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Boise State Committed to Diversity and Inclusivity

B sculpture, Administration building plaza, John Kelly photo

Statement of Diversity and Inclusivity:

Boise State University is actively committed to diversity and inclusivity, a stance in alignment with our Statement of Shared Values. We recognize that our success is dependent on how well we value, engage, include, and utilize the rich diversity of our faculty, staff, students, and alumni. We believe that prejudice, oppression, and discrimination are detrimental to human dignity, and that a vibrant and diverse campus community enhances the learning environment of the populations that we serve. We are fully committed to treating all stakeholders with dignity and respect, and to working collectively on an ongoing basis to build and maintain a community that understands, celebrates, and values diversity, and expects and fosters inclusivity at all levels.

Diversity is the variety of intersecting identities that make individuals unique, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, socio-economic status, age, country of origin, veteran status, abilities, spirituality, religious beliefs, and political beliefs. Diversity recognizes the uniqueness of individuals, populations, groups and their perspectives and experiences.

Inclusivity is the conscious and deliberate decision to continuously work towards the creation of an accepting and nurturing campus climate where similarities and differences are respected, supported, and valued by ensuring the active participation of the entire campus community.

An earnest commitment to diversity and inclusivity incorporates the following:

  • Unconditionally rejecting every form of bigotry, discrimination, hateful rhetoric, and hateful action.
  • Understanding that each individual is unique and deserving of respect.
  • Recognizing that people have intersecting identities, which means that individuals experience identity differently, within structures of inequality and/or privilege.
  • Expanding the view of diversity beyond the acknowledgment of commonalities to an acceptance, recognition and honoring of difference.
  • Acknowledging that within diverse populations there are unique individual and collective needs, as well as individual and collective achievements.
  • Moving beyond simple tolerance of differences towards the more comprehensive goals of acceptance, pluralism, and inclusive excellence.
  • Explicitly addressing the barriers to communication, relationship building, and organizational development caused by misunderstanding, dominance, and fear.
  • Promoting active and regular engagement between individuals and groups who represent different characteristics and categories of identity in order to explore difference in a safe and nurturing environment, and to develop understanding across lines of perceived difference.
  • Endorsing our values of open, respectful discourse and exchange of ideas from the widest variety of intellectual, religious, class, cultural, and political perspectives.
  • Making a commitment to inclusivity at all levels and the active and meaningful involvement of diverse individuals in decision-making processes.
  • Developing a process for identifying goals regarding diversity and inclusivity, along with the reasonable and realistic allocation of resources and a structure for accountability for the achievement of those goals.

Approved and Recommended by the Commission on Diversity and Inclusion
Adopted February 24, 2017

Alert: Scam Targeting College Students

College students across the United States are being targeted in a common employment scam. Scammers advertise phony job opportunities on college employment websites, and/or students receive e-mails on their school accounts recruiting them for fictitious positions. This “employment” results in a financial loss for participating students.

 How the scam works:

  • Scammers post online job advertisements soliciting college students for administrative positions.
  • The student employee receives counterfeit checks in the mail or via e-mail and is instructed to deposit the checks into their personal checking account.
  • The scammer then directs the student to withdraw the funds from their checking account and send a portion, via wire transfer, to another individual. Often, the transfer of funds is to a “vendor”, purportedly for equipment, materials, or software necessary for the job.
  • Subsequently, the checks are confirmed to be fraudulent by the bank.

 The following are some examples of the employment scam e-mails:

“You will need some materials/software and also a time tracker to commence your training and orientation and also you need the software to get started with work. The funds for the software will be provided for you by the company via check. Make sure you use them as instructed for the software and I will refer you to the vendor you are to purchase them from, okay.”

“I have forwarded your start-up progress report to the HR Dept. and they will be facilitating your start-up funds with which you will be getting your working equipment from vendors and getting started with training.”

 “Enclosed is your first check. Please cash the check, take $300 out as your pay, and send the rest to the vendor for supplies.”

Consequences of participating in this scam:

  • The student’s bank account may be closed due to fraudulent activity and a report could be filed by the bank with a credit bureau or law enforcement agency.
  • The student is responsible for reimbursing the bank the amount of the counterfeit checks.
  • The scamming incident could adversely affect the student’s credit record.
  • The scammers often obtain personal information from the student while posing as their employer, leaving them vulnerable to identity theft.
  • Scammers seeking to acquire funds through fraudulent methods could potentially utilize the money to fund illicit criminal or terrorist activity.

