ISU Honors Idaho Dems: Malepeia, McDermott, Siemens

Idaho State University will honor faculty, alumni and supporters with awards during 2013 Homecoming on Oct. 4. Among the honorees are Former State Senator Edgar Malepaei, Gail and Nannette Siemen, and retired Judge Peter D. McDemott–also notable for their support for Idaho Democrats.

The following bios and info comes via Idaho State University:

Recipients will be honored at the President’s Alumni Recognition Dinner at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, at the Red Lion Hotel in Pocatello, 1555 Pocatello Creek Road. A reception at 6 p.m. will precede the dinner. Those wishing to attend should contact the ISU Alumni Office at (208) 282-3755 or e-mail . The cost is $40 per person.

Sen. Edgar J. MalepeaiFormer State Sen. Edgar Malepeai will be awarded the President’s Medallion which honors friends and alumni whose outstanding accomplishments,exemplary service and support bring distinction to the University and advance higher education.

Malepeai, a San Francisco native, came to the Pocatello to play football for ISU. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Education/Social Science in 1975. Malepeai worked on the grass-roots level for years before becoming a teacher, and later, a state lawmaker.  He is now retired.  He was a government teacher at Highland High School and a Democratic senator from Bannock County in the Idaho State Legislature.

In 2007, he was awarded Statesman of the Year from Pi Sigma Alpha, ISU’s political science honor society. Students chose him for the honor because of his leadership and commitment to civic dialogue and civility in politics. In 2008, Edgar was named Progressive Elected Official of the Year by the board of directors of United Vision for Idaho and United Action for Idaho. The organization represents Idahoans who “care about justice and democracy.” As a legislator, in the 2010 session, his fellow Democrats elected Malepeai the Senate minority caucus chair, a position he held from his first session in 2003 through the 2007 session.  For the 2011 session, however, his fellow Democrats asked Malepeai to serve as the Senate minority leader, the top Democratic post in the Idaho Senate.

Edgar has been a staunch advocate, ambassador and supporter of Idaho State. He has given of his time and his financial support to the Kasiska College of Health Professions, the Brenda Bertsch Memorial Scholarship, the Bengal Athletic Boosters, I Love ISU and the College of Education.  Edgar was married to Brenda Bertsch Malepeai.  Brenda lost her battle with a rare cancer in March 2009 after fighting the disease for more than two years. Edgar has three children and two plus grandchildren.


gailand nanette seimen

Gail and Nannette Siemen will be given the @illiam J. Bartz Award, recognizing continued support and development of ISU through personal actions, participation in ISU affairs and financial support.

As ISU alumni, the Siemens have been continuously engaged and supportive of the University since their days as undergraduates. Gail has three degrees from ISU and Nannette has two. If ever an award was created with specific persons in mind, Gail and Nannette fit this perfectly. Retired after 34 years in the education field, Gail continues working with the College of Education as coordinator of partnership programs. He is a member of the Alumni Board of Directors, he is an inducted member of the ISU Sports Hall of Fame, and he was recognized as the Professional Achievement Award recipient for the College of Education in 1997. Nannette, also retired after a lengthy career in education, primarily in the Head Start program, continues her involvement in K-12 as well as higher education.

Gail and Nannette have been ardent supporters of the Women’s Basketball team for many years. They are members of the Bengal Athletic Boosters and have established the Nannette and Gail Siemen Educational Scholarship Endowment that supports students in the early childhood program in the College of Education. They have both been involved in the I Love ISU Scholarship campaign as well as fundraising for Bengal Athletics and the College of Education.

Judge Peter McDermottRetired Judge Peter D. McDermott will be Homecoming Parade Marshal.

McDermott is active in the Pocatello and university community. He is an ambassador for ISU in all he does.  He and his family have a long and storied legacy with the University.  McDermott has established an endowment in the College of Arts & Letters. He remains a life-long member of the Bengal Athletic Boosters and has mentored many pre-law student at ISU. He has also advised many groups, individuals and programs within the university (at no cost) with his legal expertise and advice. McDermott loves ISU.  He is highly regarded in the legal profession and has been recognized many times by his peers.  Having lived most of his life in Pocatello, he is well known in the community.  Serving as Homecoming Parade Marshal is a special treat for ISU and extremely well received by the local community and it is an honor that means a great deal to Judge McDermott.  ASISU nominated, supported and approved this selection.

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