The College of Idaho honored three outstanding alumni during the recent Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony, which took place Oct. 16 in the Langroise Center as part of Homecoming week. Read more about the winners below. Congratulations to these outstanding alumni!
Distinguished Young Alumni Award: David Papiez ’05
After graduating cum laude from The College, Papiez took a job as a ski instructor at Tamarack Resort and soon climbed the ladder to asset manager and controller.
Homecoming festivities promise to be bigger and better than ever this year at The College of Idaho as the first Homecoming football game in 37 years joins a long list of exciting events for alumni, students, faculty, staff, families and the entire C of I community.
College of Idaho graduate Maribel Serrano ’02 has always had a passion for the medical field. At 16, she began working as a nursing assistant at Mercy Hospital in Nampa. After graduating high school, Serrano chose the C of I for her undergraduate work prior to heading off to medical school. Now, she has come full circle as an established OB/GYN doctor who has returned home to serve the patients of her hometown.
College of Idaho senior Zachary Buker and recent graduate Jordan Bowman ’14 share a common dream: to become opera singers and share their passion for music with the world. Together, the duo has formed Opera Elect, a new stage production company based in the Treasure Valley designed to fulfill not only their own dreams, but the dreams of other local artists.
“To be successful in life, you have to make your own success,” Bowman said. “If my end goal is eventually to have an opera company, why not start now?”
One of Derek Brown’s personal goals for 2014 was simple: receive a passport and travel outside the United States for the first time. Not long after securing his passport, the 2006 College of Idaho graduate accepted an offer to teach abroad for two years at Cairo American College in Egypt.
“I never knew that my first time leaving the country would also be my first time moving out of it,” Brown said. “But I actually feel pretty comfortable living here. It’s been one heck of a blessing.”
College of Idaho alumna Hailey Smith ’08 had very little idea of what her future would when she arrived at the C of I.
“As I neared graduation from high school, I had an interest in archeology, probably stemming from books and movies that gave me a romanticized idea of what an archeologist is,” Smith recalls. “Since the College didn’t have an archeology program, I signed up for the closest thing: Cultural Anthropology 101.”
Less than 10 years ago, College of Idaho alumna Makenzie Ellsworth ’13 learned she would never walk again. But that hasn’t stopped her from spinning circles around the competition as a rising wheelchair tennis player at both the local and national levels.
“For me, it’s just great to get that competitive feeling again,” Ellsworth says.
Graduate school is a popular destination for many College of Idaho alumni, but 2014 graduate Brady Harrison is taking a road less traveled to continue his education.
Harrison, a history major from Caldwell, will spend the next two academic years in China earning a master’s degree in Chinese politics and economics at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. His studies will be supported by a Chinese Government Scholarship as he pursues a career in international trade.