News and Notes

A Newsletter for Faculty and Staff of Idaho State University

April 1, 2013 — Vol. 29 No. 12

Faculty/Staff Updates

Idaho State University-Meridian video instruction manager, Jerry Jones, has achieved the credential of Certified Technology Specialist awarded by InfoComm International, the professional association representing the world's audiovisual industry

Idaho State University-Meridian video instruction manager, Jerry Jones, has achieved the credential of Certified Technology Specialist awarded by InfoComm International, the professional association representing the world's audiovisual industry.

Jones, who joined ISU in 2006, operates and maintains the distance learning technology for the Department of Physician Assistant Studies at the ISU-Meridian Health Science Center.

The credential recognizes audiovisual professionals who have demonstrated extensive knowledge of the technology used in audio, video and display systems, and a competence, dedication and commitment to their profession.

Jones is among 12 Idahoans to earn the CTS certification, which is accredited by the American National Standards Institute, the International Organization of Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission. Jones completed the certification process Feb. 23.

InfoComm is the only organization within the audiovisual industry to earn ANSI accreditation for its personnel certification program, setting the industry standard for competency and quality in the audiovisual industry.

For more information, contact Jones at 373-1749.

Dr. Alan Johnson, Professor of English, has co-edited a special issue of Journal of Contemporary Thought "Locating Literature: Geography, History, Ecology," 36 (winter 2012), including writing the introduction

Dr. Alan Johnson, Professor of English, has co-edited a special issue of Journal of Contemporary Thought "Locating Literature: Geography, History, Ecology," 36 (winter 2012), including writing the introduction. One English alumnus and three English graduate students have articles in the issue: Naveed Rehan (Ph.D. 2012), Dahood El-Oqla (Ph.D. Candidate), Ryan Topper (M.A. expected 2013), and Kimberly Madsen (Ph.D. candidate).

The Department of English and Philosophy welcomes Zhang Di (Kathy Zhang), Visiting Scholar from the School of International Business English, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, China

The Department of English and Philosophy welcomes Zhang Di (Kathy Zhang), Visiting Scholar from the School of International Business English, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, China. She will be at Idaho State University through next September, doing research on second language acquisition and development, particularly on the effectiveness of corrective feedback. She may be contacted via the English and Philosophy main office, 282-2478.

News Bites

Idaho State University speech-language pathologist Heather L. Ramsdell and colleagues from several universities have published an article that offers clues to the first steps in the evolution of human language

Idaho State University speech-language pathologist Heather L. Ramsdell and colleagues from several universities have published an article that offers clues to the first steps in the evolution of human language.

The article, titled Functional Flexibility of Infant Vocalization and the Emergence of Language, is available April 1 in the online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, one of the most prestigious scientific journals in the world.

Researchers have collected data that shows human infants, by three months of age, make sounds that may reveal deep roots of human language, hinting at a very distant break from our primate relatives, according to lead author D. Kimbrough Oller, Ph.D., a professor in the University of Memphis School of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

"By evaluating these very early characteristics of infant vocalizations and their expressions of emotion, we may be able to discern markers of anomalies in development, such as autism," he said.

Ramsdell, Ph.D., an assistant professor in ISU's Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, was instrumental in gathering and analyzing infant vocalizations for the study while completing her doctorate at U of M in 2009.

She notes that humans have the ability to produce "flexible" vocalizations. "We can produce them to mean what we want them to mean, with any possible emotional expression, for example happy or sad," she said.

The article claims that the first vocal changes that occurred as humans evolved away from their primate background on the way to language did not involve producing sentences or words, but instead involved primitive sounds expressing flexible functions and intentions.

"Key answers about where language came from may be found in the human infant's voice and face, in the first free vocal expressions of joy and pain and in the peaceful vocal expressions of comfort," said Oller.

"By three months of age, the human infant can already attach various states of emotion (as seen through facial expressions) to squealing, growling, and cooing, with each of these sound types connected to different emotions on different occasions," he continued.

The article demonstrates the vast difference in the first months of life between infants' crying and laughter, which have fixed emotional functions similar to those often seen in nonhuman primates, as opposed to the human infant sounds that can be used with flexible functions (squealing, growling and cooing) that appear to be absent in nonhumans.

The authors point out that language could not exist without the sort of freedom of vocal expression found in the very young human infant, because all aspects of language are dependent upon flexibility of the usage of vocalizations.

The authors argue that as the evolution of language began, it was necessary for it to start with primitive beginnings, similar to primitive baby talk.

Other researchers are from the Milwaukee School of Engineering, Georgia State University and University of California, Merced.

For more information, contact Heather L. Ramsdell at (208) 282-3077 or ramsdell@isu.edu.

University students or recent graduates in a secondary teaching content area such as history, biology, science, music, health education, art, English or math can earn a secondary-education teaching certificate in a year from Idaho State University

University students or recent graduates in a secondary teaching content area such as history, biology, science, music, health education, art, English or math can earn a secondary-education teaching certificate in a year from Idaho State University.

The summer session begins May 20 so students interested in entering the program in 2013 must have registration completed by then.

The ISU College of Education offers an Accelerated Program Option for secondary education candidates who have or are near completing degrees in a recognized content area. The program takes a summer and two semesters to complete.

"Our students who are graduating in or already possess some of these selected liberal art majors can open up a lot of doors for employment by getting a teaching credential," said Susan Jenkins, assistant dean for the ISU College of Education. "And the program can be completed in a short time."

The ISU's secondary teaching certificate is generally easily transferable to other surrounding states, too, Jenkins said.

