ISU Magazine

Volume 40 | Number 1 | Fall 2009

Campus Shot

Columns on Red Hill.

Photo by ISU Photographic Services


Fall 2009 Issue


Philip Neiswanger, BA journ ’53, was inducted to the Oregon Newspaper Hall of Fame. He was editor and publisher of The News-Review in Roseburg from 1973 until he retired in 1993; he then served as interim publisher at the Nevada Appeal in Carson City. Neiswanger served on the board of directors of Swift Communications for 18 years before retiring in 2006. He was named the Outstanding Freshman Journalism Student at Idaho State College in 1950.


Hon. Peter D. McDermott, BA govt ’64, retired as a District Court judge for the Sixth Judicial District of Idaho. He was appointed district judge in 1981 and also served as a public defender for the district from 1969 to 1981. McDermott has been active in the Sixth District Bar Association, Idaho State Bar Association, Idaho Trial Lawyers Association, and Idaho District Judges Association.

Darwin Pugmire, cert instrmnt tech ’64, recently retired after 30 years’ service with Idaho Power; his positions include power plant oiler, power plant operator, power plant technician, chief operator, power plant supervisor, manager hydro production, and general manager of power production. Pugmire lives in Meridian and volunteers for the American Red Cross.

Donald E. Knickrehm, BA journ ’67, is a partner with Givens Pursley LLP in Boise. He has more than 30 years’ legal experience in real estate development and finance. His background includes real estate-related loan restructures and foreclosures; he has represented savings associations, banks and life insurance companies.


Rix Tillman, BME ed/music ’67/MAED sec ed ’70, pastor of Exciting Immanuel Church in El Paso since 1985, has retired. He has authored a book, Pastor Survival: What They Didn’t Tell You in Seminary available at He is also working on another book, Pillar of Fire: Chronological Bible Devotions, Volume One.

Greg Anderson, MED stu pers work ’72, has retired as vice president and loan officer at the Bank of Idaho in Pocatello. He worked as both an assistant director and director of the ISU student union for a total of 28 years.

John C. Berry, Jr., BA phys ed ’73, received the Lifetime Service Award from the Idaho Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. He has been the high school wrestling coach at Sugar-Salem High School for 30 years. Berry coached for three years at Blackfoot High School.

William James Johnston, alumnus ’73, of Pocatello, has been appointed to the board of trustees of the Idaho State Historical Society by the Idaho State Board of Education. He will represent District Six, comprising Bannock, Bear Lake, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida and Power counties. Johnston is an associate broker with Home Specialists Real Estate in Pocatello.

Dave Heberlein, BBA mgt/org ’75, is associate vice president and financial consultant with D.A. Davidson and Company in Pocatello. He began his career with A. G. Edwards and has more than 20 years’ experience in the securities industry.

Shannon McCarrel, BS radiog sci ’78, of Sisters, Ore., was the recipient of the 2008 Hologic Vanderhoff Spirit Award. She is an account manager of Hologic, Inc., a women’s health care provider. In 2008, McCarrel traveled with other health care professions to establish the East African Breast Care Project in Tanzania.


Kristi Granados, BBA acct ’81, was elected to serve as president of the Dona Ana Chapter of Certified Public Accountants for 2009-2010. She is also a member of the New Mexico Society of Public Accountants, National Society of Accountants, and American Society of Women Accountants. Granados is a certified public accountant with Kriegel/Gray/Shaw & Co., PC in Las Cruces.

William D. Hansen, alumnus ’81, has been named president of Scantron Corporation. Previously, he served as president and chief executive officer of Chartwell Education Group, LLC, an education-related consulting firm. Hansen is a former deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy, and functioned as its chief operating officer. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Idaho State University in 2003.

Lisa Anderson, BA art ’82, is an associate professor of art and graphic design at the University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg. She is an artist who recently participated in “Art in Academia: Southeastern College Art Conference Members’ Juried Exhibition” in Mobile, Ala.

