Coeur d'Alene Newsletter - Fall 2020
From the desk of Charles Buck
University of Idaho students, faculty and staff are modeling best practices to keep the university open and vibrant in these trying times. Classes are underway, students are wearing masks, practicing social distancing and learning. The university continues to focus on world-leading research, high-caliber teaching and devoted outreach to our communities throughout the state.
While we are all operating in a situation that is far from normal, the team at U of I Coeur d’Alene continues to pursue these mission-centric activities. What’s been going on? Our Community Water Resource Center is collaborating with a handful of local groups to bring watershed education to our communities. Throughout 2020, this group has produced a series of informative articles in partnership with the Coeur d’Alene Press. Last month, the Our Gem Collaborative hosted a series of four watershed expert online presentations. These sessions included hundreds of community members eager to learn about our watershed and to have their questions answered by experts.
We are fortunate to welcome two new faculty members in our Coeur d’Alene center. Kirsten Pomerantz ’12, former Coeur d’Alene Schools Teacher of the Year, is hard at work engaging our educators in training. Welcome also to Matt Smitley ‘19, program director for the master of science in athletic training, also with the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences.
Fall brings a great opportunity to tip our hats to our local U of I Extension colleagues. Our Kootenai County Extension team serves more than 800 4-H members and their families. Our Extension colleagues also provide the master gardener and forestry programs, water education and Eat Smart Idaho program. We are happy to announce, as of this month, this team is now housed at the Jacklin Science and Technology Building at the U of I Research Park in Post Falls. We look forward to working closely together.
I hope you are also finding ways to persevere and thrive in the midst of this pandemic. One way U of I Coeur d’Alene is working to promote personal and professional growth moving forward is through microcredentials. These short courses would deliver workforce-relevant skills at a low cost with a commitment of about 8-10 hours. Our team is in the development phase of this program, and we would appreciate your input on focus areas and delivery models. Please take our short microcredential survey.
Read on for more from Coeur d’Alene center news and highlights.
Flu vaccine clinic at the Harbor Center
Sign-ups are open now for a flu vaccine clinic 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, at the Harbor Center. The flu vaccine is more important than ever to protect yourself, your family and our education community. A flu vaccine this season can also help reduce the burden on our healthcare systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Health insurance policy information is required, and insurance will be billed directly by Rite Aid. Most plans cover the annual flu vaccine as preventative care at 100%. Check with your insurance provider to verify your benefits. To reserve a time, please email Christina Cox at email@example.com
U of I Coeur d’Alene presents ‘Motivated Disagreements and Vaccination Decisions’
On Tuesday, Nov. 17 join Bert Baumgaertner, acting chair of the department of politics and philosophy, for a Zoom presentation of his research on knowledge gaps and science-driven policies, specifically around vaccines. “The decision to vaccinate is an example where information about a disease and vaccine is not sufficient to explain people's choices,” said Baumgaertner. He will discuss general strategies for resolving disagreements and applying them in the context of vaccination decisions.
Cybersecurity Awareness Month highlights local students, professor
Did you know smart car shipments are expected to surpass 75 million in the next five years? It means increased communication between cars is essential, so U of I Coeur d’Alene Computer Science Professor Rick Sheldon and a group of U of I doctoral candidates are doing their part to make roads safer. Read about local student Osama Al Qahtani’s intelligent highway research. His feature is part of a Cybersecurity Awareness Month series which also features Lake City High School graduate Isabel Hinkle.
Dig’nIT overcomes challenges for its eighth summer season
Nine high school students from schools across Kootenai County completed a U of I Coeur d’Alene Dig’nIT internship over the summer. Everyone involved adhered to strict precautions to ensure the safety and health of our community. Our thanks go out to the industry hosts who proved flexible and committed to providing an unforgettable on-the-job learning experience for these ambitious high schoolers. It all culminated with the first virtual Internship Showcase. Historically, about half of all Dig’nIT interns go on to become Vandals, so we anticipate seeing many of these interns at U of I soon! One of them joined the center’s first high school coding camp launched via Zoom this fall.
U of I Coeur d’Alene in the News
- Hear Anne Kern and Coeur d’Alene tribal students talk about their Voices to Hear podcast project during an “Idaho Matters” segment on Boise State Public Radio.
- Learn about citizen scientists in the U of I Coeur d’Alene Bay Watchers program.
- Read what Charles Buck has to say about the region’s new Human Rights Consortium.
- Get to know the center’s marketing and communications manager in a CDA Press Fast Five.
- Check out the caddisfly research student Beth Hoots is conducting on Lake Coeur d’Alene.
For more frequent updates, highlights and events from your Vandal Family across North Idaho, join the conversation on these channels:
- U of I Coeur d’Alene: LinkedIn (new!) | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
- Student Support Specialist Helena Harned: Instagram
- Assistant Director of Admissions Becky Byers: Facebook | Instagram
- U of I Extension, Kootenai County: Facebook | 4-H Facebook
- TRiO Educational Talent Search: Facebook | Instagram
- Idaho Regional Mathematics Center, Region 1: Facebook | Twitter
- U of I Sandpoint Organic Agriculture Center: Facebook
If you have an upcoming event or feature you’d like to see on the web, social media, digital displays or our next newsletter, send details to firstname.lastname@example.org.