Volume 44 | Number 1 | Spring 2014


Spring 2014 Issue

Reuben Allen, '00, BA, Mass Communications/Journalism, College of Arts and Letters

Arco native Reuben Allen is an alumnus of AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), which is a full-time, team-based, residential national service program for men and women ages 18 to 24. Allen served in AmeriCorps NCCC in class 7 and class 8 at the Atlantic Region campus in Perry Point, Md. Allen applied to NCCC during his senior year in college at Idaho State University where he was earning a degree in journalism.

At the time of his application to NCCC, Allen had lived his entire life in southeastern Idaho, and had not traveled further east than Denver. When asked about his experiences in the NCCC program, Allen said, "the program completely changed the direction of my life. As a team leader I met another team leader, Margie Reurink, who is now my wife." During his two terms of service with AmeriCorps NCCC, Allen served on eight project rounds in 11 states. He served communities in the areas of education, construction, disaster relief, in parks and through community revitalization.

During Allen's first year in class 7, the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 occurred. In response to the attacks, he and his team deployed to an American Red Cross Center in Falls Church, VA. There, Allen and his team set up and manned a call center designed to provide information and assistance to people impacted by the terrorist attacks.

Currently, Allen works as a regional ranger supervisor for the parks in southeastern Vermont. He oversees the operation of the 13 state parks in the region and is responsible for the supervision and training of the park rangers and their staff at each location.

LaDelle F. Blevins, '62, BA, Ed/English, College of Education

Blevins's book Gray Stalker is a police suspense story about an average Joe who unknowingly gets the attention of a sadistic serial killer who tracks him from Florida to Idaho. The ordinary Joe is unaware that he is being stalked. The stalker is determined to get his man in spite of the obstacles he has to overcome to do so. The book is available on Amazon.

Blevins spent 24 years in the U.S. Navy and taught in the public school system for several years in Idaho, Arizona and Florida. Now retired, he enjoys playing tennis and playing music in a band. He and his wife of 54 years divide their time between Pensacola, Fla., and Quartzsite, Ariz.

Nancy Buffington, '86, BA, English, College of Arts and Letters

Buffington taught English for more than two decades at several universities including Stanford and Boise State and is now an executive communications consultant at Boise SpeakWell, LLC, which she founded in 2011. She holds a master's and Ph.D. from the University of Arizona. She has been published widely in academia.

Buffington has published her first children's book on public speaking, Ruby Lee and the VERY BIG DEAL. Ruby Lee features a fifth-grade girl chosen to read her prize-winning essay at a local celebration. But Ruby suffers from a bad case of stage fright. Help comes in the form of her eccentric Great Aunt Alice, who may—or may not—have been a starlet in the golden age of film.

Ruby and Alice come to appreciate each other- and readers come away with down-to-earth, effective public speaking tips. "Ruby Lee" features endearing hand-drawn illustrations by Stephanie Mullani, artist and co-owner of Tru Publishing. "Ruby Lee" is available at Hyde Park Books, Rediscovered Books, Penny Lane Kids and ROsieMADE in Boise as well as through Amazon as either an e-book or print copy.

David A. Burton, '06, BME, College of Education, Music Education, District Teacher of the Year for 2012-2013

Choir director David Burton of Caldwell High School was selected the Caldwell School District Teacher of the Year for the 2012-13 school year.

"Mr. Burton has demonstrated a mastery of his subject area. He has gained the respect of his students, the staff and administration. David has expanded his program significantly since starting in Caldwell."

In the past five years, the choir program at Caldwell High School has doubled in size. He has added an a capella choir and men's chorus. Burton has developed a world music elective and a music appreciation class. He has visions of creating a vocal jazz ensemble and a recording studio at Caldwell High School. He started the Treasure Valley honor band and choir with Ron Curtis. He also started a community choir known as the Treasure Valley Choral Arts Ensemble, for anyone who is interested in singing in a group.

Burton is deeply involved in his profession outside of the high school. He is the District III choir chair. He is the Idaho Music Educators All State Honor Choir coordinator. He is a screener for All-State and All-Northwest Honor Choirs and is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association.

Lisa Creswell, '92, BA; '94, MA Anthropology, College of Arts and Letters

Cresswell published her newest book, Hush Puppy in August 2013. Cresswell's first traditionally-published novel Hush Puppy is the story of an interracial relationship between Corrine Lamb, a 17-year-old black girl, and Jamie Armstrong, a poor white boy, that takes place in a small North Carolina town. Cresswell called Hush Puppy a young-adult novel that tells a coming-of-age story.

Cresswell currently lives and works in Shoshone, Idaho.

