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School of Public Service Hosts Annual Commitment to Idaho Awards Ceremony

Excitement filled the ballroom on the first floor of Boise State University’s Alumni and Friends Center as guests began to arrive on Tuesday, May 7. Faces lit up as attendees greeted people they knew, and the room started to buzz with energy. It was the afternoon of the School of Public Service’s 2024 Commitment to Idaho Awards Ceremony, a special event held annually to honor exemplary members of the community who show a particular dedication to serving the state and local communities. 

2024 Commitment to Idaho Awards Ceremony at Boise State’s Alumni and Friends Center

This year’s event, the sixth annual, saw a record attendance of over 85 individuals who came to help celebrate the awardees. The event opened with remarks from School of Public Service Dean Angie Bos, who began by recognizing a number of awards bestowed upon faculty and staff in the preceding weeks. Bos also acknowledged the recent creation of two new academic programs within the School of Public Service, a Bachelor’s degree in Public Service Leadership and a Legal Studies minor. Bos then welcomed Senior Associate Dean Andy Giacomazzi to the podium for the presentation of the Commitment to Idaho award. 

The late Tracy Andrus, recipient of the 2024 Commitment to Idaho award, was a dedicated member of the Idaho community. She is the daughter of former Idaho Governor and Secretary of the Interior Cecil D. Andrus, and in 2014, she took on the role of Chair to the Andrus Center for Public Policy, where she worked to address vital public policy issues such as wise use of environmental resources and public lands. Her husband, Jack Myers, accepted Tracy’s award in her place and shared touching remarks about her service and dedication to the Andrus Center, those she worked with as well as her family and friends.

Kevin Richert, senior reporter at Idaho Education News and recipient of the 2024 Enhancing Public Discourse Award, was present at the event with family, friends and colleagues. With more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism, Richert is an accomplished reporter whose publications have impacted the local and state community throughout his career. Kevin’s remarks included many thanks to his family and colleagues and a reminder about the importance of public discourse in our society. 

“There are people in this world who still value public discourse and civil meaningful discourse, but we’re going to have to work for it a bit now, because there are people on all sides who want to create discord. Hold your public officials accountable for that. Hold community leaders accountable…let’s all hold each other accountable.” – Kevin Richert

Dean Angie Bos, Kevin Richert, Jack Myers on behalf of Tracy Andrus, Senior Associate Dean Andy Giacomazzi

Following the event’s two external awards, Dean Bos and Senior Associate Dean Giacomazzi recognized six School of Public Service faculty and staff members with the 2024 Internal Commitment Awards. Each recipient was presented with a State of Idaho plaque as well as monetary awards.

View the complete list of Internal Commitment Award winners.

Internal Commitment Awardees: Jared Talley, Ph.D, Jeffrey Lyons, Ph.D., Chris Birdsall, Ph.D., Lane Gillespie, Ph.D., Britney Whiting-Looze, Christian Lindke

The night ended with celebratory drinks, hors d’ ouevres and lively conversation.

“Dean Bos and I were so honored to recognize Tracy Andrus and Kevin Richert, as well as our outstanding staff and faculty in the School of Public Service, at our recent Commitment to Idaho event. All of our award winners are shining examples of dedication, hard work, and commitment to this great state of ours.” – Senior Associate Dean Andy Giacomazzi

For more information and to read the full bios of Tracy Andrus and Kevin Richert, please visit the event webpage.