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Radiologic Sciences Attends 2018 ACERT Conference

Boise State faculty Leslie Kendrick (far right) and Travis Armstrong (second from left) joined twenty-one students from Boise State’s Radiologic Sciences program at the 2018 ACERT conference

Boise State faculty Leslie Kendrick (far right) and Travis Armstrong (second from left) joined twenty-one students from Boise State’s Radiologic Sciences program at the 2018 ACERT conference.

A large group representing Boise State’s School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Radiologic Sciences, traveled to Las Vegas the first week of February to attend the 43rd annual Association of Collegiate Educator in Radiologic Technology (ACERT) conference. The conference is dedicated to improving the quality of education at the collegiate level in radiologic technology. This year over 800 educators, students, and vendors from across the country attended the conference.

Over the course of three days, experts in the field gave presentations on a wide variety of subjects related to medical imaging. In addition to the presentations, there were a number of student competitions such as an essay and research poster contest. The opportunity to share best practices, learn new trends in medical imaging and education programs, as well as meet faculty and students from across the country was invaluable for educators and students alike.  

College of Health Sciences faculty Leslie Kendrick and Travis Armstrong joined twenty-one members of the Boise State Student Association of Radiologic Technology (SART) in attending the conference. The conference allowed for the promotion of Boise State’s online Imaging Sciences A.S. to B.S. and Kendrick also served as a judge for the poster competition.

Student essay competition winners Melisa Dick, James Tamarra, Amy Woolley, Taylor Sievers, Ingred Stokes, Alyssa Canegaly (left to right)

Student essay competition winners Melisa Dick, James Tamarra, Amy Woolley, Taylor Sievers, Ingred Stokes, Alyssa Canegaly (left to right).

Continuing the long tradition of Boise State students performing well in the competitions, the top two places in the student essay competition were claimed by Boise State. This is the eleventh year in a row that at least one student or student group has placed in the top three of the competition. In first place was Melisa Dick, James Tamarra, and Amy Woolley with their essay, “Effects of Hand Washing Versus Hand Sanitizing on Various Pathogenic Organisms in the Hospital.” In second place was Alyssa Canegaly, Taylor Sievers, and Ingred Stokes with their essay, “The Differences in Dose to the Thyroid in a Stationary X-ray Unit Versus a Portable Unit.”

Free Strength, Function, and Balance Class for Adults 50+

The School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Kinesiology is offering a free eight-week Strength, Function, and Balance class for adults of 50 years of age and older who are looking to improve their physical function. The objective of this class is to improve participants’ functional limitations and is designed for those who might be out of the habit of exercising, those who are dealing with chronic conditions or those who simply would like more physical direction delivered in a fun, engaging environment. This class is not designed for highly fit individuals.

Classes are available February 15 through April 26 and will be held Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5:15-6:10 p.m. in the Bronco Gym, room 215. Sign-up will continue until the end of February. Participants will be instructed by Kinesiology majors who are enrolled in the Physical Activity and Aging course. Participants will also receive an individualized home exercise program following the course.

For more information or to sign up please call (208) 426- 4270 or Terry-Ann Spitzer Gibson at (208) 426-1509. You can also email Terry at

College of Health Sciences Student Services and Academic Advising New Location

Norco BuildingThe College of Health Sciences Student Services and Academic Advising (SSAA) has moved their offices. SSAA is now located at 1529 Belmont St. which is the Norco Nursing and Health Services Building on the first floor in suite 116, just behind the Recreation Center.

SSAA seeks to support students in the exploration and development of educational and health related career goals while promoting student responsibility in the decision-making process.

“This group plays a critical role in supporting students from every department in our college with their academic and career goals,” said Joelle Powers, associate dean for the College of Health Sciences. “We are thrilled to have a larger space to better accommodate the students and families that are served by our seven advisors.”

To learn more, visit the SSAA website. To schedule an appointment, call (208) 426-1678.

College of Health Sciences Bringing Online Learning to More Students


A 2017 graduate from Boise State’s RN to BSN program.

Boise State University strives to bring accessible, quality education through online courses to students regardless of where they may be physically located. The College of Health Sciences is working to bring their programs to rural learners across the state and across the country where communities are in desperate need of health care professionals.

Janel Barta from Shepherd, Montana, is one such student. Barta graduated from Boise State in December with a Bachelor of Science in nursing from the online RN-BS program. The RN-BS program is aimed at working, registered nurses without a college degree. The first time Barta stepped foot on campus was for her commencement ceremony. Many Idaho students say they’ve had similar experiences.

“My online experience has been great. I work full time and have three kids so online was pretty much the way to go for me,” said Barta. “The instructors have all been awesome to work with as well as my advisors. It has been a really really good experience.”

Barta is a clinic nurse manager and plans to get a master’s degree to be a nurse practitioner. More than 1,000 students have graduated from Boise State’s RN-BS program.

The School of Social Work in the College of Health Sciences is another program growing rapidly to meet the needs of students and communities.