Dr. Thomas Edgar of Boise received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Idaho Counseling Association at its annual awards in February, 2014. From the completion of his Ph.D. at the University of Wyoming in 1963 to his retirement in 1995 from Idaho State University, Edgar has been a supervisor, educator, advocate, cheerleader, counselor, encourager, motivator, mentor, consultant and challenger to many counselors for more than 40 years.

Nathan Fullmer, '02- Exited, Human Resource and Training Development

Fullmer is the new director of restaurants for the Hagadone Hospitality Co. He was born and raised in Southeast Idaho and attended Idaho State University until 2002. He was formerly district manager for Starbucks Coffee Company, regional director of operations for Restaurants Unlimited and operations director for Fired-Up, Inc. He was also a franchisee for Johnny Carino's.

Calvin R. 'Randy" Gorrell, '72, BBA Business Administration-Management and Organization

Gorrell retired after 40 years of global leadership and executive management positions in human resources, information technology and administration in technology, manufacturing, software and telecommunications companies.

Most recently Gorrell was corporate vice president, human resources, people services for Motorola Mobility and Motorola/Google. Motorola Mobility was acquired by Google in 2012.

Gorrell and his wife Valerie have lived in California for the past 30 years — 17 in northern California and the past 13 in Laguna Niguel.

They have two adult daughters, Shannon and Alexandra, who are both technology marketing executives in southern California. Shannon just gave birth to identical twin boys.

Dr. Kim Hyatt, '93, DHS, MHE; '94,COE, MPE-Athletic Administration

Hyatt, dean and athletic director of Mt. Hood Community College, was recently awarded the Becky L. Sisley award. The award is presented to former University of Oregon women athletes 20-25 years following graduation who have excelled in their profession and have been active members in their community.

Hyatt was a track athlete at the University of Oregon from 1989 to 1992. She was named All-American in javelin all four years as a Duck. Her dominance in javelin helped her team bring home two back-to-back National Championships in 1991 and 1992.

After her success on the track, Hyatt decided to attend Idaho State University to receive a master's degree in physical education and athletic administration. While attending Idaho State, she worked as a graduate teaching assistant and was an assistant coach for the track team.

Kirby Jonas, '90, College of Technology, Certificate-Law Enforcement

Jonas was born in Bozeman, Mont. and lived along a once-remote road in the mountains known as Bear Canyon, where cattle range gave way to spruce and fir, and the wild country was forever ingrained in him. It was there he gained his love for the Old West, listening late at night to stories and western ballads and watching television westerns like Gunsmoke, The Virginian and the Big Valley.

After moving to Shelley, Idaho, where he completed all of his school years, he wrote his first book (The Tumbleweed) in the sixth grade and his second (The Vigilante) as a senior in high school.

Kirby has written several novels including The Secret of Two Hawks, Yaqui Gold, Death of an Eagle, Knight of the Ribbons, Legend of the Tumbleweed, The Devil's Blood, Lady Winchester, The Dansing Star, Disciples of the Wind- Legends West, Book 1 and Reapers of the Wind- Legends West, Book 2. All of these can be found on his website kirbyjonas.com.

In addition to his writing, Jonas also paints wildlife and the West and has done all the cover art for his books. Additionally, he is a songwriter and guitar player. Jonas enjoys the joking title given to him by his friends, "The Renaissance Cowboy."

Jonas has settled permanently in Pocatello with his wife, Debbie, have four children. He currently works as a firefighter for the City of Pocatello. He also has fought forest fires for the Bureau of Land Management and Idaho Fish and Game, and been a security officer for both Wells Fargo and the Pocatello Police Department.

Robert Mahon, '12, MS Geology, College of Science & Engineering

Mahon recently received the top award for the inaugural U.S. Geological Survey/Geological Society of America Best Student Geologic Map Competition held at the 125th anniversary Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Denver.

Mahon is a Ph.D. candidate in Geology and Geophysics at the University of Wyoming, focusing on sedimentary processes and stratigraphic analysis.

Jamie Mashek, MS Physician Assistant Studies, Division of Health Sciences

Mashek joined Bridger Orthopedic & Sports Medicine in Bozeman, Mont. as a physician assistant. She holds a master's degree in physician assistant studies from Idaho State University and is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

Patrick McDonald, '94, '97, College of Education-BS- Corporate Training, MEd Occupational Training Management.

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has appointed Patrick McDonald to be the new representative for Boise District 15 in the Idaho House. McDonald previously served 33 years with the Idaho State Police and U.S. Marshall's Office.

The 67-year-old McDonald grew up in Burley, graduated from Idaho State University and was a member of the Idaho State Police for 33 years before becoming a U.S. Marshal in Idaho during the George W. Bush administration.

