News and Notes

A Newsletter for Faculty and Staff of Idaho State University

June 18, 2007 — Vol. 23 No. 19

A tiger swallowtail butterfly takes advantage of the blue penstemon that is blooming in the Idaho Natural History Garden, near the Idaho Natural History Museum..

In this Issue

IRH director ably assisted by service dog

Sophie, a 3-1/2-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback mix, has flown more than 275,000 miles. She also has been a co-leader, in a specific sense, of the Idaho State University Institute of Rural Health, a powerhouse research center under the ISU Kasiska College of Health Professions. The IRH is led by its director, Dr. Beth Hudnall Stamm, who in (read more...)

Research findings change understanding of central Idaho geology

Kathleen Durk, an Idaho State University geological sciences undergraduate student, helped solve the mystery of the source for “ghost” zircon grains in Idaho’s Big Lost River system. Her findings fundamentally change understanding of the geological history of central Idaho. After completing her high-mountain detective work as part of her ISU senior thesis, the former Century High (read more...)

ISU participating in national diabetes study

The ACCORD (Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes) study at Idaho State University’s Family Medicine Clinical Research Center is increasing knowledge of how to treat and control diabetes.    In the long run, this may help prevent the complications of diabetes that threaten life, limb and vision. In the shorter term, it is helping to (read more...)

ISU launches new Career Center services Web site

The Idaho State University Career Center has announced the launch of a new Web site located at that helps automate numerous functions found within the career center and enhances the services offered to campus students and employers. Powered by CSO Research’s Interfase System, this new site streamlines student and employer registration, resume referrals, document management, (read more...)

ISU student uses forensic anthropology to help solve cold cases

When southeast Idaho law enforcement began reinvestigating a remote Oneida County site connected to the apparent murders of three girls, Idaho State University student Lynn Porter thought it logical to contact Oneida County Sheriff Jeff Semrad and volunteer her help. A soon-to-be senior at ISU, Porter has the double major of anthropology and criminal justice administration. (read more...)

Faculty/Staff Update

ISU President Arthur C. Vailas has announced that, following a national search, James A. Fletcher, vice chancellor of administration at the Texas A&M University System, will join ISU as vice president for finance and administration. He will assume his duties in early July. Fletcher has had a successful academic and private-sector career. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautics and astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; a Bachelor of Laws degree from LaSalle University; a Master of Science degree, cum laude, in mechanical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University; and an MBA with Highest Distinction from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, where he received the George F. Baker Scholar award. He was a White House Fellow under the deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget in Washington, D.C. He then worked in senior financial administration positions at IBM and Unisys. He subsequently transitioned to higher education and worked at Howard University, University of Colorado, Morehouse College and the Texas A&M University System in College Station. “It is with much pleasure and anticipation that I welcome him to Idaho State University,” Vailas said.

Opportunities have been scheduled for ISU faculty and staff to meet candidates for dean of the College of Arts and Science, search committee chair Christopher K. Daniels, PhD, has announced. A “Meet the Faculty/Staff Open Forum” is scheduled on the following dates from 3 to 5 p.m. for each candidate in the PSUB Wood River Room. Refreshments will be available. Short biographies of each candidate will be available prior to their visits. The open forums are scheduled as follows: Monday, June 18, Edward Jarroll, PhD, professor of biology and director of the Marine Sciences Center, Northeastern University; Thursday, June 21, William Andrefsky, PhD, professor and chair, department of anthropology, Washington State University; Monday, June 25, Steven Harkins, PhD, professor and chair of the department of psychology, Northeastern University; Thursday, June 28, Maureen Brandon, PhD, associate professor of biological sciences and associate dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Idaho State University; Monday, July 9 (3-5 p.m. time is tentative), Murray Nabors, PhD, professor and chair, department of biology, University of Mississippi.

Effective August 19, William Stratton, PhD, will step down as dean of the College of Business to return to the faculty in the management department, announced Robert A. Wharton, PhD, ISU provost and vice president for academic affairs. Wharton said that under Stratton, the college’s undergraduate and graduate programs have provided quality educational experiences that are strong in both conceptual foundations and current leading practices, and the college has become a significant force influencing local and regional economic development. Wharton said the college’s accomplishments have been underscored by their exemplary accreditation review from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the premier accrediting body for colleges of business. Over the coming year Ken Smith, PhD, associate dean of the college, will serve as interim dean during a national search for a new dean.

