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Ten Idaho State University alumni honored with 2013 Professional Achievement Awards

April 24, 2013
ISU Marketing and Communications

Ten Idaho State University alumni will be honored with ISU Professional Achievement Awards at ISU Commencement exercises on Saturday, May 11, in Holt Arena.

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.

Professional Achievement Award recipients for 2013 are:  Richard Ardinger, Boise, College of Arts and Letters, Fine Arts and Humanities; Col. F. Paul Briggs, Alexandria, Va., College of Arts and Letters, Social and Behavioral Sciences; Blaine Dee Nisson, Green Valley, Ariz., College of Education; Dennis Keith Poulton, Orange, Calif., College of Science and Engineering, Engineering; Thomas Ioerger, Boulder City, Nev., College of Science and Engineering, Natural and Physical Science; Anita Herzog, Washington, Utah, Division of Health Sciences; LuAnn Storm Howe, Sacramento, Calif., Division of Health Sciences School of Nursing; H. Eric Cannon, Salt Lake City, College of Pharmacy; Phil J. "Jake" Jones, Twin Falls, College of Business; and Robert Dunkley, Idaho Falls, College of Technology.

 Biographies of the winners follow.

Richard Ardinger• College of Arts and Letters, Fine Arts and Humanities – Richard Ardinger, Boise: Rick Ardinger is the executive director of the Idaho Humanities Council. A former magazine editor, Ardinger served as the Idaho Humanities Council assistant director from 1991 to 1996 before becoming executive director in 1996.

Ardinger holds a bachelor's degree in English and philosophy from Slippery Rock State College and a master's degree in English from Idaho State University. He is the author of several collections of poetry and the editor of several anthologies, including "Where the Morning Light's Still Blue: Personal Essays about Idaho." He is also a letterpress printer and the editor and publisher of Limberlost Press, a small press devoted to the craft of finely printed and handbound books of poetry by nationally known and regionally significant writers.

Ardinger's wife Rosemary is a graduate of Idaho State University's College of Education.

She has served on the Idaho Heritage Trust Advisory Board and as president of the Idaho City Historical Foundation Board.

Col. F. Paul Briggs• College of Arts & Letters, Social and Behavioral Sciences – Col. F. Paul Briggs, Alexandria, Va.: Colonel F. Paul Briggs graduated from Idaho State University with a bachelor's degree in government in 1972. While at Idaho State University, he was a member of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity, and worked as a truck driver, custodian and laundry worker.

He was commissioned a U.S. Marine Second Lieutenant, and served on active duty from 1972-1975 as a command and control officer. After his service, he remained a member of the Marine Corp Reserve, and became a major in 1983. In 1985 he returned to full-time active duty, and later was one of the first officers selected for career status in the Marines' Active Reserve Program. 

He was assigned as training and programs officer at Headquarters U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve Affairs) in Washington D.C. from 1985 to 1987. From 1988 to 1991 he was executive officer, Reserve Support Unit, at the Marine Corps Base Camp in Pendleton, Calif. During Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield, Briggs helped lead the planning and execution of the largest mobilization and demobilization operations by the Marines since the Korean War. Briggs was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1989 and to Colonel in 1995.

From 1996 to 1999, Briggs helped establish a College of Continuing Education at Marine Corps University in Quantico, VA. From 1999 to 2000 he served at Headquarters Marine Corps responsible for a $400 million budget. In 2000, he became senior marine advisor and deputy director of readiness (integration) in the Office of the Secretary of Defense Reserve Affairs at the Pentagon.

While in the Marines, Briggs earned numerous fitness and athletic awards, and was selected as a competitor on four U.S. NATIO Military Pentathlon teams from 1979 to 1984. He is a graduate of the Marine Corp Command and Staff College, and the Naval War College, receiving a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies. He also has a certificate in national security studies from the National Defense University and a secondary teaching credential from Idaho State University. His personal military decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (twice), the Meritorious Service Medal (twice), the Naval Commendation Medal, the Naval Achievement Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Office of Secretary of Defense Staff Badge and many service and unit awards.

After military retirement, Briggs served as a senior federal official from 2002 to 2010, including five years as director of the Office of Agency Management and Budget at the Veterans, Employment and Training Service. He is currently a federal contractor working as a senior program analyst for the Reserve Forces Policy Board.

Briggs is married to the former Gina Marie David of Lackawanna, NY. Their home is in Alexandria, VA.

Blaine Nisson• College of Education – Blaine Dee Nisson, Green Valley, Ariz.: Retired Umpqua Community College President Blaine Nisson spent more than 38 years in the field of higher education administration.

