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Center for Idaho History and Politics

Collage of historical photos

The Center for Idaho History and Politics promotes an active and engaged appreciation of the essential interaction between politics and history. In doing so, it serves not only the Boise State University campus community, but the broader communities of Boise and Idaho by developing high-level programming and educational opportunities designed to engage the hot-button topics of today in ways that are informed, nuanced, and fair.

History of the Center
The Center for Idaho History and Politics was created by the Idaho State Board of Education in 2004. Its original mission, which it retains today, is to serve as a beacon of community engagement while exemplifying the value of applied history and social science research. Past Director Dr. Todd Shallat was instrumental in expanding the reach of the Center, developing programs ranging from collaborations with the City of Boise to popular lecture series, workshops, and publications.

photo of justin vaughn

Dr. Justin Vaughn

Photo of Dr. Jill Gill

Dr. Jill Gill

Today the Center is led by Dr. Jill Gill and Dr. Justin Vaughn.

Dr. Gill is a Professor of History and an expert in 20th century American social, cultural, political, and religious history.

Dr. Vaughn is an Associate Professor of Political Science and an expert on the American presidency and executive politics.

Patriotic Choices Program:
This fall/winter (August – January), the Center is sponsoring a wide ranging series of interdisciplinary events under the title “Patriotic Choices” that will explore civil discourse and political courage aimed at enhancing the common good. The Patriotic Choices program corresponds with the campaign and inauguration season, using it as a contextual backdrop for the varied topics it addresses. Students may enroll in the Patriotic Choices passport program to earn prizes based upon levels of attendance. For a full description of the program, enrollment instructions, and calendar of events, visit