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Idaho State University honors class raises money for civic project to co-brand ISU and Old Town Pocatello 

May 16, 2019

Professor Jeff Street and students throwing balls in the air.
Professor Jeff Street, left, and students who participated in the project.

POCATELLO – Last semester, Idaho State University students in management Professor Jeff Street’s honors program course, “Orange You Creative” raised $15,000 toward bringing the ISU brand to Old Town Pocatello.

A collaboration of sponsors, including Citizens Community Bank, ISU Credit Union and ISU have all pledged the primary funding for adding branded signage to the historic area of the city. Signage includes 130 lamp post pennants, 15 logo neon signs for business windows and a 20-foot by 40-foot painted sign featuring the ISU Bengal head. Based on the class’s cost assessment, the project will require an additional $4,000 in funds to complete the $19,000 project.

According to Street, although the course is not scheduled to continue into next semester, the former students are all part of an ad hoc group that will oversee the completion of the project. The team aims to have the ISU pennants set up by mid-August, the neon signs in place by the ‘Welcome Back Orange and Black’ event in the fall and the painted ghost sign completed by the end of September, with the entire project culminating by October’s Homecoming 2019. Street has also taken a lead on the project while students are out for the summer.

Street said the idea for the project was inspired by ISU President Kevin Satterlee’s goal for the University as mentioned on his first day.

“He spoke about his number one priority in the coming year being to build relationships with students, faculty, staff, alumni, community members, business and industry leaders,” Street said. “With the onset of the University’s rebranding campaign, I felt like a project like this would give students, faculty and businesses the opportunity to come together and spread the Bengal pride throughout our community.”

Not only did the course bring some of these objectives to life through student and faculty efforts, but it also represented a great exercise in management principles.

“Creativity is a basic human need,” Street said. “A key to creativity is divergent thinking, or thinking ‘outside of the box’. Divergent thinking predicts a lot of important achievements such as leadership effectiveness, entrepreneurship, inventiveness, resolution of social dilemmas and happiness.”

Street said throughout the course, he sought to encourage the students’ divergent thinking skills to come up with creative ideas as a solution to the opportunity to build ISU’s relationships throughout the community.

During the eight-week course, students took several major steps in developing the project and getting it to this stage. Their first objective was to gain an understanding of the co-branding of cities and universities from a conceptual view with academic readings and online research.

The students also took a walking tour of ISU’s campus to identify notable symbols and artifacts that represented ISU, as well as a tour of Old Town Pocatello to get a feel for the culture and potential areas for adding ISU branding. They also met with the “gatekeepers” of information for ISU and Old Town, like Old Town Pocatello’s Executive Director Stephanie Palagi, who played a major role in providing information for the students. After this initial research, students then came up with ideas for developing a ‘branding package’. Teams then conducted a feasibility, cost and timing analysis and gave a formal pitch presentation to potential sponsors of the project.

With very little funds to go, the students are excited to see their project come to life and be a part of this collaborative effort to bring the University into the Pocatello community. They are deeply grateful to their sponsors as well for helping their hard work, research and ideas come to life.

Idaho State University, a Carnegie-classified doctoral high research activity university and teaching institution founded in 1901, attracts students from around the world to its Idaho campuses. At the main campus in Pocatello, and at locations in Meridian, Idaho Falls and Twin Falls, ISU has nine Colleges, a Graduate School and a Division of Health Sciences that together offer more than 250 certificate and degree programs. More than 12,000 students attend ISU. Idaho State University is the state's designated lead institution in health professions.


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