President's Office

Administration Building
Room 105
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3151
Moscow, ID 83844-3151
Phone: (208) 885-6365

January 20 2012

January 20, 2012

Dear Friends,

          Despite a major winter storm system making its way through our region this week, I joined Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter and my fellow university presidents during a statewide video news conference. We focused on how higher education research and innovation can continue to serve our state in new and innovative ways.

          During his State of the State address last week, Governor Otter proposed funding for IGEM, or the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission. IGEM will provide grant funding on a competitive basis for Idaho universities to develop new ideas, new products and new companies that can help fuel Idaho's economic development. Our land-grant research University is perfectly suited to this mission; our knowledge and discoveries have helped Idaho grow for more than 120 years.

          The governor's IGEM initiative is based on Utah's very successful program that attracts world-class scientists and business enterprise to that state.

          I share Governor Otter's confidence in our Gem State's ability to leverage the great discoveries and new knowledge that we already have in higher education and, with those, to attract new business, new businesses, and new jobs for Idaho.

          Next week is higher education week in our state's capital. On Wednesday - proclaimed by the governor as "University of Idaho Higher Education Day" - I'll be speaking to the state's Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee and emphasizing the many ways in which our statewide University serves Idaho and helps it grow.

          In addition, on Jan. 25, our University will host an interactive Legislative Day on the fourth floor of the Capitol Building Rotunda. The Associated Students of the University of Idaho and the Alumni Association, along with colleges, programs, departments and countless individuals, have been working to ensure the success of this event. Students representing every legislative district will be on hand to talk with our state's lawmakers about the transformational education and unique experience found at the University of Idaho.

          Among the student volunteers who will meet with lawmakers:

          Caitlyn Johnson, a freshman from Homedale, Idaho, is an early childhood development major in our College of Education. She helped create a program for K-8 students to help them incorporate physical activity throughout their day. The activities she designed for each grade are intended to help those young students get more oxygen to their brains to help maximize learning. The activities were distributed for use in Moscow schools. She worked while in high school to bolster a college savings account started when she was a child. Caitlyn wants to become a special education teacher in Idaho.

          Michael VanLydegraf, a junior from Boise, is a civil engineering major. He's a National Merit Finalist who is the first in his family to attend college. He's been active in service-learning, including ongoing Gulf Region hurricane relief operations, and building water purification and delivery systems in Bolivia through Engineers Without Borders. He's planning to volunteer with AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps to gain more engineering experience and then return to Idaho to help make his home state be "more environmentally and economically friendly."

          Trey Mallory, a junior from Emmett, Idaho, is an agricultural education major. Trey has been inspired by a number of our faculty members to go "above and beyond" to achieve and succeed. Trey wants to teach agriculture in an Idaho small-town high school. Trey knows that agriculture is important to the state and wants to "benefit the future success of the students that I teach."

          I'm grateful to have our always-impressive students join me and others next week in Boise to share with state lawmakers how our statewide land-grant research University seizes opportunities, addresses challenges, and makes possible a brighter tomorrow. Go Vandals!

M. Duane Nellis

Here's the latest news from the University of Idaho

Students Really "Dig" Stacy Camp's Class.
When students dig into anthropology with Stacey Camp, they never know what clues about the past they might uncover. Camp, a professor of anthropology and sociology, recruited a group of curious students during summer 2010 and traveled two hours north to Kooskia, Idaho. Once a male-only, World War II Japanese internment camp, the area yielded important evidence of what life was like for the residents. When Camp's anthropological adventure began, the students had no idea what to expect or what they would find. After more than a week of searching, they began to uncover the foundation of an internment camp building. Another encouraging find: an untouched garbage dump. These "cast offs" gave students clues to what life was like for internees, with thousands of artifacts to bag and map. Among these artifacts were Japanese gaming pieces made from local stone, and chocolate wrappers reminiscent of a period candy brand that targeted men in its marketing. Learn more about the findings.

Generations of Giving Back. To memorialize and honor her father, Joyce E. Gordon recently established the Glenn C. Gordon Scholarship Endowment with a gift of $250,000 to the College of Engineering. Glenn C. Gordon '41 was born near Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in 1917 and moved to Wallace, Idaho, at a young age; his father worked in a mine. Despite objections from his father, Glenn attended the University of Idaho and earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. During his long career, he became an innovative civil engineer and created solutions for multiple industries. His projects included the design and construction of 100-foot-tall slip-form grain silos; giant portable slides for carnivals; feed/grain mixers for livestock; boat cranes; seismic retrofit for historic brick buildings and reinforced concrete belts for large industrial tanks in the Los Angeles area. Throughout his lifetime, Glenn always felt it was important to give something back to the community and his daughter, Joyce, is following in his footsteps by establishing this endowment. "Dad would be proud to know this scholarship was set up in his name," she says. "He would be very supportive of students who want to pursue engineering as a career." To give to the College of Engineering, contact Mary Lee Ryba, assistant dean of development, at (208) 755-4916 or

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