ISU Campus
Image Credit: ISU Photographic Services

Web Extras

Idaho State University Annual Report 2006-2007

From the Upper Snake River Valley to the Treasure Valley, Idaho State University became an even more effective, comprehensive and accessible provider of higher education services for Idaho in the period 2006 – 2007.

President Arthur C. Vailas, Ph.D., who was inaugurated September 14, 2007, continued to place greater emphasis on faculty scholarship and creativity, and on student recruitment and fundraising.

Recognizing the challenges facing college-bound high school students, the State of Idaho has steadily supported concurrent enrollment programming. Idaho State University has taken a leading role in developing concurrent enrollment offerings through its Early College Program.

Through memoranda of understanding with school districts across the state, the Early College Program has enriched opportunities for high school students to earn credit toward both graduation and an Idaho State University certificate or degree.

The 255,000-square-foot multipurpose Rendezvous Complex opened in September 2007.

In Idaho Falls, Idaho State University worked with its university, government and private-sector partners in securing funding for the new home for the Center for Advanced Energy Studies, at University Place.

Ground was broken on the $17 million, 55,000-squarefoot CAES building in February 2007. College of Engineering professor George Imel, Ph.D., is the associate director of CAES for education and training. Occupancy is expected this fall.

Idaho State University – Boise prepared to expand opportunities for Treasure Valley residents following the University's acquisition of substantial space in Meridian.

In December 2007, the purchased of a portion of the building occupied by Meridian's Joint School District 2.

The purchase was supported with a $5 million gift from Utah's ALSAM Foundation, the charitable trust of drug-store entrepreneur L. S. "Sam" Skaggs and his wife, Aline. The Idaho Legislature subsequently approved another $5.1 million for renovations.

The Meridian building will house more than 20 undergraduate and graduate programs, three clinics, and a state-of-the-art human-patient simulation laboratory.

Each of Idaho State University's seven colleges had their individual accomplishments as well. All are vital to serving the University's constituents effectively.

College of Arts and Sciences

Ann Hunter, Ph.D., chair of the sociology, social work and criminal justice department, has been working with University of Idaho, Boise State University and Idaho National Laboratory on researching community perceptions of nuclear energy.

Tim Frazier, M.F.A., of mass communication hosted the RISE Conference and presented high-altitude balloon research to members of NASA and the Idaho Space Grant Consortium.

Black Rock and Sage, a student-run literary journal in the English and philosophy department, received a $25,000 donation. The Idaho State University Jazz Band toured and performed in France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Rudy Kovacs, M.F.A., chair of the art and pre-architecture department, was selected to be one of 25 artists for the 2007 Idaho Triennial, a juried exhibition organized by the Boise Art Museum.

Chemistry professor Jeff Rosentreter, Ph.D., patented what is considered the world's best aqueous cyanide detector. His work was published in the journal Analytical Chemistry. Nancy Huntly, Ph.D., research professor in the department of biological sciences, was named the 2006-2007 Distinguished Researcher.

Chemistry's Robert Holman, Ph.D., Joshua Pak, Ph.D., and Rene Rodriguez, Ph.D., and physics' Alan Hunt, Ph.D., worked with scientists from other universities on a Department of Energy-supported program focused on alternative-energy research. Biological sciences' Matt Germino, Ph.D., continued his work on bioclimatic models for dominant conifer species, research that has received support from the DOE's National Institute for Climate Change Research.

History's Jack Owens, Ph.D., project titled "The Evolution of Cooperation and Trading" received more than $400,000 from the National Science Foundation/ European Science Fund. Geosciences has been awarded more than $1 million for research into climate change, carbon sequestration, environmental assessments, landscape modeling and educational enhancement. Distinguished Teacher for 2006-07 was psychology chair Kandi Turley-Ames, Ph.D.

College of Business

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business reaccredited the College in 2007. As part of the AACSB's stronger emphasis on the direct assessment of student learning, the University launched several assessment initiatives that the accreditation team deemed highly effective. The accreditation report for the College of Business had only positive comments.

The College's National Information Assurance Training and Education (NIATEC) program became one of the first seven National Centers of Excellence. Its mission is to help establish an effective information-assurance infrastructure for academia, industry and government.

Native American students took advantage of the Native American Business Administration (NABA) program to acquire general business and entrepreneurial skills. Designed and administered by Native Americans, the program leads to a degree in business administration with a special emphasis on Native American history, culture and contemporary issues. NABA students complete the same business majors as other business students. They take additional courses directed at issues specific to Native American communities.

The college's Executive-In-Residence program continued to provide students with the real-world perspectives of business leaders through formal classroom presentations, discussions and mentoring. Business students thus "learn success from those who have achieved it."

College of Education

A major accomplishment of the Center for Professional Development was the enthusiastic response from southeast Idaho School Districts to individualized school analysis and solutions of Adequate Yearly Progress deficiencies.

