Supporters, Alumni, Faculty and Staff Honored at Homecoming

Idaho State University will honor current faculty, alumni and supporters with awards during 2014 Homecoming.

Recipients will be honored at the President’s Alumni Recognition Dinner at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26, at the Red Lion Hotel in Pocatello, 1555 Pocatello Creek Road. A reception at 6 p.m. will precede the dinner.

Award winners are:

• Distinguished Alumnus Award – Merril D. Hoge

• William J. Bartz Award – William M. “Bill” Eames

• Achievement Award – Dr. Jennifer Eastman Attebery

• Distinguished Service Award – Randy Gaines

• President’s Medallion Awards – Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation, Idaho Central Credit Union and Lincoln C. and Linda J. Yamashita

• Young Alumni Award – Dr. Alexander Bolinger

• Parade Marshal – Drs. Ron and Linda Hatzenbuehler

Following are the honorees biographies.

The Distinguished Alumnus Award recognizes exemplary professional and personal contributions resulting in national or international recognition.
Growing up in Pocatello, Merril D. Hoge dreamed of being a professional football player. He graduated from ISU in 1988 with his bachelor’s degree in secondary and physical education, with a minor in health fitness. During his time at ISU, as a four-year football starter, he set 44 school and conference records and two NCAA football records.

In 1987, Hoge was drafted in the 10th round by the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he played until 1993. He lead the team in rushing and receiving in four of his first five years, setting a record in his third year for receptions by a running back. Hoge and Franco Harris are the only two Steelers players to rush for more than 100 yards in back-to-back playoff games.

In 1993, Hoge went to the Chicago Bears as a free agent, where he played for one year until he was forced to retire due to post-concussion syndrome. He is now a leading spokesman for the fight of concussion prevention at all levels, not only in football but in all sports.

As a well-respected analyst for ESPN since 1995, he has distinguished himself with his in-depth knowledge of the game and his strong relationships with coaches and players in the NFL. Hoge also serves as board chair of the Highmark Caring Foundation and Caring Place Centers and for the last 12 years, along with former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver, Hines Ward, hosts the Hoge-Ward Celebrity Golf Classic for Children to raise funds and awareness for programs of the Highmark Caring foundation.

The William J. Bartz Award recognizes continued support and development of ISU through personal actions, participation in ISU affairs and financial support.

Following his graduation from high school in 1953, William M. “Bill” Eames enrolled in the ISU’s College of Pharmacy and took one business class each semester. Graduating from ISU in 1957, Eames opened his first pharmacy in 1959. This store grew into 24 locations of “Bill’s Pharmacy” and was rated among the top 50 pharmacies in the nation.

Eames has established the William M. Eames Pharmacy Practice Award, supported the Pharmacy Scholarship and Pharmacy Administration. He has served on the College of Pharmacy Advisory Board and the ISU Foundation Board of Directors. He also supports the College of Technology and the Stephens Performing Arts Center. For the past three years, in partnership with Dr. Laura Vailas, has sponsored the annual ISU Presidential Christmas Card project.

Eames has served as a director of the John Muir Hospital Foundation, served as a director on two major banks boards and as president of the board of the California Symphony.

The ISU Achievement Award recognizes personal actions, generosity and self-sacrifice on the behalf of the university by a faculty member. The award was established in 1984.

Originally from Caldwell, Idaho, Jennifer Attebery grew up with books as treasured companions. After graduating from Caldwell High School in 1969, she attended the College of Idaho, where she majored in English. She became fascinated with folklore, which led her to Indiana University for graduate school. While in graduate school, she married Brian Attebery, whom she had known since middle school. They began married life in Providence, Rhode Island and Brown University where Brian earned his Ph.D in 1979. They returned to Idaho that year and Jennifer worked for the Idaho State Historical Society historic preservation office. She completed her Ph.D in 1985.

