March 2014

New Year's Eve Gala is a "Roaring" Success

Photo of Turley-Ames and Hasenpflug

The College hosted its first New Year's Eve Gala in the Stephens Performing Arts Center to showcase students in the performing and visual arts and raise money for student scholarships. By all accounts, it was a "roaring" success, with a theme centered on The Great Gatsby. The evening included dinner, dancing, theatre and choral performances, live music, and even an art gallery.

"I had a fabulous time," said Erika Kuhlman, one of the guests. "The event was well organized and offered something for everyone." Kuhlman continued, "I was particularly impressed with the comedy group. I could never do what they did, particularly the improv skits." Jack Johnson, one of the theatre performers, added, "We all worked really hard, and it paid off. Sign me up for this every time."

Photo of comedy troup

In addition to the showcases for theatre, art, and music students, guests danced in the Marshall Rotunda to the toe-tapping sounds of ISU's Jazz Band. The band's director, Patrick Brooks, said he was proud of the professionalism his students showed in learning and preparing their material for the evening. "I'm looking for other occasions to do big band jazz," Brooks said. Guests frequently filled the dance floor for swing, Latin, and modern dance numbers.

Photo of art gallery

This wonderful evening would not have been possible without the tremendous support from our major sponsors like Idaho Central Credit Union, Farm Bureau Insurance, Portneuf Medical Center, and Mountain View Hospital. Josh Tolman, administrator for Mountain View Hospital wrote, "From a professional perspective as both a donor to this event and to ISU more generally, I was thrilled beyond my expectations with the benefits to ISU that this event provided. From the opportunity to showcase the beautiful building, the opportunity to showcase (most importantly) the talents of the students, and the opportunity to raise scholarship dollars for the College - you couldn't have been more spot on in your efforts."

Photo of Marona and Livingston Friedley

Other sponsors included Physicians Immediate Care Center, Danny Marona Foundation, JRM Foundation, and KPVI News 6. In all, the evening netted almost $30,000 for students in music, theatre, dance, art, graphic arts, and communication. Students from the newly-formed Rogers Department of Communication, Media, and Persuasion were instrumental in creating publicity and visual materials for the evening.

Photo of dancers

Kandi Turley-Ames, dean of the College of Arts & Letters, said she wants to give visual and performing arts students as many opportunities as possible and wants to hold another gala next New Year's Eve. "I think people will be disappointed if we don't," she said. "We're going to start planning right away." To keep things fresh for the guests, Turley-Ames said the theme will be different every year.

For her part, Kuhlman said she would "absolutely" attend another gala next year. "I don't think there's a better way to spend New Year's Eve in Pocatello," she said.

Photo of Christensen and Johnson

Curtis Christensen contributed to this article and Rachel Johnson provided the photographs. Both are Career Path Internship students in Communication, Media, and Persuasion


Aho Special Collection in Idaho State University Library

Photo of Jim Aho

Dr. Jim Aho, emeritus faculty in the Department of Sociology, Social Work and Criminal Justice was honored at a reception at the ISU Library in November 2013. Dr. Aho, a past recipient of both Idaho State University's Distinguished Researcher and Distinguished Teacher awards, is the author of nine books and an internationally recognized expert on political extremism, phenomenology, war, and religion. Dr. Aho arrived at ISU in 1969 and taught at ISU for 40 years, retiring in 2009. He still regularly serves on committees in Sociology, and he regularly works on research in his office.

Photo of Politics

Some of his collection of research, books, interviews, audio recordings, video recordings, periodicals, brochures, and more are now included in an ISU Eli M. Oboler Library special collection. Dr. Aho's collection represents materials central to his research on right-wing extremism in the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West. Dr. Aho's seminal book The Politics of Righteousness: Idaho Christian Patriotism redefined the understanding of how individuals are recruited into such movements. Traditionally, social science theorized that individuals that were attracted to such extremist groups were on the margins of society and isolated from larger groups, but Aho's work found just the opposite. Rather than being isolated, individuals are recruited to such groups through their primary associations. It is only once they start to socialize and associate with the group that individuals are asked to accept the ideology of the group.

