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New Directions in Inmate Visitation

Photo of Dr. Laura King

Dr. Laura King

Boise State Criminal Justice Researchers Evaluate Ada County Jail’s Video Visitation System

Inmate visitation has long been recognized as a key tool for maintaining important relationships with the family and friends of the incarcerated. These relationships have been shown to improve inmate behavior while incarcerated and upon their release back into our community.

Inmate visitations have traditionally taken place in-person at correctional facilities, but new technology has made video visitation, including remote video visitation, a reality. While inmates frequently express a preference for in-person visits, the video visitation platform offers several potential strengths including increased opportunities for visitation, decreased travel costs for families, and improved institutional security.

Ada County Sheriff’s Office has been recognized as a pioneer in the use of remote video visitation, implementing the first such program in North America in 2010. A recent study by Criminal Justice researchers Dr. Danielle Murdoch, Dr. Laura King, and Caitlyn O’Very, a graduate student in the Boise State School of Public Service, utilized interviews, surveys, and secondary data to examine Ada County Jail’s Remote Video Visitation System. The findings build upon a limited body of academic research which has typically examined in-person video visitation in prison settings.

The Ada County Sheriff’s Office welcomed the study. Public Information Officer Patrick Orr states, “when Boise State approached us in 2015 to study the inmate video visitation system at the Ada County Jail, we were excited to have an independent public service agency check out what we were doing. We knew the “Skype for the jail” concept we adopted in 2010 created a positive benefit for the public, the inmates, and our agency.”

The researchers noted several program strengths in their evaluation, including a perceived improvement in institutional security, better access to family and friends who are hindered by distance from visiting, and avoidance of desensitizing children to the jail environment. There were also some weaknesses identified including technological issues and the elimination of in-person, glass partition visits.

The Ada County Sheriff’s Office is focusing on the positive. “Our inmates now have more access to their family and friends than ever before — no matter where those people live. The data shows inmates have more visits now than they did before 2010,” adds Orr. “Kids are no longer filling our lobby and getting used to being in jail. Inmates interviewed by Boise State say their kids are more attentive during the video visits. Our facility is more secure and our staff doesn’t have to spend a ton of time every day moving inmates and the public around our facility.”

The report offered several recommendations for the remote video visitation system at Ada County Jail. Read about Ada County Jail’s Video Visitation System.

Boise State Professor Luke Fowler Discusses ‘What Makes a Well-Run City?’

Photo of Dr. Luke Fowler

Photo by Valdosta State University

School of Public Service professor Dr. Luke Fowler was recently featured in an “Ask the Experts” profile of well-run U.S. cities. The article, 2016’s Best-Run Cities in America, examined the management of 150 of America’s largest communities. Cities were ranked on indicators such as health, safety, financial stability and infrastructure.

According to Fowler, U.S. cities face challenges of growing complexity. Policy problems now require cooperation with a complicated network of local, state and federal government agencies as well as non-profits and private entities. Increased information and mobility has put cities in greater competition with each other.

In addition, Fowler discussed indicators for evaluating the quality of city governance and offered suggestions on how policymakers can use community engagement to reduce racial tensions.

Dr. Fowler teaches Policy Implementation and Practice in the Department of Public Policy and Administration. His research interests include policy implementation, energy and environmental policy, state and local government, public management, public budgeting and finance, and organizational theory. Fowler also enjoys working in consultation with local governments on issues such as fair housing, as well as compensation and scheduling studies for police and fire departments.

The city of Boise ranked first in the overall rankings of 150 cities. Boise received high marks for city services, education and safety.

Read Ask the Experts at

Andrus Center Welcomes Executive Director Dr. John Freemuth

Photo of Dr. John FreemuthProfessor Freemuth will work to build on Andrus Center’s legacy of public lands scholarship and leadership

BOISE – Dr. John Freemuth is the new Executive Director of the Andrus Center for Public Policy. Dr. Freemuth has a long track record of service for the Andrus Center, most recently as Senior Fellow for Environment and Public Lands. Professor Freemuth also teaches Environmental Policy and Administration in Boise State’s School of Public Service.

Dr. Freemuth has published extensively on the relationship between science and public policy, particularly as it relates to public lands. As principal investigator for the United States Geological Survey, he has worked to improve the policy utility of GAP Analysis, Species Modeling and Protected Area data. He was also selected by former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbit to chair the Science Advisory Board of the Bureau of Land Management. He also has been a high school teacher and seasonal park ranger.

