C of I Newsletter

2013. 05. 10

back to archive


C of I hires Scott Garson as men's basketball coach

Scott Garson

Scott Garson is leaving behind the bright lights, the big city and the opportunity to coach future NBA stars for the chance to build his own program at The College of Idaho.

C of I athletic director Marty Holly introduced Garson, a former assistant at Division I powerhouse UCLA, as the Coyotes’ 15th head coach during an April 29 news conference on campus. Garson already is hard at work getting to know his current roster and seeking new recruits as he looks to lead the Coyotes back to national championship contention.

“I am honored that President Henberg and Marty Holly have given me the opportunity to lead the men’s basketball program at The College of Idaho,” Garson said. “I feel very fortunate to be at an institution with such an outstanding academic reputation combined with a tremendous passion for its athletics programs across the board.”

Garson, a native of Calabasas, Calif., was an assistant for Ben Howland at UCLA from 2006-13, serving two prior seasons as the Bruins video coordinator. Garson was responsible for the development of perimeter players – including current NBA All-Stars Jrue Holiday of the Philadelphia 76ers and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Click here
to watch Coach Garson's introductory press conference in its entirety.

“I was pleasantly surprised by the caliber of the candidates who applied for our men’s basketball position,” Holly said. “After narrowing down the candidates, Coach Garson was the unanimous selection of the committee. Scott brings a wealth of college basketball recruiting experience, having worked for two outstanding coaches in Ben Howland and the late Rick Majerus, and we are looking forward to him bringing Coyote basketball back to national prominence.”

During Garson’s tenure at UCLA, the Bruins amassed a record of 222-90, including Pac-10 titles in 2006, 2007 and 2008, a Pac-12 title in 2013, as well as Pac-10 Tournament titles in 2006 and 2008. The Bruins qualified for six NCAA National Tournaments and made trips to the Final Four in 2006, 2007 and 2008 – reaching the national championship game in 2006. Garson has been instrumental in the recent recruiting efforts for the Bruins, who claimed ESPN’s No. 1 recruiting class in both 2008 and 2012. A total of 12 players recruited or coached by Garson have been selected in the NBA Draft.

“Scott is an amazing coach with a great blend of work ethic and talent,” Howland said. “On the floor, his preparation and knowledge of the game is outstanding, and most of all, he is a really good person. The College of Idaho campus, the faculty, and the community of Caldwell will love Scott Garson.”

The 37-year-old Garson served as the video coordinator at Pepperdine University for one year before spending five seasons at the University of Utah under Majerus. Garson was a graduate assistant for three seasons, video coordinator for one and assistant coach for another as the Utes won three Mountain West Conference titles and advanced to the NCAA National Tournament four times. He joined Howland’s staff at UCLA in 2004, serving as video coordinator before becoming an assistant.

Garson played one season of college basketball and baseball at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., before transferring to UC-Santa Barbara, where he earned a bachelor of arts in law and society. While at Utah, he received a master of science in exercise and sports science, with an emphasis in sport psychology.

“We will play a very exciting brand of basketball that Yote fans will enjoy coming to the Activities Center to watch,” Garson said. “There is a great tradition of winning basketball at C of I, including a National Championship in 1996. I believe the character of our current student-athletes, along with the support and resources that exist here, will allow us to build the foundation for a successful program that will invoke great pride in the alumni, student body, faculty and staff for many years to come.”

Coyote softball team rolls to Cascade Conference title

Softball Champs

On April 6, The College of Idaho owned a record of 20-20 and had little hope of qualifying for the Cascade Conference Tournament, let alone nationals.

One unforgettable month later, the Coyotes are league champions with even bigger aspirations as they head to the opening round of the NAIA Softball National Championships in Irvine, Calif. The Coyotes, who open tournament play against St. Gregory’s at 1 p.m. Monday, are one of the hottest teams in the nation, having won 14 of their last 15 games.

“When the girls’ backs were against the wall, they played their best softball of the season,” C of I coach Al Mendiola said. “We struggled a little earlier in the season, but the girls knew they had an opportunity to do something great down the stretch, and they took full advantage of it.”

