November 11, 2013 — Vol. 29 No. 37
Dr. Alan Johnson, Professor of English, has been awarded an Idaho Humanities Council Fellowship which will fund his research travel to the British Library, London, and to archives and nature reserves in India during his sabbatical spring semester 2014. His project, "Imagining the Jungle, Imagining the Self," focuses on the jungle as a literary motif and cultural image. Dr. Johnson is the author of Out of Bounds: Anglo-Indian Literature and Geography of Displacement and recipient of a 2010 Fulbright Scholar Award at University of Mumbai, India.
Dr. Margaret Johnson, Professor of English and Associate Vice-President, Academic Affairs, has been selected to serve as an academic member of the Idaho Humanities Council representing southeastern Idaho.
Dr. Brian Attebery, Professor of English and Editor, Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, just returned from Portland, where he was a featured speaker at two public events sponsored by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. For OMSI After Dark, his talk was "Philip K. Dick: How One Paranoid Writer Created the Future We Live In," and for the more formal Science Pub, he spoke to an audience of over 300 on "Science Fiction and Metaphors of Mind." He also met with the Alternate Realities Group at Portland State University, an informal reading group of faculty and graduate students, to talk about his recent book Parabolas of Science Fiction.
Matthew Sanger, professor of education at Idaho State University, recently collaborated on a book with Richard E. Osguthorpe, a Boise State University professor.
"The Moral Work of Teaching and Teacher Education: Preparing and Supporting Practitioners," describes morality as a fundamental part of the teaching profession.
"The most common set of motivations or reasons why teachers become teachers are fundamentally moral in nature. If you ask teachers, 'Why are you going to be a teacher?' it's consistently altruistic," said Sanger.
The topic of morality in education might conjure thoughts of days in kindergarten. Kids learn they are not islands, and are introduced to the rules of reciprocity. In education, it is clear that the lessons of morality do not end in kindergarten, high school or even college. Wherever there is new content to learn, it is necessary to also learn how to integrate it into the surrounding social structure.
As children grow, school provides them with a scale model of society. In school, students learn what is appropriate, acceptable and expected in how they behave. They also learn that those expectations ebb and flow with changes in audience and environment. These teachings are an integral part of education even at a college level. However, the topic is not commonly addressed. It exists in the education system, yet is seldom acknowledged. That, in part, is the reason for Sanger's book.
"It doesn't matter if you place value on moral education. If you're a teacher in a class, you're engaged in it," said Sanger.
Acknowledging morality in education allows educators to be more intentional, proactive and aware of the moral messages that are part of their teaching style and content. Sanger has been interested in the topic of how to handle morality in education for quite some time. He has focused much of his career, including his graduate work at the University of Michigan, on understanding the topic and its current state of awareness.
With his new book, Sanger adds to what he describes as a very thin literature on the subject. Although the issue of morality in teaching garners little attention, this book is a step in the right direction.
"We can't avoid it, so let's be intentional about it and do it well," he said.
Nominations are being requested for 2013 ISU Cares Manager Award. This ISU Cares award allows any Idaho State University supervisor to recognize an outstanding ISU full-time employee (faculty or staff) who consistently delivers exceptional, above and beyond, customer service to colleagues, students, parents, vendors, visitors or anyone they come in contact with at Idaho State University.
Who Can Nominate? Any Idaho State University Manager or Supervisor may nominate an employee for this award.
How to Nominate? For consideration, nominations must be submitted directly to Stacey Marshall, HR Manager Employee Learning & Professional Development, at email@example.com or Stop 8107, by December 13, 2013. Please limit nominations to one page, if possible. Please share with us why you're nominating your employee for their customer service skills and why he/she should receive the 2013 ISU Cares Manager Award. Please include any supporting materials (in addition to the one page nomination).
Who Decides the Winner? An ISU Cares Awards committee consisting of a faculty, staff, and student body representative, and the ISU Cares Coordinator, will evaluate nominations to decide which one stands out above the rest. We will award the winner $1000 on January 31, 2014 with the ISU Cares Manager Award for their excellent customer service for 2013!
As a FYI, last year we had a tie and awarded 2 individuals $500 each.
Other ISU Cares Customer Service Awards for 2013
• ISU Cares Division Award - Brand New Award!
