News and Notes

A Newsletter for Faculty and Staff of Idaho State University

October 19, 2009 — Vol. 25 No. 33

Faculty/Staff Updates

Aref Hashem named ISU Cares Customer Service Provider of the year

In a surprise ceremony Oct. 12, Event Technical Coordinator Aref Hashem was named ISU Cares Customer Service Provider of the year.

Hashem was the first to be awarded the honor since the ISU program began one year ago. ISU President Arthur Vailas presented him with a $1,000 check. Vailas said he was proud of Hashem and all at ISU who are continuing to provide good service, sometimes sacrificing to do so.

“I’m very grateful you have the heart to help other people,” he said at the ceremony.

Hashem began his career at ISU in 1986 in the Facilities Maintenance Department. He became the Pond Student Union Facility Coordinator in 1991, and the Event Technical Coordinator in 1995. Hashem also holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from ISU.

ISU Cares is an ongoing customer service initiative. Each month, six staff or faculty members receive “spot awards” and $15 VISA gift cards, and a $100 award is given out each semester.

To reward someone who is providing great customer service, visit and fill out the customer service survey.

Graham Garner, Linda Hatzenbuehler, Frank Mercogliano, Linda Smith and Jeff Tingey were nominated for the Idaho State Journal Business Awards

University Relations Director Graham Garner, Interim Associate Vice President for Health Education Linda Hatzenbuehler, Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations Frank Mercogliano, Associate Degree RN Program Director Linda Smith and Athletic Director Jeff Tingey were nominated for the Idaho State Journal Business Awards.

The nominees were honored at the 10th annual Idaho State Journal Business Awards breakfast Oct. 15.

Deb Thompson is retiring from the College of Technology after 32 years

After 32 years of dedicated service to Idaho State University College of Technology, Deb Thompson is retiring. Since 1977, she has served in several positions including; counselor, director of student services, interim associate dean, associate dean, and interim dean.

Thompson got her start at ISU as a student. Originally from Twin Falls, she made the choice to follow her brother who was playing football for Idaho State University. As a student, Thompson was a member of the women’s swim team for her first two years of school. She was also an active and involved member of Gamma Phi Beta and served in many offices for the sorority. While attending graduate school Thompson was an advisor to the sorority. She received a Bachelors degree in Psychology in 1974 and a Masters of Counseling degree in 1976 from ISU. Following her college graduation, she accepted a position at Vocational Rehabilitation where she was employed until her return to ISU.

Thompson made several visits to the College of Technology (VoTech at the time) to check on her clients while working for Vocational Rehabilitation. She observed the passion faculty had for teaching and the desire of students to learn. It became her goal to obtain a job at the ISU College of Technology.

It wasn’t long after starting that Thompson took an active role in helping College of Technology students succeed. When she started in 1977 as a counselor, it was not common for women to be in nontraditional fields such as automotive and welding, so Thompson started a support group for women. About one year after being on the job, she took on the coordination of student clubs and served as an advisor to the student government officers.

Business Professionals of America, VICA and DEX clubs were the first clubs she coordinated. With a membership of 100 students year after year, she eventually just oversaw the VICA clubs. Thompson recalls that during her tenure the College had a state VICA officer every year and a national officer one year.

“Working with the clubs and student government was one of the highlights of my career,” Thompson said. “My goal was to get the College of Technology as actively involved as possible with University activities. For many years, students from the College of Technology reined as Homecoming King and Queen.”

In 1992 Thompson became the Director of Student Services at the College and in December 1994 assumed the acting associate dean’s position. She was officially named Associate Dean in 1996 and has remained in the position since. She did serve as interim dean from October 2007-June 2008 until a new dean was selected.

Thompson has been a mentor, friend, and confidant to many students, staff, and faculty within the College of Technology. She recalls getting a phone call from Sherry Dewey to pick up a young man from the airport. He had flown to Pocatello from Yap and wanted to start the Diesel Technology program. She met him at the airport to discover he didn’t have any luggage or money to attend school. Through research she found he had relatives in Montana. She bought him a bus ticket so he could stay with his family until he could start school in January. She and several other ISU staff worked to get a financial aid package put together and to get him accepted and ready for spring entry. “It was a neat experience watching him grow. The faculty took him under their wing and he ended up a true success.”

When asked about the highlights of her career, Thompson said there have been many.

“This truly has been an exciting career because of the faculty, staff, and students,” Thompson said. “The people are awesome, students are fun, and there has never been a dull moment. I truly appreciate all the friends and co-workers I have had the pleasure of working with at the College and University.”

