Miss Pocatello Nina Forest Crowned Miss Idaho

by Michael Strickland

“Congratulations to our new Miss Idaho 2018, Nina Forest!” reads the Miss Idaho Facebook page. “She will represent Idaho on the Miss America stage in Atlantic City on September 9th. Make sure to keep up with her exciting year!”  Forest, who was Miss Pocatello, received her crown last night at the Nampa Civic Center.

Her platform is Leave Childhood Hunger Behind and as Miss Idaho Forest will focus on decreasing food insecurity in the Gem State.

The Miss Idaho Scholarship Program is a preliminary competition of the Miss America Organization, one of the nation’s leading scholarship  and achievement programs for young women. Forest received thousands of dollars in scholarship money and other prizes. These included an award for the talent portion, in which she played an expressive self-arranged piano solo of Rhapsody Brillante by Melody Bober.

After being a classical violinist most of my life, I started playing piano six years ago in high school and discovered what it truly meant to love music. While I haven’t had the years of experience most pianists have had, I am completely humbled to have won preliminary talent at #MissIdaho2018. The place you start does not determine how far you can go. With passion, hard work, and perseverance anything is possible.  – Nina Forest

A self-described adrenaline junkie, she muses: “I love roller coasters, heights … and I’ve been skydiving. One of the reasons that I love living in Idaho is that our backyard is just one big adventure.” Forest is also a first generation American. “My mom immigrated to the United States from China and my dad was born in England,” she said.

Since 1950, this state-level program has provided all its participants with educational assistance. The mission of the Miss Idaho Organization is to create a foundation of self-esteem and empowerment for the young women who participate. Participants develop interview skills and build self-confidence that lasts a lifetime and prepares them for future challenges and pursuits.

WATCH NINA FOREST’S INTRODUCTION  VIDEO FOR THE MISS IDAHO COMPETITION. 

Miss Idaho participants have achieved success in diverse fields including education, medicine, law, business, theater, politics, and broadcast journalism. Contestants work for causes represented by their personally chosen platforms which have included cancer research, organ donation, suicide prevention, child enrichment and mentoring programs, senior citizen advocacy, arts, culture and public safety.

The program has a deep well of community sponsors, parents, and volunteers who offer unwavering support of this organization that dignifies and empowers women. Read more at http://www.missidaho.org.

Top 5 finalists pictured below:
4th runner up – Kaitlin Hae Hae
3rd runner up – Miso Jang
2nd runner up – Marissa Lynne Goodwin
1st runner up – Hannah Menzner
Miss Idaho 2018 – Nina Forest

 

Young People’s Pavilion – P is for Potato: An Idaho Alphabet (Discover America State by State)

Young People's Pavilion

By The Book Bearimages

I first met Stan “The Bookman” Steiner at a reading conference many years ago. He was dubbed “The Bookman” by his students because of his vast knowledge of children’s literature. That is why I was very pleased to see that the acclaimed Discover America State by State series continued with his P is for Potato: An Idaho Alphabet. Lyrically written with his wife Joy, this title explores the lush land and rich history of a state too often overlooked.

Kids of all ages wil love the A to Z rhymes boasting about all the treasures found within Idaho’s borders- from the Appaloosa steed to the zinc mines to Mount Borah, to, you knew we couldn’t forget it, the potato. But after a few pages readers will also allow peregrine, Union Pacific, Quinceanera, Nex Perce, and other Idaho icons to share in the spotlight.

Amazon reveiwer K…

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Moving to Idaho: A Guide

IdahoAlthough justifiably known for its world-renowned potatoes, Idaho has much more to offer than just its leading agricultural export, writes Jim Hoehn in Eight Reasons to Move to Idaho.

Idaho is a state in the northwestern region of the United States. It borders the state of Montana to the east and northeast, Wyoming to the east, Nevada and Utah to the south, and Washington and Oregon to the west. To the north, it shares a small portion of the Canadian border with the province of British Columbia. With a population of around 1.6 million and an area of 83,569 square miles (216,440 km2), Idaho is the 14th largest, the 12th least populous and the 7th least densely populated of the 50 U.S. states. The state’s capital and largest city is Boise.