Photo of Darkness

A second book that focused on themes developed out of Aho's work on political extremism was This Thing of Darkness: A Sociology of the Enemy. In this latter book, Aho explored the construction of the "other" and how this relates to both hate groups and even a country's foreign policy. His fellow faculty and his students at ISU are all better off for knowing Dr. Aho and his work at ISU over the past 45 years. Now, generations of students and scholars will have access to his papers in the James Aho collection in the ISU Library. For more information about this special collection, contact the Eli M. Oboler Library at (208) 282-2958.

Frank Church Symposium

Photo of Raphael Njoku

Idaho State University's International Affairs Council (IAC), housed in the College of Arts & Letters, was proud to present the 43rd Annual Frank Church Symposium, featuring the theme of "Human Rights," on Feb. 26 - 28. According to the IAC, this year's event was a tribute to all peoples under the yoke of abuses and intimidations around the world. "In putting together this year's event, we owe a lot of thanks to experts and activists on human rights, Idaho senators and mayors, leaders of the Shoshone-Bannock group, ISU departments, administrators, community businesses, individuals and sponsors (including the CAL Dean and Associate Vice President for Development) have all lent us immense support in diverse ways to make the occasion a success."

Professor Sara Roy at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University, delivered the keynote address, "Without Context, Without Role: Gaza and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict" on Wednesday February 26, at 6.00 p.m. in Goranson Hall, Fine Arts Building. An alumnus of Harvard, Professor Sara Roy was trained as a political economist, and has been conducting research works in the Gaza Strip and West Bank since 1985. Her works focus primarily on the economic, social and political development of the Gaza Strip and on U.S. foreign aid to the region. She has written extensively on the Palestinian economy, and has documented its development over the last three decades. Her current research, funded by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, examines the social and economic sectors of the Palestinian Islamic movement and their relationship to Islamic political institutions, and the critical changes to the Islamic movement that have occurred over the last decade.

Professor Roy is the author of The Gaza Strip: The Political Economy of De-development (1995, 2001); The Gaza Strip Survey (1986); and editor of The Economics of Middle East Peace: A Reassessment (1999). Her most recent book is Failing Peace: Gaza and the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict (2007). She is now completing another book, Between Extremism and Civism: Political Islam in Palestine (under consideration by Princeton University Press). Professor Roy also serves on the advisory boards of the American Near East Relief Agency (ANERA), a private voluntary organization working in the Middle East, and the Center for American and Jewish Studies (CAJS) at Baylor University. She also sits on the Board of Directors of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program (GCMH) - U.S. branch. Professor Roy has further served as a consultant to international organizations, the U.S. government, human rights organizations, private voluntary organizations, and private business groups working in the Middle East.

Photo of students

The symposium's main panels were held in the Pond Student Union Building (PSUB) Salmon River Suite on the Pocatello campus. According to the IAC, this year's theme was especially relevant "given the rising practices of genocide, violence against the most vulnerable groups, other forms of human rights abuses, and corruptions of leadership and failures around the world. From the wreckages of revolutionary zeal in the Middle East through the fluttering new democracies in Africa, and the vicious and centralist practices of North Korea, autocratic leaders around the world have continued to manifest characters of a great boa constrictor. Mortally wounded and wallowing in unbridled greed, massive debt, and moral confusion the days of dictators as dominant players in global politics are numbered."

The symposium's panels covered a range of topics, including women's rights, religious rights, humanitarian crisis and human rights abuses, the basic needs as human rights- including healthcare, democratization and human rights, the Palestinian question, technology and environmental rights, and lots more.

Admission was free to the public, and the events ran from 8:45 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Feb. 26 and 27; and 9 a.m. to 8:45 to noon on Feb. 29. The International Affairs Council, an Idaho State University student organization funded by the Associated Students of ISU (ASISU), hosted the symposium.

For more information on the symposium and its speakers and panel members contact Quinn Jordan at, phone: (208) 282-3043 or visit the Frank Church Symposium website.

