C of I Newsletter

2012. 06. 08

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Coyotes standout Garsez drafted by Chicago Cubs

Izaac Garsez

Former College of Idaho outfielder Izaac Garsez on June 6 was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 30th Round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Players Draft, joining nine other former Coyote baseball players who’ve been drafted by MLB clubs.

Garsez, a two-time NAIA All-American and two-time NAIA West Player of the Year, hit .389 as a senior with eight home runs and 53 RBIs, leading the NAIA with a school-record 12 triples. He added 20 doubles and 29 stolen bases on the season, leading the NAIA West with 93 hits and 75 runs scored as the Coyotes qualified for their first NAIA World Series since 2002. Garsez was recommended to the Cubs by the team’s area scout, Al Geddes.

“There definitely were a lot of emotions when I got the call,” said Garsez, the 914th overall pick in the draft. “I was so relieved and also extremely, extremely excited. I just feel really blessed.”

In four years with the Coyotes, Garsez posted a .361 batting average while accumulating 45 doubles, a school-record 30 triples, 27 home runs and 151 RBIs. He becomes the first C of I player to be drafted by an MLB club since Jason Stefani was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 30th Round in 2001. The highest draftee in C of I history was Don Bellum, taken in the eighth round by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1992.

“I’m so glad I was able to play for the C of I program,” Garsez said. “Coach (Shawn) Humberger is an unbelievable coach – he taught me so much and helped me get better and expand on my game every year. I’ll have to continue improving to compete at the next level, but I know playing for this program has helped prepare me for what I’m about to face.”

Once signed, Garsez will report to the Cubs’ training site in Mesa, Ariz., and be assigned to one of their minor league affiliates. The list of possible destinations includes the Class A Boise Hawks, whose home stadium is located just 30 minutes from the C of I campus.

“That’s definitely in the back of my mind,” Garsez said. “It’s exciting. If I get the opportunity to play for the Hawks in front of all my family and friends, it would be unbelievable.”

C of I alumna reaching for the stars through NASA academy

Trisha Randazzo

C of I graduate Trisha Randazzo '12 poses with space droid Robonaut 2 at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. 

Working in outer space is a dream shared by many and realized by a very hard working and fortunate few.

This summer, recent College of Idaho graduate Trisha Randazzo is taking a big step toward achieving her ultimate goal. Randazzo, a Salt Lake City native who in May received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics, has been accepted into the prestigious NASA Ames Academy for Space Exploration in Moffett Field, Calif. She is one of 16 students from around the globe chosen for the immersive 10-week program, which begins June 17 and aims to provide opportunities for future leaders of the space industry.

“I’m really interested in understanding the universe and where we come from,” Randazzo said. “And I like the challenge and adventure of going to space and trying to explain the phenomena that happen that we don’t see or experience on our own planet.”

Randazzo has completed three NASA internships in the past two years – two at the Johnson Space Center in Houston and one at the Ames Research Center, which inspired her to apply for this summer’s academy. After a rigorous application process, Randazzo was selected from a pool of more than 1,200 applicants.

“There were no interviews, so it really was based on your writing, your academic performance and your letters of recommendation,” Randazzo said. “It’s such a big honor to be chosen – we will get to meet a lot of extremely important people in the space industry.”

The Ames Academy pairs each student with a professional in a particular field for a research project that will demand 60 percent of the students’ time. The 16 students also will complete group and individual projects. Evenings and weekends are filled with lectures, team building activities, community service and travel, including a trip to NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C. Randazzo, whose core project focuses on space debris, referred to the program as “very hard and intense,” but said she is up for the challenge.

Randazzo plans to study planetary physics in graduate school and will begin applying this fall. As she leaves The College of Idaho, Randazzo said she is grateful for the opportunities she had to develop her passions and interests. In addition to her math and physics major, Randazzo earned a minor in German, competed for the C of I freestyle ski team, served as student director of the Outdoor Program and cofounded the C of I Space and Aeronautics Club with classmates Russell Hutchens and Marissa Rider.

“I was able to use my interests to a bigger potential as part of such a small community,” Randazzo said. “I’m really grateful that I had so many opportunities in leadership, athletics and volunteer work. And it was a big advantage that teachers knew me personally – they wrote great letters of recommendation, which is such an important way of getting into the industry I want to pursue.”

