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Class Notes, spring 2022

Kara Fink stands on the quad, arms crossed and smiling
Kara Fink, Boise State Magazine alumni profile. John Kelly photo.

Kara Fink, 2005

Pursuing a career that touches the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable people is a natural fit for Kara Fink, who grew up in Boise. She earned a degree in international business and is outreach and partnership manager at the Idaho Office for Refugees.

“I get to build relationships and create opportunities for people from all around the world to come together and learn about each other,” Fink said. “My goal is to help strengthen communities so all our neighbors can thrive.”

As a student at Boise State, Fink was a member of the Honors College. She found a strong community there and classes that challenged her.

“The international business program at Boise State was a huge draw, and I was blown away by the work being done by professors like Nancy Napier.”

Napier, a Distinguished Professor Emerita, founded the program.

“It’s been an incredible honor to be part of Boise State and the international business program as it has grown its global presence,” Napier said. “Watching our graduates succeed is, of course, the best part. Kara is one of our great stories.”

The rigorous classwork at Boise State helped Fink land a spot with the prestigious Fulbright program where she studied social structures and economic development in towns along the German/ Polish border.

“When I asked the Berlin Fulbright Commission why I was chosen, a large reason was my unique project. That was thanks to the Boise State staff who helped me shape ideas and make connections,” she said.

Fink earned a graduate degree in development anthropology at Durham University in England before returning to Boise.

“Working in resettlement is challenging and the need to build more welcoming communities for our neighbors who are fleeing war isn’t going to disappear. But it is rewarding work that has a direct impact,” Fink said.

group photo of participants
World Refugee Day, 2018, photo by Matthew Wordell

Fink collaborates with Boise State on the annual Idaho Conference on Refugees and programming that supports students with refugee and immigrant backgrounds.

“Kara’s knowledge of Boise State, coupled with her dedication to the Idaho Office of Refugees, has made her an invaluable partner in promoting campus/community synergy,” said Kara Brascia, director of the Boise State Service-Learning program that has connected faculty and students with refugee resettlement agencies for two decades. “Her energy, persistence, and genuine caring have helped sustain and advance this important collaboration.”

Class Notes

1970s

Mychel Matthews (BFA, sculpture, 1979)

Matthews recently became managing editor of the Times-News in Twin Falls, Idaho. Matthews has written for the Times-News for 15 years.

1990s

Diane (Thresher) Brown (BBA, finance, 1991, MS, instructional performance and technology, 2002)

Brown, who lives in Georgetown, Texas, has been promoted to vice president of information services/core services at United Heritage Credit Union in Austin, Texas.

Michael Gallagher (BA, history, 1998)

Gallagher, who lives in Springfield, Virginia, was promoted to the rank of colonel in the United States Air Force in December 2021. In 2022 he will assume command of the 23rd Mission Support Group at Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Georgia. Gallagher is married to Dale (Loughran) Gallagher, (1999), who is an RN. Their youngest son, James, will attend Boise State in the fall of 2022.

Tim Wendland (BS, accountancy, 1998, MPA, 2007)

Wendland and co-authors writing under the pen name Timothy David Mack, published their debut novel of historical fiction, “The Orchid and the Emerald,” (Blackstone) in 2022. Wendland lives in Boise.

2000s

Brad Schmitz (BA, social work, 2001)

Schmitz founded Alaska English Adventures in Anchorage, Alaska. The international tour company combines English as a second language education with outdoor adventure.

Patrick Fithen (BS, social sciences, 2008)

Idaho Business Review named Fithen a 2022 CEO of Influence. He and his business partner own A Body & Mind Health Services where they have provided internships and hired multiple Boise State graduates. The company also received the Bell Seal Award from Mental Health America.

Charlie Baum (BS, business management technology, 2009)

Baum is vice president of Cloud Engineering at JP Morgan Chase in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He oversees the on-premises cloud platform that hosts a majority of the critical banking and finance applications for Chase Bank. He has been with JP Morgan Chase for just over two years after working at Comcast for 10 years.

Mark Iverson (BA, history, 2014)

Iverson, who lives in Eagle, Idaho, founded Idahistory in 2019, a company specializing in guided historical tours of Boise and Nampa as well as historical, historic property, and genealogical research.

2010s

Ariel Delgado Dixon (MFA, creative writing, 2019)

Delgado Dixon’s debut novel, “Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You,” was released by Random House in 2022. Her work has appeared in O: The Oprah Magazine, Kenyon Review, and others publications. She lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Jennie Buley (BS, political science, 2018)

Buley is in Nakuru, Kenya, working as a project manager for the Start Small charity that focuses on providing quality education to vulnerable children.

In Memoriam

Dr. Gary Jauregui (BS, production management, computer information systems, 1999)

Jauregui died Nov. 19, 2021. Before his death, he practiced anesthesiology in Twin Falls, Idaho.

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