Boise State University

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Andrus Center Conference on Women and Leadership Now Available on Podcast

Posted By on Tue, Nov 11, 2014 at 12:06 PM

(Left) Olympic swimmer Mike Bruner, Karen Crouse and coach Bill Rose holding the eighth-grade magazine project that launched Crouse's life of writing. (Right) Crouse, and her signature pants, in Boise. - DOUG MILLS, THE NEW YORK TIMES/HARRISON BERRY
  • Doug Mills, The New York Times/Harrison Berry
  • (Left) Olympic swimmer Mike Bruner, Karen Crouse and coach Bill Rose holding the eighth-grade magazine project that launched Crouse's life of writing. (Right) Crouse, and her signature pants, in Boise.

If you missed the Conference on Women and Leadership at Boise State University in September, the Andrus Center has your fix.

The Andrus Center has put key moments from the conference onto podcasts, which are available on the Andrus iTunes channel

From the audience singing along with Morgan Stanley Vice Chair and Managing Director Carla Harris to former United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor roasting moderator David Adler, good times were had at the conference, but also insights into sexism in the workplace and the emerging culture of women in positions of power.

During the conference, Boise Weekly got a chance to sit down with New York Times sports reporter Karen Crouse, who discussed male-only sports clubs, how to write about sports that appeals to women, humanizing athletes and why she sometimes wears "crazy pants."

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

City Council, With ACHD Commissioners, Hears From Bike Lane Stakeholders, Passes Anti-Camping Ordinance Amendment

Posted By on Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 3:05 PM

The Boise City Council and the Ada County Highway District Board of Commissioners met Sept. 23 during a rare joint meeting to discuss a proposal from the bike lane stakeholders group. - HARRISON BERRY
  • Harrison Berry
  • The Boise City Council and the Ada County Highway District Board of Commissioners met Sept. 23 during a rare joint meeting to discuss a proposal from the bike lane stakeholders group.

The Boise City Council and the Ada County Highway District Board of Commissioners heard from a group of stakeholders for Boise's bike lane project at a meeting the afternoon of Tuesday, Sept. 23. The stakeholder group proposed an ambitious plan for lanes along Capitol Boulevard that would be part of a still more ambitious plan to connect existing bicycle arteries in the downtown core to Boise State University, West Boise and beyond.

The proposal may eventually place buffered (painted) or protected (with vertical physical barriers between bikes and car traffic) lanes along Americana and Capitol boulevards, on the Broadway Bridge and Front Street, as well as dedicated lanes on other streets and "sharrows"—painted indications that motorists must share the road with cyclists.

But the aspect of the proposal that the stakeholders had most fleshed out was for Capitol Boulevard that includes a mixture of painted bike lanes or physically buffered lanes from Boise State all the way to the Capitol Building.

Though hashing over the Capitol Boulevard plan took up the bulk of the city council and ACHD's time, the achievement of the meeting was a consensus between ACHD and the City of Boise on enforcement of bike lane rules and the necessity for bicycle and motorist education to reduce frictions between the two primary users of Boise's roadways.

"We all need education for how to use any new structure we put in place," said ACHD Deputy Director of Planning and Projects Dave Wallace.

Referring to an ACHD poll that generated massive participation from motorists and cyclists alike during the controversial bike lane pilot project and found that many cyclists were using the lanes incorrectly or preferring to ride on city sidewalks, ACHD Commissioner Sarah Baker said that if the commissioners were going to sign off on a permanent set of bike lanes for downtown Boise, Boiseans would have to use those lanes correctly, and the city would have to create and enforce rules governing cyclists' lane use.

"What we got out of those comments is the unpredictability of bike riders. The rules need to come in as well," Baker said.

But city officials have long worried that the bike lane pilot project didn't last long enough for cyclists to learn and accustom themselves to bike lane rules. Boise City Council member Elaine Clegg countered Baker, saying that better bike lane use will come when bike lanes are installed.

"I think we're seeing a lot of bad behavior because there aren't a lot of good choices," she said.

City Council member Lauren McLean agreed.

"Once you paint and stripe an area, it won't be hard to get people to change their patterns," she said.

