C of I Newsletter

2013. 04. 26

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College set to celebrate student scholarship

Student Research Conference

From the impact of land management practices on biodiversity to the unveiling of a strategy game for Android smartphones, the wide-ranging scholarly and creative work of College of Idaho students will be on display during the 8th annual Student Research Conference tomorrow.

The conference will feature more than 50 student presentations from 12:30 to 6 p.m. in Langroise Center and Boone Hall on the College’s campus in Caldwell. A detailed schedule is available at www.collegeofidaho.edu/student-research-conference.

Sara Heggland, a professor of biology and member of the SRC committee, said the event is a celebration of the C of I’s distinctive liberal arts experience, which provides numerous opportunities for students to engage in undergraduate research and creative work.

“It’s incredible to see everything that students are working on across our campus,” Heggland said. “We have poetry readings, scientific poster presentations, documentary films and musical performances, and they are all mixed together.”

During this year’s conference, research projects in astrophysics, biology, psychology, history and other fields will be presented, in additional to musical performances, art displays and screenings of wildlife documentaries created by biology students who participated in a field study course in Australia this January.

Since the College’s first Student Research Conference, the event has grown to include oral, poster or creative presentations involving approximately 70 students.

“Research and creative work are opportunities for students to really get engaged in their academic disciplines and dig deeper, to go way beyond the textbook,” Heggland said. “These are very significant learning experiences that often help shape our students’ futures.”

The event is open to the public, with opening remarks by C of I President Marv Henberg at 12:30 p.m. in Langroise Center followed by the premiere of “Stories of Australia 2013,” a series of five short documentaries exploring the natural history of some of Australia’s unique fauna and flora, including the lace monitor lizard, rainbow serpent, Lamington spiny crayfish and satin bowerbird.

Oral research presentations will begin at 1:15 p.m. in Boone Hall, followed by two musical performances at 3:40 p.m. and poster research presentations at 4:15 p.m., both in Langroise Center. Attendees are invited to mingle with the student researchers and faculty advisors, and see first-hand the impact of undergraduate research and creative work at the C of I. Refreshments will be provided.

Presentations from previous Student Research Conferences are available on the C of I YouTube channel by viewing the “Student Research & Creative Work” playlist.

C of I senior exhibition connects art and experience

Senior Art Show

The College of Idaho is pleased to announce “Experiential Continuum,” an exhibition of work by the 14 graduating art majors of 2013. The show opens with a reception from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. tonight and runs through May 18 at the recently renovated Rosenthal Gallery of Art. Admission is free and open to the public between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays or noon and 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

“Experiential Continuum” includes work by Krysti Garcia, Reinaldo Gil, Renee Howells, Chelsea Larsen, Tracey LeGore, Stacy Lewman, Jenette Noe, Kier Padilla, Allison Parrish, Jordyn Price, Kerstin Stokes, Kare Tonning, Laura Wallace and Eddy Walsh. The featured artists originate from diverse backgrounds ranging from agricultural Idaho to Latin America, and their choices of medium and subject matter are just as broad, incorporating memories of home, ideas from photographs and knowledge the artists have gained through their studies at The College of Idaho.

“We are drawing from memories of our pasts, our college experiences and things that have inspired us,” said Stokes, an art and history double major from Boise. “It’s a cycle of what we grow from. I’m looking at my influences of ancient culture, which has inspired me since elementary school, as well as incorporating my friends and family.”

The title of the exhibition reflects John Dewey’s theory “that every experience takes up something from those experiences that have gone before and modifies in some way the quality of those experiences that occur later.” Each C of I artist is showing how he or she has been shaped by the experiential continuum of life through the creative process of art. Lewman uses photos taken where she grew up, breaks them apart and places them on pieces of wood. Howells’ piece “Moments of Impact” uses drawn hands of various sizes to denote significant moments in her life. Gil built a cardboard replica of a “rancho,” or poor house in the slums of Venezuela, and integrated the sounds of the barrio, words and lyrics of traditional songs and distinguishing smells that show the audience his homeland.