He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in marketing with an emphasis in management in 1973, then became assistant director of high school relations at Idaho State University. He also worked as a financial aid counselor, educational talent search counselor and coordinator of the Student Employment and Financial Aid counselors.

In 1981, Nisson began working as the director of student programs at Linn-Benton Community College in Albany, Ore. There he also served as director of Admissions, Records and Student Programs and division director of Student Services and Enrollment Management. From 1991 to 1998 he served as the dean of students at Centralia College in Centralia, Wash.

From 1998 to 1999, Nisson served as director of Student Affairs at the University of Washington, and from 1999-2000, he was interim director of financial aid at Clark College in Vancouver, Wash. In 2000, he served as dean of student development at Portland Community College, Rock Creek Campus. From 2001-2004, he was vice president of student development at Clark College, and served twice as acting president. He was president of Umpqua Community College from 2004 until his retirement in 2010.

While president, he began 17 new professional and technical programs, and strengthened adult education outreach to surrounding communities. Nisson began the Southern Oregon Wine Institute, a two-year program that teaches students to grow grapes and make wine as a business. The Danny Lang Teaching, Learning and Event Center, which opened January 2012 at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., includes the Dr. Blaine D. Nisson Library.

Nisson is also one of the founders of the Southwest Washington Center of Arts, which raised funds to build a performing arts center in Clark County Washington. He is currently a member of the ISU Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Dennis Poulton• College of Science and Engineering, Engineering – Dennis Keith Poulton, Orange, Calif.: Dennis Poulton is the chief engineer and vice president in charge of the project engineering functions to the Tunnel Construction group for J.F. Shea Construction, Inc.

Poulton has 37 years of professional work in the field of engineering and tunneling. In 1990, he was recognized with the Commendation in Support of Underground Safety by

CAL-OSHA mining and tunneling unit. He also received the construction safety award in 1991 from the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission. He has served on the Los Angeles Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel on infrastructure.

Poulton graduated from Idaho State University in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science degree in general engineering. He also has served on the Dean's Advisory board for the College of Science and Engineering. He has been a member of the Japanese American Citizens League since 1977, and is a member of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration. He is married to Linda Kawamura of Pocatello.

Thomas Ioerger• College of Science and Engineering, Natural and Physical Science – Thomas Ioerger, Boulder City, Nev.: Thomas Ioerger was raised in a career Army family traveling the world. His professional career and education also took him across the world and the United States. After serving in the U.S. Air Force as an electronics technician of the F105 flight simulator based in Germany, Ioerger worked with the Imperial Iranian Air Force as an Electronics Field Engineer on the F4D flight simulator. In 1971, he used his G.I. Bill to attend Idaho State University at age 30. Tom graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in physics in 1973. Ioerger earned a Master of Science Degree in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1975 from the Alfred P. Sloan School of Management established by the founder of, General Motors.

From 1975 to 1977, Ioerger managed International Defense Marketing in Brazil and Iran. For the next 30 years, Ioerger used his physics and management training while employed by TCOM, LP. He managed the International and Domestic Program of aerostat borne surveillance systems in Iran, Saudi Arabia and the U.S.’s southern border for 10 years. During the next 20 years of his career as the Vice President and Partner of TCOM, LP, he managed the international and domestic development and marketing of aerostat borne surveillance systems in Israel, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and India. Developing and establishing the first communications infrastructure in Iran represented a significant achievement and career highlight. The tethered balloon communications systems were developed and used to establish communications via television and radio.

Upon retirement, Ioerger chose the state of Nevada as his new home. Since his college days, he has enjoyed model airplane competitions and continues to compete in national and international free-flight (without radio control) competitions. He enjoys competing with his son, and has been the U.S. champion three times and enjoys the technical side of the sport.

Ioerger values the education he received at ISU and his congenial reception as a non-traditional student. His generosity to ISU is sincerely appreciated.

Anita Herzog• Division of Health Sciences – Anita Herzog, Washington, Utah: Anita Severe Herzog is a native of Oakley, Idaho, and a graduate of Pocatello High School. She began her association with Idaho State University in 1964 and graduated with associate and bachelor's degrees in dental hygiene, and a master’s degree and post-graduate work in education. As a student, Herzog served as president of her senior class and the Junior American Dental Hygienists’ Association at ISU. She worked as a dental hygienist in two dental offices before beginning her 39-year teaching career at Idaho State University.

While at ISU, Herzog served on numerous governing, academic and fundraising committees and was chairperson of the Department of Dental Hygiene. However, she preferred teaching students to administrative activities. Over the years, she taught almost every course in the department, but most enjoyed the classes related to expanded functions or non-traditional courses.

