ISU Meridian Health Science Center

News Archive 2006

ISU Boise Center Plans "Health Science Experience Night"

$1,000 Scholarship to Be Given Away

Boise – Idaho State University will host the first annual “Health Science Experience Night” for high school students and parents, at the ISU Boise Center, 12438 W. Bridger St., Oct. 12, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Participants will explore integrated career opportunities, visit with faculty members, participate in demonstrations, and see Lifeflight and ambulance displays. Students attending the "Health Science Experience Night" will be eligible to enter to win a $1,000 scholarship to ISU – which will be awarded at the end of the event.

"We are excited to offer this opportunity for students who want to look at programs and advanced learning technologies in the health sciences available at ISU and ISU's Boise Center," said Bessie Katsilometes, interim dean at ISU Boise Center.

The event will include interactive demonstrations in the Human Simulator Center. The HSCV is comprised of two life-like men, one baby, and a birthing woman. It allows most medical emergencies to be practiced in a safe, simulated environment.

For more information contact the ISU Boise Center at 373-1796 or 373-1797.

ISU's President Vailas Will Attend Boise Events

Boise -- The Idaho State University Alumni Association is hoping some of the more than 5,000 Treasure Valley alumni join them for events planned in Boise this summer.

The third annual "Grapes and Growls" wine tasting will be July 7, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Shakespeare Interpretive Center. Guests can taste wine, listen to music by Steve Eaton, and enjoy the hit comedy play, "Major Barbara."

Next up -- the Treasure Valley Picnic, at Municipal Park on Saturday, July 15, Noon - 4 p.m. Free drinks, burgers, chorizos, hot dogs, and a plethora of give away trinkets, and music by The Rockin’ Hippies are part of this annual event.

"Dr. Arthur Vailas, ISU’s new president will attend the picnic," said Belinda Isley, ISU public relations specialist. "It will be a perfect opportunity for area alumni to meet him."

Alumni, friends, faculty and staff are encouraged to attend. Make a reservation by calling 800-933-4781 or email:

109 Students to Graduate From ISU Boise Center May 5

Boise --A total of 109 graduates are scheduled to receive degrees from Idaho State University during the first full ISU Boise Center commencement ceremony, set to begin at 4 p.m. May 5 at The Grove Hotel Grand Ballroom.

In addition to the presentation of degrees, the Student Excellence Award will be given to a student whose life experiences, dedication to their chosen profession, and academic excellence has distinguished them.

The breakdown of graduates includes 21 Doctor of Pharmacy degrees, 37 master’s degrees, 40 bachelor’s degrees, and 11 associate degrees from the College of Technology.

Five students were nominated by faculty for the Student Excellence Award. They are: Heidi Hobbs, Clinical Laboratory Science; David Johns, Counseling; Tayo Onanubosi, Nursing Fast Track; Anita Ortiz, Speech-Language Pathology; Jacob VanVleck, Pharmacy.

Jim Everett, CEO, Treasure Valley YMCA will give the commencement address. The Rev. Tom Katsma, of Valley Life Community Church will give the invocation. Institutional reader will be Don Nelson, news anchor, KIVI Channel 6. ISU President Dr. Michael C Gallagher will welcome the assembly, and confer the degrees.

Presentation of graduates will be by Dr. Robert Wharton, vice president for academic affairs; Dr. Joseph F. Steiner, dean, College of Pharmacy; and Dr. John Knox, dean, Graduate Studies.

A total of 609 students attend the ISU Boise Center, an increase of 84 percent over last year.


POCATELLO – The State Board of Education is pleased to announce Dr. Arthur Vailas (pronounced VAY-less) will be the next president of Idaho State University.

Dr. Vailas will begin as president on July 1, 2006, taking over from Interim President Michael Gallagher, who has served in that capacity since Dr. Richard Bowen retired in October.

"Dr. Vailas' impeccable qualifications, particularly in the health sciences, along with his personable demeanor and communication skills make him a good fit for Idaho State University. The State Board looks forward to Dr. Vailas joining the ranks of Idaho's outstanding college and university presidents," said Rod Lewis, president of the State Board of Education.

"This is an exciting, new chapter for Idaho State University," said State Board Member Karen McGee, who chaired the ISU Presidential Search Advisory Committee. “We received many outstanding applicants for the position of president. After sifting through more than 50 applicants, conducting a series of interviews, and bringing four finalists to visit Idaho, the State Board is confident Dr. Vailas is the right person, at the right time for Idaho State University."

Dr. Arthur Vailas is vice chancellor and vice president for research and intellectual property management for the University of Houston System and the University of Houston (UH). He joined UH in 1995 as vice president for research and vice provost for graduate studies, and professor and distinguished chair in biology and biochemistry.

