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Friday Letter Archive

The Friday Letter is U of I’s long-running, weekly message straight from the president to members of the Vandal family. Each week during the academic year, and with breaks for holidays, the president offers an update on Vandal teaching and learning, research and scholarship, and notable initiatives and priorities. Alumni and friends are welcome to join students, faculty and staff in receiving the newsletter.

Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
Nov. 1, 2019
Dear Vandals,
“Many hands make light work.” It’s truly a group effort for the University of Idaho to effectively fulfill its mission of teaching, discovery and service.

Our students, faculty and staff contribute every day in ways that elevate our institution to be the very best university it can be. That work is the reason our enrollment is stable, even increasing a bit in key areas. It’s why we’re achieving our fundraising goals – $51.8 million in the last fiscal year. Our budget situation is real, but we are tackling the problem head on and we are determined that it will not define who we are.

We can continue to make this the best university in the Pacific Northwest, even one of the best in the nation, by supporting our three strategic priorities – student success, research and telling our story.

One resource that can’t be found anywhere else in the state is the collective wisdom of our many advisory boards. These boards, representing our colleges, units and the U of I Foundation, meet today in Moscow to focus on the great education, research and scholarship we do throughout Idaho.

The daylong event is an important way our alumni contribute to the future of our institution. Alumni leaders provide advice and help us clarify our thinking on important matters. We are fortunate at U of I to have this resource. These advisory board members are respected decision makers in their communities, both in Idaho and places across the country.

As an alumnus of the Alumni Association National Board of Directors, College of Business and Economics Advisory Board and the Foundation Board, I’m familiar with the hard work they do to advance the University of Idaho. These boards serve as advisors and champions in our effort to spread the good word throughout Vandal Country. They are among our greatest ambassadors.

And to support them, our University Communications and Marketing team and the University Advancement team are launching a new brand ambassador program, complete with a toolkit that can be used to tell our Vandal story.

During our meetings today, we’re showcasing this program and toolkit to our alumni boards, empowering them to share their Vandal experience throughout their communities in an informed and enthusiastic way.

Telling our unique story with one voice will attract motivated students, inspire our alumni and nurture public support. We’ll be looking for their feedback on the toolkit, which will be used to shape and improve the program. The full brand ambassador initiative will be available for Vandals far and wide in early 2020.

Important, impactful work happens each and every day on our Moscow campus and at our centers, Extension and research sites across the state. We have much to be proud of. Let’s be excited about what we can accomplish together.

Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President
Latest News

from U of I

Vandal Theory Podcast Enters a Second Season

The Vandal Theory podcast, featuring U of I researchers discussing their work, is now in its second season with episodes released weekly. Download and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Play. Get the latest episode >

Debate Club Places at First Tournament

Student Debate Club members earned a total of four awards for speech and debate events at their first tournament of the year at Whitworth University. Seven student debate club members traveled Oct. 25-26 to Spokane, Washington. Read more >
Pride points
U of I reduced electrical usage in FY 2019, saving the Moscow campus over $2 million in electrical costs. Learn more >

Professor Jill Johnson in the Department of Biological Sciences has been awarded a four-year, $1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. Learn more >

University Advising Services Associate Directors Shawna Bertlin and Laura Robison have been named 2019 outstanding advisors by the National Academic Advising Association. Learn more >

Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
Oct. 25, 2019
Dear Vandals,
There’s a bright spot in our fall 2019 enrollment numbers that has me feeling optimistic about the future.

Our new freshman class is up 1.9% this year to 1,475 students. That’s 28 additional first-time students who chose the University of Idaho to start working their way toward a college degree. These students made a great choice and we are committed to helping them succeed. I am proud of the growth in this important area – it is part of our mission as Idaho’s land-grant university to provide access to education for our citizens. We are fulfilling that assignment.  

U of I’s overall enrollment is up slightly this fall to 11,926 students from 11,841 a year ago but down from over 12,000 in 2017. Full-time, on-campus student enrollment is down by a few tenths of a percent but has stabilized over the past four years.

In addition to our rising freshman class, graduate student enrollment is up 2.6% this fall to 1,803 students. U of I invested in more competitive packages for graduate teaching assistants two years ago, which has helped us fulfill our educational mission while supporting students in their graduate studies. Our grad students should see enhanced professional development opportunities as well.

Student enrollment from states served by the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) is 1,018 students, up from 724 in 2018. The WUE program provides a discount to students from across the West and was expanded in 2017.

The overall first-time, full-time student retention rate for fall is 77.3%, down from 80.7% a year ago. A new advising tool, VandalStar, aims to combat that. The tool is being fully implemented and provides coordinated support to all students to ensure they stay on track. With that tool and a new approach to student advising, we’re confident we can improve our retention rates.