Thompson has not only been an active and prominent staff member at the College of Technology but has volunteered her time throughout the University and community. She has been an active member of the Bengal Foundation for years, serving on the board of directors, a co-chair for the silent auction, and on several occasions as the co-chair for the annual Bengal Foundation Auction. She also oversees the basket auction at the annual Women’s Holiday Fair.

In 1980, Thompson and two other women started a summer softball program for young girls for the first time. She was actively involved in starting a women’s softball league in Pocatello, as well as helping the league to become self supporting. The men’s and women’s leagues eventually merged and built what is now called the Riley Complex which houses four fields and grass infields. She has volunteered with Special Olympics, Pocatello Animal Shelter, Simplot Games, and at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. In addition, Thompson is a member of the 1989 Leadership Pocatello class.

In recognition of her service Thompson has received several awards. She received the Outstanding Service Award given by the Idaho Vocational Industrial Clubs of America (1980); the Dean’s Certificate of Recognition in 1979, 1980, and 1982 for her efforts in coordinating the state VICA competition; and the State Lifetime membership for outstanding service to Idaho VICA in 1990. In 2005, Thompson received the ISU Distinguished Service Award.

When asked what lies ahead, Deb responded that she is expecting to spend more time volunteering and more time at her cabin in Alpine. She said “I will go where the wind blows me.”

The College of Technology is hosting a retirement reception to recognize Thompson for her years of service on Friday, Oct. 30, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Roy F. Christensen Building, Culinary Arts Dining Room, 777 Memorial Drive. If you wish to attend please call ext. 3227 to RSVP.

Aaron Eakman gave the keynote address and Theodore Peterson presented at the Idaho Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference

Aaron Eakman, Assistant Professor and Director of Occupational Therapy, gave the keynote address and Theodore Peterson, Assistant Clinical Professor of Occupational Therapy presented at the Idaho Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference in Boise Oct. 16 and 17.

Eakman’s keynote address was titled, “Best Evidence in Support of Practice and the Profession of Occupational Therapy.”

Peterson’s presentation was titled , “Using CarFit to Serve the Public and Promote the Profession.”

Jerry Lyons asked to serve as an Associate Editor of the journal “Applied Research in Recreation”

Jerry Lyons of the Department of Sport Science and Physical Education in the College of Education has been asked to serve as an Associate Editor of the journal “Applied Research in Recreation.”

Lyons is also an editorial reviewer for several national and international journals including the “Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance,” and the journal, “Applied Research in Coaching and Athletics. “ In addition Lyons has completed work on texts and a variety of manuscripts for publishing organizations including McGraw Hill and Collegiate Press.

News Bites

Historian and historical archeologist Priscilla Wegers is speaking on Polly Bemis, Idaho’s most famous Chinese woman

Historian and historical archeologist Priscilla Wegers is speaking on Polly Bemis, Idaho’s most famous Chinese woman, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. in the Salmon River Room of the Pond Student Union.

Wegers’s lecture is titled, “Polly Bemis, Myth vs. Reality.”

Bemis, Idaho’s most famous Chinese woman, lived here for more than 60 years. Although owned at first by a Warren, Idaho, Chinese businessman, she later married Charles Bemis. Charlie died in 1922 and Polly died in 1933. Since her death, fictionalized versions of Polly’s life often state that she was a prostitute or that Charlie Bemis won her in a poker game. Primary sources provide evidence showing that both statements are myths.

Wegars has worked on archaeological excavations in Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, England, New Zealand and Belize. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Idaho. Wegars is author of “Chinese at the Confluence: Lewiston’s Beuk Aie Temple.” She has also done much research and writing on Bemis.

For more information, contact Elizabeth Damstrom at

Project Hope’s advocate office and services are now located at the Student Health Center

Project Hope’s advocate office and services are now located at the Student Health Center.

Project Hope is an advocacy program that provides supportive assistance to students, staff and faculty who suffer the effects of relationship violence, sexual assault, stalking or other crimes. Services include:

Experience the benefits of massage at the Idaho State University Massage Therapy clinic

Experience the benefits of massage at the Idaho State University Massage Therapy clinic. The Massage Therapy program is now accepting appointments. Students will provide relaxation-focused massage each Tuesday and Thursday evening from Oct. 20 through Dec. 3 while classes are in session. Appointments are available at 5 p.m. or 6:15 p.m. The cost for a one-hour massage is $20 and any tips/donations received benefit the ASISU Massage Therapy Club.

