2016. 01. 08
C of I named a Top-150 school by Niche
The College of Idaho has once again been named one of the best colleges in the nation, and tops in Idaho, this time by Niche in its 2016 “Best Colleges” rankings of 1,164 schools in the United States.
Considering factors such as academics, campus quality, student life, professors and more, the C of I received an “A-” overall grade and landed at No. 149 nationally. Click here to see the C of I profile on Niche.
According to Niche, “The Best Colleges ranking provides a comprehensive assessment of total quality of the education and experience provided by the college. This grade takes into account key factors such as the strength of the academic program, the aptitude of professors, the quality of campus amenities, the general character of student life, as well as student reviews in an attempt to measure the overall excellence of the college experience.”
In one of the student reviews, a C of I sophomore had this to say:
“I really enjoy coming to this school. The professors are great and really take the time to know you, not just as a student but also as a person. The College of Idaho is fairly small so you really get to know almost everyone. It's also easier to establish lifelong friendships.”
A C of I senior said:
“The student body is terrific. The teachers are great and easy to get in contact with. You can tell everyone really wants you to achieve and is really there to help you reach your goals and do the best you can!”
The recognition is one of many the College has received this year. The College was ranked No. 1 in Idaho and No. 195 nationally on Forbes’ list of “America’s Top Colleges;” was rated No. 5 in the nation for its combination of academic quality and economic value by the website College Factual; was ranked No. 19 by Money Magazine’s ranking of “America’s 50 Most Affordable Private Colleges” and also appeared in the 2016 editions of Fiske Guide to Colleges and The Princeton Review’s The Best 380 Colleges.
C of I alums offer students a glimpse of life on Capitol Hill
Two dozen College of Idaho students sat inside Strahorn Hall, talking face-to-face with two C of I alumni whom serve as staff members for United States legislators. Well, electronically face-to-face.
On the projector screen at the front of the room, David Bonine ’97 and Kyle Kunkler ’07 sat 2,400 miles away in a U.S. Senate office building in Washington, D.C. The Skype call allowed the students in Political Economy Professor Jasper LiCalzi’s class to get an inside glimpse of life in the U.S. Legislature and discuss their current reading assignment, Act of Congress by Robert G. Kaiser.
“How do you balance your own desires and opinions with your employers?” one student asked.
“You should never work with someone who you fundamentally disagree with,” Bonine said. “It would be a miserable experience to work with someone day-in and day-out who I thought was wrong.”
Luckily, Bonine, who has worked with U.S. legislators for eight years, doesn’t have that problem. He is currently the legislative director for Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, while Kunkler is a staff member for Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington.
When asked what a typical day in the life of a legislative staff member is like, both alumni said there really aren’t a lot of “typical” days. A lot of times, their workflow depends on what is being considered on the Senate or House of Representatives floor.
On a day when his boss has a committee hearing, Kunkler said he’ll normally have a few meetings and brief Newhouse on his assigned area of expertise. He’ll also sit in on meetings with Newhouse throughout the day, which starts around 8:30 a.m. and can go as long as 8 or 9 p.m. There can be receptions or dinners to attend as well.
Then there are the unexpected moments of the job.
A ride on the subway comes to mind for Kunkler, who found himself traveling from the Capitol one night with only two representatives, from differing parties, in his car. They were talking about plastic surgeries they’d had.
“It was the weirdest conversation ever,” he said.
“So plastic surgery is bi-partisan,” LiCalzi said.
But it’s the chance to be at the center of the United States’ political system—and to continually learn about new topics—that draws the attention of Bonine and Kunkler.
“I love my job,” Bonine said. “You get to work on just about everything, from national security to healthcare, and more. I get to open the newspaper, find a problem and take it to my boss and say ‘What can we do about this?’ ”
But what skills are needed to live the life of a legislative staff aid? And how did going to the C of I prepare these two alums for their careers, C of I junior Sydnie Kremin asked.
The College of Idaho does a good job of educating students on the fundamental issues of critical thinking and problem solving that employers look for, even on Capitol Hill, Kunkler said. His job requires a lot of creativity, and attending the C of I forces students to think outside the box.
Learning quality writing skills at the C of I was beneficial as well, Bonine said. In fact, it was his writing that earned him an introduction to the legislature on former Sen. Robert Byrd’s staff. Byrd asked him to write a Cicero-like speech on the Iraq war, on a one-day deadline, and Bonine was able to deliver. Kunkler agreed that being able to express clear thoughts in writing is critical.
“I would definitely say focus on and learn how to write really well early on,” Kunkler said. “That is something that I’d wished I had worked on earlier…”
“I wished you had too,” LiCalzi joked.
As the class period ended, students filed out having glimpsed life inside the nation’s capital from the perspective of two men who were once in their shoes, traversing the sidewalks of The College of Idaho.
“The best part about having these kinds of experiences is the students get to see, ‘Wow College of Idaho people can do that kind of stuff,” LiCalzi said.
C of I students gain real-world marketing experience
This fall semester, College of Idaho students in Dr. Marilyn Melchiorre’s marketing and communication class collaborated with local businesses, the City of Caldwell and the C of I to create new marketing and communication strategies.
The opportunity allowed students to take concepts and knowledge learned inside the classroom and apply them directly to real-world settings.
“One of the great benefits of this class is I tell them, ‘You were consultants this semester,’” Melchiorre said. “‘You have worked with all of these businesses and you can put that on your resume.’”
Working in different groups throughout the semester, each student had the chance to pair his or her creative skills with others in the classroom. The students worked on six projects, including designing a billboard for the City of Caldwell, doing a competitive analysis for the Caldwell Municipal Airport, and working with the C of I Alumni Relations office to come up with a theme for Homecoming 2016.