Attebery was hired at ISU in 1992 as a tenure-track faculty member in English specializing in folklore and American studies. Currently, she is a full professor of English and serves as chair of the Department of English and Philosophy. She has served on and chaired numerous committees and councils including serving as the 1999-2000 Faculty Senate Chair. She regularly teaches courses in folklore, orality and literacy, multimodality, American cultural studies and composition.

Attebery has been recognized three times as an Outstanding Researcher and also recognized with the Outstanding Public Service Award. She has received two Fulbrights-one to Sweden in 1998 and the second in 2011 at Uppsala University.

The ISU Distinguished Service Award was established in 2004 to honor ISU staff members who have shown exceptional loy alty to the University through an extended period of employment.

Randy Gaines graduated with his bachelor’s degree in speech/ radio and TV from Wichita State University in Kansas. Arriving in Pocatello in 1979, Gaines worked for a brief time at a local radio station and then went to work for KIFI-TV, where he served as the Pocatello Bureau Chief for the news department and then for KIFI TV’s Idaho Video.

In 1988 he was hired to help start the University’s video distance learning program in what was then the ISU Media Center. He later served as the media center manager and in 2004 became ISU’s Chief Information Officer, the position he holds today.

Gaines earned his Masters of Education degree from ISU in 2001 in Instructional Technology. He has taught Freshman Seminar, continues his involvement as one of the longest serving team captains for the “I Love ISU” scholarship campaign, supports ISU’s United Way drive each year and also serves on ISU’s Accreditation Steering committee. He is a generous supporter of the “I Love ISU” scholarship, the College of Education Endowment, the Bengal Athletic Boosters and KISU FM Radio.

Gaines and his wife Melinda compete in regional and national dog agility competitions with their Bernese Mountain Dogs around the Northwest and teach dog obedience courses.

The President’s Medallion was established in 2001 to honor friends and alumni whose outstanding accomplishments and exemplary service and support bring distinction to the University and advance higher education.

Laura Moore Cunningham was born in 1869. A Boise socialite and civic leader, she served on numerous community boards, invested in education and worked to shape the leaders of tomorrow. It was her wish that her philanthropy continue after her death in 1963. In her will, she established the Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation—one of the oldest and largest charitable foundations in Idaho. The Foundation awards more than 450 scholarships each year to Idaho’s public and private colleges and universities.

Laura Bettis, Janelle Wise, and Harry Bettis, Volunteer Directors for the Foundation, describe the Foundation’s purpose to “help as many different people in the state as we can and help communities with whatever they feel is important to them at the time.” All grants are reviewed once annually to determine the best place to provide funding to make the biggest difference for Idaho. By investing in children and education, the Foundation provides an opportunity for Idaho children and helps to provide leadership for communities throughout the state.

Organized as a state chartered credit union in 1940, Idaho Central Credit Union has been a partner and supporter of Idaho State University for more than 4 decades. Idaho Central has 500-plus employees, many of whom are ISU alumni, serving more than 170,000 members in 25 locations- and growing. The credit union has more than $1.6 billion in assets and is a full-service, federally insured financial institution.

Idaho Central Credit Union sponsors events and contributes to ISU for two basic reasons — they maintain a large presence in our local community and feel they have a vested interest in the university, and they employ many ISU graduates or current students. Currently, more than 130 alumni and current students work for Idaho Central Credit Union.

When the ISU School of Performing Arts was established, Idaho Central Credit Union was a significant partner in creating the Student Performing and Visual Arts scholarship fund in 2013.

ISU Athletics has seen a major transformation in facilities for student athletes through their partnership with Idaho Central Credit Union. The Idaho Central Credit Union football practice field, the new basketball courts in Reed Gym and Holt Arena, the new turf in Holt Arena, in addition to support for student athletes scholarships, are all evidence of sustaining and continual commitment from this organization.

Other areas benefiting from Idaho Central Credit Union’s generosity are the Colleges of Business, Technology, Pharmacy and Health Professions, Student Affairs, ISU Ambush, Alpha Kappa Psi, I Love ISU scholarships, the Davis Art Gallery, the American Advertising Federation, the Women in Work Conference and the Hispanic Health Program.

