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Dr. Bessie Katsilometes Appointed to AARP Idaho Executive Council


Bessie Katsilometes, Ph.D., former Dean of Idaho State University-Meridian and Idaho State University-Boise, is the newest member of the AARP Idaho Executive Council. AARP Idaho has more than 188,000 members statewide and more than 38 million members nationwide.

Dr. Katsilometes will serve on the AARP Idaho volunteer executive council and work to achieve AARP’s vision, mission and strategic priorities across the state.  AARP Idaho state president, Dr. Tom Trail and state director Lupe Wissel appointed her to the executive council position.

“I’m elated that Dr. Katsilometes has agreed to join AARP as a member of the executive council.  The combination of her extensive university experience, healthcare background, and her deep understanding of the needs in Idaho will serve Idaho’s 50 plus community very well,” said AARP Idaho state director Lupe Wissel.

Dr. Katsilometes moved to Idaho from South Dakota in 1970 to attend Idaho State University and has since established a legacy of supporting education throughout the state. Employed by ISU for 30 years in a variety of administrative leadership positions, she retired in 2016 as the Associate Vice President for University Programs at ISU Meridian Health Science Center. Bessie was at the helm of ISU-Meridian in partnering with West Ada School District and Renaissance High School (RHS), co-located in the building, to expand post-secondary educational opportunities for secondary students to create a seamless pipeline for higher education entry.  In 2017, Bessie was appointed by Governor Otter to serve on the Higher Education Task Force.  Bessie has served on various boards by gubernatorial appointment including the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, the Governor’s Coordinating Council for Families and Children, and the Idaho Housing and Finance Association Board of Commissioners.

“I became more acquainted with the vision and leadership of Idaho AARP in 2015 when Lupe Wissel approached ISU-Meridian with the idea of developing New Knowledge Adventures (NKA) in Southwest Idaho as a three-way partnership with the Treasure Valley YMCA.  NKA is an affordable continuing education program for older adults with an emphasis on fun and shared learning in a social and non-competitive setting. I have long been aware of the vitality and importance of Idaho AARP for residents,” said Dr. Katsilometes.

Bessie’s is very active in the community, having served on the Idaho Community Foundation, the Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center Community Hospital Board and Mission Committee, the Idaho Area Health Education Center Advisory Board, and the United Way of Treasure Valley Health Vision Council. She is currently serving on the Dean’s Council for the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM) and as the Community Representation on the ICOM Admissions Committee.  She has most recently joined the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children as a Governing Board Member.

This appointment is effective immediately. Dr. Katsilometes joins returning executive council members Tom Trail of Moscow, Peggy Munson of Boise, Marjean Waford of Pocatello, and Barbara Blasch of Boise.

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