Muffet Hirning, alumna ’82, is a registered nurse and case manager with Guardian Home Care. She has 26 years’ experience as a nurse and has worked at Bingham Memorial State Hospital, State Hospital South , the VA Nursing Home and Harms Memorial Nursing Home.

Jeff Thomas, BBA finance ’82/MBA bus admin ’89, graduated from the American Bankers Association Stonier National Graduate School of Banking in Philadelphia. He is senior vice president and Eastern Idaho regional credit administrator for D.L. Evans Bank.

Tammy Utter, BA elem ed ’82/MED curr & inst emph ’96/MED ed admin emph ’06, is the principal at Linden Park Elementary School in Idaho Falls. She served as assistant principal at the same school last year.

Susan Bithell, BBA marketing ’83, of Seattle, is vice president of field operations for Farmers Insurance in Washington. Her career with Farmers Insurance began in 1983, and most recently, Bithell served as Farmers Washington state executive director. Bithell earned a master of business administration with Distinction from California State University – Fresno in 1998.

Daniel M. Steflik, MBA bus admin ’84, of Elko, Nev. has qualified as a “championship” agent by Farmers Insurance for his outstanding overall performance. Steflik achieved a high sales volume for auto, home, life and business policies while maintaining high client retention and profitability.

Kathleen Kempton, alumna ’85, is executive director of the Boise State University Foundation. She joined Boise State University in 2007, as director of finance for University Advancement. Most recently, she served the university as assistant vice president.

Frances Schwarzenberger-Lopez, BBA finance ’88/MBA bus admin ’95, was named prime contract manager for Bechtel National Inc. Kwajalein Range Services based in Huntsville, Ala. Lopez recently completed the assignment of prime contracts administrator for Bechtel National on the Ground Based Mid-course Defense program and has over 20 years of experience in relevant fields.

Maggie Frole Spurling, MED health ed ’88, is chairwoman of the Boise Board of Parks & Recreation Commission for 2009-2010. She has more than 25 years’ experience in local non-profit organizations, state government, and the health insurance industry. Most of her career was spent as the national accounts manager at Healthwise and as an account executive at Lincoln National Life Insurance Co.


Cheryl L. Anderson, BS corp train ‘94, retired from the Office of Financial Aid at ISU on June 25, 2009. She served as the assistant director of financial aid for 25 years.

Marci Bartu, BA elem ed ’90, was named the Idaho Middle Level Association teacher of the year for Region Five. She has taught in School District No. 25 for 18 years, the past six years at Franklin Middle School in Pocatello. Currently, she currently teaches English and literature.

Lance Rosenkrance, exited ’91, is a management trainee with Ireland Bank in Mackay. He has previously been self-employed as a farmer and a brand inspector.

Heidi Crouch, MHE health ed ’93/EdS ed admin ’08, is principal of Emerson High School in Idaho Falls. Crouch will oversee and coordinate many of the intervention programs, including Safe and Drug Free Schools and education services at the juvenile detention center.

Diane Hutchinson, BUS interdisciplinary stu ’93, retired as deputy in charge of the Pocatello Divisional Office of the U.S. Courts in September. As the deputy in charge, Hutchinson and eight clerks provided support staffing for the federal judges.

Lance Kolbet, alumnus, of Pocatello, qualified for the Court of the Table of the Million-Dollar Round Table of the Premier Association of Financial Professionals. He is president and chief executive officer of University Financial Group which he founded in 1993.

Brian Underwood, AA crim justice ’93/BS pol sci ’98, was recommended to be appointed a U.S. Marshal for Idaho by Congressman Walt Minnick. He has been warden at the Pocatello Women’s Correctional Center since 2002; he previously served as a Pocatello police officer and manager of the Sixth Judicial District Probation/Parole Office.

Lyle Cook, BBA mktg ’94, is vice president and credit relationship manager at Syringa Bank’s Orchard Place Branch in Boise. His responsibilities include special asset and commercial relationship management. Previously Cook worked for Regal Bank as vice president and senior relationship officer.

