Kevin Feris, professor and chair for the Department of Biological Sciences, will serve as the inaugural director for the School of the Environment. Feris, along with Emily Wakild and Lejo Flores, led the process over the past few years to envision and design curriculum and programming for the school.
Feris came to Boise State in 2005 after completing work as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Davis. He received his Ph.D. in microbial ecology from the University of Montana in 2003 and a B.S. in biology from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 1995.
“I am delighted that Kevin has agreed to be the inaugural director of the School of the Environment,” College of Arts and Sciences Dean Leslie Durham said. “One of the true joys of the last three years has been watching Kevin collaborate with Lejo Flores and Emily Wakild to design a truly innovative school structure. Their work has been both careful and creative, and I’ve been truly impressed with how many voices from across campus they’ve drawn into their visioning work.”
Durham also praised Feris for his leadership of the Department of Biological Science in a manner that is student-focused, equity-driven and successful in growing and sustaining a large and diverse research portfolio.
“I’m grateful for, and excited about the opportunity to help continue to build the School of the Environment. There’s plenty of work to do, but it’ll be fun,” Feris said.
The goals of the school, according to Feris are to:
- Engage with faculty and staff in the College of Arts and Sciences, and across campus, to grow an inclusive school.
- Catalyze the development of new interdisciplinary opportunities for students and faculty.
- Form structures and systems that will support and enhance student success.
- Expand and integrate experiential learning opportunities into the curriculum.
- Build community relationships through collaborative and co-developed scholarship and educational opportunities.
“I know much work in these areas is already happening, and my hope is we can amplify and celebrate all of the great things already happening,” Feris said. “I’m looking forward to collaborating with our on and off-campus communities to support ongoing efforts, and growing new ones where and when we can.”