The College of Health Sciences is celebrating five retiring faculty and staff from 3:30-5 p.m. on Thursday, April 28 in Norco 117 and the adjacent patio.
The persons retiring are:
- Jody Lester, associate professor, respiratory care
- Jeff Anderson, associate professor, respiratory care
- Pamela Gehrke, associate professor, nursing
- Ken Bell, clinical professor, kinesiology
- Alexis Rowland, senior business manager, College of Health Sciences dean’s office
About the retirees
In addition to the descriptions below, the college has published a tribute story to the retiring four faculty. Together, Lester, Anderson, Gehrke and Bell will have taught at Boise State for 136 years when the current academic year concludes.
Lester earned her Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy and a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from Boise State University. She has been teaching in respiratory care since 1983. Her areas of interest are the quality improvement in health care, evidence-based care, adult and neonatal respiratory care, the effects of tobacco on pulmonary health and tobacco cessation. An additional area of expertise is online education; she has been teaching online courses since 2000. She is an advocate for undergraduate research and enjoys involving students in projects which answer relevant clinical questions and which teach them correct research processes. She is a reviewer for the American Respiratory Care Foundation and she has presented at the American Association for Respiratory Care Summer Forum and International Congress on the topics of designing online courses engaging online students, assessment of gas exchange, evaluation health care literature, patient advocacy, and the fetal origin of adult diseases. Her research focus is mechanical ventilation.
After graduating from Madison Area Technical College in Madison, Wisconsin, Anderson worked at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics for six years in a variety of care units. During his tenure as clinical director of a pulmonary function lab he developed the hospital’s pulmonary exercise testing lab and polysomnography, or sleep study lab. He is credited with conducting the first sleep study in Wisconsin in 1978. His interest in exercise testing led him to complete a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology from the University of Wisconsin. After graduation he joined the faculty of Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City, Florida for three years before joining the Boise State respiratory care faculty in 1986. His primary areas of interest include adult critical care, critical care monitoring, pulmonary function testing, and exercise physiology. Anderson is a frequent presenter at local, state, and regional respiratory care meetings. Students in Anderson’s Medical Terminology and Cardiopulmonary Renal Anatomy and Physiology courses have recognized hims as an effective teacher for diverse groups. Anderson counts these courses as some of his favorites.
Gehrke enjoys helping students incorporate political and policy skills into their nursing identities. She teaches graduate and undergraduate students courses on population assessment, public and community health, and policy, power and voice in nursing. Her research focuses on civic engagement, political advocacy and nursing. Currently, she is completing grounded theory research on how undergraduate students learn about political and policy advocacy. Past research is in public health, childhood immunizations, and the use of cooperative learning in nursing education. Her clinical expertise is in public health, including school, rural, and faith community nursing. Gehrke is one of Boise State University’s Idaho Professors of the Year recognized by the Carnegie Foundation; she received the award in 1999. She also received a Nursing Excellence Award in Nurse Education from the March of Dimes in 2010.
Bell joined the Department of Kinesiology faculty in 1997. Previously, he served as an elementary and middle school teacher in physical and health education, as well as a middle school and high school sports coach. Since completing his PhD in Physical Education Curriculum and Instruction at Virginia Tech State University, his focus has been on preparing future physical and health education teachers, as well as developing effective professional development partnerships with local schools. His research interests include physical education teacher education, self-esteem in physical education and sports, effective teaching and coaching, children’s fitness, and obesity in children. His research aims to improve K-12 student learning experiences and attitudes toward physical education activity and movement for a lifetime.
Senior Business Manager Rowland supports the Dean of the College of Health Sciences and assists the college’s departments and schools in budgetary matters, administration, human resources and customer service. Rowland came to Boise in 2002 after 17 years with UCLA where she was the policy and training manager for the UCLA Academic Personnel Office and assistant to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty Development/Diversity. Prior to coming to Boise State, Rowland worked at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery where she was part of the team that expanded the cemetery from a simple hillside to 76 acres of landscaped grounds to honor Idaho veterans and their spouses.