UM Dining Director Mark LoParco recently received an award for his leadership and contributions to the National Association of College and University Food Services and the collegiate foodservice industry at large. The Richard Lichtenfelt Award – named for NACUFS’ first president – recognizes outstanding service to the association on a national level. NACUFS named LoParco the 2015 recipient during the association’s annual conference held July 22-25 in Indianapolis. Read more about LoParco’s latest award.
When NFL-bound former Grizzly defensive end Zack Wagenmann texted current Griz Caleb Kidder and asked him to join the recent grad for a workout recently, Kidder wasn't surprised. It was what happened next that stunned him. “I met him on the field, and we were warming up, and he just started talking to me about how things are, and asked me if I would wear it for him.” “It” is Montana’s famed #37 legacy jersey.
The Flathead Lake Biological Station’s research boat, the Jessie B., returned to its dock recently after a six-month absence. The welded-aluminum hull on the station’s refurbished boat now houses two new diesel engines, high-performance outdrives and 540 horsepower. The refurbishment added 140 horsepower and gave the Jessie B. the ability to carry 13,500 pounds in fuel, people and equipment for research missions on Flathead Lake. Read more about the refurbished Jesse B. in the Bigfork Eagle.
The Center for World University Rankings recently ranked UM No. 585 out of universities worldwide, placing the University in the top 2.4 percent of more than 25,000 degree-granting institutions of higher education. UM jumped 21 spots from its No. 604 ranking in 2014. CWUR uses eight indicators to identify the world’s top 1,000 universities: quality of education, alumni employment, quality of faculty, publications, influence, citations, broad impact and patents. Read the news release.
UM researchers Sarj Patel and Tom Rau are among six final winners nationally to receive $500,000 from the Head Health Challenge I, a program sponsored by General Electric Co. and the National Football League. Their work aims to speed diagnosis and improve treatment for mild traumatic brain injury. Winners were selected from an initial group of 16 challenge winners who were chosen from more than 400 entries from 27 countries. Read the news release.
Just one week after launching a new podcast, and UM J-school assistant professor Jule Banville’s already tackled an eclectic array of subject matter, including a segment about the weird things people touch. “The idea of this is to be a mix,” Banville says. Banville aims to use her Montana-centric podcast, called Last Best Stories, to offer a venue for the best student work and also, as she says, “independent producers who are slugging it out.” Read more in the Missoula Independent.
UM had another remarkable fundraising year. Private support for the University in fiscal year 2015 totaled $52.6 million, just shy of last year’s record-breaking total of $53.7 million. The University received cash gifts, pledges, estate gifts and private grants from 14,272 individuals, corporations and private foundations nationwide. “We are incredibly fortunate to have so many alumni and friends who care about the University of Montana and recognize the value of higher education,” said UM President Royce Engstrom. Read the news release.
UM’s Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center organized an environmental exchange that allowed 20 students and young professionals from Asia to visit Montana’s Flathead Indian Reservation. In its sixth year, the program is part of the Mansfield Center’s mission to support relations between the United States and places such as Vietnam and Cambodia. The visitors are part of the Youth Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative. Read more in the Missoulian.
A UM School of Journalism assistant professor has been elected as president of the Native American Journalists Association. Jason Begay, a Navajo from Gallup, New Mexico, and a UM alumnus, joined the UM faculty in 2010. He serves as Native American projects director at the School of Journalism and co-teaches UM’s award-winning Native News Honors Project. Read more about his new role as NAJA president.
The annual "State of the Climate" report released Thursday said 2014 was the warmest year on record going back 135 years. Temperatures continued to rise, and glaciers kept shrinking. The impact has been dramatic in Greenland, the huge ice-covered island between the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans. University of Montana glaciologist Joel Harper has been camping each summer on Greenland's ice sheet, studying how glaciers and ice move. CBS News reports on the changes Harper and others are seeing.
UM has selected “The Tiger” by award-winning author John Vaillant as the 2015 First-Year Reading Experience book, a program provides incoming freshmen with a shared intellectual experience to encourage discussion, advance critical thinking and develop a sense of community. “The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival” details the hunt for a man-eating Amur tiger in the remote Primorye region of Russia’s eastern border in the 1990s. Read more about this year’s title.
The new Master of Education in Early Childhood Education, offered by the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences at UM, recently ranked 10th in SuperScholar’s “50 Best Online Master’s in Early Childhood Education Programs.” SuperScholar based its Smart Choice rankings on national accreditation, affordability of the program, college and university reputation, and flexibility in course scheduling and offerings. Learn more about the SuperScholar ranking.
UM's Presidential Leadership Scholarships have been awarded to 26 exceptional incoming UM freshmen. The scholarships recognize outstanding talent, academic performance, leadership and contribution to the community. This year’s scholarship winners were chosen from a field of more than 200 qualified applicants. Recipients enroll in UM’s Davidson Honors College and receive a four‑year tuition waiver plus an additional $5,000 to $7,500 per year. Read more about the incoming class of Presidential Leadership Scholars.
UM’s Wildlife Biology Program has named Chad Bishop as its new director. Bishop, who previously served as assistant director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife, takes over on Aug. 1. He has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Montana State University, a master’s degree in wildlife resources from the University of Idaho and a doctorate in wildlife biology from Colorado State University. Read more about Bishop.
On Monday, a crew of 26 workers buzzed around the future site of Missoula College, a $32 million project that Project Manager Jake Berger said is full of interesting and unique twists – and part of nearly $60 million in construction that’s underway in some form at the University of Montana. Read more in the Missoulian about how the construction projects at Missoula College and UM are progressing.
A professor who has taught accounting in UM’s School of Business Administration for more than 35 years was recently awarded the Montana Society of Certified Public Accountants’ highest honor. The association presented the 2015 George D. Anderson Distinguished Service Award to Teresa Beed in June. The award is given annually to a member of MSCPA whose contribution to the accounting profession and involvement in community, charitable and civic activities merit outstanding recognition. Read more about Beed’s recent award.
Meet Samantha Couture, an environmental health major from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, who is participating in UM’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program through the Center for Environmental Health Sciences. Working with mentors Chris Migliaccio and Kevin Trout, she is studying macrophage biology in relation to medical devices and nanomaterials. Read more about her research and the SURP Program.
UM’s spectrUM Discovery Area will host one free Random Act of Community day each month, providing open access to its museum for all children and their families. The program, underwritten by Community Medical Center, is just one of several initiatives that will be funded thanks to money raised during spectrUM’s Big Night gala on June 12. In total, the Big Night gala raised $67,317 for spectrUM’s Science for All Fund. Read more about spectrUM here.
The Crown Reporting Project at UM pairs students from the graduate program in Environmental Science and Natural Resource Journalism with seasoned editors as they pursue stories in the Crown of the Continent region. While the students report stories in the field, their mentors recommend sources, edit drafts and help publish the final product. Learn more about the Crown Reporting Project here and read one student’s latest dispatch from the field here.
The Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana recently was listed as the third-most “underrated” law school in the country, based on its students’ employment outcomes, their median score on the Law School Admission Test and the number of citations that the school’s law review has received. University of North Carolina law professor Alfred Brophy completed the study, which was highlighted in a June 30 article by Bloomberg Business. Read more about the ranking.
Four UM students and two instructors are closing in on the final day of their 700-mile, 28-day bicycle trip around Montana while studying ecological, social and economic issues associated with energy production and use. The group traversed rolling plains and beautiful mountains, enjoying the changing landscapes and meeting people deeply involved in energy and climate issues. Read more about their journey on Wild Rockies Field Institute blog.
The Association of International Education Administrators recently selected UM Associate Provost for Global Century Education Paulo Zagalo-Melo as one of its Presidential Fellows, a highly prestigious program for new senior international officers. The program pairs Fellows with a mentor, offering a unique opportunity to immerse participants in the day-to-day activities of the host institution, establish a relationship with a mentor and maximize learning opportunities. Read more about Zagalo-Melo’s Presidential Fellowship.
Maggie Honig is excited to be exploring her interest in environmental chemistry and toxicology this summer as she participates in UM’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program through the Center for Environmental Health Sciences. Honig is majoring in environmental studies at Binghamton University in New York but this summer she’s in Missoula working with UM mentor Mark Pershouse to research the PTEN tumor suppressor gene as it applies to mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Read more about Honig’s summer research at UM.
The SAMI proved its mettle. The instrument, created out of research at the University of Montana, dropped 3,000 meters into the Pacific Ocean, measured pH and surfaced all in one piece. The journey marked the final phase of an international competition that puts Sunburst Sensors of Missoula in line for a couple of $750,000 prizes, according to the XPRIZE. Read more about Sunburst Sensors in the Missoulian.
Four UM chefs proved they can out-cook the competition at the 21st Annual Tastes of the World Chef Culinary Conference hosted by the University of Massachusetts Amherst June 7-12. UM Dining’s culinary team won a silver medal after facing off against 22 other culinary teams from across North America. Representing UM were Executive Chef Patrick Browne, Executive Sous Chef Tony Martinez, Chef de Cuisine Nate Jerrell and Pastry Chef Lindsay Marshall. Read more about their win.
The science of wildfires often pits academics against forestry professionals. Carl Seielstad, an associate research professor at the University of Montana, has built a career bridging the divide through his work in the trenches as well as in the lab. Now the former smokejumper is helping change fire policy forever. For starters, Seielstad says, you’ve got to fight fire with fire. Read more about Seielstad's career path in Dartmouth’s alumni magazine.
Last year, a semi-trailer deposited nearly 1,000 boxes of material for the Archives and Special Collections at UM’s Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library from Max Baucus’ career as a politician, a tenure that began in the U.S. House in 1978. Natalie Bond, who has been organizing the new Max Baucus Collection since December, said it will be among the largest archival collections at the library. Read more about the task of archiving Baucus’ papers in the Missoulian.
Upstairs in a corner of the Natural Sciences building on campus, curator Shannon Kimball watches over some 129,000 pressed plant specimens in the University of Montana Herbarium, an organized collection that's little known and growing by the day. The oldest specimen, a plant from Mexico, is from 1834. Read more in the Missoulian.
While some Missoulians were still eating their breakfast on Monday, two dozen Montana high-school students taking part in a health career summer camp were wrist-deep dissecting the heart of a pig. The summer camp, called MedStart, is designed to give high-school juniors and seniors a chance to explore health careers and the various programs offered at colleges in Montana. The MedStart camp in Missoula is sponsored by the Western Montana Area Health Education Center at UM. Read more about MedStart.
Honey bee exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides has been a growing concern. Now Jerry Bromenshenk will lead a team at UM examining the long-term health consequences of exposure of honey bee colonies to dust emitted during planting of neonicotinoid treated corn seeds. This is the first study that plans to follow the health and survival of honey bees long after interaction with corn dust to better understand how honey bee health throughout the year relates to early season corn planting. Read more about Bromenshenk’s latest study.
Anya Jabour is a professor in academia who recently jumped into show business. Jabour, who teaches history at UM and serves as co-director of its program in women's gender and sexuality, got an unexpected phone call recently when a representative for a new historical PBS drama asked her to be on set in Virginia while the crew shot the first season's six episodes. Read more in the Missoulian about Jabour’s new role as historic consultant.
Biochemistry major Laura Fisch is excited to spend the summer exploring her interest in environmental toxicology through UM’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program at the Center for Environmental Health Sciences. Fisch is working with UM mentors Andrij Holian and Don Anderson to research methods for studying the effects of nanomaterial exposure in relation to cell health and inflammation. Read more about Fisch’s summer at UM.
For the third year in a row, Montana has been named the top state in the country for entrepreneurial activity by the Kauffman Foundation’s Index of Startup Activity. Scott Whittenburg, the vice president for research and creative scholarship at UM, said the Missoula area in particular has a variety of factors that make it conducive to fostering new businesses. The Missoulian newspaper reports.
UM has 2,459 students who were degree candidates for spring semester 2015. The total includes 229 certificates, 278 associate degrees, four education specialists, 1,295 bachelor’s degrees, 358 master’s degrees, 74 juris doctor degrees and 108 doctoral degrees. There were 215 candidates for double degrees. Additionally, 2,261 UM students made the spring semester 2015 Dean’s List. See the complete lists of graduates and students who made the Dean’s list here.