"Students who enter this program this summer session will be, upon completion of their coursework, ready to apply for their first teaching job at this same time next spring," Jenkins said.

The procedure for applying to the program is to complete a transcript evaluation request with the ISU College of Education and apply to the Teacher Education Program. During the summer there are two sessions of three courses each, a fall semester with three courses and a spring semester for completing a student teaching internship.

For more information, visit the website ed.isu.edu or contact Paula Mandeville, coordinator of the ISU College of Education Teacher Education Advising Center, 208-282-5164 or mandpaul@isu.edu.

Noted speech-language pathologist and educational consultant, Dr. Kristine Noel, will present a workshop at Idaho State University-Meridian, Friday, April 19, on the use of storytelling to help children and adolescents improve language and social skills

Noted speech-language pathologist and educational consultant, Dr. Kristine Noel, will present a workshop at Idaho State University-Meridian, Friday, April 19, on the use of storytelling to help children and adolescents improve language and social skills.

The workshop, titled "Tell Me a Story: Increasing the Language and Social Competence of School-Aged Children and Youth," will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Sawtooth Lecture Hall of Renaissance High School, 1307 E. Central Drive, Meridian. The event is sponsored by the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association and the Idaho State University-Meridian Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Noel is the professional development coordinator for New Mexico's Region IX Education Cooperative. Her professional and research interests include language, literacy and behavior intervention with high-risk adolescents.

ISU-Meridian clinical assistant professor and speech-language pathologist Beth Guryan has heard Noel speak and notes her work has impacted troubled teens and autistic children.

"Her work, in my opinion, opens the doors to helping so many of our clients in a very compassionate and systematic way," said Guryan.

For registration information, call Dorys De La Paz at 373-1725. The cost of the workshop is $90, which includes lunch. Participants who register before April 5 receive a $10 discount. Continuing education credits are available for speech-language pathologists. All attendees will receive a certificate of attendance.

The deadline of April 5 to complete an application to be a peer instructor is quickly approaching

The deadline of April 5 to complete an application to be a peer instructor is quickly approaching. Peer Instruction Seminar assists peer instructors who will plan the syllabus and collaborate with their faculty/staff teaching partners in co-instructing one section of First Year Seminar or ACAD 1102. Students will explore their responsibilities as role models, student advisors/consultants, teachers, learners, and students. Peer Instructors take the lead role in the implementation of service-learning within their assigned ACAD 1102 section.

Applications can be found at: http://www.isu.edu/success/fys/. Find additional information attached.

Take the ISU sustainability practices survey

The ISU Sustainability Committee would like to assess Idaho State University community's attitudes, perceptions, and values toward sustainability practices such as recycling and energy conservation. The following questionnaire will ask for general demographic information followed by a brief survey to determine your perceptions, values, and attitudes towards the environment as well as attitudes towards different sustainability practices in your life. Click on the following link to get to the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ISU_sustainability

Mayor's Day of Recognition for National Service at Idaho State University April 9; Year-Long Project Ubuntu Reaches Pocatello April 8-12

Project Ubuntu, a national, yearlong service project, will be in Idaho to support Community HealthCorps April 8-12, and join Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad at Idaho State University at 2 p.m. April 9 for the first Mayor's Day of Recognition for National Service.

The Mayor's Day of Recognition for National Service will be held in the ISU Pond Student Union Quad Lounge on Tuesday. It will feature Mayor Blad delivering a proclamation honoring national service. Representatives of from ISU Institute of Rural Health's AmeriCorps, Idaho Community HealthCorps, Idaho Health Care for Children and Families and surrounding AmeriCorps programs such as the Retired Senior Volunteers Project and Foster Grandparents will be on hand. The Mayor's Day of Recognition for National Service was created to spotlight the impact of national service and thank those who serve. Mayors across the country, 586 of them as of March 26, will participate.

The event also will feature the founder of Project Ubuntu, Daniel Becton, who will draw attention to the critical need for citizen engagement to support disadvantaged Americans.

Through the Project Ubuntu, Becton will travel to all 50 states and Washington, D.C., supporting one group in each state. Idaho is the 32nd stop on his yearlong journey (schedule: http://projectubuntu.info/tour-dates/), which runs August 2012 to August 2013.

The ultimate goal of Project Ubuntu is to celebrate service across the United States and to inspire its people to pursue a higher form of happiness by becoming a nation, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed, "where all our gifts and resources are held not for ourselves alone, but as instruments of service for the rest of humanity."

The founder, Becton, is raising the profile of partners, volunteering and delivering workshops as he supports of a variety of causes.

Becton supports Project Ubuntu's partners by channeling his skills and resources to meet their needs, and by sharing his perspective on service and building positive community. He dedicates one week to each partner to learn their stories, and he writes about his experience by exploring the paradox, "How do we build 'us' without first building 'them?'" He broadcasts these stories to a growing international audience as he strives to inspire increased kindness and service.

Becton, who created the project, and his team have been working since May 2010 to secure partners, funding and arrange projects. Now, Becton travels to all 51 communities on the route alone, with the goal of celebrating people whose purpose is defined by enabling all humans to thrive, and inspiring others to do the same.

Becton served as a volunteer with City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley from 2009-2010 and spent the last two years helping the organization open up its second international affiliate in London. He studied philosophy, music and women's studies at the University of North Carolina, and has a master's degree in gender studies from the London School of Economics.

More information on Project Ubuntu is available at www.projectubuntu.info; by contacting Daniel Becton at danielbecton@projectubuntu.info or 919-448-6191; on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/projectubuntu; or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/projectubuntu.