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Idaho State University

ISU-Boise Graduates Largest Class Ever May 2 Sarah Hollingsworth Takes Top Student Excellence Honor

May, 4, 2009

Boise- “I was shocked, but flattered,” said an elated Sarah Hollingsworth, minutes after she was named Idaho State University-Boise’s 2009 Student Excellence Award winner at graduation exercises May 2 at The Grove Hotel in downtown Boise.

The honor should come as no surprise. Hollingsworth has never received a grade of “B” or lower in her life. Not during her years at Centennial High School in Joint School District No. 2 or while hitting the books at ISU-Boise, where she graduated with high honors, receiving a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg of Sarah’s many talents and gifts as both a student and member of society,” said one of her professors, Kristin Negilski.

Hollingsworth, 21, was one of seven ISU-Boise 2009 graduates nominated for the Student Excellence Award by faculty and selected by an independent committee of professors and alumni. Fluent in Spanish, Hollingsworth has spent her summers caring for children in Mexican orphanages and assisting the Spanish-speaking parents of Treasure Valley youngsters who are deaf or hearing-impaired.

The University awarded more than 155 graduate and undergraduate degrees in the health sciences this spring—its largest class ever in the Treasure Valley.

“You’ve truly reached an important bench mark in your life,” ISU President Arthur C. Vailas told graduates. “Remember to keep the sun out of your eyes, the wind at your back and search for the truth,” he said, offering words of inspiration.

Commencement speaker Joint School District No. 2 Superintendent Linda Clark praised students for pursuing careers in the health professions. “You are poised with knowledge and skills that can be used for the improvement of humankind,” she said.

Degrees awarded included three Doctor of Audiology, 23 Doctor of Pharmacy, 70 master’s, 49 bachelor’s, and 12 associate degrees. Graduate and undergraduate disciplines included counseling, nursing, athletic administration, public health, clinical laboratory science, speech-language pathology, paramedic science and sign language studies.


Media Contact: Contact: Chris Gabettas, ISU-Boise, University Relations
208-373-1806 (office), 208-861-3121 (cell)
Idaho State University, a Carnegie-classified doctoral research institution founded in 1901, educates approximately 13,000 students per year in more than 280 programs. It is Idaho’s lead institution in health professions and medical education. Its seven colleges engage in a broad range of innovative research, teaching, and learning in the natural and physical sciences, humanities, performing and visual arts, education, engineering, business, pharmacy, and technology.  Visit ISU today at or