2015. 11. 13
Veterans transfer skills to C of I classroom
They walk among us, blending into the daily parade of people through Morrison Quadrangle. At first glance, they look like any other student. But their military service is what allows The College of Idaho community—and our entire nation—to enjoy our daily freedoms.
For Army veterans Matthew McCauley, Wes Dockstader and Pamela Dockstader, joining the military helped shape and provide guidance for their lives. It also opened the door to higher education and the chance to study at Idaho’s best college.
“At 22, I was working full-time, but I wasn’t progressing in life the way I wanted to,” said McCauley, a senior history major from Maryland.
During basic training, McCauley learned a lot about teamwork and comradery, something that is still applicable to his daily life. After he was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division, the Army made him more organized, focused and goal-orientated during the six years he served.
Wes and Pamela Dockstader both said the Army helped them become productive members of society, instilled self-discipline and taught them how to be a part of a team.
“In the military, they have a saying, ‘Right place, right time, right uniform,’” said Wes, a C of I junior. “And if you can do those three basic things, you will survive in the military very well, and I did. And I carry that over every day, especially with school.”
The Army also gave the Dockstaders something else—each other. On the day Wes was transferred to Fort Sill and the 117th Field Artillery, Pamela was there to drive him around, introducing him to the base and helping him pick up his new gear. The two hit it off and became fast friends. They also both drove trucks when deployed in Afghanistan from 2010-2011. For a few months, Pamela was even the gunner for Wes’s truck.
“We were just best friends, and we got married when we got back from Afghanistan,” Wes said.
The three C of I veterans found themselves in the Treasure Valley after leaving the military, looking for a place to go to school. McCauley had never been to Idaho before and he asked where all the smart kids in Idaho went to college.
“I guessed Boise State, as I knew about them from football,” McCauley said. “But I was told, ‘No, The College of Idaho.’ So I looked it up, liked what I saw, and came here.”
Wes and Pamela started at Treasure Valley Community College before transferring to the C of I.
“Because it’s the best, and it’s small,” said Pamela, who will graduate this spring.
“I love it, I’m glad I’m here,” Wes said.
And the skills they learned in the military have translated to the classroom. Critical thinking, problem solving, decision making and interpersonal skills are all things McCauley learned while in the Army. And he continues to use those skills while at the C of I. The interpersonal skills especially come in handy when interacting with professors.
“I’m not afraid to ask questions, I’m not afraid to ask for help, and I’m not afraid to challenge them either,” McCauley said. “I think it makes it a more dynamic environment for me.”
Being a history major and learning about military history, tactics, and soldier experiences, McCauley can now view those events through a different lens.
“When I hear that thousands of people die in a battle, it’s not just numbers, you can actually feel what that truly means,” said McCauley, who wants to apply to law school back in his native Maryland upon graduation.
Just like his job in the Army as an intelligence analyst, McCauley likes to put together different pieces of information and research to make sense of days past.
For Wes, it’s the problem solving skills he now applies to a computer science degree and writing code that intrigues him.
Coming to the C of I inspired a new passion for Pamela. She came to school wanting to become a pathologists’ assistant, but she fell in love with microbiology. After graduating, she wants to pursue either a pathologists’ assistant master’s degree or a Ph.D. in biology, while Wes hopes to get a job at Micron.
“I’m so thankful for everything the Army has given me, especially my G.I. Bill,” Wes said. “To be able to go to school is just awesome.”
While all three Yotes are looking forward to future careers, their time in the Army will always stand out as an experience that gave them purpose and instilled values that have shaped the road maps of their lives.
This Veterans Day weekend, The College of Idaho recognizes McCauley, the Dockstaders, and all the men and women who blend into our everyday communities, but who will always hold the special recognition of serving the United States of America.
C of I inaugurates unique Arabic-Hebrew Club
The College of Idaho is known both for its diversity and active student involvement, with more than 40 organized clubs on campus. New clubs are formed every year, and this fall, the C of I welcomed its newest—and possibly most unique—organization, the Arabic-Hebrew Club.
Inaugurated on Oct. 28, the Arabic-Hebrew Club was founded by five students with the help of Professor Federica Francesconi, who holds the College’s recently established Howard Berger-Ray Neilsen Chair in Judaic Studies. The founding students have diverse backgrounds, but they came together and approached Francesconi with the goal of learning more about these two storied cultures after taking her classes in Jewish history, Zionism and modern Israel.
