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Idaho Youth Ranch News

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Read the Boise State University Update News story “How a Boise State Program Helped Transform the Idaho Youth Ranch”

Bios of Participants

Karen Baerlocher

Karen Baerlocher
Boise, Idaho

I was an OPWL Graduate in Spring 2014, and currently own an HR Consulting firm, Peak View Performance Solutions, in Boise. In the fall of 2016, I contacted IYR to be an Instructional Design volunteer. I was looking for an opportunity to enhance my ID skills and partner with a nonprofit in my community. The mission of IYR spoke to me, and it was a perfect fit. I have gained valuable ID knowledge and have been encouraged by the teamwork and partnership between all involved. I’m looking forward to our next project and opportunity to collaborate.


Nicole Boykin

Nicole Boykin
Marietta, Georgia

My name is Nicole Boykin and I live in Marietta, GA. It excites and saddens me to be nearing completion of the OPWL program, as I am scheduled to graduate in December 2018. I am an education enthusiast focused on performance improvement that results in knowledge transfer for the individual and organization overall. The IYR/BSU internship provided me with the opportunity to put into practice all I have been learning in a safe, supportive environment. It was a priceless opportunity as I gained firsthand experience creating instruction that makes knowledge and skill acquisition more efficient, effective, and appealing.


Cristin Chao

Cristin Chao
Pickerington, Ohio

I’m in my last class for the Workplace eLearning and Performance Support (WELPS) graduate certificate and I have 4 more classes to complete for my MS in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning. I decided to take the internship because I’ve been involved in training development for new system implementations but I haven’t created training for onboarding or development – working with IYR was the perfect opportunity to do this! At the end of the internship, I realized I gained confidence in my ability to design and create learning materials that will have a meaningful impact on another person’s professional life.


Janet Emery

Janet Emery
Nampa, Idaho

Janet Emery resides in Nampa, Idaho and is a graduate of the BSU Instructional and Performance Technology program which preceded the OPWL program. She volunteered at IYR as a training consultant and a mentor to the BSU interns.

Janet has enjoyed a successful career in Workforce Development as a Director for both Hewlett-Packard and DIRECTV, a Consultant, and Deputy Director for the Meridian Library District. She credits her career success to the skills she learned in the IPT program.


Megan Kennedy

Megan Kennedy
Boise, Idaho

My name is Megan Kennedy, I live in Boise Idaho. I joined BSU’s OPWL program because I have a passion for helping people find more efficient and effective ways to complete tasks, especially tasks they are completing everyday. I decided to be a part of the BSU/IYR internship to grow my skills and gain insight to environments that were new to me that could use assistance in meeting their goals. From this partnership I have been able to improve my own skills, develop a completed module for IYR, and become a formal member of the IYR team!


Jessica Scheufler

Jessica Scheufler
Atlanta, Georgia

Jessica Scheufler resides in Atlanta with her husband, two children, dog, two cats, and six chickens. She graduated from the OPWL program in 2016. The reason Jessica decided to apply for the IYR/BSU internship was to gain more instructional design experience. Jessica feels that the internship not only helped her acquire more experience, but also helped become a more confident instructional designer. She hopes to apply what she has learned from the internship in future projects.


Jennifer Shamsy

Jennifer Shamsy
Atlanta, Georgia

Jennifer Shamsy is a commercial airline pilot and adjunct online instructor currently living in Atlanta, Georgia. She graduated in Spring 2017 with a Master’s degree in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning as well as a Workplace Instructional Design Graduate Certificate from Boise State University. The volunteer Assistant Instructional Designer position with Idaho Youth Ranch has provided a valuable opportunity to refine her instructional design, writing, communication, and collaboration skills post-graduation.


Ralonda Simmons

Ralonda Simmons
Centennial, Colorado

My name is Ralonda Simmons and I live in Centennial, Colorado. As of this semester, I have completed over half of my Master’s in OPWL. I decided to be a part of the IYR/BSU internship because I believe in the mission of the organization and its goal. I started working with IYR after taking the instructional design course and felt that it was a way to further develop my skills while contributing to a cause I support.


Teresa Uhlenkott

Teresa Uhlenkott
Meridian, Idaho

Hello! I graduated from Boise State with a BA in Theatre Arts- Secondary Education; and received my Master’s in Organizational Psychology from Argosy University. My husband and I with our four kids currently reside in Meridian, Idaho where I work for the Idaho Youth Ranch as the Director of Training and Employee Development. Learning and Development to me is about rethinking and creating the resources needed for employees to perform and grow. Collaborating with BSU has helped our company evaluate and generate those resources. I have absolutely loved working with the OPWL students and mentors throughout this partnership. It truly is a win-win scenario. The collaboration of ideas has been my favorite part—we all learn from each other.


Melissa Wisniewski

Melissa Wisniewski
Lehigh Acres, Florida

My name is Melissa Wisniewski and I live in Lehigh Acres, FL. I am in my second year of the OPWL program and should complete my master’s degree in the spring of next year. I decided to be part of the BSU/IRY internship program because I felt it would be a great opportunity to put a lot of the design skills and theories that I was learning about in classes into practice. This was especially important to me since I have limited experience in the training and instructional design fields and I am hoping to make a career change once I complete my degree. The internship program has been an amazing journey which has allowed me to take some risks, learn how to collaborate and communicate effectively with SMEs and stakeholders, present new ideas, explore creative ways of using a basic design program to integrate adult learning theory principles in a training module and gain confidence in my abilities as an instructional designer.