We are encouraged by improvements in several areas but know we have work to do. The biggest hurdle more and more students face is unmet financial need, even after student loans and scholarships are taken into account. We are committed to addressing that need through our Vandal Promise Scholarship – the university’s fundraising priority. This renewable scholarship aims to fill the $5,000 gap many qualified students face in covering the cost of college attendance. Twenty-two students are already benefiting this fall from the fundraising effort – thanks to the private support from alumni and partners who see the value of investing in Vandal students.

This work is gradual and righting the ship takes time. We are making progress in the right direction and the overall enrollment picture reflects good teamwork across the university – our enrollment management, admissions and marketing teams in particular.

U of I is ever improving to meet the needs of today’s college-bound students. We’re doing good work to ensure student success. We’re telling our story. But we can’t do it alone. We need you. Your passion, and your ability to tell your Vandal story, make a critical difference in how we create life-changing experiences for the next generation.

Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President
Latest News

from U of I

Fall Crowdfunding Campaigns Near End

The 11 fall U&I Give crowdfunding campaigns are open until midnight Tuesday. Crowdfunding opportunities range from the Student Veterans Association, McCall Outdoor Science School and Soil Stewards Student Farm to a U of I Solar Initiative and the Vandal Food Pantry. Learn about the projects being funded >
Snapshots

Idaho Highlights

Joshua Redman, Vertical Voices Headline 2020 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival: The Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival – Feb. 28-29, 2020 – will honor traditional jazz while highlighting today's top musicians. Evening concerts will feature jazz icons Joshua Redman and Vertical Voices, as well as all 16 members of the Lionel Hampton Big Band.

Study Finds Experimental Fences Deter Elephant Crop Raiding, Provide Income: A U of I-led team of researchers found experimental fences reduced the number of times elephants left Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park to raid nearby crops by 80-95%. Beehive fences, which also produce honey, appeared to be the most effective.

U of I Academy of Engineers Welcomes 2019 Inductees: The College of Engineering will induct five U of I alumni and others into its Academy of Engineers today. The inductees are recognized for their personal contributions to engineering achievement, leadership, education, service to the profession and advancement of society.

Emeritus Associate Professor Given National Award for Work with Budding Journalists: Capping a journalism career that began in junior high school, retired University of Idaho associate professor Becky Tallent was recently awarded the Wells Memorial Key, the Society of Professional Journalists’ highest honor.


Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
Oct. 18, 2019
Dear Vandals,
Few sounds are more impressive than the University of Idaho fight song as performed by the Vandal Marching Band.

“Go Vandals, Go” is the only fight song we know. Our Vandal Marching Band, the Sound of Idaho, has led us through that fight song on campus for decades. This Saturday, five current and former marching band directors will lead our Homecoming Parade as grand marshals to celebrate the band's 100th anniversary. Former band directors Robert Spevacek, Dan Bukvich, Al Gemberling and Torrey Lawrence are being celebrated alongside Athletic Bands Director Spencer Martin to mark a century of the band’s signature sound.

This milestone is significant. It’s also worthy of its own Brave and Bold moment.

The band, with help from partners across campus, has a special show planned for us during halftime of tomorrow’s football game against Idaho State. The performance includes 150 new percussion triangles. These are not your ordinary triangles. Working with colleagues in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences and the College of Engineering, they've created triangles that light up when played.

Mechanical engineering and computer science students in the College of Engineering designed the rebar triangles. Students in the Apparel, Textiles and Design program in our College of Agricultural and Life Sciences created hip belts with holsters to hold them. Band members, many enrolled in the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences, volunteered weekends to assemble the triangles that have circuit boards custom-designed by our U of I team in Coeur d’Alene. Watch a video of the triangles being made.

I’m looking forward to the show. Our marching band makes Homecoming a special time. The Vandal Family supports each other and I am proud to support the best marching band in the country.

Homecoming Week is a time of celebration and revelry. As we reflect on what it means to be a Vandal this week, let’s ensure we’re paying tribute to the band and its members for providing the soundtrack to that experience.

Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President
Latest News

from U of I

Donate Canned Food, Show Vandal Pride

U of I has challenged Idaho State University to a Food Fight for Homecoming. The team with the most pounds of canned food collected by kickoff Saturday wins. Food can be donated at Idaho Foodbank locations statewide. The losing team’s alumni director must post a congratulatory video wearing the other team's colors. Find a statewide drop-off location >
Did you know?
Our public archaeology dig at Moscow High School, led by Katrina Eichner and Mark Warner, was featured recently in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Learn more >
Snapshots

Vandals in the Spotlight

Congratulations to Our Summer 2019 Graduates: U of I awarded 276 degrees, including bachelor's, master's, doctorate, law and specialist degrees, following the summer session. That's in addition to 1,527 degrees awarded to students following the 2019 spring semester.

INL Cuts Ribbon on Two New Buildings: From the Idaho Falls Post Register: Idaho National Laboratory cut the ribbon on two new buildings Monday that will boost the lab’s cybersecurity work and its research collaboration with the state’s colleges and universities.