ISU Credit Union has generously donated $1800 for our first ever ISU Cares Division Awards. Each division will have 3 new awards: STAR, INNOVATION, and CUSTOMER SERVICE, to deliver to their exceptional employees who stood out in 2013. A committee from Academic Affairs and Colleges, Athletics, Finance and Administration, Research, Student Affairs and University Advancement will choose their individual division's winners. Each will receive a trophy and a check for $100 at our January awards assembly! Because of their support of this new award and their continuing support of our ISU Cares Monthly Spot Awards, and the ISU Cares Department of the Year Award, we have invited the ISU Credit Union leadership to announce the winners at this year's award ceremony on January, 31, 2014.
• 2013 Customer Service Provider of the Year Award
$1000 Provider of the Year Award
$ 250 Runner up award
$ 250 Runner up award
$ 250 Runner up award
$ 250 Runner up award
* An ISU Cares committee consisting of a faculty, staff, and student body representative, and the ISU Cares Coordinator, will monitor all ISU Cares surveys sent either online or in paper form, to award the 2013 ISU Cares Customer Service Provider of the Year and runner up awards.
• ISU Cares Department of the Year Award - Pizza & Pop Party, sponsored by ISU Credit Union
This recognition award will be given to the Idaho State University department that has surpassed expectations of good customer service, and has been recognized through our ISU Cares surveys for going above and beyond their duties to provide excellent customer service.
* An ISU Cares committee consisting of a faculty, staff, and student body representative, and the ISU Cares Coordinator, will monitor all ISU Cares surveys sent either online or in paper form, to award the 2013 ISU Cares Customer Service Department of the Year Award.
Please contact Stacey Marshall at 282-3081 or firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or comments. This year's ISU Cares Customer Service Awards will be held on January 31, 2014, from 1-3 pm in the PSUB Ballroom.
To see more about our past winners, to nominate someone for an award, or to let us know if our service has been less than stellar, please visit ISU Cares.
Idaho State University's French Club will host its annual "A Taste of France" fundraiser on Saturday, Nov. 16. The evening will showcase a French-themed dinner and entertainment, beginning at 6 p.m. in the Pond Student Union Ballroom.
This year's event is themed "l'Automne en France," which translates to "autumn in France."
The menu will include winter squash bisque, an autumn vegetable medley, orange-maple-glazed chicken and pumpkin mousse. No pork products will be used in the foods.
The band Walther's Wallpaper will provide music for the evening, playing an assortment of French favorites. This is the third year the band has played at the event.
Tickets cost $7 for students, $8 for faculty and $9 for the general public. They will be sold the week before the event in the PSUB lobby during lunch hours. Tickets can be purchased at the door for an additional dollar.
New teaching standards are being implemented nationwide, including in the Gem State with the new Idaho Core Standards. This inspired Idaho State University education Professor Cory Bennett to help Idaho teachers to better prepare students for success in math through the creation of regional math centers, which were recently approved by the state.
Bennett, an Idaho State University math education professor, and Chris Avila, mathematics coordinator for the Idaho Department of Education, worked with representatives from the University of Idaho, Lewis-Clark State College, Boise State University and the Idaho National Laboratory on a committee to improve how math is taught in Idaho schools.
Bennett and Julie Amador, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction at the University of Idaho, were awarded two grants, worth $370,000 and $386,000, to help teachers understand what the enactment of the new Idaho Core Standards might look like in the classroom.
The first grant of nearly $370,000 was to help the committee plan the infrastructure of regional math centers throughout Idaho. Schools that were good candidates were chosen to participate in the program. Regional math centers were set up throughout Idaho near Driggs, Pocatello, Coeur d"Alene, Lewiston and Kimberly.
Teachers were instructed to videotape themselves and their students. The intention was to find model illustrations of the "Eight Mathematical Practices." The eight math practices refer to a set of values that a student should engage in when solving a math problem in order to decisively understand the concept. Video snippets of students using the prototypical practices could then be viewed by teachers throughout the region.
Bennett said teachers often want examples of in-classroom application of teaching standards. Regional math centers can provide teachers support that is both practical and accessible.
A second grant was awarded for more than $386,000. Its purpose is to fund a larger-scale implementation of the regional math centers that had been planned the previous year.
The committee, the grants and the regional math centers have come at a good time, according to Bennett. The new Idaho Core Standards are meant to be a more complete approach to the way children learn math and require new teaching methods for mathematics. Providing teachers in Idaho with regional math centers gives them a platform of support so they can effectively help students meet the new Idaho Core Standards in math.