Annual Gender & Sexuality in Everyday Life Conference

Photo of Jeff Callen

The College of Arts & Letters and the Anderson Gender Resource Center at Idaho State University is getting ready for the tenth annual Gender & Sexuality in Everyday Life conference and is proud to once again welcome an eclectic group of presenters and participants to Pocatello and Idaho State University.

The conference will be held in the Pond Student Union Building on the third floor in the Salmon River Suites on the ISU campus on March 3rd and 4th. Complete schedule is at: The conference will begin on Monday, March 3, at 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. with presentations. Throughout the Conference, and as part of Women's History Month, the ISU Transition Gallery will be displaying "She's Got My Back", art reflecting an active female point of view shown through original innovative ways to teach girls and women about the support of other females. The opening for "She's Got My Back" will be in the evening of March 3, from 5:30 to 7:00 in the Transition Gallery located on the 1st floor of the Pond Student Union. The exhibition will run through the month of March.

Photo of Lisa Diamond

On Tuesday, March 4, the conference will start at 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. with a brunch, meet & greet, and book signing with keynote speaker Lisa Diamond, Ph.D. Lisa Diamond is a Professor of Developmental and Health Psychology at the University of Utah. Her book Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love and Desire has received several awards:

  • 2010 Book Award, International Association for Relationship Research
  • 2010 Outstanding Book Award, Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender
  • 2009 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues Distinguished Book Award, Division 44 of the American Psychological Association
  • Finalist, Gay/Lesbian Category, 2008 Independent Publisher Awards

Tuesday afternoon will include:

  • Presentations from 12:00 to 1:00
  • Keynote from 1:00 to 2:30
  • Presentations from 2:30 to 5:00
  • Closing 5:00
Photo of Back

The Gender & Sexuality in Everyday Life Conference focuses on how ideas and stereotypes concerning gender and sexuality roles shape and influence various aspects of our daily lives. By acknowledging these roles, we can begin to break down some of the barriers they constitute and move towards awareness and open dialogue. This year the conference will be presenting a great combination of local ISU faculty and student presenters as well as guests from all over the country. The Gender & Sexuality in Everyday Life offers a unique opportunity for ISU students of all levels, as well as interested community members, to experience a professional conference without having to travel or pay expensive registration fees. All conference events are free and open to the public. Dr. Jeffrey Callen, one of the organizers, hopes that the showcasing of sexuality and gender research in this conference will help strengthen the already popular Women Studies program in the College and the public service and student support provided by the Anderson Gender Resource Center. He also stated, "this is the first year the conference is being hosted by the College of Arts and Letters. There is a diverse selection of over 30 papers being presented by student and faculty from ISU and other institutions around the country. We are especially excited that we are able to bring in Lisa Diamond, PhD as the keynote speaker since her work is related to significant research happening here in the College of Arts and Letters, from psychology to sociology to the humanities."

For questions or more information about this or other conference events, please contact the Anderson Center at 282-2805 or visit

New Books Published in the Humanities

Photo of Brian Attebery Photo of Stories

Dr. Brian Attebery, English and Philosophy, has a new book out entitled Stories about Stories: Fantasy and the Remaking of Myth published by Oxford University Press. Attebery has always been interested in both myth and fantasy and has been working on parts of this project for the last ten years without realizing that they were adding up to a book. Myth is oral, collective, sacred, and timeless. Fantasy is a modern literary mode and a popular entertainment. Yet, the two have always been inextricably intertwined. Stories about Stories, which Attebery began to seriously work on pulling things together while on sabbatical in Sweden in the spring of 2011, examines fantasy as an arena in which different ways of understanding myth compete, and new relationships with myth are worked out. The book offers a comprehensive history of the modern fantastic as well as an argument about its nature and importance. Attebery said this book is "the culmination of most of my academic work to date, since it brings together my interests in fantasy literature, myth and the sacred, folktales and folk beliefs, and children's literature. I hope I was able to account for the powerful reactions to fantasy that lead some people to devote their lives to it and some to threaten either the books or the authors (like Salman Rushdie) with burning."

