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Osher Institute Members Award Grants to Faculty Researchers

Osher Institute Members Award Grants to Faculty Researchers

Kaltenecker-Owl-500x357April 23, 2012 – The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Boise State has announced the recipients of the first Osher Institute faculty grants. The grantees and their projects were selected from a field of 23 proposals submitted by faculty members from departments across disciplines.

The $16,000 in grants was made possible by generous contributions of Osher members and Osher community partners. They recognize the outstanding scholarship of Boise State faculty and serve both to promote research and as a means of thanking the university for years of support for the Osher Institute, said Osher Director Ellie McKinnon.

The award recipients are:

  • Phil Atlakson, Department of Theatre Arts, for completing his film documentary project focusing on cultural transitions and ensuing obstacles faced by young Cambodians caught between two disparate and nearly irreconcilable worlds.
  • Jesse Barber, Department of Biological Sciences, and Greg Kaltenecker (pictured above at right), Idaho Bird Observatory director, for their collaborative proposal for research and monitoring of owls to determine migration habits and to assess the impacts of anthropogenic noise on owl hunting ability.  The grant also will help enhance and expand community outreach at the observatory.
  • Elisa Barney Smith, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Steven Olsen-Smith, Department of English, for their collaborative project involving the implementation of optical character recognition software that will transform static images of documents to searchable text files, including marginalia notation.
  • Juliette Tinker, Department of Biological Sciences, for her proposal for pre-clinical testing of a potential nasal-spray vaccine for staphylococcus infection.

Each grantee or grantee team will receive $4,000 from Boise State’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute for their research projects. They will be recognized by Mark Rudin, Boise State vice president for research and economic development, during a special event at 6:30 p.m. April 25 at the Osher Institute.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Boise State features high-quality, affordable, short, non-credit classes, lectures and field trips designed for intellectually curious adults over the age of 50.  This year the institute provided 39 courses, two lecture series and numerous field trips and special events for its 800 active members.

Presenters are drawn primarily from Boise State faculty, but also include faculty from sister institutions in the region and community experts. For more information, visit

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