William Marcus is the quiet giant of Montana media, and it is ironic that he will begin his long planned retirement this month. When the career of Marcus began 40 years ago, public television didn’t exist in Montana. Soon after he took the reins at UM’s Broadcast Media Center 20 years ago, public television was well on the way to becoming a statewide reality. Former Montana Secretary of State Bob Brown looks back on Marcus’ remarkable career.
The Mansfield Global Leadership Podcast is a series produced by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at UM that captures the wisdom of international thought leaders and industry experts. In this latest podcast, recorded just before the Asia-Montana Energy Summit at UM in April, Allen Sangster interviews Brian Lipscomb, CEO of Energy Keepers, Inc. of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, to discuss the future of Kerr Dam and the significance of the project to tribes. Listen to the podcast here.
When not teaching and free from meetings, Ashley Ballantyne can be found on his computer, scrolling through carbon readings from around the globe. He searches for patterns, ones that will illuminate the carbon dioxide cycle between Earth’s surface and atmosphere. This cycle is complex, evolving and difficult to grasp. The closer bioclimatologists like Ballantyne can get, however, the more precisely they can make predictions for a warming world. Read more about Ballantyne’s work in Research View.
For better or worse, Stephanie Wells is an expert at minimizing expectations. "I absolutely have zero chance," the junior Montana thrower said to her coach two weeks ago in Austin, Texas. Not so. Wells is headed to the NCAA outdoor track and field championships in Eugene, Oregon this week. The NCAA championships begin Wednesday with javelin on the schedule Thursday evening. Read more in the Missoulian about the Grizzlies' first national javelin qualifier since 2005.
A recent training at McCormick Park’s ropes course focused on adapting activities so they are inclusive to people of all abilities. The training was attended by around 50 representatives from organizations like the Flagship Program, Splash Montana, Sylvan Learning Center, UM and the Montana Natural History Center that have child-focused events or activities. Molly Blair, of the UM physical therapy school’s New Directions Wellness Center, also spoke to attendees. Read more about the training in the Missoulian.
Two UM researchers who in 2014 won a $300,000 award from the National Football League and General Electric are in the running for an additional half-million dollars in research funding in 2015. Sarj Patel and Tom Rau, of UM's Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, are trying to identify blood-based biomarkers indicating how the brain reacts following a brain injury. The Missoula Independent reports on the latest grant Patel and Rau are seeking.
Rosalyn LaPier, assistant professor of environmental studies at UM, recently was appointed a research associate at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. In exchange, LaPier will bring her own outside expertise and knowledge to the Smithsonian, which includes more than 25 years of experience working with Blackfeet elders researching ethobotany and traditional ecological knowledge. Read more about LaPier’s work with the Smithsonian.
From HIV prevention to a runner’s gait to elementary school physical education, UM’s Health and Human Performance Department makes a significant impact on the well-being of the people of Montana and beyond. The department centers on three distinct programs: community health, exercise science and health enhancement. HHP has become so popular it ranks second in students enrolled. Read more in the Montanan magazine.
Jonathan Marquis, a fine arts graduate student at UM, is working on a project to draw all 60 or so of Montana’s remaining glaciers, including those in Glacier Park. Marquis photographs and draws the glaciers he visits. He has completed eight pieces so far and has been to nine glaciers. He suspects it will take five or six years to complete his work. Read more in the Hungry Horse News.
UM researcher Sarah Certel says that tiny fruit flies could provide keys to understanding how brains are capable of producing aggression. Members of her lab study videos of daily boxing matches held in a tiny arena. She hopes this fruit fly fight club may lead to improved therapeutic drugs for conditions in which aggression is manifested, such as schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s or attention-deficit disorder. Read more in Research View.
Seeing Montana’s intellectually disabled population lead healthier lives is the focus of an upcoming initiative launched by UM’s Rural Institute. The institute held a training meeting for facilitators of a pilot project titled “14 Weeks to a Healthier You” earlier this month in Helena. The program focuses on personalized diet and exercise programs for those with intellectual development disorder. Read more in the Independent Record.
A UM student who, over the years, has worked to support herself and her family financially and emotionally was awarded a scholarship June 2 that will help her become the first college graduate in her family. Madison Hinrichs, who just completed her freshman year at UM, received a new scholarship sponsored by the Missoulian and 20 area businesses that is worth up to $30,000. Read more in the Missoulian.
Brock Tessman will become the next dean of UM’s Davidson Honors College. Tessman, a political scientist who most recently served the University of Georgia as associate director of the Center for the Study of Global Issues and director of graduate programs in the UGA Department of International Affairs, was selected for the position after an extensive national search. He will begin his new duties mid-July. Read the full news release.
Right here at UM, one of the best intensive language programs in the United States teaches the military the languages of war – and of peace. The Defense Critical Language and Culture Program was created in 2008 to train U.S. soldiers and Marines in the languages of conflict areas and America’s allies. The program is rooted in UM’s Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center. Read more in the Montanan magazine.
The Montana Association of Students recently awarded Roberta Evans, dean of the UM Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences, the 2014-15 Administrator of the Year award. Each year this distinguished award is bestowed upon an administrator within the Montana University System who has exhibited a history of excellence in leadership and demonstrated a quality, long-term impact on students. Read the full new release.
The University is one step closer to turning a discovery into a drug. Promentis Pharmaceuticals Inc. has announced it will enter an exclusive agreement with UM to commercialize a discovery made by a team of UM faculty scientists that has the potential to treat brain cancer and possibly other disorders of the central nervous system. It took almost two decades of experimentation to arrive at two related breakthroughs. Read more in the Research View newsletter.
A team of UM students has built a mobile-phone app that allows beekeepers to record the sound of their colony to determine whether it’s healthy or not. The Android app was developed by computer science students Seth Welch, Quinton Greenhagen, Kyler Commers, Andreas Freiburg, Seth Hovenkotter and Matthew Detrick as part of their senior capstone project under the direction of UM software engineering professor Joel Henry. Read more about the bee app in the Missoulian.
The state of Montana is offering new $1,000 scholarships to in-state high school graduates who major in science, technology, engineering, math or health care at a Montana college. Graduating seniors who are interested should act fast. The Legislature set aside $400,000 to kick off the scholarships this year, and already 200 high school students have started the application process, Sheila Newlun, Montana University System scholarship coordinator, said Tuesday. Read more in the Bozeman Chronicle.
Custom-designed coloring books featuring University of Montana’s mascot, Monte, as an athletic trainer were part of the project that recently earned UM athletic training students the top spot in a national contest. The UM team won the “Best Student Effort” category of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Public Relations competition for the eighth consecutive year. Read more about the athletic training students’ latest success.
“I know all of you will do well, you're graduating from an excellent law school,” Blake Morant said Saturday as 82 students received their degrees during the graduation ceremony of UM’s School of Law. Morant stressed that the problem-solving and creative skills law school graduates have attained are more important now than ever before. Read more about the 2015 law school graduation in the Missoulian.
A vast swarm of cicadas are starting to crawl out of the ground after 13 or 17 years spent underground. When they greet daylight for the first time, they devote themselves to weeks of frenzied sex and cacophonous song, before dying en masse. But the cicada’s weird lifestyles have also left them with a different legacy. It’s so weird that when UM researcher John McCutcheon first discovered it, he thought he had made a technical error. The National Geographic blog Phenomena reports.
The National Association of College & University Food Services recently announced that UM Dining received a bronze medal at its annual Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards. UM Dining received the accolade in the 2015 Residential Dining Special Event category for “Beatlemania,” held in December 2014. The UM Dining staff at the Food Zoo paid homage to The Beatles in an event that featured a British-inspired menu, a dining room decorations and Beatles karaoke. Read more about UM Dining’s latest award.
Following Board of Regents approval that was granted May 22, the University of Montana School of Law will officially become the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana as a result of a $10 million donation from Alexander “Zander” and Andrea “Andy” Blewett of Great Falls. The gift, announced May 21 during the Montana Board of Regents meeting in Kalispell, is among the largest individual gifts in UM history. Read more about this generous gift from the Blewetts.
With 18 students accepted into medical schools this year, the Pre-Medical Sciences Program at UM reached an acceptance rate of 64 percent – 20 points higher than the national average of 44 percent. The pre-med program has seen a steady increase in the number of students admitted into medical programs the past several years. Mark Pershouse, Pre-Medical Sciences Program director, credits the steady increase to a task force formed in 2008 to improve pre-medical advising. Read more about UM’s pre-med program.
Since the opening of the Montana Museum of Art & Culture’s “The Art of the State: Celebrating 120 Years of the MMAC Permanent Collection,” more than 1,500 school-aged children have toured the show. Groups of second- and seventh-grade classes visited the museum at the University of Montana with the help of SPARK! Any Given Child Missoula and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Read more about student visits to the MMAC.
“In the backyard of a woodsy home, small birds flitted to and from the yard’s feeder. They were oblivious to a curious stand nearby, topped by a curtain that was painted to resemble bark. Erick Greene, a professor of biology at UM, stepped away from the stand and stood by the home’s backdoor. He pressed the fob of a modified garage-door opener. The curtain dropped, unveiling a taxidermied northern pygmy owl.” The New York Times reports on Greene’s latest research.
UM’s School of Business Administration, along with the Montana Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs and the Blackstone LaunchPad at UM, have announced the winners of the 26th annual John Ruffatto Business Startup Challenge. UM MBA student Chad Miller of Florence took home the top prize of $15,000 for his startup plan, Purus. Purus is a Montana-based company dedicated to engineering a sustainable wastewater treatment solution for the oil and gas industry. Read more about Miller and the other top competitors.
UM graduates Ryan Bell, Brinna Boettger and Dylan Gomes recently received Fulbright Scholarship award notifications for the coming year. Bell was awarded a coveted Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship. Boettger earned a prestigious English Teaching Assistant Fulbright Scholarship. Gomes earned a Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant to study bats at the Max Planck Institutes in Germany. Read more about UM’s latest Fulbright awardees.
UM’s College of Humanities and Sciences recently honored three of its faculty members with awards for teaching excellence. Stephen Yoshimura, associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies, is the recipient of this year’s Excellence Award for Teaching Across the Curriculum. Lauren Fern, Department of Mathematical Sciences lecturer, and Diane Friend, Department of Physics and Astronomy lecturer, each received the inaugural Humanities and Sciences Excellence Award for Teaching at the Introductory Level. Read more about these deserving educators.
Erin Ojala has had a varied career, but no one ever expected her to go to college. She was a truant in high school, neither of her parents went to college, and Ojala had no role model leading her to higher education. But the Stevensville woman has her own determination, and it has taken her far. This week, Ojala completes her second degree from Missoula College, and she adds a strand of gold cords to the silver set already hanging in her bedroom. Read more about Ojala journey to graduation.
When Jason Hanlon looks at the wolf skeleton, he sees a little bit of himself. Hanlon, 38, graduates this week from UM with a science degree from the College of Forestry and Conservation. Like the wolf, whose skeleton he spent 300 hours putting back together with help from his peers, Hanlon fell apart and came together again, too. "In all of my wildest dreams, I never imagined I would get a degree in wildlife biology. Never," he said. Read more about Hanlon’s road to graduation.
The School of Business Administration at UM has maintained both its business and accounting accreditations by AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. UM’s SoBA is the only program in Montana to hold both accreditations. AACSB Accreditation is the hallmark of excellence in business and accounting education and has been earned by less than five percent of the world’s business programs. Read more about SoBA’s recent accreditation review.
The amount of care parents provide their young varies greatly across the animal kingdom, particularly among songbird species, who spend anywhere from 20 percent to nearly 100 percent of daylight hours warming eggs in their nests. A team of researchers led by Thomas Martin, senior scientist and professor at UM’s Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, set out to discover why. Read more about the results of the study, which will appear in an upcoming issue of The American Naturalist.
The American Institute for Economic Research College Destinations Index recently ranked Missoula, home to the University of Montana, among the top College Towns in the U.S. The index lists the top 75 destinations for 2014-15. Missoula was named No. 9 in the College Towns category. Other towns that made the list include Ithaca, New York; Corvallis, Oregon; and College Station, Texas. Missoula is the only town in Montana to make the list. Read more about the AIER ranking.
