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Three Arts and Letters Alumni Honored with 2017 Professional Achievement Awards

Eleven Idaho State University alumni will be honored with ISU 2017 Professional Achievement Awards at ISU Commencement exercises in Holt Arena.

Three Arts and Letters Alumni Honored with 2017 Professional Achievement Awards

Eleven Idaho State University alumni will be honored with ISU 2017 Professional Achievement Awards at ISU Commencement exercises in Holt Arena. 

Professional Achievement Award recipients are alumni who have made important contributions to their careers or profession, to the social, political or economic well being of the world around them and have shown continued community and civic involvement in addition to their association with and contributions to ISU. Individuals selected for these prestigious awards have been out of school at least 10 years and have excelled in their chosen field, attaining significant success and accomplishments.

The Arts and Letters Professional Achievement Award recipients for 2017 are: David “Chris” Carlson, from Medimont, College of Arts and Letters ­– Fine Arts and Humanities; Dr. Paul M. Miller, Somerset, New Jersey, College of Arts and Letters – Social and Behavioral Sciences; Galo Medina, Hollywood, California, College of Arts and Letters – General Studies; 

Biographies of the winners follow.

David “Chris” Carlson, Medimont, College of Arts and Letters – Fine Arts and Humanities

The eldest son of two school teachers, Carlson was born in Kellogg, Idaho, but his family moved to the Idaho Falls area when he was five, and then relocated to the Spokane Valley at the age of 10. He graduated from Central Valley High School in 1965, and obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature with a minor in comparative religions from Columbia University in three years by attending summer school at Idaho State.  Carlson taught eighth- and ninth-grade classes at Kootenai Junior/Senior High School in Harrison, Idaho, and coached the junior varsity basketball team in 1968-69.

Dr. Paul M. Miller, Somerset, New Jersey, College of Arts and Letters – Social and Behavioral Sciences

Paul M. Miller earned his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration in 1970 from Ohio State University, a Master of Science degree in experimental psychology from ISU in 1978, and Ph.D. in educational psychology in 1985 from the University of Utah.  Millerhas worked as a statistical analyst at the Office of the President at the University of Utah, the Office of Institutional Research at Rutgers University and as a technology manager and curriculum analyst in the private sector for New Century Education Corporation, an educational software company producing a K-10 computer managed curriculum. He served as an assistant professor at Oklahoma State University and is currently associate professor of educational measurement in the Department of Administrative and Instructional Leadership at St. John's University. 

He returned to ISU in the fall of 1969 to pursue his master’s degree in English literature. During this time, he taught two sections of freshman composition each semester.  He was employed as the political and education reporter at the Idaho State Journal. Following his graduation from ISU in 1970, he continued his journalism career working for the Spokane Daily Chronicle, freelanced for the weekly Intermountain Observer, became chief correspondent in Washington, D.C. for the Anchorage Daily News and started writing a weekly political column. Two years later, he began his life-long association with Idaho Gov. Cecil D. Andrus as his press secretary and the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Public Affairs when Andrus became Interior Secretary.

Carlson has served on the Northwest Planning Council, was the vice-president of The Rockey Company, public relations firm, and vice-president of public affairs for Kaiser Aluminum and founded the Gallatin Group, an independent public affairs firm.  Carlson has penned four acclaimed books – “Cecil Andrus: Idaho’s Greatest Governor,” “Medimont Reflections,” “Eye on the Caribou” and “Mass in Hell: The Story of Hells Canyon and its Saviors.”  He and his wife Marcia have four children and two grandchildren.

Miller has published more than 20 articles in refereed journals and has presented more than 40 papers at professional conferences.  He has served as a guest reviewer for a number of journals including “Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes and the American Educational Research Journal.” Miller's primary research interests are school-based data analysis and data-driven decision making, and the influence of personal characteristics and decision-specific factors on the choices of decision makers. 

Miller and his wife Nancy provide support for graduate student development and research training in the ISU Department of Psychology. This long-standing commitment to ISU students demonstrates his clear value of higher education and research training for students.

Galo Medina, Hollywood, California, College of Arts and Letters – General Studies

Medina graduated from ISU with his Bachelor of Arts degree in general studies in 2000. As an undergraduate student, he was active in student government serving as chair for the Associated Students of ISU Finance Committee and organized and ran a successful campaign for ASISU president.  Following his graduation, Medina returned to his native California and began his career as a financial advisor for John Hancock. At the same time, he continued his education and obtained his master’s degree in organizational leadership from Gonzaga University.

After four years with John Hancock, Medina started his own firm, Comprehensive Financial Services, an investment firm that offers a variety of services to help clients plan their future.  He has earned his Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor and Certified Senior Advisor designations, founded and is the director for the Los Angeles Chapter of Advisors for his broker-dealer, HD Vest.  Medina is a sought-after speaker on various financial topics. 

Giving back has always been important to Medina.  In 2011, he helped open an art gallery in Los Angeles, the Co-Lab Gallery, which is a studio focused on local artists, allowing them to show and sell their art.  He has also served for many years as a Chaplain of high-powered inmates of the Los Angeles County Jail.  In 2015, Medina established the Galo Medina endowment at ISU to assist students from varying backgrounds in any course of study. Medina serves on several boards of directors in the Los Angeles area, including the Hollywood Business Improvement District. Medina and his wife Robyn live in Los Angeles and have three children.

The other recipients include Gary L. Long, Inkom, College of Science and Engineering – Natural and Physical Sciences; Hernan R. Rendon, Turmero Aragua, Venezuela, College of Technology; Jack Walker, Grand Junction, Colorado, College of Pharmacy; Laura Lou Hill, Garden City, College of Education; M. Michele Pond-Bell, Pocatello, Nursing; Mindy Stosich-Benedetti, Pocatello, Kasiska Division of Health Sciences; Reed N. Brimhall, Meridian, College of Business; and Robert D. Boston, Blackfoot, College of Science and Engineering – Engineering.

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