The Boise City Council also briefly discussed a proposed amendment to its anti-camping ordinance, which critics say targets the homeless. The ordinance was passed in a 5-1 vote, with the dissenting vote coming from Lauren McLean. It will prohibit police from enforcing the existing anti-camping law in the event that there is no room in an overnight shelter and the person sleeping or camping in a public space. Police may enforce the anti-camping ordinance if there is room in a shelter but has been removed because of unruly behavior, or is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

"[The homeless who are mentally ill or on drugs] are truly the most vulnerable," McLean said. "I have deep concerns."

Elaine Clegg and T.J. Thompson both said that the conversation about homelessness in Boise is ongoing, but that the amendment was a step in the right direction.

"There are solutions, but in our situation, we do need to re-engage this conversation on a very deep level. We're trying," Clegg said.

"It's not changing what we're doing now. We have a lot to do," Thompson said of the amendment. 
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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Boise State, Gardner Officials Announce Computer Science Department Presence in City Center Project

Posted By on Tue, Jun 24, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Boise State University President Bob Kustra speaking at the announcement of BSU's partnership with Clearwater Analytics in the City Centre Plaza. - HARRISON BERRY
  • Harrison Berry
  • Boise State University President Bob Kustra speaking at the announcement of BSU's partnership with Clearwater Analytics in the City Centre Plaza.

Boise State University's Computer Science Department is splitting sheets with the College of Engineering and getting new digs in the City Centre Plaza.

Tuesday morning, representatives of Gardner Company, Boise State and the city of Boise gathered at the site of the new development to announce that Boise State's computer science program will get two whole floors, totaling more than 50,000 square feet, of the multi-use development that will also include retail, restaurant and office space, as well as the headquarters of Boise tech company Clearwater Analytics.

The Boise State build-out could cost at least $15 million and the State Board of Education will be asked to consider a 20-year lease between the university and Gardner Company.

"The industry has been wrestling with workforce issues," said Dr. Mark Rudin, Boise State vice president for research and economic development, who went on to say that bringing Boise State's computer science department into downtown would increase education and future employment opportunities for students, and provide access to qualified job applicants to downtown tech businesses.

"There's no movement as bold as picking up the department and moving it downtown," he said.

Boise State President Bob Kustra noted that lately, the university has expanded its footprint north of the Boise River, and that placing students closer to real-world applications of their skills is a significant step for the university as a whole.

"This is an incredible expansion of Boise State's mission and role," he said.

Kai Boschma (left) and Patrick Dodgen (right) are BSU graduates who now work for Clearwater Analytics. - HARRISON BERRY
  • Harrison Berry
  • Kai Boschma (left) and Patrick Dodgen (right) are BSU graduates who now work for Clearwater Analytics.

Following the announcement, Boise State students and faculty walked from the Grove Plaza to the 17th floor of the Zions Bank Building for a reception and chances to describe their computer science projects. One current Boise State CS student described the partnership between Boise State, Clearwater Analytics and Gardner Company as reducing barriers between students and their internships and future employers. 

At a Clearwater Analytics presentation by Patrick Dodgen and Kai Boschma, the Boise State computer science graduates and current Clearwater employees told how they worked with a Boise State intern on a project that would provide business investment intelligence to major clients like Facebook, Starbucks and Netflix. The project creates an in-depth web interface for executives that tracks and analyzes stock correlations—a business resource that links businesses by the rising and falling of stock prices.

"It was good to see people learn using a new code base," said Dodgen.
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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Governor's Cup Scholarship Winners Announced

Posted By on Wed, Jun 18, 2014 at 12:25 PM

This year's Governor's Cup award winners. - GOVERNOR'S CUP/SARAH FURIMAN
  • Governor's Cup/Sarah Furiman
  • This year's Governor's Cup award winners.

With the cost of attending college at an all-time high, "college tuition" might as well be a four-letter word. But for 23 high-school students from across Idaho, the burden of attendance just got a little lighter.

On June 17, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter met with the 23 recipients of the Governor's Cup Scholarships. Selected from a pool of more than 500 applicants, the winners, all future attendees of Idaho colleges and universities, will receive $3,000 per year for demonstrated commitments to public service, academic excellence and community involvement. Scholarships are renewable for up to four years.