Nestled against the Pacific Northwest states of Washington and Oregon, Idaho offers a scenic mix of rivers, jagged peaks and farmland with the lowest cost of living of the 11 western states. Although the 11th-largest state in terms of size, Idaho ranks 39th in population. Boise, the state capital, has a population of 218,281, but is the only city with a population of more than 100,000.

Idaho prior to European settlement was inhabited by Native American peoples, some of whom still live in the area. In the early 19th century, Idaho was considered part of the Oregon Country, an area disputed between the U.S. and the United Kingdom. It officially became U.S. territory with the signing of the Oregon Treaty of 1846, but a separate Idaho Territory was not organized until 1863, instead being included for periods in Oregon Territory and Washington Territory. Idaho was eventually admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, becoming the 43rd state.

Forming part of the Pacific Northwest (and the associated Cascadia bioregion), Idaho is divided into several distinct geographic and climatic regions. In the state’s north, the relatively isolated Idaho Panhandle is closely linked with Eastern Washington, with which it shares the Pacific Time Zone – the rest of the state uses the Mountain Time Zone. The state’s south includes the Snake River Plain (which contains most of the population and agricultural land), while the south-east incorporates part of the Great Basin. Idaho is quite mountainous, and contains several stretches of the Rocky Mountains. Additionally, around 38 percent of Idaho’s land is held by the United States Forest Service, the most of any state.

Read Eight Reasons to Move to Idaho.

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Colson Whitehead Speaks Feb. 12 at U of I

colson-whitehead-1200x675Colson Whitehead, winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award for his novel “The Underground Railroad,” will give the keynote address Monday, Feb. 12, as part of the University of Idaho’s Black History Month observance.

Whitehead’s talk, “Revisiting the Underground Railroad,” will begin at 7 p.m. Feb. 12 in the International Ballroom of the Bruce M. Pitman Center, 709 Deakin Ave., Moscow. A question-and-answer session and book signing will follow. The event is free.

“We are thrilled that Mr. Whitehead will illuminate themes of his remarkable book for our students, faculty and community members,” said Kenton Bird, a faculty member in the U of I School of Journalism and Mass Media who is helping to organize the author’s visit. The talk is supported by the Idaho Humanities Council and several university offices and academic departments.

“The Underground Railroad” chronicles the adventures of Cora, a teenage slave, as she seeks freedom in the South in the years before the Civil War. Historically, the Underground Railroad was a network of safehouses used to help slaves escape to freedom in the northern states and Canada. In Whitehead’s novel, engineers and conductors operate a secret system of underground tracks and tunnels for this purpose.

A panel of U of I faculty members will put the book into context during a discussion on “The Underground Railroad in Law, History, Literature and American Society,” at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, in the College of Law courtroom, 711 S. Rayburn St. The panel consists of Kristin Haltinner, assistant professor of sociology and director of U of I’s minor in Africana studies; Dale Graden, professor of history; Jan Johnson, clinical assistant professor of English, and Aman McLeod, assistant professor of political science and affiliate faculty in the College of Law.

In addition to “The Underground Railroad,” Whitehead is the author of “The Noble Hustle,” “Zone One,” “Sag Harbor,” “The Intuitionist,” “Apex Hides the Hurt” and “John Henry Days,” which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. A resident of New York City, Whitehead has received a MacArthur Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He has taught at the University of Houston, Columbia University, Brooklyn College, Hunter College, New York University, Princeton University, Wesleyan University, and been a writer-in-residence at Vassar College, the University of Richmond and the University of Wyoming.

Whitehead’s lecture is sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President, the Runstad Lecture Series, the Office of Equity and Diversity, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the School of Journalism and Mass Media, the departments of English, History and Sociology and Anthropology in the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences, and the Latah County Human Rights Task Force. His lecture is made possible by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, the state-based affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Additional events during Black History Month at U of I are listed athttps://www.uidaho.edu/diversity/dhr/oma/events/black-history.

Young People’s Pavilion: Drones, robots and slime … oh my!

Originally posted on IdahoEdNews.org on January 23, 2018

Things got pretty wild at the Statehouse on Tuesday when kids took over the Rotunda with flying drones, robots and Play-Doh.

Students from elementary to high school showed off their technology and engineering skills to lawmakers in celebration of STEM Matters! — a campaign to raise awareness about science, technology, engineering and math in Idaho.