Approximately 300 students are enrolled in the online master of social work program this semester, a 30 percent increase from the previous semester. Jennifer Obenshain, the master of social work online program coordinator, attributes part of that increase to the program’s ability to reach students where they live.

“Many potential students in Idaho and across the nation have voiced that because of our program they are able to pursue their graduate degree in social work. These students would not have traditionally looked into a graduate degree either because they could not afford to relocate to another community to attend graduate school or they could not afford to attend a full-time traditional program,” said Obenshain. “Because our program allows students to stay and work in their own communities while they complete their degree, we are reaching a wider range of students who can then help to meet the growing need for mental health professionals both in Idaho and across the nation.”

During the fall 2017 semester the program had active students from 41 states across the country.

The college currently has online programs in nursing, radiologic sciences, social work and respiratory care serving more than 1,000 students. But the college’s leaders don’t intend to stop there. Two new online programs, a B.A. in public health, and an M.S. in respiratory care, will begin in fall 2018 and the College of Health Sciences will establish the first fully online master’s in genetics counseling program in the United States beginning in fall 2019.

“Our online programs are accessible, affordable and provide a quality education,” said Tim Dunnagan, dean of the College of Health Sciences. “Our faculty and staff are incredibly dedicated to creating these programs to meet the needs of students and to address the healthcare of the state and beyond.”

Shelley Lucas and Cara Gallegos Named Associate Deans in Residence for Graduate College

Shelley LucasCara GallegosShelley Lucas and Cara Gallegos have been named as the first associate deans in residence for the Graduate College. In their positions, they will lead initiatives to improve graduate student mentoring and advising at Boise State.



Lucas will begin her appointment this spring, focusing on best practices for graduate student thesis and dissertation advising.  An associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Lucas has served as the graduate program coordinator for the past 10 years, where she has gained considerable experience working with graduate students.

Gallegos, who is in the School of Nursing, served as an education specialist before joining Boise State. She has been involved in developing resources and workshops to train nurses how to be mentors. Gallegos will begin with the Graduate College in summer 2018, where she will spearhead an initiative focusing on best practices for graduate student mentoring and advising.

“We are pleased to have Shelly and Cara joining the Graduate College team,” said Tammi Vacha-Haase, dean of the Graduate College. “The insights and skill sets these two faculty members bring will be invaluable in continuing to advance advising and mentoring at the graduate level. Both initiatives are an important next step to continuing to positively impact graduate education at Boise State University.”

Each year the Graduate College invites applications for the position of associate dean in residence, where faculty join the Graduate College for up to three semesters. The goals of this initiative include bringing graduate faculty expertise and insight into the Graduate College to work on projects in identified areas, building and sustaining close relationships between the Graduate College and the departments and programs we serve, and providing an opportunity for graduate faculty to serve in a leadership position at Boise State University. This year’s focus was on advising and mentoring.  Possible areas of attention in the future may include diversity and inclusion, increasing scholarship and external funding, improving recruitment/retention/progression/completion efforts, expanding interdisciplinary collaborations, assisting students with exploring potential career opportunities outside of academia, or professional conduct and behavior, all of which are expected to focus explicitly on graduate education at Boise State University.

Jon Larkin Appointed to the St Luke’s Treasure Valley Community Board

Jon LarkinJon Larkin, senior director of development and external affairs for the College of Health Sciences, was recently appointed to the St. Luke’s Treasure Valley Community Board as a representative for the College of Health Sciences.

The St Luke’s Treasure Valley Community Board is made up of community directors from the Treasure Valley. These members are dedicated to the people of southern Idaho and volunteer their time to guarantee access to the most developed health care possible. As stated in the charter for this board, the board “provides insight into local community health needs and functions as the primary link between the mission of St. Luke’s Health System, Ltd., and the Treasure Valley community.”

As a member, Larkin provides a liaison from Boise State University College of Health Sciences to this community effort and will help to better align the College’s programs and strategic plan with the health and wellness needs of Idaho.

According to St. Luke’s Health Systems, “St. Luke’s believes that locally governed hospitals can take the best measure of community health care needs. We are grateful to our board leadership for giving generously of their time and talents and bringing to the table their unique perspectives and intimate knowledge of their communities. St. Luke’s would not be the organization it is today without our volunteer board members. The vision of dedicated community leaders has guided St. Luke’s for many decades, and will continue to guide us well into the future.”

Larkin also sits on the Community Relations Committee for SelectHealth in which he is a voting member on community interaction and health intervention sponsorship and strategies for Idaho.

The School of Social Work Partners to Host Film Premiere

Flyer for Documentary American BeatThe School of Social Work is partnering with the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights to host the premiere of a new documentary, American Beat: Cops and Refugees Join Forces in Boise at 7:00pm on February 6 at the Special Events Center in the Boise State University, Student Union Building.

