September 2012

New Faculty for 2012-13

The College is pleased to welcome many new faculty members for the new academic year. Among the new full-time faculty are three new department chairs, thirteen new tenure-track faculty, and eight visiting faculty or lecturers.

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Raphael Njoku joins ISU as the Program Director for International Studies and the Chair of the Department of Economics. Previously, he was a tenured associate professor of African/World history at the University of Louisville. He also served as the Director of Graduate Studies in Pan-African Studies. He holds the Ph.D. degree in African History from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, and another Ph.D. degree in Political Science from Vrije University in Brussels, Belgium. He also served as the editor for the journal Notes and Records: The International Journal of African and African Diaspora Studies.

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Paul Trawick joins ISU as the Chair of the Department of Anthropology. He has been a faculty member at Johns Hopkins University, the University of Kentucky, and Cranfield University in the United Kingdom (UK). He earned the Ph.D. degree from Yale University. He has been awarded grants from the UK's Economic and Social Research Council, the UK's Department of Food, Environment and Rural Affairs, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

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Patricia Morrill joins ISU as the Chair of the Army ROTC program. She is a retired lieutenant colonel with a number of degrees, including the B.S. in Physical Education from ISU and the M.B.A. in Military Management from Touro International University as well as being a graduate of Army Command and General Staff College.

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Naomi Adams, assistant professor of art, earned the M.F.A. degree from the University of North Texas. Her specialty is fiber arts, and she will be teaching weaving and papermaking.


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Vanessa Ballam, assistant professor of theatre, earned the M.F.A. degree in acting from Indiana University. Last year she taught at Utah State University, and this past summer she appeared in leading roles in the Utah Festival productions of both Kiss Me, Kate and My Fair Lady. She is interested in professional acting.

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Teresa Casey, assistant professor of sociology, earned the Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Davis, where she then held a position as a post-doctoral researcher. Her research interests are prison culture, prisoner reentry into the community, and the connection between romantic relationships and offending.


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Candace Christensen, assistant professor of social work, earned the Ph.D. degree from the University of Utah this past May. Her research utilizes feminist research methods to investigate sexual violence prevention techniques and parental sex education practices.


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Courtney Haight, assistant professor of psychology, earned the Ph.D. degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She taught last year as a visiting assistant professor at ISU. Her research interest is in youth internalizing disorders as well as youth problematic absenteeism or school refusal behavior. Her current emphasis is on proximal and distal variables related to nonattendance, with a focus on systemic variables such as family and parent-child interaction in relation to nonattendance difficulties.

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Shandra Helman, assistant professor of music, earned the D.M.A. degree in clarinet performance from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She performs as the principal clarinet in both the Idaho State Civic Symphony and the Idaho Falls Symphony, and also performs as the bass clarinet player for the Boise Philharmonic. She began her new position in January 2012.

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Anna Hiller, assistant professor of Spanish, earned the Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Last year she taught at Kansas State University as a visiting assistant professor. Her researches topics relate to the relationship between science and literature in 20th century Spanish poetry, theater, and prose. She is also working with theories of environmental criticism, as well as questioning the role of print culture in the development of the Spanish avant-garde.

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Jeehoon Kim, assistant professor of social work, earned the Ph.D. degree from the University of Albany. She earned two previous degrees from the Seoul National University in Seoul, Korea. Her research interests include activity participation and health promotion of older adults and patterns of family caregiving in current longterm care policy contexts.

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Bethany Schultz Hurst, assistant professor of English, earned the M.F.A. degree in creative writing from Eastern Washington University. Last year she taught as a lecturer at ISU. Her area of interest is poetry; her work often explores the constructs of home and identity within the context of the American West.


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Tara Stewart, assistant professor of psychology, earned the Ph.D. degree from the University of Manitoba, where she also held a post-doctoral fellowship. Her current research is funded by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada. Her research examines the social psychological aspects of motivation, health, and aging.

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Jeremy Thomas, assistant professor of sociology, recently earned the Ph.D. degree from Purdue University. His research interests include the sociology of religion, sex, deviance, and the body.



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Matthew Van Winkle, assistant professor of English, earned the Ph.D. degree from Boston College. He joins the faculty as a specialist in 19th century British poetry and 19th century Gothic literature.


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Josh Weller, assistant professor of psychology, earned the Ph.D. degree from the University of Iowa. Most recently, he has been a research scientist and instructor at the University of Oregon. His research focuses primarily on how decision-making develops over the lifespan.


The college is also pleased to welcome new visiting faculty and lecturers in the College.

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  • Jeffrey Callen, visiting assistant professor of political science



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  • Darin Hammond, lecturer in English



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  • Andrea Jensen, visiting assistant professor of art



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  • Tina Miyake, visiting assistant professor of psychology



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  • Earl Phippen, visiting lecturer in political science



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  • Paul Sivitz, visiting lecturer in history



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  • Justin Stover, lecturer in history



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  • Yolonda Youngs, visiting assistant professor of history



The College is also pleased to announce that Jennifer Attebery has accepted the position of Chair of the Department of English & Philosophy. The previous chair, Margaret Johnson, has returned to regular faculty status after serving many years in various leadership roles within the College. Her contributions are greatly appreciated.

