Posted May 5, 2008
Barbara Nelson walked across the stage of Boise’s Centennial High School Performing Arts Center on May 3 and flashed the top of her graduation cap at an audience of 700 people.
It read, “I did it!” in bright orange letters outlined in glitter.
Not only did Nelson receive her Master of Counseling degree, she was the winner of Idaho State University-Boise’s Student Excellence Award.
Nelson was one of nine ISU-Boise 2008 graduates nominated for the award by faculty, who select students for academic achievement, dedication to their profession and community involvement. Nelson holds an undergraduate degree in psychology and works as a drug and alcohol counselor in the Ada County Drug Court Program.
Commencement speaker Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd told students, “Dream big. Take action. Change the world in your own way.”
She applauded ISU’s decision to move its Treasure Valley-based health professions programs and clinics to a new facility in Meridian by fall 2009. “This partnership emphasizes the role ISU can play in job creation and research … and the importance of the state’s medical education mission to the citizens of Idaho and beyond,” she said.
Noting the health-professions education mission of ISU-Boise, President Arthur C. Vailas, Ph.D., told graduates they have great opportunities to change lives. “Health care is fragile in our society. It gives me great pleasure and honor to acknowledge the great things you will do to improve lives in Idaho, the country and beyond,” he said after he conferred more than 100 degrees.
Also addressing students were Idaho House Majority Leader Mike Moyle and Idaho State Board of Education Interim Executive Director Mike Rush.
The breakdown of degrees includes two Doctor of Audiology, 23 Doctor of Pharmacy, 40 master’s, 48 bachelor’s, and six associate degrees. Graduate and undergraduate disciplines include counseling, nursing, athletic administration, public health, clinical laboratory science, speech-language pathology and paramedic science.
Photo Information: ISU-Boise Student Excellence Award nominees, top row from left, Barbara Nelson, Robert Warrick, Stephanie Frey, Tracy Adkins, Sharon Wong, Anne Marie Searcy; front row from left, Renae Bieri, Valicity Marshall, Deby Kumasaka. Nelson was the final honoree.