C of I Newsletter

2013. 03. 29

back to archive


Freshman works to bring clean water to her native Haiti

Margarette Pierre-Louis

Growing up in the small Haitian village Nan Misye, College of Idaho freshman Margarette Pierre-Louis would join most of the village’s women and children in walking two hours each day to carry water needed for drinking and irrigating crops.

While the physical hardship is difficult enough, conflict over the limited water supply also too often grows deadly.

For Pierre-Louis, that reality became stark last November, when she received word that her 16-year-old cousin was trying to gather water when a fight broke out between other local villagers collecting water. Her cousin sustained internal injuries during the fight and died a month later.

“A lot of small villages in Haiti lack access to water, and that leads to a lot of conflict between people,” Pierre-Louis said. “We need to solve that problem and give people a way to improve their lives, because everyone knows that water is life.”

Pierre-Louis wants to be part of that solution, and the environmental studies major is now raising funds for her project “Water for Peace.”

The $13,500 “Water for Peace” project will purchase and install 40 tanks that can each catch 125 gallons of rainwater, which is naturally clean and abundant in Haiti’s mountainous regions. After she completes fundraising, Pierre-Louis plans to return to Haiti this summer to supervise the project in person, working with the people of Nan Misye to transport the rainwater tanks and other equipment to the village, and then installing gutters that will transport water from people’s roofs into the barrels.

“This project will have a really immediate impact on people’s lives,” Pierre-Louis said. “Women and children will have more time for cultivation and education. It will bring reconciliation between people by creating the need to use and maintain a common water source.”

Easing the tension that has built up between people over water is one of Pierre-Louis’ ultimate goals.

“A lot of young people leave for the city [Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital] because of the conflict, but there’s so much unemployment and overcrowding there,” she said. “I believe that this project will not only provide clean water, it also will bring hope and empower Haitians to make a difference in their own situation by working together.”

After the project is completed this summer, Pierre-Louis plans to hold a community celebration and encourage people to continue discussing solutions to other difficulties the region is facing.

Pierre-Louis has received support for “Water for Peace” from the members of First Baptist Church in Caldwell, raising $7,000 so far. Those interested in supporting “Water for Peace” can contact Pierre-Louis at Margarette.PierreLouis@yotes.collegeofidaho.edu or 208-649-4751.

“Water for Peace” is a first step toward Pierre-Louis’ desire to help the people of Haiti. Through her studies at The College of Idaho and beyond, Pierre-Louis hopes she can help more of her fellow Haitians gain access to clean water.

“I want to work in the purification of water and recycling because the environment of my country is facing a really hard situation,” she said. “I want to give my contribution to the development of my country and try to improve the environment.”

C of I hosts unique 'Music from the Fringe' concert

Samuel Smith

C of I Langroise Trio cellist Samuel Smith is the artistic director for 'Music from the Fringe'

Idaho arts lovers have an opportunity to enjoy a unique musical experience tomorrow as The College of Idaho presents the “Music from the Fringe” concert, a cello choir performance created through a special compositional process using the practice of remote viewing. The show is set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday inside the Langroise Recital Hall on the C of I campus in Caldwell. Tickets cost $10 for adults or $5 for seniors and students. For more information, visit www.musiccollaborations.weebly.com.

“Music from the Fringe” is a three day collaboration of composers Jim Cockey and David Alan Earnest, artistic director Samuel Smith, remote viewing director Marty Rosenblatt, analyst facilitator Nancy Smith and cellists Melissa Wilson, Jake Saunders, Micah Claffey and Kyle True, a current junior at the C of I. The process culminates in the March 30 premiere performance – a composition in four movements for cello choir featuring four additional cellists: C of I alumnae Julia Pope and Christeena Sevy, Stephen Mathie and current C of I freshman Tasha Sitz.

“First off, I would encourage people to come see a cello choir because we have an excellent ensemble and it’s quite a nice sound,” said Smith, a professor of music and cellist in The College of Idaho’s Langroise Trio. “And secondly, there’s the twist that the main piece we’re premiering hasn’t even been started yet. It will be created over a three-day period by the cellists collaborating with award-winning composers and using the process of remote viewing, which has never been done before.”

