Sarah Toevs is a faculty member in the College of Health Sciences at Boise State University, and directs the interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Aging at Boise State. She holds a doctoral degree from the University of Utah and is actively engaged in creating positive learning experiences for students pursuing gerontology, and in supporting community-based efforts to maximize quality of life for individuals of all ages. Her research interests include a variety of aging related topics including chronic disease management, physical activity, and elder abuse prevention
Are you aware that 10,000 people will turn 65 years of age in the United States every day for the next 19 years? In this podcast, Dr. Toevs discusses the impact of this demographic shift on our American way of life. She examines how changes in the ratio of workers to retirees will impact the sustainability of Social Security and create a drain on resources critical to elder care. Dr. Toevs also discusses the opportunities created by emphasizing prevention, health promotion, and personal responsibility. The findings from her work on intergenerational learning and community-based support are also discussed, as well as an analysis of population demographics.
Amy J. Moll is a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Boise State University. Dr. Moll co-founded the Materials Science and Engineering program at Boise State and served as the first chair. She received a B.S. degree in Ceramic Engineering from the University of Illinois, as well as M.S and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Moll has also worked in the private sector for Hewlett Packard. She recently served as an advisor on the PBS documentary “Making Stuff”.
Materials matter to all of us. In this podcast, Dr. Moll explains how everyday objects are made of materials designed to have specific properties and perform in certain ways. From the mundane (shower curtains, cooking pans, roof shingles) to the extraordinary (aircraft engines, artificial organs), materials impact all aspects of our life. She examines how this direct link to the everyday world makes materials science and engineering topics so fascinating. In particular, Dr. Moll reveals the secrets of how materials science and engineering have made your smartphone possible.
Dr. Jeffrey Wilhelm is a Professor of English Education at Boise State University. He is the founding director of the Maine Writing Project and the Boise State Writing Project, and works in local schools as part of a Virtual Professional Development Site Network. Dr. Wilhelm has authored or co-authored 23 texts about literacy teaching and learning, and has won the two top research awards in English Education.
Are books such as vampire novels, mysteries, and fantasy “real” literature? Do they have a place in the education of today’s children? In this podcast, Dr. Wilhelm reviews some highlights from a current study about how passionate adolescent readers of non-traditional texts (such as graphic novels, manga, series books, video game novels, narrative video games, dystopian, vampire, horror, and fantasy narratives) engage with such texts. He explores the deep psychological needs, satisfactions and uses these readers have for such texts, and the implications for psychological development, reading, and learning inside and outside of school. He also examines the implications for parenting, instruction, reading programs, libraries and the like. The findings of this study will be published in a forthcoming book from Scholastic Publishers tentatively entitled Let Them Read Trash.
Dr. Marshall is an assistant professor of geophysics in the geoscience department at Boise State University, and an expert consultant for the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory.
Everyone has heard that no two snowflakes are alike. In this podcast, Dr. Marshall describes snow as one of the most dynamic and variable materials on earth. Snow changes from the moment it forms in the sky, as it is blown across the landscape, and as it begins to settle and compact, until it melts and eventually ends up in our water supply. The pattern of snow distribution at the hillslope scale is often highly variable, in terms of both the total amount of water stored in solid form as well as the mechanical properties, and this variability leads to complicated and interesting problems for snow avalanche and hydrologic science. Dr. Marshall takes you inside this important research, and discusses its relevance in straightforward terms.
Dr. Napier is a Professor of Strategy and Executive Director of the Centre for Creativity and Innovation in the College of Business and Economics at Boise State University.
College of Business and Economics: Centre for Creativity and Innovation
Insight: Encouraging Aha! Moments for Organizational Success
The Creative Discipline: Mastering the Art and Science of Innovation
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How can organizations use creativity and innovation to boost performance? In this podcast, Dr. Napier shares insight gained from her research into that question. Her book, The Creative Discipline (2008) examines diverse organizations – from theater to software to football – to identify common creativity characteristics, while Insight (2010) shows how to encourage aha moments, which help speed learning and problem solving. The high performing, highly creative organizations studied in this research are called “The Gang.” Members range from the Boise State football program, to Trey McIntyre dance group, to health information provider Healthwise, and the Ada County Sheriff’s office. This podcast covers six important “Gang Rules”, which are crucial elements for organizations looking to incorporate creativity and innovation in their operations. The rules will also appear in a book that Dr. Napier is currently writing in conjunction with the other members of the gang.
Dr. Scott Yenor is an Associate Professor and the Chair of the Department of Political Science at Boise State.
What is a family? In this podcast, Dr. Yenor discusses how family and marriage are viewed through the prism of political and cultural beliefs. Many modern thinkers see marriage and family life as defined by the principle of consent and are not averse to reforming the family as part of their larger efforts to reform society. Others feel that these modern principles tend to be imperial and to cloud our vision to the detriment of marriage and family life. Consent is not adequate to explain most of the reality of marriage and family life, and there are important limits (including the nature of love and the importance of the body) on our ability to reform this central human institution.
Dr. Heidi Reeder is an associate professor in the Department of Communication, and the 2007 Carnegie Foundation’s Idaho Professor of the Year.
According to the storyline of many films and TV shows, men and women can never be friends because they will always end up romantically involved. Dr. Reeder set out to research whether this is true, based on the experience of actual friends. In this podcast, Dr. Reeder discusses the four types of attraction that can occur in various friendships- friendship attraction, romantic attraction, subjective physical/sexual attraction and objective physical/sexual attraction- as well as how those forms of attraction can change over time. She makes the case that for many male-female friends the primary form of attraction is a friendship bond, but that other types of attraction can offer some interesting variation in some friendships.
Dr. Michelle Sabick serves as Interim Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering at Boise State University.
Hip Replacement Information Mayo Clinic.com
Boise State University Center for Orthopaedic & Biomechanics Research (COBR)
BSU Department of Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering
Michelle B. Sabick, PhD
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Biomedical engineers must overcome significant hurdles to create joint replacements that can serve as stand-ins for healthy bone and cartilage. In this podcast, Dr. Sabick outlines how engineers overcome those challenges to make joint replacement an increasingly common and usually successful procedure that improves the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of people every year. She provides a brief overview of the field of biomedical engineering and also details a case study about a patient who needs a hip replacement as an illustration of several key concepts of engineering design.
Dr. Jonathan Brendefur is professor of Mathematics Education at Boise State University.
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Most people believe that mathematics is numbers, symbols, and notations. In this podcast, Brendefur explains that mathematics is also about spatial reasoning – the ability to visually manipulate stimuli, to break apart and put together 2-D and 3-D shapes, to take these ideas and twist and turn them or to not be confused when an object’s orientation changes. This ability is one of the best predictors of later success in mathematics, and can be learned through a variety of different methods and practices. It also helps people develop fluency with operations in arithmetic and strengthens measurement concepts.
Dr. Rohn is a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. His research focuses on the molecular mechanisms underlying Alzheimer’s disease with the goal of identifying new potential drug targets for the treatment of this disease.
Alzheimer’s disease has been coined as the “looming epidemic on the horizon.” More than 5 million Americans currently suffer from this neurodegenerative disease that robs patients of their memories and this number is projected to triple by the middle of the century. Dr. Rohn discusses the disease process including the statistics, symptoms and progression that will allow for a better understanding of this insidious disease. In addition, a description of the molecular “trouble makers” provides the framework for a discussion on the current research goals and treatment strategies that are currently in clinical trials.