Letter from the President

August 13, 2009

Dear Friend of Idaho State University,

It’s always a good feeling to see one of our own honored for a lifetime of achievement.

That’s what happened recently when Idaho State University alumnus Rafi Ahmed was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. It’s one of the most prestigious honors a scientist or engineer can receive. Dr. Ahmed is in good company — nearly 200 of the Academy’s members are Nobel Prize winners.

Dr. Ahmed earned a bachelor’s degree in microbiology in 1972 and a master’s degree in microbiology in 1974 at Idaho State University. He later went on to earn a doctoral degree at Harvard.

Currently, Ahmed is the founder and director of the Emory Vaccine Center. There, he is working on vaccine-induced immune responses that could help combat HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases.

And, as a professor and researcher at Emory University, he’s using his experiences and knowledge to train new scientists, many of whom now have their own laboratories and projects that are shaping our future.

In a recent interview, Dr. Ahmed credited Idaho State University for giving him his educational foundation. The courses at ISU were fantastic, he said, and prepared him for his later endeavors.

We are proud of Dr. Ahmed, and all of our students who have accomplished great things. It’s a wonderful affirmation when one of the world’s top medical scientists in infectious disease recognizes ISU for providing him with a strong beginning.

There is plenty to celebrate this summer at ISU. Last week, we officially opened our new ISU-Meridian Health Science Center to the public. Students will begin to arrive next week, and classes begin Aug. 25.

The new facility houses more than 20 health professions programs, and we plan to enroll at least 1,000 health professions students in the next five years.

The building includes state-of-the-art classrooms, including a human patient simulation laboratory, clinical sciences and pharmacy compounding and research laboratory, a speech and hearing clinic, and a counseling clinic. In the near future, there will be an advanced general dentistry clinic as well.

ISU is proud to be able to provide added health educational opportunities in the Treasure Valley. On Sept. 17 at 5:30 p.m. we will host a grand opening celebration at the new facility, 1311 East Central Drive in Meridian. Come see our new complex. I’m sure you will be excited as well.

Go Bengals!

Letter from the President

Arthur C. Vailas, Ph.D.
President, Idaho State University
president@isu.edu