Here are the winners:

Academic scholarships for four-year programs: 

Margarita Alcaraz – Caldwell High School – Attending Northwest Nazarene University

Matthew Brink – Orofino High School – Attending the University of Idaho

Sydney Cornell – Genesee High School – Attending Lewis-Clark State College

Raven Crossley – Mountain Home High School – Attending the University of Idaho

Natasha Dacic – Boise High School – Attending the College of Idaho

Lydia Garner – Sugar-Salem High School, Rexburg – Attending BYU-Idaho

Sadie Heindel – Middleton High School – Attending Boise State University

Sarah Hibbert – Century High School, Pocatello – Attending Idaho State or BYU-Idaho

Sam Jacobson – Borah High School, Boise – Attending Boise State University

Mikaela Jenson – Firth High School, Basalt – Attending BYU-Idaho

Cameron Kirk – Lewiston High School – Attending Lewis-Clark State College

Ryleigh Moore – Rocky Mountain High School, Meridian – Attending Boise State University

Abbey Olsen – Preston High School – Attending Idaho State University

Shaleeni Prasad – Nampa High School – Attending Boise State University

Jaycee Rade – Coeur d’Alene High School, Hayden – Attending the University of Idaho

Clayton Schoessler – Bliss High School – Attending Boise State University

Leslie Thompson – Parma High School, Greenleaf – Attending the University of Idaho

Jade Tyler – Parma High School, Parma – Attending Northwest Nazarene University

Caleb Williams – North Gem High School, Bancroft – Attending Idaho State University

Allysha Yasuda – Fruitland High School – Attending the University of Idaho

Professional Technical two- and three-year programs:

Skyler Badertscher – Timberlake High School, Athol – Attending Lewis-Clark State College

Nathan Haight – Highland School, Craigmont – Attending Lewis-Clark State College

Jordan Peterson – Cole Valley Christian School, Meridian – Attending the College of Western Idaho
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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Guardian: Boise State Wants Gardner Company to Be Its Landlord

Posted By on Tue, Jun 17, 2014 at 9:58 AM


You can add one more packet of interesting documents to the Gardner Company's grand plans for the City Centre Plaza.

Boise Weekly readers already know that the volume of contracts surrounding Boise's newest high-profile development is as tall as the hole will be deep when Gardner begins digging a new subterranean transit center, simultaneously building a five-story convention facility to be operated by the Greater Boise Auditorium District and a nine-story office building that will become the new headquarters of Clearwater Analytics.

Additionally, the City of Boise has agreed to defer more than $500,000 in fees for building permits and development impacts (police and fire).

And now the Boise Guardian is reporting that the Idaho State Board of Education is about to take up a proposal that would allow Boise State University to move some of its Computer Science Department, including faculty, staff and instructional areas, to the new City Centre Plaza. According to the documents, the new Boise State build-out could cost at least $15 million.

The State Board of Ed will be asked to consider a 20-year lease between Gardner and Boise State.

"This particular location would serve to create collaborative partnerships with leading industries, allow local businesses and industry greater access to our programs, and provide our students with the opportunity to interact with local partners by working on projects of mutual interest," the documents read.

The agreement would see Gardner lease 53,549 square feet to Boise State in a one-year lease with 19 one-year renewal options.

For now, Boise State is asking the State Board to approve the lease deal and "over the next two years, the University will work closely with the developer and their lender as the project and financing progresses, monitor how the financing structure will impact purchase option pricing, and monitor market conditions and University priorities," according to the documents.

The State Board is asking Boise State officials to be prepared to discuss its plans for the use of space vacated on its main campus when, and if, the Computer Sciences Department is moved over to the new City Centre Plaza.

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Expert: Boise State Has a Big Problem in Underreporting Sex Crimes

Posted By on Thu, Jun 12, 2014 at 1:56 PM

Dr. Caroline Heldman, who Boise Weekly readers first met in a February 2013 Citizen profile, unleashed a stunning presentation on sexual assaults on American campuses during a Thursday session of the Andrus Center for Public Policy's Politics for Lunch series. Heldman's address packed the room at Boise State's BoDo offices in Downtwon Boise, in what the Andrus Center Director Dr. David Adler called a record-setting audience.

Heldman asked attendees to raise their hands if they knew of someone who had been the victim of sexual assault.

"Look around; with very few exceptions, everyone's hand is up," she said.

Heldman began her presentation by pushing back against what she called the "watered-down term known as non-consensual sexual contact."