 Tips on how to protect yourself from this scam:

  • Never accept a job that requires depositing checks into your account or wiring portions to other individuals or accounts.
  • Many of the scammers who send these messages are not native English speakers. Look for poor use of the English language in e-mails such as incorrect grammar, capitalization, and tenses.
  • Forward suspicious e-mails to the college’s IT personnel and report to the FBI.

Tell your friends to be on the lookout for the scam. If you have been a victim of this scam or any other Internet-related scam, you may file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at and notify your campus police. The IC3 produced a PSA in May 2014 titled “Cyber-Related Scams Targeting Universities, Employees, and Students,” which mentioned this type of scam.

View this PSA here.

Study Raptors in Kenya

Kenya, Boise State students boating in Kenya with Dr. Marc Bechard.

Boise State students boating in Kenya with Dr. Marc Bechard. John Kelly photo

Boise State offers one of the most unique biology programs in the country.  Did you know that it’s one of the few places where you can get a masters in raptor biology?  And if you’re looking for a study abroad opportunity to pair with this uncommon field of study, and ready for adventure, look no more.

Raptor biology professor Marc Bechard teamed with Munir Virani, director of Africa programs for the Peregrine Fund, to take 11 Boise State students to Kenya’s Masai Mara National Wildlife Reserve as part of a 3-credit course titled East African Raptors. This is the fifth time Bechard has taught the class. “I feel that it is important for Boise State students to learn about global issues,” he said.

The course focuses on the ecology and movements of African raptors, including a vulture population that’s one of the most threatened on the planet. Populations of the birds have declined as much as 75 percent over the last two decades due to poisoning by local farmers and poachers.

This time, the course started with boat surveys of Lake Naivasha to study African fish eagles, one of the most prominent bird species in the area. Naivasha is one of the biggest lakes in Kenya. From Naivasha, the group moved about 150 miles southwest to Masai Mara National Reserve where students were able to observe birds, big game (including the Big Five: lions, leopards, cape buffalo, elephants and rhinos) and other wildlife.

Students each study and prepare a presentation on a specific raptor species and then have the opportunity to observe that particular species in the wild. “It’s fun when they see the bird they reported on. We all hear, “That’s my bird!” Bechard said.

They also had the opportunity to interact with residents of the local Maasai village. Students learned how to make a Maasai fire, how to build a Maasai house, and what it takes to become a warrior.

Read more about the Kenya project here.

Learn more about the masters in raptor biology here.

Get Outside and Play

Students lay in a raft on the river at an outdoor event.

Idaho is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise and, luckily for your student, Boise State is at the heart of it all.  There are few other places in the country where you can hike, ski, bike, climb, or raft, all within an hour of campus. 

The Outdoor Program in the Campus Recreation Center has everything your student needs to get out and play, regardless of their ability level.  Clinics, equipment rentals and coordinated trips are available to teach new skills, provide affordable gear, and provide a new gang of friends to adventure with.

Clinics focus on promoting connections, self-development, and education.  Any student who is excited about getting outside, meeting new friends, and learning a new skill is welcome.  Some of the clinics offered spring semester include white water kayak basics, lightweight backpacking, and building a lightweight stove.

This semester we have cut the price on trips by 50%. With the banner snow year we’ve had, there will be snow cave camping, night skiing, and cross country skiing. Later in the spring, watch for mountain biking, rock climbing, and a spring break trip to canoe in the Florida Everglades.

Indoors, the state-of-the-art rock climbing wall gives a great workout and provides classes for top rope belaying, lead climbing, and skills clinics.

Campus Recreation can’t operate without student employees, so there are opportunities for past, present, and future participants to work in the facility and as trip leaders.  Each spring there is an extensive trip leader training program that focuses on skill and risk management development. 

Encourage your student to get acquainted with Campus Recreation and the Outdoor Program. The best way to learn more is to visit the website.

Derek Wright — Coordinator, Outdoor Programs

Study Around the World

Molly Renaldo and her mother in Alba, Italy.

Molly Renaldo and her mother in Alba, Italy.

Australia, Thailand, Spain, France, Puerto Rico are a few of the countries where your student can study abroad to earn academic credit and experience new cultures. Study abroad opens the door into international settings where students experience sights, sounds, and tastes that will expand their view of the world.

Molly Renaldo studied one semester abroad in Torino, Italy. While there, she explored Europe while learning about international business. Now conversational in Italian, she plans to take her studies back to Italy for a master’s program.

“Studying abroad was something that my parents always wished one of their five kids would do,” Renaldo said. “My parents were my strong foundation, comforting me in times of homesickness and encouraging me forward when I needed the drive.”

