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School of Public Service News

Professor Gary Moncrief Quoted by Wyoming Public Media

Gary Moncrief, Political Science, Studio PortraitDr. Gary Moncrief was quoted in a Wyoming Public Media report on uncontested races for state legislatures.

In “Wyoming Above National Average For Uncontested Races,” Moncrief said a lack of competition can limit the ability of voters to hold politicians accountable.

“What that means in terms of democratic theory is there’s no way for the public to hold someone accountable for their voting behavior if there’s no viable way for them to be contested in an election and to have a legitimate chance of losing,” he said.

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Dr. Lisa Meierotto Co-Authors Article

Photo of Lisa MeierottoLisa Meierotto is a co-author (along with 145 anthropologists from the U.S. and abroad) on an article responding to current political discourse about the migrant caravan from Honduras.

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Steven Feldstein Published by “Just Security”

Photo of Steven FeldsteinBoise State political science professor Steven Feldstein published an article in the Nov. 1 edition of Just Security.

“Why the ICC Investigation of Forced Displacement in Myanmar Is a Big Deal” discusses skyrocketing global rates of forcible displacement from conflicts and a recent decision by the International Criminal Court to launch a preliminary examination of forcible deportations of the Rohingya people.

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Steven Feldstein Installed as Holder of the Frank and Bethine Church Chair of Public Affairs

Photo of Steven FeldsteinSteven Feldstein has been installed as the holder of the Frank and Bethine Church Chair of Public Affairs. Dr. Feldstein teaches political science at Boise State. Read the full article here.

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John Freemuth Installed as Holder of the Cecil D. Andrus Chair for Environment and Public Lands

Photo of John FreemuthJohn Freemuth has been installed as the holder of the Cecil D. Andrus Chair for Environment and Public Lands. Dr. Freemuth teaches public policy and administration at Boise State and he is an expert in public lands. Read the full article about his installment here.

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Brian Wampler Published an Article in Leading Brazil Newspaper

Photo of Brian WamplerBrian Wampler published an article in one of Brazil’s leading newspapers. The article focused on the vital role of democratic institutions in producing improvements in human development and social well-being. It was published prior to the presidential election on Oct. 28, 2018. Wampler co-wrote the article with Natasha Borges Sugiyama and Michael Touchton.

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Vanessa Crossgrove Fry Quoted in Idaho Business Review

Photo of Vanessa FryVanessa Crossgrove Fry was quoted in an Idaho Business Review article on plans to attract workers to McCall and develop the region’s economy.

McCall region looks to grow, starting with broadband” discusses how the West Central Mountains Economic Development Council is working with the Idaho Policy Institute to attract and retain talent.

The Idaho Policy Institute’s report, which was commissioned by the council, noted that “businesses are seeing both high rates of turnover and large gaps in the labor pool, particularly when it comes to entry-level positions and positions requiring skilled labor and technical expertise and experience.” It also noted that “the housing market and overall cost of living may be contributing to these challenges.”

Fry said that institute is planning to survey high school students in the region to identify future workforce development partnerships.

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Alumna Spotlight: Amanda Hoffman

Amanda HoffmanAmanda Hoffman is the Manager, Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area. She earned her Bachelor of Political Science and Master of Public Policy and Administration degrees from Boise State.

“I Can’t Believe I Get Paid to Do This”

For someone who considers herself a bureaucrat, Amanda Hoffman’s career has included a lot of excitement. “I wish I’d kept a list,” she said. Her “once-in-a-lifetime experiences” include fire monitoring in a helicopter, cave swallow netting in the Carlsbad Caverns, fish tagging, working with bald eagles and other educational raptors, presenting to delegates from Uganda, hiking to The Wave and horseback riding to remote areas of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

But what she loves most about public service is the opportunity to improve quality of life by providing services important to public health and to the environment.

In fact, Hoffman started thinking about public service at an early age. “I decided I wanted to be a Federal employee when I was 8 years old,” she said. “I was part of a children’s choir that performed in Washington D.C. and I decided it was where important things happened.”

“I’m not an -ologist”

Hoffman admits to being “somewhat of an anomaly” at the Bureau of Land Management, where most land managers come from a physical science rather than a social science background. “I’m not a biologist, ecologist, or geologist,” she said.

But rather than holding her back, Hoffman said her studies have given her a certain advantage in her career, particularly when it comes to understanding people with differing viewpoints. Maintaining that people skills are just as important to successfully managing public land as understanding the physical component, she credits her Political Science degree with helping her build listening and communication skills, and her MPA with helping her gain an understanding of policies, processes, politics and people.

As an example, Hoffman cites a book she was introduced to at Boise State. Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making discusses the intertwining of policy analysis and policy making and how politics can’t be removed from either. “I’ve thought about it often over the years. I think it improved my ability to present my ideas, listen to others, and develop strategies to obtain support. Those skills have been invaluable.”

Hoffman recognizes Leslie Alm, her Boise State undergraduate and graduate advisor, as being “the reason I am where I am today.” She also said Dr. John Freemuth’s insights into the mechanics of environmental administration and policy helped her see a place for herself in public land management.

But Hoffman’s learning experiences at Boise State extended well beyond the traditional classroom. In addition to analyzing data about juror experiences through an internship with the District of Idaho Federal Court, Hoffman took an independent study course with Dr. Gary Moncrief that looked at the impacts of term limits in Oregon. She credits this course with strengthening her statistical and technical writing skills – skills that ultimately led to her landing her first job with the BLM.

“Network, Network, Network”

Hoffman encourages current undergraduate and graduate students to reach out to people who are already working in the fields they are interested in and to take advantage of every learning experience they can. Especially ones that build connections with professors and other students.

“The relationships you develop have just as much influence on your success as anything else,” she said. “People aren’t successful alone.”

Job Announcement: Governance and Well-being in Sustainable Communities

The School of Public Service seeks to hire two (2) tenure-track Assistant Professors to contribute to a new research and teaching cluster organized around the theme of “Governance and Well-being in Sustainable Communities.”  These new faculty members will support the growth of the interdisciplinary programs, Environmental Studies, Global Studies and Urban Studies and Community Development within the School of Public Service, as well as the existing MA, MPA, and PhD graduate programs.

Read the full job posting here

Dr. John Freemuth Quoted by Popular Science

An Oct. 17 article in Popular Science, “The most important science policy issue in ever state,” by April Reese quoted John Freemuth. The most important issue in Idaho, according to the article, is “sharing the forests.” Freemuth commented on the “good neighbor” plan in which foresters work with U.S. Forest Service officials on federal projects.

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