Coeur d'Alene Newsletter - Winter 2021
From the desk of Charles Buck
Happy late winter greetings!
The spring semester is going strong here in Coeur d’Alene. While it does not feel like normal, our U of I faculty have adapted to deliver consistent, excellent instruction. In turn, our resilient students continue to pursue their educational ambitions with aplomb despite a year of great challenges and changes.
At the Coeur d’Alene center we are making progress with key priorities for 2021:
- Our effort to provide practical skills training and lifelong learning is taking off this year. In partnership with TechHelp, we launched a Project Management microcourse for local working professionals. Similarly, we’ve worked with our colleagues in the College of Art and Architecture to offer a Virtual Technology and Design skills tune-up series.
- We recognize an opportunity to bring value to area high school students who have seen their routines disrupted and face uncertainty for their educational futures. By facilitating new dual credit courses and working with local districts to ensure this content is accessible to students, we offer a great pathway to success while connecting these young students with the Vandal experience. Here in Kootenai County, Post Falls High School enrolls more U of I dual credit students than any school in the state.
- We are working with schools across the region to expand professional development training for teachers. Last fall, our center facilitated more than 1,000 PD credits.
- This summer we will grow the connections between local industry and K-12 schools with what we hope to be the biggest Dig’nIT intern season yet. We will also bring teachers behind the scenes of businesses shaping the future of North Idaho with a second year of Integrating Education and Careers. Our host site partners and the Idaho Workforce Development Council help to make these programs possible.
- Center staff are actively pursuing grant funding in support of center programs and research.
These efforts dovetail perfectly with institutional priorities including adoption of a new financial model, pursuit of research level 1 designation and a new effort to develop highest quality, competitive online offerings that will appeal to broad swaths of Idahoans.
I invite you to read on to learn more about our progress.
Vandal Chat: Vaccine Decision Making
As conversations around vaccines remain steady, listen in as Bert Baumgaertner discusses the motivations behind vaccination decisions. U of I Coeur d’Alene invited the associate professor of philosophy to present his research on the social, psychological and scientific factors impacting attitudes toward vaccines. Watch the Vandal Chat now.
Our Gem Speaker Series: Round Two
Explore regional water health issues with the latest talks in the Our Gem Speaker Series. U of I Coeur d’Alene’s Marie Schmidt hosted the four virtual sessions in January and February. This second series highlights the Atlas waterfront development, restoration work at Gray’s Meadow and stormwater outfall reduction plans in Coeur d’Alene. A third series is in the works for late in the spring.
Coeur d’Alene Adjunct Professor Shares His Story
Read Darren Thompson’s story featured in Idaho Education News and on the UC Santa Cruz website. As an adjunct professor, Thompson serves as a chemistry mentor for high school and community college interns in the Harbor Center laboratory, but the life lessons he has to offer extend far beyond the lab.
Local Co-op Students Featured
Watch the most recent reports from the Co-op program which launched with our Coeur d’Alene computer science students back in 2018. One of the original participants, Ben Budai, shares his second experience with Co-op, this time at Sandpoint-based Kochava. Meanwhile at Idaho Forest Group, Oshan Karki says working in a professional setting helped him clearly define his goals moving forward.
North Idaho Vandals in the News
- Research from U of I Coeur d’Alene professor and leading pyroaerobiology expert Leda Kobziar is featured in Science Magazine, followed by nationwide coverage for her studies on microbial life in smoke.
- Coeur d’Alene and Spokane students talk about the university’s new Cybersecurity degree on Spokane Public Radio.
- Longtime St. Marie’s physician Dr. Rick Thurston receives the 2021 Idaho WWAMI Alumni Award while his son follows in his footsteps as a current U of I WWAMI student.
- U of I Coeur d’Alene Assistant Professor Liz Wargo works with rural schools to move more learning into Idaho’s great outdoors.
- Current Vandal and Coeur d’Alene High School graduate Hannah Johnson works with NASA and U of I peers to send polymer research to space.
- A scientific study on the future of Coeur d’Alene Lake begins with support from the Our Gem Collaborative.
- Coeur d’Alene artist and recent U of I graduate Riley Helal creates the commemorative artwork for the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival.
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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