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Recognizing Excellence and Commitment

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May, 2017

Photo of Dean Corey Cook

What a difference a year makes! Around this time last year we were celebrating the official launch of the School of Public Service and honoring our first Commitment to Idaho winner Representative Mike Simpson. This year, we are not only recognizing Bruce Newcomb as our second honoree, but we are celebrating a year of accomplishments of our own.

This issue of Public Interest is all about recognizing commitment and excellence. We’ll show you how our students are achieving academic excellence and winning competitions. We’ll show you how our graduates are making a difference from Boise City Hall to Washington, DC. And we’ll show you how our faculty and staff are doing their part for Idaho.

The end of the academic year is a natural time to reflect on what has been accomplished. Not only have we recently added several degree programs, but we have grown our positive impact. And we’re just getting started. Thanks for joining us as we continue our work in the public interest.

Corey Cook
Dean, School of Public Service
Boise State University


Image of Boise State flag and Idaho Capitol


On May 9, Boise State President Bob Kustra and School of Public Service Dean Corey Cook will present the School of Public Service Commitment to Idaho Award. This year’s honoree is Bruce Newcomb.

Other recognitions include: The Enhancing Public Discourse Award honoring Betsy Russell

Faculty & Staff Achievement Awards in the School of Public Service

TUESDAY, MAY 9, 2017

Reception from 4–6 p.m
Alumni and Friends Center Ballroom
1173 University Drive Boise, ID 83706
On the campus of Boise State University

Complimentary parking available at the Alumni and Friends Center.


photo of Alpha Phi Sigma Students


Boise State’s Alpha Phi Sigma Criminal Justice Honor Society recently took home a number of individual and group awards at the annual Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and 75th Alpha Phi Sigma Honor Society conferences in Kansas City. Boise State’s Alpha Phi Sigma competed against 425 chapters from four-year universities across the country in academic events.

Andrew Giacomazzi, Boise State’s Alpha Phi Sigma chapter advisor, stated “The awards these students brought home are a testament to their hard work, dedication, leadership and academic excellence.”



Photo of Oceane PelloilePolitical Science Student a Boise State “Top 10 Scholar”

Political Science major Océane Pelloill has been named a Boise State Top 10 Scholar. Océane is also minoring in nonprofit management and American Sign Language. Political Science professor Julie VanDusky-Allen states, “Océane has a unique ability to be both compassionate and objective. She is motivated to help others in her future career, but she realizes that it is important to empirically evaluate different solutions to social problems first in order to choose the most appropriation solution to pursue.” Congratulations Océane!


MPA Graduates making a difference locally & nationally

Boise State Master of Public Administration alumni are doing big things.

Photo of Tyler Kent

Tyler Kent, Boise State MPA 2012, is performing important work at the Government Accountability Office in Washington, DC. One of his recent projects involved producing this report on countering violent extremism.

Watch Tyler and Others Explain What They Do With Their Boise State MPA >


Photo of Lauren McLean

Lauren McLean, Boise State MPA graduate and current member of Boise City Council, has been honored as one of’s 50 Fixers. These are innovators with fresh, forward-thinking solutions to some of humanity’s biggest challenges.nbsp;

Watch Lauren and Others Explain What They Do With Their Boise State MPA >


photo of Big Southern Butte

Idaho policy institute teams with Idaho national labs to promote economic development in Butte County

The Idaho Policy Institute is working on three projects to spur economic development and enhance quality of life in Butte County, a remote and beautiful corner of the Gem State. Corey Taule of Idaho State Journal writes about how Boise State is working with Butte County Economic Development to:

  • Spur entrepreneurship
  • Build a website
  • Develop public art

Read About Our Work In Butte County In Idaho State Journal >

photo of Geena Davis and Wendy JaquetWendy Jaquet honored for political leadership

Wendy Jaquet, long-time Idaho state representative and current School of Public Service adjunct faculty member and PhD candidate, has been honored for her political leadership. The award was given by Zions Bank at their annual Grande Dame Brunch and Women’s Leadership Celebration at the Sun Valley Film Festival. Academy-Award winning actress Geena Davis, this year’s Sun Valley Vision Award recipient and founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, presented the awards.

Tracy Andrus of the Andrus Center for Public Policy says that Jaquet’s honor is well-deserved. “Wendy has a long history of providing positive and collaborative political leadership in Idaho. From her days at the helm of the Sun Valley Chamber of Commerce to her 18 years as a state legislator to her service as House Minority Leader to her work with students at Boise State University, Wendy’s leadership has enriched the lives of countless Idaho residents.”

Read More About Wendy Jaquet And Her Award on Our Website >

Photo of Dr. Greg HampikianAlpha Phi Sigma hosts an Evening with Greg Hampikian

Approximately 130 students, faculty and a community members attended a presentation by DNA expert and Boise State professor Dr. Greg Hampikian. Hampikian’s work using new DNA testing methods was recently featured on a CBS 48 Hours episode about the wrongful conviction and eventual release of two men in Indiana.

The presentation was co-sponsored by Lambda Alpha Epsilon and Alpha Phi Sigma.

Professor Hampikian has a dual appointment in the Department of Biological Sciences and the Criminal Justice Program.