University of Idaho - I Banner
A student works at a computer


U of I's web-based retention and advising tool provides an efficient way to guide and support students on their road to graduation. Login to VandalStar.

About Vandals in Focus

2017 Vandals in Focus Team
Eight of the 16 Vandals in Focus team members pose in the Integrated Research and Innovation Center. The team brings together student writers and photographers, as well as an illustrator and video producer.

Student writers, photographers, videographer and artist bring student stories to life

Vandals in Focus is about showing future and current Univer­sity of Idaho students that opportunities for research and scholarship can be found in any major U of I has to offer. Dave Pfeiffer, director of the U of I Office of Undergraduate Research, is dedicated to sharing this message.

“Ultimately, I would like to see Vandals in Focus function to increase student interest in getting involved in research and scholarly activities while at U of I,” Pfeiffer said. “I would also like to see it used to increase interest among prospective students in coming to U of I.”

Vandals in Focus is now in its second year, and its staff, as well as the number of students it features, is growing.

The footwork is done by a team of 18 undergraduate writers and photographers from multiple disciplines, as well as a videographer who produced short videos about undergraduate research, and a graphic artist who designed the cover.

Working on Vandals in Focus gives the students a variety of learning experiences in different aspects of journalism and communications.

Keegan Lawler, 20, is an English major and a writer for Vandals in Fo­cus. He was first introduced to this project by a friend who forwarded him the application information.

“I really hope that my stories will help students find interests in research they might not have had before,” Lawler said. “I’ve had some very important people who’ve helped introduce me to what I am passionate about, and if I can help do that with other people, that’d be really great. I also think not many students know the amount of funding available to undergrads, so I hope it helps open up doors to current students as well.”

Vandals in Focus photographer Irish Martos, a 24-year-old senior studying psychology, is in her second year working on the project. She loves her Vandals in Focus experience for more than just the fact it looks nice on a resume.

Learning about all the research and involvement opportunities U of I undergraduates have is the best part, Martos said. “I usually go to their labs to look at what their projects are. Sometimes I get to test it too, which I think is really cool. It’s exciting seeing the feature stories in print. I feel so proud being a part of Vandals in Focus.”

Interested in working for Vandals in Focus 2017? Email Tara Roberts at

WRITER: Morgan Ward is a junior from Fruitland, Idaho, majoring in history and minoring in creative writing.

Photo by U of I Photo Services.


Physical Address:
Education Bldg, Room 220

Phone: 208-885-0968