“Wallace Stegner once said that the battlegrounds of the environmental movement lie in the western public lands,” said Dr. Freemuth. “Our contribution to the discussion surrounding public lands is needed now more than ever. I look forward to building on the work that has already been done here, which is an important and ongoing aspect of the legacy of Governor Andrus in protecting and supporting access to the public lands of the United States for all Americans”

“John Freemuth has been an important part of our environment and public lands work over the past 20 years,” said Andrus Center Chairman Cecil D. Andrus. “His commitment to collaborative policy development based on sound science and broad public involvement make him the ideal individual to lead our efforts going forward.”

The Andrus Center provides a nationally-respected forum for addressing today’s public policy issues. The Center focuses on issues championed by former Idaho Governor and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Cecil D. Andrus: environmental resources, public lands and the cultivation of leadership from all segments of society.

In addition to hosting events pertaining to the environment, public lands, water, and mineral resources, the Andrus Center also hosts the Andrus Award for Leadership, The Andrus Lecture and the upcoming Women and the Leadership Conference. Governor Andrus continues to serve as the Center’s chair.

Registration Underway for Women and Leadership Conference

Conference May Qualify as Professional Development for Boise State Employees

Women and Leadership Conference, Mary Wagner, Associate Chief, US Forest Service, Simplot Ballroom

BOISE – Knowledge empowers. That’s the message of this year’s Women and Leadership Conference. Hosted by the Andrus Center for Public Policy, the conference brings nationally-known business, cultural and civic leaders to Boise State while offering skill-building workshops and networking opportunities.

Women and Leadership, which is open to women and men, is now in its fourth year at Boise State. The schedule has expanded to two full days to accommodate more workshops, including Leadership with Integrity, Language and Leadership, and a WordPress bootcamp.

Betty Ann Waters of the Innocence Project, Kate Swanborg of DreamWorks Animation, and Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Amy Ziering are among the keynote speakers. There will also be a special screening of the film The Hunting Ground.

Boise State employees are encouraged to register soon to ensure a spot. Jay Stephens, VP of Boise State Human Resources, reminds staff and faculty that Women and Leadership is a professional development conference applicable to both women and men. If your professional development plan includes content covered at Women and Leadership and your Supervisor approves the time off, that time is not subject to annual leave.

Women and Leadership will take place on September 14 and 15 in the Student Union’s Jordan Ballroom. Registration is $195 and includes eight keynote sessions, two skill builder workshops, two breakfasts and lunches, two networking events, and a reception.

To register, visit:

Encouraging the Next Generation of Women Leaders

National Education for Women’s Leadership Program Builds Confidence and Boosts Leadership Skills

NEW Leadership, Women in Leadership, Andrus Center, Allison Corona photo.

At the Statehouse. Allison Corona photo.

Twenty-seven young women from seven universities and colleges across Idaho recently converged on Boise State for the National Education for Women’s Leadership (NEW Leadership) program, where they learned hands-on leadership skills and met business, community, media and political leaders.

The weeklong session, hosted by Boise State’s School of Public Service, featured workshops designed to build expertise in areas such as public speaking, professional skills, leadership styles, diversity, and networking. The centerpiece of the week was an Action Project which divided the students into 4 groups (pro, con, committee members and media) and culminated in a mock committee hearing held at the Idaho State Legislature at the end of the week.

Photo of students at workshop

Workshop at the Andrus Center. Allison Corona photo.

The program wasn’t all workshops and lectures, however, as students enjoyed tours of the Statehouse, Boise’s Basque District and the Idaho Human Rights Memorial. Students also had the opportunity to put their networking know-how into practice at a reception featuring Idaho First Lady Lori Otter.

The program requires a competitive application process. And while many of the students come from Political Science or Public Policy backgrounds, several other fields were represented as well. Maribel Carillo Ovalle of the College of Western Idaho appreciated the breadth of ideas she encountered. “What I love about this program is that they’ve tried to diversify that this year and bring different careers together so that we can formulate new ideas by networking and creating social bonds.“

Photo of Panel of women nonprofit leaders, Andrus Center

Dr. Lori Hausegger and a panel of community leaders.  Allison Corona photo.

NEW Leadership participants spent the week together in a Boise State residence hall, and Mashaal Hijazi of Idaho State was impressed by the way participants made quick personal and professional connections. “I think the most interesting thing has been the way we have already clicked as women who are leaders,” said Hijazi. “Now that we are surrounded by women who share the characteristic of wanting to be a leader, it’s crazy how strong that relationship can be within a matter of days.”

NEW Leadership was developed by The Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University in 1991 and has since spread across the country. This year’s session, the third since NEW Leadership came to Boise State, introduced the participants to several women currently serving in the Idaho State Legislature, including Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett. Participants also met with powerful lobbyists, non-profit leaders and executives from companies such Micron and Idaho Power.