C of I runner Holt captures national championship

Hillary Holt

C of I runner Hillary Holt surges to the front of the pack on the home stretch of the 1,500-meter final during the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

College of Idaho sophomore Hillary Holt became the first individual national champion in the nearly 100-year history of the Coyote track and field program, winning the 1,500-meter title at the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on May 26 in Marion, Ind.

Holt, a graduate of Mountain View High School in Meridian, defeated a field of 15 runners in a school-record time of 4 minutes, 30.10 seconds, winning by 1.5 seconds over Maria Bernard of the University of British Columbia.

“My goal all year had been to win the 1,500” Holt said. “(C of I track coach) Pat McCurry gave me a great race plan that played to my strengths…I just hung back and waited and was really patient. And then I got to the last 200 meters and took off and didn’t look back.”

It was a victory that seemed unlikely for Holt earlier in the season, when a stress fracture in her leg held her out of the NAIA Indoor National Championships and had her walking on crutches. But Holt was able to overcome her injury and Indiana’s sweltering 104-degree heat index to bring home the first national title in program history.

“It was pretty spectacular,” McCurry said. “Two months ago, she had a broken bone in her leg and now she is a national champion. We have told Hillary all along that she could win the 1,500, and today it set up perfectly. The race was very tactical and she executed our plan perfectly and pulled away on the final lap.”

Holt also placed fourth in the 800 meters, earning her third career outdoor All-America honor and capping a successful weekend for the Coyotes at nationals. Sora Klopfenstein added a second-place finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, finishing in 11:16.32. The sophomore from Meridian High School is the second C of I runner ever to earn a national runner-up finish.

On the men’s side, C of I junior Greg Montgomery placed third in the 5,000 meters, finishing in 14:55.75. Montgomery is the College’s first male student-athlete to earn All-America honors in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track in the same season.

C of I senior studies organic farming in Italy

Katy Stewart

College of Idaho student Katy Stewart has a passion for local and sustainable food. During her three years at The College of Idaho, the senior from Coeur d’Alene has cultivated that passion by working with local farmers and her fellow students to make the C of I campus a more sustainable environment. Stewart has improved the College’s recycling program, put in countless hours tending the campus’ organic garden, raised chickens, organized Earth Day and low-carbon diet awareness activities and established the C of I as a pickup location for local food co-op Idaho’s Bounty.

This summer, Stewart is taking her passion overseas to work as a farmhand at an organic cheese farm in the Calabria region of southern Italy. Stewart will be in Italy from May 22 through Aug. 11, helping her host farm family raise and care for 500 sheep and 100 goats while learning the process of making traditional Italian cheeses.

The project, made possible by Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms, is Stewart’s senior honors thesis for her anthropology and sociology major. She also is majoring in environmental studies with a minor in journalism.

“My family is Italian-American, and food has always been an important part of my life,” Stewart said. “I want to do this project because I’m curious to see how food is produced in other parts of the world as compared to how we produce it here. I’m particularly excited to go to Italy because Americans really like to eat ‘Italian’ food, but I’m not sure if it’s ‘real’ Italian food. I can’t wait to find out.”

Stewart has prepared for the project by taking Italian language classes and working at a local farm in Parma. Her thesis will focus on comparing and contrasting her experiences at each farm, from the way the animals are raised and fed to the methods used for harvesting, producing and selling farm goods.

Though she is unsure what her project’s findings will be, Stewart said she is looking forward to leaving her comfort zone and seeing how her passion for sustainable food translates in a foreign country.

“I’m just excited,” Stewart said. “I’m excited to see what farming is like in Italy and to see how they make what they make. I’m excited to see the mountains and the beach and Pollino National Forest where the animals forage. And I’m excited for the food – it’s going to be so good, but I definitely have to bring my running shoes.”

Stewart is keeping a blog, “Until We Eat Again,” with information about the Italy project and her interests in local food. She will be making weekly posts from Italy. To read and follow the blog, visit www.untilweeatagaintrip.wordpress.com.

