Every morning, Nami Yamamoto ’09 walks into her office and drinks a hot cup of green tea. Her 90-year-old grandfather has done the same throughout his life, and so has her father. The tradition is done to make sure the quality of family-owned Yamamotoyama tea is consistent. After all, it’s a consistent, reliable product that has helped the company survive for 326 years.
Founded in 1690, Yamamotoyama specializes in producing the finest green tea and nori seaweed. And with the eleventh generation, the historic tea empire will one day have its first female president in Nami.
She had a passion for dancing. He had a desire to pursue a career in hip-hop. Together, College of Idaho alumni Miranda Palacio ’13 and Andrew Heikkila ’12 formed the artist collective Earthlings Entertainment in 2013.
With the goal to “constantly challenge the status quo through artistic expression and creative inspiration,” Earthlings Entertainment is growing the underground hip-hop scene in Boise. But the collective of artists—which includes poets, writers, dancers and more—also aims to give back to the community.
Nia Stevens ’11 grew up a few miles away from The College of Idaho. When she was a little girl, her parents told her “That’s a great college. It’s a diamond in our backyard. People come from all around the world to go to that college.”
And at the age of 14, Nia herself stepped foot on campus as a college freshman. After finishing high school early, she double majored in music and English. But upon graduating, like most 18-year-olds, she still didn’t know what she wanted to do in life.
Art has always been an influential part of College of Idaho alumna Megan Mizuta’s life. It was in the third grade that she announced her intention of becoming a museum docent after visiting the Boise Art Museum. A few years later, it was an image of Diego Rivera’s The Flower Carrier that made a lasting impression.
“We drew it in oil pastels on black construction paper,” Mizuta said. “Mine turned out particularly well and my parents hung it up in our living room, where it stayed for several years.”
While a senior in high school, College of Idaho graduate Aliza Auces ’16 juggled the usual schoolwork and a job. But in her free time, she spent every minute beside her beloved grandfather in the hospital—especially during his final two weeks. The man, who emigrated from Mexico to Caldwell, Idaho, was a source of support, inspiration, and wisdom in her life.
When Auces told him she wanted to be a doctor, at the age of seven, he kindly gave advice to guide that goal.
On October 13, C of I alumnus Sean Dahlman presented “Scores for Short Horror Films,” one of the featured events of the annual Idaho Horror Film Festival. Dahlman has worked with the festival for several years, and he took a moment to talk about the show, as well as other current projects with student reporter Austin Kirkham.
What projects have you been involved with since graduating from The College of Idaho?
At 19 years of age, Alabama native Pamela Dockstader ’16 signed up for the United States Army. Over the course of six years repairing armament on M1 Abrams and M2 Bradley tanks and serving two tours in Afghanistan, Dockstader fell in love with the military. And while transitioning to civilian life and attending The College of Idaho, she discovered a love of microbiology.
Today, she’s found a way to combine her two passions.
If there has been one constant in the life of Kris Komori, it’s change. He wanted to study audio engineering in college; instead, biology caught his eye at The College of Idaho. He interned at the Veterans Affairs medical center in Boise and took the MCATs in preparation for medical school.
But then another passion started to boil over.
While working a college job at the Mona Lisa fondue restaurant, Kris developed an interest in cooking. And after graduating in 2005, Komori decided culinary school, not med school, would be his choice.
Filmmaker Ly Bun Yim lives in Ta Khmao, a suburb of Cambodia's crowded and energetic capital, Phnom Penh. When College of Idaho alumna Jessica Austin ’09 first visited him in June of 2013, Ly gave her an electrifying tour of his self-designed studio, which doubled as his home. He bought the property upon returning to Cambodia, decades after he fled from the genocidal class-warfare waged by the Khmer Rouge soldiers in the late 1970s.
College of Idaho alumnus Sean Dahlman ’14 sits behind the piano, his fingers water-falling over the keys. Penciled music notes adorn the notebook before him, a cup of coffee to the right of that. On a table across from the piano, books sprawl open, such as “The Study of Orchestration.” A melodica lays on top of some papers, to diddy and mess around with.