Coeur d'Alene Newsletter - Summer 2021
From the desk of Charles Buck
Welcome back to U of I Coeur d’Alene, students! We enjoy seeing the parking lots fill up as the new semester begins. Center staff have organized Welcome Week to bring all our students into the Vandal family.
Summer at the Coeur d’Alene center has been busy as usual. Our Dign’IT high school STEM internships wrapped up last week. A dozen talented seniors and juniors from Post Falls to Wallace experienced real-world, paid employment in tech roles with our corporate partners. Thanks to our program sponsors and host companies.
Do these outreach efforts have real impact? Students report this experience changes the trajectory of their future. Consider intern Laura Moler. She participated in our middle school coding camp years ago led by Computer Science Department Head Terry Soule. That experience got her hooked on programming. After graduating from Post Falls High this spring, she interned this summer with Cyber Self-Defense and is now pursuing a degree in Computer Engineering at U of I in Moscow. Five other interns have been asked to stay on with their companies once the summer is done. Most of this year’s interns have expressed interest in attending U of I. We’re proud to take the opportunity to reach out to local K-12 students and industries in ways that make a positive difference in our communities and for our institution.
This is my last summer with U of I Coeur d’Alene. I am moving across the country to explore new opportunities and spend more time with family. I want to especially call out the work of our great staff at the center. These dedicated professionals take on projects with independence and an entrepreneurial drive, and they always achieve great results. The more than 200 Vandals who enjoyed our first ever Vandals in the Park celebration last month know what I am talking about. What an amazing party - don’t miss it next year! It is an honor to work with these wonderful colleagues:
Margaret Hurlocker, Patti Davenport, Shelly Robson, Ann McNamara, Katie Marshall, Sheri Bullock, Christina Cox, Helena Harned, Wanda Quinn, Marie Schmidt, Nick Krenowicz, Mike Wood, Darren Thompson and John Wieser.
I am confident that this team will effectively continue to fulfill the mission of the university. Please join me in thanking them for all their good work.
See you further up the creek!
Computer Science Department at NIC
Our robots are on the move! After four years downtown, the Coeur d’Alene Computer Science team has found a new home on the North Idaho College campus. This move creates a more seamless transition for students starting a cybersecurity or computer science degree at NIC. It also allows for greater collaboration with the Venture Network, where our FANUC robot is housed, and our friends in the Gizmo makerspace. Stop by and say hello to the U of I team in the Hedlund building.
Dig’nIT Season 9 Recap
After a smaller 2020 season, Dig’nIT returned with great energy this summer. We hosted three camps at the Harbor Center and brought four of our coding camps to the Boys & Girls Club locations in Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene. We also teamed up with Growing the STEM to add camps all about the magic of math. More than 1,100 students have participated in a Dig’nIT camp or internship since the program’s inception in 2013.
Training Idaho’s Teachers
For a second year, our professional development program, Integrating Education and Careers, brought K-12 teachers across Kootenai County for a behind-the-scenes look at local business demands. The conversations and connections created through this program drive meaningful relationships to help bridge the gap between classrooms and industries. This program is made possible with support from the Idaho Workforce Development Council. The U of I Coeur d’Alene also led the effort to expand computer science and cybersecurity dual credit programs statewide by offering teacher trainings in Boise, Idaho Falls and Coeur d’Alene. This annual effort is supported by Idaho STEM Action Center.
Idaho Public Archaeology in North Idaho
In June, U of I’s Idaho Public Archaeology led more than 20 students in a two-week excavation of Fort Sherman, a 19th century military installation on the traditional Coeur d’Alene homeland known as Hnch'mqinkwe'. Undergraduate and graduate students from U of I, NIC and UC Berkeley worked with the tribe in hopes of uncovering new historical perspectives from the site. Listen to this interview with Professor Mark Warner to hear what the team took away from the dig.
North Idaho Vandal Features
- Coeur d’Alene Associate Professor Leda Kobziar is leading the world’s research in pyroaerobiology. She discusses the work, including her growing fire ecology lab, with the Inlander.
- After years of mentoring young chemists at the Harbor Center, Adjunct Professor Darren Thompson is featured in the cover story in Idaho Magazine.
- Harmful algae and excessive wake lakes make for big news around here during the summer months. Professor Frank Wilhelm shares the scientific perspective with the Coeur d’Alene Press and KREM-TV.
- TRiO students from Post Falls gain new experiences centered around environmental science. The Coeur d’Alene Press reports from the weeklong camp led by our McCall Outdoor Science School.
- Dig’nIT’s expansion to Shoshone County captures the attention of the local paper. Read about the historical website interns completed with Gravis Tech.
- Doctoral candidate Trevor Pumnea brings his passion for healthy active lifestyles to communities across North Idaho. His disc golf course efforts are highlighted in the Bonner County Daily Bee.
- The Master Gardeners bring their green thumb wisdom to a new bimonthly column in the Coeur d’Alene Press.
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