C of I Newsletter

2015. 12. 23

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Happy Holidays from The College of Idaho!

It has been an exciting year at The College of Idaho! From commemorating our 125th anniversary year and winning conference championships in basketball, volleyball and track to inaugurating a new president and recognizing countless student, faculty and staff achievements, we have much to celebrate. As you enjoy the holiday season with your family and friends, the College sends its best wishes for a merry Christmas, happy holidays and a joyous New Year!

We invite you to check out the C of I holiday video below as well as the 2015 Year-in-Review video. See you in 2016!

Running down a dream: C of I student pursues musical career

Ana Lete

What’s the difference between having a dream and making it your reality? Well, Walt Disney once said, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” And that is exactly what College of Idaho senior Ana Lete is doing.

Lete recently released her original song, “Aspens,” on iTunes, Bandcamp, and other music platforms as she pursues a career as a singer-songwriter. But what is it about songwriting that attracts the young musician?

“It’s a fun way to kind of capture moments in your life,” Lete said.

Following the unexpected passing of her guitar teacher last winter, Lete picked up her guitar and put pen to paper as a way to cope with her emotions. She hadn’t written a song since her freshman year at the C of I. Being a music theory and composition major, her musical focus had turned to composition.

With a renewed passion for songwriting, Lete began to record her newly-written songs with the help of her C of I peers. Renowned C of I campus producer Rodrigo Coronel mixed and recorded “Aspens,” while fellow Yote Ashton Jenicek helped out on bass and drumbeats.

Lete also took her music to the stage, playing in front of live audiences throughout the Treasure Valley. Joined by C of I student Gavin Peterson on cajon, Lete and Jenicek have played at coffee houses, played house shows in their basement and performed at the Neurolux club in downtown Boise.

“At first [performing] was kind of nerve-wracking,” said Lete, a Nampa native. “But it’s really nice to share what you’ve created.”

Lete’s passion for music began when she started taking guitar lessons in the eighth grade. It was a hobby, away from school, where her progression was bound only by her determination to practice and grow. And even though the C of I doesn’t offer guitar classes, Lete continued playing as part of the student Jazz Band. She even found her singing voice, thanks to C of I music professors Marianne Saunders and Mari Jo Tynon, and the inspiration lent by the voice of jazz legend Billie Holiday.

“That was really great, because [those classes] allowed me to find the different parts of my voice and to be able to control it more.”

In addition to Holiday, Lete cites artists such as Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, The Beatles and Led Zeppelin as musical influences. And learning everything from aural skills and music theory to the improvisation styles of jazz has played a part in how Lete expresses herself through song. When she’s not busy studying, Lete picks up her guitar and lets the creative juices flow, getting lost in the resonance of metal strings and wood.

After graduating in May, Lete plans to move to Boise, become more involved in the downtown music scene, and eventually go on tour. For now, she’s taking another step toward her dream by recording an album in the Langroise Center studio. Titled Psychic Translation, Lete hopes the record will be finished sometime this spring.

Click here to listen to Ana’s latest single, Aspens. Learn more about her music at www.analete.com.

Whittenberger Foundation, C of I continue partnership

Whittenberger Foundation

Longtime Idaho elementary school teacher Ethel Bales Whittenberger dedicated her life to improving the quality of life for children and young people. Today, the Whittenberger Foundation, established upon Mrs. Whittenberger’s death in 1970, continues to embody that same spirit of giving back.

This year at the annual Whittenberger Foundation awards luncheon on Dec. 5, a total of $273,000 was distributed to 65 nonprofit organizations. Included was a $35,000 grant to The College of Idaho for the Whittenberger Scholars program. Caldwell Fine Arts, which is housed in the C of I’s renowned Jewett Auditorium, also received an $8,000 grant.

“The College of Idaho was very near and dear to Mrs. Whittenberger and was singled out as one of the organizations to be awarded a grant each year,” foundation board chairman Scott Gipson said.

Since the foundation’s first distribution in December 1973, it has awarded more than $9 million in grants to nonprofit organizations in Idaho. The foundation also has played an important role on the C of I campus. Since 2000, there have been 411 Whittenberger Scholars supported by the foundation. In addition, the College’s Whittenberger Planetarium inside Boone Science Hall has served as a key public outreach facility, providing programs to schools, home-school groups, scouts and the public.

“The Whittenberger Foundation and The College of Idaho share a common goal in empowering young people to experience life-changing educational and cultural opportunities,” C of I President Charlotte Borst said. “We’re grateful for the continued support of this storied foundation and its remarkable founder.”

Test-Optional: What does it all mean?

Charlotte Borst (1)

By Charlotte Borst, PhD
President, The College of Idaho

What does it mean to be qualified for admittance to college? Should it be the potential to do well (“aptitude”) or demonstrated achievement?

Earlier this month, The College of Idaho went public with its choice to adopt a new test-optional admission policy. As a test-optional school, our incoming students now have the option of answering a series of essay questions rather than submitting standardized test scores. The announcement was one of my first major decisions as president, and I appreciate this opportunity to outline some of our rationale.

