May 24, 2013
Dear Friend of Idaho State University,
A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to congratulate hundreds of graduates as they walked across the stage and into their future.
Idaho State University awarded 2,476 degrees and certificates at commencement ceremonies this month. More than 100 students earned multiple degrees and certificates.
Springtime at Idaho State University is exciting, not only for faculty, staff and students, but for myself as well. Every year, I am amazed at the quality of students we send out into the world as the next generation of leaders.
Even before they cross the stage at graduation, many of our students are changing the world. Nancy L. Sherrill, who recently received her master's degree in dental hygiene at Idaho State University, is a former Peace Corp volunteer who worked in South Africa supporting rural HIV/AIDS clinics. As an undergraduate student, she worked in the Colorado migrant health care program as a student dental hygienist, providing care to migrant workers.
Steven R. Boomhower received an honor bachelor's degree in psychology in May, but he has been working in laboratories since he was a freshman, performing behavioral pharmacology and behavioral economic research. He has been awarded more than $15,000 to study genetic, dietary and neurochemical factors that contribute to impulsive choice for food in lean and obese rodents.
Anthropology seniors Jennifer Hernandez and Michelle Carpenter are spending their summer at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. cataloging and inventorying new archeological collections. Carpenter is working as a research assistant at the Smithsonian's Natural Sciences Resource Center, analyzing metals in human and animal remains. Hernandez will be working at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, processing new additions to the museum's collections and learning about techniques and materials used to create ethnographic and contemporary works of art. The two currently work at the Idaho Museum of Natural History, and are excited to use the skills they have learned at Idaho State University on a national scale.
It is always a special moment for me when I shake the hands of our future leaders each year at commencement ceremonies. I see a bright future for our communities, nation and world, and I know our Idaho State University students will be a part of making it happen.
Arthur C. Vailas, Ph.D.
President, Idaho State University