Herzog served as liaison to the Idaho Dental Association and the Idaho State Board of Dentistry for many years and was instrumental in some of the advancements in the profession of dental hygiene in the state. She continues to volunteer her time professionally in service to underprivileged children and adults and to Dixie State University.

Herzog is an accomplished researcher, grant-writer and author, and has received recognition for her achievements, including the Distinguished Service Award from the Idaho Dental Hygienists Association, Nomination for Woman of the Year by the American Biographical Institute Board of Research, and professor emeritus designation upon retirement from Idaho State University.

Herzog lives in Washington, Utah, and is married to ISU graduate Jim Herzog. They have six grandchildren and two daughters, Stacey and Nicole, who are also ISU alumni.

LuAnn Howe• Division of Health Sciences School of Nursing – LuAnn Storm Howe, Sacramento, Calif.: LuAnn Howe is the retired co-owner and operator of Personalized Home Care and Home Maker agency, which she managed with her husband, Robert Howe.

She graduated from Idaho State University in 1961 with a bachelor's degree in nursing. While at ISU, she was active in the ISU and the state student nurses organization. She was a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority.

She worked at Mercy Children's Hospital for one year before retiring for nine years to raise her three children. She returned to the workforce in 1971, working as a nurse and later as a pharmaceutical representative. Howe worked as a supervisor in various capacities for home health care centers. She retired in 2007 after a career advocating for middle-income seniors attempting to make a safe, productive life at home.

Howe has served as president of the Sacramento Pharmacy Auxiliary, president of Gold West Orthopedic Nurses and program director for Area 4 on aging in home and respite care program.

Eric Cannon• College of Pharmacy – H. Eric Cannon, Salt Lake City: Eric Cannon is the chief of pharmacy at SelectHealth, Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City.

He is responsible for management of pharmacy benefits for 550,000 members of SelectHealth. He is nationally recognized as an expert in the field of managed care pharmacy and has been invited to participate on several nationally recognized initiatives, including appointments to the Institute of Medicine's Safety Council and the Center for Disease Control's antibiotic awareness program. He has spoken both locally and nationally to groups such as the American Pharmacists Association and the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy. He was named a Fellow of the Academy in 2008, and currently serves as director of the board.

Cannon graduated from Idaho State University's College of Pharmacy in 1993. Prior to his employment at SelectHealth, he worked as a pharmacist at Holladay Pharmacy in Salt Lake City, and as a pharmacy intern at MAAG Prescription and Medical Supply in Pocatello.

Jake Jones• College of Business – Phil J. "Jake" Jones, Twin Falls: Phil "Jake" Jones is an entrepreneur, with restaurants in Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, Meridian, Boise, and Missoula, Billings and Great Falls, Mont.

Currently, he owns five Jaker's restaurants. He is the area franchise developer for Red Robin restaurants in Montana, and is a partner in the Mustard Seed restaurant in Missoula and Elevation 486 in Twin Falls. He currently employs about 450 people in Idaho and Montana.

Jones graduated from Idaho State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in management and organization in 1964. In 1976, he opened his first restaurant, Jake's, in Pocatello. Two year’s later he opened Jake's in Idaho Falls and 10 months after that he added a Jake’s restaurant in Boise.

Jones is a strong supporter of ISU and the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls. He also supports the Magic Valley Symphony, the Danny Marona Performing Arts Scholarship and the Education First Scholarship program. He supports youth sports in the communities where he has restaurants.

Jones has been married to Grace Newman of Rupert since 1988. They have four children — Alissa, Anthony, Andrea and Peter, and one grandson.

Robert Dunkley• College of Technology – Robert Dunkley, Idaho Falls: Robert Dunkley, a well-respected Idaho Falls businessman is the 2013 College of Technology Professional Achievement Award winner.

Dunkley graduated from the College of Technology in 1966 with a certificate in upholstery and opened Bob’s Upholstery in Idaho Falls, which he operated for 25 years. During this time, he began buying rental properties, houses and apartments at first, and then moved into commercial buildings. He still owns and manages commercial buildings. He formerly owned and operated a radiator business Radiator King. For 18 years, he and his wife Chantal also owned and operated Stop and Go convenient stores in Idaho Falls.

Bob has been a member of the Exchange Club in Idaho Falls for more than 35 years. The Exchange Club focuses on the elimination of child abuse, supporting student with scholarship funds and the organization also gives American flags away at the Idaho Falls 4th of July Parade. He has service on the organization’s board and as board president.

Additionally, Dunkley has also served on the Ducks Unlimited board and is a past president.

Bob and Chantal love to travel and ride motorcycles. They enjoy spending time with their grandchildren. They also enjoy snowmobiling, hiking, taking care of their farm and animals, and about any other outdoor activity.



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