The film features three stories from the Boise Police Department and their devotion to immigrants. It reveals the groundbreaking efforts that went into integrating and mentoring refugees; the determination of a former Iraqi translator for the U.S. military, putting down roots with his family and hoping to become a police officer; and the story of Boise, itself, working to help refugees from war-torn Africa and the Middle East learn to trust that in America, a united community can conquer tragedy and hate.

The event will also feature a panel discussion following the film with panelists: police Chief William Bones and police Officer Dustin Robinson from the Boise Police Department, Zeze Rwasama, director of the Refugee Center for the College of Southern Idaho, Julianne Donnelly Tzul, executive director for the International Rescue Committee in Boise, and Chad Ward, from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Boise.

The event is open to all guests free of charge. Doors will open at 6:30pm as spots are limited to the first 435 people to arrive. The film and panel discussion will begin at 7:00pm

Radiologic Sciences Hosts Alumni and Friends Events

Alumni and Friends infront of the field at Albertsons StadiumThe School of Allied Health Sciences, Department of Radiologic Sciences recently hosted two events on consecutive days in November with the aim of giving back to the medical imaging community in the region.

On Friday evening, November 10, the department hosted an alumni and friends social event. Attendees were given the opportunity to tour the Allen Noble Hall of Fame Center with a presentation given by a staff member from Boise State’s athletic training program followed by a tour of both the x-ray and ultrasound labs in the radiologic sciences department. The tour participants then convened with other attendees, faculty, and administrators of the College of Health Sciences for a social gathering at the new Alumni and Friends Center ballroom.

The following day was dedicated to an all-day continuing education event in the Student Union Building. Approximately 60 attendees from across the region as well as two visiting professors were treated to a total of seven hour-long presentations. A diverse group of experts gave presentations that were relatable to medical imaging professionals. Phil Ford, clinical associate professor for the Department of Kinesiology, gave an enlightening talk on musculoskeletal health pertinent to both the health care professionals in attendance and the patients they serve. Erica Wight, clinical assistant professor for the Department of Radiologic Sciences, presented on customer service in health care. Other topics included ethics in healthcare, advances in neuroimaging, as well as the use of exposure index numbers in radiography.

The continuing education event was well-received and very much appreciated by the attendees. The event gave participants an opportunity to network, reacquaint with old friends and classmates while obtaining the education necessary to continue to provide top quality care for the patients in the region.

School of Nursing Faculty Present at International Simulation Conference on Socratic Debriefing

Janet and Rosemary at the conferenceSchool of Nursing faculty Janet Willhaus, assistant professor and healthcare simulation certificate facilitator, and Rosemary Macy, associate professor, presented on the Socratic debriefing method at the 2018 International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare in Los Angeles, California.

Willhaus and Macy provide leadership for Boise State’s accredited state-of-the-art Simulation Center. Simulation at its essence involves students observing each other, followed by a faculty facilitator-led debriefing where students reflect on the experience: discussing what did and did not work and providing their peers with feedback. Simulation education enables health science students to acquire and practice clinical skills in a safe, controlled environment.

The presentation introduced conference attendees from around the country to a structured and Socratic debriefing method, which is based on Tanner’s Model of Clinical Judgement and recommended for use by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

Additional panel members included David Bodily from the University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming and Janet Coe from Montana Tech, Butte, Montana.

Samantha Davis and the MakerLab Featured in American Association for Respiratory Care

The School of Allied Health Sciences, Department of Respiratory Care and the MakerLab, found within the Boise State University Albertsons Library, was featured in the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC).

Samantha DavisSamantha Davis, clinical assistant professor for the Department of Respiratory Care has created a new, visionary way for her students to study the heart. Davis is utilizing one of the many resources found on campus to assist her students in learning neonatal cardiac defects.

The MakerLab is a radically inclusive community with access to emerging technologies and an innovative culture of learning. The MakerLab offers 3D printing, vinyl cutting, videography accommodations, and much more for all students and faculty to use while aiding their learning. Davis plans on allowing her students to use the 3D printers to create different hearts and present how to better identify heart defects.

“Each group will print a normal heart in addition to their assigned defect,” said Davis. “Each of the hearts are cut into three to four slices so the defects within the heart can be easily seen. Students in the neonatal/pediatric respiratory course will have several weeks to test and print their models before presenting them to the entire class.”

Students using 3D printers in the MakerLab

Students using 3D printers in the MakerLab

Davis has also identified additional possibilities for her students to utilize the MakerLab by creating videos, podcasts, and equipment that she believes could be used to better educate patients. Davis suspects that students who are able to use 3D printing in this course will typically be more successful in the understanding of heart defects.

“Countless studies have shown us that engagement, application, and critical thinking are all significantly higher when active-learning strategies are used,” said Davis. “In the past, students have had to learn about neonatal heart defects through reading, discussion, and computer animation.”
“It’s a combination of problem solving, practical skill, and creativity,” said Davis. “Making allows you to take the great ideas you have and bring them to life where you can touch them, test them, and make them even better.”

To read the full article by AARC, visit