May 2019 Staff Council Newsletter
A Note From Your Chair
I have had the most wonderful opportunity of serving as your Staff Council chair. This allowed me the privilege of leading an amazing group of Staff Council members who put in extra time because they also care about the well-being of staff and represent your voice well. Without this chance, I never would have been able to travel across this great state and visit many of our locations outside the mother ship to meet the terrific staff we have working hard for a place they love and care about. All of our collective works brought to fruition some really great things in my short two years, including the chance to build a strong relationship with university leadership. I look forward to continuing my work on Staff Council and being your voice throughout the state of Idaho. Go Vandals!!
Summer Howard, Outgoing Staff Council Chair
The End of Time (From the Vice-Chair)
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the members of Staff Council and the staff of the Bipasesores for the privilege of serving you the past two years. I have enjoyed the position of Staff Council Vice Chair and look forward to continuing to serve on the council. This position has given me an interesting insight into the workings of the university. I encourage everyone to get involved in activities and committees, speak up, make your voice heard, and take responsibility for making U of I a great place to work.
Please congratulate and support our new Chair and Vice Chair as they lead us through this transitional year of new leadership at U of I.
Patricia Baker, Outgoing Staff Council Vice Chair
New Staff Council Leaders
As we thank Summer Howard and Patricia Baker for their past Staff Council leadership, we welcome our newly elected chair and vice chair.
Chad Nielson, Director of Web Communications and Operations (University Communications and Marketing), will take over as the Staff Council chair. Cari Espenschade, Administrative Assistant in the Lionel Hampton School of Music, is the incoming vice chair. We will be posting profiles of Chad and Cari in upcoming Staff Council newsletters.
Congratulations, Chad and Cari!
April Staff Member of the Month
Brian Kelly, U of I Web Team
Over the past 6 months, Brian has patiently, diligently and efficiently worked with the Office of Research and Faculty Development (RFD) to create our web presence within the U of I community. As a new office here on campus, with many new brand new programs, processes and responsibilities, there has been MUCH work to be done, and many tasks were added Brian's already lengthy to-do list. Most visible among Brian's efforts, and which demanded much of his time, was building a suite of web pages for our new Research, Infrastructure and Scholarly Excellence (RISE) program and its multiple programs. RISE is such an important program for UI faculty, and Brian's contributions to communicating about this program are impactful. Brian has also trained and taught our staff to handle some tasks on our own – most notably working closely with our Administrative Coordinator, newly-trained in Sitecore, honing her skills and addressing many of her questions. I cannot say THANK YOU enough to Brian for all of the hard work and time that he has devoted to RFD!
Nominated by: Dr. Carly Cummings – Director, Office of Research and Faculty Development
Mahmood Sheikh | Associate Athletic Director for Development | IWC 324
Mahmood Sheikh, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from U of I and spent six years working in the athletic department in various development positions from 2003-08, is returning to U of I for a second stint in the athletic department – this time here in Boise.
The Moscow native will oversee the Vandal Scholarship Fund (VSF) and be responsible for procuring major gifts for capital projects. Mahmood’s last position at U of I was as an assistant athletic director and executive director of the VSF. He went to Colorado, where he spent three years as an assistant AD and Buff Club director before leaving college athletics. He recently spent more than nine years as the deputy executive director for the Idaho State Bar and Idaho Law Foundation Inc.
Lyndsay Watkins | Research Assistant | IDL
A graduate of Bishop Kelly High School, Lyndsay is a Montana State University architecture and environmental design graduate. She joins the Integrated Design Lab as a research assistant after working at Modus Architecture Collaborative in Boise as an intern for the past five summers.
Lyndsay spent fall 2018 studying abroad at The University of Plymouth in Plymouth, England, and traveled extensively while enjoying the way that architecture and environmental design is taught in another country. She loves to spend her free time traveling the world, spending time in the great outdoors, taking care of her plants and reading.
Lu Hauger | Commercial Produce Safety| U of I Extension Southern District
Lu comes from a background in local government and economic development with a significant passion for food systems and agriculture. In previous roles, she has focused on community outreach and civic engagement, approaching policy from a community-building emphasis. With U of I Extension, she will apply her diverse experience to engage, educate and advocate for farmers across the state of Idaho. She holds a master’s in public policy from Colorado University (CU) Denver and a bachelor’s from CU Colorado Springs.
Kara Jenkins | 4-H Program Coordinator | U of I Extension, Ada County
Kara Jenkins is the new 4-H program coordinator. Kara hails from Emmett, where she grew up heavily involved in county, district, state and national 4-H programs. She earned her bachelor’s in multidisciplinary studies and master’s in teaching from Eastern Oregon University. She was previously a 4-H Educator in Baker County, Oregon, and most recently has been volunteering with Canyon County 4-H, teaching STEM programming.