McDonald will serve the remainder of the term in the Idaho House and will seek the Republican nomination to run for the seat for a full term in the May 20 primary election.

Coach Dave Neilsen, '81, MPE-Athletic Administration-College of Education

ISU Head Track and Field Coach Dave Nielsen was inducted in to the National Pole Vault Summit Hall of Fame at the National Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nevada in January 2014.

Under Nielsen, the Bengals have won five Big Sky Championships. He has been honored with the Big Sky Coach of the Year five times. He garnered national recognition when he coached former Bengal Stacy Dragila to the world's first Olympic gold medal in the women's pole vault. In 2012, Nielsen sent three vaulters, Mike Arnold, Paul Litchfield and Levi Keller to the US Olympic trials.

Mark A. Pearson, '90 BA, History, College of Arts and Letters

CMC Mark A. Pearson, assumed the duties as the Command Master Chief for the Fifth Coast Guard District on July 11, 2013. As the senior enlisted advisor to the District Commander, master Chief provides advice on workforce policies, is the senior enlisted mentor, and acts as a sounding board for select administrative actions and initiatives relative to the day-to-day operations of units throughout the 5th District and their impact on the work force.

Master Chief Pearson travels throughout the District visiting units, meeting with crews, observing operational evolutions and communicating with Coast Guardsmen and their families. The Fifth Coast Guard District ensures the safety and security of the oceans, coastal areas, and marine transportation system within America's Mid-Atlantic Region. In 2007 Master Chief Pearson was selected to be one of the first three Coast Guard Intelligence Specialists. In 1999 he earned a MA in Military Studies from AmericanMilitary University, and in 2004 a MS in Instructional Systems from Florida State University.

Mark met his wife Kaoru Ueda Pearson in 1987 at ISU — she lived in Turner Hall and he lived in Garrison Hall. Kaoru is an ISU alumna, graduating in 1989 with her BBA in Computer Information Systems. Mark and Kaoru married in 1990 and have three children Cole, Derek and Emma. The currently live in Virginia but really enjoyed their time in Pocatello and still keep in touch with friends they made while ISU students.

Kari M. Schroeder, '05, BBA-Accounting/Finance; '06 MBA-Business Administration

Kari M. Schroeder is the newest employee at Cooper Norman located at 444 Hospital Way, Suite 555. An Idaho-licensed certified public accountant, she was hired in December.

She attended Idaho State University where she was president of Beta Alpha Psi, an international honorary organization for financial information professionals. Kari has been practicing accounting for seven years.

She is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Idaho Society of Public Accountants.

Jason D. Scott, '93, BBA, Accounting- College of Business

Boise attorney Jason D. Scott is the newest district judge for Idaho's 4th Judicial District. Appointed by Gov. Butch Otter Feb. 28. Scott will take over the Boise-based judgeship vacated by Ronald Wilper, who retired at the end of December.

Scott is a Pocatello native who has been a partner in the Boise law office of Hawley Troxell Ennis & Hawley since 2007. He received a bachelor's degree from Idaho State University and his law degree from Duke University. Scott clerked for U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill for two years after law school.

Dr. Susan Swetnam, ISU English Professor emeritus Susan Swetnam was honored by the Idaho Library Association with the Idaho Book Award for 2012.

Swetnam's winning work, "Books, Bluster, and Bounty: Local Politics and Carnegie Library Building Grants, 1898-1920," was chosen from among all books which appeared that year written by Idaho authors or dealing with Idaho or western subjects.

Her book examines how proponents of books and reading in the Intermountain West at the turn of the twentieth century managed to inspire grassroots support among their fellow citizens for public library development. As it tells this historical story, the book offers inspiration and practical lessons for contemporary readers interested in promoting cultural resources in their own communities.

Dr. Brian J. VanLenten, '76, MS-Biology- College of Science & Engineering

Dr. VanLenten retired this past July after 32 years as a faculty member in the Division of Cardiology at The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He now has time to do fly fishing in Alaska and moose hunting in Canada.


William "Leo" McKillip, former head football coach, Idaho State University

William "Leo" McKillip, 84, passed away in December 2013. He was inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1996, the Dana College Hall of Fame in 2003 and Nebraska Football Hall of Fame in 2011.

He was a high school star in McCook, played football at Notre Dame and brought a Dana College football program to life. But his favorite stories always took place off the field, said his son, Blaine. "He was really focused on how to develop people through sports,'' Blaine McKillip said.

McKillip coached at Kimball High School, Idaho State University and St. Mary's College (Calif.) and was a defensive coordinator at Edmonton and Winnipeg in the Canadian Football League and with the Washington Federals of the USFL in the 1980s.

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