UM’s 118th Commencement ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 16, in Washington-Grizzly Stadium. Max Baucus, Montana’s longest-serving U.S. senator and now ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, will be the featured speaker. UM will honor Salish tribal elder Louis “Louie” Adams with an honorary doctorate of humane letters for his lifetime spent teaching others the stories, culture and language of his people. Read more about Commencement at UM.
Some fire scientists burn down hillsides. Some burn up whole fire policies. Ron Wakimoto has done both, developing research that helps save the lives of firefighters and helps return fire to the woods after a half-century of fighting to keep it out. Last week, he wound up more than three decades of teaching fire science at the University of Montana’s School of Forestry. Read more about Wakimoto in the Missoulian.
Thanks to gifts from UM alum, businessman and philanthropist Dennis Eck from Wolf Point and his wife, Gretchen, from Butte, the University of Montana’s College of Humanities and Sciences will soon have some of the most advanced technology on campus. The Ecks’ contributions will create a vertical technology corridor of “smart classrooms” in the college’s Liberal Arts Building. Read more about this generous gift from the Ecks and the plans for UM’s LA Building.
Twelve University of Montana athletic training students recently took the Board of Certification exam, a high-stakes evaluation that enables students graduating from accredited athletic training programs to enter the work force as certified athletic trainers. All 12 students graduating from the UM program this spring took the exam in April, and all of them passed on their first try. Read more about UM’s athletic training students.
UM’s Disability Services for Students recently assisted Olympus Corporation in evaluating its digital-voice recorders in order to improve the quality and usability of their products. Nineteen UM students with disabilities participated in the evaluation and gave feedback to company representatives who visited UM April 21-22. Olympus provided UM’s DSS several models of their digital-voice recorders to be used and evaluated. Read more about how the feedback from UM students will be used.
Every week, trucking companies in western Montana call Mickey Lyngholm, the workforce navigator at Missoula College, and ask her to share their job openings with students and recent graduates. They're desperate for drivers. Missoula College got a RevUp Montana grant from the Department of Labor two years ago which allowed it to create a CDL program. It offered the first course last October. Read more about the demand for CDL drivers in the Missoulian.
Shannon O’Brien, the education policy adviser for Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, will become the next dean of Missoula College University of Montana on July 1. O’Brien replaces Interim Dean Jane Baker, who has led MC since October 2014, and Barry Good, who was dean from 2006 to 2014. O’Brien was selected after a national search by a committee led by Chris Comer, dean of UM’s College of Humanities and Sciences. Read more about MC’s new dean.
Patience and persistence are beginning to pay off for UM Professor Mark Grimes, whose research about the behavior of cell proteins in childhood cancer recently was published by the Public Library of Science Computational Biology. In his quest to understand the childhood cancer called neuroblastoma, Grimes started at the subcellular level. As a cell biologist, he wanted to understand why cancer cells behave differently than other cells. Read more about Grimes’ research.
After he graduates this month, UM senior Eamon Ormseth will spend his summer studying Arabic language and culture in Morocco. The U.S. State Department awarded Ormseth a Critical Language Scholarship, which will fund his participation in an all-expenses-paid intensive Arabic program in northern Morocco. Following the program, Ormseth plans to extend his stay to work with a nongovernmental organization on education issues and continue studying Arabic and Middle Eastern history. Read more about Ormseth’s upcoming adventure.
While they might be about to graduate and leave UM, 22 of the school’s art students had one more hurdle in front of them, display their work as part of the annual bachelor of fine arts senior thesis exhibition. All of the graduating bachelor of fine arts students were required to participate in the exhibition. The art is on display through May 15. Read more about the exhibitions in the Missoulian.
UM Professor John Kimball is among a group of researchers nationwide who are contributing data to the National Climate Assessment. Prominent researchers nationwide are tasked to provide scientific data that ultimately can help decision makers understand and respond to climate change. Each technical team will take on a specific indicator of climate change. Based out of Missoula, Kimball is on the technical team that is working on data related to phenology. Read more about Kimball’s work.
Abby wagged her little tail as Nick LeTang kneeled to give the pup a scratch. The law student at the University of Montana swings through the University Center almost every day, and as a result, he doesn't miss out on "Stress Less," a student wellness event put on by the Curry Health Center. There on Tuesday, students drank calming tea, sat for chair massages, ate tiny bran and berry muffins, and yes, they patted friendly dogs. Read more about "Stress Less" in the Missoulian.
UM’s School of Business Administration, along with the Montana Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs and Blackstone LaunchPad at UM, will showcase the entrepreneurial aspirations of students from across the state at the 26th Annual John Ruffatto Business Startup Challenge. The event will take place Thursday, May 14, in the Gallagher Business Building on the UM campus. Read more about the annual event and the students who participate.
The community support was a savior for Sean Swartz over the past month and a half. For Sean and his wife Jennifer, it felt like time to return the favor. The Clinton family and the University of Montana Foundation on Tuesday announced the Kole Swartz Legacy Scholarship, named in honor of Sean and Jennifer's 19-year-old son and UM student-athlete who lost his life in March. Read more about the new scholarship and its first recipient in the Missoulian.
The Department of Curriculum and Instruction at UM now offers a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education. This is the only degree of its kind in Montana and will serve to benefit the state’s youngest populations and those who work with them. The coursework will be delivered in an online format to create a readily accessible master’s degree option for current teachers and other human-service professionals. Read more about the new program.
University of Montana student Ellen Ipsen will hop across the pond this summer to attend the Fulbright UK Summer Institute for Undergraduates, a program that fosters relations between the United States and United Kingdom and teaches American students more about the UK. Ipsen, a sophomore from Missoula majoring in history, will examine the topic of slavery and the Atlantic heritage while studying at the University of Bristol’s Fulbright Institute in southwest England. Read more about Ipsen’s Fulbright.
Two graduate students talk about the state-of-the-art toxicology research they are conducting at UM’s Center for Environmental Health Sciences. For more information, visit https://cehsweb.health.umt.edu/.
In 24 years at UM, chemistry Professor Garon Smith has instructed some 20,000 students in introductory chemistry, and has entertained and educated more than 100,000 young students with his wizardly alter-ego, G. Wiz. Now as he prepares to hang up his cloak in retirement this spring, Smith will present one of his renowned chemistry shows for the benefit of the campus community. Read more about Smith’s remarkable teaching career and his upcoming public lecture.
Thomas Nybo said he has been at the scene of many natural disasters soon after they have struck: tsunamis, earthquakes and typhoons, chronicling them either as a journalist or on behalf of UNICEF. April 25 was the first time the UM graduate had ever experienced one firsthand. Nybo, 44, was in a coffee shop in Kathmandu when the magnitude-7.8 quake struck. Since then, the world has seen the devastation of quake through Nybo’s lens. The Great Falls Tribune reports.
The results from this week’s Associated Students of UM elections are in and Cody Meixner and Betsy Story will be the next student government president and vice president. Sarah Smith won the business manager position. The majority of the referendums on this year’s ballot passed. The Montana Kaimin reports on the ASUM election results.
Incoming medical students have reached a deadline to make a decision on what medical school they want to attend in the fall. NBC Montana met up with one UM student who exceeded expectations with a number of interviews and acceptance letters. Jeni Comstock graduated from UM in 2014. This past year has been filled with visiting medical schools and interviewing. Comstock landed interviews at 10 schools, and she was accepted into seven medical schools and waitlisted at two. NBC Montana reports.
Eminent UM historian David Emmons conducted groundbreaking research on the history of the Irish experience in Montana. Now thanks to a private gift, his work will be honored and continued far into the future. UM alumni Sam and Julie Baldridge of Whitefish have established a visiting professorship in Emmons’ name. Each year, a Dr. David Emmons Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies will come to campus to teach various courses on Irish and Irish-American history. Read more about the donation from the Baldridges.
Continuing its commitment as a leader in higher education sustainability, UM recently announced it has met its 2015 target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. According to UM’s sustainability report card, released by its Office of Sustainability on Earth Day, the University has successfully reduced total emissions to 10 percent below 2007 levels. This benchmark is part of the University’s plan to become a carbon-neutral campus by 2020. Read more about UM’s emissions reduction.
This Saturday, thousands will gather in Caras Park to celebrate the 23rd annual Garden City BrewFest. But alcohol wasn't always such a widely embraced social driver. Last year, University of Montana history professor Kyle Volk published “Moral Minorities and the Making of American Democracy,” which examines the long history of America's temperance movement and the birth of minority rights language among early anti-prohibitionists. The Missoula Independent sits down with Volk to discuss his new book.
What are the ecological consequences of this accelerated drilling activity? Researchers at UM have conducted the first-ever broad-scale scientific assessment of how oil and gas development transforms landscapes across the U.S. and Canada. Their work was published April 24 in an article titled “Ecosystem services lost to oil and gas in North America” in Science. The article concludes that oil and gas development creates significant vegetation loss of rangelands and croplands across broad swaths of central North America. Read more about the study.
Leaders in global energy issues from five different countries are converging at the University of Montana Wednesday through Friday, April 29-May 1, for the Asia-Montana Energy Summit. Hosted by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center, the summit will highlight trends that are shaping the world’s energy future, and Montana’s role in it. Mansfield Center Director Abraham Kim talks with Montana Public Radio about the conference.
Max Baucus, Montana’s longest-serving U.S. senator and now ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, will be the featured speaker during the University of Montana’s 118th Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 16. The ambassador will speak about the importance of Montana values. Read more about Baucus here. Learn more about UM’s 2015 Commencement here.
Although Nepal is almost exactly on the opposite side of the globe from Montana, many locals and visitors are helping send aid to the earthquake-stricken country. Nepalese graduate students Tek Chhetri and Shyam Pokhrel have rounded up volunteers to collect donations at the University of Montana this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Any funds raised will be delivered through the Red Cross International’s Nepalese accounts. Read more about the effort to help earthquake victims.
As part of an effort to give a voice to veterans issues, a UM play will include stories from former military members currently on campus. Veterans who have returned to UM following their service were paired with applied theater students, who interviewed them. Short audio monologues pulled from the interviews will be at listening stations outside the performances of “Welcome Home Jenny Sutter,” a UM production that opens April 28. Read more about the project and the play.
UM student Hope Radford won a second $5,000 Udall Scholarship, which will support her studies for the 2015-16 academic year. Her award marks the 38th time a UM student has earned this prestigious scholarship. Radford, a junior from Colorado Springs, Colorado, is majoring in resource conservation with minors in climate change studies and international development studies. She spent spring term studying sustainable agriculture in Chile and Argentina and plans a career in sustainable international agriculture. Read more about Radford.
An upstart technology firm founded in Missoula plans to create 10 new jobs over the next two years to handle the growing demand for its data-mining software. Joel Henry, a law and computer science professor at UM, co-founded Agile Data Solutions in 2013 to help sift through mountains of legal data. Agile currently employees 12 people, all of them UM graduates and interns. The firm is looking to grow its workforce to 22 people. Read more about Agile’s growth.
One of the biggest buzzwords in health care right now is pharmacogenetics, also known as personalized or precision medicine. As interest and investment in personalized medicine increases, UM Associate Professor Erica Woodahl stands in a prominent position. She's currently the only person in the continental United States doing pharmacogenetic research on an indigenous population. The Missoula Independent reports on Woodahl’s groundbreaking work.
“This week, Missoula residents are reading about our community in Jon Krakauer’s book, ‘Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town.’ Whatever your opinion of the book, it graphically demonstrates that sexual assault is a pervasive problem that ruins lives, and that it happens in even the most desirable of communities.” Read an opinion column from UM President Royce Engstrom and Missoula Mayor John Engen.
Now university of Montana students graduating after the fall of 2015 can earn a minor in business administration. Students can enroll in the qualifying courses immediately. Students will be required to take five SoBA courses before applying for the business minor. In order to be eligible students must have earned 60 credits, earned a C or better in all primary lower core courses and have a 2.0 overall GPA. Learn more about UM’s new business minor.
