Campus news items: Idaho State receives $14 million for pharmacy building renovation

Idaho State University has received a record $14 million donation to renovate an 80-year-old pharmacy building.

The donation from the ALSAM Foundation will cover the bulk of the $21 million project — which is expected to begin in 2023, with completion scheduled in 2025.

“This gift allows our College of Pharmacy to continue its 100-year tradition of providing a high-quality education,” ISU President Kevin Satterlee said in a news release. “This will build on and foster our statewide leadership in health science education.”

The donation is the largest one-time gift in Idaho State’s history. The ALSAM Foundation has now contributed $26 million to Idaho State, making it the university’s largest benefactor.

Based in Salt Lake City, the ALSAM Foundation was founded by L.S. “Sam” and Aline Skaggs, which operated 11 family-owned drug stores and eventually expanded into more than 200 retail locations in 21 states.

Idaho State says it will rename the college the L.S. Skaggs College of Pharmacy. Several other Western pharmacy schools already bear the Skaggs family name, including programs at the University of Utah, University of Montana, University of Colorado, University of Arizona and the University of California, San Diego.

Idaho State began its pharmacy program in 1920, with a class of three students. In 1943, the college moved into its current site, Leonard Hall. The renovation project will focus on modernizing research labs, creating student learning spaces and housing graduate biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences programs.

U of I, Lewis-Clark to collaborate on serving incarcerated students

The University of Idaho and Lewis-Clark State College will team up on a program to help incarcerated Idahoans take college classes.

The schools could offer for-credit classes at the Idaho Correctional Institution-Orofino by the fall, Lewis-Clark President Cynthia Pemberton said Monday.

The new program isn’t unprecedented. The U of I’s Inside Out Program has offered classes at the Orofino prison for several years, and since 2009, Lewis-Clark has consistently offered non-credit welding classes at the Orofino prison.

The U of I and Lewis-Clark are joining with the Second Chance Pell Experiment, a program which helps incarcerated people access federal Pell Grants. It’s the third round of the program, which has helped incarcerated people earn more than 7,000 degrees, certificates or credentials.

Nationwide, 73 colleges and universities are taking part in the program.

“We have an obligation to educate the citizens of our state,” U of I President Scott Green said in a news release Monday. “That includes those who are looking for a second chance and wanting to exit our prison system with skills they can put to work — whether that is a four-year degree, an associate degree or a specialized certificate.”

Idaho State receives grant for sign language research

Idaho State University will share in a $2.1 million U.S. Department of Education grant designed to help people with hearing disabilities better access health care systems.

Idaho State researcher Elizabeth Schniedewind and Galludet University professor Campbell McDermid will collaborate on the five-year project.

The goal of the project is to provide new curriculum for generalist sign language interpreters — a health care-specific curriculum focused on areas such as medical terminology.

“It is my hope that by increasing the number of interpreters qualified to provide services in healthcare settings, the care deaf patients receive will improve,” Schniedewind said in a news release.

Schniedewind studied the issue in 2020, for her doctoral research project. She found that people with hearing disabilities experience discrimination or receive subpar service when accessing health care.

Kevin Richert

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 "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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