Post-Haste Reed Duo Album Featured in Fanfare Magazine: The Post-Haste Reed Duo, co-founded by Assistant Professor of Bassoon Javier Rodriguez, will be featured in the November/December issue of Fanfare Magazine for the release of the group's latest album, “Donut Robot!” 


Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
Oct. 11, 2019
Dear Vandals,
The Vandal Story is getting out across the Inland Northwest.

I’ve witnessed it touring University of Idaho facilities north and south, east and west. I hear it from our alumni as they share their memories and spread the word across Vandal Country. Now, we’re taking it into communities across the state.

You’ve likely seen one of our 31 billboards across Idaho and eastern Washington touting some of what makes U of I so special. Whether it’s our status as one of America’s best value colleges or our impact around the globe, these messages proudly display our impact as Idaho’s land-grant institution.

If you live in the Treasure Valley, keep an eye out for our “Breakthrough”  buses or the updated window graphics at our Boise locations. Vandals will not be denied. We’re not content to simply study history, we’re making it.

And this is just the beginning. I’m excited to share our new U of I television commercial – which begins airing in select markets and online this weekend. For a sneak peek, click the image below.

We are grateful to the generous donors who helped bring this campaign to life: Lou and Susan Aldecoa, Brad and Annette Elg, Frances and Roy Ellsworth, Mike and Patty Fery, Jack and Julie Hawkins, Jack and Lisa Heath, Bill and Ali Kearns, Clint and Kim Marshall, Gary Michael, Claude Sappington, Intermountain Gas Company and Washington Trust Bank. Thanks for being first in line to help with this effort. Your gift will help us inspire others to reach their potential.

We tell our Vandal stories bravely and boldly to anyone who will listen. We reach thousands of high school and prospective students each year through our marketing and recruitment efforts. As a result, our on-campus events for prospective students are growing.  

I had the privilege of welcoming more than 190 high school students to our Moscow campus last week for the first Envision event of the season. Envision is a daylong program specifically designed for high school seniors considering their college options. Attendance at this fun event was up by 117 students and 153% over last year. Early registration for our November Envision event also looks to be above last year. We are thrilled with this momentum and will continue to enthusiastically connect with the next generation of Vandals.

Join me in spreading Vandal Pride as far as it can go. Share our videos with family and friends. Talk about your Vandal experience with potential college students or your local community organization. Snap a picture of your favorite message and share it on your social media.

It’s never been a more exciting time to be a Vandal. We are grateful for your ongoing support.  

Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President
Latest News

from U of I

Wear Your Gold During Homecoming

We’re looking forward to seeing you at activities including the serpentine, parade and games. Share your experience using #vandalhomecoming. Watch the video >   See the schedule >
Snapshots

U of I Student a Finalist in U.S. Cyber FastTrack Competition: College of Engineering senior Taegan Williams is a finalist in the U.S. Cyber FastTrack competition, earning $22,000 toward an undergraduate certificate in applied cybersecurity from the SANS Technology Institute, the world's largest information security training and certification company.

From Boise State Public Radio: Soil Collection Begins In Magic Valley At Nation's Largest Research Dairy:  Researchers from the University of Idaho began taking soil samples on the site of the nation's largest research dairy, the $45 million CAFE project.

Alexandra Teague's New Collection Featured in The New York Times: "Or What We'll Call Desire" – the newest published work by Associate Professor of English Alexandra Teague – was featured in last week's "The Shortlist" by The New York Times. 


Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
Oct. 4, 2019
Dear Vandals,
You’ve heard me say that the University of Idaho is a special place. We know that in Vandal Country.

So do the outlets that track academics and student life at our country’s institutions of higher learning. U of I consistently ranks among the Gem State’s best on those national lists. We’re a leader among Idaho public universities. As highlighted below, our graduates make more and they experience a high-quality educational environment that is also recognized for being safe and sustainable. 

We are proud of these measures and recognition.

Vandal excellence can be found in this fall’s U.S. News and World Report rankings that place U of I among the nation’s top 100 public colleges and top 200 national universities for factors including academics, student life, safety, employment and salary outcomes.

A similar rating just came out in Washington Monthly that puts us at the top of the state’s national university rankings. U of I is one of The Princeton Review’s “Best 385 Colleges” for 2020 based on factors including affordability, academic quality and career outcomes via a report that notes the university is “incredible” at creating an environment for students and teachers to build great relationships – where faculty members hope to create “well-educated students with the ability to think.”

The stats look even better after graduation. U of I is a leader among Idaho public universities for earnings post-graduation, according to the College Scorecard. Payscale’s 2019-20 report shows Vandal alumni lead the state with median annual mid-career earnings of $97,700.

U of I also earns top marks in its work on safety and sustainability. Safewise ranked us the third-safest city in Idaho earlier this year. And our efforts to implement significant sustainability practices in infrastructure like heating and cooling led to our ranking of sixth nationally when compared to nearly 300 institutions of higher education in 30 countries by the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

A Vandal education provides the tools needed for a successful life and career. We know that. Join me in trumpeting these well-deserved accolades, especially to the people in your life who may be considering life after high school. It’s an important way you can help get them to college.

