News and Notes

A Newsletter for Faculty and Staff of Idaho State University

June 12, 2009 — Vol. 25 No. 20

A columbine blooms at the Natural History Garden outside the Idaho Museum of Natural History. The garden is filled with Idaho native plants.

In this Issue

Vegetarian Ferns? Idaho State University researchers note simple plant species ‘consumes sugar’

In a significant scientific paper soon to be published in the well respected journal Botany, Idaho State University researchers have documented how ferns, a primitive plant, “consume” sugars in early life stages. “Ferns and their plant allies are very primitive plants that reproduce without seeds,” said Jeff Hill, ISU associate professor of biological sciences. “Sugar uptake (read more...)

ISU Provost announces interim administrative changes increasing focus on institution’s health sciences education mission

Idaho State University officials announced on Tuesday a number of administrative changes intended to solidify ISU’s position as the state’s premier institution of health sciences and professions. Four interim positions, including the deanships of the University’s two primary colleges for health care, are a part of the new structure. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, (read more...)

ISU College of Engineering signs agreement with Peking University in China

Idaho State University and its College of Engineering have signed an educational collaboration agreement with Peking University in Beijing, China, that will foster collaboration between the universities, encourage faculty and student exchanges and strengthen research opportunities at both schools. “There are benefits for both sides. Our name is becoming better known internationally and this agreement will (read more...)

44th North American Moose Conference set June 14-17 at Idaho State University

The 44th North American Moose Conference and Workshop 2009 will be held at Idaho State University’s Pocatello campus June 14-17. The theme of the conference is “Population, Behavioral and Landscape Ecology of Moose: Implications for Theory and Management.” Most conference activities will be at the ISU Life Sciences Lecture Center (Building 67), Room 10. The event’s capstone (read more...)

Idaho State University neuroscientist Groome receives NIH grant to study human electrical channels to fight disease

Our bodies, in some senses, are one big electrical grid, and Idaho State University molecular neuroscientist James Groome is studying electrical pathways in genetically altered cells he has produced to help understand and fight diseases such epilepsy and other genetic disorders. Groome, an associate professor in biological sciences, recently received a $213,417 grant titled “Channelopathy Based (read more...)

Faculty/Staff Update

After more than 45 years at Idaho State University both as a student athlete and employee, Leonard E. "Buddy" Frazier will retire from his position as Director of Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action and Diversity at Idaho State University on June 30.
His career at ISU began in 1970, when he was appointed to the position of Field Counselor for Special Services for Disadvantaged Students. In 1973, he was promoted to the position of Student Special Services Advocate, and in 1979, he became the first Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Officer for Idaho State University. In this position, he established that office as a major presence on the ISU campus. He also serves on the President's cabinet.
An ISU alumnus, Frazier received his bachelor's degree in Education/Physical Education in 1967 and his master's degree in Education in 1971. As a student at ISU, he participated in basketball and track (1964-66) and was inducted into the ISU Sports Hall of Fame in 1986.
A retirement reception will be held in his honor on Tuesday, June 23, from 1-3 p.m. in the Wood River Room in the Pond Student Union, with a presentation at 2 p.m. Community members, friends and family are invited to attend.

Linda Hales is retiring after 28 years of service at Idaho State University. Three years were spent at the College of Education and the last 25 at the College of Technology, working in Fiscal Records from 1984-1989 and in the Trade and Industrial Department ever since. To celebrate her time at the University, a retirement reception will be held on Thursday, June 25, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the culinary arts dining area, Roy F. Christensen Building.

A retirement reception for Idaho State University Facilities Services Maintenance and Operations Supervisor Jess Scruggs and Project Manager Gary Blanchard and is scheduled from 2 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, June 24 in the Pond Student Union Canoe Room, located near the Hypostyle on the main floor.
Scruggs began with the University in April 1986 as a utility craftsman, and then as a building facilities foreman for campus housing. In 1996 he was promoted to maintenance and operations supervisor.
Blanchard has been instrumental in managing various campus projects, particularly on heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, plumbing, and steam lines, since September 2001. He has an extensive background in construction and owned/managed a heating and air conditioning company for many years.

After 28 years at the Idaho State University College of Technology, Tom Huls, master instructor in Diesel/Diesel Electric Technology, has announced his retirement. To recognize his time at the University, a retirement reception was held May 29.

Idaho State University photographers Susan Duncan and Julie Hillebrant were recently featured in the Spring 2009 edition of Contact Sheet, the national journal of the University Photographers' Association of America. Several of Duncan and Hillebrant's photos were featured in the edition.
The women make up the two-member staff at ISU's Photographic Services. They were profiled as one of the few all-female university photography departments in the country. Both are Idaho State University graduates who began their careers as student workers in the department.
Duncan began working at ISU Photographic Services in 1993 as a student worker. She began working full-time in 1995. Hillebrant joined the office in 2000.

On Tuesday, June 9, Paradigm Publishers released a collection of essays written by experienced academic leaders, co-edited by Provost Gary Olson.
"The Future of Higher Education: Perspectives from America's Academic Leaders" is a compilation of 22 essays written by prominent experts in higher education.
Olson and his co-editor, John Presley, assembled renowned leaders in higher education to write chapters for the book, including university presidents, chancellors of university systems, state-level commissioners of higher education, leaders of professional organizations, and internationally eminent scholars.