After rallying to make the playoffs on the season’s final weekend, the Coyotes (34-21) captured the Cascade Conference title – their first since 2009 – by upsetting Corban 2-1 and knocking off Oregon Tech twice, 3-1 and 8-0. In the championship game, freshman shortstop Katie Rowe went 3-for-3 with five RBIs and junior pitcher Nickayla Skinner tossed her ninth shutout of the season as the Coyotes dominated from start to finish.

Skinner’s title game victory put an exclamation mark on one of the greatest seasons in program history. The junior from Mountain Home has won a school-record 23 games, posted a 1.78 earned run average and struck out 222 batters, earning her Cascade Conference Pitcher of the Year honors.

“When you have a dominant pitcher, you always have a chance to win,” Mendiola said. “Nickayla is special because the longer the game goes, the more dominant she is, and she just competes so hard that her teammates compete that much harder around her. She gives our team a lot of confidence, and once you have that belief, you start finding ways to win.”

Gold Glove senior third-baseman Molly Mills and sophomore first-baseman Alexis Macias joined Skinner on the All-CCC team, while senior catcher Rachel Strong was an honorable mention. Mills is batting .362 and has set school records with 67 hits and 42 runs scored this season, while Macias is hitting a team-best .391 with 26 RBI.

The opening round in Irvine is a double-elimination format, with the winner of the four-team bracket advancing to the national finals in Georgia. With Skinner in the circle and a wave of positive momentum behind his squad, Mendiola is confident the Coyotes can continue their magical run.

“We have as good a chance as anyone,” Mendiola said. “We have 18 girls who share the same goal. The competition is going to get tougher, but these girls believe in each other. We know we have the pitching, the offense and the defense to get it done, and we’re looking forward to the opportunity.”

C of I sophomore moves forward with Swaziland project

Khosi Nkambule

College of Idaho student Makhosazana “Khosi” Nkambule will spend her summer locating villages with large orphan populations in her native Swaziland as part of her plan to help alleviate poverty. The sophomore’s project has received support from the market and social research firm ActivQuest, and she is working to secure funding from Rising Tides, a program that promotes self-sufficiency for young people leaving the foster care system.

Swaziland has been hit hard by the HIV epidemic, Nkambule says, 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, and Nkambule aims to start up child care centers in Swazi villages so the women there can go to school and obtain entrepreneurial skills.

Nkambule is studying international political economy at the C of I. Her goal is to figure out which poverty alleviation techniques work best in each Swazi village. She wants each village to use any competitive advantage it has to create sustainable business models, income and markets.

“For example, the Hhohho District in northern Swaziland has fertile land, so they could grow crops,” Nkambule said. “That would allow its people to create a market to support themselves and stop importing food from South Africa. But the southern district, Shiselweni, is dry, has no fertile lands and has clean water issues, so finding a competitive advantage there will not be so easy.”

In April, Nkambule attended the Clinton Global Initiative University at Washington University in St. Louis to present her ideas. During the Saturday breakfast session, she met Sixto Cancel from Rising Tides. Cancel and Nkambule found out they had similar views on the treatment of orphans. Cancel grew up in the foster care system in Connecticut, according to the Rising Tides website. He “designed, secured funding for and implemented a pilot program called Stellar Works – a program to prepare children in foster care for post-secondary education.” Rising Tides quickly got involved after learning about Nkambule’s proposal.

Nkambule’s original pitch wasn’t selected at CGI U, a fact that she quickly accepted.

“After seeing what other students were pitching, mine needed to be revised. It needed to be more mature,” she said, adding that providing clean water needed to be tied into her project.

The College of Idaho wasn’t far from Nkambule’s mind when she was in St. Louis. She wants students to get involved and start a Commitment to Action Organization on campus, taken straight from President Bill Clinton’s mantra of “turning ideas into action.” The group would work with professors to help students develop and write business proposals for commitments to action. She wants students to come forward and present ideas, using her Swaziland project as an example.