“The idea is that none of us are blank slates to be written upon,” said Noe, an aspiring art teacher from Parma. “Instead, we are constantly shaped by our prior experiences, and these influence our future thoughts and actions. I am seeking to capture my experiences of growing up in the country, in an agricultural community, and translate that into artwork.”

For more information – or to schedule an evening or weekend viewing at the Rosenthal Gallery – please contact C of I art professor Garth Claassen at (208) 459-5321 or [email protected].

Graduate awarded prestigious fellowship in Germany

Yordanos Refu. Photo by Dr. Beret Norman

C of I alumna and CBYX fellowship winner Yordanos Refu (right). Photo by Dr. Beret Norman.

Yordanos Refu of Boise, a 2012 graduate of The College of Idaho, has been selected to participate in the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX), a year-long, federally-funded fellowship for study and work in Germany.

Refu, who earned her bachelor’s degree in international political economy at the C of I, was selected as one of 75 participants (from more than 600 applicants) for this unique fellowship program.

“I was drawn to the CBYX fellowship because their program was a great extension of my interests and future plans,” Refu said. “I look forward to my year in Germany as I learn about the country’s integration systems for immigrants and refugees, along with my first responsibility as a young ambassador.”

While in Germany on CBYX, Refu will attend a two-month intensive German language course, study at a German university or professional school for four months, and complete a five-month internship with a German company in her career field (immigrant integration). Participants are placed throughout Germany, and have the opportunity to learn about everyday German life from a variety of perspectives.

Refu, a refugee from Ethiopia, aims to eventually open a center “for refugees, by refugees” that will work to improve integration of refugees in host countries.

“As a refugee myself, this is a cause that is near and dear to my heart,” Refu said. “My year in Germany will help me develop a global perspective about refugee issues. I hope to utilize these lessons to strengthen and improve my idea for the center.”

Refu said that seeing fellow C of I students, staff and faculty who were driven to succeed in their respective fields helped her win the CBYX fellowship.

“In the end, being able to identify and articulate who I am helped me stand out, and ultimately become a participant,” Refu said. “I want to say thank you to my C of I family for this.”

Conceived and supported by members of the United States Congress and the German Parliament (Bundestag), the CBYX program is financially supported by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State under the authority of the Fulbright-Hays Act, and by the Bundestag. Participants come from nearly every career field, and from all over the United States.

C of I freshmen discover soil virus

Soil Virus Class

Not many college freshmen get a chance to discover a new virus and contribute to the fight against diseases affecting humans. Yet that’s exactly what students taking a College of Idaho introductory biology course this year have done as part of a national genomics research project.

In fact, the virus that the C of I freshmen isolated this year and christened “RhynO” is the first mycobacteriophage to be identified in Idaho, said Kaden Schultz of South Jordan, Utah. Schultz is one of the students involved in the research project who recently were honored by the Idaho Academy of Science for presenting their work at the organization’s annual symposium.

“I really liked doing this because it’s your own research project, it wasn’t already set up for us,” Schultz said. “It’s exciting to not know what you’re going to find when you get started.”

Schultz and his classmates are the first Idaho college students to participate in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science Education Alliance, designed to introduce science students to novel research as early as possible. Approximately 40 C of I freshmen collected soil samples from several locations in the Treasure Valley in the fall, then isolated viruses – known as bacteriophages – that infect soil bacteria. Once the phages were isolated, the students characterized their viruses and selected one, RhynO, to have its entire genome sequenced.

While bacteriophages can’t infect people, gaining a better understanding of them has implications for improving human health said Luke Daniels, an assistant professor of biology who is co-teaching the course with Ann Koga, instructor of biology and pre-health professions advisor.

