Making Good: Idaho job changes, recognition and other achievements © 2013 Idaho StatesmanMay 21, 2013 


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Laura Woodworth-Ney has been named Idaho State University's new provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Woodworth-Ney, who has been associate vice president for academic affairs the past three years, was selected after a national search. She begins her duties June 24, replacing Barbara Adamcik, who has served as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs since June 2010.

As associate vice president, Woodworth-Ney's areas of responsibility have included curriculum management and academic program development, including online programs. She has been the university's liaison to the Idaho State Board of Education in areas from program development to remedial education. She has overseen the Office of the Registrar, Early College Program and ISU-Twin Falls Outreach Center. She also has provided support for the provost in areas from faculty workload issues to dean searches and hires.

Woodworth-Ney serves on the executive committee of the Western Academic Leadership Forum of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education and has recently been invited to speak at a Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education conference and at the Indo-American Education Summit in Hyderabad, India.

She has been active with Office of Academic Affairs' efforts to be regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. She is on ISU's accreditation steering committee and is co-chair of one of the accreditation sub-committees.

She is Idaho State's member on the State Board of Education's Transform Remediation and General Education Reform task forces. For the past two years she has provided support for the university's presentations to the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee of the Legislature, the House Education Committee and the Senate Education Committee.

Her former administrative appointments at ISU include chair of the department of history and co-director of women studies. She also served on the ISU Faculty Senate.

Woodworth-Ney, who has been at ISU since 1999, has written more than 30 articles, book reviews and scholarly essays, as well as three books.

She is a graduate of the Bryn Mawr Higher Education Resource Services Institute for higher education leaders, and a member of the board of directors for the Redd Center for Western Studies at Brigham Young University, Provo. She is the former editor in chief of Idaho Yesterdays, the state historical society's scholarly journal; a founding co-editor of Idaho Landscapes, the Idaho State Historical Society's magazine; the founding editor of the Women's Western Voices book series at the University of Arizona Press; and a member of the editorial board for the Pacific Northwest Quarterly.

Woodworth-Ney earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Idaho and a doctorate in American history and public history from Washington State University. A native of Rupert, she is a fourth-generation Idahoan and lives in Pocatello with her husband, John Ney, and son. John is the ISU College of Business director of professional development.

Donna Lybecker, Scott Anderson and Bruce Finney have been honored as distinguished faculty by Idaho State University.

Lybecker, honored for teaching, is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science, specializing in international relations, comparative politics and environmental politics. Her major areas of research include the political borders of North America, environmental issues facing the Western United States and the U.S.-Mexico border, and, recently, the framing of political discourse. In addition to two books, Lybecker's work includes articles in such journals as Politics and Policy, and the Journal of Environment and Development.

At ISU, Lybecker has advised the International Affairs Council (2007-2012) and served as a founding member of the Sustainability Committee. She serves as a political science graduate adviser. She is an associate editor for the Social Science Journal and the International Journal for Sustainable Society.

She earned a doctorate in political science at Colorado State University, a master's in political science at Tulane University and a bachelor's degree from Grinnell College. She was named ASISU Advisor of the Year in 2009, ASISU Teacher of the Year in 2010 and a Master Teacher in 2011.

Anderson, honored for public service, is a professor of music and has been the director of choral activities in the Department of Music since 1992.

Anderson is co-founder and artistic director of the Idaho International Choral Festival, where choirs from around the world come to Pocatello for a week of workshops, rehearsals and performances. The seventh festival will be held July 8-14.

Over the past 15 years, Anderson has led Idaho State choral groups on 11 concert tours to more than 20 countries. Last May, the ISU Chamber Choir sang nine concerts and participated in a choral festival during a tour of Italy and Austria. Anderson will lead the Camerata Singers on a two-week tour of Spain and Portugal in July.

More than 450 high school singers from around the state are invited each October to the Pocatello campus for the ISU Choral Invitational Festival. Anderson regularly offers clinic sessions to visiting high school and junior high school choral groups, and visits public school programs around the southeastern Idaho region.

Finney, honored for research, is a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences with a joint appointment in geosciences. Much of his research focuses on using lake and ocean sediment-based data to study past and future climate changes and their effects on wildlife, humans and fish. He is well known for his research on the effects of climate change on Pacific salmon populations. More than 100 of Finney's publications have been featured in peer-reviewed journals, including 40 that have been published since his arrival at Idaho State in 2007.

