C of I Newsletter

2008. 07. 24.

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The C of I’s annual Taste of the Harvest fundraiser helped the College win a $100,000 grant from Wal-Mart

The C of I receives $100,000 Wal-Mart College Success Award

The College of Idaho has been selected by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) to receive a Wal-Mart College Success Award — a $100,000 grant to help The C of I expand current programs that encourage enrollment from Hispanic/Latino students who are the first in their families to attend college.

The C of I was one of only 20 colleges selected from nearly 220 applicants to receive the award, which is intended to help institutions that are already committed to the education of first-generation students. It was the only college in the west that was chosen.

“I am thrilled that the College was chosen for this award,” said President Bob Hoover. “Caldwell and Canyon County have large numbers of Hispanic/Latino families and it’s important to us to offer these students the opportunity to get a high-quality liberal arts education.”

Canyon County has a Hispanic/Latino population of 20.3 percent, compared to 7.6 percent statewide and 14.4 percent nationwide.

The College of Idaho has several programs to assist Hispanic/Latino students who want to attend the College.

Last year, The C of I received a $25,000 grant from the Northwest Area Foundation Fund in the Idaho Community Foundation. The money provides 25 $1,000 scholarships to low-income Hispanic students in Southwest Idaho. The College also received an anonymous gift of $20,000 for scholarships for two Hispanic/Latino students from Canyon County who want to attend The C of I.

In addition, the College hosts Taste of the Harvest every year in October to raise money for scholarships for the children of migrant farmworkers. Taste of the Harvest, which will be held on Oct. 6 this year, brings together Idaho’s wineries, food producers and craftspeople. Attendees can sample and buy the fine wines, foods and crafts produced in the state.

“It’s important for us as a community and as a state to encourage all first-generation students to attend college,” Hoover said. “And we must also make sure that students receive the financial and academic support they need once they get here.”

The award for The C of I will be used to recruit and support first-generation Hispanic/Latino students from the local community. Scholarship support will be given to high-achieving first-generation students who also have significant financial need.

National statistics show that only 24 percent of first-generation college and university students earn a bachelor’s degree compared with 68 percent of students whose parents received a bachelor’s degree.

The 20 colleges selected for the Wal-Mart College Success Awards have developed programs that result in higher percentages of graduates among their first-generation college students than the national average, and many graduate first-generation students at the same rate as all other students.

The C of I will use the Wal-Mart College Success Award to host an orientation for first-generation students and their parents, follow-up outreach activities to families, career exploration field trips and internships, and an annual student leadership conference. Peer mentoring, tutoring and financial assistance for books, supplies and equipment will also be made available to these students.

“Wal-Mart is proud to support programs that enable first generation students to succeed in college,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Wal-Mart Foundation. “Wal-Mart’s partnership with CIC identifies institutions committed to the success of first generation students and will help identify and share effective programs.”

The 19 other winners are: Adrian College (MI), Bay Path College (MA), Bellarmine University (KY), California Lutheran University, Carroll University (WI), College of Mount Saint Vincent (NY), College of Saint Benedict (MN), College of St. Scholastica (MN), Florida Memorial University, Illinois College, Juniata College (PA), Kalamazoo College (MI), Lesley University (MA), Manchester College (IN), North Central College (IL), Ripon College (WI), St. Edward’s University (TX), Wartburg College (IA), and Wiley College (TX).

The Wal-Mart College Success Awards program is administered by the Council of Independent Colleges and is funded by the Wal-Mart Foundation.

College seeks sponsors for Kenyan student

Kenyan student Kiprotich Langat came to The College of Idaho just five months ago, but in that short time he’s had the experiences that students and alumni say characterize The C of I.

He’s earned at 3.68 grade point average despite being out of school for a few years; participated in track , becoming one of the team’s most promising distance runners; and involved himself in student clubs like the International Student Organization.

“The quality of the education is the first thing I love about the College,” said Langat. “But the community is so amazing. Whether or not you know people, they say hello.”

But Langat may have to leave the College in the fall if he can’t find help paying his tuition and living expenses.

Langat, a freshman biology major who goes by Kip, left Kenya amid the political unrest that was sparked in January after President Mwai Kibaki was re-elected. Those who supported his opponent Raila Odinga became the targets of attack.

Estimates at the time said more than 850 Kenyans were killed and approximately 250,000 fled their homes to escape the violence.

For Langat, it meant he was not able to visit his parents in the Kenyan countryside before he came to the United States because it wasn’t safe to travel. Even more devastating, his Kenyan sponsor, who had paid his educational costs since high school, had his business burned in the riots and is unable to pay Langat’s college expenses as he had promised.

“This is one of those unfortunate situations where a student has done everything he could to pursue his education, including securing financing, but circumstances beyond his control may result in him having to leave school and return home to face difficult obstacles,” said Chris Anton, financial vice president at the College who, along with cross-country coach Pat McCurry, is looking for a sponsor or sponsors for Langat.

