News and Notes

A Newsletter for Faculty and Staff of Idaho State University

May 16, 2011 — Vol. 27 No. 20

Faculty/Staff Updates

Jeff Meldrum, associate professor of anatomy and anthropology, was interviewed for a feature on the "Daily Planet"

Jeff Meldrum, associate professor of anatomy and anthropology, was interviewed for a feature on the "Daily Planet," an award-winning nightly primetime science magazine show of the Discovery Channel Canada, reaching 3.9 million viewers.

The feature takes a serious look at Meldrum's evaluation of the footprint and hair evidence for a species of North American ape, commonly known as sasquatch. Meldrum recently presented the findings of his trip to China to examine footprint casts of the yeren, the Chinese equivalent of sasquatch, at the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists.

The remarkable resemblance between footprints from opposite sides of the Pacific suggests a common source, which some have suggested may be relict populations of the Ice-Age ape, Gigantopithecus, Meldrum said.

Hair samples are being catalogued and evaluated with ISU undergraduate student Tanner Gragg, and by Henner Fahrenbach, microscopist, recently retired from the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center. Their conclusions will be presented at the Pacific Division meetings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science held in San Diego this summer.

Geosciences research professor Nancy Glenn and remote sensing specialist Luke Spaete recently traveled to Sydney, Australia to present a LiDAR workshop at the International Symposium of Remote Sensing of the Environment

ISU geosciences research professor Nancy Glenn and remote sensing specialist Luke Spaete recently traveled to Sydney, Australia to present a LiDAR workshop at the International Symposium of Remote Sensing of the Environment.

LiDAR is a remote-sensing technology that utilizes laser pulses to determine the distance to an object or surface without coming in physical contact with the object. The lasers are often mounted on aircraft or satellites.

The workshop, which featured a demonstration of tools developed at the Boise Center Aerospace Laboratory to analyze LiDAR data for geology and ecology, attracted participants from the United States, Australia, Sri Lanka, China, New Zealand, and the Czech Republic.

Gene Stuffle has been appointed executive director of the Idaho Academy of Science

Gene Stuffle has been appointed executive director of the Idaho Academy of Science.

Stuffle, a professor in the College of Science and Engineering, has taught for more than 20 years. He also serves as executive director of the Eastern Idaho Engineering Council. The two organizations have been mutual affiliates for several years.

Shandra Helman and Michael Helman, faculty members of the School of Performing Arts, recently completed the inaugural concert tour of the newly formed chamber group Ensemble: Périphérie

Shandra Helman and Michael Helman, faculty members of the School of Performing Arts, recently completed the inaugural concert tour of the newly formed chamber group Ensemble: Périphérie.

The mission of the newly established Ensemble: Périphérie is to promote contemporary music by presenting stimulating and inspiring concerts of new chamber works, by commissioning new works from both emerging and established composers, and by inviting audiences to join us in recognizing great art of our time. Established in 2010 by composers Joseph Dangerfield and Luke Dahn, EP consists of a core group of performing artists in the midwestern region. One of the primary goals of EP is to bring greater exposure to composers and works that are underperformed and neglected.

College of Technology Admissions Counselor Scott Jepsen is retiring

After 15 years at the Idaho State University College of Technology, Scott Jepsen, admissions counselor, has announced his retirement.

To recognize his time at ISU, a retirement reception will be held on Wednesday, May 25, 2-4 p.m. at the College of Technology Student Services office, Roy F. Christensen Building, 777 Memorial Drive.

Jepsen, a native of Minnesota, received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Human Resource Administration and Management from Valley City State University, Valley City, ND in 1984. In 1991, he completed a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colo.

Prior to his service at Idaho State University, Scott was employed with Vocational Rehabilitation in Idaho Falls for five years. It was during the last three years of his employment with Vocational Rehabilitation that he became aware he wanted to work in a university setting. He worked with the School to Work Transition program helping high school students in Idaho Falls, Ririe and Firth transition to collegiate opportunities.

In 1996, Scott became an admissions counselor in the College of Technology Student Services office. Once a month for the past 10 years, he also served as a liaison to the Idaho Falls community, advising students at the ISU campus there.

During his time at ISU, Scott served as the president for the Council of Professional Employees (2005-2006) and has been involved with numerous campus committees.

News Bites

Idaho State University graduated a record number of students from its Treasure Valley programs May 9

Idaho State University graduated a record number of students from its Treasure Valley programs May 9, awarding more than 200 graduate and undergraduate degrees in the health professions and sciences.

