News Release


DEPARTMENT NEWS / November 30, 2007

Boise State Art Students Take Service-Learning to Deer Flat Wildlife Refuge in Nampa

Visitors to Deer Flat Wildlife Refuge in Nampa aren’t guaranteed a close encounter with the wildlife that lives there. But soon they will be able to peruse artistic representations of some of the area’s most popular creatures.

Metal art created for Deer Flat Wildlife Refuge

Click to enlarge images

Students in Boise State University art professor Anika Smulovitz’ Art 221 class have just completed more than a dozen pieces of metal art for the refuge that were inspired by the species who call it home.

The wildlife refuge plans to build an outdoor education auditorium at the refuge in the spring to be used for educating children and community groups. The metal art pieces will be either installed in the auditorium or along a half-mile nature trail at the refuge, according to Amy Ulappa, environmental education and interpretive specialist for the refuge.

“We think the pieces are beautiful and will really add to the wildlife experience for our visitors,” Ulappa said.

Smulovitz’ art class focuses on learning about the field of jewelry and metalsmithing through research, presentations and creating art pieces in metal that draw from the formats and history of the field. Making art for a good cause increased the students’ investment in the project and in their learning, Smulovitz said. The donation of artwork for charitable causes is a regular part of an artist’s career and this project was an introduction to that process.

The project was coordinated with the help of the Service-Learning program at Boise State. Service-learning is a teaching method that connects coursework to community issues, giving students real-world experience in their field while meeting pressing community needs. As part of their coursework, students work in community organizations to address issues of poverty, the environment, public health and more. During the past academic year, 1,785 students from 89 Boise State classes engaged in service-learning, contributing 36,453 hours of service with 75 community organizations. In 2006, 23 percent of all graduating seniors had taken courses that included service-learning experiences.

Many of this year’s Service-Learning projects will be featured during the Boise State Civic Engagement Poster Exhibition Dec. 10-14 on the third floor of the Interactive Learning Center. For more information about Boise State’s Service-Learning program, visit


Media Contact: Sherry Squires, University Communications, (208) 426-1563,

Boise State University professor Heidi Reeder has been named the 2007 Idaho Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. She is an associate professor in the Department of Communication. Reeder’s honor marks the 11th time that a Boise State professor has earned this award, and the seventh time in the last decade.

The Office of Communications and Marketing - Boise State University
1910 University Drive - Boise Idaho 83725-1030
Located in Capitol Village, 2225 W. University Drive

Last reviewed on Monday, February 04, 2008