ISU alumna Marilyn E. Davis, EdD, has been named dean of the College of Technology, where she has been interim dean since July 1, 2006. Previously she was chief academic officer with the Idaho State Board of Education. Most of her career has been in Oregon’s higher-education system.

After a long and distinguished record of administrative service at ISU, Alan Egger, PhD, has chosen to return to the faculty of the department of mathematics. Effective July 1, Stephen Adkison, PhD, interim director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, will succeed Egger as associate provost of academic programming in the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

John Bakken, aircraft maintenance technology program coordinator, is retiring after 28 years with the College of Technology. Originally from Harlowton, Mont., Bakken began his aviation career in 1963 after attending the School of Aeronautics and Related Trades in Helena, Mont. He received an airframe and powerplant mechanics certificate and moved to Idaho Falls. Over the next 13 years he worked at the Idaho Aviation Center, Reeder Air Service and Red Barron. In 1977 he moved to Pocatello to work with Northwest Aviation. Two years later he began teaching in ISU’s aircraft-maintenance technology program. A celebration is scheduled June 21 at 2 p.m. at the aircraft-maintenance program site at 1455 Flightline, Pocatello Regional Airport.

Bob Rost, coordinator of the welding program at the College of Technology, is retiring after 35 years with ISU. Rost, originally from Wendell, has not only been a welding instructor but is also an alumnus. Rost graduated from the ISU welding program in 1966 with a technical certificate. He then went to work at the Idaho National Laboratory. He began teaching welding at ISU in January 1972.

Gerry ‘Gary’ Trimble has been named the executive director and Linda Stuffle the associate director over curriculum design for the College of Technology’s new Energy Systems Technology Education Center (ESTEC). Trimble, an ISU alumnus, brings more than 40 years’ experience in nuclear power. He began his career in the United States Navy nuclear program. After leaving the Navy he joined Argonne National Laboratory and for 10 years worked with reactor operations, training and procedures. He then continued his career with the Westinghouse Nuclear Training Center in Zion, Ill., and in Phoenix, Ariz., as a trainer and in management. He taught licensed training, assisted with the commercial startup of several nuclear commercial plants, and operated his own consulting businesses. Stuffle has 36 years’ experience in engineering. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering and a Master of Science degree in business administration from Michigan Technological University. She has a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University and is a registered professional engineer in several states. She is a commissioner for the Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Ed Guthrie, EdD, has accepted the position of technical-department chair in the College of Technology effective June 18. He was in law enforcement for 32 years and also brings teaching experience. His doctorate is in educational leadership and innovation from Wilmington College, New Castle, Del. He has held adjunct instructor positions at the Eastern Shore Criminal Justice Academy, Wor-Wic Community College in Salisbury, Md., and at ISU. He also has been chair of the ISU law enforcement program advisory committee and was an instructor/lecturer for evening programs through Workforce Training.

Bob Venemon, construction foreman in Facilities Services’ shops department, will retire August 17, although he has already left campus. He began his employment at ISU in the shops department in September 1985, and has been construction foreman since 1998.

Perry Ames, grounds superintendent in Facilities Services, will retire August 31. He began his University employment as a seasonal grounds worker in 1968 and was hired as a full-time grounds worker in April 1973. He was promoted to grounds foreman in 1979 and to grounds superintendent in 1984. He will be on campus through June 29.

Jeff Madsen, former director of space and energy management in ISU Facilities Services, has accepted a position in construction and energy management at the University of Oregon in Eugene. His last day at ISU was June 15. He had been with ISU since April 1995. He managed the commuter bus system while completing his degree, and assumed the duties of space management in 2001 and added energy conservation in 2003.


The Idaho Department of Administration will not be implementing the proposed FY 2008 group insurance changes to medical plans, with the exception of lowering the generic co-pay and implementing the zero co-pay initiative on generic statins. Employees who increased the amount they were setting aside in their flexible-spending accounts to meet anticipated prescription-drug costs may wish to reduce their election. Those employees are being directed to contact the State of Idaho, Office of Group Insurance, at (800) 531-0597 by June 25.

The Physician Assistant Studies Program has scheduled an open house Monday, July 9, from 5 to 8 p.m. in celebration of the expansion of the program to ISU – Boise. The open house will be held at 12301 W. Explorer Drive., Room 154; and in Pocatello in the Red Hill Building, 1021 S. Red Hill Road, Building 40, Room 217. Community members, prospective students, current students, faculty and staff are invited. The expansion allows an additional 20 students to attend the program at ISU – Boise starting this fall.