C of I Newsletter

2011. 07. 15

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College of Idaho alumni break another giving record

Alumni and friends of The College of Idaho demonstrated overwhelming support of the College and its students over the past 12 months, setting a giving record for the sixth consecutive year. More than 2,400 alumni – 36 percent of the C of I alumni base – made gifts to the College before the June 30 deadline, surpassing the 33 percent giving record established in 2010.

Overall, alumni gifted more than $950,000, bolstering the College’s operational needs and giving C of I students continued access to one of the strongest scholarship programs in the region.

“Our alumni, parents and friends know the tremendous value of a College of Idaho education,” Boone Fund coordinator Tara Wensel said. “They take pride in our outstanding professors and treasure the lifelong friendships that develop between students and our faculty and staff. They know that their gifts will ensure current and future students will enjoy that same experience and prepare for leadership roles in their professions, communities and the world.”

The College of Idaho’s alumni giving percentage is the second-highest in the Pacific Northwest, trailing only Whitman College (41 percent) and well ahead of Reed College (27 percent) and Willamette University (25 percent). C of I has nearly doubled its giving rate in the past six years despite a challenging national economic climate, climbing into the top 10 percent of all colleges in the United States. In addition to boosting C of I’s national reputation, the alumni support puts the College in a stronger position to compete for major grants from national foundations.

“The College of Idaho’s alumni and friends are telling us loud and clear that this one of the best places in the country for students to pursue their passions and reach their potential,” C of I development director Jim Hansen said.

The College’s new giving record follows the February launch of the public phase of its $175 million Advance The Legacy campaign. The campaign, which has raised more than $115 million to date, will strengthen the C of I’s 120-year legacy of great teaching that prepares successful graduates.

The College of Idaho congratulates the alumni base on the new record. The College also would like to thank each and every alumni, friend, student, faculty and staff member who made a gift this year. Your gifts make a real difference to the College and its students. Thank you!

C of I graduate wins Fulbright Grant to study transformation of Berlin

College of Idaho alumnus Stephen Lowman ’07 has seen and accomplished much during his young career in journalism. The former Coyote editor has three years of experience writing for The Washington Post, and he spent two months last fall in Hamburg, Germany, working for the highly-respected German newspaper Die Zeit through the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship program.

Lowman will embark on his grandest adventure yet next month, traveling back to Germany on a yearlong Fulbright Grant to study the gentrification of East Berlin since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Lowman will spend six weeks taking intensive German classes – he studied the language both in high school and at C of I – before undertaking his exploration of an interesting phenomenon taking place in Germany’s largest city.

“I’m super pumped about this opportunity,” Lowman said. “What attracts me to this project is that it is very ‘liberal arts.’ It’s about how a city changes and how those changes relate to people, politics, economics and art. It combines all these interests of mine, and that’s exciting.”

While most of Germany enjoys a strong economy, many residents of Berlin are poor and the city is deeply in debt. After the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, East Berlin became mecca of nightclubs, bars and disco clubs, attracting a bohemian population that enjoyed the area’s low cost of living, art scene and high quality of life. That population is at odds with “Mediaspree,” a massive property investment and urban renewal project which has brought huge telecommunications companies, media corporations and hotels to the city. As the “Mediaspree” presence grows – pushing out clubs and other public areas in the process – the tension between the two sides is creating a unique cultural dynamic.

“It’s basically a battle over the future of East Berlin and what the city is going to look like,” Lowman said. “The question is whether the city's economic growth is incompatible with the considerable creative opportunities it presently offers. My hunch is that it isn't.”

Lowman said he has not yet decided what form the project will take, but he is leaning toward an online, multimedia package that would allow him to explore and develop new media skills. He is on leave from the Post during the project.

The College of Idaho community remembers Lowman as an active and talented voice on campus. He wrote and edited for the Coyote throughout his C of I tenure, majored in English and was chosen by his peers to give the 2007 senior commencement address. To catch up with Stephen or learn more about his Fulbright project, email him at [email protected].

C of I professor wins NSF grant to study 'brain training'

College of Idaho psychology professor Dr. Meredith Minear and her students received good news July 1 as the National Science Foundation awarded Minear $216,454 in grant money for her collaborative psychology research with C of I undergraduates. The grant, which will be paid out over 36 months, will fund Dr. Minear’s project “Training and Transfer of Executive Processes,” which examines the human brain’s ability to train.

“I’m very excited about this opportunity for our students,” Minear said. “You can read a textbook all you want, but I feel students learn more by doing. It’s important for a small liberal arts school to offer research opportunities, and we want our students to have that so they can be competitive for jobs and graduate school.”

