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2016 July - First Friday Letter

Dear friends, 

With temperatures approaching triple digits this week, one does not need a calendar to conclude we’re in the middle of summer in the Lewis-Clark Valley. But despite the heat and how quiet our campus may appear over the summer months, there’s a lot being done at Lewis-Clark State College as we lay the groundwork for the next academic year. 

If you were to visit campus right now you would find preparations being made for multiple renovation and maintenance projects. One such project is the complete renovation of Spalding Hall, which we hope to officially kick off around the first of the year. The Idaho State Board of Education approved the planning and design phase for the $4 million renovation of the 1924-era building that houses faculty offices and a classroom. The project will take an estimated 18 months to complete. We’re very excited about restoring this historic building to its former glory. 

Ron Smith, who officially ended his stint as vice president for finance and administration last month, has agreed to continue on with the college as a special assistant to the president and continue to play a lead role in the renovation of Spalding Hall and other capital improvement projects. I thank him for his excellent work as interim vice president and for his continued service to the college. I also hope everyone will join me in giving Mr. Todd Kilburn, our new vice president for finance and administration, a very warm welcome as he begins his first year at LCSC. 

Lewis-Clark State College boasts some of the finest professors and students in the region and I relish the opportunity to sing their praises. Like many of our hardworking faculty members, Dr. Bryce Smedley, an assistant professor in the Education & Kinesiology Division, is continuing to contribute to educational efforts over the summer. I congratulate him on recently having an article published by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs office with the U.S. State Department. His article titled "Community-Based English Clubs: English Practice and Social Change Outside the Classroom" was published last month in the English Teaching Forum, a publication with over 50,000 readers across 100 countries. Well done, Bryce.     

A byproduct of excellent faculty is, of course, an excellent student body. One such high-achieving Warrior is Randi Bowman, a biology major in the Natural Sciences & Mathematics Division. Randi was recently awarded a scholarship from the Washington Lakes Protection Association (WALPA) for her work with LCSC professor Dr. Michael Edgehouse on water quality and insect indicators of water quality. In addition to the scholarship, Randi will be invited to present her research at the WALPA annual conference this fall. This is the first year that WALPA has awarded an undergraduate scholarship and we’re very proud to have one of our students as the inaugural winner. Congratulations to Randi and to the Natural Sciences & Mathematics Division. 

Laudatory words are also in order for Dr. Sarah J. Graham, assistant professor of music in the Humanities Division, who has been selected as the artistic and music director of the Palouse Choral Society (PCS). PCS is a non-profit choral organization serving the quad-city region. Its auditioned body of community choirs brings a wide variety of choral music to venues such as St. Boniface Catholic Church in Uniontown, Wash., the University of Idaho Administration Auditorium, and Clarkston High School’s Concert Hall. Sarah has done a wonderful job conducting LCSC’s Concert Choir and teaching music, conducting, voice, and introduction to the arts here on campus, and I know she will serve them well.  

On a final note, last week it was my privilege to attend a farewell reception for North Idaho College President Joe Dunlap and to thank him on behalf of the Higher Education Presidents’ Council for all he has done. Since taking the helm of NIC in 2012, President Dunlap has been a true leader for higher education and Idaho is better for it. I wish him a very happy retirement. 

To all of our students and faculty who are away for the summer, to those still on campus, and to the many supporters of LCSC across the Northwest and beyond, I wish you a very safe and happy Fourth of July. 


J. Anthony Fernandez