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Three Health Sciences Students Named Top Ten Scholars

Three College of Health Sciences seniors are among the ten outstanding Boise State University graduating seniors who were recognized for their exceptional academic success at the annual Top Ten Scholars reception on  April 21.

The scholars, joined by their parents and teachers, gathered for a reception that recognized the students’ academic excellence and the tremendous influence specific faculty members have had on their success. It is a unique opportunity each year to bring together many of Boise State’s best and brightest students and faculty.

Presented by the Alumni Association in conjunction with the Honors College, the awards ceremony featured remarks from each student honoree as well as keynote speaker Andrew Finstuen, dean of the Honors College.

Students are nominated by their academic deans and are subject to rigorous review by a selection committee. To qualify for consideration, a student must have a 3.8 or higher grade point average. Nominees are then reviewed based on academic breadth of coursework, research, creative works and publications, presentations at professional meetings or conferences, and extracurricular community and campus service.

“Student recipients should feel extremely proud knowing that they are deemed the top of their graduating class,” said Lisa Gardner, interim executive director of the Alumni Association. “They have had extraordinary experiences through their undergraduate studies with Boise State University. We hope that they continue to share their wisdom and energy with their colleagues and with their alma mater as they move down their life and career paths as Boise State alumni and continue to represent the university’s highest standards.”

College of Health Sciences 2015 Top Ten Scholar Honorees

Amanda Erickson

  • Degree: Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Future Plans: Continue working for St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital as a nurse apprentice in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and apply to graduate school
  • Honored Faculty: Dr. Pam Strohfus, Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Doctor of Nursing Program, School of Nursing

Erickson is the recipient of several scholarships including the John F. Nagel Scholarship, Palmatier Nursing Scholarship, Osher Scholarship, Vahey, Clair & Zetz Scholarship, Trinity Health Scholarship, and the Helen Wright Nursing Award.

During her time at Boise State, Erickson served as a research assistant for the School of Nursing. In addition to leading a research study, she contributed to multiple publications including the Journal of Nursing Education. After completing a one-year fellowship with St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital, Erickson presented on neonatal abstinence syndrome at the Western Institute of Nursing Research Conference. In her senior year, she managed the school of nursing’s meningitis educational campaign and implementation of four vaccination clinics. She received “Best in Show” at the campus-wide undergraduate research conference for a HPV educational campaign to improve awareness and vaccine utilization on the Boise State campus.

As a first generation college student, Erickson was inspired to pursue nursing after the extraordinary and compassionate care received after the birth of her first child. She is passionate about improving neonatal outcomes by translating research into practice. Her drive to provide family-centered care is rooted in a deep commitment to nursing science and evidence based practice. In addition to her academic success, Erickson is the proud mother of four.

Justin Gause

  • Degree: Bachelor of Science in Biology, Health Science and Pre-Medical Studies
  • Future Plans: Attend University of Washington School of Medicine in the fall
  • Honored Faculty: Dr. Merlin White, Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences

Throughout his time at Boise State University, Gause has had the privilege of working with several amazing individuals from many areas within academia and healthcare. While researching with Dr. White, he contributed as a second author to a published article, presented at research conferences, and participated in the IDeA Network for Biomedical Research Excellence program under a funded fellowship.

In addition to his studies, Gause invested his time in community service and educational efforts. His passion for service led him to volunteer with several organizations including the Idaho Youth Ranch, Heart ‘N Home Hospice, and the Garden City Community Clinic. He coordinated the 2014 Primary Care Physician Workforce Summit with the Idaho Academy of Family Physicians and Idaho Primary Care Association, which served as a forum for discussion and solution orchestration regarding Idaho’s current physician shortage. Gause also helped organize the 2014 State Advocacy Day with the Idaho Alzheimer’s Association, during which Idaho’s legislators were educated concerning a state plan to increase research funding and supportive resources for those affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

Gause also had the privilege of composing, performing, and recording an original song, “Courage to Love,” for a public service announcement televised by the Idaho Epilepsy Foundation. Gause is currently an active board member of the Idaho Rural Health Association. Gause is from Boise, Idaho.

Kate Jette

  • Degree: Bachelor of Science in Biology and Health Science Studies with a minor in Biomedical Engineering
  • Future Plans: Attend Oregon State University to pursue her master’s in teaching
  • Honored Faculty: Dr. Trevor Lujan, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering

During her time at Boise State University, Jette has been involved in athletic and research activities both on and off campus. One of her most rewarding experiences has resulted from her participation as a scholarship student-athlete on the track and field and cross-country teams. Besides competing in athletics, Jette has participated in research through the chemistry and biochemistry departments to aid in developing pharmaceuticals for breast cancer through biomedical computational research. She presented her findings at the Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Conference.

Off campus, Jette volunteers her time in local schools and loves working with children. Specifically, she volunteers in a science classroom with middle school students. After school, she moderates a science bowl group where she quizzes students on science material and answers any questions they may have. She also participates in a walking club at a local elementary school to help inspire young students to be active.

Her dream is to become a high school biology teacher and inspire students, especially females, to become leaders in the science field. Jette is from Portland, Oregon.