Vandals are special. Let’s not keep it to ourselves.

Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President
Latest News

from U of I

Wear Your Gold As You Participate in Homecoming Festivities Oct. 13-19

We’re looking forward to seeing you at activities including the serpentine, parade and games. Share your experience using #vandalhomecoming. Watch the video >   See the schedule >
Pride points
Our campaign to create a dynamic new meat science center advanced another major step thanks to a $1 million gift from the Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation

The Agri Beef Meat Science and Innovation Center Honoring Ron Richard will expand educational opportunities for students and animal processing on the U of I Moscow campus. Learn more >

U of I Study: Limited Angling Overlap with Wild Steelhead on Clearwater River

Anglers on the Clearwater River have minimal overlap with wild steelhead when fishing, according to a study led by University of Idaho researchers. Read more >

Engineering Students Place Top Four in Global Grand Challenges Summit Competition

College of Engineering students traveled to London and earned top placement in the Global Grand Challenges Summit student competition. 
Read more >

Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
Sept. 27, 2019
Dear Vandals,
It’s hard to find someone who has done more to help advance college athletics than Terry Gawlik.

Terry brought a track record of leadership and integrity in the field of intercollegiate sports when she came on board as our new athletic director Sept. 1. In 25 years at Wisconsin, Terry oversaw multiple athletic budgets as well as Title IX policy and procedure compliance while leading in the NCAA as chair of many of its standing committees.

In addition to her commitment to success on the field, Terry is just as dedicated to the student-athlete. The coaches and staff members in Vandal Athletics are educators from her vantage point, ensuring the development of young people as they prepare for competition – and for lives beyond the field of play.

Terry brings an optimistic vision to Vandal Athletics that I think is important to share with you all.

Scott Green: You started here at U of I Sept. 1. What are your impressions so far?
Terry Gawlik: The people on this campus, in the city of Moscow, and the athletic department staff, coaches and student-athletes are great, passionate people. That impression has also extended across the state as I have traveled to several cities and areas to meet various Vandal grads and supporters. The pride and traditions are abundantly clear – I am so privileged and excited to be a Vandal.
 
SG: A month into the 2019-20 athletic seasons, what challenges do we face and what are the opportunities on which we can capitalize?
TG: We face many of the same challenges as our peers around the country: time management, budget constraints, student-athlete welfare, compliance monitoring, injuries, I could go on and on. We are fortunate to have dedicated, caring, professional coaches and staff members to tackle these challenges.  Our priorities are to develop student-athletes to be successful in the classroom and on the field, court, pitch, pool and course. We are all educators at this institution and pride ourselves on mentoring and developing young people as they prepare for their lives beyond this campus.
 
SG: You are leading our Sustainable Athletics Model working group, one of several new working groups here at U of I aimed at examining issues and offering recommendations. What is your primary focus with the working group?
TG: My primary focus will be to explore solutions and educate the working group on the athletics model. There is so much we can accomplish on this campus by continuing to improve the working relationship between academics, administration and athletics. I am excited to identify those untapped partnerships that will benefit all parties.
 
SG: We see the success of our student-athletes in competition but it’s important to note they are also studying toward degrees in their respective majors. What should we know about the student side of our student-athletes?
TG: Vandal student-athletes have routinely been among the highest achieving students on our campus, earning a department GPA of 3.0 or better each of the past 11 semesters. Our athletes are philanthropic leaders on our campus as they volunteered over 800 hours of community service the last academic year. Our Men’s Basketball program participated in the “Readers as Leaders” program, inspiring over 2,500 elementary school children. Our student-athletes understand and appreciate the fabulous opportunity they have here to earn a degree, become civic leaders, compete at the Division I level, and make lasting friendships and memories. I intend to help them reach their highest potential by connecting our student-athletes with resources, including our alumni and community.
 
SG: What one thing should Vandal alumni know about our Athletics Program as you start your tenure? How can they support these student-athletes and the overall program?
TG: Be energetic. Keep showing your Vandal spirit and, of course, come out to as many events as you can. I too join your vision of “Every Vandal, Every Year” – the act of encouraging the Vandal Family to provide their time, talents or treasure at least once a year to our institution. Go Vandals!
 
SG: Thank you, Terry. And thank you for joining the Vandal Family. We indeed have a Brave and Bold future ahead.
Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President
Terry Gawlik
Athletic Director
Latest News

from U of I

Ribbon Cut on Collaborative New DeArmond College and University Center

U of I President Scott Green, North Idaho College President Rick MacLennan, Lewis-Clark State College President Cynthia Pemberton and board trustees cut the ribbon earlier this month on the new DeArmond College and University Center at NIC in Coeur d'Alene. This new building is a place to explore more than 70 degrees - from certificates through doctorates - through a collaboration among U of I, NIC, LCSC, Idaho State University and Boise State University. Read more >

Caisley Plays Produced Internationally This Fall

Two plays written by Robert Caisley, chair of the Department of Theatre Arts, will be produced internationally this fall – "Happy" and "Lucky Me." Read more >

Designs Aim to Reduce Youth Recidivism Rate

Choosing a concept for her senior project, student Emma Poe focused on theories of rehabilitation over confinement. Read more >
Snapshots

Spotlight on Students

Engineering Doctoral Student Earns Graduate Teaching Fellowship Paulo Yu, a second-year doctoral student studying mechanical engineering, has been awarded an American Society of Mechanical Engineers Graduate Teaching Fellowship. The fellowship awards $5,000 for a maximum of two years and covers the cost of books, supplies and equipment for Yu's doctoral program.

