The Boise State University Foundation and Provost Marty Schimpf have named faculty members John Bieter, Maria Mitkova and Jeanne Belfy as the 2015 Foundation Scholar Award recipients. They will receive a $3,000 honorarium from the foundation.
The awards honor faculty members of Boise State who have demonstrated ongoing commitment, expertise and accomplishments in teaching, research, creativity or professional service.
John Bieter, associate professor of history, received the Teaching Award. His nominator said Bieter is “a caring, committed and highly successful teacher whose dedication to the craft of educating others radiates and infuses all he does.”
The selection committee noted several aspects of his teaching that stand out including the variety of courses he has taught, his ability to use his scholarship to inform and improve his teaching, and his teaching philosophy of education as a life-long journey.
One letter of support highlighted Bieter’s influence as a teacher of future teachers: There will be “thousands of junior high and high schools students — some not yet born — who will find the joy of learning … due to the teachers John changed by his teaching, counseling and caring.”
Bieter received the award 23 years after his father Pat Bieter received the first Foundation Scholar Award for Teaching in 1992. Pat started as an assistant professor of education at then Boise State College in 1969. He taught at Boise State until his retirement as a professor in 1995.
Maria Mitkova, associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, received the Research and Creative Activity Award. Mitkova is an internationally recognized expert in amorphous materials called chalcogenide glasses that are promising for high-density electronic memory applications.
Since arriving at Boise State in 2006, she has established the Nano-Ionic Materials and Device Laboratory and has opened up a new area of investigation that is creating considerable interest within the research community because of the fundamental insights this work is yielding in nuclear radiation detection. Her nominator said, “I believe it is Dr. Mitkova’s passion for her research and commitment to the success of her students that make her such an outstanding contributor to the field.” A letter of support describes her great imagination, breadth of work, infectious enthusiasm, inspirational influence on her students and peers, and her high ethical standards in all professional relationships.
Jeanne Belfy, professor of music, received the Service Award. She has been engaged in professional service to her students, department, college, university and community for more than 30 years.
Belfy is a founding member, manager and artistic director of the Boise Chamber Music Society. Her nominator said the society’s concert series is “world class artistry being presented to our university, community and music lovers beyond our ranks. To see an idea like this grow to the wildly successful operation that it is today is absolutely astounding.”
A former student noted that “Dr. Belfy goes above and beyond her duties as a professor … The time she spends outside of the classroom is purely altruistic in nature and serves one purpose: the betterment of this community.” Belfy also won the Foundation Scholar Award for Teaching in 2013.
The University Foundation will honor the recipients at its annual board meeting in April.
The foundation has placed a display showing all recipients of the Foundation Scholar Awards since 1992 on the first floor of the Student Union Building near the main staircase.