The Friday Letter
September 14, 2012
The semester is in full swing across the state. Students are active in physical classrooms and labs from Coeur d’Alene to Boise, and from Idaho Falls to Moscow as well as joining us from across the world via the Internet.
Regardless of the location, faculty and staff make it happen. You may never meet them, but they’re working together to make life-changing differences for students from across the country and the world.
Aaron Stancik, originally from Smelterville, Idaho, is a great example. He came to the university as part of the first U-Idaho McNair cohort that started in 2004. The McNair Achievement Program is designed to expand opportunities for students who are low-income, first generation or from underrepresented populations. For Aaron, this meant that he came as an undergraduate and left with a doctorate in chemistry.
Other students see unique opportunities through “normal” programs with national reputations. For instance, our law students see it in their opportunities to engage in clinical education that benefits them and others. Clinical education provides a bridge between theory and practice. It enables students to develop professional skills needed in future employment, and helps make legal services available to the poor. Moreover, two of our clinics – thesmall business clinic and the economic development clinic – are specifically devoted to promoting economic development in Idaho. Where do we stand in comparison the nearly 200 accredited U.S. law schools? We are thirteenth in the nation, according to “National Jurist” magazine. That places us ahead of much vaunted institutions like Harvard.
Our faculty participates in a range of unique research efforts too. Our growing success in capturing competitive research grants – now nearly $100 million annually – opens doors for students too. For example, U-Idaho researchers are among a select group to secure National Institutes of Health funds through the Center for Biomedical Research Excellence awards. These grants average around $10 million and span five years. Three have been associated with the Institute of Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Studies headed up by Biological Science Professor Larry Forney. IBEST opens the door for interdisciplinary studies involving biology, ecology, mathematics, statistics and computer science.
Of course, many students have actually joined in some of our recent work, like the Basque Block archaeological dig in downtown Boise led by Professors of Archeology Stacy Camp and Mark Warner. This two-week dig in August included students from the University of Idaho and other Idaho institutions. It serves as a model of engagement and outreach in a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics discipline. Over 1,000 people visited the site physically, and even more visited virtually via online, video streaming.
These examples get to what we mean when we say the University of Idaho is student centered with an engaged learning environment. It’s about meaningful learning that leads to success – success for our students, success for Idaho and success for our nation and beyond.
M. Duane Nellis
University Of Idaho Recognized As National Leader By U.S. News. The University of Idaho continues to be one of the leading universities in the Pacific Northwest and in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report’s Best College Rankings for 2013. The university’s emphasis on student-engaged learning was also highlighted in the results. With the average class size remaining below 20 students, the University of Idaho is a leader in student access to professors.University Welcomes New Faculty -- Letters, Arts, And Social Sciences. The university welcomed 47 new faculty members this year. One of the new faculty members is Scott Slovic who was appointed a professor of English (A.B., 1983, Stanford University; A.M., 1986, Brown University; Ph.D., 1990, Brown University).Slovic comes from the University of Nevada-Reno, where he was Professor of Literature and Environment. He has taught courses in American literature, comparative literature, ecocriticism and environmental literature, and interdisciplinary sustainability studies. He is the editor of the journal, "Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment", which moves with him to the University of Idaho.
Deloitte Honors Sharon Allen, Helps Promote Leadership And Ethics. Deloitte, LLP made a $250,000 gift to the College of Business and Economics in recognition of Sharon Allen’s (’73) career that culminated in her service as the first female chairman of Deloitte’s board of directors. Allen retired in 2011. The University of Idaho has recognized her many accomplishments with an honorary doctorate, the prestigious Legacy of Leading Awardand induction into the Alumni Hall of Fame. Allen and her husband, Rich '73, have joined CBE Dean MarioReyes and others to establish a leadership and ethics initiative. "We are very pleased that Deloitte has chosen to make this contribution and are excited to work with the University to focus on two areas of interest to us -- ethics and leadership,” the Allens said. “We have decided to match the gift of $250,000 and hope to establish a program that influences the lives and careers of future University of Idaho students.” The Allen and Deloitte gifts will enhance classroom curriculum to provide more students experiential learning opportunities with a focus on the inter-relationship of leadership and ethics as the backbone for a successful career -- no matter what field of study. “We are honored that Deloitte has chosen to honor Sharon’s amazing career in this way and are doubly grateful the Allens have chosen to match this generous gift,” Reyes said. “We will look forward to working with them to establish a campus-wide leadership and ethics initiative.” For information about giving to the College of Business and Economics, contact Chandra Ford at (208) 890-2370 or firstname.lastname@example.org.