McCurry said Langat has the potential to be an elite collegiate runner and could help further the College’s cross-country and track programs

“Kip is an extremely gifted young runner,” McCurry said. “When he arrived here this past spring, he had not run in over a year. Even after all that time off, he was competitive at our conference level right away as he was a finalist in the 1500 meter run at our conference championships.”

For now, Langat is living in the dorms and working for the Maintenance and Operations Department. Unfortunately, the position only covers his personal expenses and doesn’t allow him to put money toward tuition.

Langat said he hopes he gets to stay at The C of I because the experience has been valuable.

“If I had stayed in Kenya, I would not have had a chance to meet people from around the world,” he said. “I am also getting a high-quality education.”

Anyone who would like to help sponsor Kip can contact Rance Pugmire, C of I major gifts officer by email or phone at 459-5917.

C of I alumni directory now available online

The C of I alumni directory is now online and available to anyone with a college email address. Alumni and other users can look for classmates by name, by civic interests, careers, locations, and more as long the person has authorized the release of that information. It also allows alumni to update and modify their own information.

To link to the alumni directory, click here. To sign up for an alumni email address, click here.

Student News

Yordanos Refu, a C of I student from Ethiopia, spoke at the International Baccalaureate North America Conference last week in San Francisco about her experience immigrating to the U.S. and attending Riverstone International School in Boise. Admission director Brian Bava attended the conference and said Refu’s talk brought the crowd of 12,000 nearly to tears.

Staff News

Men’s head basketball coach Mark Owen will play in the Meeting of the Minds: Legends of Idaho Basketball Classic to benefit the Idaho Black History Museum on Friday, July 25 at 7:30 p.m. at Qwest Arena in Boise.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for kids 12 and under and seniors 65 and older, or $35 for a family of four.

Life after The C of I: Where are we now?

Faculty, grads, proud parents and others – send news to Jennifer Oxley of where our students and alumni are this summer so we can keep everyone updated.

Larissa Lotton (‘06) graduated from Eastern Washington University with her masters in social work. She is currently working for the Department of Health and Welfare as a LMSW in Child Protection Services.

Jantzen Matzdorff (‘03) will be featured on The Learning Channel’s “Flip That House” show for a historic home in Luling, Texas that he will “flip.” Matzdorff lives in Austin where he holds a real estate license, is the founder of Vertex Residential Solutions, LLC, serves on the board of directors of the Real Estate Investment Club of Austin, and volunteers for local charities.

April Nelsen (‘99) is currently a deputy with Los Angeles Sheriff Department. She is engaged to be married in Oct. 2008 to TJ Morean, also a deputy with LASD.

The C of I in the News

The most recent issue of Idaho Yesterdays magazine features essays by C of I emeritus professor of English and trustee Louie Attebery (‘50) and George Venn (‘67). This folklore issue was guest-edited by Jennifer Eastman Attebery (‘73), who is an English professor and director of the American Studies Program and Folklore Program at Idaho State University.

The Idaho Press-Tribune and Idaho 2 News each did a story about The C of I receiving the $100,000 Wal-Mart College Success Award on Friday, July 17.

Upcoming Events

Chocolate and wine pairing fundraiser for the OJ Smith museum Aug. 9

The Orma J. Smith Natural History Museum will hold a Chocolate and Wine Pairing Fundraiser on Aug. 9 at 7:30 p.m. at Bitner Vineyards, featuring “Doc Choc” Pat Fields and C of I Trustee Ron Bitner (‘68). Cost is $20 per person.

Bitner will give a brief presentation about pairing wine and chocolate and will introduce Fields, who will give a more extensive presentation. The evening includes a silent auction, heavy hors d’ouvres, a complimentary glass of wine, no-host bar and a variety of chocolates and wines to sample.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Mary Bitner by email or phone at (208) 899-7648.

Jobs at The C of I

Staff Openings

  • IT Support Specialist II
  • Maintenance & Operations Administrative Assistant
  • Maintenance Craftsman
  • Biology Department Paraprofessional

Faculty Openings

  • Environmental Studies Instructor

For complete job descriptions and application instructions go to http://www.collegeofidaho.edu/jobs. EEO


  • Professional photographs from commencement (including all-senior and department photos), baccalaureate and commencement eve dinner are all available for review and purchase from Schmidt Productions.

  • Don’t forget that The C of I is on Facebook – join The College of Idaho Official group and get in touch with classmates and see what current and former students are doing.

  • Check out Mike and Linda Danielson’s “before and after” Idaho license plates with The College of Idaho name and logo. The plates cost $35 the first year they are purchased, which is in addition to the annual vehicle registration fee. They are $25 plus annual fees for each subsequent renewal. The College of Idaho receives $25 from the sale of new plates and $15 from each renewal, which goes to its scholarship and academic programs.

    Personalized and sample license plates can be ordered online. Non-personalized plates are available at any county auto licensing office in Idaho.