Many scientists assume that the growing level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will accelerate plant growth. However, a new study co-written by UM researchers suggests much of this growth will be curtailed by limited soil nutrients. The end result: By the end of the century, there may be more than an additional 10 percent of CO2 in the atmosphere, which would accelerate climate change. The study recently was published in the journal Nature Geoscience. Read more about the study.
The Payne Family Native American Center at UM recently received the highest award for sustainable building from the Montana Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. The building received an Honor Award in the Montana Sustainable Building Award Commercial Category. Judges of the competition said the building is an “exciting expression of Native American cultures” in Montana. Read more about the Payne Center’s latest award.
As the floor filled for the grand entrance, Native American dancers began to transition from a walk, spinning and hopping until the ground beneath them disappeared into a swirl of beadwork, feathers, staves, antlers, bone and face paint – the annual Kyi-Yo Powwow had begun with the beat of a drum. Read more about Saturday's event at the University of Montana's Adams Center.
Restoration work in Montana is creating job growth. Statistics show an eight percent rise in such employment in Montana in 2013. That's according to Cara Nelson, associate professor of restoration ecology at UM, who talked about the growth of restoration work during her presentation at the three-day restoration conference called the "Symposium on Riparian Restoration in a Contaminated Environment: Lessons Learned and Challenges in Moving Forward." Read more about the restoration industry in the Montana Standard.
TripAdvisor’s travel blog Travel Pod has named the Montana Museum of Art & Culture at the UM an Editor’s Choice pick in its list of best museums in the United States. MMAC is the only museum or cultural entity in Montana to make the list. With a collection of nearly 11,000 pieces of art and antiquity, 2015 marks the organization’s 120th anniversary. Read the full Editor’s Choice list here.
Wild yaks live on the roof of the world, a frosty high-elevation plateau north of the Himalayas. Conservation biologist Joel Berger, UM professor and researcher, wanted to find out how climate change might affect yaks, so he paid them a visit. Listen to Berger’s latest adventure in a new podcast from The Adaptors titled “Yak Life.”
At first, Alli Bargelski worried the sound design class she is taking online at UM would leave her feeling adrift. The BFA student in Media Arts doesn't feel that way anymore. The sophomore with a focus in filmmaking is inspired by the contemporary content the faculty present, and she is pleased to be virtually immersed with other students. Bargelski isn't alone in her review of the program. Read more about the online media arts degree in the Missoulian.
UM sophomore Rachel Dickson recently learned she earned a prestigious Goldwater Scholarship, the top national award for undergraduate research in science, math and engineering. Dickson is UM’s 16th Goldwater Scholar. The Barry Goldwater Excellence in Education Foundation trustees awarded 260 scholars this year. Dickson is a sophomore from Missoula majoring in biology and environmental studies. Read more about Dickson’s latest accomplishment.
Missoula’s osprey soap opera is about to open its 2015 season. UM ornithologists scrambled to remove a “goose deflector” after the raptors arrived at the Missoula Osprey baseball stadium nest last week. And the city’s most famous osprey couple, Iris and Stanley, will find their whole neighborhood disrupted as former parking lot next door is now the construction site for the future Missoula College campus. Read more about the osprey in the Missoulian.
Darko Butorac is establishing himself as one of the world’s most exciting young conductors. He currently serves as the music director of both the Tallahassee and Missoula Symphony Orchestras. In his recent TEDxUMontana talk, Butorac explores “The Language of Conducting.”
If McDonald’s is looking for a new image, Brent Ruby might have a suggestion: The Happy Sports Recovery Meal. Take a plain burger and medium Coke. Yes, you can have fries with that. Then advertise that the meal works just as well for recovery as fancy fitness food. As an added benefit, the marketing would actually be backed by science. Ruby, a UM exercise physiologist, is the brains behind a new study. Outside magazine reports on Ruby’s latest findings.
With passenger counts and airline service on the rise, Missoula International Airport is looking to learn more about its customers and why they’re choosing to fly to the Garden City. To accomplish that, the airport is working with UM’s School of Business Administration to create a passenger survey. The information would be mapped and presented in a big-data effort driven by graduate students in computer science. Read more about the collaboration in the Missoulian.
“Waking up in Lewistown, Montana, might not be the typical spring break destination, but staring out at the beauty of the geographic center of our state with the sun shining will never disappoint.” Join 20 UM law students as travel 1,400 miles to see firsthand the various forms of energy development in the state as part of the Energy Facilities Field Trip course. Read the students’ blog about the trip here.
The objective of Bob and Hooch's mission is a matter of perspective. The two black Labs bounded across the Sky Club in the University of Montana's Adams Center on Wednesday morning, intent on finding an explosive device and subsequently getting a toy – a ratty tennis ball tucked away in their trainers' pockets. The two dogs, both military veterans, are the newest additions to the UM Police Department. Read more about the dogs in the Missoulian.
Trenton Starkey, a 25-year-old senior pursuing a degree in management information systems at UM’s School of Business Administration, isn’t stressed about finding a job after he graduates like most of his peers. He’s already had recruiters emailing him and making him offers, and he’s accepted a "cloud engineering" position with Microsoft. Starkey is one of seven UM students who will be the first to graduate with a certificate in data analytics in May. Read more about UM’s big data certificate.
University of Montana junior Hope Radford recently became a Newman Civic Fellow for her work as a change-agent, focusing on issues related to climate change, social justice and sustainable food production. The Newman Civic Fellows Award is given to college student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities across the country. Read more about Radford’s award.
Bark beetles have long been culling sickly trees in North American forests. But in recent years, they've been working overtime. Prolonged droughts and shorter winters have spurred bark beetles to kill billions of trees in what's likely the largest forest insect outbreak ever recorded, about 10 times the size of past eruptions. "A doubling would have been remarkable," says UM entomologist Diana Six. "Ten times screams that something is really going wrong." Mother Jones magazine joins Six in the field to learn more.
Ten members of the UM chapter of the American Marketing Association traveled to New Orleans to participate in the 37th annual International Collegiate Conference, which was held March 19-22. A team of six UM marketing students earned an honorable mention in the Sabre Business Simulation Competition, placing fourth just behind Johns Hopkins University. Two students competed in the Marketing Strategy Competition, placing in the top 15 percent of 98 teams nationwide. Read more about their successful trip.
The Missoula Cultural Council handed out its annual awards this week and three of the honors went to UM employees. William Marcus, director of UM’s Broadcast Media Center and Montana Public Radio/Montana PBS, received the council’s cultural achievement award; dance artist and instructor Karen Kaufmann was named arts educator; UM arts dean and opera singer Stephen Kalm earned the individual artist award. Read more about this year’s winners and their contributions to Missoula’s vibrant arts and culture community.
Electronic data is created everywhere, from credit card transactions to satellite sensors. As its volume and velocity continue to increase, businesses and scientists have recognized the need for new techniques to analyze this “big data.” Several departments at UM responded to this trend by building an interdisciplinary curriculum to educate UM students on cutting-edge approaches. This May, seven UM students will be the first to graduate with a certificate in data analytics. Read more about UM’s data analytics certificate.
Medical professionals from across the country met at UM over the weekend to try to solve the health care problems of rural communities by innovating fresh ideas. The event, called Hacking Rural Medicine, included a competition called a “rural medicine hackathon” where teams developed ideas for a new tool or product to help solve a problem experienced by the rural medical community. Read more about the event in the Missoulian.
UM sociology Assistant Professor Daisy Rooks recently was named one of “40 Under 40: Professors Who Inspire” by Nerdwallet.com. Rooks and the other professors honored were chosen based on their ability to captivate and engage students in the classroom, their outstanding involvement on campus and in the community, and their overwhelming passion for their subject matter. Nominations were collected through student, alumni and faculty recommendations. Read more about Rooks here.
A team of University of Montana geosciences graduate and undergraduate students won the regional American Association of Petroleum Geologists’ Imperial Barrel Award on Saturday, March 14. The students will advance to the international competition in Denver. Students Anna Phelps, Brianna Berg, Cody Bomberger, Clayton Schultz and John Zupanic presented their analysis to a panel of industry experts who selected a winner based on technical findings and presentation quality. Read more about their geosciences win here.
Diana Six parked at the edge of a pine forest in southwestern Montana’s Big Hole Valley. Beneath snow-tipped peaks, lodgepole pines in four different colors draped the hillside—a time line of carnage. The gray ones had died in 2009. Light red trees, still holding needles, had succumbed in 2011. Darker, auburn trees had perished in 2012. Even the seemingly healthy green trees, said Six, a ponytailed, bodybuilding, beer-brewing entomologist at UM, were not what they seemed. National Geographic reports.
In this garden, fish help grow vegetables like chard, kale and basil, and soil isn't in sight. This week, UM Dining will harvest the first plants it grew in a new aquaponic garden set up in The Corner Store. It will sell them to students Friday at its farmers market. UM Dining started the aquaponic garden in December as one more way to provide local produce to students and chefs. Read more about the garden in the Missoulian.
In Romania, career choices were limited. Students chose what high school to attend based on their interest in math and physics, biology and humanities or medicine. But after pursuing a male-dominated field of math and physics in her home country, University of Montana professor Simona Stan found her passion for marketing. Today Stan is professor and director of UM’s masters of business administration program. Read more about Stan in the Montana Kaimin.
One ecosystem where scientists would most like to understand the effects of changing freeze/thaw cycles is boreal forests. But we know very little about how these forests are changing. That’s about to change. By the end of April, NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive mission, or SMAP, will begin monitoring the frozen or thawed state of the landscape north of 45 degrees north latitude every two days. UM Professor John Kimball is a member of the team that developed SMAP. Read more about his work.
It’s been years in the planning, but ground is finally being broken at the East Broadway site of Missoula College's new $32 million home, on the banks of the Clark Fork River. About 30 workers, including truck drivers, crane operators and backhoe operators, are digging up tons of earth as phase 1 of construction begins. Read more the construction of the new Missoula College building in the Missoulian.
“One death of a member of the campus community, is tragic. Two is disorienting. But three, three is gut-wrenching. Sunday night on the Oval, people stood together to remember two students from UM. While the candles from that memorial still flickered Monday afternoon, it was announced a third student had died over the weekend.” The editorial board of UM’s student newspaper reflects on the recent loss of three UM students.
The Montana women's basketball team received a No. 16 seed and will face No. 1 Notre Dame Friday, March 20, at South Bend, Indiana, in the opening round of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship. The Lady Griz (24-8), tournament champions of the Big Sky Conference, and Fighting Irish (31-2), tournament champions of the ACC, will tip off at 5:30 p.m. (MT) at UND's Purcell Pavilion. The game will be aired regionally on ESPN2. Read more on http://www.gogriz.com.
The UM production of “Pippin,” should feel fresh to audience members enchanted by the original 1972 Broadway musical or the recent revival, both of which won a shelf of Tony Awards. Director Hillary Sea Bard deliberately avoided looking at video or images of the production, in either the first incarnation shaped by Bob Fosse, the legendary director and choreographer, or the new Cirque du Soleil-inspired one. Read more about the musical, which opens March 17.
Dear Campus Community, It is with a heavy heart that I write to report a sad and tragic weekend for the UM family. Three students passed away this weekend in unrelated incidents. Two have been reported in the local media, and the third involves the untimely death of a UM law student. In all cases, the families have been appropriately notified and we have extended sympathies on behalf of the entire University community. Read more from President Engstrom.
A ratty osprey soared over the Clark Fork River, a giant fish caught between its talons. A few feet away, another osprey watched from her nest. Her partner hadn’t returned home for the summer and she was ready to mate. The raptor, named Iris, called the male over. Erick Greene, a UM wildlife biology professor, watched the scene from below. He knew he was witnessing something rare, something great. The Montana Kaimin reports on Greene’s osprey project.
Rene Haynes has lived in Los Angeles for decades now, and she still makes it back to Montana to visit. Sometimes she heads to Great Falls, where the C.M. Russell High School graduate still has family. Sometimes she travels the state's seven Indian reservations to seek out talent for Hollywood film projects. The former UM student has become renowned as a casting director specializing in Native American and First Nations roles. Read more about Haynes in the Missoulian.
