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Idaho State University Professor Alex Bolinger named Associated Students of ISU Faculty Member of the Year

April 25, 2016

POCATELLO—Alex Bollinger, professor of the Idaho State University College of Business, has been recognized as the Faculty Member of the Year by the Associated Students of ISU.

Bolinger has been with the College of Business for five years teaching courses in organizational behavior, negotiation and strategic management in the management program. Throughout his time at ISU, Bolinger has shown significant interest in providing a hands-on and engaging learning environment for his students.

“This award is particularly meaningful to me because it is voted on by students,” Bolinger said. “Our students at ISU are the reason that we, as faculty, get to pursue this profession.”  

Each year, ASISU sends out an email to all fee-paying students in search of nominations for a teacher of the year. Then, based on the quality of nominations, a selection committee reviews and selects a deserving recipient of the award. As a student-selected program, the award speaks highly of the quality of education professors like Bolinger are providing students.

Bolinger has implemented a course on “Collaborative Creativity” for undergraduate honors students and graduate students. Students from the College of Business and the College of Arts and Letters worked all semester to research and write a book on the history of Garrett Freightlines in Pocatello. It is to be released on July 11 by the leading publishing house of local and regional histories in the United States, Arcadia Publishing. Through this class, students were given the opportunity to learn more about a company that quickly grew to become the fifth-largest motor freight carrier in the country; highlighting the employees who helped define and create a “family-like culture” in the business.

“I feel very fortunate to get to work with so many students who are quite talented but display no sense of entitlement,” Bolinger said.  

Following the success of this course, Bolinger will implement a second project next semester where honors students will have the opportunity to write a book about the history of ISU, marking the University’s 115-year anniversary.

In addition to these projects, Bolinger also launched the first “Make-A-Wish Challenge” in one of his management courses in 2013. This project was one that Bolinger had adapted from an idea he had seen at Harvard and the Wharton School of Business. In order to help teach skills in strategic planning, Bolinger’s class divided into groups and developed and implemented strategies to help raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant the wish of a local child who had dealt with a life-threatening illness. Students learned more about the strategic planning process and over several semesters raised more than $13,000 for the Foundation.

“I have been given the opportunity to take risks in the classroom to make management education as relevant and fun as possible and it is a tribute to our students that they are willing to put in the work to make those efforts successful,” said Bolinger.

He was recognized at the 2016 Faculty Member of the Year banquet on April 20.