C of I Newsletter

2011. 07. 29

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C of I to host 'Reach for the Stars' with astronaut Jose Hernandez

Latino schoolchildren in the Caldwell area will have the opportunity to meet a NASA astronaut and learn about the benefits of continued education on Aug. 7 as The College of Idaho hosts “Reach for the Stars,” a space-themed celebration featuring guest speaker Jose Hernandez. The free public event, set for 1 p.m. in Morrison Quadrangle at the heart of the College’s Caldwell campus, includes a free BBQ lunch for the first 200 guests, guided tours of campus— including the Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History and the Whittenberger Planetarium – and family activities for children of all ages.

“Jose Hernandez is the kind of person we want our young Latinos to learn from,” said Arnold Hernandez, director of multicultural affairs at C of I. “Jose had a dream when he was out working in the fields, and what he’s accomplished is a shining example that education really is the way to reach the stars.”

Jose Hernandez worked for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for 10 years and was part of the 128th shuttle mission in 2009, when he traveled to the International Space Station and spent two weeks in space, including three spacewalks as part of the STS-128 crew. Hernandez earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from University of the Pacific and a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of California-Santa Barbara. He is a member of the Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists and has received numerous honors and awards, including two NASA Service Awards and an honorary doctorate from University of the Pacific.

“Reach for the Stars” begins with lunch at 1 p.m., followed by Hernandez’s remarks at 2 p.m. Children’s activities begin at 2:30, with planetarium tours set for 2:30 and 3:30. The event is sponsored by The College of Idaho, Caldwell School District, White-Leasure Development, Reaching for the Stars Foundation, Hispanic Cultural Center of Idaho and the City of Caldwell. While the event holds particular interest for the Latino community, guests of all ages and cultural backgrounds are invited to attend.

For more information about this event, contact the Office of Special Events and Conference Services at [email protected]

C of I to unveil new Coyote mascot at Sept. 2 celebration

The College of Idaho athletics department has undergone numerous changes in visual identity over the years, from the binocular-wielding Coyote of the 1950s to the paw print worn by the Yotes in recent years.

This fall, C of I will unveil a brand-new Coyote logo, one that will strengthen recognition of and pride in its athletics program. The new logo and matching mascot will be introduced to the campus community and the public during The College of Idaho Coyote Celebration, set for 4:30 p.m. Sept. 2 on the J.A. Albertson Activities Center lawn. The tailgate-style party will include BBQ food, apparel featuring the new Coyote logo, activities for children, music and more. It precedes the volleyball team’s home opener at 7 p.m.

“For years we have been all over the place when it comes to a Yote logo,” said C of I athletic director Marty Holly. “Now that we have a logo that we can use for all athletic gear, I think our athletic brand will be something we can build on. Mascots are supposed to be fun, and this one is a home run!”

Creating the new logo and mascot was a collaborative effort initiated by student government and carried out by the Office of Marketing and Communications. Design options were created by Kristy Weyrich of Boise-based W Design and the logo was fine-tuned using feedback from focus groups of students, coaches, faculty, alumni and staff. The end result is a sharp, modern C of I Coyote and a new mascot costume to match.

“It’s been clear for some time that the College’s athletics logo should be more distinctive and reflect the quality of our institution as a whole,” said marketing and communications director Dustin Wunderlich. “Our students made the creation of a new athletics logo and mascot a priority. The new Coyote mascot is going to bring more energy and excitement to our game atmosphere, and that’s going to be great for our student-athletes, our fans, the athletics program and the C of I experience as a whole.”

The public and all C of I students, alumni, faculty, coaches and staff are invited to attend this event. Tickets are not required to enter the celebration, but admission to the BBQ dinner and volleyball game is $5 for alumni and community members or $3 for faculty and staff. C of I students get in for free. The menu includes pulled-pork sandwiches (and vegetarian burgers), chips, watermelon, salads and Coyote cake.

Guests are encouraged to bring their entire families – children 5-and-younger get in for free and kids of all ages will have a chance to meet the Coyote and other Treasure Valley mascots, play in a bounce house and color their own mascot pictures. In addition to T-shirt giveaways for C of I students, the College bookstore will be selling merchandise featuring the new logo. To purchase or reserve tickets in advance, contact Dave Hahn at [email protected] or 208-459-5835. Checks payable to The College of Idaho – including contact information and the address to which the tickets should be mailed – can be mailed to Dave’s attention at the College.

Taste of the Harvest scholars come full-circle

For more than a decade, The College of Idaho’s Taste of the Harvest festival has given the Caldwell community an opportunity to celebrate local agriculture. The annual event also allows C of I to give back to the families who make the harvest possible, as proceeds go toward a scholarship for first-generation college students whose parents are agricultural workers.

