2012. 07. 27
Alumna awarded prestigious Boren Fellowship
College of Idaho alumna Alison Rabe ’10 never has been afraid to aim high. As a junior at the C of I, the Middleton High School graduate decided to run for student body president. She won.
After graduating in May of 2010, Rabe applied to the College of William and Mary in Virginia, one of the top law schools in the nation. She got in.
Rabe is working toward her law degree and continues to set a high bar for her personal and career goals. Most recently, she applied for the highly competitive Boren Fellowship, an award that provides American graduate students with up to $30,000 to support study and research in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests.
Once again, Rabe was successful. She was awarded the Boren Fellowship and, beginning in August, she will spend 10 months working and studying in Cambodia. The fellowship will support research, language development and exposure to international law that will help Rabe pursue her goal of one day working for the U.S. government in Southeast Asia.
“I first fell in love with Cambodia at The College of Idaho,” said Rabe, who took a study abroad course titled “Buddhism, Authority, and Development” with Professor Rob Dayley and six classmates at the College. “It was an eye-opening experience for me. Rob inspired me to harness a passion for the region. If I hadn't gone on that trip, I definitely would not be where I am now.”
Rabe yearned to return to Cambodia after that trip, and she found an opportunity to do so last year when one of her law professors offered an internship doing criminal defense work in Cambodia. Rabe applied and received an internship with International Bridges for Justice along with grant money from her professor’s program of comparative studies and peace building.
Still, Rabe hadn’t had enough of Cambodia.
“There is something about the intense energy in the country that always draws me back,” Rabe said. “The smells, colors, tastes, emotions and sounds are always loud. The people are disadvantaged, yet incredibly generous and optimistic. It's a challenging yet always exciting place to live. During my internship with IBJ, I began to learn about Cambodia's land problems. I left the country with countless burning questions and wanted to go back (again). This fellowship will give me the opportunity to answer those questions, an opportunity that I am extremely grateful for.”
Rabe actually returned to Cambodia this year as an intern for the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime prior to beginning her Boren Fellowship. Now, she will extend her stay another 10 months while working to improve her knowledge of the language as well as Cambodian culture and law. Rabe is chronicling her experiences via two blogs – she has a student blog on the William and Mary website as well as her own personal blog, Khmer Year. She remains on track to receive her law degree in December of 2013. The Boren Fellowship requires that Rabe works for the federal government for at least one year, and she aspires to work for the U.S. Department of State, either in the capacity of a Foreign Service Officer or in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs after graduation.
“A large part of the Boren Fellowship is language study,” Rabe said. “My experiences have shown that it means so much more to Khmer people when I try to speak with them in their own language; I am able to connect with them on a deeper level. This fellowship is really perfect for what I want to do.”
Students take salmon campaign statewide
From Pocatello to Coeur d’Alene, Boise to Redfish Lake, two College of Idaho students are crossing the state this summer to introduce Idahoans to Lonesome Larry – dubbed the most interesting fish in the world.
Lonesome Larry’s story is both heroic and tragic said Annie Morrison, a senior environmental studies major who is leading the Idaho Rivers United-sponsored education campaign with classmate Joe Pickett, a senior mathematics and physical sciences major.
Twenty years ago, Lonesome Larry was the only sockeye salmon who survived 16 dam crossings and returned to spawn in Redfish Lake. Lonesome Larry’s story highlighted the decline of Idaho’s native salmon, so bountiful that early settlers named the lake for the fish that turned its surface red.
“For his 20-year anniversary, IRU is sending Joe and me all around the state to talk to people about the issues affecting wild salmon and about why wild salmon are important,” Morrison said. “Salmon are still very, very endangered. When something is a problem for so long, people tend to forget about it, so the idea is to keep it fresh and keep people caring.”
As part of the campaign, Morrison dresses up as Lonesome Larry in a giant sockeye salmon suit as they talk to Idahoans at some of the state’s most famous landmarks and popular festivals. Their adventures – while perhaps not as harrowing as Lonesome Larry’s journey to and from the Pacific Ocean – are being documented on Lonesome Larry’s official blog at http://lonesomelarry.org/index.php/larry-in-action.