“We all shared the desire for Mediterranean food and learning the languages,” Francesconi said.
The club tied those desires to the Oct. 28 inauguration event, putting on an event with traditional food, Arabic and Hebrew languages, and culturally relevant movies for the campus community. Going forward from that first meeting, the group hopes to formalize the club’s focus on language. Doing so might attract additional interest and provide academic value for students with internationally-driven majors and/or career goals.
“We would like to turn the club into a one-credit class and maybe eventually a full three-credit course,” said Anya Yearwood, one of the Arabic-Hebrew Club’s founding members. “We think that these languages and cultures would be a good addition to the history and political economy programs.”
While adding academic courses will take some time, the club already has made large strides toward becoming one of the most distinctive student organizations on campus. It is the first club on campus to connect two cultures, and potentially the first club nationally to connect these specific cultures.
“To the best of my knowledge, we are the only campus in the United States that has an Arabic and Hebrew club together,” said Francesconi, who did some research on the subject.
This integration of both cultures stems from the desire for unique connections and potential for involvement on the C of I campus. With a large population of students from diverse backgrounds, and an even larger number of students that are heavily involved with campus, the club’s founders are seeking to expand the limits of learning beyond the classroom.
“We're learning along with you,” Yearwood said. “We're trying to show that The College of Idaho is really the college of I can do anything.”
C of I professor receives Murdock Trust grant
According to the Idaho Department of Lands, approximately 740,000 acres burned across the state of Idaho in 2015. The majority of those acres were found in Idaho forests, which house some of the best river and stream habitats for salmon spawning.
A desire to understand the relationship between fires and waterways led College of Idaho geoscience professor Jaime Goode to apply for and receive a $48,000 grant from the M.J. Murdock Trust. That money will be used for a three-year project to study “Climate Change at the Forest-Stream Interface: The Role of Wildfire in Shaping Salmon Spawning Habitat.”
“The big-picture question of this research is how does climate change and wildfire cascade into the stream system?” Goode said. “So in other words, we want to know what happens to salmon habitat when wildfire forces the forest into the stream.”
After wildfire in mountain environments the soils of burned hillslopes lose their protective forest cover and become highly susceptible to erosion by large rainstorms or rain-on-snow flooding. When hill slopes burn, and there is a large rain or snow event, landslides take a lot of sediment and wood into the stream. As the climate warms, the size and frequency of these events are expected to increase. Goode will look at how are those debris flows change the physical habitat of streams found on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River.
The Middle Fork of the Salmon River offers pristine spawning grounds for wild chinook and sockeye salmon. These species travel more than 900 miles and climb nearly 7,000 feet of elevation from the Pacific Ocean to central Idaho where they return to spawn, according to the National Fish Habitat Board.
After determining last summer which watersheds of the Middle Fork would be ideal to research, Goode will start field work with two C of I students in summer 2016. They’ll visit tributary streams that have a range of fire histories and measure the physical characteristics that are important for salmon spawning habitat, such as the width, depth and slope of the stream, size of sediments in the streambed, variation in streambed topography, and the size and occurrence of weed in the stream. Some wood and sediment in streams will also be tagged with microchips to monitor its movements over time. The data can then be compared between the different sites.
“The basic idea is to use space as a substitute for time and compare habitat complexity in response to time since wildfire. Then we can see how the fish have been responding by comparing our data to maps of Chinook salmon spawning sites that the US Forest Service has been surveying annually since the mid-90s,” Goode said.
This is familiar territory for Goode, who did post-doctoral research looking at climate change related disturbances and the impact on salmon spawning in areas such as central Idaho, western Washington and Scotland.
While this project is proposed as a three-year study to compare how each basin progresses, the intent is to use the information collected to pursue further grant funding in collaboration with researchers at other Idaho institutions.
“It’s a good starting place,” Goode said. “There is some opportunity to address some basic questions and provide the baseline data that is needed to complete a robust and competitive proposal for national grants, such as National Science Foundation grants. It’s also a great opportunity to get C of I students involved in collaborative research with scientists at research institutions and management agencies.”
C of I students interested in applying to research with Dr. Goode next summer are encouraged to contact her at [email protected]
International Flavor: C of I soccer team benefits from foreign imports
At The College of Idaho, more than one-third of the student population participates in varsity athletics, while nearly 10 percent of students are international. And, on occasion, these two distinctive C of I populations intersect.
