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Roar, Bengals Roar! Idaho State awards record number of degrees in Treasure Valley commencement ceremony May 6

May 7, 2019

ISU Meridian commencement setup on the floor of the arena, with faculty seated and President Satterlee at the podium.
ISU held its 14th commencement in the Treasure Valley at CenturyLink Arena May 6.

BOISE – Idaho State University celebrated the achievements of more than 320 students at its Treasure Valley commencement May 6 by awarding a record number of degrees and certificates—with the majority conferred in the health professions and health sciences.

The total included 81 associate degrees in general studies awarded to students from Meridian’s Renaissance High through a partnership with ISU and the West Ada School District.

ISU President Kevin Satterlee told Bengal graduates to take the experiences they’ve gained at ISU out into the world, to pursue their passions and to use their education to improve their communities. “You know from where you sit today that you can achieve whatever you set your mind to. Build the life that you have dreamed of, that makes you proud... And never forget that roar,” he said as the newly minted alumni, surrounded by their families and friends at CenturyLink Arena, cheered.

Campus administrators recognized students for academic excellence, including Whitney Heuer, recipient of the 2019 Alumni Association Outstanding Student Achievement Award representing ISU’s College of Nursing.

Heuer, who grew up in Idaho Falls, received a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Meridian’s rigorous accelerated nursing program.  

A gifted scholar and researcher, Heuer completed 840 hours of clinical training this year including 120 in the Intensive Care Unit at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise. This spring, she began work as a floor nurse in St. Al’s telemetry cardiac unit.

In a touching moment, Executive Vice President and Provost Laura Woodworth-Ney gave special recognition to Nicholas Kinnas, an ISU student who passed away this academic year after completing his bachelor’s degree in psychology. His brother, Taso, accepted his diploma as the Kinnas family watched from the audience. The psychology department also selected Kinnas as its outstanding undergraduate student of the year for demonstrating academic excellence and commitment to professional development.

ISU Vice President for Health Sciences Rex Force presented noted cancer physician Mark Roberts with the 2019  Kasiska Division of Health Sciences Vice President for Health Sciences Excellence Award. Force applauded Roberts for his support in the education and training of students enrolled in the university’s health professions programs. Roberts is currently the administrator for clinical research at St. Luke’s Health System in Boise.

Retiring professors Judith Crews from the Department of Counseling and Robin Dodson and Vaughn Culbertson, both from the College of Pharmacy, were recognized for receiving emeritus status in honor of professional performance and years of dedicated service to ISU. 

Here’s the breakdown of degrees and certificates.

Graduate and professional degrees-133 total:

One (1) Doctor of Philosophy (Nursing); Seven (7) Doctor of Nursing Practice; Six (6) Doctor of Audiology; 32 Doctor of Pharmacy; Eight (8) Master of Counseling; Two (2) Master of Business Administration; Two (2) Master of Physical Education/Athletic Administration; 36 Master of Physician Assistant Studies; Three (3) Master of Public Health; 25 Master of Science (Speech-Language Pathology); Three (3) Master of Science (Human Resource Development); One (1) Master of Science (Medical Laboratory Science); Two (2) Master of Science (Nursing); Three (3) Master of Health Education; One (1) Master of Education (Instructional Design and Technology); and one (1) Master of Education (School Psychology) 

Undergraduate degrees and certificates-196 total:

Thirty five (35) Bachelor of Science in Nursing; (15) Bachelor of Science (Communication Sciences and Disorders); (15) Bachelor of Science (Medical Laboratory Science); (8) Bachelor of Science (Sign Language Interpreting); (16) Bachelor of Science (Health Science, Health Education, Psychology, Fire Services Administration, Emergency Management and Elementary Education);  One (1) Bachelor of Arts (General Studies); twelve (12) Associate of Science (Paramedic Science, Emergency Management); 13 Certificates (Paramedic Science, County Paramedic); and 81Associate of Arts (General Studies).

ISU-Meridian has conferred more than 2,300 degrees since 2009. The Meridian campus offers more than 35 graduate, undergraduate and online programs. Most are in the health sciences. Graduates are encouraged to share their memories on social media at #isugrads.