“The relationship between phages and soil bacteria is very important for scientists to understand because phages also infect bacteria that cause human disease,” Daniels said. “It’s also important for us to understand how phages change and diversify over time, as well as their geographic diversity.”

In late March, Schultz and fellow freshman biology students Jessica Lambright of Middleton and Anna Chase of Eagle presented their research to the Idaho Academy of Science, winning the first place award for best poster presentation at the symposium. On April 27, the students also will present their work to the public at The College of Idaho’s annual Student Research Conference.

C of I students currently are reviewing RhynO’s genome sequence, and near the end of the spring semester they will conduct a variety of experiments in order to better understand the phage’s genes.

At the conclusion of the course, students will upload their findings into a national biological database, and Schultz will present the class’s research at a national symposium in June organized by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as part of its Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science project. Then, in fall 2013, a new crop of C of I freshmen will begin searching for another previously undiscovered soil virus.

Schultz, who is in the C of I’s dual-degree pharmacy program, said the opportunity to do undergraduate research drew him to the College, though he didn’t expect to jump into a medical-related research project his first semester on campus.

“I knew I wanted to do research eventually because it would help me with graduate school, but I never thought I’d get an opportunity as a freshman to start on a research project that I could potentially follow through my whole undergraduate experience,” he said.


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.

April 26-27

It's Family Weekend at the C of I! Click for a full schedule of events and registration.

April 26

Opening reception for C of I senior art exhibition 'Experiential Continuum,' 4:30 p.m., Rosenthal Gallery of Art inside Blatchley Hall. Exhibition open through May 18. Click for more info.

April 26

Free program in Whittenberger Planetarium for the C of I community, 5 p.m., Boone Hall. All students, faculty, staff and families are invited to learn about asteroids and the constellations. Reserve your seats by calling Kinga Britschgi at (208) 459-5211!

April 27

Eighth annual C of I Student Research Conference, 12:30 to 6 p.m., Langroise Center. Click here for more info.

April 30

Caldwell Fine Arts presents the Gonzalo Bergara Quartet featuring Argentinian guitar soloist Gonzalo Bergara and his jazz group, 7:30 p.m., Jewett Auditorium. Free for C of I students! Click for tickets and info.

May 1

Professor Howard Berger presents a special screening of the film 'Reversal of Fortune,' 6:30 p.m., Langroise Recital Hall. To be followed by a faculty panel discussion about 2013 commencement speaker Alan Dershowitz and law in America.

May 4

Orma J. Smith Museum volunteer work day, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Boone Hall basement. Lunch seminar: 'The Warm Springs Site: an Archaic Salvage Site' by museum archaeologist/curator Jan Summers Duffy in recognition of Idaho Archaeology Month.

May 4

Second annual Coyote Bolo Ball fundraiser for the C of I track and field team, 6 p.m., Boise Basque Center. Click for registration and more info.

May 10

Lady Yote Open, 1 p.m., TimberStone Golf Course (Caldwell). Four-person scramble fundraiser for the C of I women's basketball team. Entry is $85 per player, which includes golf, cart, tee prize and BBQ dinner. For more info or to register, contact coach Reagan Rossi at [email protected] or (208) 459-5835.



Congratulations to the C of I softball team, which went 4-0 last weekend to clinch its first postseason berth since 2009! Sophomore infielder Alexis Macias and junior pitcher Nickayla Skinner led the way for the Coyotes, who also achieved the third 30-win season in program history. Click here to read more about the team’s dramatic weekend, or here to watch video highlights from KIVI Channel 6 News. The Coyotes also made headlines last week by signing a new recruit, Filer High senior Cassidy Ferrell.

C of I alumna Megan Williams ’08 recently was the subject of a National Poetry Month Q & A in the Idaho Statesman SceneWilliams, an adjunct instructor at the C of I and founder of the Ghosts & Projectors poetry reading series, talked about her writing, the Boise poetry scene and the Ghosts & Projectors project.

