BOISE—Idaho State University-Meridian Health Science Center will graduate its largest class May 8—with 292 students eligible for degrees.
That includes 96 Renaissance High School students, who will receive associate degrees in general studies through a partnership with ISU and the West Ada School District. The ceremony starts at 6 p.m. at the Boise Centre, 850 W. Front St.
Campus administrators will recognize six students for academic excellence and community service. They include the five finalists for the ISU-Meridian Student Excellence Award and Sabrina Sherwood, Boise, recipient of the ISU Alumni Association’s Outstanding Student Achievement Award from the College of Pharmacy.
Student Excellence nominees are Jacob Diller, Nampa; Daniel Hendrickson, Meridian; Quinn Johnson, Nampa; Megan Shannahan, Eagle; and Megan Worth, Boise. They represent the disciplines of audiology, pharmacy, nursing, speech-language pathology and physician assistant studies, respectively. Campus officials will name the top Student Excellence honoree at commencement. Here are their bios.
For the past two years, Jacob Diller, who attended high school in Pocatello, has spent spring break on a humanitarian mission in Peru, providing audiology services to Andes villagers.
It’s this type of service that has earned him the praise of faculty and students. “He is innovative and forward thinking… a real scholar,” wrote his nominating professors.
Diller said he decided to study audiology after learning about sign language studies in high school. He enrolled in ISU, earning a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders before enrolling in the Doctor of Audiology program.
“It has been phenomenal. ISU is a hidden gem in the audiology world,” he said.
A graduate assistant and student leader, Diller has assisted faculty with research projects and presented findings at national conferences. He has also volunteered at ISU-Meridian’s community health screenings, the 2014 Special Olympics and mentored speech-language students.
Diller would like to work in a pediatric hospital after graduation.
Seven years ago, Daniel Hendrickson owned a successful marketing firm when his daughter, who was recuperating from surgery, contracted an infection.
Overwhelmed, he was grateful to the hospital pharmacist who explained the various medications used to treat his daughter and why.
“Daniel is the model of excellence we value in our students at Idaho State University,” wrote his nominating professor.After obtaining an associate degree in biology with a health-care emphasis from College of Western Idaho, he enrolled in ISU’s pharmacy program. “The pharmacist’s compassionate care made me cognizant of the role pharmacists play in health care,” he said. Two weeks later, Hendrickson sold his company and decided to become a pharmacist.
A gifted clinician and researcher, Hendrickson has participated in community outreach activities and volunteers each year to work at a camp for children with diabetes.
This summer, he will begin a yearlong managed-care residency with an Oregon health care provider.
An accomplished vocalist, Quinn Johnson thought he’d be a high school choir teacher one day. But after working as an emergency medical technician for eight years, he decided to pursue a career in nursing.
ISU nursing professors describe Johnson as a stand-out student and an “example of dedication and professionalism.” They applaud his ability to apply skills he learned in the classroom to a clinical setting. “I like being part of a team, to have meaning in what I do and to be able to make a difference,” he said.
An avid skier, Johnson worked as an avalanche rescue dog handler for a Park City, Utah ski resort.
He has also served as a volunteer EMT in Idaho City for the past five years. Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in music composition and theory and a minor in human biology from College of Idaho.
After graduation, Johnson will take a nursing position with St. Luke’s Health System in the Treasure Valley.
Megan Shannahan-Speech Language Pathology
Megan Shannahan’s professors describe her as an excellent student, committed to research that can improve the lives of adults and children with communication disorders.
“Her service to the department has been extraordinary. Megan’s research record has been exceptional,” they wrote.
Shannahan has mentored undergraduate students, created instructional materials and presented research at national and regional conferences. One focus of her study involves techniques to help parents communicate with children who are deaf or hearing impaired.
“The whole field is about helping people,” said Shannahan, who volunteers each summer at an Idaho camp for children in foster care.
Shannahan, who holds a bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing sciences from Arizona State University, is graduating from ISU with a master’s in speech-language pathology. She’ll complete a two-month externship in a pediatrics program through Saint Alphonsus Rehabiliation Services before embarking on a career in pediatrics.
Megan Worth-Physician Assistant Studies
Former wilderness first responder Megan Worth has always loved being outdoors. So in 2012, she and her husband hiked the Pacific Crest Trail —2,655 miles from California to Canada.
“That was on the top of my bucket list,” she said. This summer, Worth can check off another item on that list when she receives her master’s degree in physician assistant studies. Her goal is to work in general surgery.
Worth’s professors describe her as a “smart, motivated and hardworking student who is always willing and ready to help.”
A student leader and scholar, Worth is a founder of an ISU-Meridian club that teaches anatomy to high school students. She has also volunteered at numerous community health screenings for underserved Treasure Valley residents.
Worth holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a minor in psychology from California Polytechnic State University in San Louis Obispo.
Sabrina Sherwood is Idaho State University’s 2017 Outstanding Student Achievement Award winner from the College of Pharmacy. Fresh out of high school in 2011, she enrolled in ISU’s pre-pharmacy program.
In 2015, Sherwood was one of 10 pharmacy students nationwide accepted to complete a 10-week internship at the prestigious Mayo Clinic Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota. “I always loved chemistry and math, and wanted a job where I could apply that passion to making a difference in people’s lives,” she said.
At ISU, Sherwood has been active in outreach programs that educate the community about diabetes prevention, immunizations and heart health. She served as hepatitis C coordinator at the Pocatello Family Medicine Clinic and president of the College of Pharmacy Student Senate.
Sherwood completed the final year of the Doctor of Pharmacy program at ISU-Meridian. After graduation, she will pursue a two-year clinical pharmacy residency at University of Utah.
“Sabrina’s determination and selflessness has driven her through school and positions her for continued success as she progresses into residency and beyond,” wrote her nominating professor.
Here’s the breakdown of Meridian’s degrees.
Graduate and professional:
Seven Doctor of Philosophy (Pharmaceutical Sciences, Counselor Education and Counseling, and Nursing); four Doctor of Audiology; 11 Doctor of Nursing Practice; 31 Doctor of Pharmacy; two Education Specialist (Counseling); nine Master of Counseling; two Master of Business Administration; one Master of Education (School Psychological Examiner); one Master of Organizational Learning and Performance; three Master of Physical Education/Athletic Administration; 27 Master of Physician Assistant Studies; three Master of Public Health; 22 Master of Science (Speech-Language Pathology and Medical Laboratory Science)
Undergraduate and certificates:
Sixty eight Bachelor of Science (Health Science, Medical Laboratory Science, Nursing, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Sign Language Interpreting); six Associate of Science (Paramedic Science, Emergency Management, Sign Language Studies, Emergency Management), four Community Paramedic Certificate; 97 Associate of Arts (General Studies).
Students can share memories at #ISUgrads.
The ISU-Meridian Health Science Center offers more than 25 graduate, undergraduate and online programs. Most are in the health sciences. Visit www.isu.edu/meridian.