Such is the case this year on the Coyote men’s soccer team, where international players Joao Cardoso (Brazil) and Zuva Donduro (Mozambique) contributed both on the field and culturally for the Cascade Conference tournament qualifiers.
“All of our international students have talent,” C of I soccer coach and alumnus Thom Baker said. “And all of our international students have been very strong academically. I love to have the guys from different cultures make the local players more aware of that aspect.”
The men’s soccer program has a history of international diversity, especially in recent years. Players have come from all around the globe, including England, Rwanda, Argentina and Antiqua. Even though these players come from different parts of the world, they blend nicely into the team and the campus community.
“I have been very pleased with the adaptability of our international students,” Baker said. “I often forget they are from another country.”
Donduro, a junior midfielder who went to high school in Maputo, Mozambique, and lived in Australia before that, said he doesn’t feel at all like an outsider.
“I bring individuality and variety to the team,” Donduro said.
He also brings a reliable midfield presence. He played in nine games—including two starts—while contributing one goal and 10 shots on net.
Cardoso also played a big role in the Yotes’ successful season, which included a 6-2 record at home. The junior forward ranked fourth on the team with four goals and ten points—a big reason why the C of I finished among the Cascade Conference leaders in scoring at 2.43 goals per game.
The value of international students like Cardoso and Donduro stretches well beyond the soccer pitch. Just as international players enrich the team culture, the College’s many international students contribute to the academic strength and cultural diversity of the entire campus community. As international students continue to take part in clubs, athletics, student government and many other aspects of campus life, The College of Idaho will continue to grow and evolve as a beacon of educational diversity in the Northwest.
Check out the latest episode of Charlotte's Webcast, as C of I President Charlotte Borst talks about her recent Inauguration, the upcoming Holiday Tree Lighting, football and basketball excitement, and the College's new test-optional admissions policy.
Congratulations to C of I student-athlete Jamiece Yizar, who was named the 2015 Cascade Conference women's soccer Player of the Year! Yizar scored 15 goals in 18 games and added five assists, leading the Yotes to a second-place finish and a program record-tying 14 wins.
Idaho Statesman reporter Dana Oland recently sat down for a big Q & A feature with C of I President Charlotte Borst to talk about her aspirations for the College, the unique PEAK Curriculum, and what kind of music is on the presidential Mp3 player.
C of I political economy professor Dr. Jasper LiCalzi was quoted in a recent Boise Weekly article about Idaho student voters—an article written by current C of I student Conner Jackson.
Coyote Athletics Roundup: Get your season tickets for Yotes basketball today!...Check out the latest issue of "The Pack," the official magazine of Coyote Athletics...Men's basketball pushed its home win streak to 36...Football players Teejay Gordon and Tyler Higby had record-setting performances against Montana Western...Volleyball advanced to the CCC championship quarterfinals as senior Kylie Porter was named the NAIA Attacker of the Week for the second time this year. ...Six Yotes were named to the academic all-district football team...Men's and women's cross-country finished second at the CCC Championships...Women's soccer advanced to the CCC tournament semifinals.
C of I alumnae Kate and Molly Leadbetter, along with their parents, were featured in a recent Boise Weekly article. The Leadbetter family recently opened Meriwether Cider Company in the Treasure Valley. Read a C of I story with the Leadbetters here.
The Idaho Press-Tribune published a story on research being conducted at the C of I. Dr Sara Heggland and the studnets in her lab are currently studying the effects of vaping on bone health.
A close-knit student body. An outstanding music program. A campus community that welcomes students with open arms. These are some of the reasons Dallin Kroon chose The College of Idaho. Why did you choose C of I? #WhyCofI
The C of I's Craig H. Neilsen Foundation Lectureship in Judaic Studies recently welcomed Professor Dana Katz for the presentation “Making Margins in the Venetian Ghetto.”
Caldwell Fine Arts presented The Boise Cello Collective, featuring Langroise Trio member Sam Smith, at Jewett Auditorium. During the concert, a new piece of music written on the C of I campus this summer was premiered, Music from the Fringe 2.
The Sustainable Agriculture Syposium was held at The College of Idaho as the Idaho Center for Sustainable Agriculture hosted the event to discuss how to create a long lasting future for farming in Idaho.