Alyssa Pietz | Program Technician | CDHD
A transplant from Washington, Alyssa Pietz joins CDHD as their new program technician. She was the previous administrative assistant at the U of I Extension, Ada County. Alyssa is a Vandal and Alpha Gamma Delta alumna, and is an advisor for the Delta Upsilon chapter in Boise. When she’s not at work you’ll find her adventuring with her boyfriend, Patrick, and their Australian Shepherd, Ruby.
Boise Farmers Market
iDrones, 4-H events, Chinese classes, science experiments! Yours can be one of the units taking advantage of the free booth at the Capital City Public Market (CCPM). U of I sponsors the CCPM in downtown Boise. The market runs April 13 through December 14 with an average of 15,000 attendees each Saturday. Part of our sponsorship package includes a U of I-branded tent each week for the university to showcase the diverse programs we have at U of I. This is a huge marketing opportunity, allowing us to extend U of I’s reach into our communities and beyond.
to utilize U of I’s booth and highlight the amazing research and programs in your college or department. The time commitment is about four hours.
The booth is free for the day and slots are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis, so to reserve the date(s) that best serve your program. We will then you with additional details.
Judges needed for the Youth Water Summit in CDA!
Marie Schmidt, Community Water Resource Center Specialist, is seeking volunteer judges for the Youth Water Summit from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 21 at North Idaho College.
Nearly 500 students from regional high schools will be presenting their water-related research projects. No judging experience necessary; a brief training will be provided. You can register as a judge here:
Marie is also looking for a few dedicated volunteers to help with set-up, greeting students, and tallying rubric scores. If interested, please Marie,
Represent the Bipasesores (wear your vandal gear!) and interact with potential future Vandal scientists at this fun, innovative event!
CS staff bring the Sunfish to Kellogg, Idaho
Coeur d’Alene Computer Science Department Manager Carrie Morrison and student Amanda Ward brought the new underwater robot, Sunfish, to the Panhandle Health District’s annual Environmental Science and Health Fair in Kellogg on April 25. The fair reaches middle and high school students in the Silver Valley.
Morrison and Ward shared the collaborative Computer Science degree options available in Coeur d’Alene through U of I and North Idaho College. They also talked about how this deep-diving research could impact studies on the health of our waterways.
For more information on the robotics that reside in Coeur d’Alene and the programs offered through the Computer Science department, Carrie Morrison at.
Tim Morgan first in Coeur d’Alene to win the College of Engineering Outstanding Technical Staff Award
Coeur d’Alene Computer Science IT Manager Tim Morgan won the College of Engineering Outstanding Technical Staff Award and is the first to do so from the CDA location. Tim not only supports the needs of his program, but also contributes to community outreach tech demonstrations, provides event IT support and serves as a backup IT resource for the Coeur d’Alene Harbor Center.
Registration is open for Dig’nIT summer camps; internship application portal open until May 19
Back for its seventh season, the Dig’nIT STEM education initiative is open for registration! Information about our camps for youth ages 8-18 and well-paying tech internship jobs for students 16-18 can be found on the Dig’nIT website.
Hiya from Idaho Falls!
It’s almost summer, which is quiet-ish for some of us but crazy in CALS!
Staff Appreciation Luncheon
We held our Staff Appreciation Luncheon on April 23. Several of us were on hand to celebrate milestones, retirees and each other. Brooks Quigley was the recipient of the Outstanding Part Time Staff Award. Jay Soelberg, Cindy Bou and KD Holmes marked five years each with the U of I. Meladi Lanier and Ryan Haworth received their ten-year recognition awards. Susan Robertson celebrated 15 years with the U of I and Carol Baldwin was recognized for her amazing 30 years of service to the Bipasesores. (More on Carol below.)
Domestic Violence Awareness Day was observed on April 24. It’s come to be known as Denim Day, and people are asked to wear denim to help raise awareness of domestic violence and to help spread the word about services available to those in need. We welcomed Shane Dial from the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center in Idaho Falls, and an officer from the Idaho Falls police department, who both spoke of local facilities from which to get help/counseling/report abuse or sexual assault. Attendees decorated denim jeans pockets to be used to make a quilt.
Carol Baldwin Farewell
On April 30 U of I Idaho Falls said goodbye to a longtime member of our student services team. Dr. Carol Baldwin was with the Bipasesores for 30 years. We wish her great luck and happiness on her new endeavors!