Student Delves into Climate Change Effects on Pikas in Alaska: Tara Kriz spent the long Alaskan summer days traversing rockslides in search of the elusive pika, a relative of the rabbit with round mouse-shaped ears.


Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
Sept. 20, 2019
Dear Vandals,
The University of Idaho shines because of our excellence in research, scholarship and creative activity. That research activity contributes to discovery and makes a difference for communities across our state and beyond. I want to share some of the work I have learned about since returning to Moscow:
  • We have made strides on the Idaho Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (CAFE), acquiring a site just north of Twin Falls for the CAFE Discovery Complex, a public visitor center and space for faculty offices, laboratories, classrooms and housing. This follows on the spring acquisition of property for a research dairy. The Capital Press has details as this ambitious project continues to take shape.
  • In just 15 years, the Vandal imprint will be on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. Professor Jason Barnes’ vision for a Dragonfly quadcopter to land on Titan was recently selected by NASA for launch. The $850 million project is led by the prestigious Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and includes 35 scientists – and Barnes is the founding member and deputy principal investigator. See KXLY-TV’s coverage for more information.
  • Tara Hudiburg, associate professor in the College of Natural Resources, has earned recognition at the highest level. The 2019 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers was awarded to Hudiburg – the only recipient from an Idaho university, for research that shows “exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology.” Hudiburg’s research focuses on how ecosystem disturbances and climate affect carbon, water and nutrients in forests.
  • I recently joined community members for the Fruit Field Day at our Parma Research and Extension Center, which conducts research on Idaho crops, and in pomology and viticulture. I can report that the apples and grapes are some of the best I have ever had. Professor Essie Fallahi, a research leader at the center, was recently recognized with the Wilder Medal. It’s the American Pomological Society’s highest award and given to individuals who have shown “outstanding service to horticulture” in the science of growing fruit.
Not every story of Vandal research excellence makes headlines, but I hope the entire U of I community values and shares stories of the exciting, promising research at our institution. Students are significantly involved at the undergraduate and advanced degree levels. Our professors, including Barnes, Hudiburg and Fallahi, also exemplify the teaching and mentorship that are part of the Vandal experience.
 
I am proud of the accomplishments by our dynamic Vandal research enterprise. It differentiates our university. I know it makes a difference for our world.
Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President
Latest News

from U of I

Criminology Degree Returns to the University of Idaho in Summer ’20

The University of Idaho’s College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences aims to meet a growing demand for criminal justice-related occupations by bringing back its degree in criminology.  The university will start offering the Bachelor of Science in criminology to students beginning in summer 2020. Read more >
 

Inspire Idaho Nominated for National Excellence Award 

The free app development initiative Inspire Idaho is a finalist in the 2019 Awards of Excellence, a national recognition from the University Economic Development Association. U of I will represent Inspire Idaho at the University Economic Development Association conference in Reno, Nevada, at the end of September. Inspire Idaho is a finalist in the talent excellence category. Read more >

Snapshots

Faculty Spotlights

College of Engineering Proposal Selected for NASA Astronaut Eye Health Study: College of Engineering Associate Professor Bryn Martin's research proposal to evaluate countermeasures that prevent or mitigate the signs and symptoms associated with Spaceflight Associated Neuro-ocular Syndrome has been selected for funding through NASA's Human Research Program.

Lilian Alessa and Andy Kliskey Awarded Grant to Extend CRC’s Mission: Center for Resilient Communities Directors Lilian “Lil” Alessa and Andy Kliskey were each recently awarded National Science Foundation grants that extend the center’s mission to advance the co-production of knowledge and to pursue strategic directions in support of national resilience.


Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
Sept. 13, 2019
Dear Vandals,
One of my top priorities as president has been to champion our university. The Vandal story of excellence – student success, research that makes a difference, our connection to communities – makes its way into local, regional and, oftentimes, national media. Of course, no one can read everything, so I want to share a few recent highlights the world is seeing: I’m happy for our students and for our faculty members who see their experiences and their scholarship recognized. The work we do here at Idaho’s land-grant research university makes a difference – that’s a story that could be written every day, in countless ways.
 
