Coeur d'Alene Newsletter - Fall 2019
From the desk of Charles Buck
Have you heard the big news? Our Inspire Idaho program — conceived and implemented from U of I Coeur d’Alene — is the winner of the 2019 Award of Excellence from the University Economic Development Association. Inspire was recognized in the Talent category. Together with Innovation and Place, talent development is a cornerstone of the effort of this national association to promote economic development.
It is exciting and humbling for our inventive program to be recognized nationwide. Dennis Alvord, COO of the U.S. Economic Development Administration, credits university development efforts in leading economic expansion in communities of all sizes. That’s exactly what we’re working to achieve in cities across the state.
Inspire Idaho engages learners all over Idaho with a mobile app development curriculum designed by Apple. The free program eliminates barriers to gaining relevant technological skills.
Our scrappy Inspire team put this program together on a shoestring. We’ve engaged scores of volunteer mentors and experts to guide and encourage learners to persevere over the 180 hour curriculum. University of Idaho Extension is a vital partner for the program providing space, expertise, support and connections in communities from Idaho Falls to Bonners Ferry. Huge thanks to our extension colleagues, encouraged by Extension Director Barbara Petty.
We’ve also benefitted tremendously from Apple executives who helped design the program and have provided hundreds of hours of face-to-face support for our teams. City and county economic development professionals also promote and support local teams because they recognize the potential for this skills training to transform their communities.
Many individuals, companies and foundations have donated funds to create a MacBook Lending Library. This allows us to provide a computer to Inspire participants in need. The public-private partnership with the Idaho STEM Action Center, the Idaho National Labs, Idaho Central Credit Union and a particularly generous anonymous donor deserves special recognition and thanks.
I’m encouraged that U of I Coeur d’Alene can continue to offer innovative programs that bring our university resources for positive impacts in our communities. Our challenge now is to serve hundreds more eager learners who have registered to be part of Inspire Idaho. Your ideas and suggestions are always welcome.
DeArmond College and University Center Opens
After years of planning with our North Idaho partners, the new front door to higher education opened Sept. 10 in Coeur d’Alene. U of I President Scott Green cut the ribbon on the DeArmond Center alongside North Idaho College President Rick MacLennan and LCSC President Cynthia Pemberton. Several U of I classes are now held in this space as well as our new Student Support Specialist Helena Harned, Assistant Director of Admissions Becky Byers, and staff from LCSC and NIC.
U of I Students in Coeur d’Alene
Enrollment at the U of I Coeur d’Alene center is up 5% from last year. Even better news — the number of new local transfers increased by 45% this semester. More than half of the center’s students transferred from North Idaho College and about one-fifth transferred here from Moscow. Students list location and faculty as their favorite things about U of I Coeur d’Alene.
Thanks to support from STCU, our fall welcome week was a great success. Students received a custom Coeur d’Alene Vandal shirt and the first 50 students received raffle entries for the 2019 Super Scholarship from the Post Falls Chamber. That resulted in a $25,000 scholarship prize win for elementary education major Mary Vetsch!
Vandal Tech Talk
The Coeur d’Alene Computer Science department hosted the first-ever Vandal Tech Talk Oct. 3. Attendees heard student insight on undergrad research, Co-op and the growing entrepreneurial culture. Featured alumni speaker Bryan Riga shared how Idaho Forest Group is using drones and robots to better monitor forest health and improve production. Bob Rinker, Ph.D., and Coeur d’Alene’s first computer science master’s graduate, Nancy Ripplinger, shared their light-up triangle invention — a cross-college collaboration now used by the Vandal Marching Band.
U of I Coeur d’Alene in the News
Coeur d’Alene based professor and U of I Addictions Training Program Director Steven Meier addresses the current vaping conversation in the Spokesman-Review.
Nearly 200 high school sophomores attend the 12th annual Women in Science and Engineering hosted by the U of I Colleges of Science and Engineering and held at NIC.
Inspire Idaho participants in Bonners Ferry and Sandpoint share their experience with the program in the September edition of Sandpoint Living Local (pages 38-40).
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