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Tech Tuesday - Successful Transitions And Retention Track (START)

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The July episode of Tech Tuesday features Debbie Ronnieburg with Cherrise Brown and Deb Thompson and a discussion about the ISU College of Technology’s START program. START provides social and academic support as students manage barriers while they pursue sustainable career and life goals.

START's Mission

START at Idaho State University provides social and academic support as students manage barriers while they pursue sustainable career and life goals.

More information about START

Send an email to or call (208) 282-4359. We are located on the 3rd floor of the Roy F. Christensen Building, 777 Memorial Drive.

Cherisse Brown, Director- Successful Transitions and Retentions Track (START)

Cherisse Brown is the Director of the Successful Transitions and Retention Track also known as START. START is a program at Idaho State University that provides social and academic support as students manage barriers while they pursue sustainable career and life goals. The program is made possible by funding through a grant from The J.A. & Kathryn Albertson Foundation Continuous Enrollment Initiative, and by friends and special donors to the program. Cherisse graduated from Idaho State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. Her professional experience includes working in the non-profit sector, where she managed the state workforce development contract for southeast Idaho, along with many years working closely with at-risk populations in the social and human services field. Cherisse is most passionate about compelling, empowering, and inspiring others to recognize their value and maximize their potential. She considers it a great privilege to work with students in the START Program at ISU, and was recently recognized by the Dean of the College with the 2023 Staff Excellence Award for going above and beyond in providing outstanding and dedicated service.

Deb Thompson-
Deb Thompson is the former Associate Dean and former Interim Dean at Idaho State University’s College of Technology. Deb was inspired to work with the College of Technology while employed with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and working with students at ISU. Deb was so inspired by faculty’s involvement and engagement with students, she wanted to be a part of the energy- ultimately holding many ranks in the institution from Counselor with student services division all the way to Interim Dean. With advanced degrees in Psychology and Counseling from Idaho State University, Deb has a true love for ISU.

With a driving passion for students and student success, and seeing faculty’s care and dedication inspired Deb to stay involved with Idaho State University and the START program after she retired. Deb is so moved by students in the START program, she regularly provides monetary gifts for scholarships to support their journey to success. Deb notes how she wants to dedicate her support to a “program with a purpose” and her engagement and support continues to make an incredible difference in the lives of so many students, faculty and staff at ISU, the College of Technology, and the START program.

Debbie Ronneburg was named Interim Dean of the College of Technology in January 2021 and will serve in this capacity until a national search is completed in mid-2023. In total, Debbie has worked at Idaho State University for more than 25 years, with a majority of her career in student services. She was named associate dean of the College of Technology in 2013, serving as Interim Associate Dean for one year prior. Before working in the dean’s office, she served as the director of Student Services in the College of Technology for 12 years and worked in Enrollment Planning for four years.