William S. Wright, BS biology ’94, a conservation officer for the Idaho Fish and Game Southeast region, received the Citizens Against Poaching Officer of the Year award. Wright teaches hunter education in the American Falls and Aberdeen area and participates as a shooting instructor in the annual Fish and Game Youth Pheasant Clinic.

Christopher W. Davis, BA pol sci ’95, is a U.S. Air Force captain who was awarded the Bronze Star for outstanding work in Iraq and Afghanistan. He serves with the Military Intelligence Unit and is currently stationed in Germany.

Amy National Guard Spc. Steven B. Merrell, BA spch comm ’95, graduated from basic combat training at Ft. Jackson in Columbia, S.C.

Amy Shapiro, MFA art ’95, received an honorary degree from Monmouth College in Monmouth, Ill.; she was nominated for the traditional pre-college teacher award by a former student. Shapiro graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education from Illinois State University and has been a fine arts teacher at Bolingbrook High School since 2001.

Daniel R. Walker, MS pharm ’95, completed an anatomic and clinical pathology residency at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. He will continue his education through a civilian fellowship in transfusion medicine at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.

Elaine Asmus, MNS biology ’96, a science teacher at Snake River High School, was named the Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction by the National Society of High School Scholars in May. She began teaching 1984 and was one of six state finalists for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science in Idaho.

Allene Parker, DA Engl ’96, was promoted to associate professor of humanities and communication at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz. Previously she was assistant professor of Humanities and writing director.

Sheila Anderson, BBA finance ’97, has been appointed to the supervisory committee of the ISU Federal Credit Union. She is a senior accountant for Finance & Administration at ISU.

Alice Schenk, MHE health ed ’97, of Rupert, completed her first year as adjunct faculty teaching health and fitness classes for the College of Southern Idaho at the Mini-Cassia Outreach Center. She completed the Ford Ironman Tempe Arizona in November, 2008.

Brandi Townsend, cert off tech ’97/AAS off tech ’01/ /BBA finance ’03, of Inkom, is an authorized distributor of Miche handbags. Townsend and her husband, Ely, also operate Idaho Innovations and Jomama Customs.

Kelly Coughenor, MED ed admin emph ’98/EdS ed admin ’08, is principal at Hawthorne Elementary School in Idaho Falls. He served as principal at Longfellow Elementary School the past 10 years.

Capt. Emilee Venn, BS zoology ’99, received the 2009 U.S. Army Veterinary Corps Junior Officer Exceptional Service Award at the 12th Annual Force Health Protection Conference on Aug. 17, in Albuquerque, N.M. Venn graduated with a DVM from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007 while stationed at Ft. Carson, Co.


Karri Anderson Davis, BM music perf ’00, of Vernal, Utah, was selected as a semifinalist for the 2009 International Clarinet Association Orchestral Competition held in Oporto, Portugal Oct. 14. She was also presented as the first ever United States Army Bands Reserve Component Soldier of the Year for 2008. She is associate principal clarinet in the orchestra at Temple Square. Davis completed a master of music degree from the University of Utah.

Tamera Douglas-Ives, AS sign lang stu ’00/BA soc ’06, has opened a neighborhood pottery studio, “The Clayground” in Pocatello. She participated in this year’s Alumni Art Show held in conjunction with ISU Homecoming in Pocatello. Upon completion of oral examinations, Douglas-Ives will complete her master of public administration degree at ISU.

Jeffrey Lunt, alumnus ’01, opened his own State Farm Insurance agency in Chubbuck in January. He joined State Farm Insurance as an agent three years ago and earned a degree in accounting from the University of Phoenix.

Sarah Jane McDonald, BS human resource train/develop ’01, is a constituent service representative in the Idaho Falls office of U.S. Senator James Risch. She previously worked for Sen. Risch in the governor’s office on constituent issues and as the sergeant at arms in the Idaho Senate for six years.

