Volume 43 | Number 2 | Spring 2013

Brightest and Best

Spring 2013 Issue

Ashleigh Vella

HOMETOWN: Melbourne, Australia
HIGH SCHOOL: Upwey High School
CLASS YEAR: Senior

Major

Sports management

HOBBIES

Besides basketball and working hard in the classroom, I enjoy sky diving, rope courses and cliff jumping. I also like to play Skip Bo and Phase 10 with my teammates.

Accomplishments

First and foremost, winning the 2011-2012 Woman's Basketball Big Sky Championship will always be one of my greatest achievements. Also being selected for the Big Sky Tournament Team was a huge honor. I have been selected as the sports management major of the year winner as well.

Career Goals

To someday hopefully become a Division I women's basketball coach. My dream school to coach would actually be here at Idaho State. It would be really cool to win a championship as a player and also again as a coach.

Why ISU?

I originally considered ISU merely for its athletic offerings. However, after further looking into the school, I discovered it had a great sport science and physical education department and offered many majors that were appealing to possible career opportunities.

ISU EXPERIENCE

The ISU experience has far exceeded any expectations I had. I have felt a great sense of belonging to a community and acceptance. I have loved every moment being here. I have formed some close bonds and life long friendships. Most importantly, ISU has helped shape me as a complete and well-rounded person.

Editor's Note: Ashleigh was named to the 2011-12 Big Sky All Tournament team and received All-Conference Honorable Mention. She holds dual citizenship, in both Australia and Malta, and helped Malta win a gold medal in the Games of the Small States of Europe.

Kole H. Spaulding

HOMETOWN: Mountain Home, Idaho
HIGH SCHOOL: Mountain Home High School
CLASS YEAR: Senior

Major

Physical education, exercise science emphasis

HOBBIES

I enjoy most sports and exercise but I particularly enjoy playing racquetball since it requires a combination of both athleticism and skill. I also camp, hike, fish, hunt and love being outdoors.

Career Goals

I plan to attend medical school and train to become an orthopedic surgeon. I am most interested in sports medicine but have serious interest in doing total joint replacements.

Why ISU?

I transferred to ISU when my wife began the physician assistant program. I have found that it was "meant to be" for me to attend ISU as it was perfectly suited to meet all of my educational, personal and professional needs.

ISU EXPERIENCE

I have had great experiences with my professors in the sport science and physical education department. During my pre-medical coursework, I have had the opportunity to develop relationships with professors in the physics, chemistry and biology departments. My teachers made it easy for me to seek them out for guidance and instruction. I feel like they truly care about helping me attain my educational and professional goals. They are also extremely knowledgeable in their fields of work and exhibit exceptional teaching skills. Living in student housing and working as a building manager for ISU's housing department has also been very influential. The opportunities, training and experiences that this position has provided would have been difficult to acquire anywhere else. I meet new people every day and have made many friends, which has greatly enriched my experience at ISU.

Michelle L. Smith

HOMETOWN: Lockport, Ill.
HIGH SCHOOL: Carl Sandburg High School
CLASS YEAR: Master's student, anticipated graduation date is 2015

Major

Dental hygiene

Higher Education

AAS in dental hygiene 1990-Loyola University Chicago, BS, dental hygiene 2010-Minnesota State University, Mankato

HOBBIES

Scrapbooking, exercise (spin class and tennis), reading (I'm on my second Kindle), visiting caves and taking pictures.

Career Goals

I have been a dental hygienist for more than 22 years. My goal is to be an educator for dental hygiene in both an online format and clinical aspect. Even back when I was in dental hygiene school I knew I wanted to teach dental hygiene. I could envision myself teaching others what I love to do professionally.

Why ISU?

I researched many schools, but I always knew in the back of my mind it would be ISU. So many amazing women of leadership in our profession are faculty at ISU! Where else would I get an opportunity to work with some of the most well-known names in dental hygiene AND receive a top-notch education?!

ISU EXPERIENCE

This has been the best experience at ISU. I have been to ISU twice this past year for Graduate Seminar I & II allowing me to meet faculty and fellow students to form bonds that we will share the rest of our lives. I wouldn't trade this experience for the world.

Advice to students

Follow your passion. Work hard. It is a lot of work, but so worth it. One step at a time—I find if I look at the whole plan it can be overwhelming, but take it one step at a time. Enjoy the journey!