I hope you’ll share stories you find interesting with your friends and neighbors. The news is good in Vandal Country.
Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President
Latest News

from U of I

U of I Ranked Sixth for Energy Reductions and Clean Renewable Energy Sources

By implementing significant sustainability practices in its infrastructure such as heating and cooling, the University of Idaho earned the ranking of sixth among nearly 300 higher education institutions in 30 countries. Published by the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), the Sustainable Campus Index recognizes top-performing colleges and universities in 17 impact areas, as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS). U of I earned a Silver STARS rating for sustainability achievements earlier this year. Read more >
Snapshots

FACULTY RESEARCH EXCELLENCE

McKellar Elected Senior Member of National Academy of Inventors: College of Engineering Research Professor and Industrial Technology Program Director Michael McKellar was one of 54 academic inventors named senior member by the National Academy of Inventors this summer. NAI senior members are active faculty, scientists and administrators from member institutions who have demonstrated innovation-producing technologies that have brought, or aspire to bring, real impact on the welfare of society.

Idaho Falls Professor Collaborates on Patent for Large Geographical Stability: Dakota Roberson, assistant professor in the College of Engineering at University of Idaho, Idaho Falls, was recognized as co-inventor on a recent patent issued to the University of Wyoming. The patent gives both universities a new real-time reconfiguration method for use in large power systems, improving the ability to compensate against large electric power flow changes brought on by intermittent disturbances or even cyberattacks.

Christensen Receives Grant for Nuclear Plant Control Room Simulator: Richard Christensen, director of Nuclear Engineering at the University of Idaho, Idaho Falls College of Engineering, in collaboration with professors Robert Borrelli, Michael Haney and Michael McKellar, was recently awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to support the installation of a NuScale reactor plant simulator. The simulator, which will be housed at the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) at U of I Idaho Falls, is a virtual nuclear power plant control room that provides CAES with the ability to observe nuclear plant behavior.

U of I Archaeologists Hold Public Excavation at Moscow High School

Moscow High School students and their counterparts at the University of Idaho will dig into Palouse-area history throughout September on the high school campus. A team of archaeologists from U of I, as well as high school and college students, are conducting a public excavation at the site to find objects from the high school’s history over the past 80 years – and from Moscow’s earliest settlement. “Before the high school was built on that site, there were homes and an earlier building used as the high school dating back to the 1890s, if not earlier,” said U of I Professor Mark Warner. “We hope to identify things associated with 19th century life in Moscow. Sometimes the small objects can tell bigger stories.” Warner and Assistant Professor Katrina Eichner are leading the excavation with their students. Students from Moscow High School - coordinated by Lee Anne Eareckson, who teaches honors biology, French and world languages and cultures - will also take part. Read more >

Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
Sept. 6, 2019
Dear Vandals,
In joining the University of Idaho, I’ve emphasized a new approach to administration, relying on issue-specific working groups to garner input, examine issues and offer recommendations. The university has challenges and opportunities – our budget not least among them – and I’ve wanted to make sure we’re getting a holistic understanding of those strategic areas of focus, hearing from people inside and outside the university.
 
Two months in, I can report that we’ve hit the ground running. Chandra Zenner Ford, special assistant for strategic initiatives, herself a Vandal graduate and formerly with the Boise mayor’s office and U of I before that for 25 years, is shepherding our efforts with the working groups. Our most immediate area of focus is creating a sustainable financial model. Provost John Wiencek and Vice President Brian Foisy will co-chair this group, with the valued participation of external representatives as well as U of I faculty, staff and students.
 
We have a number of other areas to tackle. We’re either forming or have formed working groups for a sustainable athletics model (new Athletic Director Terry Gawlik has graciously agreed to chair), enrollment management, the student experience, online education, and special projects such as ICCU Arena and the Idaho Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment. Each group will have diverse internal and external representation.
 
We’ve engaged a facilitator to guide our work. We’ll communicate during those processes, and, once recommendations have been arrived at, we’ll share those with key groups such as the administrative cabinet, our Faculty Senate and our Staff Council. That input will help as we finalize recommendations and create roadmaps for their implementation. I expect the conversation to be open, robust and productive.

I appreciate that these conversations are not easy, especially for those of us who work at the university. We will face difficult choices. But in my engagement with our faculty and staff so far, I’ve been struck by an eagerness to put aside concerns and focus on what’s best for the university over the long term. To succeed in our mission to support students, conduct research and scholarship, and serve our state, we have to work collaboratively but efficiently, and with the big-picture goals at the center of our target.  
 
This can be difficult work. But we’re Idaho’s brave and bold university. I know our Vandal Family is up to the challenge.
Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President
Latest News

from U of I

NSF Grant Supports Native American STEM Doctoral Students

Twelve Native American students will receive funding to participate in STEM-based doctoral degree programs at the University of Idaho as part of a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (NSF-LSAMP) Bridge to Doctorate fellowship program. Program funding will cover the first two years of the students’ doctoral programs. Assistantships and other fellowships will cover any remaining funding. Participating students and their program leaders will be encouraged to integrate traditional ecological knowledge, an indigenous way of seeing science and the environment, into their studies. U of I’s College of Graduate Studies will administer the grant and recruit participating students for fall 2020 through a partnership with the All-Nations LSAMP program, which involves 25 tribal and higher educational institutions. Eleven Northwest tribes, signatories to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with U of I and members of the president’s Native American Advisory Council, will also help with referrals and recruitment.
Snapshots

student success

The student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, a student organization in the School of Journalism and Mass Media, was named the "Outstanding Campus Chapter" and the "Campus Program of the Year" for Region 10, which includes Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. As the regional winner, the chapter is a finalist for the national award.

