Monday, September 22, 2014

Job Announcement: Coordinator of Faculty & Community Partnerships (closes 10/10/14)

Coordinator of Faculty and Community Partnerships
Service-Learning Program, Boise State University
Search #AA-0037-14

Boise State University, powered by creativity and innovation, stands uniquely positioned in the Northwest as a metropolitan research university of distinction. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply for the position of Coordinator of Faculty and Community Partnerships.

Primary Purpose: 
The position provides leadership and coordination for Service-Learning faculty/community partnership programs. The Coordinator works closely with Service-Learning Program staff and other community engagement programs to foster meaningful service-learning and community engagement experiences.

You will have the opportunity to:

  • ·         Facilitate sustainable partnerships between faculty and community organizations and help negotiate mutually beneficial projects. 
  • ·         Develop strategy, trainings, and tools to prepare community organizations to work effectively with service-learning faculty and students.
  • ·         Cultivate and steward relationships with over 100 community organizations.
  • ·         Refine and manage community partnership tracking mechanisms and online database.
  • ·         Gather and analyze data on community partnerships and community impact.
  • ·         Promote key community partnerships with other experiential learning programs across the University.
  • ·         Recruit, hire, train, and supervise student staff to assist with above duties.
At a minimum you should have:
·                     Bachelors degree
·                     Experience developing community service projects or managing volunteer-driven programs
·                     Teaching/training experience, preferably in higher education
·                     2 years of professional experience in a similar position
·                     Service-Learning experience (or comparable )
·                     Supervision experience
·                     A commitment to academic excellence, social justice and service, global awareness and diversity

Preferentially, you will have:
·                     Master's Degree in Education, Community Development, Public Administration or a related area
·                     One year of professional experience in higher education (teaching experience preferred)
·                     One year of professional experience in nonprofit organization (volunteer management preferred)
·                     Knowledge of Treasure Valley nonprofit networks
·                     Bilingual/Multi-lingual

Successful candidates will have the following knowledge, skills, and abilities:
·         Adept at thinking strategically about organizational structure and systems
·         Adept in public relations writing and public speaking both on and off campus
·         Adept at using a variety of software to organize and track information
·         Adept at working collaboratively and under pressure

Salary and benefits:  $40,000-42,000 per year, plus an excellent benefits package is available for eligible employees, for more information visit:

If this sounds like the job for you: Please complete the online form at this link (or cut and paste this URL into your browser As part of this form you will upload a cover letter indicating your interest and qualifications for this position and a resume that includes employment history (including dates of employment) and three professional references with contact information.
Review of documents will begin immediately and will continue until October 10th. Applications received after that date may be considered if qualified applications are not selected from the initial pool.  

Kara Brascia
Director, Service-Learning Program
Boise State University
1910 University Drive
Boise, ID 83725-1006
(208) 426-2380 office
(208) 426-5726 fax

About the University:

About the City of Boise:

Background Investigations – Any offer of employment at Boise State University will be contingent upon the successful completion of a criminal background investigation and may require a credit and/or motor vehicle background investigation depending on the position. To view the University’s full Background Investigations policy, please go to

Drug-Free Workplace – It is the policy of Boise State University to maintain a drug-free workplace and campus. For more information about this policy, please go to

Jeanne Clery Statement - Notice of Availability of Annual Security and Fire Safety Report
The 2013 Security and Fire Safety Report for Boise State University is now available online at:

The 2013 Boise State University Security and Fire Safety Report is provided to students, faculty, staff, and the public as part of the University’s commitment to safety and security on campus, and in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act. Copies of the report may also be requested through the Campus Security & Police Services located at 2245 University Drive, Boise, Idaho 83706, by calling (208) 426-6911, or sending an email to

The report includes statistics for the previous three years concerning reported crimes that occurred on-campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Boise State; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus. It also includes the annual fire safety report and institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies for sexual assault, drug and alcohol use, and other matters.

Boise State University is a SMOKE FREE campus. For more information please go to


Friday, September 12, 2014

One Small BabyStep, One Giant Leap for a Stronger Family

All parents want the best for their children: the best education, the best opportunities, the best health care, and the very best of ourselves. And though we may have high hopes for our children, we may often lose sight of the practical realities of parenting. Just think about the diapers! No one likes them, but we can spend an upwards of $550 on them in the first year of parenting, or around $46 a month. For those mothers living in poverty, this annoyance quickly becomes a burden that only exacerbates the stresses surrounding parenting.