“People are willing to fund small projects,” Nkambule said. “Students must recognize the different challenges across the world and work with communities to help them help themselves.”

The hard work continues for Nkambule in May. She will be working on this project in the name of Swazi Seed, an organization she is creating and registering with the Swazi government this summer. She’ll spend four months in Swaziland working with ActivQuest to analyze villages. Then it’s back to C of I for the fall semester.

Nkambule says she is in this for the long haul.

“It’s going to take years. Probably until I die, but it’s worth it,” she said. “Empowering females on one side, educating orphans on the other side, entrepreneurship on another; [not doing] these things contributes to poverty and if we eliminate them, we eliminate poverty.”

To learn more about the project, contact Khosi at [email protected].

'Quest' magazine celebrates scholarship

The spring 2013 issue of The College of Idaho’s Quest magazine is in mailboxes now! The issue has a theme of “Scholarship,” honoring the College’s long-standing tradition of academic excellence and the many scholarly accomplishments of C of I students, faculty and alumni.

Features in the current Quest include a detailed history of the College’s Rhodes Scholarship legacy; an update on the successful endowment of the Howard Berger-Ray Neilsen Chair in Judaic Studies; the stories of C of I professors who have received national and international scholarly awards; and three special-edition photo essays detailing students’ recent off-campus learning experiences in London, Australia and Idaho’s Sawtooth wilderness.

Quest, the official C of I magazine for alumni, current students, faculty, staff and friends, is published three times each year. Click below to read an interactive online version of Quest. Or, to view archived past issues, visit www.collegeofidaho.edu/quest.


Faculty scholarship recognized

From the study of literature and the environment to the efficacy of single-gender elementary school classrooms, the past year has witnessed a proliferation of scholarship by College of Idaho faculty members. That scholarship was recognized during the College’s first Faculty Scholarship Celebration, held May 3 and sponsored by the Faculty Growth and Development Committee and the Dean of Faculty.

More than two dozen C of I faculty members across nearly every department were recognized for presenting their research at 37 academic conferences in locations from Juneau, Alaska to London, England. Several special awards were presented, including:

• “Data collected farthest from The College of Idaho” – Katie Devine, professor of mathematical and physical sciences, primary investigator on an observing run to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s Green Bank Laboratory in West Virginia.

• “Conference most likely to encounter a grizzly bear” – Scott Knickerbocker, professor of English and environmental studies, for attending the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment conference in Juneau, Alaska.

• “‘You Said What?’ Most academic title in FG&D application” – Maimuna Islam, professor of English, for her paper “Presencing the Muslim colonial experience in Postcolonial Studies: the pedagogy, politics, and triumphs of constructing Muslim voices in the classroom,” presented at the British Commonwealth Postcolonial Studies Conference.

View photos of the Faculty Scholarship Celebration on the College’s Flickr page.


Spring 2013

College Events Calendar

May 10

'Yotepalooza' yearbook party, 4-9 p.m., McCain Pub. Come out for free 'Trail' yearbooks, food, live music, raffles and more!

May 11

C of I Cinco de Mayo celebration, 1-6 p.m., Hayman Field.

May 12

Sophomore voice recital featuring Zach Buker, Decker Hinckley, Brock McDonald, Devon Sedrick and Amy Weakland, 2 p.m., Langroise Recital Hall.

May 12

Junior voice recital featuring Dawson Bonde and James Kinney, 4 p.m., Langroise Recital Hall.

May 13

C of I Student Chamber Music Recital, 8 p.m., Langroise Recital Hall.

May 17

Baccalaureate, 8 p.m., Jewett Auditorium.

May 18

Commencement, 10 a.m., Morrison Quadrangle. Click for more info.

May 18

'A Conversation with Alan Dershowitz,' moderated by the Honorable Stephen S. Trott, 7:30 p.m., Egyptian Theater (Boise). Click for tickets and info.

Through May 18

C of I senior art exhibition 'Experiential Continuum,' Rosenthal Gallery of Art (Blatchley Hall). Click for more info.