Spotlight on April Fritch

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When April Fritch was accepted into the ISU graduate program in psychology, she did not know where that decision would lead. Dr. Fritch grew up in Duluth, Minnesota, and attended the University of Wisconsin-Superior where she majored in psychology. She moved to Pocatello for graduate school in 2002, and in 2007 she completed the work for the Ph.D. degree in clinical psychology.

Dr. Fritch loved the fact that the training she received from the Psychology Department would open up various career options for her. "The ISU psychology program offered an exposure to a wide range of populations (adults, kids, families, couples, geriatrics) in a variety of settings (outpatient clinics, drug courts, inpatient hospitals, state hospitals, Indian Health Service, private practice, etc). I knew I would get ample exposure to a wide variety of clients, disorders, and to some extent culture. The student to faculty ratio was small and provided individualized attention, clinical supervision, and instruction."

Dr. Fritch said the ISU graduate experience helped influence and shape her career direction and provided her with the tools to solve complex problems. "ISU provided a solid foundation in the basics (i.e., statistics, research design, assessment, cognition, development, etc.) and honed in on clinical skills and ethics early on. I can still recall reviewing my initial clinical interviewing tapes and receiving feedback from Dr. Mark Roberts. He provided excellent supervision during clinical practicums... at times I think I had four hours of supervision for one hour of therapy (direct supervision, individual supervision, group supervision, and then reviewing tape by myself). The process for our comprehensive exams instilled confidence in my abilities and knowledge base. Each step from completing my thesis, to my comprehensive exams, to my dissertation, to the licensing exam seemed like daunting tasks, but with the support of excellent faculty and my advisor, Dr. Shannon Lynch, I completed these tasks. Most importantly, the support I received from my classmates and faculty members was unmatched. These friendships are timeless, and I always know I have a handful of colleagues with which to consult."

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When Dr. Fritch arrived at ISU, she had not planned on joining the U.S. Army and deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan to help injured and traumatized soldiers regain their functions and return to duty, but in 2004 Dr. Fritch accepted a scholarship via the Army's Health Professions Scholarship Program and was commissioned as an officer following graduation.

Upon acquiring licensure in clinical psychology, Dr. Fritch deployed in 2008-2009 to Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Rustamiyah, Iraq (near Baghdad). "The work I did there with some of our nation's most courageous and seriously injured soldiers was by far my most rewarding professional experience. My job was to help injured soldiers recover and return to duty, even if that meant returning to danger. Watching soldiers face their fears and roll out on mission day, despite knowing that they may lose their life, or while coping with the loss of a buddy from the previous mission, was inspiring." Unfortunately, mental health workers are not immune from the dangers and stress of the realities of war. Several of Dr. Fritch's colleagues have died due to the hostilities.

"During my time there, I grew personally and professionally and gained a better appreciation for the amazing work so many of our soldiers do. I was constantly challenged with various professional and technical dilemmas and relied on my graduate school training to help make critical decisions about how to proceed."

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Dr. Fritch is currently completing a neuropsychology fellowship at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, and hopes to initiate the board certification within the next year. On July 1st Dr. Fritch was promoted to the rank of Major in a formal ceremony at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. The ceremony was timed to occur during a visit by her husband Andrew, who had the honor of "pinning" Fritch with her new rank. Next up, Dr. Fritch will be deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan, where she will be the theater neuropsychologist for six months.

"I am continually pushed to accomplish unimaginable tasks. When faced with difficult or overwhelming tasks in the Army, I often look back to graduate school and think, 'If I could get through school, I can get through this.'"

This interview was conducted by Richard Maestas, an ISU Alumnus and member of the Dean's Advisory Board.

John Dudgeon, Anthropology, Receives NSF Grant

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John Dudgeon, assistant professor of anthropology, received a Collaborative National Science Foundation Archaeology grant to conduct original research in the transition to agriculture in the western Pacific islands of Fiji. The $258,000 award will be used to study the climatic, ecological, and demographic causes of why early Pacific seafarers chose to abandon almost a millennium of oceanic voyaging to become coastal and upland farmers around 2500 years ago. Dudgeon believes the award will bring increased visibility and interest in Pacific archaeology to ISU. "Due to the sophisticated biological and molecular archaeology approaches available to student and faculty researchers at ISU," he said "we are well-positioned to expand current knowledge of Pacific seafaring and the unique adaptations of early explorers on tropical and subtropical oceanic islands." A significant portion of the award will be used for supporting student research, survey, and excavation in Fiji, as well as artifact analysis at ISU in Dudgeon's Molecular Bioarchaeology Laboratory and the Center for Archaeology, Materials and Applied Spectroscopy (CAMAS). His co-PIs on the project include collaborators from the Ohio State University and Southern Methodist University in Texas.

