C of I Newsletter

2016. 02. 05

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Yotes ski team dominating the slopes

Ski Team (48)

The College of Idaho ski team lives by the motto “Best Day Ever.” Every time the skiers are up on the mountain—whether it’s practice or a race—they aim to have fun while slicing s-turns through the snow.

Based on the Yotes’ success this season, you could say the squad is having the “Best Year Ever.”

After the first three weekends of the Northwest Collegiate Ski Conference season, both the C of I men’s and women’s teams already have wrapped up the team championships for the second straight year. Those titles join a crammed trophy case—the women have captured the team title in 11 of the last 14 seasons, with the men winning nine in the same span.

“I definitely think we have a deep talent pool, and it really just depends on the day which one of us is going to come out on top,” said sophomore Mary Totten, who won last weekend’s two giant slalom races. “It’s been really awesome that we’ve been able to take home the team title as well as the individual titles.”

Totten and teammate Anna Granhed have dominated the women’s events, winning five out of the six races. On the men’s side, it’s been Swedish freshmen Anton Waller and William Franzen who have swept the top two spots in every race.

“It’s fun to keep pushing each other,” Franzen said of the friendly team rivalry.

The recent success is nothing new for the C of I ski team. The program has captured 28 U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association team titles, and 21 individual championships since 1979—a big reason the College recently was named among “America’s Best Colleges for Skiing and Snowboarding” by the website BestColleges.com.

And this year, with the addition of 10 freshmen (five men and five women), the ski team boasts the largest, deepest roster in recent memory. Freshman Beth Mixon, of Hood River, Ore., was encouraged to attend C of I by her high school ski coach, who skied at the College.

“When I visited, the ski team seemed really cool and I thought it’d be a fun place,” Mixon said.

Team racing has been a new experience for Mixon, whose high school team consisted of three people. But she’s enjoyed the fun-loving group and her time on the slopes. One highlight was the first race of the season, when she competed at her home mountain of Mount Hood Meadows in Oregon. With her family in attendance, Mixon had one of her best races.

“It’s been absolutely amazing,” said assistant coach Zach Shenk. “This is the biggest team I’ve ever been a part of…the dynamic this team has is something I haven’t seen since I’ve been here. The camaraderie is incredible—everybody is really, really close.”

Shenk transitioned into coaching this year after graduating from the C of I last spring. The former NWCSC Skier of the Year has learned the more difficult side of collegiate skiing, focusing his attention on course setup, travel plans, and being the first one on the hill and the last one off in order to make sure his student-athletes have the best possible experience.

But it’s all worth it to watch each Yote skier have the “Best Day Ever” every weekend.

“We’re determined, we’re having fun, and we’re sending it—as we like to put it,” Shenk said.

The C of I ski team will compete at the USCSA Western Regionals Feb. 18-20 at Red Lodge Mountain in Montana in hopes of returning to the USCSA Nationals Championships, being held March 7-12 in Lake Placid, New York. For the latest news and updates on the C of I ski team, contact head coach Ron Bonneau at [email protected] or visit yoteathletics.com.

Scholarship Gala celebrates 125 years of excellence

C of I 125

On October 7, 1891, The College of Idaho held its first class for two students inside a Presbyterian church. Since that historic day, the College has grown to more than 1,100 students while continuing to build upon the mantra of founding President William Judson Boone: “Let them come, let them all come, and we will see what they can do.”

The C of I will continue to celebrate its 125th anniversary year at the 2016 Scholarship Gala, which is set for 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Boise Centre. Tickets cost $125, with proceeds benefitting student scholarships. For Gala tickets and information, click here or call (208) 459-5017.

“As I ponder the first 125 years of The College of Idaho, I am humbled to think of all the hard work and heartfelt care that others have put forth to make and to keep this place great,” C of I President Charlotte Borst said. “So much has changed since 1891, and the fact that the C of I is still here—and stronger than ever—is a testament to the vision of its founders, the dedication of its stewards and the strength of its mission. We look forward to celebrating with our alumni and friends at what promises to be a very special Scholarship Gala.”

The Scholarship Gala is a black tie-optional event that will feature dinner, live and silent auctions, a fabulous prize raffle, an adopt-a-Yote paddle-up, remarks from President Borst, Board of Trustees chairman Doug Brigham and Student President Chanse Ward. Don’t miss this chance to mingle with your fellow Yotes and celebrate the 125th anniversary in style!

The C of I Scholarship Gala is supported by sponsors Caxton, Hawley Troxell, U.S. Bank, DB Fitzpatrick, Title One, Kreizenbeck Constructors, and ZGA Architects and Planners.

Last year’s Gala raised more than $150,000 for student scholarships. Click here to watch the C of I’s 125th Anniversary video.