The Griz and Lady Griz basketball teams both advanced to the semifinals of the men’s and women’s Big Sky Conference tournaments at UM’s Dahlberg Arena. The Lady Griz will face Eastern Washington at 1:30 p.m. Friday, March 13. The Griz will play the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks in the tourney semifinal game at 8 p.m. And Lady Griz Coach Robin Selvig was named Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year on Thursday. Read more basketball news at http://www.gogriz.com.
Hank Green, Internet Guy. Even if you don’t know who he is, there’s a good chance he has helped teach your kids or the kids of someone you know how photosynthesis, mitosis and biological molecules work, among a great many things. Truth be told, he’s an online video master. And Green, who holds a master's degree in environmental studies from University of Montana, loves science. U.S. News and World Report talks with Green about his success.
Congratulations to UM alumni Craig Holtet and Ron Ramsbacher, who this week converted Missoula’s two massive former Safeway grocery stores to local ownership and reopened them as Missoula Fresh Markets. Holtet and Ramsbacher bought Orange Street Food Farm in 2013 and acquired Missoula’s two Safeway stores after Albertsons bought Safeway in 2014. The duo says they are excited to be able to increase the local ownership of Missoula businesses. Read more about the new stores in the Missoulian.
Benny the Bull, mascot of the Chicago Bulls, was named the top sports mascot in America by Forbes magazine in 2013. Inside the suit is Barry Anderson, who earned the position after embodying Monte at the University of Montana. Check out Benny’s moves in this 2013-14 highlight reel.
UM currently has one of the longest winter breaks in the nation at six weeks. Some students, parents, faculty and administrators have raised issues regarding the length of the break. The Office of the Provost has proposed adjusting the dates of winter break in the future. Provost Perry Brown welcomes comments on this proposal from the campus community through March 27. Learn more about the proposal and find out how to comment here.
Researchers at the University of Montana, Princeton University, Stanford University and Rutgers University, among others, are collecting new measurements of tropical forests to gain a better understanding of how they respond to seasonal climate variations. The new information helps predict how the global tropics may react to future climate change. These findings are detailed in a paper titled “Photosynthetic seasonality of global tropical forests constrained by hydroclimate,” which was published in Nature Geoscience this month. Read more about the research.
In June 2013, western Montana had no resident physicians. This July, 30 doctors will be at work in the Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana, along with nine core faculty, more than 100 community faculty, and five staff. The doctors work at St. Patrick Hospital, Community Medical Center, Partnership Health Center, Flathead Community Health Center, and Kalispell Regional Medical Center. Read more about the UM’s medical residency program.
Salish tribal elder Louis “Louie” Adams has spent a lifetime teaching others the stories, culture and language of his people. Now the University of Montana will honor this tireless educator with an honorary doctorate of humane letters. His nomination was approved by the state Board of Regents on March 6. He will be awarded the honorary doctorate during UM’s 118th Commencement Ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 16, in Washington-Grizzly Stadium. Read more about Adams.
Technicians in the U.S. Forest Service’s new lab building can spot the presence (or absence) of specific fish in a whole river drainage from a cup of water. They can trace the family tree of a sage grouse from a tail feather. Don’t get them started on what they can tell when a grizzly bear poops in the woods. The new lab at UM can produce those answers at a scale that’s cost-effective, reliable and defensible. Read more about the new lab.
The Blackstone LaunchPad is a program at the University of Montana. It helps students, faculty, staff and alumni turn their ideas into businesses and nonprofit organizations. The LaunchPad has been at the University of Montana for about a year. Over 300 students, alumni and faculty have registered with the LaunchPad, and around 170 ideas have been pitched. All are in various stages of development. KECI-TV reports on UM’s Blackstone LaunchPad.
Walking the ancient streets of Babylon allowed Tommy Livoti to find his path in life. In 2003, the Missoula native and UM grad was a Marine Corps platoon commander in Iraq. Livoti saw a water-treatment system and military headquarters built upon archeological treasure troves. It all felt so wrong. It was then that Livoti became powerfully interested in protecting cultural properties during warfare. Read more how Livoti is combining his military and archeology background into one.
The College of Forestry and Conservation announces the appointment of Ruth Ann Swaney as coordinator of the Native American Natural Resource Program. Swaney is an enrolled tribal member of the Three Affiliated Tribes on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota. Swaney also has family from the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Montana. She holds a master’s degree in organismal biology and ecology from UM and is working on a doctorate in society and conservation. Read more about Swaney.
UM has been selected as Montana’s host site for “First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare,” a national traveling exhibition of one of the world’s most treasured books – the Shakespeare First Folio. The Folger Shakespeare Library, in partnership with Cincinnati Museum Center and the American Library Association, is touring the exhibition in 2016. Final touring dates will be announced in April. Read more about UM’s chance to host the First Folio.
UM has been named the No. 6 medium-sized university for producing Peace Corps volunteers, making a big jump up from its 2014 ranking at No. 12. Currently, 27 UM alumni serve with the Peace Corps worldwide. 2015 also marks the 11th year the University has placed in the top 25 on the medium-sized volunteer-producing colleges and universities list. Read more about UM's latest Peace Corps ranking.
Montana is home to 10 National Forests. The University of Montana has a coaching tree worthy of that. Travis DeCuire is its latest branch. "We are Montana," say the maroon banners around campus, and DeCuire qualifies doubly — as the school's first-year men's basketball coach and as a UM graduate, Class of 1994. USA Today reports on UM’s basketball coaching legacy and it’s future under DeCuire.
To get out of his head, Fred Allendorf walks. He walks in the Bitterroot or the Rattlesnake, where he often gets the urge to visit the place he once lived – a two-story home at the base of Mount Jumbo. Feb. 28, 2015 marks the one-year anniversary of the Mount Jumbo avalanche that jolted the Missoula community and buried three people. The Montana Kaimin student newspaper looks back on the tragedy.
"Fourth of July Creek," a novel written by Hellgate High School and UM graduate Smith Henderson, has won the 2014 Montana Book Award. The annual award "recognizes literary and/or artistic excellence in a book written or illustrated by someone who lives in Montana, is set in Montana, or deals with Montana themes or issues," according to organizers. "Fourth of July Creek" is the debut novel from Henderson. Read more about the 2014 Montana Book Award.
UM received a $10,000 grant from Gov. Steve Bullock and the Growth Through Agriculture program this week, which will be used to improve the school's garden the farm to college program. UM Dining garden manager Natasha Hegmann said part of the money will be used to expand the garden located behind the Lommasson Center. The Montana Kaimin reports on the grant and UM’s garden plans.
It’s no secret that job growth within the health care industry is booming as the American population ages. A national emphasis on preventative care, growing rates of chronic conditions and “baby boomers” have all led to an increased demand for health care professionals. In Missoula County, that trend has far-reaching implications, as the local economy is dependent on the health care industry and hundreds of college students are receiving the training necessary to enter the field. Read more about the health care field in the Missoulian.
Professors researching at UM have turned to the Berkeley Pit's fungi as a potential building block in the cure for cancer. In their lab, Andrea Stierle tracks data on her computer while her husband, Don Stierle, writes the couple’s findings in a lab notebook. They sit together, surrounded chemical hoods, scattered petri dishes and graduated cylinders. Read more about the Stierles’ research in the Montana Kaimin.
“The years tell us what the days cannot.” UM alumna Shelli Johnson reflects on what she considered her greatest failure at the time: losing her basketball scholarship and quitting the team. “During my recent look back at all of this, I realized the things I did in the months following my aforementioned failure not only made a significant difference in my life during that time, but continue to inform my life, and my work.” Read more on the Make it Missoula blog.
Children with a passion for science, technology, engineering and math – often referred to as STEM – can be found around Western Montana. Based on Chamber of Commerce data, Montana is tenth in the nation in STEM growth. But that doesn't mean there's no room for improvement. The University of Montana makes an effort engage young students in STEM fields while also drawing top-notch college students in the same areas of study. KPAX-TV reports on the future of STEM in Montana.
Three UM School of Law students advanced to the final round of the 2015 National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition held Feb. 19-21 in White Plains, New York. Third-year law student Katelyn Hepburn and second-year students Lindsey West and Hannah Cail faced off against Vermont Law School and the University of Mississippi, marking the first time UM made the final round since 2005. Additionally, Hepburn won the award for best oralist. Read more about UM’s showing at the competition.
Although he didn’t know it at the time, Shane “Scooter” Christensen spent most of his life practicing to be a Harlem Globetrotter. As a youngster, he was inseparable from his basketball and when the former Griz point guard graduated in 2002, he relentlessly pursued his dream of playing professionally until one day he caught the eye of a Globetrotters scout. Read Christensen’s inspiring story in the Montanan magazine.
UM staff member Tim Daniel, who turned a hobby into a second career as a comics writer, will soon see his creation adapted into a live-action television show. The Missoula writer's title, “Enormous,” will be developed by Fox Television Studios and New Regency Television, and producer Adrian Askarieh's Prime Universe Films. The story is set in Arizona shortly after an apocalyptic environmental disaster. Read more about Daniel’s success.
During halftime of Saturday night's basketball game at Dahlberg Arena, UM officially became a Purple Heart university. Capt. Char Gatlin, chief of staff for the Department of Montana Military Order of the Purple Heart, said the recognition will place UM among a handful of select universities to have received the honor. “It’s a huge recognition for the school and it recognizes UM as being veteran friendly,” Gatlin said. Read more in the Missoulian.
Several UM students recently traveled to Nashville to attend Pollstar Live! 2015, the premier conference and trade show for the concert industry. The students from UM’s Entertainment Management program were right in the middle of the action, meeting with industry professionals, hearing from UM alumni who work in the business, and attending expert panels and, of course, visiting some of Nashville’s renowned music venues. Read more on UM’s Entertainment Management blog.
Former Montana Grizzly Zack Wagenmann continued his push toward a career playing football with an appearance at the NFL Scouting Combine on Sunday. And oh what a showing it was. Wagenmann scored high marks and times in four of the speed and explosion workouts to help offset a tough showing on the strength side on the third day of the Combine. Read more about Wagenmann’s showing in the Missoulian.
A pair of UM researchers has become a regular sight in some of the most remote communities in the U.S., both in the Lower 48 and the far north. Blakely Brown, a professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance, and Desirae Ware, a program manager with the Center for Environmental Health Sciences, have spent years traveling to rural Native American communities in Montana and Alaska to pursue unique research opportunities. Read more in Vision, UM’s research magazine.
UM’s family medicine residency program recently was awarded the highest level of accreditation available from its oversight organization. The Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana earned the high marks from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. UM launched the residency program in 2013, and it will train 30 medical residents at a time after the third class is added this year. Read more about the recent accreditation.
Five UM students recently were named Gates Millennium Scholars, earning more than $43,000 in scholarships. Since the inception of the program in 1999, it has produced more than 18,000 Gates Millennium Scholars at more than 1,800 institutions of higher education, awarding over $800 million in scholarships to date. UM students have received a total of $1,193,285 from the program. Read more about UM’s latest Gates Millennium Scholars.
It's understandable if you're unaware of the hidden planetarium beneath the Native American Center. The project has been in the works since 2013, but the astronomy department has kept it pretty quiet, preferring to introduce it to the public gradually. The lack of fanfare has nothing to do with its quality, however. Though the domed room housing it is not enormous, the equipment's capabilities are stellar. The Montana Kaimin reports on UM’s planetarium.
UM College of Forestry and Conservation student Stephen Jenkins fromBigfork and recent forestry graduate Jena Trejo from Marcola, Oregon, were first runners-up in the Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge. The challenge recognizes business ideas that solve natural resource challenges in America’s national forests. Jenkins and Trejo developed a business plan to convert logging slash and other wood waste into methanol and liquid carbon dioxide through a mobile gasification unit. Read more about their business plan.
When the recruiting trail Montana golf coach Joni Stephens follows takes her south, she is often met with a very specific question: What do we do in the winter? For years Montana's golf coaches were forced to tell prospective golfers they would have to rely on nets, simulators and mirrors to keep their swings grooved when the temperatures dropped - until now. Montana broke ground Monday at the Ranch Club on a new indoor practice facility. Read more about the new space.
TEDxUMontana returns for a second year, and the theme of this year’s event is language. Tickets are now on sale. The event will take place from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 20, in the Dennison Theater. Learn more and purchase tickets at http://www.umt.edu/tedx.