Tests are not really accurate. Standardized testing began in the 1920s, when the number of students with good grades seeking admission to college and medical school exceeded the number of places available. Rather than assessing students’ mastery of prior learning, educators were enamored with the promise of scientific analysis of intelligence or “aptitude.” The Medical Aptitude Test (later called the MCAT) was the first required test for admission in 1929. While the SAT, also an aptitude test, was piloted in the same period for undergraduate admission, most undergraduate colleges continued to use their own tests, often essays, that assessed prior learning. After World War II, the dramatic surge in applicants to undergraduate and graduate programs challenged many admission directors to look again to the science of psychological testing. By the 1960s, almost every college-bound student took either the SAT or the newly developed ACT.

But were these tests really scientific? And more important, did they predict college success? Even the early test developers had doubts—Carl Brigham, who developed the first SAT, later wrote that the standardized testing movement was based on "one of the most glorious fallacies in the history of science, namely that the tests measured native intelligence purely and simply without regard to training or schooling.” Moreover, a 2007 study summarized many decades of research, noting that test scores are based on a 3-4 hour single sitting, whereas high-school GPA is based on repeated sampling of student performance over several years.

Test-optional fits our liberal arts model and is not a lowering of academic standards. More than a third of the top liberal arts colleges in the country are test-optional already. The College of Idaho, like many nationally-ranked liberal arts schools, has always used a holistic approach to admission. Our enrollment team looks at each student’s entire academic profile, including transcripts, extracurricular activities, writing and leadership abilities, community involvement, recommendations and other achievements. Going test-optional won’t make it any easier or harder to get accepted at the C of I, and it has no effect on how we allocate merit aid.

Test-optional is good for Idaho. As a newcomer, I’m very impressed with how much Idaho has to offer. However, our state’s go-on rate is one of the worst in the country. Collectively, we need to find a way to make sure more Idaho students attend college. I’d love for them to enroll at the C of I, of course, but we must help our young men and women to continue their education somewhere. Going test-optional allows students to take ownership of their college education.

I’m very happy to be a part of the Idaho education community, and honored to lead The College of Idaho as we celebrate our 125th year of academic excellence. I believe that becoming test-optional makes the C of I more accessible than ever for students in Idaho and beyond.


Winter 2015

College Events Calendar

December 24 - January 1

Campus closed for Holiday Recess.

December 28

Catch the C of I men's basketball team versus the University of Utah in a televised exhibition game at 7 p.m. on the Pac-12 Network. Click for updates.

December 30

Basketball doubleheader: Women's and men's basketball take on Evergreen at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., respectively, in J.A.A.C. Click for ticket information.

December 31

Basketball doubleheader: Women's and men's basketball take on Northwest at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., respectively, in J.A.A.C. Click for ticket information.

January 5

Classes begin!

January 5

C of I Alumni and Friends Choir rehearsal at 7 p.m. in Langroise 114. Open to all alumni, faculty and staff; new members welcome! For more information, contact Andrea Cronrath at [email protected] or 459-5301.

Every Friday

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


Ornament (1)

Check out Flickr photo galleries from The College of Idaho's third annual Holiday Tree Lighting and the Residence Life 'Cookies from Home' event. We had a great time ringing in the holidays with the YoteFam!

Coyote Athletics Roundup: Check out the latest issue of  "The Pack," the official magazine of Coyote Athletics...Junior defensive back Nate Moore, a Meridian native, was named a first-team NAIA  selection for football...Women's swimming checks in at No. 6 in the NAIA national coaches' poll...Softball was named to finish first in the CCC East Division in the 2016 preseason coaches' poll...Catch the men's basketball team taking on Utah at 7 p.m. Dec. 28 on the Pac-12 network.

C of I alumna Mary Ann Ranells '84 recently was named the new superintendent of the West Ada School District in the Treasure Valley. Ranells, who received her master's in education from the C of I, will begin her new position on Jan. 1.

The Whittenberger Planetarium hosted a public show on the Winter Solstice, as noted by the Boise Weekly. The show explored the circumstances that bring about the long, cold winter nights and took a look at the constellations and planets visible in the Idaho night sky during December.

An opportunity to mentor and build friendships with students. Joining the best learning environment anywhere in Idaho. Becoming peers with the professors who made his own C of I experience special. These are some of the reasons C of I professor and alumnus Dr. Isaac Hunter loves teaching at The College of Idaho. What do you love most about the C of I? #WhyCofI

C of I alumnus David Ellenberger '94 was featured in a video with The Daily Planet Report. Ellenberger is working with the Climate Reality Project to spread awareness about climate change, and he recenlty presented at the annual Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris.

The College of Idaho was featured on Aerohive Networks website. Aerohive has helped the campus community stay connected to Wi-Fi through a stronger wireless network infrastructure.

Garth Vader

You may know Star Wars, but chances are you haven't seen these characters before. As "The Force Awakens," check out these Star Wars trading cards inspired by C of I professors!