View photo highlights from this year’s Mr. CASAnova competition, an annual fundraiser for Court-Appointed Special Advocates sponsored by Kappa Alpha Theta, on the College’s Flickr page.

Howard Berger

Renowned law professor, author and attorney Alan Dershowitz is The College of Idaho's 2013 commencement speaker! Get ready for his May 18 visit when Professor Howard Berger presents a special screening of the film Reversal of Fortune (based on Dershowitz’s book) at 6:30 p.m. May 1 in Langroise Recital Hall. The film will be followed by a faculty panel discussion about Dershowitz and law in America. Be there!

C of I archivist Jan Boles ’65 has a new exhibition opening May 18 at the Boise Art Museum. URBAN, an exhibition of Boise City sites in celebration of Boise’s Sesquicentennial, also features the work of artists Charles Gill, Michael Miller and Karen Woods. The exhibition will remain open through Sept. 22. Click here for more info.

C of I golfer Ben Hersh made the first hole-in-one in program history last week during the Cascade Conference Championships and NAIA West National Qualifier at Diamond Woods Golf Course in Oregon. The C of I women's team also recorded its best-ever finish at the tournament, while coach John Bideganeta was honored as Cascade Conference Coach of the Year.

Congratulations to C of I alumnus and longtime assistant baseball coach Josh Hegstad '97, who has been hired as Caldwell High School's new athletic director. Click here to read more in the Idaho Press-Tribune.

Slow Food in Italy

The C of I group that recently traveled to Italy to study the "Slow Food" movement is back on campus. Click here to read reflections by students Annie Morrison and Katy Stewart on Italy and to check out more than 180 photos from the trip!

C of I political economy professor Dr. Robert Dayley has been elected to ASIANetwork’s Board of Directors. Dayley will serve a three-year term as one of nine members of the national board. His election speaks highly of the Asian studies programming at The College of Idaho, which has grown in recent years to include expanded course offerings and study abroad opportunities in China and Southeast Asia. ASIANetwork is a consortium of 160 North American colleges designed to strengthen undergraduate education in Asian studies through grant-funded programming, pedagogical exchange and scholarship. The C of I has been a member institution since 2003.

C of I students made a strong showing during the Treasure Valley Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing auditions April 25 on campus. Jordan Bowman was named the Division I winner and the overall first-place winner, Dawson Bonde was the Division III winner and Zach Buker and Decker Hinckley were chosen to sing in the finals of the competition, which featured more than 30 singers from Idaho high schools and colleges. Go Yotes!

College of Idaho alumnus Tim Bundgard ’72 has been named a 2013 CEO of Influence by the Idaho Business Review. Bundgard, the President and CEO of Pioneer Title Company in Boise, and his fellow award winners will be honored during a May 9 ceremony at the downtown Boise Centre on the Grove. They’ll also be featured in a special magazine published in the May 10 edition of the IBR. Click here to learn more about the award or here for event tickets and information.

Charlie Shepherd

C of I football coach Mike Moroski will be the guest of honor when the National Football Foundation hosts its 17th annual Scholar Athlete Banquet on April 27 at the Riverside Hotel in Boise. Coyote football recruits Cory Brady, Jason Byce and Charlie Shepherd Jr. (pictured) are among the 10 Idaho student-athletes being honored for their superior athletic ability, as well as excellence in the classroom and community. For tickets and information, call (208) 424-1011 or email [email protected].

May is Idaho Archaeology Month! Celebrate with two special events at The College of Idaho’s Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History. On May 4, the Museum’s monthly volunteer workday (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) will feature archaeologist and curator Jan Summers Duffy, who will give a lunchtime lecture on her important discovery in Idaho, “The Warm Springs Site: an Archaic Salvage Site.” And on May 9, the Idaho Academy of Science will hold an archaeology workshop at 7 p.m. Sign up at www.idahoarchaeology.org, or for more information about Idaho Archaeology Month – including opportunities to schedule special behind-the-scenes tours – email [email protected].