Campus news items: Research alliance will focus on regional economic growth

Idaho’s three universities have formed a research alliance designed to foster economic growth in the region.

The Mountains and Plains University Innovation Alliance hopes to support industry and high-tech innovation in Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

In a recent news release, administrators from Idaho’s universities took turns hailing the alliance.

“Boise State University’s research profile and innovative mindset are powerful catalysts for economic growth,” President Marlene Tromp said. “Collaborating with regional higher education partners and combining our strengths with theirs represents a big win for Idaho.”

“The diverse perspectives offered in this alliance will be invaluable to shaping a robust economy for a fast-changing Idaho,” said Christopher Nomura, the University of Idaho’s vice president for research and economic development.

“This regional alliance opens up additional doors for ISU researchers and students as we collaborate in real-world problem solving,” said Martin Blair, Idaho State University’s vice president for research.

The alliance has already connected regional researchers in forest and rangeland management, cybersecurity and other fields. The alliance plans to work with tribal leaders, state governments and industry to identify future projects.

In addition to the Idaho universities, alliance members include Montana State University; Montana Technological University; the University of Montana; North Dakota State University; the University of North Dakota; Dakota State University; South Dakota School of Mines and Technology; South Dakota State University; the University of South Dakota and the University of Wyoming.

Boise State, CEI forge cybersecurity program partnership

Eastern Idaho students could be able to pursue a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity without leaving town, and at a lower cost, through a new Boise State-College of Eastern Idaho partnership.

The partnership links concurrent enrollment classes in eastern Idaho high schools, lower-division courses at CEI and online upper-division Boise State classes in cyber operations and resilience. This will allow students to stair-step their way to a bachelor’s degree without leaving their community.

The bachelor’s degree also would cost about $24,000, or 25% to 40% less than a traditional degree.

This is a very efficient BS degree, given that it is fully online and affordable in that more than half of the degree can be completed at a community college tuition rate,” CEI President Rick Aman said in a news release. “Our proximity to Idaho National Lab affords graduates who complete this degree wonderful opportunities in one of the most in-demand careers in Idaho.”

The two schools say they will pursue other joint online pathways.

Retired teacher launches ISU scholarship for nontraditional students

A retired Pocatello teacher has launched a $25,000 scholarship to help nontraditional students pursue a degree in education.

Gene and Beverly Gillette

Idaho State’s Gillette Family Scholarship is geared toward students returning to school to seek a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

The scholarship is the brainchild of Beverly Gillette, a 1976 Idaho State College of Education alum. In the mid-1960s, while her husband Gene was serving in Vietnam, she moved from Kimberly to return to Idaho State to pursue her bachelor’s degree.

“It wasn’t easy and our budget wasn’t very good, but it was the best insurance policy for the family, and it was a good example for the kids,” she said. “Ten years and four kids later, I finally did it.”

After her graduation, Beverly took a job at Pocatello’s Tendoy Elementary School, where she worked until her retirement in 1997.

The Gillettes still live in Pocatello.

Kevin Richert

About Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on KIVI 6 On Your Side; "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television; and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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