Letter from the President

May 16, 2013

Dear Friend of Idaho State University,

It's a common belief that in universities, laboratory work is limited to graduate students and faculty members.

At Idaho State University, this simply isn't true. We believe that one of the best ways for students to learn is to take part in the work they will be doing in the future. Our undergraduate students are working hard, not just in the classroom, but often in their chosen fields as well.

As an undergraduate nursing student at ISU-Meridian this academic year, Ashleigh Connor assisted researchers at St. Luke's Medical Center in Boise with a project to decrease patient falls within the hospital. She helped coordinate focus groups and assisted in the development of a video based on the team's research. Ashleigh then shared the video with classmates during a presentation at ISU-Meridian. She will graduate from ISU-Meridian's program in May, and will surely continue to succeed.

"Ashleigh is one of those rare individuals that inspires and leads without effort. I have no doubt she will achieve great things in her career," said one of her professors.

Kevin Higgins, a senior majoring in chemistry, was one of only 60 undergraduates nationwide to be selected to present a research poster at the national Council on Undergraduate Research Posters on the Hill event recently. Higgins, who presented on his research titled, "Assessment of a new similarity measure for local calibration modeling," has been working in Professor John Kalivas's laboratory since May 2010, and found the experience to be invaluable.

"Dr. Kalivas has been a great help throughout my entire time here at ISU and has had a big part in my decision to attend graduate school next year to pursue my Ph.D. in chemistry," he said. "He has also given me many opportunities that I would never have gotten had I not decided to join his research group."

Through Idaho's INBRE Fellowship program, senior psychology major Tiffany Doherty spent her summer in Assistant Professor Michele Brumley's developmental behavioral neurosciences laboratory, studying how sensory feedback shapes locomotion behavior. Michael Vincen-Brown, a junior majoring in biochemistry, spent his summer in Associate Professor Jason Pilarski's neuroscience laboratory, an experience that gave him an interest he didn't know he had.

"Before the INBRE Fellowship I was on the fence between research and pharmacy," said Vincen-Brown, a junior biochemistry major from Boise. "But my exposure to neuroscience piqued my interest and appealed to my curious nature and I decided that research is just a better fit. Neuroscience is about what goes on inside your own head. It's just amazing to me that something so complex as our brains is based off the activity of a few cells. My experiences with INBRE have persuaded me to pursue a Ph.D. research program."

Our undergraduate students are talented, capable and hard working, and their contributions to research at Idaho State University have been many. The opportunities for students to interact with faculty and to learn through action abound at Idaho State University. It's one of the many reasons I am proud to be a part of this institution.

Go Bengals!

Letter from the President

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