Jamie Waters, a marketing and marketing analytics student in the College of Business and Economics, is one of two people selected for Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) awards to Cambodia. ETAs help teach English while serving as cultural ambassadors for the U.S. Prior to this award, Waters also received a Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship and a Freeman ASIA Award.

Brian Pugliese, a Ph.D. candidate in experimental psychology in the Department of Psychology and Communication Studies, was named a 2019-20 student fellow by the Society for Public Health Education and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. The fellowship supports the training of public health researchers and behavorial science practitioners.

Did you know?
For all the latest news, tips, events, services and funding opportunities that help advance and expand our growing research enterprise, sign up for Scholars and Researchers, the Office of Research and Economic Development’s monthly online newsletter for faculty, students and staff. 

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Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
Aug. 30, 2019
Dear Vandals,
What a fun week! We kicked the fall semester off with our annual Vandal Walk. Classes have started. Fall sports have arrived. I’m inspired by the hustle and bustle of our Vandals finding their way on a once-in-a-lifetime academic and personal experience. They have an exciting journey ahead!
 
Over the past two months it’s been a joy and a privilege to get to know our institution, to learn about our Vandal excellence and to tell the story of our success. Here’s where that listening and learning tour has taken me:
  • I’ve been meeting with our teaching faculty and our researchers. Whether in the forests of northern Idaho, at our Hagerman aquaculture facilities, or at our Rinker Rock Creek Ranch grazing and conservation research center, I’ve been deeply impressed by the quality of our research and the way it makes a difference for our world. We’re stewarding our natural resources, we’re leading in the development of fish nutrition, we’re on the forefront of rangeland research. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
  • I’ve been connecting with industry leaders. As the land-grant institution, we have a special charge to facilitate economic development and prepare the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. I’ve met with leadership from organizations such as Idaho National Laboratory, Agropur, Chobani, Blue Cross of Idaho and more. We have so much potential in Idaho and in our region – I’m excited for the important role U of I plays in that success.
  • We have so much passion to tap into among our alumni. I’ve met with our Vandal Family in McCall, Boise, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Falls and elsewhere. Many of us even shared a raft on the beautiful Salmon River. Our alumni can help build on our strengths and tackle some of our challenges. If you’re a Vandal grad, and you haven’t been involved, we need your passion and your expertise. Be a part of this success story.
As one of our nation’s great land-grant institutions, U of I is proud to serve our entire state. Idaho is our classroom, it is our research site, it is our workplace. It’s our home. You’ll see my Vandal truck in Moscow and statewide – all across Vandal Country – as I connect to hear our story firsthand and then share it with everyone who will listen.
Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President
Latest News

from U of I

Pride points
As recently highlighted by the Idaho Falls Post Register, three University of Idaho Vandals recently received a prestigious Idaho National Laboratory Graduate Fellowship: Kevin Joe Terrill, a mechanical engineering major from Idaho Falls; James Derrill Richards, studying nuclear engineering; and Amey Shigrekar, studying nuclear engineering, are among the 12 recipients chosen from universities nationwide. Benefits of a fellowship include coverage of the first one to three years of graduate school tuition and fees and an annual salary paid by INL in the final phases of their doctoral research. In addition, fellows receive laboratory research experience, the opportunity to publish research and mentorship from INL professionals.
Snapshots

student success

CNR doctoral student Andrew Maguire was one of 120 students nationwide awarded the $90,000, two-year Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology fellowship. The fellowship supports Maguire’s dissertation research in the Arctic, studying how efficiently trees use light for fixing atmospheric carbon dioxide at the forest-tundra ecotone.

Nicolas Schofield, a history and international studies student from Boise, was among 15 students nationwide named to the 2019 Class of the Cultural Vistas Fellowship, offering fully funded, eight-week internships, as well as seminars and a service project to share his learning. Schofield will complete his internship in Berlin, Germany.

University Honors Program student Abigail Childress, from Dalton Gardens, received a 2019-20 $5,000 undergraduate scholarship from the national Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society. Phi Eta Sigma’s mission is to encourage and reward freshmen academic excellence and assist students with future goals. Childress is pursuing biochemistry, microbiology and Spanish majors while in the pre-health professional program.