Additional professional-development topics have included Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol, Reach Out Training, Framework for Understanding Poverty, many technology software courses, and such literacy programs as BEAR (Be Excited About Reading) Club and BEAR Club 2.

College of Education faculty secured $2 million in funding that will help strengthen areas of education related to early childhood, special education, mathematics, and Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol for English-language learners.

A new undergraduate major was approved that leads to certification as a K-12 generalist in special education. While the College has historically had a human exceptionality major, it did not lead to teaching certification. The new special-education major makes it possible for candidates to complete special-education certification as a stand-alone certificate, or as an addition to an elementary/secondary education certificate.

A Doctor of Philosophy degree in instructional design was established, with an initial cohort of 26 students—nine at Idaho State University in Pocatello and 17 at BYU-Idaho in Rexburg. The Ph.D. in instructional design prepares students to assume positions of leadership in instructional design, computer-assisted instruction, research, measurement and evaluation.

On a historical note, Building 2 was named Albion Hall in recognition of the achievements and legacy of Albion State Normal School (1893-1951), the role of which was assumed by what is today Idaho State University. Albion Hall houses instructional classrooms and the Early Childhood Partnership School. Following remodeling and expansion in spring 2007, the Partnership School now provides a full program for newborns to toddlers up 36 months in age.

College of Engineering

D. Subbaram Naidu, Ph.D., and Marco P. Schoen, Ph.D., received Department of Defense support for their research into the development of a "smart" prosthetic hand.

The goal is to develop a device that will process electromyographic (EMG) signals, and translate those signals into hand movement. The prosthetic hand would enable an amputee to move, grasp, lift and twist objects, motions not possible with current artificial hands. Alba Perez, Ph.D., will build the prototype. Solomon Leung, Ph.D., and James Lai, Ph.D., of the College of Pharmacy will study its biological effects. Alex Urfer, Ph.D. P.T., chair of the physical and occupational therapy department, is providing the necessary expertise from the user's point of view.

The College announced a new bachelor's degree program in computer science at Idaho State University – Idaho Falls. It also received funding from the Department of Energy for the Nuclear Energy Research Initiative for Consortia (NERI C) program, with a project involving MIT, Ohio State and Idaho State University, to develop risk-based methods for design of sodium-cooled fast reactors, focusing on cost reduction.

Idaho National Laboratory awarded three Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) awards to Engineering. The awards totaled about $350,000 for equipment for CAES and other research activities.

Civil engineering professor Habib Sadid, Ph.D., embarked a yearlong assessment aimed at improving the quality of Idaho's roads while cutting construction costs.

Arya Ebrahimpour, Ph.D., with colleagues at the Washington State University and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, completed a two-year Department of Energy-funded project on seismic-risk assessment of essential buildings and highway bridges in Clark County, Nevada.

Chikashi Sato, Ph.D., is the principal investigator in the development of a microbial fuel cell, fueled by domestic agricultural and food-processing wastewaters. The research is in conjunction with the Idaho National Laboratory.

Kasiska College of Health Professions

The School of Nursing has implemented an associate degree – master of science (AD – MS) option. This graduate nursing program option provides highly motivated nurses who already hold associate degrees direct admission into a master's program option of choice, while also completing baccalaureate degree requirements during the AD-MS option.

The AD – MS option, as well as the family nurse practitioner, nursing education, clinical nurses specialist, clinical nurse leader and nursing leadership options, are offered fully online.

The physician assistant studies department expanded its physician assistant program to Idaho State University – Boise in August 2007. By fall 2008, enrollment is expected to have expanded from 60 to 100 students. The program's application rate for 2008 increased by approximately 20 percent over the previous year.

In 2006-07, the new Master of Science in Dental Hygiene had its first graduate, who immediately secured a faculty position at Eastern Washington University.

Average enrollment — in terms of full-time equivalents (FTEs) — increased from 7.9 in 2005-06 to 10.9 in 2006-07. Most students are enrolled part-time. The MSDH program, among the nation's largest, has one of only three online programs in the nation.

In March 2007, the Idaho Legislature's Joint Millennium Fund Committee approved a one-time disbursement of tobacco monies to Idaho's two family-medicine residency programs, to be utilized between July 1, 2007, and June 30, 2008.

The Idaho State Family medicine residency portion is focused on educational outreach and specific pregnancy-related tobacco and drug-abuse intervention programs in American Falls and Aberdeen; and on establishing a rural training track for family-medicine residents in Rexburg.

The Master's of Public Health degree program is providing empirical evidence to help shape and improve public-health services in Idaho. While being directed by MPH faculty, MPH students were key contributors to these projects. The "Idaho Hispanic Data Profile" provided the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs with a complete profile of health status, educational attainment, migration demographics and employment trends for Idaho's fastest growing ethnic minority.