Judaic Studies lecture comes to C of I campus

Professor Chajes

The College of Idaho’s distinctive Craig Neilsen Foundation Lectureship in Judaic Studies is set to host Professor J.H. Chajes from the University of Haifa on Tuesday, Feb. 16. Professor Chajes will present two seminars for C of I students as well as the public lecture “Jewish Magic, Magical Judaism,” which is set for 7 p.m. in Lecture Hall 106 of the Kathryn Albertson International Center on the C of I campus in Caldwell. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The Feb. 16 public lecture will take a fascinating look at the place of magic in Judaism from ancient to modern times. Chajes will begin with an exploration of magic in the Bible and classical rabbinic sources, and then turn to medieval Jewish approaches to magic, examining techniques, critiques and legends. He will conclude with a look at the relationship between Jewish magic and contemporary Jewish culture. The lecture will be followed by a wine and cheese reception.

“Hosting a leading and brilliant scholar in the field of Jewish intellectual history and Kabbalah is a great opportunity for the College,” said Dr. Federica Francesconi, professor for The College of Idaho’s Howard Berger-Ray Neilsen Chair in Judaic Studies. “Professor Chajes’ lecture presents an exceptional and intriguing learning experience for our campus and the Treasure Valley community.”

Chajes is an associate professor in the Department of Jewish History at the University of Haifa. He earned his Ph.D. at Yale and is a recipient of Fulbright, Rothschild, Wexner and Hartman Fellowships. Chajes also was a visiting professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York and has been a returning fellow at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
His book, Between Worlds: Dybbuks, Exorcists, and Early Modern Judaism, was listed by the Wall Street Journal as one of the top-five books ever written on spirit possession. He’s currently working on another book, Magic Taboo.

In addition to the public lecture, Chajes will give two seminars for C of I students. He’ll lead “The State of the Spirit: A Discussion of Spiritual Trends in Israel Today” during the Zionism and Modern Israel course at 9:40 a.m. in Strahorn Hall room 314 and then present on “Kabbalah and the Visualizing of the Invisible” for the History of Jewish Art class at 2:40 p.m. in KAIC 107.

The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation Lectureship in Judaic Studies brings dignitaries, scholars and public figures to campus to speak about Jewish religion, interfaith dialogue, culture, history, arts and current events. It is part of the College’s Howard Berger-Ray Neilsen Chair in Judaic Studies, which was created to promote greater understanding of Jewish traditions, culture and philosophy in Idaho and the West.

C of I student-teachers benefit from fifth-year internship

Education Department

About 30 Caldwell High School freshmen listened intently as Josh Brookshire explained magnets and magnetic fields.

“What happens to a nail if I take it and rub a magnet over it?” Brookshire asked the class.

“It becomes a magnet,” a student replied.

Brookshire is part of The College of Idaho’s fifth-year teacher preparation program, the only one of its kind in the state of Idaho. During their first four years, C of I students are exposed to a broad liberal arts background. If a student plans to teach secondary school, their major and one minor become their first and second teaching fields. If the goal is elementary school, students will major in precertification/ interdisciplinary elementary education. They then spend a fifth year interning at a local school.

“It’s kind of like the medical model where you are doing a residency,” said Dr. Debra Yates, C of I professor of education.

During the fifth year program, students teach lessons every day. The aspiring teachers get a chance to teach different subjects and switch grade levels to experience a wide range of education. They also get an opportunity to put all of their learned strategies into action, and then come back to campus to meet and debrief. Together, the C of I teaching interns share ideas, problem solve and become better educators before venturing out on their own.

The opportunity to practice teaching methods has been nice, Brookshire said. He can enter the teaching laboratory to experiment and find out what works and what doesn’t.

“All of those great ideas I thought I had, I get to test out,” Brookshire said.

Brookshire is in the unique position of also being paid to teach at Caldwell High School while interning. He has coached football at CHS for several years, and the Caldwell School District asked him to apply for a job opening through the “alternative routes method” while he worked toward his teaching license. The method gives school districts a chance to hire qualified personnel in areas that have shortages, such as STEM fields and English/Language Arts. Brookshire was hired because of his Math/Physics degree he received at C of I.

But Brookshire didn’t always want to be a teacher. The Navy veteran studied mechanical engineering for a year at Boise State University before deciding to enroll at the C of I and pursue a career teaching math and science.

“My mom has been a teacher for 26 years and kind of always joked that I would end up here,” Brookshire said. “I fought it, but now I’m in the same school district, just down the road from my mom.”

Brookshire leans on his fellow teachers, especially his mentor and fellow freshman science teacher, Mel Hensman. Brookshire, a Caldwell native, once sat in Hensman’s eighth-grade science class as a student. Now, he bounces ideas off her to hone his craft.

He also leans on the community of student-teachers at C of I. The science-focused students get together once per week with C of I chemistry professor Chris Saunders to go over methods to implement in their classrooms. Brookshire recognizes the practice and support structure at C of I during his fifth year is helping prepare him to teach on his own next year.

