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
Virgil Moore, Boise
College of Science and Engineering
Moore is a 1977 graduate with a Master of Science degree in zoology, studying steelhead and cutthroat trout.
Moore recently retired after a lifetime of working to manage fish and wildlife in the west. He has served as both the director of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and the Director of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Although Oregon lured him away for a brief time, the vast majority of his career was spent in Idaho, which he considers home. He focused on fish and wildlife management so Idahoans could continue to enjoy Idaho’s rich wildlife heritage. Moore worked to make things better for fish, wildlife and people that engaged him in collaborative efforts on both a state and national scale.
His long and distinguished career with Idaho Fish and Game began with conducting research on the South Fork of the Snake River on native cutthroat trout. He held a wide variety of positions over the years, including: Upper Snake Regional fisheries manager, state fisheries manager, fisheries research manager, bureau chief of information and education, bureau chief of fisheries, deputy director and eventually as director from 2011-2019. Moore has been recognized many times for his work, including the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agency’s 2019 Phillip W. Schneider Lifetime Achievement Award and Backcountry Hunters and Anglers 2019 Aldo Leopold Award.
With his recent retirement, Moore plans to thoroughly enjoy the wildlife resources he has dedicated his career to “preserving, protecting, perpetuating, and managing.” Along with his wife Becky, two daughters, five grandchildren and great-grandson, Virgil plans to spend time together making memories outdoors.
College of Science and Engineering Outstanding Student Award Recipient
Kathryn Hogarth, McKinney Texas
Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering
Some would say Hogarth has turned juggling into an art, as she has flawlessly managed her academic, work, athletic and extracurricular pursuits.
As a civil engineering student, with a 3.81 GPA, Hogarth has worked on projects with the Idaho National Laboratory and the Idaho Transportation Department. In the 2018-2019 school year, she was awarded ISU Student Employee of the Year, while working for ISU’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. She is also a student athlete, playing the position of starting goalie on ISU’s Women’s Soccer team. Hogarth has also served as the president of the student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineering in the 2019-2020 school year and is a member of the University Honors Program.
Engineering is a family affair for the Hogarths, both Kathryn’s parents are engineers and have encouraged her from a young age to follow her passion for building things. During her studies at ISU, Hogarth worked on the design project to return the “I” to Red Hill. She also worked jointly with the INL and the Center for Advanced Energy Studies to design disaster preparedness and recovery simulations for collapsed buildings, to help first responders train to save lives. In a project with the Idaho Transportation Department, Hogarth was able to test the largest specimen in the state of Idaho’s history in ISU’s Structural Lab.
Caleb Renner, Inman Kansas
Bachelor of Science in Geology and Geotechnology
Renner could arguably be described as a modern-day Renaissance man. He completed four years of undergraduate research projects in geology and geotechnology that rivaled the depth and scope of a graduate-level project. He also played trombone in the Idaho State Civic Symphony, interned for NASA and tackled the many rigors of the Idaho outdoors. Renner was able to accomplish all this while maintaining a 3.95 GPA.
His research was focused on comparing possible lava flows at Craters of the Moon with those located on Mars. He wrote and successfully won a $10,000 research grant, competing against graduate students. Even when he had met the required hours for his honors project, Renner continued to visit his research site throughout the summer months, to test interpretations of his data. His research mentor commented, “He is among the most impressive students I have ever had the privilege of working with, and I fully expect him to be one of my research colleagues someday.”
In addition to his academic pursuits, Renner has been enjoying all that Idaho has to offer, participating in road and mountain biking, rock climbing, trail running, cross-country and downhill skiing. He is an active member of his church and participant in the Crossroads Christian Fellowship organization.
Renner is graduating summa cum laude and has the added distinction of graduating from the University Honors Program.
Averi McFarland, Rexburg Idaho
Master of Science in Microbiology
McFarland has spent the last six years of her life at ISU, first in pursuit of a Bachelor of Science in 2017, followed by a Master of Science in microbiology. She is graduating this May with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
She has shown great personal and academic maturity, completing her master’s coursework in only two years, where others often take three years to finish. McFarland was the recipient of the prestigious Graduate Fellowship from the ISU-INBRE, a competitive award given just once every two to three years to one ISU graduate student.
McFarland has presented her research both locally and nationally, and each time was selected to give an oral presentation in addition to a poster. At one national conference, she was the only master’s student among doctoral students to receive a poster award. Her mentor wrote, “She articulates her research so well, that many professors were amazed that she was only a first-year master’s student. Some even began recruiting her to their PhD program.”
McFarland is planning to pursue a doctoral degree and is in the process of applying to graduate schools across the United States.