April 2021
Dear Team,
April 2021. Really? Who did what with January-through-March?

I don’t know why I’m always surprised by the calendar. After more than three decades in higher education, I shouldn’t be caught off guard by how fast semesters run by, but I do always find myself arriving breathlessly at the end of them. In fact, the sheer speed of that transition is so intense that I have to check my face in the mirror--just making sure I’m not sporting that windblown hairstyle so popular in the 70s before I head to my next meeting. (I do have pictures and, for the right price, may be willing to share them.)

So...here we are! The spring semester that began with a massive undertaking to protect our return to campus with Covid screening, the spring semester during which we were glued to reports about the vaccine rollout, the spring semester during which we waited to hear if we were returning to in-person life again or not is nearly at an end. I just have to pause--here at the brink of summer--and say, “Dang, you’re good!” Just look at what you did this year!

In this newsletter edition, I’m sharing some of the highlights from our division’s project charters, presidential assignments, and programs. This is just a sampling, so if you have some more “great stuff” you’d like us to share with everyone, send those to Kelly ([email protected]), and we’ll spread the word. In the meantime, let’s take a moment to simply enjoy everything we’ve accomplished before we shift into gear for another semester.

Roar, Bengals, Roar!

Lyn Redington
Vice President for Student Affairs
  and Enrollment Management
"Leadership is not about being in charge, it's about taking care of those in our charge." - Simon Sinek, Apple News
CPI program has real-world impact
The Career Center facilitates internships for many of our ISU students. Recently, they shared with us some correspondence they received from ISU student Alyssa Ames about the real-world impact these internships can have. 

“My CPI position at Alpine has honestly exceeded my expectations! My advisor, Dr. Lundquist has been a great mentor to me; he has been very supportive through my vet school application process, made sure I could see/participate in anything that interested me at the clinic, wrote me a letter of recommendation for my application, and helped me prepare for my interview. Because of the hours and experience, along with the support of all of the veterinarians at Alpine and all of the staff, I was accepted to WSU veterinary program for next fall! I think Alpine is the perfect place for anyone wanting experience in preparation for applying to a competitive veterinary program.”

Congratulations to Alyssa, and a shout-out to all of the people who make our CPI program a success!
Tackling the registration challenge
With vaccines rolling out and the plan for fall in-person learning underway, course registration dates changed abruptly this spring, necessitating some fast footwork from many of our division staff. We know that one of the things that helps students register and register appropriately each semester is timing--our advisors typically reach out for meetings with students while they are still on campus or in the midst of the semester so that other distractions are less likely to impede these contacts or the registration process--so this necessary change in registration dates may precipitate some problems getting students enrolled in their classes in a timely manner for fall. The Academic Advising crew has already been troubleshooting this, including securing a strong team of Peer Advisors for the summer months to help address the challenge. These student advisors will be heavily involved in supporting in-person NSO, and they will help with a major push to increase advising appointments by reaching out to unregistered students by phone and text. We love our student advisors!
Career fairs that connect
The ISU Career Center hosted the Virtual Spring Career Fair on February 24th. This was the third virtual fair that the Career Center has hosted since the start of the pandemic and the one that, by far, had the best results. This year, 224 students registered for the Spring Career Fair, and there were 414 student contacts with employers via a combination of group sessions and one-on-one meetings to connect with employers. When compared to the Virtual Fair in the fall, this is double the number of registered students and nearly triple the number of contacts with employers! Special thanks go to Jared Anderson for providing the support that made this virtual fair a success.
Keeping it stable
One of the great challenges of this year has been to provide security for our students in the midst of so much change. In this regard, the Admissions staff found creative ways to keep reaching out to students who were not only thinking about which college to attend, but whether to attend at all in a Covid year! Our Financial Aid team bent over backwards to keep students’ funding stable and accessible. The Registrar’s office revised course scheduling not once, but twice (moving online in the fall and back to in-person for fall 2021). NSO gave students a welcome in 2020 that had to be the most unusual orientation experience we’ve ever had, but they found ways to make it happen and to keep our new Bengals engaged. Nice work!
Keeping it accessible
Despite all of the Covid-pivoting, ISU is on track for hosting the Hispanic Youth Leadership Summit in October. The planning team, composed of representatives from both ISU and CEI, had to postpone this event last fall, but they set their sights on this fall and are anticipating welcoming about 700 students in 7th through 12th grades. And, in this particular case, staying hybrid could help students join this important event. The goal of the HYLS is to reach out to both middle and high school students, which helps our rural communities because a lot of them are home to migrant families living in communities where the junior high is literally next door to the high school. Many of these students might not be comfortable coming to a massive event with 700 students, but they will still be able to attend virtually. Staying hybrid will also help schools that have been hit hard by budget cuts. If they can’t afford to bring their students physically, they can still set up the event online. 