“There are a lot of days where I’ll leave [Caldwell High] with a question and just drive down the road [to campus] to pop in and ask, ‘Hey, I tried this and it didn’t work,’ or ‘I have this kid that won’t engage, how do I get them to pick up?’” Brookshire said.

And it’s those little moments, when a student will engage, that are the biggest rewards of teaching. On that day teaching about magnets, a girl who’d been disinterested in Brookshire’s science class all year suddenly lit up when the topic shifted to ferrofluid, a fluid that contains metal and can become strongly magnetized.

“Maybe that will adjust her life path a little bit, if I can create that interest,” Brookshire said.


Winter 2015

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 info.

February 5

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

February 6

C of I Indoor Track competes at the Bronco Invitational at the Idaho Center in Nampa.

February 6

SENIOR NIGHT: Women's and men's basketball take on Multnomah at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., respectively, in J.A.A.C. Click here for ticket information.

February 13

C of I Indoor Track competes at the Boise State Team Challenge at the Idaho Center in Nampa.

February 16

Half-Century Luncheon at noon in the Simplot Dining Hall featuring Dr. Rob Dayley.

February 16

The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation Lectureship in Judaic Studies presents 'Jewish Magic, Magical Judaism' by Professor J.H. Chajes, 7 p.m., KAIC Lecture Hall 106.

February 17-21

See the 2016 opera production Dido and Aeneas at 7:30 p.m. nightly from Feb. 17-20 in the Langroise Recital Hall, along with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. on Feb. 21. Tickets are $10 adults, $7 seniors, $5 students.

February 18

National Alumni Board Meeting.

February 20

C of I 125th Anniversary Scholarship Gala, 5 p.m., Boise Centre. Click for tickets and info.


Orma J. Smith Museum

The College of Idaho’s Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History has been included in Best College Rankings’ list of “The 30 Most Amazing Higher Ed Natural History Museums.” The Orma J. Smith Museum’s impressive collections of artifacts, insects, vertebrates and modern fishes earned recognition alongside museums at Harvard, Yale, the University of Michigan and other prestigious institutions across the United States.

Coyote Athletics Roundup: Check out the latest issue of  "The Pack," the official magazine of Coyote Athletics...Aitor Zubizarreta scored 45 points in a win against Evergreen, the most by a Yotes basketball player in 25 years. He also was named Cascade Conference Player of the Week...C of I Men's and women's swim teams had record performances at the Husky invite in Washington...Seven men's and women's basketball players earned U.S. Bank Academic All-CCC honors...The C of I baseball team won it's home opener against Arizona Christian, 4-2...The C of I football team announced its 2016 recruiting class, as reported by the Idaho Statesman and Idaho Press-Tribune.

College of Idaho senior Haley Ganatos describes her time at the C of I as a "non-stop opportunity" to pursue her passions for learning, theatre and travel abroad. What opportunities await you at Idaho's No. 1 College?

The Brothers of Theta Psi Chapter of Delta Tau Delta at The College of Idaho need your help! Currently, the Delt House plumbing is outdated and the fraternity doesn't have sufficient funds to cover a permanent fix. In recent years, sewage backups, flooding and even mold have been a concern at the house. The chapter is looking to cover the cost of a sewage pump and regrading the sewer to permanently fix the problem. Click here to learn more. Any and all contributions are greatly appreciated!

Faculty News & Notes: C of I English Professor Maimuna Islam had her short story "Migrations to Medina" published by Kweli, an online quarterly that celebrates cultural kinships and the role of the literary imagination in writing...Political Economy Professor Robert Dayley had his peer-reviewed article “Thailand’s Last Peasant” published in The Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, vol. 47, no. 1, February 2016. The article is based on field work related to his 2014 sabbatical and is co-authored by Attachak Sattayanurak, a historian at Chiang Mai University...English Professor Diane Raptosh '83 had her poem "Rugged Western Individualism" appear in the journal Cascadia Review. The poem will be part of Raptosh's new book, Human Directional, which will be released this fall...Environmental studies Professor Megan Dixon presented at the 2016 Water Quality Workshop, put on by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. Dixon shared her experience leading two years of senior capstone classes that focused on local water quality issues in Canyon County.


Study abroad in London next winter! C of I students have an opportunity to explore the art, history, urban development and literature of one of the world’s most exciting cities. The London experience includes a Fall 2016 prep course and Winter Term 2017 in London. This popular course, which counts toward credit in six different minors, has a reputation as a demanding yet exhilarating and transformative study abroad experience. For more info, contact Professors Garth Claassen, Steve Maughan or Sue Schaper!

C of I alumnus Josh Wilson '15 has signed to play basketball overseas in Germany with the OTB Titans. (If you don't know how to read German, clicking on the link may not be useful).

An organic farming conference was held on the C of I campus, put on by the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides. The conference covered topics including soil quality, weed management, organic certification and more.