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UI Faculty Members Offer Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your List

December 08, 2015

The holiday hustle and bustle is officially here, and as shoppers around the Northwest seek out that perfect gift for their loved ones, colleagues and friends, the University of Idaho is here to help.

Among those available to speak with reporters this month and offer recommendations and gift ideas are members of UI’s College of Education, College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences and College of Engineering. These faculty members boast expertise in children and young adult literature, as well as nonfiction, fiction and memoirs for adult readers in a variety of styles. From the College of Engineering, a mechanical engineering faculty member is available to give tips on toys that help children learn while having fun.

Among the literary experts available to speak with reporters are:

  • Janine J. Darragh, assistant professor of literacy and ENL, College of Education: Darragh specializes in children’s and young adult literature and has written articles on trends in children’s literature and examining sociocultural issues in young adult literature. She is available to give gift ideas and book suggestions for a variety of age ranges. Contact:

  • Kim Barnes, professor of English and author of “In the Kingdom of Men,” an expert in memoir and literary fiction; and professor Brandon Schrand, author of “Works Cited: An Alphabetical Odyssey in Mayhem and Misbehavior,” an expert in literary nonfiction and memoir, are willing to give suggestions on locally written literature, authors of the Pacific Northwest and up-and-coming authors. Contact: or

  • Ron McFarland, a professor of English and author of “Appropriating Hemingway: Using Him as a Fictional Character,” is an expert on the life of Ernest Hemingway and his love of Idaho and is willing to give suggestions on Hemingway literature, Hemingway films, and Hemingway-inspired recipes. Contact:

For those looking to talk about tech toys:

  • Beth Rezaie, assistant professor in mechanical engineering, is an expert in vehicle design and clean energy and is passionate about toys using solar and other renewable energy sources and encourage kids to build their own toys, such as robots and cars. She is available to give examples of “smart” toys for elementary age children. Contact:

Savannah Tranchell
University Communications & Marketing

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference. Learn more at