"I'm a proponent of calling what it is," said Heldman. "And what it is, is rape."

Simply put, Heldman said the nation faces an ongoing epidemic of rape on more than 5,000 college campuses. She said 1 in 5 college women face assault or rape—much higher than the overall average.

"Saying it another way, quite bluntly: If you're a woman going to college, you're more likely to be raped than not going to college," she said, stunning the room of Boise State students, faculty and staff along with the general public.

And then Heldman unleashed her most sobering statement of the afternoon:

"By these standards, I estimate that Boise State had approximately 220 sexual attacks. Yet only four were reported in 2010, six in 2011 and six in 2012," said Heldman to the room, which instantly began a combination of stunned silence and shaking heads. "You have a vast underreporting problem."

Heldman said as many as 55 universities were currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for alleged underreporting and/or an alleged lack of protections for its students.

"But here's the good news. At least those schools will be doing something about it. You, at least, know that your child is going to a school that has a public discussion on this," she added.

In a timely follow-up, Adler announced that the Andrus Center would be hosting its annual conference, with the theme of "Women in Leadership" on the campus of Boise State Sept. 10-12.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Bronco Stadium No More: Albertsons Pays $12.5 Million For Naming Rights

Posted By on Wed, May 21, 2014 at 11:48 AM

  • Joe Jaszewski/Idaho Statesman

Its blue turf and concrete profile on Boise's skyline will remain, but Bronco Stadium has been renamed. Boise State University Bronco football fans will now be getting seats at Albertsons Stadium—that is, at least for the next 15 years, the Idaho Statesman reports

The deal between Albertsons LLC and Boise State, announced this morning, gives Albertsons naming rights to the stadium for 15 years at a cost of $12.5 million. 

The rebranding of the stadium will be complete before the first home game of the 2014-15 football season. This is the first time the stadium has changed its name since it opened in 1970.

Prior to a press conference at Boise State announcing the deal, Albertsons CEO Bob Miller said that the deal is a reminder that Albertsons, which has experienced financial and ownership challenges in the past, remains a Boise company.

"We're anxious to let people know that we're here to stay, this is our corporate headquarters and it's going to stay that way," Miller said.
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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Video: Boise State's 'Too Cool' Close Encounter With Int'l Space Station

Posted By on Sun, May 11, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Some 250 miles above the Earth floats the International Space Station, but on May 6, the space station touched down, not physically, but digitally to Boise State University, where a group of students, educators and select guests eagerly awaited a close encounter.

Set up in Boise State’s Student Union Building, the Space Symposium created a live-link connection with two ISS astronauts, Steve Swanson and Rick Mastracchio.

A group of students known as the Space Broncos have been planning this event since late January 2014. Students in the Space Broncos come from different colleges and disciplines across campus. John Garretson, who joined at the beginning of the 2013 fall semester, is a senior public relations and communication major who discovered the opportunity to join Space Broncos through an e-mail from his adviser.

“I had to take it right on the spot, it was too cool of an opportunity to pass up,” Garretson said.

Leigh Ann Dufurrena, digital and social media communications specialist, took the position of co-professor of record for the Space Broncos and headed the Space Symposium event.

“The culmination of all the projects we've been working on and all of the field trips and community outreach is this event,” Dufurrena said.

The idea originally came from NASA, which approached the Space Broncos about the downlink, since then the students have been working with Swanson on the project. Swanson received the title of Professor of Practice in February 2014.

“It’s [Professor of Practice] a new program with community and business leaders to help in creative learning across all the colleges,” Dufurrena said.

The opportunity to have what is, more or less, a Skype session with the ISS hasn’t been offered to many other universities.

“There’s been a couple of other universities that have done these, but it’s a really rare opportunity for any university to get to have a downlink with the space station and especially a two-way downlink like we are doing today,” Dufurrena said.

Steve Bull, technical services manager at Boise State, hasn’t done anything quite as complicated as this before, but kept it in context.

“To all intents and purposes it’s a glorified phone call,” Bull said.

Mark Rudin, vice president for research and economic development, worked on getting Boise State connected with the ISS.

“We have a lot of research going on at Boise State in NASA-related areas and funded by NASA,” Rudin said. “The neatest thing is that our students benefit tremendously from this partnership, relationship, with NASA.”