Since late May, the pair have taken Lonesome Larry on a visit to the Idaho Potato Museum in Blackfoot, walked in Hailey’s Fourth of July Parade, played beach volleyball at Payette Lake and met anglers fishing for Chinook salmon on the Little Salmon River near Riggins.
One of Morrison’s favorite stops so far has been the Weiser Fiddle Festival.
“I rode on a mechanical bull in the salmon outfit and got a picture taken with some of the fiddlers who Joe actually knew,” Morrison said.
Pickett, who takes photos and talks to people about issues affecting salmon during Lonesome Larry’s appearances, grew up in a ranching family in Midvale. During his youth, Pickett remembers his grandfather talking about how salmon used to come up the river near their home before any dams were built. When Pickett came to the C of I, he took an Idaho natural history course and learned more about the decline of the state’s native salmon population.
“The more I learned, the more I realized how important salmon are to Idaho,” Pickett said. “I think that my background growing up on a ranch helps me talk to people on both sides of the issue, because some of these dams are used for irrigation.”
Bill Sedivy, executive director of Idaho Rivers United, said Morrison and Pickett are playing a key role in the organization’s two-year Wild Salmon Legacy campaign.
“Annie and Joe have become really conversant in the history of salmon in Idaho and why they are so important to our state’s ecology and economy,” Sedivy said. “They’re running the Lonesome Larry campaign with tremendous energy and a lot of passion. We’re really thrilled with how they are reaching out and connecting with people across the state so that we educate the next generation of salmon advocates.”
Morrison and Pickett join a long list of C of I students who have worked with Idaho Rivers United in recent years, Sedivy said, including a recent graduate who is doing an internship supporting the organization’s Boise River education campaign.
“College of Idaho students come to us ready to work,” Sedivy said. “They’re incredibly well-rounded individuals, they’re well read and up on current events, and to a person they are all excellent communicators.”
Morrison and Pickett will continue introducing Lonesome Larry to Idahoans through the end of August, culminating with the Sawtooth Salmon Festival on Aug. 25 in Stanley. More information about the festival is available at www.sawtoothsalmonfestival.com.
For Morrison, getting more people interested in preserving one of Idaho’s natural treasures has been truly rewarding, and the experience has increased her ability to approach and connect with people.
“It takes some guts to put on the suit that first time, but I really enjoy it,” she said. “I love talking to people about protecting our environment and you have an excuse to talk with everyone when you’re wearing a fish suit.”
C of I football program receives $250,000 in gifts
Three long-time supporters of The College of Idaho have made gifts totaling $250,000 to support the reinstatement of the College’s football program.
John and Linda Bequette, co-chairs of the steering committee that is raising funds for football, have contributed $150,000 toward the effort, while Bernie McCain, who with her late husband Warren McCain provided many generous gifts including the College’s McCain Scholarships, has made a $100,000 gift.
College of Idaho President Marv Henberg said the funds will go toward construction of a new athletics and outdoor education center. The center will house the football program and provide a sports medicine clinic, weight room and an outdoor education center that will be used by all C of I sports teams and the general College community. New men’s and women’s locker facilities also will be located inside the new facility.
“Between these handsome gifts and the leadership John and Linda are providing to the fundraising campaign, there is no doubt in my mind that we are on track for an August 30, 2014 kickoff for Yote football in Simplot Stadium,” Henberg said.
Linda Bequette, a member of the College’s Board of Trustees, and John Bequette, who played football at the College during the 1970s, are excited to see football returning to campus.
“Football was an important part of my experience at The College of Idaho and we look forward to seeing more young people get a great education and play a sport they love at the same time,” John Bequette said.