Our TRIO McNair program has also been working hard to ensure students have every opportunity to succeed, and that’s paying off in huge dividends for our Bengals. Recently, a TRIO McNair Scholar, Pamela Pascali, was awarded a prestigious fellowship through the National Science Foundation (NSF). Pam applied for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program in Fall 2020. Pam has also decided to remain at ISU to complete her Master's in Anthropology, so we’ll have further opportunities to support her success. You can find the confirmation on the NSF website, which mentions ISU as her academic institution. We’re proud of our Bengals, and we’re proud of our great TRIO staff!
Working toward a more inclusive community
One of our SA division project charters has community-building at its center, but we all play a part in creating a welcoming and inclusive environment. Knowing what we’re aiming for is a key part of making that happen, so the Equity and Inclusion Commission has been formed to help us identify gaps in our support of cultural diversity and generate opportunities to dismantle barriers to equity and inclusion.

Though actions matter, words can provoke thought and generate awareness, so the E&I Commission has begun with definitions, language we can all use to help increase awareness of diversity, equity, and inclusion:
“Diversity, equity and inclusion are words often discussed in higher education. At Idaho State University, diversity is the acknowledgement of individual and social differences that contribute to one’s identity and the university culture. Equity is creating opportunities for access and ensuring individuals have the tools and support they need to succeed in their educational and professional pursuits. Inclusion is intentionally creating an environment that invites and values the perspective of all individuals for the diversity they bring. Inclusion empowers individuals to engage and contribute to the greater campus community. Idaho State University strives to create a campus environment where all individuals feel valued and respected.”

Watch for more from the Equity and Inclusion Commission. They are working, now, to identify specific, impactful ways we can all help to ensure Idaho State is a welcoming place for every member of its community. 
Partnership with Dell
Bob Houghton, Associate Dean in the College of Business, has been working with a representative at Dell to develop a unique Student Laptop Program for ISU students. Dell has customized a list of laptops discounted for students that may be purchased through a custom store. This program is open to all Idaho State students, not just those in the College of Business. According to the Dell representative working with the College of Business, "this program provides clarity and peace of mind for students and parents with a set of customized laptop recommendations for students guaranteed to be a perfect fit for their field of study and academic needs." For more information about this opportunity: www.dell.com/idahostateu
Seeking Bengal Welcome Week Event Hosts (Pocatello Campus)
Pocatello's Bengal Welcome Week is returning! This annual tradition of social activities for all ISU students will be held from August 20-28, 2021. Each event is hosted by a campus unit or department, with the overall scheduling of Bengal Welcome Week being managed by the Office of New Student Orientation.

Interested event hosts should plan to attend our first planning meeting on Thursday, April 8, at 11:00 a.m. Online via Zoom

Email [email protected] with questions.
New Student Orientation Open Forums
The Office of New Student Orientation invites the faculty and staff of ISU to learn more about the plans for New Student Orientation. Our second round of open forums will take place on the following dates via Zoom.

Tuesday, April 13
4:00 p.m.

Thursday, April 15
2:00 p.m.

Friday, April 16
11:00 a.m.
Survivors of Suicide Loss Support Group
Losing a loved one to suicide can be a profoundly painful and isolating experience. The complexity of the emotions can feel overwhelming and often survivors struggle to know who to talk to for fear others won't understand. Counseling and Testing Service offers a group for survivors of suicide loss to connect with others who have suffered the loss of a loved one to suicide. This group is open to students, staff and faculty.

2nd Thursday of each month, 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
(April 8, May 13, June 10, July 8)

RESPOND: Partnering for Campus Mental Health
About 1 in 5 of us will experience a diagnosable mental illness this year. In fact, all of us experience emotional pain or distress at times in our lives. Most of us want to help yet often feel uncertain about what to do or say. RESPOND training will empower you to offer effective support and useful referrals to a student or colleague. The course provides a basic overview of symptoms often associated with mental health problems and offers an action plan to help you RESPOND effectively. The course will address campus policies such as FERPA, as well as mental health resources.

Who should attend?

Any Idaho State University faculty, staff, or administrators who wish to learn more about how to RESPOND to students or colleagues who are in distress. Graduate and undergraduate students who work in student-assistance roles are also welcome to attend these trainings.

Wednesday and Thursday, April 28th and 29th
8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. - Both days required for full training
Coping With Suicide Loss
Losing a loved one to suicide can be a profoundly painful and isolating experience. The complexity of the emotions can feel overwhelming and often survivors struggle to know who to talk to for fear others won't understand. In this presentation we will discuss some of these factors, normalize reactions, and engage in a discussion designed to help participants gain greater understanding and support.

Talk Saves Lives
Talk Saves Lives is American Foundation for Suicide Preventions' standardized, 90 minute program that provides participants with a clear understanding of this leading cause of death, including the most up-to-date research on suicide prevention, and what they can do in their communities to save lives.

Participants will learn common risk factors and warning signs associated with suicide and how to keep themselves and others safe.

Topics covered include:

Scope of the Problem: The latest data on suicide in the U.S., worldwide, and at ISU.

Research: Information from research on what causes people to consider suicide, as well as health, historical, and environmental factors that put individuals at risk.

Prevention: An understanding of the protective factors that lower suicide risk, and strategies for managing mental health and being proactive about self-care.

What You Can Do: Guidance on warning signs and behaviors to look for, and how to get help for someone in a suicidal crisis.

Student Affairs | isu.edu/studentaffairs