Mock Trial photo

Learning the legislative process at the Statehouse. Allison Corona photo.

The Action Project this year focused on a bill proposing Tuition Lock. Idaho Public Television’s Melissa Davlin facilitated the media working group, Marilyn Whitney, Governor Otter’s Senior Special Assistant for Education and Government Services, worked with the “pro” group, Representative Julie Van Orden and Senator Lori Den Hartog supervised the “con” group and former Minority Leader Wendy Jaquet worked with the committee members .

NEW Leadership Idaho is directed by Political Science professor Lori Hausegger with program manager Cathe Scott. Other Boise State faculty and staff working with the young women included Annie Kerrick, Donna Llewellyn, Jerri Mizrahi, Jen Schneider, and Stephanie Witt. Former representative, Holli Woodings, acted as Faculty in Residence for the week and stayed in the residence hall with the students.

NEW Leadership Idaho Conference

Students meet community leaders and legislators at the networking reception. Jessica Vargas photo.

Several NEW Leadership alumnae returned to share how they are turning their expertise into action. “Already I’m definitely more confident when I meet people for networking,” said Gates Lawler, a mechanical engineering major, “I’m not as shy about being a girl in engineering, but I can be a strong powerful woman in a male-dominated field.”

Many students, including College of Southern Idaho Business major Nuru Soragha, were motivated by the success stories they heard. “It makes me want to do the same as them,” said Soragha. “It is pushing me to be more than my expectations.“

NEW Leadership does not promote a single leadership model, but instead endeavors to help students find their own approaches. Students were introduced to a variety of styles and encouraged to explore a wide range of activities and opportunities to affect public policy.

Boise State student Briana Hale looked forward to putting the lessons she’s learned at NEW Leadership into practice, “I’ve never been to something that was so inspiring to me. This has definitely confirmed the path that I want to go on. And I can’t wait to go out and apply what I’ve learned here.“

Dr. Sanghee Park Awarded Paul Volcker Research Grant

Photo of Sanghee ParkThe Centennial Center of the American Political Science Department has awarded Dr. Sanghee Park a 2016 Paul Volcker Endowment Junior Scholar Research Grant. The award and grant will be announced at the Public Administration Business Meeting at APSA in Philadelphia in September. Dr. Park is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Public Policy and Administration. Her research focuses on the management of human, financial, and organizational resources in public and quasi-public organizations.


Funding Internships to Inspire Service

Justin Vaughn, Assistant Professor, Political Science Department (responsible for poli sci interns), Wendy Jaquet (responsible for public administration interns), Chairman Chief Allan presenting the check for legislative internships next year, and Brian Wampler, Chair, Political Science Department.

Justin Vaughn, Assistant Professor, Political Science Department (responsible for poli sci interns), Wendy Jaquet (responsible for public administration interns), Chairman Chief Allan presenting the check for legislative internships next year, and Brian Wampler, Chair, Political Science Department.

Internships are recognized as a valuable opportunity for students to build real-world experience and make the important connections needed to launch a career. With Boise State’s location near the Idaho State Capitol, positions at the legislature have long been a natural fit for Political Science and Public Administration students. Unfortunately, finances have been a hurdle for many students; not only are the internships unpaid, but students have been required to cover their own tuition.

The new Legislative Internship Scholarship from the School of Public Service seeks to make legislative opportunities a reality for more students by helping to cover the costs of their internships. This scholarship fund recently received a boost from the Coeur d’Alene Tribe who donated $7,000, enough to help ten Political Science and Public Administration majors to intern with financial assistance at the Idaho State Legislature for the 2017 session. Efforts to fully fund the scholarships are ongoing.

“Now more than ever, our state needs great leaders,” stated Chairman Chief James Allan of the Coeur d’Alene tribe. “Internships can be a great tool to help to prepare our future leaders for a life of public service, but the struggle of funding an internship can be an obstacle for many. We hope that this scholarship will increase the level of access to internships for more students and ultimately inspire students to pursue a career in public service.”

Legislative interns are honored with certificate of completion with Chairman Chief Allan

Legislative interns are honored with certificate of completion with Chairman Chief Allan.

As a former state legislator and a current Boise State Public Policy and Administration Professor, Wendy Jaquet agrees. “The Legislative Intern Scholarship is all about making public service internships attainable for more students. This helps them gain the connections and experience needed for a successful career serving the public. We are grateful to the Coeur d’Alene tribe for this generous contribution.”

Coeur d’Alene Chairman Allan presented the donation to Boise State President Bob Kustra at the annual Political Science Graduation/Honors event on May 5. Senator Chuck Winder, another donor to the effort, also attended the event.