UM is seeking public comment on a draft management plan for the land UM owns on Mount Sentinel and at Fort Missoula. It is the first management plan for UM’s natural areas, which total more than 650 acres. The plan covers grassland and forest stewardship, invasive plant management, trail maintenance and social/safety issues. Read the plan and learn how to submit comments at http://cas.umt.edu/umnaturalareas/. Public comment will be accepted through April 1.
When the body turns against itself, it can strike with debilitating and deadly accuracy. The war raging inside people with autoimmune disorders can be devastating, and the current gold standard of care involves complete demilitarization of the body’s defenses by highly immunosuppressive drugs. But now UM researchers are developing a more targeted response. Read more about the advancements taking place in Professor David Shepherd’s lab in Vision, UM's research magazine.
As soon as Shanae Gilham hit the floor in Dahlberg Arena, she knew exactly what happened. She had torn her ACL for the third time. Although two years have passed, by the start of the 2014-2015 season, Gilham still wasn't cleared for contact practices. She didn't know if she would play basketball this season, or if she even wanted to play. Now, almost a year in the making, No. 42 is finally back on the court. Read more about Gilham’s return.
It’s not easy being a male Onthophagus nigriventris dung beetle. When they’re not jostling for space around a pile of excrement, they’re trying to mate with females while ensuring no other male does the same. It’s a relentless endeavor for which they’ve developed a helpful tool: weapons. It’s the evolutionary consequence of these weapons that interests Doug Emlen, a biologist at UM. Read more about Emlen’s research on animal weaponry in the Montanan.
“The phone rings and rings, each chime pounding in my head. I groan, stretching my arm out, reaching for the source of my annoyance. I flip it open, sit up, and blearily rub my eyes. An annoyed voice calls out. It’s my brother. I’m late. We were supposed to meet to climb Ch-paa-qn Peak at 9.” UM freshman Kian Bertin climbed out of bed to climb Ch-paa-qn Peak for his Adventure Writing class. Read about his hike on the Make it Missoula blog.
City smog lowers children’s IQ. This is among findings from a recent UM study that found children living in cities with significant air pollution are at an increased risk for detrimental impacts to the brain. Findings by UM Professor Dr. Lilian Calderón-Garcidueñas, MA, MD, Ph.D., and her team of researchers are detailed in a paper titled “Decreases in Short-Term Memory, IQ and Altered Brain Metabolic Rations in Urban Apolipoprotein ε4 Children Exposed to Air Pollution.” Read more about the research.
Missoula schoolchildren became flames and trees Tuesday during “Fire Speaks the Land,” an interactive dance performance at UM that taught students about fire science. CoMotion Dance Project used the presentation to launch its fourth season performing for and with students all across western Montana. Through the production, students learned how fire burns in different types of forests and how it impacts the landscape. Learn more about the CoMotion Dance Project in the Missoulian.
Less than a decade ago, autism wasn’t on many people’s radar. Back then it was diagnosed at about 1 in 10,000 children. Now it’s 1 in 68. With the growing need for services, three educators at UM have spearheaded and implemented programs and projects that aim for autism intervention. The educators hope to make real-world impacts on Montana communities, as well as provide practical experience for UM students in the field. Read more in Vision, UM’s annual research publication.
UM is one step closer to turning a discovery into a drug. Promentis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. recently announced it will enter an exclusive agreement with UM to commercialize a discovery made by a team of UM faculty scientists that has the potential to treat brain cancer and possibly other disorders of the central nervous system. The team includes professors Richard Bridges, Sarjubhai Patel, Nicholas Natale, Philippe Diaz and Charles Thompson. Read more about UM’s agreement with the pharmaceutical company.
In the University Center Gallery, 365 small self-portraits are arranged in rows on the north wall. They start on May 6, 2013, when Jace Laakso, an artist who works in information technology at UM, thought of a simple solution to a common problem. He got a "great haircut." But every time he gets a haircut, he says he wants the same one as last time. So he took a picture. Then he decided to take one every day. Read more about Laakso’s exhibit.
“What was your first concert? It’s a great question—a surefire conversation starter in pretty much any setting. Mine happened to be Pearl Jam, who played an intimate show for about 1,200 lucky fans at the University Theatre here at UM on June 16, 1993,” writes Montanan magazine editor John Heaney. As one of only a handful of student-run concert production organizations in the country, UM Productions is responsible for providing many of those moments. Read more and view concert posters here.
“A 360-degree view of Missoula and the surrounding mountains greeted me at the summit. I found myself smiling inside, discovering something I’d been doubting since I’d been in Missoula. I can be happy here. I can find ways to experience many of the same feelings I do back home.” UM freshman Lione Clare reckons with feelings of homesickness as she hikes Missoula’s Crazy Canyon and writes about it for her Adventure Writing class. Read her post on the Make It Missoula blog.
Every year, filmmakers from across the world apply to have their films screened at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. This year, four filmmakers under 30 from the festival’s home city made the cut. Three of them are current or future UM students. Local magazine Corridor talked with each of them about their movies, how they got started in documentary filmmaking, and the direction of their careers.
A new UM Dining experiment is using vertical growing towers, LED lights and fish to grow food. The aquaponic system is set up in the Corner Store, growing leafy greens like lettuce, kale, basil and bok choy. UM Dining’s garden manager, Natasha Hegman, said she is hoping to have a first harvest at the end of February. The Montana Kaimin reports on this unique experiment at UM.
Like everything else Bob Stitt does, his recruiting class of 2015 came together quickly and with plenty of excitement on the offensive end. The first-year Montana head coach announced his debut class of recruits Wednesday on national signing day less than two months after his hire as the 36th coach of the Grizzly football program. Montana officially added 21 players, including a pair of transfers. Read more about who the Griz acquired on signing day in the Missoulian.
Last fall, UM student Rebecca Collins completed 12 credits of independent study on the Camino de Santiago, a medieval pilgrimage in southern France and northern Spain. Equipped with knowledge from her interdisciplinary studies on pilgrimage history, European pilgrimage literature and nature writing, she walked the Camino de Santiago herself and do nature writing of her own. In this Global Leadership Initiative blog post, Collins reflects on her journey.
Very early on the morning of Jan. 31 the upstart Montana softball program released pictures through its Twitter account of its under-construction stadium. Beyond Montana's stadium, however, there is another key element of the program establishment: At 4 p.m. Thursday in Las Cruces, New Mexico, the Griz will play the first Division I softball game in the school's 122-year history. Read more about the newest Grizzly sport in the Missoulian.
The consensus is in: Birds are living dinosaurs. But how that epic evolutionary leap took place remains one of science’s greatest mysteries. Evolutionary biologists like Ashley Heers represent the next generation of researchers. She is using the latest video and computer modeling technology to study this evolutionary mystery. Heers recently completed her Ph.D. with Kenneth Dial at the UM’s Flight Laboratory, probably the world’s leading research center on bird aeronautics. Aubodon Magazine reports in this month’s cover story.
M. Sanjayan once held a 9-foot shark in the Caribbean as it gave birth. It was all in a day’s work for the world-renowned scientist and UM research faculty member who just completed a five-year project with PBS and National Geographic that took him to 29 countries. The series, “Earth – A New Wild,” airs Wednesday nights on PBS in February, beginning with a double episode this week. Read more about Sanjayan in the Missoulian and watch the PBS series trailer here.
The sun hadn’t risen yet, but Tanner Saul was up. He unzipped his tent and stepped out into the chilly morning, still unable to see the African landscape surrounding him. Saul, a sophomore wildlife biology major at the University of Montana, spent the entire six-week winter break studying a medium-sized wild cat, the caracal, in Cape Town, South Africa. The Montana Kaimin reports on Saul’s adventure.
S.M. Hulse never set out to write a “Western novel.” “I’ve spent my whole life living in the West, I kind of just felt like I’m writing a novel about the people and places I know,” she said. Hulse, a Spokane native who earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Montana, returned to Missoula recently for a reading of her debut novel, “Black River," out now on Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Read more about Hulse’s acclaimed first novel in the Missoulian.
The University of Montana’s Global Leadership Initiative is a four-year fellowship that provides students unique experiences through a community. GLI enriches academic learning by combining practical experiences with classroom education. Learn more about UM's unique GLI program in this video.
A documentary created by UM students and recent alumni recently won an award at the International Fusion Doc Challenge, a five-day filmmaking competition. Director Tom Stagg, a recent UM alumnus, and co-director Brent Bluehouse, UM graduate student, worked with students Anne Bergman, Brian Rapaport, Tessla Hastings, Channing Nun and UM staff member Christian Gold Stagg created “GMOtional,” which won “Best use of Genres: Nature/Environmental.” Learn more about the competition here and watch the “GMOtional” trailer here.
When Greg Johnson decamped for Missoula from New York City in 1990, the Montana Repertory Theatre's national tour reached only three states. A quarter-century later, Johnson still leads the Rep, which has grown under his tenure into a professional troupe recognized across the U.S. "It's the largest national tour of straight plays in the country," he said. Read more about how Johnson has shaped the Rep in the Missoulian.
“I love hiking, but as I spun in circles running from class to class this semester, I just couldn’t find time for this hike. I found time for other hikes, but never the Pengelly Ridge Trail.” UM freshman Carly Stinson makes time to climb Mount Sentinel’s steep Pengelly Trail while on assignment for her Adventure Writing class. Read about her climb on the Make It Missoula blog.
The Montana Grizzlies have hired Brian Doyon as the newest head coach of the volleyball team, the athletic department announced Wednesday. Doyon will replace Jerry Wagner, who stepped down in November. Wagner coached the Griz to a 102-147 record over his seven years at the helm. Doyon spent the past six years as an assistant coach at the University of Utah, where he coached blocking. Read more about UM’s newest coach in the Montana Kaimin.
Researchers in UM’s Center for Work Physiology & Exercise Metabolism recently teamed up with Heatsheets to study the effectiveness of the capes marathon runners receive after crossing the finish line. Learn how their research is improving the post-race experience in this video.
Marilyn Marler soon will trade the grasslands and wildflowers of Mount Sentinel for the wetlands and crocodiles of Vietnam. In late February, Marler, the Missoula City Council president, heads to Cat Tien National Park on a prestigious Fulbright award. The UM naturalist will spend the month of March as a Fulbright specialist in a U.S. Department of State program that promotes relationships "between U.S. scholars and professionals and their counterparts" overseas. Read more about Marler’s assignment.
In the latest episode of the Mansfield Global Leadership Podcast, features an interview with Frank Jannuzi, CEO and president of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation. Jannuzi shares his insights into working with all three branches of government. Additionally, along with a few stories of his days at Amnesty International, the State Department, and advising Joseph Biden and John Kerry. Listen to the full episode titled “Leadership Insights with Frank Jannuzi.”
The fall semester of 2014 was an exciting one for the University of Montana’s Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society. The 40-plus members maintain an active schedule with weekly meetings and frequent weekend events. This year the Student Chapter is taking a special interest in community involvement. The students work with local wildlife agencies, present in schools, and promote community awareness of conservation issues. Read more about what UM chapter achieved this past fall.
A UM’s professor’s cross-cultural analysis received one of the top book awards from the Caribbean Philosophical Association. Benedicte Boisseron, an associate professor of French and Francophone language and literature at UM, received the Nicolás Guillén Outstanding Book Award for “Creole Renegades: Rhetoric of Betrayal and Guilt in the Caribbean Diaspora.” “This book was important for me to write because it carries an autobiographical resonance,” Boisseron said. Read more about Boisseron’s book.
When astrobiologists contemplate life on nearby planets or moons, they often suggest such life would be simple. But from such simple life, more complex lifeforms could eventually come to be. That's what happened here on planet Earth. How did the chemistry evolve to get life to where we are today? What transitions took place? Frank Rosenzweig, an evolutionary geneticist at UM, is looking into such questions over the next five years with funding from the NASA Astrobiology Institute. Read more about his research on Space.com.
Hundreds of new students spent the day getting adjusted to life on campus Thursday, in preparation for their first semester as UM students. The spring semester at UM starts Monday, and about 200 new students are going through orientation until the end of the day Friday. New students got the chance to tour campus and move into their dorms early to get a head start on the new semester. KPAX News reports.