C of I student teaches English lessons in her hometown
Editor’s note: Madai Montes is a College of Idaho sophomore from American Falls, Idaho. What follows is her first-person account of a community service project Montes and her mother undertook this summer in her hometown. Montes was a student blogger for the C of I last school year. Check out her posts as well as ongoing updates from current bloggers on the C of I student experience blog at www.collegeofidaho.edu/blog/student-experience.
My mother, a bilingual education teacher, and I decided that teaching free English classes to the Hispanic population of American Falls would provide much-needed relief to an issue plaguing my hometown. We felt that, because a large part of the Hispanic population was seeking employment but couldn’t find any in our small town, these classes would be beneficial to the Hispanic community in opening new opportunities inside and outside the workplace.
Full of motivation, we set out to inform the 4,400 residents of American Falls of our intention. We decided to teach class once each week at a time we assumed was convenient: 6 p.m. We spread the word by posting detailed flyers everywhere we could find, setting up a Facebook page and calling family members and friends. The response was overwhelming. The phone began ringing like crazy – and weeks later, it still does.
The day of our first class, I was beyond excited. My mother and I had worked on a lesson plan the day before that was rigorous and fun. At 5:30 p.m., we drove over to the community church we had reserved. At 6 p.m. only one student was present…and it was my father. We waited for 15 more minutes and no one else arrived. All of those calls I had received from friends and family who said they wanted to come, and not one of them showed up. It was heartbreaking. I realized that community work is not easy. I had figured that by offering free classes at a convenient time, our class would be full. I did not take into account that many people were just getting off from work, had children at home to take care of, or simply could not make it. After much deliberation, my mother and I decided to go ahead and teach our one student.
Four classes into the summer we have been fortunate to have five diligent, reliable students from the community. Time, perseverance and effort are a huge factor. These five students have come so far. Every week they learn more and more, and have started greeting me in English. Their dedication and hard work have touched my heart and restored my faith in community service. Even though it may not be an entire classroom full of students, I have faith that these five students will make a significant difference in our small community. I am proud to have been a part of their learning experience.
Former C of I baseball player Izaac Garsez made his debut with the minor league Boise Hawks on July 17. Idaho Press-Tribune sports editor Tom Fox had the story, including reaction from Garsez's parents and former Coyote teammates. A photo gallery from Izaac's Hawks debut also is available on the C of I Flickr page.
A new batch of students is contributing to the C of I Student Experience Blog for the 2012-2013 school year. Many of the bloggers already are chronicling their summer experiences. Click to check it out!
C of I assistant librarian Kelsey Keyes has been elected as Vice-President/President-Elect of the Pacific Northwest Library Association for 2012-2013. PNLA is one of the oldest regional library associations in North America, encompassing Idaho, Washington, Montana, Alaska, Alberta and British Columbia. Keyes will attend PNLA 2012 this summer in Anchorage and will help plan PNLA 2013, which is set to take place next August in Boise.
C of I alumnus Graydon Stanley '80 has been hired as vice president for student services at North Idaho College in Coeur d'Alene. Stanley, who also earned his master’s degree in school counseling from the C of I in 1986, previously served as dean of students at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls.
C of I freshman-to-be Gabe Osterhout recently was featured by the Idaho Statesman. Osterhout aspires to one day become Governor of Idaho, and he will serve as a page at the upcoming Republican National Convention in Florida.
C of I swimming coach Christine Mabile recently competed at the Masters Summer Nationals swim meet in Omaha, Neb. The meet was held at Century Link Center, the same pool used for the U.S. Olympic Trials. Mabile competed in five events and collected three top-10 finishes, placing seventh in the 50-meter backstroke, eighth in the 100-meter backstroke and ninth in the 50-meter breaststroke. The competition featured several former Olympians, including 2000 gold medalist Misty Hyman.
The late Helen Lowell '26 was the subject of the Idaho Statesman's weekly "In Remembrance" profile. Lowell was a longtime Idaho school teacher, author and historian. At the time of her June 7 passing, she was the College's oldest alumna at 106 years old.
The College of Idaho's Whittenberger Planetarium recently was featured on the Boise & Treasure Valley Real Estate blog.