The event included remarks from Boise State President Bob Kustra:

“This is quite a historic moment for Boise State. I really do think this takes our partnership with NASA to the highest level ever.”

The three-hour event included presentations from several Boise State professors, Swanson’s parents Stanley and June, and former astronaut Barbara Morgan. But of course, the highlight of the event was when the two astronauts appeared on screen, floating in mid-air.

“Boise State we have you loud and clear,” Swanson said, followed by an abundance of applause.

For many at the event, this was the opportunity of a lifetime.

“This is something I’ve never been a part of,” Garretson said. “Seeing live interaction with two individuals in an International Space Station is awesome, and that’s just an understatement.”

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Boise State's Mexico Week: A New Journey in Boise's 'Spanish Town'

Posted By on Sun, Apr 6, 2014 at 1:00 PM


For the past 15 years, Boise State has been hosting an annual Canada Week. This year brings in the beginning of what will become an annual Mexico Week. Associate Professor Mac Test, who in the past put together the Latin American Arts Festival of 2011 and 2012, has been the chief organizer behind Mexico Week, which begins Monday, April 7, and runs through Saturday, April 12.

“Now we have concentrated on Mexico and putting together an entire week that includes not only art and culture, but also politics, history and sociology,” Test told Boise Weekly.

A year in the works, Test has been working with the Mexican Consulate of Boise to bring together a slew of artists, government officials, and business workers to fill the program of Mexico Week. A trade panel hosted by the Idaho Department of Agriculture will be presented as part of the events.

“Most people probably don’t know, but Idaho has had a representative down in Mexico, for business and trade, for 20 years now,” Test said. “So we’ll be celebrating the 20th anniversary of that relationship between Idaho and Mexico.”

Test pointed to the fact that even though Idaho shares a border with Canada, people of Mexican descent make up the majority of Idaho's minority population—representing 10 percent of the Gem State. Mexico has long since played a role in Idaho history, since the late 1800s, when what was called Spanish Town formed in what is now the downtown Boise area.

“They called it Spanish Town, but it was actually Mexicans that were here working in the mining industry,” Test said.

Though initiated mainly by Boise State, Mexico Week events are not solely aimed at students, but rather to the entire Treasure Valley. The events will take place not only at Boise State locations, but also at different locations throughout the community, such as The Cabin, The Arcade, and Washington Group Plaza.

“It’s really not just a Boise State event. It really is reaching out to the community,” Test said. “So the targeted audience isn’t really targeted, it’s everybody.”

Test himself spent 13 years living in central Mexico and, fluent in Spanish, currently teaches translation courses at Boise State.

“The best ambassador for any country is its culture,” Test said.

Grabriela Brizio, officer of cultural education and commercial promotion at the Mexican Consulate, plans cultural events for the community. Brizio has only been working at the Consulate for six months, but feels that with the growing population of Mexicans in Idaho, there will be a great turnout for this event. Brizio worked with Test to develop promotional posters of the event and bring in artists.

“I think it’s a great idea,” Brizio said. “As long as we can promote Mexican artists or talk about Mexican history, that is great.”

Continue reading »

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Enhanced Concealed-Carry Course Offered by Cassia County Sheriff For Free

Posted By on Tue, Apr 1, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Cassia County Sheriff Jay Heward is offering enhanced concealed-carry permit training for free, the Times-News reports. The course normally costs $150, but Heward told the press his office will offer three such courses for free, capped at 18-20 participants, in 2014.

"It's a lot of fun, and it helps a lot of first-timers get familiarized with their weapon," he said.

Trainees are required to fire 98 rounds under the supervision of a law enforcement official, as well as extend their knowledge of their Second Amendment rights beyond what is required in a basic concealed-carry class. The permits allows holders to concealed carry in five other states: Nevada, New Mexico, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington.

Enhanced concealed-carry permits are required for carriers of concealed weapons on Idaho's public college and university campuses. In March, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter signed into law the so-called guns-on-campus bill, which allows enhanced conceal-carry permit holders and retired law enforcement to bring concealed weapons onto campuses. The controversial law sailed through the state Legislature  but not without drawing hours of testimony for and against the law, and prompting the universal opprobrium of college and university presidents, their legal counsel, and campus police and security services.   

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