Coach Bob Stitt's offense just got another weapon, this time a proven one at the collegiate level. Wide receiver Ellis Henderson has re-enrolled at UM after withdrawing from classes last fall and leaving the Grizzly football program because of a mysterious stomach illness. Henderson said Thursday he is almost completely healthy once again and plans to participate in full in spring practices in preparation for the fall campaign. Read more about Henderson’s return.
“We trudged up the steep and rocky path, leaving the Kim Williams riverside trail below us. Even though there was a great view of the Missoula Valley behind us and fall colors ahead of us, I felt uneasy. I started to feel tired and my calves began to ache.” UM freshman Colin Brust recounts his hike up Smokejumpers’ Trail on assignment for his Adventure Writing class. Read Brust’s full account on the Make It Missoula blog.
The independent film magazine MovieMaker recently named Missoula to its list of “Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker 2015: Top Five Towns.” The article notes Montana’s dramatic landscapes, as well as the fact that Missoula is home to the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, the International Wildlife Film Festival and the Montana Film Academy. The ranking also mentions students from UM’s School of Media Arts. Read more about what MovieMaker has to say about Missoula.
A new agreement between UM, Missoula County Public Schools and their Japanese counterpart aims to increase educational exchange opportunities. Representatives from UM and MCPS met with a delegation from the Kumamoto prefecture of Japan on Tuesday to sign a memorandum of understanding that will bring more student exchange and professional development opportunities to Missoula. Read more about the partnership with Kumamoto.
UM lost a member of the family last week when School of Media Arts Assistant Professor Dale Sherrard passed away. Dale is an immensely talented experimental composer, sonic sculptor and sound designer. In his memory, we share Dale’s talk on technology and sonic culture from last year’s TEDxUMontana event.
On Jan. 22, three YouTube creators including UM alumnus Hank Green will interview President Obama about the top concerns facing them and their audiences. Share the questions you have for the president using #YouTubeAsksObama on social media to suggest issues.
J.K. Simmons, a UM graduate, has been nominated for an Oscar for best supporting actor for his performance in "Whiplash." In "Whiplash” Simmons plays a sadistic but brilliant jazz band instructor who pushes an ambitious student drummer to the edge of his talents and sanity. Simmons, who turned 60 this month, is the son of the late Pat and Don Simmons, longtime Missoula residents and important figures in the campus and city arts communities. Read more about Simmons’ nomination.
During the early-morning hours on Tuesday, Jan. 29, NASA will launch a satellite that will peer into the topmost layer of Earth's soils to measure the hidden waters that influence our ecosystems weather and climate. UM Professor John Kimball is among the team of researchers involved in the project. He developed algorithms that will digest the vast amount of data collected by the satellite. Read more about Kimball’s work with NASA.
It's telling what they had to leave out. When the staff of the Montana Museum of Art and Culture was narrowing the Permanent Collection of more than 11,000-some objects down to 120 for a 120th anniversary exhibition, many masters from across centuries didn't make the cut. They wanted to represent the breadth and depth of the state museum's collection, as well as some of its idiosyncrasies. So some famous names didn't make it. Read more about the exhibition in the Missoulian.
UM recently earned recognition from two prominent civic engagement organizations. The Corporation for National and Community Service honored UM with a place on the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching awarded UM a 2015 Community Engagement Classification. During the 2013-14 academic year, 2,991 students volunteered 221,832 hours. Read more about student engagement at UM.
Zach Brown, an avid outdoorsman and recent UM graduate, wants to make sure that Montana stays exceptional. And now he’s taking that mission to the state Legislature: This November, Brown leaned on a platform of environmental protection to win House District 63. Brown, former student body president at UM, was recently named one of 10 “Young Leaders Changing the West” by High Country News. Read more about Brown and the nine other 20-somethings who received this honor.
From its founding days housed in Army tents on the University of Montana’s Oval in 1914, the School of Journalism has taught its students how to improvise in tough situations. This was just one of the take-home messages at a recent ceremony at the Montana State Capitol honoring the UM Journalism School’s centennial year. Read more about the history of UM’s journalism school and the ceremony in Helena in the Independent Record.
In a recent study, UM and Montana Climate Office researcher Jared Oyler found that while the western U.S. has warmed, recently observed warming in the mountains of the western U.S. likely is not as large as previously supposed. His results, published online Jan. 13 in Geophysical Research Letters, show that sensor changes have significantly biased temperature observations from the Snowpack Telemetry (SNOTEL) station network. Read more about Oyler’s findings.
UM’s Derek Crittenden is one of 50 players who was recently named to the 17th annual Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association Academic All-Star Team. A 6-3, 240-pound junior from Whitefish, Crittenden is a chemistry major who maintains a perfect 4.0 GPA. He played in all 14 games for the 9-5 Grizzlies this past season. He is also a 2015 Rhodes Scholar candidate. Read more about Crittenden’s impressive accomplishments.
Two alumni of UM’s School of Media Arts are part of a team hoping to win a contest to get a television commercial they made to air during the Super Bowl. Alex Pollini and Sean Clark’s group’s entry in the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl contest, called “Baby’s First Word,” is among the 10 finalists being put up for a fan vote. The winning team will also win $1 million. Read more about the team here and vote for the ad here.
UM’s Washington-Grizzly Stadium was recently ranked No. 7 among best college football stadiums by Stadium Journey. “The official capacity now stands at 25,217, but crowds in excess of 26,000 are not out of the ordinary, giving the Griz one of the best home field advantages in all of college football,” writes reviewer Jason Karp. View the full list of top 100 stadium experiences here, and read the complete write-up on Washington-Grizzly Stadium here.
Former Missoula resident and University of Montana alum J.K. Simmons has won the Golden Globe for best supporting actor for "Whiplash." In the film, Simmons plays a jazz band instructor who uses humiliation, fear and cruelty to motivate his students. Simmons is a UM graduate and native of Missoula. His parents are the late Don and Pat Simmons, longtime Missoula civic and arts leaders. Read more in the Missoulian.
“Last September, seven days into the 2014 Montana archery season, my good friend Alec Underwood and I were headed for one of the many mountain ranges that define the western Montana landscape. Both of us were — and still are — students at the University of Montana in Missoula, where I am a senior studying business and Alec is a senior in wildlife biology.” Trevor Anderson recounts his recent elk hunt in the Star Tribune.
“One of my favorite English professors at UM likes to tell us often, ‘the best stories take place during the moments from which the main character realizes that, nothing will ever be the same again.’ I think it’s exactly this wisdom, when applied to real life, which makes a semester abroad so profoundly meaningful. Every moment since I left Missoula has been part of the constant realization that, indeed, nothing will ever be the same again.” Read student Joel Gabriel Kempff’s blog post.
Thirteen UM students and one professor are in Vietnam from through Jan. 19 for the fifth annual study abroad field course focused on climate change impacts and adaptation in the Mekong Delta. The students are studying the intertwined relationships of society, environment and economy while looking at the potential impacts of climate change and how the people of Vietnam will adapt. Follow their adventures through photos and posts on the students’ blog.
From horns to claws, teeth and talons, the animal kingdom features many natural weapons. But UM evolutionary biologist Doug Emlen wanted to know why, in some rare cases, animals develop weapons that are dramatically outsized for their bodies. His research found the same story—an evolutionary arms race pushes animal weapons to the extreme. North Carolina Public Radio host Frank Stasio talks with Emlen about his new book “Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle.”
The U.S. Government Publishing Office recently spotlighted UM’s Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library for serving as a regional depository library. The library was designated as a depository in 1909 and a regional depository library in 1965. UM’s large academic library has a wide variety of information available to its patrons through well-developed online guides. Read more about the Mansfield Library’s role as a depository.
Career Services at UM strives to provide students with ample opportunities to explore careers with the world’s most renowned and reputable companies. Career Services recently teamed up with Hewlett-Packard, one of the world’s leading technology companies. An HP executive visited with UM students in December and company representatives will return again in February for the Big Sky Employment and Academic Enrichment Fair. Read more about UM’s relationship with HP and the upcoming employment fair.
When astrobiologists contemplate life on nearby planets or moons, they often suggest such life would be simple. From such simple life, more complex life forms could eventually come to be. How did the chemistry evolve to get life to where we are today? What transitions took place? Frank Rosenzweig, evolutionary geneticist at UM, is looking into such questions over the next five years with funding from the NASA Astrobiology Institute. Read more about Rosenzweig’s research.
Many towns in the West consider themselves “outdoor” towns—suggesting a citizenry eager to bike, run, ski, paddle, hunt, fish, hike, backpack, float and camp. Missoula, Montana, is one of these towns, but it possesses some indefinable spirit that keeps it from being confused with any other. Author Rick Bass writes about Missoula’s unique spirit in this Smithsonian Magazine article.
From his lab in Missoula, Nate McCrady watches the stars. The UM associate professor of astronomy and his team of research students received a $1.125 million grant from NASA last year. The grant funded a telescope purchase and three years of research work, allowing them to participate in Project MINERVA, a collaborative effort between four universities that will be examining the planets surrounding nearby stars to look for ones that are similar to Earth. Read more about McCrady’s exciting research.
After four years of investigating, planning, politicking and decision-making, UM has a new data center. It doesn’t look like much from the outside—a big white box sitting beneath a slanted metal roof near UM’s heating plant. It’s what will happen inside the box that will be remarkable. “We’re going from arguably the worst data center in higher education to perhaps the best,” says Tony Jablonski, Associate CIO for IT’s central computing services. Read more about UM’s new data center.
A big year for Rivertop Renewables has gotten even bigger. The Missoula producer of biodegradable chemicals received a $26 million cash infusion from outside investors in the spring. Then, the company announced recently that its first commercial manufacturing plant is under construction. "What's really cool about this is that it's technology that was developed by Dr. Don Kiely at the University of Montana," says CEO Mike Knauf. Read more about Rivertop's success in the Missoula Independent.
The world-famous clarinet player who lent his name to the University of Montana’s premier jazz festival and transformed the international genre through his unique bebop style passed away Wednesday. Buddy DeFranco died at his home in Panama City, Florida. “He was one of the monumental figures in the history of jazz,” said Lance Boyd, the former UM music professor and band director who created the Buddy DeFranco Jazz Festival. Read more about DeFranco’s legacy.
The residents of Riverside Health Care Center in Missoula are receiving Christmas cards from across the country thanking the staff and residents for hosting an online streaming camera placed next to an osprey nest in the care center’s parking lot. UM wildlife biology Professor Erick Greene heads the Montana Osprey Project, which includes the osprey nest webcam at Riverside. Thousands of webcam viewers keep tabs on the popular birds. Read more about the osprey project community.
New University of Montana head basketball coach Travis DeCuire wears a whistle around his neck during practice, but he doesn’t have to use it. Whether he’s demonstrating how to disrupt a ball screen, explaining the finer points of trapping in the post or taking a jump hook to set off an offensive drill, DeCuire commands his team’s attention. The Missoula Independent reports.
An annual report produced by the Peace Corps recently found that Montana and Missoula ranked among the top 10 overall per-capita volunteer-producing states and metropolitan areas in the country. The per-capita rankings measure the rate of volunteers per 100,000 of the population. Montana's per-capita ranking climbed from 10th spot to seventh and its metro area, Missoula, moved from sixth to second. USA Today reports.
UM’s record-setting defensive standout Zack Wagenmann has been named to the prestigious 2014 AFCA's Football Championship Subdivision Coaches' All-America Team. A 6-3 ½, 255-pound senior defensive end, Wagenmann had a stellar senior season, and finished third in the balloting for the 2014 Buck Buchanan Award, given annually to the defensive player of the year in the FCS. Read more about Wagenmann’s latest honor.
It's a good thing Har Shalom's menorah used light bulbs instead of candles; no one could have reached up to light the wicks. The Missoula synagogue celebrated Hanukkah by flicking the switches to light up a special menorah called a hanukkiyah, commissioned and built by three students from the welding program at Missoula College. Read more about the students’ unique community project.
UM Alumna LeAnn Montes was inducted into the Montana Indian Athletic Hall of Fame in December. She was selected based upon her performance as a star high-school athlete, a four-year member of the Lady Griz basketball team and her current role as head coach of the Stone Child College women's basketball team. Montes graduated from UM with degrees in business administration, management and marketing. Learn more about Montes' accomplishments.