“The whole experience gave us a really good insight into the business world and the various aspects that are encompassed within it,” C of I senior Wayne Sauramba said. “My favorite project was designing a billboard as it taught us about all the components of advertising as well as marketing that go into creating a medium such as a billboard.”
The students also worked on a social media development project with the city. Groups of students took 10 photos around Caldwell, including one business and one winery, and came up with hashtags for the photos. One group came up with the hashtag “#TheRealCaldwell.” Later in the semester, the students noticed people in the community using that hashtag in a Facebook post.
“The students far exceeded our expectations,” said Holly Cook, the communication and research specialist for the City of Caldwell. “It was great to use the students’ ideas to improve our city’s marketing strategies and to build a connection between the city and the students at C of I.”
Students also worked on a project to create designs and messaging strategies for Tony Stewart, owner of Stewart’s Bar and Grill near campus. The winning group came up with a custom, warm color scheme for the restaurant, along with social media ideas and ways to capture the attention of the C of I student market.
“I was impressed with how the presentations went,” Stewart said. “There was quite a bit of information given and I’m using bits and pieces [for my business].”
With a semester’s worth of real-life marketing projects under their belts, the students feel more prepared than ever to apply their professional skills in the business world after graduation.
“I learned a lot from this class,” Sauramba said. “But most important is that communication, teamwork and organization are key aspects required in order to succeed in any work environment.”
With the thousands of students who have roamed the C of I campus, enjoying a meal in the cafeteria, making a fun run for Finney Hall, or staying up late to cram for a final, the grounds have been seasoned with 125 years of memories like a cast iron skillet. Each memory, layered upon the others, has joined to produce the unique history of the small private school in Caldwell and shaped it into an educational institution with a one-of-a-kind community that continues to produce leaders, innovators and pioneers.
As part of our 125th anniversary celebration, we’d like to hear the history of the C of I told through the lens of those who made it – you. How was your life shaped throughout your years on campus? What story can you relive, as if it happened yesterday? Who was your favorite professor?
Here’s an example from Carol (Dabill) Hobbs ’83, who fondly remembers her time spent in the library:
“For my last two years at the C of I, my work study assignment was in Terteling Library. I LOVE that building. Every time I stepped inside, I felt a load come off my shoulders; no matter how demanding my studies were, or the deadlines I had facing me in various classes, during the time I was in the library it was quiet and I was at peace. There was something restful and rejuvenating, just being among the stacks of books, re-shelving and organizing them. It was the most orderly place I've ever been.
I spent a good deal of time there in addition to my work study, researching my final paper for the Gipson Scholar program. Even if I was simply reading a novel, it was a quiet, peaceful place to be and absolutely my favorite spot on campus. The high ceilings and multiple windows made me feel like I could truly stretch out, both physically and intellectually.
I know that C of I will be receiving a new library, the Cruzen-Murray Library, and I'm sure it will serve the needs of the campus community quite well. But I'll miss Terteling Library. It was beautifully designed and eminently useful, not only for me but for the hundreds of C of I students who entered—and continue to enter—through its doors.”
This year, we’re not only celebrating 125 years of having our doors open, we’re also celebrating you — the students, alums, professors and friends who, like the many red bricks of Sterry Hall, define and shape The College of Idaho.
Click here to submit your own memory on the C of I 125 website! All submissions will receive a free, special edition 125th anniversary calendar!
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.
C of I football star-turned basketball player Teejay Gordon took coach Mike Moroski's word that the College was a special place. His decision to come to Caldwell has paid off, as Gordon has thrived in small classes and enjoyed the overwhelming support of the YoteFam. Why did you choose C of I? #WhyCofI
College of Idaho Director of Marketing & Communications Jordan Rodriguez has been named a 2016 Rising Star by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. Rodriguez will be honored at the upcoming CASE District VIII Conference, taking place Feb. 3-5 in Calgary, Alberta.
C of I alumna Megan Ronk '01 has been promoted to director of the Idaho Department of Commerce by Governor Butch Otter. Ronk was the chief operating officer at the agency before being promoted. “I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to lead a team that is truly passionate about Idaho," Ronk said.
C of I alumnus Dave Whitwood '94 recently was featured in an American Vegetable Grower magazine story about the quest to develop the perfect seed for agriculture crops. Whitwood, who is an onion seed breeder for the Crookham Company, helped develop the Purple Haze red onion variety found in many grocery stores.
C of I alumna Amanda Peacher '05 is covering the militia standoff in Burns, Ore. at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Building for Oregon Public Broadcasting. Read Peacher's coverage by clicking here.
Be sure to check out C of I professor and political expert Dr. Jasper LiCalzi on KIVI Channel 6 News on Monday. Jasper will be live on the set at 1 p.m. to break down Governor Otter's State of the State address.
Coyote Athletics Roundup: Check out the latest issue of "The Pack," the official magazine of Coyote Athletics...Men's basketball took on the University of Utah in an exhibition game. Check out the Idaho Press-Tribune's all-access video and story on the difference between NAIA and NCAA Div. I teams...Forward Joey Nebeker was named CCC Player of the Week for the third time...Check out a preview of the C of I ski team as it prepares to hit the slopes...Women's basketball coach Mark Owen won his 200th career game.
C of I alumna Daina Vitolins '82 has been elected president of the Oregon District Attorneys Association. Vitolins, who graduated from the C of I with a political economy degree, is the first female president of the ODAA, which was founded in 1952.
A call for 2016 Davis Projects for Peace: Applications are open for Summer 2016 Davis Project for Peace Grants. The Projects for Peace initiative provides opportunities for students to undertake grassroots development projects in the United States or abroad. The projects deemed to be most promising and possible will be funded at $10,000. For more information, come to a meeting at 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 13 in KAIC 106 or contact Professor Rob Dayley.