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The School of Problem Solving

Boise State campus
Andrew Giacomazzi

July, 2019

Idaho is growing. And changing. While many of these changes are positive, we are also aware that some of our challenges are difficult to solve. And that’s where the School of Public Service comes in!

An important part of the vision of the School of Public Service is to “serve as a recognized and trusted resource for policymakers searching for effective solutions to pressing public concerns.” While we are not policy creators, we strive to be a resource for Idaho’s current policymakers as we educate a new generation of leaders.

In this issue of Public Interest, my first since assuming the leadership of the School of Public Service as Interim Dean, we’ll show you how we strive to be a resource for the community. We’ll show you how we are training students to serve the public good through their quality research, military service, and even by solving crimes. We’ll also show you how our Idaho Policy Institute is a resource for decision makers across the state.

I would like to take this space to express heartfelt thanks and farewell to Dr. Corey Cook. As inaugural Dean of the School of Public Service, Corey built a foundation that will enable the School to be a resource to our university, city and state for generations to come.

I would also like to welcome President Marlene Tromp to the Boise State family. Dr. Tromp, a first-generation college graduate from Wyoming, is already bringing excitement and fresh ideas to Boise State. We look forward to accomplishing great things as we work together – in the Public Interest.

Andrew Giacomazzi
Interim Dean, School of Public Service
Boise State University

Downtown Boise
For Explore Magazine, Allison Corona photo

Idaho Policy Institute – A Resource for Decision Makers

Established in August 2016, the School of Public Service’s Idaho Policy Institute brings together faculty experts, a team of research associates, student researchers and community partners to explore social and policy issues and to help clients. Since launching, IPI has completed 44 projects for clients with diverse needs and interests.

Clients include nonprofit organizations, elected officials and businesses.

“IPI is designed to be a resource for decision makers,” said IPI Director Greg Hill. “Whether you’re a small town or a state agency, we want to be there, to be a resource, a research arm to help inform policy decisions.”

Vanessa Crossgrove Fry, research director for the institute, adds, “Any client that comes to us, we try to help them with their research needs.” This is done while giving top-notch students the chance to work on projects that pertain to their graduate studies.

Explore IPI’s projects on the IPI website >

Read more about how IPI is a resource in Boise State News >

Check presentation
Left to right: Tara Thue (AT&T), Cadet AJ Counter, Cadet Todd Hall, LTC John Hawbaker

School of Public Service Receives Hero Funds’ from AT&T

The School of Public Service has been awarded $18,500 in scholarship funds from the AT&T Public Safety Hero Scholarship Fund to support two Boise State students pursuing studies in military science.

“In the School of Public Service, we see a lot of young leaders who aspire to serve their community and country,” said Lieutenant Colonel John Hawbaker, professor of military sciences in the School of Public Service. “These students go on to shape the future of our country and make our communities safer, more enjoyable places to live. Support like this contribution from AT&T creates additional opportunities for students to pursue their professional goals and attain them.”

Read more about AT&T’s Hero Funds donation in Boise State News >

Students and faculty
Left to right: Kyle Reid, Andrew Giacomazzi, Nikisha Chapman, Joe Dawson, Marianne Hudson

Students Take Top Honors in National Crime Scene Competition

Criminal justice students in Boise State’s Alpha Phi Sigma Honor Society took home a number of awards at the annual Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and Alpha Phi Sigma Honor Society conferences. Three Boise State criminal justice honor students – Kyle Reid, Nikisha Chapman and Joe Dawson – won first place in the crime scene competition. As this year’s first place winners, Boise State students will be staging next year’s competition in San Antonio.

Boise State’s chapter also placed first in the National Website Competition and second in the National T-shirt Design Competition.

“Our Boise State students were exemplary representatives of Boise State,” said Andrew Giacomazzi, Boise State’s Alpha Phi Sigma chapter adviser and a national council member of the organization. “The awards these students brought home are a testament to their hard work, dedication, leadership and academic excellence. Their achievements at these national conferences have been sustained for quite some time now.”

Read more about Boise State students in the national crime scene competition in Boise State News >

Students on roof

Urban Studies Students Help Tell the Story of Downtown Boise

Boise’s rapid growth has garnered national attention, with the City of Trees appearing on numerous “Best Of” lists, and this has made the city an ideal study subject – and client – for Boise State’s first graduating class of urban studies and community development students.

For their senior capstone project, led by Clinical Assistant Professor Jillian Moroney with the School of Public Service, six urban studies and community development students partnered with the Downtown Boise Association to create a web-based report emphasizing the city’s strengths for prospective out-of-state businesses and residents looking to relocate, as well as Boise natives and businesses looking to better understand city trends and opportunities.

“Boise is a fantastic living laboratory,” said Moroney. “This project was a great opportunity for students to take what they’ve learned in the classroom and apply it to a project for a real client.”

Read more about our Urban Studies Downtown Boise project in Boise State News >