Coeur d'Alene Newsletter - Spring 2021
From the desk of Charles Buck
From all of us at U of I Coeur d’Alene, congratulations to the latest U of I graduates! Coeur d’Alene grads were invited to attend commencement on the main campus this year. With six discrete ceremonies, graduation was certainly different, but the Moscow team did a great job with some steep logistics. After only a virtual ceremony in 2020, it was good to get back to an in-person event.
At U of I Coeur d’Alene, we look forward to connecting with generations of alumni this summer. Mark your calendars for Vandals in the Park from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 27. Come out to McEuen Park in downtown Coeur d’Alene for an evening of food, drink, fun and music from alumnus Colby Acuff. We hope this extends our celebration of our local graduates while connecting the newest alumni and incoming students with fellow Vandals.
While we might think of slowing down a bit to rejuvenate after the academic year, activities in Coeur d’Alene pick up with the summer outreach season. Our Dig’nIT program will again provide hands-on STEM learning for regional youth. For a third year, we will partner with the Boys & Girls Club to bring our coding camps to both the Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene locations, led by master teacher and Vandal alumna Azure Wilson. We will also team up with Growing the STEM to offer mathematics camps at the Harbor Center. A strong math foundation is critical for success in the modern tech workforce, but 55% of Idaho students are not meeting math proficiency targets. We hope these camps contribute to improved math proficiency among late elementary and early middle school students.
Exciting news for the Dig’nIT STEM internship – we are expanding the program to the Silver Valley with a new tech partner, Gravis Technologies. Now in its ninth year, the program will include about a dozen companies hosting paid teen interns to work throughout the summer on real-world tech and other STEM projects.
Integrating Education and Careers (IEC), entering its second year, connects our commitment to K-12 schools with regional workforce needs. Through interactive tours, companies show teachers current career trends and the skills required for those jobs. Educators receive professional development credit and take their knowledge back to the classroom. This summer we have received grants from the Idaho Workforce Development Council in support of both the high school internship program and IEC.
We’re happy to be busy this summer. Enjoy yours, and please plan to join us July 27 for Vandals in the Park!
Coeur d’Alene Faculty Honored
Associate Professor Julie Amador earned the Mid-Career Award as part of the 2020-21 University Excellence Awards, Amador is the director of the Idaho Region 1 Math Center and currently leads a $2.7 million NSF-funded study on rural math coaching development.
Athena named Associate Professor Leda Kobziar the Woman of the Year for Faculty. As a leading fire science researcher and director of the master of natural resources program, Kobziar will use a nearly $1 million NSF grant to launch a fire ecology lab at the Coeur d'Alene Harbor Center.
Local Class of 2021
Stories from the most recent graduates at the Coeur d’Alene center reveal a resilient class with a broad range of personal, professional and life experience leading them to this point. Patrick shared his mantra “refire, don’t retire” as he looks ahead to his doctorate at 65 years old. Tyler, a first-generation college student who transferred multiple times, writes how a U of I professor helped him identify his passion. Meanwhile, Julie shares her experience as an international student learning alongside Coeur d’Alene Tribal youth. Meet more of the U of I Coeur d’Alene class of 2021.
North Idaho Vandal Features
- Environmental Science dual credit teacher Jamie Esler (’16) and UofI Outreach Specialist Marie Schmidt (’09, ’12) share insightful student reflections from the Confluence Project snowshoe excursion.
- On June 3, Coeur d’Alene native Hannah Johnson (’21) becomes the first non-NASA employee featured on NASA’s Tumblr Answer Time.
- The work led by Wanda Quinn (’86) to expand Cybersecurity and Computer Science dual credit courses with the College of Engineering and the Dual Credit office inspires a story in Idaho Ed News.
- Beekeeping neighbors turn to Kara Carleton and the Idaho Master Gardener Program to step up their role in the larger ecosystem.
- Science News highlights Leda Kobziar’s research on pyroaerobiology.
- A new album from Coeur d’Alene musician Colby Acuff (’19), who will play the Vandals in the Park event this summer, earns attention from the Spokesman-Review.
- Extension Educator Shelly Johnson works with Canfield Middle School to collect more than half a ton of healthy food for area food banks.
- Chief Geologist Nick Furlin (’08) with the Coeur d’Alene-based Hecla Mining Company gives geology students core logging experience.
- Collaboration between Extension’s Jim Ekins (’20) and Associate Professor Tonia Dousay sparks digital aha moments.
- In a conversation on about the future of Coeur d’Alene Lake, Associate Professor Erin Brooks (’03) discusses the impact of forest fires on water quality.
- UofI junior and Sandpoint native Peik Lund-Andersen (’22) wins the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship for his research on COVID-19.
For more frequent updates, highlights and events from your Vandal Family across North Idaho, join the conversation on these channels:
- U of I Coeur d’Alene: LinkedIn | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
- Assistant Director of Admissions Becky Byers: Facebook | Instagram
- U of I Extension, Kootenai County: Facebook | 4-H Facebook
- TRiO Educational Talent Search: Facebook | Instagram
- Idaho Regional Mathematics Center, Region 1: Facebook | Twitter
- U of I Sandpoint Organic Agriculture Center: Facebook
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