The Idaho State University School of Performing Arts Theatre will present "The Shape of Things" in the Black Box Theatre inside the Stephens Performing Arts Center on Nov. 15, 16, 18, 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m.
In this production, Adam's life takes an unexpected turn when he meets attractive graduate art student Evelyn. Never having much success with women, Adam is flattered that Evelyn has taken an interest him. Now he exercises regularly, eats healthier, dresses stylishly, and is more confident. However, Evelyn is hiding something beneath her seductive surface. They say seduction is an art, and Evelyn is an artist.
This play is intended for mature audiences only because of explicit sexual content and language.
Tickets are $15 for adults, $14 for faculty, staff and seniors, $10 for pre-college students, $7 for ISU students, and $10 for group rates of 10 or more people. Tickets can be purchased at the box office, the information desk inside the Pond Student Union Building, Vickers Western Stores in Pocatello and Idaho Falls, or online at www.isu.edu/tickets. For more information contact the box office at 282-3595.
The Idaho State University Reed Gymnasium swimming pool will be out of service for the next seven to eight weeks while repairs are being made to its circulation systems, announced ISU officials.
"Every effort is being expended to ensure the pool will be operational for the beginning of the new year and in time for the spring 2014 academic schedule," said Steven Fuger, director of ISU Facilities Operations. "There are currently unknown underground challenges which may impact the schedule. Periodic updates will be provided as repair work progresses."
"We understand the frustration of those who make frequent use of the pool, and the interruption the repair schedule creates," Fuger said. "We invite you back to join us after these needed repairs are complete."
Student health insurance enrollment has dropped at Idaho State University as the price has increased to adhere to standards set by the Affordable Care Act. New benefits covered by the insurance and the higher annual maximum spending cap account for the increase in price. The student health insurance currently meets all of the Affordable Care Act requirements.
Compared to two years ago, annual insurance premiums for students have increased significantly. For the 2011-2012 academic year, the annual premium was $1,270. Insurance for the 2013-2014 year costs students $2,028.
If students are under age 26, they can remain on their parents' health insurance plans. This newly extended eligibility is likely one of the reasons student enrollment in ISU's health insurance program has decreased rapidly in the past two years, according to Crystal Ross, business operations manager of ISU's Student Health Center.
Prescriptions were not covered under student health insurance before the Affordable Care Act was implemented but are now covered by ISU's insurance. So are preventative and wellness services such as physicals, which had limited coverage before, and birth control. These are covered under "Essential Health Benefits," described in the Affordable Care Act.
Core services described include: ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health services, rehabilitative services, laboratory services, preventative and wellness services, chronic disease management and pediatric services, according to the Affordable Care Act Summary written by Ascension, ISU's health insurance provider.
One change for the 2014 year is that insurers can no longer limit "lifetime" or "per condition" benefits.
Student health insurance plans are considered "individual" plans under the ACA. Student health insurance coverage is sufficient to qualify for the individual insurance mandate, meaning students insured through student health insurance will not be subject to a tax penalty.
Students are not required to purchase ISU's health insurance; they can still purchase insurance through the state exchange. Student health insurance may likely be the more affordable option for students, though. Also, a student's health plan must have equal or greater coverage than ISU's student health insurance in order to be eligible for a waiver from student health insurance coverage.
An Interdisciplinary Panel Discussion focusing on Narrative will be held in the Department of English and Philosophy on Nov. 15 beginning at 3:30 p.m. in LA256. Dr. Brian Attebery, Professor of English, will moderate a group of faculty representing the social science and humanities disciplines in the College of Arts and Letters.
What do literature, history, sociology, film studies, psychology, folklore, rhetoric, ethnography, and political science have in common? Narrative. Panelists will discuss what we mean by narrative, how we use it in our research, whether storytelling is a form of knowledge, how much of our sense of self is based in narrative, and how new discoveries in cognitive science might affect our understanding of how we create, hear, and remember stories. Panelists include Chris Loether, Shannon Lynch, Mark McBeth, Elizabeth Cartwright, John Gribas, Terry Ownby, and David Kleist. This event marks the beginning of a cooperative effort within the College of Arts and Letters focused on narrative.
Attend an Export Controls Discussion
Tuesday, Nov. 19 3 p.m. at the Heritage Room in the Pond Student Union Building on the Idaho State University campus.
"Export items" include technology and technical data.
Exporting includes sharing information with foreign persons - in person, by telephone, electronically.