Fall 2020 Alumni and Friends Newsletter
It’s mid-semester here in the College of Art and Architecture and so far, it has been one of constant change. However, I’m happy to say one of those changes has been the return of our students, faculty and staff to campus.
I can’t tell you how much we missed the vibrant buzz students bring with them, and we’ve enjoyed their return as we adapt to and reinvent ourselves in this new normal. We’ve had to weather a few challenges, including the virus, smoke from neighboring state’s wildfires and an early snowfall, but we did it; proving Vandals just get things done.
Our students are working really hard this semester, to remain engaged, to stay safe and keep their community safe. We couldn’t be prouder of their commitment to their education. Even amid the pandemic, they’re still finding joy in what they do, and charting their course into the future as our next generation of makers, thinkers and designers.
Speaking of still finding joy in what they do, our faculty and staff have been tremendous, especially in these uncharted waters. I appreciate everything they are doing to ensure a safe, quality education and experience for our students.
COVID-19 has posed unique challenges to the university, and our college is no exception. But our faculty, staff and students have risen to the challenge, often finding creative and innovative ways to continue to offer the world-class education we’re known for.
Take two members of the Virtual Technology and Design faculty, Rayce Bird and Jean-Marc Gauthier, for example. During spring semester, they led students from the Entertainment and Storytelling Capstone course in creating a virtual reality gallery for collaborative work and presentation of projects as part of online learning. The VR gallery opening was attended by more than 50 students, parents, CAA faculty and guest critics from Idaho and the U.S.
This effort created the sense of community you can only find in a classroom, all while remaining safe and cognizant of the health of our Vandal Family. I’m inspired by the energy and passion our faculty have shown during this otherwise difficult time; seeing this change as an opportunity to chart new courses and explore opportunities to help our students succeed.
While the pandemic certainly impacted our enrollment efforts, I am pleased to report that our college exceeded expectations and increased 1.7% overall with an over 7% increase in new students. Our Boise program also witnessed a strong increase thanks to the hard work and dedication of our recruitment team. We exceeded our goal, and I’m happy to report we have nearly 20 new Vandals in the Treasure Valley. Kudos to our U of I Boise Center colleagues and all they have done to address student needs this semester.
I’d also like to give a big congratulations to Prichard Art Gallery Director Roger Rowley, who joins a select group of Idahoans who have been honored over the last five decades for significant contributions to the arts in the Gem State as a recipient of a 2020 Governor's Award in the Arts. This is the highest honor available in the state’s art community, and Roger was selected for “Excellence in Arts Administration.”
I can’t tell you how much I value the tremendous contributions Roger and the Prichard Art Gallery bring to us. The Prichard offers a wealth of learning experiences for our students, the community and the region. Over the past 18 years, the gallery has brought world class artists to Moscow and has developed compelling traveling exhibits including “Facing the Inferno,” a show that continues to make its way to galleries across the nation. Additionally, a recent economic report completed by Steven Peterson, associate clinical professor in the College of Business and Economics, identifies the gallery as a force economically, bringing in $1.5 million in revenue to the area annually.
This is a time of making the best of what we can while being supportive of our learning and teaching missions, as well as the health of our Vandal Family and broader community. Despite the challenges COVID-19 and our budget reduction has posed, we’re continuing many of the traditions that have made CAA and the University of Idaho such a special place for 130 years.
Shauna Corry, Ph.D.
College of Art and Architecture
CAA Partner Projects: IMID and Cushing Terrell
CAA has entered into a partnership to help conceptualize a home for a museum in Boise dedicated to telling the story of diaspora groups – groups which have been forcibly removed or dispersed from their homelands – from within Idaho and around the world.
The partnership includes the Idaho Museum of International Diaspora (IMID) — a non-profit focused on honoring and sharing the stories of global diaspora and homecoming in Idaho — and Cushing Terrell – an architecture and engineering firm with offices in Boise and across the U.S., which will provide professional support for the students and participating design studios.
For the Fall 2020 semester, students from fourth-year professional programs in architecture and interior architecture are researching and exploring site options and completing conceptual building designs as part of interdisciplinary, collaborative design studios. The collaboration will be beneficial to the students participating, offering them real-world professional experience at the undergraduate level. This fall, the project is led by Anne Marshall, architecture professor, and Rula Awwad-Rafferty, interior architecture and design professor, with support from our Cushing Terrell design mentors: Brian Hollowell, architect; David Koel, principal; and Maddi Dietrich Miller, interior designer. Thank you to Palina Louanqketh, executive director of the IMID, and Jason Butler, principal of Cushing Terrell, for their efforts and support of this project.
Prichard Art Gallery Exhibit
On display at the Prichard Art Gallery until Thursday, Dec. 31, is “Exercises in Passivity” by Seattle, Washington-based artist James Coupe. Reflecting on the impact of Big Data, immaterial labor and AI, James’ artworks explore searches, queries, automation, classification systems, the use of algorithmic narratives, surplus value and human affect.
Check it Out!
Bruce Haglund has a storied career in sustainability, culminating with the 2020 American Solar Energy Society’s Leadership in Solar Architecture and Design Award, which he received for his leadership in the field and for influencing generations of design professionals to advance the profession. Read more.
Katherine Woodhouse received a $4,000 landscape architecture scholarship from National Garden Clubs Inc. to help her complete her grad studies at CAA in Boise. Congratulations, Katherine!
U of I Architecture students fared well at the 2020 American Institute of Architects Northwest and Pacific Region Student Design Awards: Shudan He won a Citation Award for her graduate project “Nostalgia,” completed under the supervision of her advisor Assistant Professor Carolina Manrique (she also won the Lombard Conrad Architects Graduate Project Prize for this work); Regan Campbell and Tyler Schram received an Honorable Mention for their “SHE Center,” produced in Professor Anne Marshall’s fourth year studio which travelled to Togo, Africa to create a conceptual design for a sustainable girls’ school.
The University of Idaho HAUS team won first place at the Hacking for Homebuilding competition. The team was composed of masters of Architecture students Lyndsay Watkins, Kelsey Ramsey and Reggie Mace (U of I Boise), and masters of Architecture student Sterling Jones and B.S. Mechanical Engineering student Evan Allen (U of I Moscow). Hosted by the Boise State Venture College with winners announced live at Boise Startup Week, the competition challenged student teams to come up with solutions to major issues faced in the construction trades — everything from finding more affordable housing to contending with construction site debris. The U of I team won first place and $10,000 with a project that allows homeowners to make house repairs without the costly need to remove and replace drywall, via an access system that can easily reach the utilities in their homes. The concept paves the way for easy install of future home technologies and makes the installation of services on the job site simpler for the construction team. Congratulations!
Congratulations to Jen Smith, Career Services career advising liaison for the College Art and Architecture, who received the 2020 Leadership in Career Development Award from the Idaho Career Development Association.
Foundations Coordinator and Associate Professor of Art + Design Stacy Isenbarger has been collecting ideas for teaching art at a social distance in creative and innovative ways as she leads a nationwide project called What Do We Do Now. Learn more.
Help Students Succeed: Join the Vandal Mentor Network
Online mentoring through the Vandal Mentor Network provides a way for alumni to connect with fellow Vandal graduates and current students as both work to accomplish employment and career goals. Join the network.