His research has been featured in several prominent journals, including Science, Nature and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. Finney serves as assistant director for the Center of Archaeological Materials and Applied Spectroscopy and directs the Stable Isotope Laboratory of the Interdisciplinary Laboratory of Elemental and Isotopic Analysis. Finney's research funding has totaled more than $7 million, much of which has come from a series of competitive grants from the National Science Foundation.

Other distinguished researcher finalists, who are 2013 ISU Outstanding Researcher winners, are Rex W. Force, associate dean for clinical research in the Division of Health Sciences; Thom Hasenpflug, associate professor of percussion and chair and director of performing arts; Timothy S. Magnuson, associate professor of biological sciences; and Michael A. Thomas, associate professor of biological sciences.

Hospitality & tourism

Donna Benfield and Rick Just were presented the 2013 Governor's Lifetime Achievement Award in Recreation and Tourism by Lt. Gov. Brad Little at the Idaho Conference on Recreation and Tourism.

Benfield is executive director of the Rexburg Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Information Center and has been the tourism grant administrator for the Yellowstone Teton Territory travel association for 12 years. She has worked on Yellowstone Teton Territories' tourism marketing programs and the Idaho International Dance and Music Festival, now known as SummerFest.

Just has worked for the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation for 29 years, serving as communications manager and his current position of chief planner. He produces the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Plan along with the business and marketing plans for the individual state parks. He has also served as the co-project manager for the Idaho State Parks Passport Program, which provides an affordable opportunity for families to enjoy the state park system. He is a long-time member of the Society of Recreation Professionals and served as president, vice president and conference chair for the organization.


Doug Armstrong, president and general manager of KTVB News Group, is the first recipient of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame Award.

Armstrong was selected by the chamber's board of directors for his contributions to the chamber and support for its mission to advocate for economic well-being, regional development and quality of life.

Armstrong is a past chairman of the boards of the chamber and its economic-development arm, the Boise Valley Economic Partnership. He also has served the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games, Northwest Nazarene University Foundation, Drug Free Idaho, Cole Valley Christian Schools, Boise Public Schools Education Foundation, YMCA and Regence Caring Foundation for Children. Armstrong received gubernatorial appointments to four statewide committees, including the Idaho 2002 Olympic Committee, the Idaho Criminal Justice Council, the Youth Education Advisory Committee, and the Idaho 2010 Olympic Committee.

Before joining KTVB in 1996, Armstrong was the president and general manager for KHNL-TV and KFVE-TV in Honolulu. While at KHNL/KFVE he switched affiliations, built new facilities, started a newsroom, increased staffing and launched local news from the first all-digital newsroom in America. He served as assistant business manager of the University of Idaho for five years before entering the television industry.

Armstrong earned a degree in business administration from Whitworth University and completed dual executive development programs at Northwestern University and the University of Notre Dame.

Other businesses

Ken Hurst has joined OEC Flooring as the operations manager. He has 15 years of commercial and residential flooring experience including estimation, sales and project management. In addition to his flooring experience, he has worked with local contractors, adjustors and insurance agents in the Boise area restoring homes and businesses.

Hurst graduated from Boise State University with a bachelor's degree in business administration and an emphasis in finance.

Bill Scherer, of Boise Aircraft Sales LLC, is celebrating 50 years of aircraft sales and related aviation businesses at the Boise airport.

Scherer began aircraft sales with Mike Loening of Loening Air Inc. and Salmon Air Taxi in 1963, when Loening purchased Roberts Flying Service at Boise Municipal Airport and became a Cessna Aircraft dealer. After Loening sold the business, Scherer started Sawtooth Flying Service in Stanley, then managed Monlin Aviation. That was later changed to Capital Flying Service, which had the Boise State flight training contract for years.

He started Boise Aircraft Sales, which continued until 1979, when Shelly Trimble bought the business. Scherer flew the Idaho mountains for Mountain Aviation, which was purchased by SP Aircraft. He was one of the company's chief pilots until retirement. During that time he had a stint with Turbo Air in Boise and Salt Lake City, followed by four years managing Ontario Flight Service.

He now sells used, small and mostly older aircraft at Boise Aircraft Sales LLC in Wilder. A branch office in Jackson Jet Center at Boise Municipal Airport is staffed by Jon Curry.



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