.” The PBS special “Introducing Nathan Pacheco” began airing on PBS stations throughout the United States last year.
FOR SALE New rifle sighting gun rest, two gun rifle case, inlaid stone world globes, golf irons, .270 rifle, cord of birch wood; pine trees all sizes. Call Ferron or Paula, 208-356-0219 Home needed for German foreign exchange student. Female, 15 years old, good English skills. Call Jen, 208-201-6142 Conn Trombone. $500 OBO. Call 208-709-6667
Tickets are $8 for the general public and $4 for BYU-Idaho students. A pre-show dinner is available for an extra $15. Tickets are available online at www.byui.edu/tickets or on school days from the Kimball Ticket Office at (208) 496-3170.
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 Austin Cary, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org If you have any ideas for future issues, please e-mail email@example.com
l B Y U - I DA H O N E W S & N O T E S