Remote viewing is a mental faculty that allows a perceiver to describe or give details about a target that is inaccessible to normal senses due to distance, time or shielding. For example, a viewer might be asked to describe a location on the other side of the world, which he or she has never visited. The “Music on the Fringe” performers will use this process to create raw musical material which will then be refined and molded into finished form by the two composers with the help of the remote viewing cellists. The four remote viewing cellists will be joined by the four additional cellists for rehearsal and performance on the day of the concert.

Smith is available to answer questions about the performance via phone at (208) 284-4222 or email at swsmith@collegeofidaho.edu.

College of Idaho students win Science Academy awards

Students from The College of Idaho took home three awards for their outstanding research during the 55th annual symposium of the Idaho Academy of Science.

A dozen C of I undergraduate students presented research projects in botany, ecology, toxicology, astronomy and virology during the annual gathering, which took place March 21-23 in Pocatello.

Taking home the first place award for best poster presentation were biology students Jessica Lambright of Middleton, Anna Chase of Eagle and Kaden Schultz of South Jordan, Utah, for their project “Discovery, Characterization, and Genomic Analysis of Novel Mycobacteriophages.” As part of a national project to better understand soil viruses known as bacteriophages, the C of I students isolated and analyzed the genome of the virus that they discovered and named RhynO.  The research has implications for better understanding how phages can infect bacteria that cause human disease and how phages change over time.

Luke Daniels, an assistant professor of biology who advised the student team along with Ann Koga, biology instructor and pre-health professions advisor, said the success of C of I students was especially impressive because they competed with the state’s best undergraduate students as well as master’s and PhD students.

“It's great to have so many College of Idaho students involved in undergraduate research projects,” Daniels said. “Doing hands-on research is an invaluable learning opportunity that helps our students become better at solving problems and thinking critically.”

Additional C of I award winners were Kyle Quinney of Eagle, honored for the top undergraduate oral presentation (third place overall), and Betsaida Chavez-Garcia of Ontario, Ore., and Laura Barbour of Parma, who received the third place award for best poster presentation.

Quinney’s project, “Effects of Cadmium and the Antioxidant N-acetylcysteine in Saos-2 Osteoblast-like Cells,” continued ongoing research at the C of I examining the heavy metal cadmium and bone diseases. Chavez-Garcia and Barbour’s project, “Probable Causes for the Increase of Alders in Succor Creek Canyon Over the Last 50 Years,” demonstrates how land management practices, in combination with other environmental factors, can change the composition of plant and animal species present in a desert canyon.

Quinney’s advisor was Sara Heggland, professor of biology, while Chavez-Garcia and Barbour were advised by Eric Yensen, professor of biology.

The Idaho Academy of Science (IAS) was chartered in 1958 to further the cause of science and science education in Idaho. The Academy seeks to promote public understanding and appreciation of the sciences and applied technology in the modern world, and to improve the effectiveness of scientific education in Idaho. More information about the IAS is available at http://www.IDAcadSci.org.

Davis Scholar takes project to Clinton Global Initiative

College of Idaho sophomore Makhosazana Nkambule is taking her proposal to help educate orphaned women and girls in her native Swaziland to the international stage.

Nkambule, a Davis United World College Scholar and part of the thriving international student population at the C of I, is headed to the Clinton Global Initiative University, a global conference that seeks to “engage the next generation of leaders on college campuses around the world.” Nkambule will share her proposal April 6 at Washington University in St. Louis alongside other students presenting plans of action in one of CGI’s five focus areas: education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation, and public health.

Swaziland has been hit hard by the HIV epidemic, Nkambule said, and those left orphaned by the disease are foregoing an education to take care of their younger siblings. Women ages 14-30 have been disproportionately affected. Nkambule’s proposal seeks to establish child care centers in Swazi villages so the women there can go to school and obtain entrepreneurial skills.

Before Nkambule came to The College of Idaho, she was involved in helping orphans. She enjoyed the work and began to miss it after coming to the U.S.

“If I’m in America, that doesn’t mean I can’t help out my own country,” she said.

Now, Nkambule is working with ActivQuest, a technology agency that supports entrepreneurship, to provide the resources to help Swazi women. Nkambule, who drafted the proposal herself, has expanded the project to include C of I classmates Simphiwe Ngwenya, JoWayne Josephs, Moustapha Madou Tidjani Abdou and Cody Main to help the program hit the ground running if it receives funding.