Renaldo thinks the study abroad experience can be beneficial for parents as well as students because they see their child flourish in an entirely new environment. “That baby you taught to walk and talk is now speaking in foreign languages and adventuring through entirely new cultures,” Renaldo said.

Studying abroad can be a safe and controlled method for your student to discover a new side of the world.  Different from backpacking around the world, study abroad programs mean students are typically with other Americans and attending sites with program staff.  The program sites have been thoroughly vetted for safety before any student is allowed to attend. 

“This new journey can seem big and scary,” Renaldo said. “But sometimes the biggest and scariest endeavors create the greatest parts of the people we become. Studying abroad was the greatest expedition I have ever done and created the person I am today.  I couldn’t have done it without the love and support of my parents throughout the whole process. “

Submitted by
Molly Renaldo – International Learning Opportunities
Perry Truong – Parent and Family Programs

Undergraduate Research

A student and a researcher work with a raptor in the wild.

Did you know that your student can graduate on-time, raise their GPA, and develop real-world project management skills all at the same time by doing research?

The Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) program allows undergraduate students to earn academic credit while they pursue research projects alongside premier faculty.

Projects are open to sophomore and above students from all majors. Research areas range from building robots for NASA to developing shelters for humanitarian aid relief efforts.

VIP Projects can be taken for 1-2 credits per a semester based on workload and may run for multiple semesters. In addition to gaining knowledge on the research topic, students develop real-world leadership and project management skills – just what employers and graduate schools are looking for.

Ann Delaney portrait in a classroom

Ann Delaney

VIP researcher Ann Delaney (MS, materials science and engineering, ‘16), participated in the “Make It!” project, which focused on expanding access to makerspaces and tools on campus. Makerspaces are a place where people with shared interests — especially in computing or technology — can gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment, and knowledge.

According to Delaney, “VIP was a perfect way to formalize my involvement in an interest area. I was able to earn class credit and add to my resume while working on something I enjoyed.” She added that VIP is the ideal combination of learning through a class and then directly applying that to a project.

“Parents should recommend VIP to their students because it gives students skills they won’t get in a conventional classroom,” Delaney advised.

Specific information about the types of projects underway can be found here. 

Submitted by Bridget Duffy – College of Innovation and Design

Home Sweet Campus Home

Photo of Taylor Hall.Where will your student live next year?  Living on campus, they’ve experienced being in the middle of all the action at Boise State – what being a Bronco is really about.  Sophomore and Above campus housing is designed to help your student maintain their sense of community while they enjoy a more independent lifestyle.  It’s the best balance for students who already have campus life figured out.

Even though the spring semester is just getting into gear, keep looking ahead to next year.  The priority deadline for all Sophomore and Above students to apply for housing for 2017-2018 is Feb. 24.  Applying by this date gives your student the best opportunity to find placement in their top housing choices for next year.  The application can be found here and only takes 10 minutes to complete.

Benefits of your student living where they study:

  • Academic support
  • Community involvement
  • They can live with the friends they’ve already made
  • Increased participation in campus events
  • No commuting

Your student has the choice between living with 1 – 3 other friends in a unit, or having a single room. You won’t have to worry because resident assistants remain on site. You’ll still have the convenience of just having one bill for all their costs of living, and it’s a step toward your student becoming independent.  Campus living means convenience and security for you and your student, so they can focus what’s really important.  Students say they love being able to walk to class, get dinner with friends, and have access to campus resources.

Sophomore and Above students have lots of housing options, like University Square, Lincoln Townhomes, or if they’re an Honors student, our brand new Honors College and First Year Residence Hall. Check out all your options here. 

Apply for the 2017 Ethos Project Symposium

2016 Ethos Board Members (Standing) and Symposium Speakers (Seated)

2016 Ethos Board Members (Standing) and Symposium Speakers (Seated)

 Have you seen a TED talk?  The TED stage showcases people with “ideas worth spreading.”  You, as an undergraduate student at Boise State, also have ideas worth spreading. Whether it is in your classroom, organization, internship or lab, you are doing innovative and creative work that deserves to be on a stage.  That is where we come in: The Ethos Project holds an annual symposium event that can be your stage.

The Ethos Project is a student-run organization designed to empower students to become advocates for change on campus and in our community.  At a certain point students may hit the “now what?” wall and they don’t know what the next steps are to advance that project or idea.  The Ethos Project is the now what.  The symposium stage presents you with the opportunity to spread awareness and ignite change for an issue on campus or in your community.

