COS students and faculty honored with the Alumni Association’s Award for Excellence

Five College of Science students and two faculty members were selected in December to receive the UI Alumni Association’s Award for Excellence. Students are nominated for this award by faculty or staff members, and selected on the basis of not only academic achievement, but also service and involvement outside of class. The selected students in turn are able to nominate a faculty member or staff member who has served as an outstanding mentor during their education at the University of Idaho.

Undergraduate students Jacob Bow (Mathematics, Chemical Engineering), Hannah Hallock (Mathematics, Animal Science), Nicole Henderson (Geography, International Studies, Spanish), and Chelsea Small (Mathematics) were among the 55 recipients this year, as was Biology graduate student Lucius Caldwell. Professors Monte Boisen (Mathematics) and Jim Nagler (Biological Sciences) were among the faculty recipients.  Some comments from this year’s award winners:

Lucius Caldwell

Lucius Caldwell

The best parts of my graduate education experience at UI have been gaining hands-on experienceand having the freedom to pursue a research angle that is interesting to me.- Lucius Caldwell

Where are you from and how did you end up at the University of Idaho?

I grew up in Cohasset, MA, a small town on the coast, between Boston and Cape Cod. I first came to Idaho ten years ago, chasing snow to Teton Valley. After a job for the US Forest Service based out of Leadore gave me the chance to travel throughout Idaho, I knew that this state was a special place, so when it came time to look for graduate programs, I was gravitating toward the Northwest. After looking at what was available and what people were researching, I found Dr. Nagler doing research at UI that I thought was both exciting and meaningful, so it seemed like a good fit.

What has been the most meaningful experience you’ve had here as a student?

The best parts of my graduate education experience at UI have been gaining hands-on experience in a variety of research and professional settings, being able to work with scientists and professionals from academia as well as state and tribal agencies, and having the freedom to pursue a research angle that is interesting to me. Dr. Nagler has been a fantastic advisor, both academically and professionally, and I feel lucky to have ended up here.

Hannah Hallock

Hannah Hallock

"UI has prepared me for the future by making me a better person than when I entered as a freshman. I am leaving UI as a confident adult ready to face the world."- Hannah Hallock

Where are you from and how did you end up at the University of Idaho?

I am from a small farm in Olympia, Washington. Both my parents attended the University of Idaho and I loved the feel of the campus so it was my number one choice.

How did you choose the subject(s) that you are studying?

I chose to study mathematics because I loved calculus and pre-calculus in high school and wanted to further my education in the subject. In addition, I added animal veterinary science as a major my sophomore year because my life has always been focused around animals and I wanted my passion for animals to be a part of my career.

How did you feel when you found out you were selected to receive one of the Alumni Awards?

I was just ecstatic! This is the award that I am most proud of from my college career.

How has your UI experience prepared you for the future?

UI has prepared me for the future, not just academically and intellectually, but by making me a better person than when I entered as a freshman. I am leaving UI as a confident adult ready to face the world. However, my learning will never end.

Nikki Henderson

How did you choose the subject(s) that you are studying?

I chose International Studies because of my love of traveling, participating in dialogues on international issues/cultures as well as trying to solve problems. Spanish was obvious because for IS one needs to choose a language…but it became one of my deepest passions during my study abroad experience in Argentina. Geography was added when I realized that with only IS and Spanish, I would graduate far too soon and in addition to coinciding very nicely with IS, it encapsulated the study of many other social sciences that interested me while still giving me a solid geographic foundation—one that I think most students lack.

How did you feel when you found out you were selected to receive one of the Alumni Awards?

It was a very proud moment for me because not only is it an honor to be chosen out of the large group of UI seniors, but in looking at my peers who were also chosen, I was amazed and astonished at things they were achieving, too.

What has been the most meaningful experience you've had here as a student?

My most meaningful experience here has been the Alternate Winter Break trip to Atlanta. I remember as a freshman hoping to go on it, but not being selected nor having the real desire to “give up” a Winter Break to do it. This year I was prepared emotionally, psychologically and intellectually to undertake it and in addition to doing powerful service work in a new place, I gained new perspectives on myself and people in general that have shaped the way I speak, act and feel.

How has your UI experience prepared you for the future?

My UI experience has prepared me for the future because not only has it given me the social skills necessary to network, cooperate, befriend and work with all kinds of people, but also provided me with a well-rounded education that has challenged my belief system and expanded my intellectual horizon far beyond what I ever imagined.

Chelsea Small

Chelsea Small

Being a student athlete and still being able to succeed was due in great part to the support from my teachers, coaches, and the community as a whole.- Chelsea Small

Where are you from and how did you end up at the University of Idaho?

I am from Solana Beach, California. I ended up at the University of Idaho because I wanted to play on the Women's Soccer Team here and I wanted to go somewhere where it snowed.

How did you choose the subject(s) that you are studying?

Math is not what I planned to study in college. After taking several math courses, I realized I really enjoy the material and the department, so I switched my major to mathematics.

What has been the most meaningful experience you've had here as a student?

Through my four years at the University of Idaho the most meaningful experience I had was simply the atmosphere at this campus. Being a student athlete and still being able to succeed was due in great part to the support from my teachers, coaches, and the community as a whole.

How has your UI experience prepared you for the future?

While at the UI I have learned how to balance work and pleasure. I have gained knowledge and skills I never imagined I would have four years ago. In my four years at Idaho I have transformed from a girl who only cared about playing soccer to someone who is excited to continue school and deepen my knowledge base.

Professor Nagler

Professor Nagler

One of the most meaningful aspects of working with students is seeing them become successful dealing with problems. Life is full of problems and research studies is filled with them.- Professor Nagler

How did you feel when you found out you were selected to receive one of the Alumni Awards?

The Alumni Award is special to receive because it recognizes the time and effort we, as faculty, put into graduate education and training. Since these awards derive from our top students, it's a way for them to say thanks for helping me be the best I can. That's special!

Is there an aspect of working with students that is most meaningful to you?

One of the most meaningful aspects of working with students is seeing them become successful dealing with problems. Life is full of problems and research studies is filled with them. Working with students to tackle and solve problems not only helps them succeed in their program, but I think spills over into their lives in the "real world" too.