In addition to the opening of the clinic for fall semester, students in the program will recognize National Massage Awareness Week, Oct. 25 through Oct. 31 at the clinic. Take time for your health and make time for massage. Massage is a growing field and provides a holistic approach to health care and health maintenance.

To schedule an appointment visit the Massage Therapy website at and follow the link for massage clinic information or contact the Massage Therapy program at ext. 2988.

Power outages are scheduled in the Dental Arts building and the Dental Clinic building Friday Oct. 23 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Power outages are scheduled in the Dental Arts building and the Dental Clinic building Friday Oct. 23 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. These buildings cannot be occupied during shutdown time.

The planned shutdown will allow Idaho Power to repair and replace electrical transformers and reduce the chances of unplanned outages.

One block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way will be closed from the 8th Street intersection to 9th Street to allow for work vehicles. Ninth Street will remain open to allow traffic onto Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

While Facilities Services do not anticipate other areas being impacted, there is always a possibility of a broader impact. Please plan accordingly.

For additional information, contact the Facilities Services Office at ext. 2784 or Steve Fuger at 705-0446.

The southwest corner of the R01 parking lot near Frazier Hall will be cordoned off Wednesday, Oct. 21

The southwest corner of the R01 parking lot near Frazier Hall will be cordoned off Wednesday, Oct. 21 from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for removal of a large, dead tree.

This will affect about 12-15 parking spaces.

Please contact Facilities Services at ext. 2784 or Robin Colling at 221-0446 should you have any questions.

The Janet C. Anderson Gender Resource Center invites the public to a film screening of “Who Does She Think She Is?” in the Bengal Theater

The Idaho State University Janet C. Anderson Gender Resource Center invites the public to a film screening of Who Does She Think She Is? Nov. 8 at 1 p.m. in the Bengal Theater, Pond Student Union.

The documentary by Academy Award winning filmmaker Pamela Tanner Boll features five contemporary women artists between the ages of 27 and 65. While most people cannot name a handful of woman artists, the film highlights the fact that women can be successful in the arts and encourages women to undertake artistic pursuits and move towards equitable representation in the arts. There is still a long way to go. A recent study by the Coalition of Women’s Arts Organizations showed that in all one-person shows for living artists in American museums, only 2 percent of the featured artists are women.

Through these five women’s lives, the film explores some of the most problematic intersections of our time: mothering and creativity, partnering and independence, economics and art. There is no cost for admission, but donations to help cover the cost of the screening will be accepted.

Find out about health care programs available at ISU-Meridian at the Health Science Experience Night

Interested in becoming a pharmacist, physician assistant or nurse? A clinical lab scientist, mental health counselor or speech-language pathologist?

Find out about these programs and many more at the fourth annual “Health Science Experience Night” hosted by Idaho State University, Thursday, Oct. 29, 5:30-8 p.m.

The event will be at the new ISU-Meridian Health Science Center, 1311 E. Central Drive, on the north side of I-84 between Locust Grove and Meridian roads.

Students and attendees will have the opportunity to explore nearly two dozen careers in the health professions and sciences, visit with professors and clinical faculty, and enter to win a $500 scholarship.

Attendees will also get “hands-on” experience in human patient simulation—the use of high-tech mannequins to duplicate medical scenarios in the real world.

“We’re thrilled to host this event at our new Meridian Health Science Center. We invite everyone to attend—from high school, college and transfer students interested in the health sciences to parents, educators, and our community partners,” said Bessie Katsilometes, dean of ISU-Meridian academic programs.

For more information about Health Science Experience Night and programs at ISU-Meridian, call 373-1700 or visit

Spread the word about BengalWeb for students, launching Oct. 21

The following message was sent to all ISU students informing them that BengalWeb for students is on the way! Spread the word by sharing this information with your students.

BengalWeb — Coming to all ISU Students October 21!

BengalWeb is ISU’s new portal. It organizes all the most important information you need as a student in one convenient location. Say good-bye to searching for the links you need. Its customizable, user-friendly interface will give you access to the most important ISU resources right at your fingertips:

Join all students on Oct. 21, and begin exploring BengalWeb so YOU can take full advantage of all its online features!

Have a video of your best lecture or the latest adventure of a student club? We’d love to see it on our university YouTube channel

Have a video of your best lecture or the latest adventure of a student club? We’d love to see it on IdahoStateU, our university YouTube channel.

Send your video clips to, and we’ll post them to our channel at We’re looking for anything, from student life to interesting classes and lectures.

Even if you don’t have a video to share, take a moment to subscribe to the channel. You’ll find everything from footage of researchers in the field to shots from the recent Homecoming parade.