ISU Meridian Health Science Center

ISU-Boise Awards More than 100 Degrees at May 3 Graduation;
Mayor Tammy de Weerd Tells Students to "Dream Big"

May 5, 2008

Boise—Barbara Nelson walked across the stage of Boise’s Centennial High School Performing Arts Center on May 3 and flashed the top of her graduation cap at an audience of 700 people.

It read, “I did it!” in bright orange letters outlined in glitter.

Not only did Nelson receive her Master of Counseling degree, she was the winner of Idaho State University-Boise’s Student Excellence Award.

Nelson was one of nine ISU-Boise 2008 graduates nominated for the award by faculty, who select students for academic achievement, dedication to their profession  and community involvement. Nelson holds an undergraduate degree in psychology and works as a drug and alcohol counselor in the Ada County Drug Court Program.

2008 Commencement Photo Student Nominees

ISU-Boise Student Excellence Award nominees, top row from left, Barbara Nelson, Robert Warrick, Stephanie Frey, Tracy Adkins, Sharon Wong, Anne Marie Searcy; front row from left, Renae Bieri, Valicity Marshall, Deby Kumasaka. Nelson was the final honoree.          (To view a larger image please click on photo.)

Commencement speaker Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd told students, “Dream big. Take action. Change the world in your own way.”

She applauded ISU’s decision to move its Treasure Valley-based health professions programs and clinics to a new facility in Meridian by fall 2009. “This partnership emphasizes the role ISU can play in job creation and research … and the importance of the state’s medical education mission to the citizens of Idaho and beyond,” she said.

Noting the health-professions education mission of ISU-Meridian, President Arthur C. Vailas, Ph.D., told graduates they have great opportunities to change lives. “Health care is fragile in our society. It gives me great pleasure and honor to acknowledge the great things you will do to improve lives in Idaho, the country and beyond,” he said after he conferred more than 100 degrees.

Also addressing students were Idaho House Majority Leader Mike Moyle and Idaho State Board of Education Interim Executive Director Mike Rush.

The breakdown of degrees includes two Doctor of Audiology, 23 Doctor of Pharmacy, 40 master’s, 48 bachelor’s, and six associate degrees. Graduate and undergraduate disciplines include counseling, nursing, athletic administration, public health, clinical laboratory science, speech-language pathology and paramedic science.

For more photos please see Photo Gallery


ISU-Meridian media contact: Chris Gabettas, 208-373-1806

Idaho State University, a Carnegie-classified doctoral research institution founded in 1901, educates approximately 13,000 students per year in more than 280 programs. It is Idaho’s lead institution in health professions and medical education. Its seven colleges engage in a broad range of innovative research, teaching, and learning in the natural and physical sciences, humanities, performing and visual arts, education, engineering, business, pharmacy, and technology.  Visit ISU today at or

For more ISU-Meridian news, please visit the News Archive.



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