Brett Mills, BBA finance ’01, is manager and senior nationwide loan officer for Academy Mortgage Corporation in Layton, Utah. He has also served by industry appointment on the Utah Mortgage Lenders Association Board of Governors for the past two years. Mills was recognized in the top 200 list of the Mortgage Originator Magazine for all three categories monitored. He was 14th nationwide in FVA/VA unit production, 75th nationwide in total loan unit production and 191st nationwide in loan volume production.

Jamie Parkinson, BS micro ’01, is a registered patent attorney with Zarian, Midgley & Johnson, PLLC, in Boise. Her practice emphasizes patents, intellectual property matters and litigation. She received her juris doctor from the University of San Diego in 2008. Her work experience includes seven years in various positions with a major telecommunications company, including the management of wireless, voice over internet protocol, internet and conferencing needs for numerous Fortune 1000 companies.

Lowell (Jim) Thompson, BA history ’01, of Nampa, was recognized as Idaho’s Middle School Educator of the Year for Region IIIA. He is in his second year teaching 8th grade world history at Lone Star Middle School. He is also the 8th grade dean of students and coaches both boys and girls basketball. Previously, Thompson taught 8th grade world history at West Middle School in Nampa.

Kari Zweigart, BS health ed ’01, has joined Wilks Funeral Home as a funeral planning adviser and aftercare specialist. She has 10 years’ experience in the insurance industry.

Curtis Smith, alumnus ’02, was selected as the 2009 Idaho Firefighter of the Year by the Professional Fire Fighters of Idaho at its annual convention. Smith has worked as a firefighter and paramedic for the Pocatello Fire Department the past 14 years. He is also president of the Local 187 of the International Association of Fire Fighters and has worked with other regional unions to develop their own Local.

Jay A. Taylor, BA Engl ’02, a captain in the U.S. Army, was decorated with the Meritorious Service Medal. He received the award for service as a battery commander with Alpha Battery, 1st Batallion, 78th Field Artillery Regiment at Fort Sill, Lawton, Okla. He has served in the military for 20 years and earned a master’s degree from Webster University in St. Louis, Ill., in 2008.

Brent Gallup, BBA finance/mktg ’03, is a mortgage loan officer at the Yellowstone branch of D.L. Evans Bank in Pocatello. He has 10 years’ experience in residential lending.

Casey J. Leavitt, cert res Idaho adv gen dent ’03, traveled with other dentists to Punta de Mita, Mexico, for a weeklong service mission this spring. The group provided free restorative dentistry, cleaning and examinations to more than 250 local children. The trip was organized through the non-profit group, Protection, Education, Animal, Culture and Environment, and the LDS Academy of Dentistry in Provo. Leavitt has a dental practice in Pocatello.

Nicholas J. Corisis, alumnus ’04, graduated from basic combat training at Fort Sill, Lawton, Okla.

Greggory A. Miller, BBA finance ’04, graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.

Dr. Karson K. Howard, alumnus ’05, received his doctorate in podiatric medicine from the Samuel Merritt Medical School in Oakland. He is in surgical residency at Mt. Sinai Hospital where he will receive advanced training in foot, ankle and lower leg trauma and reconstructive surgery. Dr. Howard plans to practice with his father, Dr. Kert Howard, upon completion of his residency.

Lonnie S. Jensen, BBA finance ’05, graduated from basic combat training at Ft. Jackson in Columbia, S.C.

Thomas Gray Salter, BA psych ’05, received his doctor of medicine degree from the University of Minnesota in May. He is enrolled in a residency for psychiatry and internal medicine at the University of Iowa.

Dr. Heath Sommers, MS psyc ’05/PhD clin psych ’07, is chief of psychology and director of clinical and educational training for the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Region 6. He also teaches courses on child development and child abuse at ISU. He has written a novel, “The Manufactured Identity,” which was recently published.