Friends and family cheered the graduates as they walked across the stage at the Boise Centre. At the ceremony's conclusion, ISU President Arthur Vailas led the graduates in a round of applause for family, friends, mentors and faculty who've supported the students' academic endeavors.

For honors graduate Maria Del Pilar Figueroa, the evening had special significance. Not only is she the first child in her family to graduate from college, but her 88-year-old grandmother traveled from Guatemala City to witness the event.

"I'm very happy. I'm very proud for this big achievement," said Figueroa's grandmother, Maria Portillo.

Figueroa, 25, received a bachelor's degree in communication sciences and disorders and plans to enroll in ISU's master's program in speech-language pathology at a later date. She'll also graduate with a degree in biology from College of Idaho May 21.

Born in Guatemala City, Figueroa moved to Nampa at age 14. She decided to study speech pathology after discovering the importance of speech pathology in the rehabilitation of a relative, who'd undergone treatment for a brain tumor.

Other students honored at commencement include pharmacy graduate Jo Lynne Kiester, who was awarded the ISU-Meridian Student Excellence top honor, and dietetics graduate Kate Erickson, recipient of ISU's Division of Health Sciences Outstanding Student Achievement Award.

Also recognized were the finalists for the Meridian Student Excellence award.

Dr. Karl Watts, president and founder of Genesis World Mission, delivered the commencement keynote address.

The ISU-Meridian Health Science Center offers more than 20 programs in the health professions, including pharmacy, nursing, medical/clinical laboratory science, physician assistant studies, audiology, dental hygiene, speech-language pathology, counseling and an advanced dental residency.

TIAA-CREF Representative Greg Finch will be on campus May 17 and 18, in the Snake River Room at the Pond Student Union

Greg Finch, ISU's TIAA-CREF Representative, will be on campus May 17 and 18, in the Snake River Room at the Student Union Building.

Please call 800-732-8353, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., to schedule an appointment.

Parking lot repair work will be an ongoing event over the summer

Parking lot repair work will be an ongoing event over the summer.

The following lots are scheduled for major work:

These lots may be unavailable while work is in progress. As schedules are determined additional information will be provided and posted to the parking website.

All lots will be re-stripped and may be closed for a limited time as this work is done.

This year's Open Enrollment for the group medical, dental and Flexible Spending Account (FSA) plans is May 11-27

This year's Open Enrollment for the group medical, dental and Flexible Spending Account (FSA) plans is May 11-27.

During Open Enrollment, you may switch from one medical plan to another, add previously declined dependent dental coverage, change your pre-tax or post-tax premium withholding status, or enroll/re-enroll in the FSA program. Details are posted on the Office of Group Insurance website.

Employees can download the Open Enrollment Application and FSA Enrollment forms from the ISU Human Resources website. Printed forms will also be available in the Human Resources office. For more information about flexible spending visit: http://adm.idaho.gov/insurance/grp/contracts/FY2009/FSA_FAQ.pdf

If you wish to make any of these changes, hardcopy Open Enrollment forms must be submitted to Human Resources no later than 3 p.m. May 27, 2011.

Please call Human Resources at 282-2517 with any questions.

Idaho State University students in Pocatello saved $805,000 and ISU students in Idaho Falls saved $203,000 by renting textbooks during the 2010-2011 academic year

Idaho State University students in Pocatello saved $805,000 and ISU students in Idaho Falls saved $203,000 by renting textbooks during the 2010-2011 academic year.

"This is the savings over new textbook costs," said Laurie Richards, University Bookstore manager. "Any way you slice it, ISU students saved more than a million dollars with our rental program. We are pretty proud of this program and the success it has had the first year out."

The ISU students that saved money were participating in the Rent-A-Text, an innovative textbook rental program launched by Follett Higher Education Group.

"Rent-A-Text offers students the option of renting new or used textbooks for an academic term rather than purchasing them," Richards said. "At the end of the term, students simply bring or ship the textbook back to the bookstore where it is checked in."

Renting instead of buying can save students more than 50 percent on average up front, as opposed to having to wait until they sell their books at the end of the term, Richards added. Rent-A-Text began at a few college campuses in 2009 and quickly grew. It's available at more than 850 schools nationwide. Nationwide, Rent-A-Text has saved students, who have rented more than 2.5 million textbooks, more than $110 million to date and may save up to $130 million by the end of the 2010-2011 academic year, according to Follett.

For more information on the textbook rental program, visit the ISU University Bookstore's website www.isu-pocatello.bkstr.com. Additional information about Follett's Rent-A-Text program can be found at www.rent-a-text.com, on Twitter @rentatext and on Facebook at facebook.com/rentatext.