Dudgeon's research interests focus on lineage formation, community structure, and human-environment interactions from the perspective of molecular anthropology, bioarchaeology, and demographic history. His primary research area is on Pacific Islands, but he is branching out to Armenia and western Russia. Each semester he offers students the opportunity to work with him in his labs as interns in order to determine a student's interests and fits for future research projects.

Television Program on Two Channels

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Idaho State of Mind is a thirty-minute weekly public affairs television program produced by Idaho State University's Mass Communication students. The series examines current issues that impact people wherever they live, work, or go to school. The topics and issues are applicable to common problems or issues we all face in our daily lives. Past programs have explored the effect recent world conflicts are having on higher education as millions of veterans decide to take advantage of the G.I. Bill; an inside perspective at ISU's nationally renowned nuclear engineering program, focusing on solar power and medical isotopes; and the state's Go On Project, which examines the low number of high school students in Idaho who continue into higher education as well as what high school students should do to prepare for college. In addition, contemporary medical/social issues, including the skyrocketing increases in athletic concussions, peer bullying, and how to deal with older parents have been explored in depth utilizing the academic and professional background of ISU's faculty and staff.

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The majority of the program's content is produced by ISU Mass Communication students. Assistant Professor Tom Hallaq said, "Idaho State of Mind provides a tremendous hands-on opportunity for our students to take their classroom skills to an entirely new level of professionalism. The unique and challenging experience they gain in producing a weekly public affairs program will enable them to stand out from their peers in the broadcast job market."

New editions of the thirty-minute weekly public affairs television program are now available in two Idaho locations. New episodes air weekly, statewide, over Idaho Public Television on Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. In addition, a new network, This East Idaho Television, in Pocatello, airs the program each Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. The program is hosted and anchored by Libby Wood, respected television anchorwoman.

Faculty Recognized for Scholarly Excellence

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Robert Tokle, professor of economics, along with Joanne Tokle from the College of Business, received the award for the "Best Case 2011-2012" from the Journal of Case Studies at the 34th Annual Case Writer's Workshop at Missouri State University. The Journal of Case Studies is a refereed journal published by the Society for Case Research.

The Tokles chose to work on this case because it examines the pressures put on the ISU Credit Union (ISUCU) by the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and ISUCU's response to remain financially healthy. ISUCU was able to maintain a very healthy capital ratio by following three strategies. ISUCU worked to reduce costs, restricted asset growth, and focused on making good loans to its members when many other financial institutions were pulling back during the credit crunch.

Although many business cases are disguised to protect sensitive information, Robert Taylor, the ISUCU CEO, felt that this was not needed in this case. Since Robert Tokle was serving as the ISUCU board chair and also on the ISUCU asset-liability management (ALM) committee, he was one of the four participants from ISUCU to be part of the case. Along with ISUCU data and secondary sources, Tokles also used ISUCU board and ALM minutes and internal emails in the case. Tokle states that "it was fun to be both an author and a participant in the case."

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Laura Woodworth-Ney, professor of history, and colleagues James Armstrong and Peter Lutze were awarded an annual International Award for Excellence in the area of new directions in the humanities from the International Journal of the Humanities. The authors were recognized for the paper, "VideoPoetry: Collaboration as Imaginative Method." Woodworth-Ney also serves as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at ISU.


Summer Piano Institute Features Music from Franz Liszt

The School of Performing Arts presented two professional concerts for the seventh annual Summer Piano Institute, both featuring the works of the 19th-century virtuoso Franz Liszt. On July 16, renowned guest artist Dr. Del Parkinson performed the B minor Sonata, a profound and thrilling tour-de force, along with several other revered works by Liszt.

A native of Blackfoot, Parkinson joined the faculty at Boise State University after teaching several years at BYU-Idaho. He has performed throughout the world at such venues as Carnegie Hall, London's American Bicentennial Series, and he has soloed with great orchestras, including the Utah Symphony.

Numerous entities have honored Parkinson with prestigious awards, including the Idaho Commission on the Arts career fellowship award and the Idaho governor's award for excellence in the arts. Parkinson's concert was co-sponsored by Musicians West.

On July 17, several ISU faculty and alumni were featured, including pianists Mark Neiwirth, Kori Bond, David Campbell, Bruce Ford, and Tammy Miller; violinist Keum Hwa Cha; and mezzo-soprano Michelle Adams. These performers offered a delightful variety of Liszt's music - everything from songs and other poetic works for piano and violin to the wildly entertaining Mephisto Waltz. This concert was co-sponsored by Portneuf Medical Center.

The ISU Summer Piano Institute is a week-long intensive course for high school pianists. The students participated in master classes and attended a variety of classes about Franz Liszt, Romantic Piano Music, Jazz Piano, and Romantic Era Harmony. Along with the featured guest concerts, students of the Summer Piano Institute presented solo and duet recitals at on July 19 and 20. The ISU Piano Institute is funded in part by a generous grant from the Bistline Foundation.


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Check out our Calendar!

The College of Arts & Letters has a calendar at the bottom of the main college webpage. On it you will find information about events going on within the college community such as art viewings and guest lecturers as well as concerts and theatre performances.


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