“The majority of Idaho’s agricultural workers come from migrant families,” said Caldwell winemaker Ron Bitner, a 1968 C of I alumnus who helped establish the Taste of the Harvest tradition. “We saw an opportunity to help kids who were motivated to go on to college, but couldn’t attend a good school like C of I without some help.”

In May, three students who earned Taste of the Harvest scholarships walked across the Boone Hall steps and received their diplomas. And as Nancy Cortes, Daisy Correa and Silvia Marroquin prepare for the next chapter in their lives, each is grateful for the opportunity they had to attend The College of Idaho.

“I feel like I received a great education, so I know I will be prepared for whatever comes next,” said Marroquin, a graduate of nearby Wilder High School. “Ron and Mary Bitner gave me a scholarship for my first two years, and then I worked in their vineyard and tasting room to help pay for my last two years. The Bitners became like a second set of parents to me. If it wasn’t for them, I couldn’t have graduated from C of I.”

Marroquin, who majored in health sciences at the College, still works at Bitner Vineyards and at Alejandra’s Mexican Restaurant – owned by Correa’s parents – in Wilder. She plans to apply for medical school or a physician’s assistant program in the near future.

Best friends Correa and Cortes both came to C of I from Skyview High School in Nampa. Like Marroquin, they wanted to attend college but knew it would be difficult to afford a quality education.

“I was always worried about how I was going to afford college,” Cortes said. “When I found out I had won the Taste of the Harvest scholarship, it was one of the best feelings I ever had. Daisy found out she also got the scholarship about five minutes after I did, so it was an exciting moment for both of us.”

Cortes earned a double major in Spanish and business-international political economy. She hopes to pursue a master’s degree in economics and eventually pursue a career in business that not only supports her financially but also has a positive impact on those around her.

Correa, who majored in business, is using her degree to help her parents manage Alejandra’s, which recently opened a second location in Marsing. She plans to pursue a master of business administration and would like to one day open her own restaurant or business.

“My parents moved to the United States so that their kids could have a better future,” Correa said. “The College of Idaho was my No. 1 choice, but I wouldn’t have been able to come here without help. The Taste of the Harvest scholarship changed my life, and I am very, very grateful for that.”

Thanks largely to scholarship programs, The College of Idaho’s Latino enrollment has increased dramatically over the past decade. As top-notch students such as Correa, Cortes and Marroquin earn degrees and move on to successful careers, the likelihood of t

For the Bitners, seeing the impact their generosity made on both the Taste of the Harvest scholars and future generations of migrant families made Commencement a special experience.

“It was awesome to watch all three girls graduate with honors,” Bitner said. “Not only because they became like daughters to Mary and I, but also because it showed we are doing the right thing. These girls have become great role models for the migrant community. We can’t afford not to give these kids opportunities to better themselves through education.”

Scholarships are an important part of the College’s comprehensive Advance The Legacy campaign. To learn more, visit the C of I Office of Development online or click here to make an online gift.


Summer 2011

Upcoming Athletic Events

Summer 2011

Upcoming Alumni Events

July 30

'Soda Springs' film premiere with executive producer Gary Hollie '83, doors open at 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 (Boone Hall basement), 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Lunch seminar: 'Museum By-Laws' by Billie Farley

August 7

'Reach for the Stars' event featuring astronaut Jose Hernandez, 1 p.m.-5 p.m., Morrison Quadrangle

August 12

'All About Chocolate' fundraiser for Orma J. Smith Museum, 7 p.m., Boone Hall room 103. For more information, call (208) 459-5507

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 10

Volunteer workday at Orma J. Smith Museum (Boone Hall basement), 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Lunch seminar: Egypt excavation/conservation and unveiling of Egyptian/Roman display by Jann Summers Duffy

September 20-25

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


Join the C of I community online! Keep up with all the latest news by becoming a fan of the C of I Facebook page, see campus photos on Flickr and check out new videos on YouTube, including presentations from the 2011 Student Research Conference and Winter Wilderness Experience, a student botany trip to Death Valley and a testimonial with C of I professor and alumna Diane Raptosh '83.

C of I business professor Dr. Marilyn Melchiorre discussed tips for small businesses on the July 9 edition of KTRV Fox 12's weekly show Business at its Best. Dr. Melchiorre will appear on the show again Aug. 20 to discuss "Blue Ocean Strategy."

PlayNetwork, a company for which alumnus Lon Troxel '71 is the President and CEO, was featured by the Green Business Bureau for its outstanding sustainability efforts.

The C of I sustainability stewards are selling fresh eggs and produce all summer. To make an order or to sign up for the stewards' weekly newsletter, email the stewards or join their group on Facebook!

The College of Idaho has been listed as one of the 20 Top Mountain State Colleges by Allen Grove of About.com.  C of I also was spotlighted in Grove's blog.

The College of Idaho was highlighted in the Nampa-Caldwell section of the Boise Weekly's "Annual Manual," a special issue that serves as a guide to the Treasure Valley.