The Idaho STEM Action Center hosted more than 300 Treasure Valley students who showcased their classroom STEM projects and tools. Students showed off their critical and creative thinking skills they are using at school.

“This is inspiring and makes you dream bigger when you’re outside the classroom,” said Joseph Murphy, a junior at Centennial High School.

Joseph Murphy, a junior at Centennial High School, explains circuits to elementary kids using potatoes and a laptop.

The STEM Matters! event is part of Education Week at the Statehouse as lawmakers begin to piece together the budgets that will drive public schools and higher education campuses in the year ahead.

The 2015 Legislature created the STEM Action Center to build a workforce to match the employment opportunities in STEM. The center’s strategy is to strengthen Idaho’s STEM career pipeline with education and professional development for teachers. The STEM Matters! event features how taxpayer money is spent in the classroom.

“We know that it is critically important to show outcomes and impacts to ensure that taxpayer and industry funds are spent wisely,” said Angela Hemingway, the executive director of the STEM Action Center. “We use data to make informed spending, program and policy decisions.”

Hemingway asked legislators to fund the Idaho STEM Action Center at $4.7 million during her budget presentation to the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on Jan. 17.

According to the Department of Labor, Idaho’s unfilled STEM jobs doubled in 2017 to nearly 7,000, which represents approximately $450 million in lost personal wages and $24 million in lost state tax receipts. The Idaho Department of Labor predicts as many as 36,000 STEM jobs could be unfilled by 2024 if the trend continues and would represent more than $120 million in lost state tax revenue annually.

The STEM Action Center is housed under Gov. Butch Otter’s office.

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RobotsRecommended Reading: Guinness World Records: Remarkable Robots (I Can Read Level 2)

A brand-new Guinness World Records book for kids!

From a robot babysitter to the largest walking and fire-breathing robot, this book is filled with record-breaking androids of all shapes, sizes, and occupations! Simple text and full-color photos will make learning about this exciting topic fun for beginning readers.

Guinness World Records: Remarkable Robots is a Level Two I Can Read book, geared for kids who read on their own but still need a little help.

Read more children’s book choices at youngpeoplespavilion.com

CWI’s Connections Project celebrates culture, collaboration, education, innovation, and achievement

College of Western Idaho student, Emma Obendorf, is the winner of the 2018 Connections Project logo contest. Obendorf, a student in the Studio Art Program, has a passion for graphic design and was excited to design a logo.
College of Western Idaho (CWI) student, Emma Obendorf, is the winner of the 2018 Connections Project logo contest. Obendorf, a student in the Studio Art Program, has a passion for graphic design and was excited to design a logo.

The logo will be distributed in marketing materials such as t-shirts, websites, and flyers. Obendorf also received $100 for her winning design — which she plans to put into savings.

“It’s a bit surreal! I don’t think it’s hit me that this will be seen at the event,” she said while describing the strong contenders she competed against.

CWI’s Connections Project celebrates culture, collaboration, education, innovation, and achievement. The contest gave students an opportunity to showcase their skills in design, while incorporating the event’s mission statement in the logo.

“I like the simplicity, figuring out what people see first and how it all goes together,” Obendorf said.

Fifteen students submitted PDFs of their proposed designs. Twenty faculty and staff judged the logos, without access to students’ names, and chose their favorites. Assistant Professor of Art, Karen Brown, said Obendorf is a professional student who is easy to work with. Brown was impressed with her logo design.

“I like that it clearly connects to our visual identity and branding,” she said.

In addition, Brown stated she enjoyed the honeycomb design in the logo, reminiscent of a structure bees are always building and rebuilding, a similar process the College goes through as students graduate.

Obendorf is appreciative the College asks students to design the logo for the event as it helps her feel more involved.

“I went to a really small high school, so I kind of like the community aspect. I think it’s cool the College asked students to participate in the contest and helps to get our work recognized,” Obendorf said. “It is very tight-knit, it’s easy to get to know your professors and classmates and get involved in stuff.”

Save the date for this year’s Connections Project April 26, 2018.

Learn more about the event and find a link to submit projects by March 23 at cwidaho.cc/current-students/connections-project.