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Introducing Public Interest

Heading for "Public Interest" Photo of Downtown Boise with text saying "Public Interest: Boise State School of Public Service"
Image of Dean Corey Cook

May, 2016

Welcome to Public Interest, the digital newsletter of Boise State University’s School of Public Service (SPS). As a friend of Boise State University or a graduate of one of our degree programs, we invite you to learn more about the exciting ways the school is making an impact by serving the State of Idaho, the region, our nation and global communities.

The School of Public Service includes a broad range of undergraduate and graduate programs including criminal justice, political science, public policy and administration, and military science. The school features seven centers and institutes. While our new school is comprised of rich and diverse academic programs, we share a common dedication to excellence in innovative teaching, cutting edge scholarship and meaningful community outreach.

Corey Cook
Dean, School of Public Service
Boise State University


Timothy Hibbard, Frederick Swanstrum, Alex Belisle

Three of Boise State’s Top Ten Scholars are Political Science Majors

The School of Public Service’s Political Science program may be small, but it’s making a big splash on campus and beyond. Political science majors Alex Belisle and Timothy Hibbard, along with political science and communication double major Frederick Swanstrum, have been honored as 2016 Top Ten Scholars, the highest honor the university awards to undergraduate students. Honorees were chosen based on academic success (3.8 GPA minimum), breadth of coursework, research, creative works and publications, presentations and extracurricular community and campus service.

All three honorees credit outstanding political science professors for contributing to their success in the classroom and beyond.



Dr. Laura KingCrime Victims’ Rights Week

The Criminal Justice program recently held a four-day workshop on crime victims and their rights. The workshop, which was open to undergraduate and graduate students for credit as well as to the public, was held in the Student Union and featured about 60 hours of topics over four days.

Held in conjunction with National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, the workshop featured presentations by law enforcement professionals as well as Boise State professors. Topics covered a wide range including: crime and victimization in Idaho, victimization of children, victimization of the elderly, and crime victim compensation.This year’s Crime Victims Rights Week is the first since the School of Public Service’s Criminal Justice program published Crime Victims in Idaho: An Assessment of Needs and Services.


Accomplished Under 40 logo

School Of Public Service Accomplishments Recognized In Idaho Business Review’s Accomplished Under 40

The Idaho Business Review’s Accomplished Under 40 has a distinct School of Public Service flavor this year, with multiple SPS faculty and alumni making the prestigious list.Accomplished Under 40 honorees with their School of Public Service connections include:

  • Dr. Amanda Ashley, assistant professor, School of Public Service
  • Todd Cranney, managing partner, Riverwood Strategies, Eagle (Cranney has taught in Boise State Political Science program)
  • Jess Harrison, director of communication and government affairs, Idaho School Boards Association, Boise, Boise State MPA
  • Jayson Ronk, director of state government affairs, Micron Technology, Boise State MPA
  • Dr. Justin Vaughn, associate professor of Political Science

Dean Corey Cook congratulates the honorees, “We are reminded regularly of the many achievements of our graduates and the impact of our full time and adjunct faculty in the community, but it is nevertheless inspiring to see our school so well represented in the Idaho Business Review’s list of honorees.”

Read More About The Accomplished Under 40 >


Public Administration Students Present Homelessness Recommendations To Boise Mayor

Mayor Bieter with Spencer Kelley

Thirteen students presented their assessments and recommendations for tackling Boise’s homelessness crisis to Mayor Dave Bieter. The presentations, which were delivered at City Hall on April 20, examined the costs of homelessness to the community, analyzed the resources available to address it, and offered recommendations for reducing homelessness in Boise. The graduate-level public administration in the public sector course is offered by the Public Policy and Administration program in the School of Public Service but draws students from a broad academic spectrum. In addition to master of public administration majors, students come from disciplines as varied as public health, criminal justice and political science.

Read More About The MPA Presentation on Our Website >


Dr. BostaphAn Idaho First

Criminal Justice program Chair Dr. Lisa Growette Bostaph served on the first all-woman panel of pardons and parole commissioners in Gem State history. Panels are comprised of three commissioners, meaning the three-woman, two-man commission will occasionally produce all-woman panels. Dr. Bostaph is associate professor and graduate coordinator in the criminal justice program.

Read more about the Idaho Pardons and Parole Commission


Tim Roemer and Tom Petri

Frank Church Institute Welcomes Former Congressmen To Boise State

The Frank Church Institute and the School of Public Service sponsored Congress to Campus on April 17 and 18. Two former senior members of Congress spoke to School of Public Service students and to student organizations about Congress, leadership and public service.



Idaho Microbes Cover

University-Published ‘Idaho Microbes’ Book Receives Ippy Award

Idaho Microbes, published by the Boise State School of Public Service and the Division of Research and Economic Development, was awarded a Silver “IPPY” award by the Independent Publisher Book Awards. The book was authored by Idaho writer Steve Stuebner with Dr. Todd Shallat, director of the Center for Idaho History and Politics in the School of Public Service.