Approximately ten C of I students are involved in the project, which examines the growing number of websites and software packages that offer “brain training” courses claiming to improve memory and attention. Dr. Minear’s team will investigate training related improvements in the brain’s executive functions and the extent to which such training can improve someone’s performance on tasks such as reasoning, problem solving and reading comprehension. In a series of training studies, participants will be measured on a battery of cognitive tasks before and after four weeks of training. The resulting data will identify the most effective training program and whether any programs transfer effectively to real world tasks.

The team hopes to make significant contributions not only to the theoretical understanding of executive brain functions, but also the extent to which college-aged adults can benefit from cognitive training programs. The project will involve students both as collaborators and participants. Student researchers will have opportunities to engage in data collection, analysis, presentation at conferences and authorship on peer-reviewed journal articles.

“I’m glad I have the chance to experience real research and be a part of this project,” said Claudia Brandt, a senior psychology major at C of I. “It takes more work and brainpower than a typical student project, but it’s fun to contribute ideas, and I’m excited to see what the data look like when we’re done.”

Dr. Minear is the second C of I professor to secure a major grant from the NSF this summer. Dr. Don Mansfield (biology) was awarded $365,815 in June for a collaborative botany project he is working on with a team of professors from Boise State University.

“It’s exciting to have two NSF grants awarded at the College within weeks of each other,” Minear said. “I’m happy we’ve been able to build a strong relationship with the NSF, and hopefully that will continue.”

Alumna joins C of I as admission counselor

The College of Idaho has hired Rachel Blood as a counselor in the Office of Admission. Blood comes to the College from the Boise School District, where she worked with the Title I program at Grace Jordan Elementary School. She graduated from C of I in 2009, majoring in English and earning a minor in psychology.

Blood, who grew up in Boise and attended Capital High School, is excited to be back at her alma mater.

“As a graduate, I know The College of Idaho is a special place with a lot to offer,” Blood said. “I’m really excited to work with prospective students and hopefully help them to have some of the same great experiences I had here.”

Blood’s responsibilities at C of I will include recruiting, educating and fostering relationships with prospective C of I students in her assigned local and regional territories. She also will present information about the College at high schools, college fairs and professional conferences. C of I Dean of Enrollment Brian Bava is excited to have Blood on board.

“I think what sets Rachel apart is her enthusiasm, energy and love for the College,” Bava said. “She is excited to be a part of the C of I community again, and I know she will be a great addition to our enrollment team.”


Summer 2011

Upcoming Alumni Events

Summer 2011

Upcoming Athletic Events

July 16

Alumni Family Day: Blueberry Picking at Suyehira Farms, 8:30 a.m. (Emmett)

July 22

Ben Bedford Backyard Bash alumni and friends event, 7 p.m., Keener Family Retreat (Boise). For more info or to RSVP, email [email protected]

July 30

'Soda Springs' film premiere with executive producer Gary Hollie '83, 7 p.m., Egyptian Theatre (Boise)

July 31

Willamette Valley Wine Tour, 9 a.m., Ace Hotel (Portland, Ore.) Email [email protected] for more information

August 6

Volunteer Workday at Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History (Boone Hall basement), 7 a.m.-4 p.m.

September 2

New Coyote mascot unveiling and tailgate party, 4 p.m.-7 p.m., J.A. Albertson Activities Center lawn (precedes volleyball home opener)

September 20-25

2011 Homecoming celebrating Boone Hall math and science alumni. Email [email protected] for more information


Mark John Haugo '84 and Dr. Cheryl Haugo '82 – C of I alumni and 2011 recipients of The College of Idaho President's Medallion – were featured by the Yuma Sun for their perseverance and community involvement.

Students enrolled in Professor Mark Gunderson’s “Diversity of Life” course who visited tidepools along the Oregon coast during spring 2011 are featured in a new video on the C of I YouTube channel.

College of Idaho golfer Trish Gibbens won the Idaho Women's Amateur Championship on June 25 at Shadow Valley Golf Course in Boise.

The C of I sustainability stewards are selling fresh produce, including snow peas, herbs and eggs. To make an order or to sign up for the stewards' weekly email newsletter, email the stewards. Also, check out the stewards' group on Facebook!

C of I student Sophie Dresser was featured on the website of the Working Boys Center in Ecuador. Dresser recently completed a Davis Project for Peace at the WBC.

Check out a new video about C of I professor Dr. Don Mansfield's SWITCH project, a collaborative botany endeavor funded by a $365,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, on the C of I YouTube channel. Join the C of I community on Facebook and Flickr too!

Jan Summers, an Archaeologist and curator at the Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History, was featured for her work in Egypt in ArtiFacts, the newsletter of the Idaho Archeological Society.

Author and speaker Duane Elgin '66 is blogging for several outlets. All of Elgin's blog posts are available at The Huffington Post.

C of I alumna Jamie Derry '10 will be in the cast of Opera Idaho's season finale, Carousel, this weekend in Boise. The Idaho Press-Tribune has the details.