The Idaho Museum of Natural History has announced a new course that includes restructuring and a greater focus on research.
The restructuring involves creating three new divisions anthropology, earth sciences and life sciences each managed by a new division head. Anthropology will be directed by anthropologist Herb Maschner, earth sciences by geoscientist Leif Tapanila, and life sciences by biologist Charles "Rick" Williams. The new division heads will focus on research and securing research funding.
The division heads will also supervise collections, but that won't be their primary responsibility. The Museum will hire collection managers for each division whose primary responsibilities will be to inventory, maintain and manage the Museum's numerous collections.
"We are extremely fortunate to have been able to recruit three talented scientists to serve as research curators and heads of our three divisions," said Skip Lohse, acting director of the Idaho Museum of Natural History. "This will drive research that in turn propels newer and better education programs and exhibitions, as well as support for our growing scientific collections."
The restructuring accomplishes two important tasks: it responds positively to recommendations from a recent American Association of Museums accreditation review and better positions the Museum to generate increased revenue for its research, collections and programming.
"We've created these positions to respond to the research mandate of the University, and it is important for the Idaho Museum of Natural History to increase its external funding through various means," Lohse said.
The restructured museum will have increased potential for attracting additional financial support. Over the past year the museum has had its state appropriation cut 12 percent, making private and research funding even more crucial. Lohse hopes that eventually the museum will receive about one-third of its funding from the state, one-third from research, and one-third from philanthropic support and self-generated funds.
Besides bringing in more external funding, a greater emphasis on research should bolster the Museum's public visibility, programming and educational roles as well.
"Within the next couple of years, thanks to our research-driven mission, the general public should see more new exhibits, a quicker turn-around of exhibits and more programming," Lohse said. "The public will see a more active Idaho Museum of Natural History."
Provost Gary Olson commented that the Museum is a priority of ISU.
"The Museum's new structure will enable us to strengthen our ability to maintain accreditation and to become more of a research museum," Olson said. "This is in keeping with ISU's commitment to scholarly research and increased national and international visibility."
The Idaho Museum of Natural History also thanks David Hadley, Allen Tedrow and Teresa Nelson for their combined 40 years of service to the museum.
Hadley began working at IMNH in August 1988 as the Exhibits Technician. His first exhibit challenge was building the well-remembered robotic dinosaur exhibit. Dave has built scores of large and small exhibits during his 21 years in the museum, serving not only as Exhibits Technician, but also as master carpenter.
Tedrow arrived at the Idaho of Natural History in March 1994 as the Fossil Preparator. Through his painstaking expertise new fossils have come to light from the deep geologic record of Idaho's past. Huge tortoise shells, muskox, and the caudal vertebrae from a dinosaur are all now better understood due to Allen's abilities. The recent addition of the Hagerman horse, mounted by Allen, will also assist museum visitors as they learn about Idaho's past.
Teresa Nelson joined the Idaho Museum of Natural History in October 2006 as interim Registrar and Marketing Manager. Nelson has kept IMNH in the public eye through her work developing brochures, chairing the 75th anniversary committee, and writing press releases and news articles. She has been a very significant link between everyday museum activities and the community.
The Museum wishes the very best to these colleagues.

The Idaho State University Students' Community Service Center along with students from the ISU Early Learning Center will hold a door-to-door food drive on the 100-600 blocks of Seventh Avenue in Pocatello from 9:30 to 11 a.m. June 26. All items collected will be donated to the Idaho Food Bank. Those living in the food drive area can leave food on their doorsteps if they will not be home during the time of the food drive. For those who want to participate but do not live in the area where students are going from door to door, there will be a booth set up for drop-off donations at the corner of Seventh Avenue and Carter Street.
Items needed include canned food, peanut butter, rice, pasta, dry beans, dry peas, dehydrated or canned evaporated milk, dried meats, cereal, crackers, oatmeal, sugar, flour, oil, tomato sauce, milk, instant foods and toiletries items. Donated items must be new and unopened. For more information, contact Rebecca Stalder, SCSC volunteer coordinator, at ext. 3494.

The Idaho State University Cooperative Wilderness Handicapped Outdoor Group (CW HOG) will hold an open house for its Alpine Tower Challenge Course and giant swing from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 24. The cost of participating is $5. Participants must sign a waiver, or, if under 18, a parent must be present. For more information, contact the Outdoor Adventure Center, ext. 3912.

Starting in July, employees will begin using Index Codes to purchase goods and services, and to track expenditures in place of the Account Numbers currently used. Employees will need to know their department's Index Code to make purchases or to manage budgets and expenditures. For more information on the new system, visit BengalWeb and look under the Personal Announcements channel.

Members of the ISU community continue to report receiving an e-mail asking for their passwords. These messages are not legitimate. The ISU Information Technology Services Desk will never ask you for your password via e-mail. If you have responded to any of these messages, please call the IT Service Desk immediately at ext. 4357.