Lincoln Yamishita, originally from Honolulu, Hawaii and Linda Yamashita, originally from St. Anthony, met at Idaho State University in the fall of 1963. They dated for some time and married in 1965 at the Episcopal chapel on campus. Linda received her certificate from the College of Technology in 1965 and went to work while Lincoln completed his final year at ISU. While an ISU student, Lincoln was a member of the ISU swim team. Lincoln graduated in 1966 with his bachelor’s degree in physical education. He attended Senior ROTC camp at Ft. Lewis, Washington and was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. with a 3-year active duty tour.

Following his discharge from the Army in 1970, Lincoln and Linda chose to make Hawaii their home. Lincoln began teaching in the public school system. With four children and a full-time teaching position, he went back to school and earned his master’s degree in physical education and health from the University of Hawaii in 1971.

Lincoln’s teaching career spanned 33 years. In addition to teaching, he also coached swimming at the high school and AAU level and served in the Hawaii Army National Guard for 26 years, retiring as a Lt. Colonel. Linda returned to the workforce for a total of 30 years and served as the secretary of their Homeowner’s Association.

In 2009, Lincoln was inducted into the ISU Sports Hall of Fame in recognition of his accomplishments as a student athlete and consistent support for Idaho State University.

That same year, he joined the ISU Alumni Board of Directors, serving a four-year term. During this time Lincoln, who is also a published poet and author, published a book about Hawaiian culture specifically about the system of “reciprocity.” The Yamashitas continue to serve ISU as hosts and ambassadors for traveling ISU teams and alumni, and recruit Hawaiian students to attend ISU.


Young Alumni Award – Dr. Alexander Bolinger

Born and raised in Southeast Idaho, Bolinger is the son of ISU alumni, Ron and Patty Bolinger. He holds three degrees from ISU- a Bachelor of Business Administration in management, a Master of Arts in political science and a Master of Business Administration. He obtained his doctoral degree in management at the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah.

In 2002, Bolinger became the first of three siblings in his family to be recognized as an Outstanding Student Award recipient. He was active in the ISU Ambassadors, providing tours to prospective students and their parents. He performed with both the jazz and marching bands.

Before joining ISU, Bolinger worked as an assistant professor at Penn State University-Brandywine campus. Now, an assistant professor of management, Alex teaches courses in organizational behavior, strategy and negotiation at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Bolinger emphasizes service opportunities in his courses that engage students while benefiting the local community. He introduced the “Make-a-Wish Challenge” to his senior-level Organizational Behavior course.

Bolinger is a board member of the Pocatello Free Clinic and President of ISU’s chapter of Phi Kappa Phi honor society

Parade Marshals are ISU faculty, staff or alumni who have made a significant impact on the ISU community and enjoy popularity among their colleagues and students.

Drs. Ron and Linda Hatzenbuehler met and married while students at Kent State University in Ohio. After completing his doctoral degree in history, Ron accepted a teaching position in the ISU history department. During his tenure at ISU, Ron served on the advisory boards for the ISU Press, “Rendevous” and the Idaho State Historical Society magazine, Idaho Yesterdays. In 2006, he published a book titled “I Tremble for My Country: Thomas Jefferson and the Virginia Gentry” which received much critical praise. In 2009, Ron was honored with the Idaho Humanities Council’s award for “Outstanding Achievement in the Humanities.” At the time of his retirement in August 2013, he was serving as associate dean and professor in the College of Arts and Letters.

Linda initially worked as a psychologist for the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. After completing her doctoral degree in clinical psychology, Linda became a faculty member in the ISU psychology department and later joined ISU’s administration. She served as the dean of the Kasiska College of Health Professions for 20 years and is now the executive dean and associate vice-president of the Division of Health Sciences.

Ron and Linda raised their three children in Pocatello and participated in their school projects, activities and sporting events. They now have two grandchildren. The Hatzenbuehlers were jointly recognized at Homecoming 2007, with the ISU Achievement Award.