College of Technology

START Project Staff

Amy Christensen, START Counselor

Amy M. Christensen, Coordinator

Amy Christensen has expressed her desire to serve her community in a variety of ways over the course of her career. Beginning with a degree in Fine Art Amy went on to serve two years as an AmeriCorps member. This experience gave Amy a focus and passion for supporting families in her community. Over the next decade she was a Literacy Consultant for Head Start, director for an afterschool program for at-risk adolescents, and a Parent Educator and Nurturing Families Facilitator and Trainer for many years. As part of a natural progression for her personally and professionally, Amy returned to school to further her education and obtained a Master of Counseling in Mental Health from Idaho State University in 2010. Having passed through a number of transitions Amy views her current position as an exciting opportunity to support others as she has been supported.

Gabe Rodriguez

Gabe Rodriguez, Assistant Director

Donald Allen PhD

Donald E. Allen, Math Instructor

Don Allen likes math. He started math by playing cribbage, lotto, and other board games with his grandmother. He still likes math problems all the way from adding 2+2 up to group theory used in particle physics. No problem is too easy. No problem is… . Well, yes, some problems are very hard.

Don was born in Missoula, Montana. He graduated from Idaho Falls High School sometime during the last century. He attended college in New York, NY, Eugene, OR, and Pocatello, ID. He earned a Master's degree in Physics from Idaho State University as a nontraditional student.

Don has worked in variety of jobs, including farm, factory, retail sales, social service, and education. He worked more than ten years for USDA in a wonderful job which combined food and science. Getting paid to taste French-fried potatoes made him believe even more in higher education.

Don is delighted to be the Math Instructor for the START program. Working with the people, both students and staff, is the best part of the job.

Cindy Wade, STEP Counselor

Cindy Wade, STEP Counselor

Cindy Wade (Dougherty) returned to college after many years of raising children and working in various service type positions such as; school districts with special education and assisted living centers with the elderly. She loved her work with people and being able to inspire and help people of all ages. In 2010 she earned, from ISU, a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy with a minor in English. Cindy chose to continue on to complete a Master of Counseling degree in 2012 also here at ISU. Her emphasis is on School Counseling and Student Affairs. Cindy has enjoyed internships in the schools and the Career Center here at ISU. She worked with the Bengal Athletes in their study hall and enjoys working with the students and helping them find their passion in life, and in what direction they want their future to proceed. Observing how the START program has changed lives and empowered people has been inspirational for Cindy. She is proud to be a part of this amazing program and excited to be an addition to those life changes and growth for incoming and ongoing students.

Blaney Hanvey

Blaney Hanvey, START Counselor

Blaney Hanvey grew up in a family of educators and developed a love for learning. Wanting to help others find the joy in learning Blaney has been tutoring students in a variety of subjects since high school. Blaney obtained her Bachelor's Degree from Southern Utah University in Psychology and a Chemistry minor. Working in Residential Treatment Blaney continued her education and obtained a Master of Counseling in Mental Health and Student Affairs from Idaho State University in 2010. Combining her love of learning and skills as a counselor, Blaney chose higher education for her career path. Previous Blaney worked at Utah State University Eastern and Yavapai College. She is excited to be back at ISU and more specifically working in the START program where she can do both career and mental health counseling with students.