John Fenstermaker, BS zoology ’06, was inducted into the Gold Honor Humanism Society. He is enrolled in his final year of medical school at Des Moines University in Des Moines, Iowa and plans to go into family medicine.

Robert Scovil, BBA finance ’06, a Modern Woodmen of America representative, completed an advanced educational program at Modern Woodmen’s office in Rock Island, Ill. The program covered retirement distribution techniques, addressed estate planning for wealth distribution to heirs, federal estate taxation, charitable giving and estate liquidity insurance.

Johanna Boyle, alumna ’07, completed a 15-month tour of duty in Iraq; her unit was stationed in forward operating base Normandy in Muqdadiyah. Boyle worked with military police and trained the Iraqi police force to do community policing.

Chris Jenkins, Ph.D. biology ’07, is director of Project Orianne, a conversation organization that focuses on the viability and recovery of the eastern indigo snake populations. Jenkins’ dissertation work focused on the effects of wildfire and changing vegetable cover on rattlesnake populations in the desert surrounding the Idaho National Laboratory. This led to a job with the Wildlife Conservation Society where Jenkins developed a conservation management plan for the Idaho National Laboratory.

Ricky D. Lords, alumnus ’07, graduated with honors from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

Suzi Magee, BS health ed ’07, is a licensed massage therapist with 12 years’ experience in massage therapy. She has opened two locations in Pocatello, Gem State Massage and The Strand; this allows her to cater to those clients who prefer a salon environment or a more private setting. Magee offers a variety of specialties including deep tissue Swedish massage, therapeutic massage, spa massage and river stone massage.

Troy G. Vance, cert law enf ’07, graduated with basic infantry training at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia.

Pauline Alessi, MED ed admin ’08, was named principal of Syringa Elementary School in Pocatello. She has more than 18 years’ experience which includes teaching special education at the elementary and middle school levels.

Ashley Anderson, BBA mktg/mgt ’08, has been promoted to the operations supervisor at the Poleline Road branch of Ireland Bank in Pocatello. Her current duties include opening new accounts and overseeing the teller line.

Tina Orme, MED ed admin ’08, has been named principal at Edahow Elementary School in Pocatello. She has taught elementary school for 15 years and served in administration for three years.

Angelica Staples, BA elem ed ’08, is a third grade teacher at Rimrock Elementary School in Ammon. She is working on a master’s degree in literature at ISU.

Julian Duffey, MED ed admin ’09, is an assistant principal at Century High School in Pocatello. He has five years’ experience as a technology and special education teacher.

Daniel A. Jones, BS mech engr ’09, is a project engineer with Premier Technology, Inc., in Blackfoot. He has more than 11 years’ experience in the manufacturing industry. Jones was selected as the 2009 Outstanding Achievement Award recipient for the College of Engineering.

Julie Keeslar, MS nursing ’09, is an instructor of nursing for the College of Health Sciences at Boise State University.

Kalon Ludvigson, alumnus ’09, won the gold medal in the fifth and final World Cup of the 2009 Trampoline and Tumbling World Cup Series in Salzgitter, Germany in September. He won his first World Cup gold medal, the first U.S. tumbling gold medal since May, 1999.

Derek B. Moss, BBA mktg ’09, is a business development officer with Premier Technology, Inc. He completed an internship with Bannock Development Corporation last year. Moss was selected as the Marketing Student of the Year by the College of Business; he was also the 2009 recipient of the Outstanding Student Achievement Award for the College of Business.

Stewart North, BA biology ’09, is enrolled in the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg, W.V.

Frannie Driscoll, Heidi Halverson, Nikki Helm, Sally Kane, Vicki Moser and Sue Bistline, all graduates of Dental Hygiene in 1980, held a mini-class reunion in Montana last summer. They discussed the class reunion of 2000 and plans for the 30th reunion, with a target date of summer, 2010. Other 1980 graduates are invited to contact Sue Bistline at with suggestions as soon as possible.