March 26, 2010
Dear Friend of Idaho State University,
It's our goal at Idaho State University to make a difference, not only in our community and state, but around the world as well.
Our researchers and students are working globally, sometimes in faraway places, and sometimes here at home, to bring new knowledge to light and to facilitate the growth of new ideas.
Take for example, faculty and students in the geosciences department, who created free, open-source GIS software that allows software developers the ability to create maps of environmental, political, social, economic, or any other spatial data. Since the product was made available in 2004, it has been downloaded more than 260,000 times from users worldwide, and there are more than 9,000 registered users. The creation of the successful special mapping software is a surprise byproduct of the offering of ISU's new master's degree program in Geographic Information Science that was begun in 2004 and is offered in Pocatello, Boise and Idaho Falls.
Also embracing new technology and taking it to the next level is Rameshsharma Ramloll, research assistant professor for ISU's Institute of Rural Health, who was recently named a finalist in the inaugural Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge sponsored by the U.S. Army Simulation and Training Technology Center. Ramloll developed Play2Train, a 3D virtual place where geographically separated learners, subject-matter experts and content builders meet as avatars to create real-life learning experiences for the health care, emergency preparedness and educational services industry.
Along with earning awards and offering new ideas to the public, faculty across all disciplines at Idaho State University edit scholarly journals, serve on national and international committees, and dedicate their time at conferences to provide insight to their peers and serve others through their professions.
Stephen Feit, interim dean of the Kasiska College of Health Professions at ISU, was recently awarded a lifetime achievement award from the Idaho Counseling Association for service to his profession. Feit has mentored more than 1,000 graduate students in his career, and has dedicated his career to ensuring that the next generation of counselors is well-prepared to serve their communities.
Russell Spearman, a senior research associate in the Institute of Rural Health, is making a tremendous difference in the lives of those suffering from traumatic brain injury through both his research and programs that can provide assistance to help those with brain injuries live more independently.
These are only a few examples of the wonderful research and work happening daily in the offices and laboratories of our dedicated faculty and students. The research and education occurring at Idaho State University is making a difference in our communities and in the world. I'm proud to be a part of it.
Arthur C. Vailas, Ph.D.
President, Idaho State University