Whittenberger Planetarium hosts June public show

The planet Venus transited the sun on June 5, the last opportunity to witness the rare astronomical event until December 2117. The College of Idaho’s Whittenberger Planetarium invites the Treasure Valley community to learn more about the transit during its June public show, set for 7 p.m. June 13 inside Boone Science Hall on the C of I campus in Caldwell.

The Whittenberger Planetarium show will feature images of Venus’ transit as well as last month’s solar eclipse and Mercury’s transit in 2006. The show also will recognize the upcoming Summer Solstice and show audiences why that day is worthy of our attention. Tickets to the show cost $4 for adults and $2 for children ages 4-17. As space is limited, reservations are required and may be made by calling Kinga Britschgi at (208) 459-5211. For more information, visit www.collegeofidaho.edu/planetarium.

Free parking for Whittenberger Planetarium patrons is available in the lot between Boone Science Hall and Jewett Auditorium on the corner of 20th Avenue and Fillmore Street in Caldwell.


Summer 2012

College Events Calendar

June 9

Sawtooth Relay Alumni and Friends Reception, 6 p.m., Whiskey Jacques' (251 N Main St, Ketchum). Contact Jake McClean at (208) 459-5306 for more information.

June 9

'Kitten on the Keys' Pet Haven benefit concert featuring pianist Sean Rogers '94, 7 p.m., Nampa Civic Center

June 13

Salt Lake City Alumni and Friends event hosted by Professor Steve Maughan '85, 6 p.m., The Bayou (645 S. State Street)

June 13

Whittenberger Planetarium public show, 7 p.m., Boone Hall. Reservations required: Please call (208) 459-5211.

June 14

C of I Alumni and Friends Picnic, 5:30-9 p.m., Municipal Park (Boise). Join us for a great catered BBQ as well as games and activities for the whole family! Contact Jake McClean at (208) 459-5306 for more information.

July 14

Third annual Alumni and Friends Willamette Valley Wine Tour (Portland, Ore.) RSVP by emailing [email protected]

July 28

C of I Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Friends Night with the Boise Hawks, 6 p.m., Memorial Stadium (Boise)


Check out several new videos on The College of Idaho's YouTube channel, including Mr. CASAnova 2012 highlights, a recent C of I Chorale performance and two new, lively episodes of C of I Insights with professors Kerry Hunter, Steve Maughan and Jasper LiCalzi. Enjoy!

The news that former C of I baseball player and Caldwell native Izaac Garsez was drafted by the Chicago Cubs this week generated some buzz in the local sports media, including stories by the Idaho Press-Tribune, the Idaho Statesman and KBOI Channel 2 News. The Press-Tribune also ran a column about Garsez before the final day of the draft and follow-up coverage in its sports blog.

C of I alumna Cassandra Schiffler ’07 displayed her new artwork, “Constructing a Visual Space,” during a First Thursday reception June 7 in Downtown Boise. Schiffler currently is the Artist in Residence for the Boise City Department of Arts and History’s AiR program. Her work is on display in the AiR studio on the corner of 8th and Broad Streets, and is open for appointment viewing by calling (208) 420-4643 or emailing [email protected].

C of I alumna Kate Comstock ’03 recently completed her debut album as a jazz singer. The album, Up!, is available on her official website at www.katecomstock.com. Comstock, who majored in music at the C of I, also has a fan page on Facebook.

C of I alumnus Joshua Pilote '98 was the inspiration behind a gift from Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS to the North Idaho AIDS Coalition, as chronicled by the Spokesman Review. Pilote works as a stage manager in New York City and is an active volunteer for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

The College of Idaho this week was ranked No. 25 on a Best Colleges Online list of the top “50 Unique Colleges Every Non-Traditional Student Should Consider.” The PEAK curriculum helped the C of I gain recognition as the only Idaho institution on the list.

Professional photos from The College of Idaho's 2012 commencement ceremony are available for viewing and purchase online. For more information, contact Pete Grady at (208) 703-7231 or [email protected].

College of Idaho alumni siblings Jeremy Johnson ’05 and Rachel Johnson ’03 are members of the Nashville bluegrass band The Barrel Jumpers, which hopes to record its first studio album this year. In order to secure a recording deal, the band is using a creative project funding platform called Kickstarter. Click to learn more and/or support the band, or visit The Barrel Jumpers’ Facebook page to meet the band members and listen to some sample tracks.

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