Prior to joining UH, Vailas was associate dean for research and development at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a university he served in numerous capacities including: professor of surgery, division of orthopedic surgery in the College of Medicine; professor of kinesiology, School of Education; professor, department of poultry science in the College of Agriculture; and professor and director of the Biodynamics Laboratory.

He also was both assistant and associate professor in the department of physiological sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Vailas has served on national boards and scientific panels for NASA and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has consulted for biotechnology and aeronautical companies. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Iowa and his B.S. degree at the University of New Hampshire, where he played football. Dr. Vailas’ complete vita is online at:

The State Board set Dr. Vailas’ salary at $260,000 per year. Consistent with other Idaho university presidents, housing and a car also will be provided. Dr. Vailas is married to Dr. Laura Vailas, associate dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at the University of Houston.

Type III SWAT Training First To Set National Standard

Boise-- Boise based Government Training Institute (GTI), has teamed up with Idaho State University to create and deliver training for SWAT teams throughout the United States and U.S. territories The program is the first to set a national standard and receive certification and approval from the United States Department of Homeland Security.

The course, Type III SWAT is now pre-approved to receive U.S. Department of Homeland Security (D.H.S.) grant funds, allowing state and local law enforcement agencies to attend the training using D.H.S. grant monies to pay for tuition, overtime, meals, and lodging.

The need for a nationally recognized training standard for SWAT teams has been evident for several years and has not been previously available. This course creates standardized curriculum throughout the United States. Until the creation of this course, SWAT-team training varied greatly from state to state and jurisdiction to jurisdiction, making it difficult for Incident Commanders to gain a true barometer of capabilities of the resources available to them.

The first course will be offered in Boise, February, 2006, and subsequent courses will be offered monthly in Idaho and throughout the U.S.

The preparedness of state and local SWAT teams in the United States is one of the major initiatives of the Department of Homeland Security. In 2004, the D.H.S. created a comprehensive classification system for U.S. SWAT teams. There are three typing classifications ranging from Type III to Type I teams. The classification system was created to support the overall Incident Command System (ICS), allowing commanders at an incident to quickly determine what resources are available to them based upon the equipment, resources, and training levels of various SWAT teams.

The Government Training Institute and ISU are working to submit supporting curriculum to include, Type II and Type I SWAT, which include all of the training included in Type III but add rappelling, fast roping, robot and high-tech surveillance operations, and Close Threat Reconnaissance, which focuses on using unmanned aerial vehicles, robots, radar, fiber optics and other high-tech equipment to gain insight into problem areas. The President of GTI has met with two Principal Research Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory near Idaho Falls to develop new systems to support these courses and operations.

GTI has been in business since 2003 and has conducted training for numerous Federal, State and local law enforcement agencies and military units in the United States and abroad.

The Idaho State University Institute of Emergency Management was approved by the Idaho State Board of Education in July 2003. The purpose of the IEM is to offer workshops, courses, certificates, and in the future, degrees, to meet the professional and career development needs of Idahoans employed in or planning a career in Emergency Management.


Chadd Harbaugh, President, Government Training Institute, 208.938.5510
Sarah Hutchins, ISU Boise Center Institute of Emergency Management, 373.1758

- January 3, 2006

ISU Boise Center Research Looks at Alcohol Consumption, Women's Health

Boise - Research conducted at the Idaho State University Boise Center may help scientists understand more about moderate drinking and its relationship to health and thinking abilities among women age 50 to 65.

Dr. Laura Tivis, research associate professor in the Institute of Rural Health was recently awarded a four-year research grant through the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, (NIAAA) for her project, "Alcohol, ERT and Cognition in Postmenopausal Women." This award will allow her to continue the work she has been conducting over the last several years.

The purpose of the project is to see if moderate alcohol consumption, physical and emotional health are related to performance on tests of learning, memory and other thinking abilities.

"We still do not know a lot about how moderate drinking impacts women over time," Tivis said. "There are many different ways alcohol can impact us. We know that heavy drinking affects a women's body differently than a man's."

"There are studies that have shown moderate drinking may be good for us, and we need to be very careful how we interpret this information," she said. "In a healthy person there might be some benefit from moderate drinking, which is defined by U.S. Dietary Guidelines as up to one drink a day for women. However the balance between risk and benefit is difficult because of differences in health and susceptibility to illness. Thus, we cannot say that moderate drinking is good for everyone. Even moderate drinking carries significant risks, such as an increased chance of vehicle accidents and interactions with certain medications."

Tivis hopes to study 180 women. The project is being conducted at the ISU Boise Center, 12301 W. Explorer Drive, Suite 102.

Research volunteers are currently being accepted. The study requires two visits of six to seven hours each per visit. The two visits will be about one year apart. No alcohol is administered during the visits. Compensation for time, laboratory test results and bone density testing are provided to all participants.

For more information contact Dr. Laura Tivis at 373-1775 or


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