That’s where the Clinton Global Initiative University comes in.

Nkambule will present her ideas during the Saturday dinner and if her proposal is selected, she will be invited to an exclusive gathering with President Bill Clinton and other dignitaries at the conference. That is where she hopes to secure funding.

If her proposal is selected, Nkambule will begin in May by picking one Swazi village and identifying the individuals there in need of help. She plans on spending four months in Swaziland growing the program. Nkambule also is working hard to expand her project on campus. She encourages her fellow C of I students to become CGI U Campus Representatives, and she’s working to make the College a part of the CGI University Network.

To learn more about the project, contact Nkambule at Makhosazana.Nkambule@yotes.collegeofidaho.edu.

C of I set for National Poetry Month


C of I senior Ashley Barr will read poetry April 6 at Solid Bar and Grill in Boise

April is National Poetry Month, and The College of Idaho is celebrating with a variety of events both on and off campus. April readings with ties to C of I students and faculty members – including English professor and recently-named Boise Poet Laureate Diane Raptosh – are as follows:

- April 2: C of I National Poetry Month reading featuring Rob Carney, 7 p.m., McCain Movie Theatre (C of I campus). Free and open to the public. Carney, a professor of English at Utah Valley University, is a two-time recipient of the Utah Book Award for Poetry and winner of the Pinyon Press National Poetry Book Award.

- April 6: GHOSTS & PROJECTORS poetry reading series featuring Kate Greenstreet and C of I senior Ashley Barr, 7 p.m., Solid Bar and Grill (Boise). This series is organized by Megan Williams, a 2008 C of I graduate and current adjunct English instructor. For more info, click here or email Williams at ghostsandprojectors@gmail.com.

- April 11: Poetry reading featuring C of I English professor Diane Raptosh, 6 p.m., Treasure Valley Community College (Ontario, Ore.). Free and open to the public.

- April 12: Boise Poet Laureate reading featuring C of I English Professor Diane Raptosh, 6:30 p.m., Sesqui-Shop (1008 Main St. in Downtown Boise). Free and open to the public. Time subject to change, contact Raptosh for more info at draptosh@collegeofidaho.edu.

- April 18: C of I National Poetry Month reading featuring Kerri Webster, 7 p.m., Kathryn Albertson International Center’s Shannon Library (C of I campus). Free and open to the public. Webster, from Boise, won the 2012 Iowa Poetry Prize and the 2011 Whiting Writers’ Award in Poetry.


Spring 2013

College Events Calendar

Every Friday

Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History hosts public open house, 1-5 p.m., Boone Hall basement. Click for more information.

March 30

'Music from the Fringe Concert' featuring artistic director Samuel Smith of The College of Idaho's Langroise Trio, 7:30 p.m., Langroise Recital Hall. Tickets for this special cello performance are $10 for adults or $5 for seniors and students. Click for more info.

April 1

Environmental studies guest speaker Carter Niemeyer, 3:30 p.m., Sterry Hall third floor board room. Niemeyer is the author of Wolfer and one of America's foremost experts on wolves and wolf reintroduction. His presentation is free and open to the entire campus community.

April 3

Abstracts due for participation in the 8th annual C of I Student Research Conference on April 27. Click here for more info, including abstract guidelines and submission.

April 4

The College of Idaho's Langroise Trio in concert, 7:30 p.m., Langroise Recital Hall. Click for more info.

April 6

Sigma Chi Kappa Lambda annual Sweetheart Ball, 7 p.m., J.A. Albertson Activities Center room 101. This disco-themed dance is free and open to all students! Join us for a great time. For more info, or to apply to be this year's Sigma Chi Sweetheart, click here.

April 6

GHOSTS and PROJECTORS poetry reading series featuring Kate Greenstreet and C of I senior Ashley Barr, 7 p.m., Solid Bar and Grill (Boise). For more info, click here or contact C of I adjunct English instructor Megan Williams '08 by emailing ghostsandprojectors@gmail.com.

April 11-13

C of I theatre department presents 'The Gut Girls,' 7:30 p.m., Langroise Studio Theatre.

