I've met most of the midwives in my town by setting up a time to visit via email. I don't do the phone unless absolutely necessary because it can be difficult for me to hear. I did end up with an apprenticeship with one by initially contacting her via email.
I think it totally depends on who you are trying to get into contact with. Some people are more phone people, or would rather text or email. Frankly, it kind of turns me off when someone won't get back to me even just to say "thanks, but no thanks". Just rubs me the wrong way somehow. What if I was a pregnant woman looking for a midwife, would she then not bother to get back to me? Luckily I've really not had this happen. They've all been pretty quick to respond.
Which makes me think, what kind of email account do you have? If you've got yahoo or hotmail or something like that it could be getting lost in her spam box.
Oh, and to answer your question more specifically, I'd let her know I was a student looking for local opportunities to apprentice. Does she know of anyone who might be looking for an assistant? Ask if she has any openings in her schedule to meet with you, you would love the opportunity to meet with her and get to know her a little bit, ask advice, etc.
Where are you in Idaho? There is a week long skills workshop coming up in October in Boise with Vicki Penwell. That might be an opportunity for you.
Kat- mama to 6 little trees