ISU Health High School will continue its dual-enrollment health-related courses with two courses for summer of 2011, four classes in the fall and five in the spring of 2012

Idaho State University Health High School (UHHS) will continue its dual-enrollment health-related courses with two courses for summer of 2011, four classes in the fall and five in the spring of 2012. Qualified high school students may take web classes for both high school elective and academic college credit.

One of the best aspects of the program is its price per college credit: high school students participating in ISU's Early College Program have a $65 per credit hour fee for taking the classes. Regular ISU part-time fees are currently $273 per credit.

The UHHS program provides a platform for learning more about the health professions and offers high school students access to online courses throughout the state. Courses include the following courses for summer: HCA 1110-Intro to the Allied Health Professions and HCA 2210-Medical Terminology and Communication (two credit hours each). A textbook is required for HCA 2210 and recommended for HCA 1110. The summer courses begin on June 6 and run through Aug. 5.

In the fall, CSED 2205-Introduction to Communication Differences and Disorders and HE 2221-Introduction to Health Education will also be offered. PTOT 2299-Introduction to Occupational Therapy will be added in the spring of 2012.

"If a student thinks he or she might be interested in one of the health professions, taking one or more of these online classes allows them to decide if they are truly interested in one of the disciplines as their future career," said Barbara Bishop, Director of the Early College Program.

Students are also starting a college transcript, paying reduced fees and learning about the work required to be successful in college-level class work.

For more information, please contact the Early College Program at 282-6067 or 282-2633 or visit one or both of the web sites at http://earlycollege.isu.edu or http://public.itrc.isu.edu/uhhs/.

The College of Technology recognized two alumni during the May Graduation Ceremony on Friday, May 6

The Idaho State University College of Technology recognized two alumni during the May Graduation Ceremony held at the Jensen Grand Concert Hall in the Performing Arts Center on Friday, May 6.

Terry Gillett received the Professional Achievement Award for the College of Technology. Gillett is currently the Chairman of TAG, GH Consulting in Phoenix. Gillett graduated from the electronics program in 1971 and began his career in 1972 with AMI in Pocatello. He completed his corporate experience with Intel Corporation in Chandler, Ariz. in 2001. Over four decades, he worked in nearly all phases of the semi conductor business, beginning as an electronics technician and closing out his corporate career as a corporate acquisition manager.

One of the biggest accomplishments for Gillett was serving as the business unit manager for the team that developed the first microprocessor for the highly popular BlackBerry®. Gillett co-authored a book with Graham Tubbs which chronicles the BlackBerry's development. The blackberry was jointly developed by research in motion, a Canadian firm and Intel.

The Dean's Medallion is awarded to individuals whose time and efforts have left a lasting footprint in the college. Douglas R. Pitman was selected as the first recipient of the College of Technology Deans Medallion. Pitman has been a longtime supporter of the University and the College of Technology. He established the Douglas R. Pitman Endowment providing scholarships to students in the computer aided design drafting program.

Pitman graduated from the College of Technology in 1974 with a degree in Electromechanical Drafting. He went on to be a co-founder of Micron Technologies in Boise. He is now retired and lives in Jackson, Wyo. Pitman received the ISU Professional Achievement Award in 1988 and he currently serves on the ISU Foundation Board of Directors.

Important changes are coming to your Google Apps at ISU account

Important changes are coming to your Google Apps at ISU account. Soon, you will be able to access more than email, calendar, docs, sites and groups. Other Google services, such as Blogger, Reader and Picasa, will be available to your Google Apps at ISU account.

ISU's transition will begin on Wednesday May 18 and may take up to 24 hours for all accounts to be upgraded. You will receive a message from Google when your account has been transitioned. No interruption in service is expected.

The Google Help Center has answers to many common questions (note that you won't be able to view the full Help Center until your account has been upgraded). Please take some time now to view the articles listed under "Learn more about Google Apps accounts after the transition." If you use multiple Google Accounts, see the Google Help Article on enabling multiple sign-in (after the transition).

For answers to any questions, call (208) 282-HELP (4357) or send an e-mail to help@isu.edu.

In observance of Arbor Day, the Facilities Services Grounds Department planted a Thunder Cloud Flowering Plum tree between the Engineering and Administration buildings

In observance of Arbor Day, the Facilities Services Grounds Department planted a Thunder Cloud Flowering Plum tree between the Engineering and Administration buildings, close to the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. and 8th Avenue.

The Grounds Department has an extensive tree program and a department policy to plant two trees for any tree removed. For information on the tree program, contact Chris Wagner or Mike Stallsmith at Facilities Services, ext. 2784.