April 13

Kappa Sigma Toast to The College of Idaho, 6:30 p.m., Simplot South Dining Hall. All of campus is welcome to attend. There is no admission charge, but donations are appreciated. Formal attire is required. Join us for a great evening as we celebrate the C of I!

April 13

Caldwell Fine Arts presents Denver's award-winning Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, 7:30 p.m., Jewett Auditorium. Free for C of I students! Click for tickets and info.

April 17-20

C of I theatre department presents 'The Gut Girls,' 7:30 p.m., Langroise Studio Theatre. Additional closing matinee performance at 2 p.m. April 21.

April 27

Eighth annual C of I Student Research Conference, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Langroise Center. Click here for more info.


What does it take to be a five time national champion? Click to hear standout Coyote distance runner Hillary Holt discuss her recent performance at NAIA Indoor Nationals, her goals for the future and how coming to The College of Idaho has helped make her a successful person both on and off the track.

Vale Wine Company - owned and operated by C of I alumnus John Danielson '76 - has been named a "2013 Idaho Winery to Watch" by Wine Press Northwest magazine. Read more about Danielson and his wine venture in the fall 2012 issue of Quest magazine (story on Page 17).

Check out two great videos from recent C of I Campus Ministries service learning trips to Ecuador and Haiti on the C of I YouTube Channel!

C of I alumna Dr. Rebecca Constantino '85 and her non-profit, Access Books, recently were featured in People magazine's "heroes among us." Access Books, which helps bring books to disadvantaged schools, has donated more than 1.3 million books and refurbished more than 200 libraries since 1999.

C of I alumni Bryce Frates ’02 and Josh Taylor ’03 have gone public with Heart and Home Heating, a charity they have been operating privately since 2008. Heart and Home Heating provides heat sources for the homes of senior citizens and families in need by collecting and hauling firewood, purchasing propane and space heaters and supplying wood chips through the work and donations of volunteers. Learn more about the charity at www.heartandhomeheating.com.

Check out live coverage of the C of I Chamber Singers' trip to New York. The group performed at Carnegie Hall on Sunday and has spent the rest of the week experiencing New York City’s rich musical and cultural offerings. For more info, visit www.collegeofidaho.edu/new-york-city.

C of I alumnus Scott Thompson ‘09 and his company, Vaquero Music Management, recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to create the Pacific Timbre Music Symposium, a grassroots music event in Portland that aims to bring high level musicians from around the U.S. to share their knowledge and talents. The campaign has until April 20 to raise the necessary funds. Click here to learn more, or to support the project.

College of Idaho alumnus Terry Dowd ’69 and the 1984 Kimberly High girls basketball team recently were honored with the Idaho High School Activities Association “Legends of the Game” award. Dowd coached the 1984 Bulldogs to the school’s first state championship, which included a thrilling 46-43 victory over rival Declo in the A-3 title game. He and his players were honored during the 2013 girls basketball state championships at the Idaho Center in Nampa.

Congratulations to C of I alumnus Dorgham Abusalim (’12), who has been accepted to The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva to complete a master’s degree in international affairs. Abusalim, who has been working at the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington, D.C., majored in international political economy, minored in interactive journalism, served as president of the Davis Scholars Club and was an accomplished Model United Nations delegate at the C of I. Said political economy professor Rob Dayley: “Our department is extremely proud of Dorgham. He has raised the bar for future IPE graduates and is bound for a productive career in international affairs.”

C of I alumnus Kent Holsinger ’78 is the featured guest speaker at the upcoming California Botanical Society Centennial Symposium. The symposium, themed “Botanical Frontiers: Past and Future,” takes place April 12-14 in Berkeley.  Holsinger is a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut. He is joined at the centennial by C of I alumna Barbara Ertter ’75, who is leading a symposium field trip to Mount Diablo. Ertter is a researcher at the University and Jepson Herbaria (University of California, Berkeley) and co-author of The Flowering Plants and Ferns of Mount Diablo.

Hope DeCuir, a current senior at Vallivue High in Caldwell, recently was featured by the Idaho Press-Tribune. DeCuir plans to attend the C of I next year to study education, creative writing, Asian studies and teaching English as a second language.