The Institute of Rural Health Director Beth Stamm, Ph.D., testified before the House Veteran's Affairs Committee on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. Her research into secondary traumatic stress is implemented by the Army Medical Division with each of its 40,000 service men and women.

The Idaho Bioterrorism Awareness and Preparedness Program (IBAPP), headed by Neill Piland, Dr.P.H., conducted research using virtual reality for medical education, garnering worldwide attention.

College of Pharmacy

Idaho's pharmacy college is celebrating its 90th year this year. An all-class reunion in Pocatello is scheduled August 1 – 2 to celebrate the event.

Dean Joseph F. Steiner, Pharm.D., received a $5 million gift from the ALSAM Foundation. The gift went toward the purchase of roughly half the building in Meridian that is occupied by Joint School District 2. Following remodeling, the new facilities will enable Pharmacy to offer all four years of the professional curriculum at that location.

The ALSAM Foundation also made available $50,000 per year for the next five years to provide scholarships for minority students.

A group of Pharmacy students finished in the top 10 in a competition for business plans at the National Association of Community Pharmacists annual meeting. A student finished in the top 10 in patient-counseling skills both at the American Pharmacist Association annual meeting and the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists annual meeting. Students also received national honors for operation immunization activities and produced a National Pharmacist Month campaign.

The biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences department's new name better reflects its mission. The department has implemented the only biomedical and pharmaceutical science minor degree in Idaho.

Applications for and acceptance into the Non-Traditional Doctor of Pharmacy Program remains strong. This program enables practicing pharmacists who have bachelor's degrees to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

The pass rate for recent Pharmacy graduates on the national examination for pharmacist licensure remains close to 100 percent.

College of Technology

In December 2006, the U.S. Department of Labor named Idaho State University's College of Technology a recipient of a President's Community-Based Job Training Grant of almost $2 million.

The funding will be used for development of the Energy Systems Technology and Education Center (ESTEC). ESTEC will help offset the growing national shortage of energy-systems technicians.

Three new programs will be implemented: Energy Systems Instrumentation and Control Engineering Technology, Energy Systems Electrical Engineering Technology and Energy Systems Mechanical Engineering Technology. The National Science Foundation is supporting development of the curriculum.

A new Dimension BST 768 3-D Rapid Prototype machine allows students to transform the designs they create in different software packages into three-dimensional plastic prototypes.

With the addition of the 3-D Rapid Prototype machine, computer-aided design drafting students can take projects from concept through the manufacturing process. The machine can also be used by Computerized Machining Technology students to create 3-D models.

The massage-therapy program is offering an Associate of Applied Science degree in addition to the existing technical certificate. The degree will articulate into a Bachelor of Applied Technology.

Due to the strong demand for surveyors in the Treasure Valley, the geomatics technology program began offering programming in Boise. The geomatics program is the only program of its type in the state.

The Geomatics Technology Program and the GIS Training and Research Center at Idaho State University teamed up in leading a statewide cooperative effort to establish the Global Positioning System Real-Time Network (RTN) for the entire state.

Upon completion of RTN, surveyors, university scientific researchers, engineers, farmers, contractors, fire-rescue personnel, governmental agencies and the public will be able to instantly locate any point on the ground in Idaho with accuracy to the centimeter.

Graduate School

A new dean, Tom Jackson, Ph.D., took the helm at the Graduate School, previously called the Office of Graduate Studies. It also adopted the slogan "Your Next Opportunity!" after student focus groups suggested its use.

The slogan has been at the center of an advertising campaign that emphasizes the quality and extent of graduate education at Idaho State University.

Establishment of the Graduate Student Association was approved and funded by the Associated Students of Idaho State University in spring 2007. It represents all ISU graduate students. Its goal is not only to support and connect graduate students and graduate education, but to elevate awareness of graduate-student issues, concerns, needs and aspirations.

The Graduate Council, comprised of graduate faculty members elected from each college, approved 43 new graduate faculty nominations and 50 new graduate courses. They also filed notices of intent with the State Board of Education to establish five new doctoral programs and a new Master of Science program.

Office of Research

Idaho State University researchers were awarded millions of dollars in funding from the National Science Foundation. Among the recipients of major awards were:

  • Rosemary Smith, Ph.D., associate professor of biological sciences, nearly $3.2 million for the initial and continuing phases of her project "Enhancing Science Literacy in Southeast Idaho with Community-based Projects and University/K-12 Partnerships."
  • Herbert Maschner, Ph.D., anthropology research professor, $1.15 million for his study titled "Complex Ecosystem Interactions Over Multiple Spatial and Temporal Scales: The Biocomplexity of Sanak Island."
  • Marjorie Matocq, Ph.D., associate professor of biological sciences, nearly $510,000 for her study titled "The roles and ecology, behavior and morphology in maintaining species boundaries, demonstrating evolutionary processes to high school students in Idaho."