Photo of Anna Hiller Photo of Short Stories

Dr. Anna Hiller, Languages and Literatures, started work on Great Spanish and Latin American Short Stories of the 20th Century, a dual language book in 2011 with Dover Publications, about a year after finishing graduate school and before taking her first academic job as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Kansas State University. Hiller has always had a great interest in literary translation, both the theory and practice, and so the project was an opportunity to delve into all aspects of the act of translating. Luckily, Hiller had the privilege of getting to select which authors and stories to include; the only requirement from the publisher was that they could not have been previously translated into English. That proved to be quite a challenge!

After searching and selecting the stories to be included in the collection, Hiller spent many months researching, translating, and writing the introductions to each selection. The biggest surprise when putting together the book was having to secure the translation rights from some of the authors. Hiller received a phone call from the widow of Julio Ramón Ribeyro, who now lives in France, and who wanted to speak to Hiller personally about the book. Hiller said it was quite an honor to speak to the wife of such a well-respected author, and she hopes that she has done Ribeuro proud with the translation of his short story "Por las azoteas." Hiller said the project was extremely rewarding. She hopes to continue to do such work in literary translation for the rest of her career.

Department of Psychology Updates: Faculty and Student Recognition

Photo of Michele Brunley

Dr. Michele Brumley, associate professor, recently organized and chaired a symposium at the annual meeting for the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology. The title of the symposium was "Developmental plasticity in the control and functional recovery of motor behavior," and included presentations by researchers from University of Michigan, University of Alberta, Southern Illinois University, and Idaho State University. The symposium bridged research across multiple species (chicken, rat, human), multiple developmental time points (embryo, newborn, infant, adult), multiple research techniques and levels of analysis (e.g., optogenetics at the neural level, EMG at the muscle level, pharmacology at the systems level, sensorimotor training at the behavioral level), and across different developmental systems (comparing typical development vs. development in spina bifida and Down's syndrome). Brumley was asked to prepare an upcoming special issue of the journal Developmental Psychobiology based on the symposium, and to include papers by each of the symposium participants.

Photo of Tara Stewart

Dr. Tara Stewart, assistant professor, is currently collecting data in Idaho and building a sample for a longitudinal study that will assess health attitudes with an aging, rural population. Dr. Stewart's work has been recognized as an emerging scholar in her field with the Age Plus Prize, given by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, for excellence in research on aging.


Photo of Josh Weller

Dr. Joshua Weller, assistant professor, whose research broadly focuses on how affective and cognitive processes contribute to decision-making and risk perceptions was selected to serve as an international visiting scholar in Italy this past summer.



Photo of Mona Xu

Dr. Xiaomeng (Mona) Xu, assistant professor, was recently interviewed on NPR's PRI for research regarding differences in how the West and the East experience love based on her study of the brains of Chinese people who were in love and comparing their brains with people in the US and England.



Photo of Kelsie Hendrickson

Kelsie Hendrickson, a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at ISU, was selected by the Board of Directors of the Society for the Advancement in Behavior Analysis (SABA) to receive the 2014 Sidney W. and Janet R. Bijou grant. This $10,000 grant provides one student per year with funding for research in behavioral child development. Kelsie's project will compare impulsive choice patterns in obese and healthy-weight adolescents and adults. The investigators hope that this will help clinicians and researchers identify cost-effective ways to help prevent, treat, and better understand mechanisms influencing childhood obesity. This research will be conducted in the Behavioral Economics and Eating laboratory supervised by Dr. Erin Rasmussen.

Photo of Psi Chi

The ISU chapter of Psi Chi was awarded a $1,000 grant from Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology, to fund its annual student research conference. The Southeastern Idaho Psi Chi Research Conference will invite students from Idaho and neighboring states to present psychology-related research and learn about research that is taking place within our region. The conference will be ISU Psi Chi's third annual conference. It will be held on the ISU campus April 18, 2014. Select students will give oral presentations followed by a poster session that will highlight student research in psychology. The invited keynote speaker, Dr. Appleby, is an expert on teaching and learning in Psychology, from Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis, and will present "Showing them the way: The four stages of intellectual development in college students".

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