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Professional Achievement Award Winners

Professional Achievement Award recipients are alumni who have made important contributions to their careers or profession, to the social, political or economic well-being of the world around them and have shown continued community and civic involvement in addition to their association with and contributions to Idaho State University. Individuals selected for these prestigious awards have been out of school at least 10 years and have excelled in their chosen field, attaining significant success and accomplishments.

College of Science and Engineering Professional Achievement Award Recipient

Dr. Michael Flandro

Michael R. Flandro, Pocatello, Idaho

College of Science and Engineering

Michael R Flandro, O.D., was born and raised in Pocatello. After graduating from Pocatello High School, he attended Idaho State University and initially graduated with a business administration degree. After working a couple of years for a local corporation, he was motivated to pursue his long standing interest in the eye and a desire to work for himself. He realized that the optometric profession would allow him to reach that goal. He returned to Idaho State University to take the required science classes. He immediately realized he had found his niche and developed a passion for the biological sciences. He graduated again from ISU with a degree in zoology. He relocated to Chicago, Illinois, to attend the Illinois College of Optometry. After graduating with a Doctor of Optometry degree, he worked for three years in a Chicago eye clinic. He moved back to Pocatello to take over the office of Dr. Leath Robbins, who was retiring. Dr. Flandro is now in his 37th year of practice as an optometrist. Over multiple years he was voted best Optometrist in the annual Idaho State Journal People's Choice Awards.

Dr. Flandro has been active and has held many offices in the Idaho Optometric Physicians Association and was president in 2000. In 2010, he was named Optometrist of the year by his fellow optometrists. He was appointed to the Idaho State Board of Optometry for a six-year term by Governor Dirk Kempthorne and he was the Idaho Keyperson Coordinator for the American Optometric Association for 17 years. As the Idaho Keyperson Coordinator, he was responsible for traveling annually to Washington D.C. to meet with Idaho's congressional representatives to discuss national vision care issues and the optometric profession issues. In 2017 he was presented the Idaho Optometric Physicians Lifetime Achievement Award for his many years of involvement and service to the optometry profession in Idaho.

Dr. Flandro served a term on the boards of the Idaho Network for Children, and the 6th Judicial District Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program. He has been a member of the Pocatello Chamber of Commerce, the Pocatello Rotary Club, and the Pocatello Sunrise Lions Club. As a Lions Club member, he provided eye exams and glasses to Pocatello residents who otherwise could not afford eye care services.

His late wife, Millie, graduated from ISU with a degree in education. She later became a state legislator and was a staunch advocate for Idaho State University at Idaho's state capitol. His daughter, Megan, recently graduated from ISU with her Doctorate in Pharmacy and will soon finish her Masters of Business Administration degree through ISU's College of Business. His partner, Arlene Hurlburt, was also an ISU graduate in education and retired after teaching in Pocatello for 34 years.

Dr. Flandro recently sold his practice in Pocatello to Bluebird Family Eyecare but will continue to see patients three days a week at the same location. He is looking forward to traveling, fly fishing, golfing, yard work, and exploring the great Idaho outdoors with his extra time. He is also looking forward to auditing some science classes at ISU.

Dr. Flandro is thankful for his science education at Idaho State University. He realized his love for the sciences and prepared him academically to enter optometry school. He has established an endowment fund through the Idaho State University Foundation to provide scholarships to students in the College of Science and Engineering.

College of Science and Engineering Outstanding Student Award Recipient

Zak Macpherson

Zakarie Macpherson, Meridian, Idaho

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Zakarie Macpherson has been awarded the Outstanding Student Achievement Award for the College of Science & Engineering in the Engineering division.

“I was born in Portland, Oregon, though I grew up in Meridian, Idaho. I grew up building Lego sets with my mom, sometimes having large sets spread across the kitchen table for days. That was where my engineering interest started.

I had the opportunity to attend engineering courses in high school with the curriculum provided by Project Lead the Way. This gave me a huge edge coming into college, especially in my first several years of engineering courses. I was an active part of the ISU Honors Program and served for two semesters as an Honors Envoy.

During my second year at ISU, I applied and was selected by Dr. Shannon Kobs-Nawotniak to partake in a NASA BASALT deployment to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park where we conducted simulated Mars missions on the basalt terrain. During that trip, I carried a lot of basalt rock specimens, but I also worked with many great NASA employees from biologist and geologist to engineers and astronauts.

My first job during college was as a CPI for Facility Services where my main job was to evaluate space on campus for compliance with ADA regulations. Next, I was hired as a Project Management and Engineering Intern at Premier Technology where I worked for 2.5 years on a government nuclear project that will fuel the industry for the next several generations.

During my senior year, I took advanced simulation courses from Kurt Scott, who encouraged me to pursue freelance work. I obtained my own license of SolidWorks and began my professional work prior to even graduating. My senior design project focused on the reverse engineering, solid modeling, and flow simulation of a large jet engine compressor from the 1950s. The goal of this project, working with such old technology, was to determine how the system would react when powered by an electric motor, rather than the engine's fuel system, so that it can be safely run in a lab. My modeling and simulation allowed the team to verify the characteristics of the system and what we expect to see as its physical outputs, before creating the physical system. The larger scope of this research, as tied to my continued involvement with Dr. Schoen, is to determine how to increase the efficiency of jet engines.

After graduating, I moved back to Meridian with my wife, who is a personal trainer. I continue to perform freelance design engineering while I search for a job in the Treasure Valley.”

Zakarie has received the Presidential Scholarship, Honors Housing Scholarship, Freshman Leadership Scholarship, Samuel H Bennion Honors Scholarship, and Tau Beta Pi Scholarship. He has participated in intramural volleyball, the ISU Climbing Club where he has been a Safety Officer and Vice President, and Tau Beta Pi as the Secretary as well as the President.


Delaney Moore

Delaney Moore, Gilroy, California

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

“I grew up in Gilroy, California with my parents Paige and Jason Moore and my younger brother Teddy Moore. For the past 3-4 years I have been a student athlete on the women's basketball team. I have had the opportunity to travel the country and play basketball while also pursuing my studies in computer science. I graduated last winter with my BS in Computer Science and a minor in Applied Mathematics. 

“I love my team. I have had a built in support system since the moment I stepped on campus. These people have helped me grow up into the person I am today. I also love the faculty in the CS department. They have supported me through so much and have helped me grow to love the field of Computer Science. Their passion and enthusiasm for teaching has truly inspired me.

“I want to thank ISU for all of the opportunities I have been given the last 4 years. To my coaches and teammates, thank you for helping me become the best basketball player I could be and for believing in me on and off the court. Thank you to my parents and my family for loving me and supporting me no matter what. I have been truly blessed!”

Off the court, Delaney has been on the Dean’s List every semester, received the Big Sky All Academic Award for the 17/18, 18/19, and 19/20 seasons, and received a basketball scholarship for all four years.