May 30-31

C of I Staff Association Yard Sale, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday and 8 a.m.-noon Friday, Terteling Library Lawn.


C of I track star Hillary Holt was at it again last week, defeating a star-studded field in the 1,500-meters during the Oregon Twilight at storied Hayward Field in Eugene. The junior from Meridian won in a personal-best time of 4 minutes, 11.62 seconds, a mark that would have qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials last summer and is the fifth-fastest time recorded by a college runner this season. Holt also is the first C of I runner to qualify for the U.S. National Championships – she’ll compete June 20-23 in Des Moines, Iowa, for a chance represent the U.S. at the upcoming World Track & Field Championships in Moscow, Russia. Holt’s victory caused quite a stir in the track and field world, including stories in The Register Guard (Eugene), The Oregonian, the Idaho Press-Tribune and the running website Daily Relay.

Hillary Holt

Hillary Holt races to victory at the Oregon Twilight. Photo courtesy of TracktownPhoto.com.

C of I biology professor Dr. Eric Yensen recently was featured by Boise State Public Radio for the work he’s doing with Zoo Boise to restore populations of southern Idaho ground squirrels in Gem, Payette and Washington Counties.

C of I commencement speaker Professor Alan Dershowitz recently was featured in the Idaho Statesman. In addition to speaking during graduation ceremonies (10 a.m. Saturday, May 18, Morrison Quadrangle), Dershowitz will give a public presentation at 7:30 p.m. at the Egyptian Theater in Boise. For tickets and info, visit www.collegeofidaho.afrogs.org.

Check out the final video from the C of I study abroad experience in London as Professor Steve Maughan, Professor Garth Claassen and students Alexis Bennett and Jenette Noe give an in-depth look at what makes study abroad trips special at the College. To view more videos from across the pond, check out the C of I London Playlist on YouTube.

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 political economy professor Dr. Jim Angresano recently has had one paper accepted for publication and another included as part of an online conference. The first paper, “China’s Unsustainable Economic Growth and Development: The Influence of Conspicuous Consumption,” is set to publish in the International Journal of Sustainable Development. The second, “Orthodox Economic Education, Ideology and Commercial Interests: Relationships that Inhibit Poverty Alleviation,” will be included as part of the of the World Economics (Economics) Curriculum Conference in May.

News of the C of I softball team's triumph in the Cascade Conference Tournament got a lot of attention in the local media, including stories in the Idaho Press-Tribune, The Oregonian and KIVI Channel 6 News. The Coyotes also racked up several postseason awards, led by junior pitcher Nickayla Skinner, who was named CCC Pitcher of the Year.

Check out several new photo galleries on The College of Idaho Flickr page, including photos from the senior art exhibition “Experiential Continuum,” the Student Research Conference and Family Weekend.

C of I alumnus Joe Green (’05) has been hired as the boys basketball coach at Pocatello High School. Green attended school in Pocatello, where he was a two-sport standout for the Highland Rams. He also was a star basketball player at the C of I, amassing a school-record 305 steals during his career. Green has been an assistant basketball coach at Highland High since 2007.

The C of I football team continues to generate buzz throughout Idaho and the northwest. Recent signings by coach Mike Moroski led to coverage in the Twin Falls Times-News, the Argus Observer (Ontario, Ore.), the Idaho Statesman and KIVI Channel 6 News. Keep up on all the latest football news at www.yoteathletics.com.

C of I alumnus Gabriel M. Haws ('00) has been named a partner at the Boise law firm Belnap Stewart Taylor & Morris PLLC. Haws specializes in commercial litigation, whistle blower actions, employment issues and construction litigation. As a partner, he will continue to expand the firm’s areas of practice to include personal injury and criminal defense. Read more about Haws’ promotion in the Idaho Business Review.

Congratulations to C of I student-athletes Austin Basterrechea and Jasmine Sibert, who captured Cascade Conference titles in the decathlon and heptathlon, respectively, April 26 at the CCC Multi-Event Championships. Click here to read more in The Oregonian. Both students also were honored as NAIA National Track & Field Athletes of the Week for their efforts.