Two years ago, at BYU-Idaho Education week, my husband and I participated in the ambassador training events. We met wonderful people who volunteer their time and services to help educate students about BYU-Idaho and promote the Spirit of Ricks that we are so fond of. During one of the trainings regarding the online BYUI Connect site, we had the opportunity to chat with an ambassador and his wife from Silicon Valley in California. They were an enthusiastic couple dedicated to making a difference in the lives of our BYU-Idaho students and we were duly impressed with their efforts.
In the course of the conversation, we discovered a potential link to an internship for our son, Spencer. Not only was the ambassador extensively qualified to mentor Spencer in seeking an accounting internship, but his wife also became involved by offering to help our son and his pregnant wife find housing. Spencer kept in touch with this couple, who, in turn, connected him with someone from one of the Big Four global accounting firms. Oftentimes, it seems to be about who––and not what––you know. This eventually led to an interview, a subsequent internship, and, most recently and happily, a job offer. We know that without the mentoring efforts of this kind couple, this story may have turned out much differently.
Today’s economic, social, and political arenas require more from our graduates than ever before. At a recent graduation fireside with President Kim B. Clark, a very concerned student voiced a question that seemed to be on many of the graduates’ minds. With the current economic condition of the world, he asked what he could do if he could not find a job and how he could support his family. My mind became filled with the powerful possibilities of the BYUI Connect network and the truly inspired mentor program. BYU-Idaho Mentors are a group of alumni and friends of the university who provide career, academic, and personal advice and networking support to both students and alumni. How simple it is for us in our busy lives to take a moment and help perpetuate the Spirit of Ricks by offering a needed hand to these students who travel from all 50 states and 59 countries to be a part of this campus.
The other day I spoke with a recent graduate, married with two children. He communicated his apprehension about finding a job, expressing the frustration of needing to move to certain areas of the United States, realizing the importance of contacts and yet not having any. It was a rewarding moment to see the hopeful look on his face when I shared the BYUI Connect site and mentor program.
In an interview given by President Henry B Eyring, speaking of the students from BYU-Idaho, he said, “It will seem unreasonable [to the world] that many of them [student leaders] should come from one place.” This university is full of many of the Lord’s finest, and we have the opportunity to be a part of the positive growth that will come to the world as a result of their entrance into the workforce. President Clark said, “And in this place [BYU-Idaho] the Lord does miracles and takes of our offering, of our effort and service, as limited as it is, and takes it and makes of it a mighty thing.”
May I suggest that we be a part of this miracle and aid the Lord in bringing to pass mighty things in the lives of these students, offering hope and help through our service.
Chantal Cobia ´02
BYU-Idaho Alumni Association President
BYU-Idaho Alumni sponsored the first-annual Alumni Days on June 24-25, 2011. This new event celebrated the 10th anniversary of the BYU-Idaho announcement by President Gordon B. Hinckley on June 21, 2001.
Festivities began with the Alumni Days picnic where over 600 guests enjoyed a barbeque lunch, door prizes, and music. The 50-lap relay featured four alumni teams with nearly 200 runners of all ages. The evening event was the family pillow movie in the Hart Auditorium. Saturday activities included the Emeritus Breakfast, Class of 1961 50-year reunion, and campus tours.
In 2012, Alumni Days events will be held June 22 and 23.
Richard Stallings honored with Alumni Award of Excellence
Richard Stallings received the Alumni Award of Excellence from the Emeritus Alumni Association on June 23, 2011. Kevin Miyasaki, vice president of Student Services and Activities at BYU-Idaho, presented the award at the Summer Emeritus Breakfast.
Stallings was born Oct. 7, 1940, in Ogden, Utah. He attended public schools in Ogden and graduated from Ben Lomond High School in 1958. After serving a mission in New Zealand, he married Renee Garner in 1963. They have three children and seven grandchildren.
He received his BS in History and Political Science from Weber State University and his MS in History from Utah State and Colorado College. He taught in the Foreign Study League in Europe in 1969. He taught in the Department of History at Ricks College from 1969 to 1984.
Stallings represented the Idaho Second District in the House of Representatives from 1985 to 1993 and served in several other state and local political offices over the course of a 22-year political career. In 1993, he was appointed United States Nuclear Waste Negotiator by President Clinton. He served as executive director of the Pocatello Neighborhood Housing Services and the Pocatello City Council. He also served as Idaho Democratic Chairman in 2005 and 2007.
BYU-Idaho hosted its 11th annual Alumni Day at Lagoon on July 23, 2011. Over 700 guests enjoyed entrance discounts, a free picnic lunch, and door prizes. The next Lagoon Day will be held July 21, 2012.
On Aug. 9, 2011, BYU-Idaho Alumni hosted over 400 alumni and family members at the annual event with the Idaho Falls Chukars baseball team. BYU-Idaho vice president Kevin Miyasaki was honored to throw out the first pitch, and Karen Ballard, a student from Sugarland, Texas, sang the National Anthem and led fans in the singing of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” The next Chukars Night will be held Aug. 7, 2012.
The mission of BYU-Idaho Alumni is to “perpetuate the Spirit of Ricks, the university’s legacy of caring and service.” To achieve this mission the university is actively creating a network of BYU-Idaho mentors, a group of alumni and friends of the university who provide career, academic, and personal advice and networking support to both students and alumni. To enhance these efforts, we have created The Official BYU-Idaho Student and Alumni Network on LinkedIn. This active group now has over 3,300 members and offers active discussions as well as job postings. All alumni are invited to participate in this growing and dynamic network.
In support of the official network on LinkedIn, BYU-Idaho has created Mentor Resource Groups for each academic department. These groups provide collaborative forums allowing alumni, students, faculty, and employers to support each department. Central to each group will be the BYU-Idaho Mentors who will provide personal networking connections for both alumni and students.
The Alumni Facebook page now features the BYU-Idaho Legacy Archives, regular posts illustrating the history of Ricks College and BYU-Idaho. These entries have and continue to prompt many active discussions. Click here to “like” the BYU-Idaho Alumni Facebook page.
BYU-Idaho Alumni has created a second Facebook page specifically for alumni to post their profiles and share news. The profiles page provides a great setting for alumni to announce job promotions, baby births, adoptions, mission calls, wedding announcements, and anniversaries. To post your alumni profiles on Facebook, click here.
The alumni homepage, BYUI Connect, features a new and improved alumni directory. This resource allows alumni and students to quickly find former friends and associates. Search features include geographic locations, majors, class year, degree type, professional titles, and company name. Students and alumni can also quickly identify BYU-Idaho mentors using the search tools.
BYU-Idaho Alumni hosted a tour of the Yucatan Peninsula in Jan. 2011. Forty-four guests explored such historic sites as Chichen Itza, Coba, Kabah, Ek Balam, and Uxmal. Tour members also visited the village of Dzitnup where they provided gifts to small children. Other adventures included swimming the cenotes of Xekken and Ik Kil. The final days of the tour were spent in the port town of Playa del Carmen.
Nearly 100 BYU-Idaho ambassadors and mentors assembled on campus the last weekend of July to receive training and updates on the university. Visiting alumni volunteers participated in Education Week updates and interacted with university leaders associated with the new Academic Discovery Center, Admissions, LDS Philanthropies, and Alumni. BYU-Idaho Alumni currently has nearly 1,000 ambassadors and over 3,000 mentors. Alumni interested in volunteering should contact the Alumni Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.