U of I Partners with Air Force on New Biofuel Research

The University of Idaho Advanced Biofuels Lab is partnering with the U.S. Air Force on a student-led research project to commercialize a biofuel that doesn't freeze at high altitudes and has the potential to be carbon negative. U of I recently received a U.S. Air Force Small Business Technology Transfer (AFWERX) grant of $25,000 to engage entrepreneurs in Air Force operations. The lab was one of 33 nonprofit awardees among thousands of applicants. The award allows U of I to explore solutions researched in the lab to find potential market opportunities in the defense and commercial sectors. "The Air Force is the largest single consumer of jet fuel in the world," said U of I College of Engineering Master of Biological Engineering graduate Brian Hanson '19, the principal investigator on the project. "We've identified a potential solution to a problem for the 600,000 that work for the Air Force, and we want to bring this technology to other potential markets."
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Letter from the President
Office of the President | president@uidaho.edu
Aug. 23, 2019
Dear Vandals,
Welcome to the beginning of a great year in Vandal Country. It has been so exciting to be back in Idaho, touring the state, getting to know this university. Now I have the honor of welcoming new and returning students across our statewide campus to fall semester.
 
Yesterday we celebrated our University Convocation, marking the official start to the year for new Vandals. I have a simple message to our incoming students: Welcome to the Vandal Family. You made the right choice.
  • The University of Idaho is an outstanding choice for an academic experience that elevates students on their way to exciting careers. Students learn from faculty members who are mentors, who are leaders in their fields, and who are members of a caring community. Our student organizations, as well as our fraternities and sororities, are an important part of the diverse, inclusive environment that helps all students succeed. You’ll thrive here. You’ll fit in, and you’ll stand out.
  • U of I is a land-grant, national research university – that means we’re uniquely charged to lead in discovery and innovation that makes a difference for Idaho and the planet. Students are a part of that mission – two-thirds of undergraduates participate in research projects. You can help shape the future.
  • U of I is a launching pad for student success. Vandal graduates go on to rewarding careers and salaries that provide a sound financial footing. More importantly, Vandals grow as leaders, thinkers and citizens. Who do you want to be? Where do you want to go?
Convocation provides a window into an exciting future for our new Vandals. I want to thank our Convocation speaker, Richard Rock, for bringing our students his own example of Vandal success and an inspiring message: “Now is the perfect time for all of you to make a commitment to yourself that you're going to be a lifelong learner. That's a skill that will never go out of style. It will never go obsolete.” I couldn’t agree more.
 
As president, I have the privilege of championing this university. If you don’t already, follow my Facebook page to see updates. I also invite you to share your Vandal pride. Welcoming a new future Vandal into the world? Celebrating an anniversary with someone you met at U of I? Marking an important milestone or taking your Vandal attire on a trip? Show off your Vandal pride, and I’ll share it in an upcoming Friday Letter. Help me tell the U of I story!
Go Vandals!

C. Scott Green
President
Latest News

from U of I

I'm personally leasing this "Vandalized" truck to use as I drive around Idaho. I want people to know that U of I is in town! Share your Vandal pride - send pictures to president@uidaho.edu. Go Vandals!
Pride points
U of I was recently named one The Princeton Review’s “Best 385 Colleges” for 2020! The selection was based on affordability, academic quality and faculty excellence, among other factors. The report notes U of I "is truly a school that invests in its students.”
Snapshots

research that makes a difference

Rebuilding After Wildfire is Not Enough to Curb Future Disasters
Wildfires in the West are becoming inevitable, and communities that rethink what it means to live with them will likely fare better than those that simply rebuild after they burn, concludes a paper in the journal Nature Sustainability and authored by a group of scientists, including U of I’s Crystal Kolden.
 
Back-to-Back Low Snow Years Will Become More Common, U of I-Led Study Projects
Consecutive low snow years may become six times more common across the Western United States over the latter half of this century, according to a University of Idaho-led study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, leading to ecological and economic challenges such as expanded fire seasons and poor snow conditions at ski resorts.
 
U of I Study: Thyroid Hormone Can Alter Color Vision in Zebrafish, Potentially in Humans
Exposure to thyroid hormone can alter eye function in zebrafish, a result with implications for curing color blindness and retinal degeneration in humans, according to a University of Idaho study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Zebrafish and humans have similar genetics when it comes to color vision. The findings could lead to new therapies for visual disorders.
 
U of I Professor Named Idaho EPSCoR Director
University of Idaho Professor Andrew Kliskey, a leader in researching how communities adapt with changing environments, will serve as the next Idaho Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) director. The collaborative statewide program, led by U of I, aims to stimulate Gem State research and involves many of Idaho’s higher education institutions.

Did you know?
The generosity of our alumni, family, friends and partner organizations fuels breakthroughs across the University of Idaho. In fiscal year 2019, donors made it possible for 29 Vandal Promise and four Chobani Scholars to start their college journey, funded over 40 student-led projects and programs through crowdfunding, enabled us to break ground on the ICCU Arena and open the renovated Idaho WWAMI Medical Education building, and supported dozens of research projects and initiatives. Thank you for being a champion for the University of Idaho.

To learn how you can support what matters to you, visit uidaho.edu/giving
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