BabySteps is a local community outreach program that aims to help limited-income mothers and families with these problems as a program of Family Advocates and a ministry of Saint Michael’s Episcopal Cathedral. They offer courses and a program shop for any mother and family in need, regardless of denomination or background. I had the pleasure of attending their service-learning orientation, learning more about the work they do for my community and for Boise State students.

Allison Demarest, the director of BabySteps, walked me through the goals of the program, chief among them the creation of a safe and inviting place for families. I sat on a cozy couch, looking across the different toys and books spread across a floor that told me kids were in play not too long ago, just as the classrooms felt inviting and lived in. The classes, taught by a small army of volunteers, range from baby sign language to nutrition, introducing kids to pets and taking the time out of the day to pamper mom. This multidisciplinary approach doesn't aim to teach any one method of parenting as right or wrong; instead, BabySteps hopes to give mothers the information they need to make the choices they want to in and for their new families. There's also a father's group on Thursdays open to any dad, with the program or not, looking to meet other fathers and unwind.

These classes aren't without incentive as I was shown the points system. Mothers receive points for attending these classes, and extra points for attending with support. Points can also be earned by staying drug free, going to a dental appointment, breastfeeding, and even getting a library card. These points aim to keep mothers both engaged in the program and their community while encouraging healthy choices for their children. These points can then be spent in a store carrying ever-popular and needed diapers, clothing, wipes, strollers, and more. I was amazed to learn that the store is stocked entirely through community donations!

Our service-learning students can work with BabySteps through two classes: KINES140, Personal Health; and PSYC271, Human Relationships. Students help the daily operations of the program by stocking the store, reviewing points, and interacting with mothers. Demarest joked that students would often be holding babies as mothers took a brief respite while shopping for supplies. She also said that, for many students, BabySteps helped show them the variety of things they could do with their degrees while introducing them to the diversity of their community.

BabySteps is always looking for volunteers, not just service-learning students, as well as donations. If you’d like to pitch in, you can contact Allison Demarest by phone at (208) 432-5601, or by email at

- Daniel Hock, Boise State University Service-Learning Ambassador

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

IdahoWatch: Research in the Sagebrush Steppe, a Teacher-Researcher Partnership

Dr. Jennifer Forbey trialed a new STEM Service-Learning model this spring, called IdahoWatch: Research in the Sagebrush Steppe Teacher-Researcher Partnership. IdahoWatch is a unique Service-Learning model to Boise State University. The IdahoWatch: Teacher-Researcher Partnership provided six 5th  - 12th grade teachers the opportunity to experience an authentic field research experience focused on a local issue of concern, and provided Boise State University undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to help develop, and guide, the Teacher-Researcher experience.
2014 IdahoWatch: Research in the Sagebrush Steppe
One teacher participant explained, “It was non-stop learning!  There were in depth conversations in the vehicles traveling to our site, through amazing sagebrush country, until we reached our destination at Castle Rock State Park.  We learned how to identify different species of sagebrush by visual, chemical, and physical characteristics and how herbivores, like sage grouse and pygmy rabbits, can differentiate the quality of nutrition and cover.  Instructors demonstrated how to assess and manage for quality habitats of pygmy rabbits, a species of concern. We were trained by Marcella Femgren (grad student researching sagebrush and sagegrouse) on vegetation surveys using line transects and Daubenmire plots…I can now design and implement my own research from the activities learned from the workshop into my classroom.”

Collecting pygmy rabbit data.
The experience has helped 5th – 12th grade teachers gain the confidence needed to take the next step in implementing field research with their own students, while forging professional relationships between university STEM research faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and K-12 teachers.

In a blind at the sage grouse lek site.
Participant teachers received a field tool kit for participation in IdahoWatch, and will receive continued access to STEM resources and support. The teachers left the experience excited to implement what they had learned in their classrooms. One teacher explained, “Next Monday, students are going to do a sagebrush chemistry lab using samples I collected during the field experience and samples I have collected since.  The following week, they are going to do a concealment activity using hands-on tools and concealments photos from the thumb drive that we were given.”
Using telemetry.
The joint work of Dr. Forbey, Boise State University, University of California – Davis, University of Idaho, and Washington State University is contributing to conservation efforts for several sagebrush steppe species of concern, including the pygmy rabbit and greater sage-grouse. Dr. Forbey has received several NSF grants to help fund her research and outreach programs.
Running line transects.
In the Fall, Dr. Ken Cornell will launch another IdahoWatch: Teacher-Researcher Partnership, focused on the issue of antibiotic resistances. To find out more about implementing the IdahoWatch model, contact Kara Brascia, Director Service-Learning, .

 - Jill K. Hettinger, Boise State University Service-Learning