Attempting to create change can be difficult and frustrating. The Ethos Project aims to support you by offering a platform for your voice to be heard in front of peers, faculty members, and community leaders.  In addition, our board of passionate students will help you gain the tools and connections you may need to establish the change you want to see.

The 2016 Ethos Project Symposium was an incredible and inspiring success.  Last March, a crowd of over 200 students, faculty members, administrators, and community leaders gathered for the first annual Ethos Project Symposium. Six undergraduate students from disciplines across campus shared research-based projects aimed at inspiring local change.


2016 Ethos Board Member Rae Felte Speaks

The projects ranged from supporting veterans with post traumatic stress through natural healing, to a new technology to prevent overheating in service dogs, to a student’s perspective on mental health issues and resources at Boise State.  These are just a few of the projects selected to be featured last year.  To find more information on these presentations please check out our website here.

Now What: The Ethos Project encourages students from all disciplines to apply for our annual symposium taking place on March 29th, 2017:

  1. Fill out the short application form by December 16 (new, extended deadline)
  2. We want to meet you! Once you have applied you will be contacted to schedule an interview in January.
  3. The 2017 Symposium speakers will be notified on January 31st.  

Questions? Contact Kelsea Donahue at

Apply Now here!

To find more information on the Ethos Project visit our website here.

Hult Prize @ Boise State

Hult Prize @ Boise State is bringing one of the world’s toughest challenges to students on our campus in October and November. This year’s challenge is to build a social enterprise to reduce the human cost of involuntary migration. As a complex social, economic and environmental issue, solving this challenge will call on skills from across the disciplines.

2016 College of Business and Economics Hult Prize participants Hannah Coad, Connor Sheldon, Haley Schaefer, and Taylor Reed.

2016 College of Business and Economics Hult Prize participants Hannah Coad, Connor Sheldon, Haley Schaefer, and Taylor Reed.

2016 College of Engineering Hult Prize participants Sydney Crabtree, Camille Eddy, and Michael Plaisance with Mark Rudin.

2016 College of Engineering Hult Prize participants Sydney Crabtree, Camille Eddy, and Michael Plaisance with Mark Rudin.







Boise State students are invited to attend two Hult Prize @ Boise State information sessions on Monday, October 10 from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. in the SUB Bishop Barnwell room and Wednesday, October 12 from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. in the SUB Trueblood Room. 

Mark your calendars now for the Hult Prize @ Boise State campus pitch event on the evening of November 10, 2016. 

The Hult Prize Foundation is a start-up accelerator for budding young social entrepreneurs emerging from universities around the world. The annual competition for the Hult Prize aims to breed the next generation of social entrepreneurs, and ultimately launch a start-up social enterprise that can radically change the world.

Open to university and college students on every continent, the Hult Prize has grown to become the world’s largest student movement for social good.

To get involved, register a team at Round one applications are due October 17. The Round one application will be released October 7.  

Follow Hult Prize @ Boise State on Facebook and Twitter for up to date information.

Life-Changing Learning Can Happen Below Sea

student scubadiving with fish

Not many courses offer as much as Shawn Simonson’s Hyperbaric Physiology course. In this interdisciplinary graduate course, students learn about the physiological changes that occur while diving, the physics of underwater environments, the oceanic flora and fauna adaptations to the pressure in the sea, and the unique ecosystem that exists in the sea, including how lifestyles above water may impact the oceanic environment.

One student said that “the learning that took place throughout the class may not have been 100 percent applicable to the purpose of students in the exercise/kinesiology degree but I think that made the class more important and more applicable to growing up and life in general. We can learn from a book all day long but experiences often teach us more important lessons not found in books.”

Simonson, associate professor in the School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Kinesiology, is partnering with Mary Branchflower, Dive Magic PADI course director, for this thorough course about the underwater world. In addition to studying human anatomy and physiology, exercise physiology, physics and biology, the students will earn their PADI Open Water Scuba certification so that they can experience what they’ve studied first hand in Roatan, Honduras at the end of the term.student scubadiving in the ocean

The course is being offered in the fall of even years; this is the second fall that students have had the opportunity to take this unique course. There are still six slots available to students. The students who took the course in fall 2014 raved about their experiences and encourage other students to take this life-changing course.

One student expressed gratitude towards Simonson for organizing the course and the capstone trip, though other students expressed similar sentiments: Simonson “created a priceless, unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for his students. He has birthed many lifelong divers and adventurers from this trip. He has fostered learning about hyperbaric physiology but also about the earth, wildlife, and the effects of humans on nature. Through this experience, I hope I speak for everyone when I say he has awakened an appreciation and a sense of wonder for the world we inhabit.”