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Meet the Advisory Board: Ben Simko

Ben Simko, Chair

How long have you served on the Advisory Board?

6 years by June 30, 2020.


Are you part of any committees? If so, what is your role?

I serve as chair of the Advisory Board and am a member of the Track 3 Curriculum Committee, Board Development Committee, and Faculty Grant Committee.

What is your most memorable Osher Institute experience?

Aside from the honor of serving as the Institute Advisory Board Chair for the past two years, I really enjoyed preparing and giving an Osher lecture on the biology of spiders! Some of the members even had the courage to attend.

Favorite Osher presentation you have attended thus far?

Will Rogers Biography short course.  We need a new Will Rogers for our times.

Are you a Boise native? If not, where are you originally from?

Part of an immigrant family originally from Hungary, I was born in Bayreuth, Germany. I remember taking the oath of allegiance as a new naturalized citizen.

What is your career history?

Oregon State University, Extension Faculty in the College of Agricultural Science and then Program Manager and Department Entomologist for Idaho State Department of Agriculture.

What hobbies do you enjoy?

Travel, running, biking, hiking, bird and wildflower identification, cooking, and being a politics junky—but that is very depressing right now.

What are you doing to occupy your time during the stay-at-home order?

Ben Simko and family playing Uno

My spouse is working full-time from home and we have our 8-year-old grandson with us. So, I’m trying to be a good house husband and a mentor for the kid. We have an ongoing “Uno” tournament.  I’m reading Washington Post and New York times online to stay informed.  Still safely going running and biking from the house. Also, the adults are currently streaming “Homeland.”