Donations to the fund can be made to Fund SR128 at:

“The Other Idahoans” released by School of Public Service Publications

Other-Idahoans-cover-200x300Fallen angels in the bawdy houses. Migrants barred from Main Street. Homesteaders driven from homesteads when August rained black storms of dust. The Other Idahoans recovers their hard-luck stories. Volume 7 of Boise State University’s prize-winning research series, the book closes with a driving tour of storied places from history’s underside.

“The vulnerable and marginalized helped build the Boise Valley. The Other Idahoans, in recalling their lives and labors, enriches our understanding of the cities we inhabit today.”
– Corey Cook, Dean, Boise State University School of Public Service

Read about The Other Idahoans in Boise State Update

Three Political Science Majors Among University’s 2016 Top Ten Undergraduate Scholars

L-R: Timothy Hibbard, Frederick Swanstrum, Alex Belisle. Brian Angers Photos

L-R: Timothy Hibbard, Frederick Swanstrum, Alex Belisle. Photo by Brian Angers.

The School of Public Service’s Political Science Department may be small, but it’s making a big splash on campus and beyond. Political Science majors Alex Belisle and Timothy Hibbard, along with Political Science and Communication double major Frederick Swanstrum, have been honored as 2016 Top Ten Scholars, the highest honor Boise State awards to undergraduate students. Honorees were chosen based on academic success (3.8 GPA minimum), breadth of coursework, research, creative works and publications, presentations, and extracurricular community and campus service. Awards were presented at a reception on April 21 in the Stueckle Sky Center by the Alumni Association in conjunction with the Honors College.

All three honorees credit outstanding Political Science professors for contributing to their success in the classroom and beyond.

“Dr. Ross Burkhart has been with me since day one at Boise State University,” explains honoree Timothy Hibbard. “As a first generation college student I had no one that I could turn to for academic advising, so Dr. Burkhart was critical to my success early on in my academic career helping me plan for graduation on a four year track.”

Alex Belisle credits Dr. Brian Wampler for challenging him in his academic pursuits. “From the first class I took with Dr. Wampler, I was challenged to read dense literature more effectively and produce quality analysis. Further, Dr. Wampler was integral in choosing Florianopolis, Brazil as my study abroad destination for the summer of 2014. Since, he has connected me with research opportunities both at Boise State and in the community and has continued to challenge me academically in the political science masters program. Dr. Wampler represents the ideal faculty who is committed to empowering students inside and outside of the classroom to elevate their experience and learning.”

Dr. Lori Hausegger and Dr. Stewart Gardner changed Frederick Swanstrum’s outlook on the world. “Dr. Hausegger is a brilliant professor who sparked my interest in the law and challenged me to be a better student. Also tremendously brilliant, Dr. Gardner taught me the value of being human and helped me to look for joy in every moment that I am alive – a lesson that no textbook could teach.”

All three honorees have future plans that include service in the public interest. Swanstrum intends to work in the public sector and attend law school. Hibbard will begin working on a PhD in Political Science at Michigan State University this fall with the goal of becoming a faculty member at an R1 research institution, focusing on both teaching and research. Belisle will remain at Boise State another year, continuing his studies in the new political science masters program this fall and graduating in the summer of 2017. He plans to continue working on special initiatives at Boise State in multiple areas and putting his passion for social enterprise to work.

Accomplishments Recognized!

au40-500The Idaho Business Review’s Accomplished Under 40 has a distinct School of Public Service flavor this year, with multiple faculty and alumni making the prestigious list.

Here are the Accomplished Under 40 honorees with their School of Public Service connections:

  • Dr. Amanda Ashley, Assistant Professor, School of Public Service
  • Todd Cranney, Managing Partner, Riverwood Strategies, Eagle (Cranney has taught in Boise State Political Science Department)
  • Jess Harrison, Director of Communication and Government Affairs, Idaho School Boards Association, Boise, Boise State MPA
  • Jayson Ronk, Director of State Government Affairs, Micron Technology, Boise State MPA
  • Dr. Justin Vaughn, Associate Professor of Political Science

“The inclusion of our faculty and alumni on this prestigious list is a source of pride for the School of Public Service and the University,” states Corey Cook, Dean of the School of Public Service. “We are reminded regularly of the many achievements of our graduates and the impact of our full time and adjunct faculty in the community, but it is nevertheless inspiring to see our School so well represented in the Idaho Business Review’s list of honorees. Our faculty, staff, and students share a deep and demonstrable commitment to public service. We congratulate all of the awardees and all of those who contribute to daily to their communities and the state of Idaho.”

The Idaho Business Review Accomplished Under 40 program honors 40 Idaho business and professional leaders who have achieved success before the age of 40.