Toxicology graduate students at the Center for Environmental Health Sciences are involved in extracurricular activities at the University of Montana and with regional and national organizations. Three current students share their experiences in this video.
The best job in America. That's what Bob Stitt had to say about the Montana Grizzly football head coaching gig Friday morning when the university introduced the offensive innovator as its 36th head coach. Stitt, a 50-year-old coach who comes to Missoula from the Colorado School of Mines, spoke to media members and fans for an hour at Washington-Grizzly Stadium's Canyon Club. Read more about Stitt’s decision to move north.
A saber-toothed cat snarls, ready to pounce from the front cover of “Animal Weapons,” a new book that’s getting a lot of notice from both the media and the science world. The artist and UM alumnus Helenan David Tuss teamed up with writer and UM Professor Doug Emlen to illustrate the animal kingdom’s amazing array of extreme weaponry. Read more about how Tuss met Emlen while earning his bachelor’s degree in science and a minor in art from UM.
“First light” marked a new dawn for UM astronomy on Dec. 16. UM astrophysics Associate Professor Nate McCrady, along with a team of researchers, achieved “first light” on Tuesday – a term used to describe successfully taking first observations from a telescope. McCrady traveled from Missoula to Mount Hopkins, Ariz., to oversee the installation of UM’s new 0.7-meter telescope by crane at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory. Read more about UM’s new telescope.
The Montana Journalism Review, an award-winning magazine produced by UM School of Journalism students, has released its 2015 edition. For the 44th issue, the nation’s oldest journalism review explores the theme of “Shift.” Staff and contributors focused on the shifting landscape of the media industry and how journalists, news sources and audiences are adapting to change. Read more about this issue of Montana Journalism Review.
Saga Outerwear has always been grounded, an independently owned company since it first launched in 2005. The brand got its start when Andrew Mallett and Austin Stevens, both longtime skiers and then students at the University of Montana, were tasked with developing a theoretical business plan for a college course. Saga has come a long way since then, growing rapidly in sales and now selling to retailers around the world. Freeskier magazine reports on Saga’s rise.
A Missoula-born osprey has become a celebrity among birdwatchers on the Gulf Coast of Texas. As a chick, the bird was tagged with a blue leg band bearing the designation “M8” by UM wildlife biology Professor Erick Greene and his team of researchers. In September, Sally Mitchel of Rockport, Texas, photographed the bird, saw its band and reached out to Greene and his team. Read more about the rare sighting of a banded bird.
Walker Milhoan recently took his ranching background and his business acuity to the Blackstone LaunchPad’s annual Demo Day in New York City, where he pitched a new venture he believes can lower ranching costs, increase stock weight and drive up the return on cattle. In partnership with the IX Ranch in Big Sandy and with support of UM’s Blackstone LaunchPad, Milhoan aims to make Ranchlogs available for purchase next summer. Read more about Milhoan’s idea.
Bob Stitt has been selected to serve as UM’s 36th head football coach. Stitt has been the head coach at the Colorado School of Mines the past 15 seasons, where he has compiled an overall record of 108-62 and has a conference mark of 83-44. His 2014 Orediggers team went 10-2 and qualified for the NCAA Division II football playoffs. Read more about UM’s new head football coach.
In Montana, illegal fish dumping of non-native species is threatening the state’s native trout. In a segment for Student Reporting Labs, UM journalism freshman Meri DeMarois and her mentor Anna Rau of MontanaPBS report on how conservation organizations are working to protect the indigenous fish population. DeMarois interviews local anglers, activists and scientists in this piece that aired on PBS NewsHour on Nov. 27.
Jane Baker came of out retirement in October to serve as interim dean of Missoula College UM. The transition comes as the college races to meet state workforce demands and expands its programming to give students an affordable jump on a four-year degree. Baker will hold the position on a temporary basis as a new search committee begins the hunt for Dean Barry Good’s long-term replacement. Read more about Baker’s leadership experience.
Missoula is a special place with people who are living life to its fullest. The University of Montana has what many universities are missing: the human element. With the human element, the University is offering the highest quality of education by believing in the people that call this campus home above all else. ASUM Vice President and Phi Delta Theta fraternity Sean McQuillan talks about what makes Missoula and UM such a special place in a recent blog post.
Five high school seniors recently were awarded $1,000 scholarships to attend UM for their exemplary performance at the 49th Annual Montana Model United Nations Conference. Each winner wrote an outstanding position paper and actively and accurately represented his or her country during two days of debate on world issues. At the conference, 380 students represented 111 of the United Nations’ 193 member states, debating and writing resolutions addressing important international issues. Read more about this year’s winners.
A UM class titled Can Giving Change the World? granted $12,500 to local nonprofits and held a ceremony to distribute the funds Dec. 11. The class, which is part of UM’s Global Leadership Initiative, awards grants to nonprofits that operate within Missoula County and combat hunger or address mental health issues. Organizations submitted grant proposals to the class earlier this semester. Read more about the philanthropy class and the grant recipients.
Raising carrot sticks in a toast, community leaders on Wednesday lauded the new lease that protects the PEAS Farm. Representatives from Garden City Harvest, Missoula County Public Schools and the city of Missoula toasted to the lease of 40 years approved the previous evening. The farm is part of the UM’s environmental studies program, and each year, UM students help raise crops. Read more about the new lease on the PEAS Farm.
Education changes lives and those lives change the world. At the University of Montana, we see it daily. Our students come from every conceivable background and embrace challenge, grow as individuals and, ultimately, thrive.
On Dec. 9, Rivertop Renewables announced its first commercial production plant that will be located in Virginia. They work with glucaric acid, which is a naturally occurring sugar acid that's never been produced on a commercial scale. That will soon change when Missoula’s Rivertop Renewables opens up a new factory in Virginia. Rivertop is based on the work of work of UM Professor Emeritus Don Kiely. NBC Montana reports on the company’s recent growth.
If the winter fog hid supernatural creatures in Stephen King’s novella “The Mist” or the 1980 zombie movie “The Fog,” then Missoula’s soupy weather may hold something equally sinister for UM students: final exams. Last week wrapped up the end of the 2014 fall semester and students are spending this week writing essays, taking tests and completing other tasks to show they’ve paid attention over these past four months. Read more about how students are closing out the semester.
The First-Year Reading Experience Committee at UM recently selected freshmen Libbey Barsness and Nathaniel Smith as the winners of the First-Year Essay Contest. As part of the First-Year Reading Experience at UM, students read “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien, a collection of short stories about a platoon of American soldiers in the Vietnam War. Students were invited to write and submit essays in two categories: Personal Reflection and Analytical. Read more about the winners.
The average day hiker in Glacier National Park is unlikely to notice the dwindling stonefly population. But trout are. The western glacier stonefly is one of the few flies to hatch throughout the winter. Now the rare aquatic insect is under threat, researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey say, as a result of loss of glacial ice. USGS biologists teamed up with scientists from UM to study the imperiled insect. Their findings recently were published in Freshwater Science.
UM students studying big data have a new tool coming their way. The IBM Power Systems Organization recently granted a scale-out POWER8 processor-based server to the University, which will allow UM students to run IBM InfoSphere Streams software on a state-of-the-art platform that will aid student learning. The grant was part of IBM’s Shared University Research Awards, a competitive, worldwide, equipment award program. Read more about new server at UM.
There is now a new sheriff for the sprawling San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. And this one is an unassuming, soft-spoken judge from Big Sky country. Meet Sidney Thomas, a Montana native who took over Dec. 1 as the influential chief judge of a court that shapes federal law for California and eight other Western states. Read more about the UM School of Law alumnus and his new role.
Growing up in Montana, Dan Baca had an amazing view of the stars, but he had no idea the stars were in his future. Today, the 2003 UM graduate is working with NASA on the Orion spacecraft that made its first launch Thursday. Baca is a member of the team that ran a full mission simulation in mid-November for Orion’s launch, testing pre-launch through ascent, orbit, entry and splashdown/recovery. Read more about Baca’s unique career path.
Three UM School of Art students take viewers inside their artistic process, offering a glimpse into some of their recent works. Hear from Jason Bohman, drawing; Gustav Hamilton, ceramic sculpture; and Joanna Nasvik, drawing, performance, and art education; about how they approach their art and what it means to them in this video.
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UM, known as MOLLI, has received a $1 million grant from The Bernard Osher Foundation. A $950,000 endowment gift and $50,000 in operating funds will provide current and ongoing support for the continued growth of MOLLI. The program is a resource for adults age 50 and older who enjoy learning, connecting socially with others and having a relationship with UM. Read more about the recent Osher grant.
The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at the University of Montana promotes better understanding of Asia, U.S. relations with Asia, and ethics in public affairs in the spirit of Sen. Mike Mansfield and his wife, Maureen. This video, shown to the Montana University System Board of Regents on Nov. 20, 2014, highlights the impact of the Mansfield Center across the state of Montana and beyond.
Running a ranch can be complicated, but UM student Walker Milhoan has a technology that he thinks will make ranching more sustainable and profitable. And his business venture is promising enough that he was selected as a finalist at Blackstone LaunchPad’s recent Demo Day in New York City. Paul Gladen, UM’s Blackstone LaunchPad director, nominated Milhoan to attend the competition where he progressed to the final rounds with the top six. Read more about Milhoan’s venture, Ranchlogs.
UM mascot Monte was on hand recently to celebrate the arrival of a new training semi tractor-trailer rig at Missoula College UM. The unit was purchased with Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant funds from the U.S. Department of Labor and will enhance short-term training opportunities at MC. A second semi tractor-trailer is expected to arrive soon. Read more about the trucking program at Missoula College.
Two UM professors and one associate professor recently were named 2015 Fulbright Scholar Program awardees by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs. All three teach in UM’s College of Humanities and Sciences. The Fulbright Program is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Read more about UM’s Fulbright Scholar awardees.
His name is Zack, as in "Sack," and Wagenmann, as in the Big Sky Conference defensive player of the year. Wagenmann, a 6-foot-3, 255-pound senior defensive end out of Missoula Sentinel, led four Montana players named first-team All-Big Sky for football Tuesday. Defensive tackle Tonga Takai also made the first team on defense, as did fellow senior Matt Hermanson at safety. The Grizzlies’ lone first-teamer on offense was running back Jordan Canada. Read more about the Grizzlies' honors here.
UM geosciences Professor George Stanley, who directs the UM Paleontology Center, has been named a Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Stanley was awarded the distinction for his work in paleobiology of invertebrates, especially the evolution of reef forms. His research has clarified the evolution of reefs and of modern coral lineages. Read more about Stanley’s latest award.
UM is reviewing its programs and expects to grow its emphasis on research and health care while injecting the humanities into all academic pursuits, school officials said Monday. Meeting with the Missoulian’s editorial board, UM President Royce Engstrom and other school leaders repeated their plans for the global century – steps that include a close review of existing programs and how the school can meet the state’s needs amid a shifting economy. Read more about Engstrom’s plans.
UM’s new "fabrication lab," or "FabLab," as they've dubbed it, is stocked with two 3-D printers, 3-D scanners, 3-D pens, a vinyl cutter, an oversized printer, and soon a laser engraving machine. School of Art Director Brad Allen is effusive about the potential for using the equipment, the province of industrial designers and forward-thinking hobbyists and tinkerers, in the context of fine art. Read more about the new “FabLab.”
He’s climbed these steps many times over the past 28 years, a stretch dating back to 1986 when Washington-Grizzly Stadium opened. But that wasn’t the beginning of Patrick Ryan’s job as the Grizzlies’ official scoreboard operator. That began at Dornblaser Field in 1976. Or maybe it was 1974, he isn’t sure which. Ryan has operated the Grizzlies’ scoreboard for all but one game over the past 38 years and will retire at the end of the season. Read Ryan’s story.
He marched across the field of Washington-Grizzly Stadium with 35 pounds of silver-plated brass wrapped around his torso. Stepping with the heavy instrument was no easy feat for Noah Lopez, the UM freshman who once thought he'd never be able to stand up again after losing his leg four years ago as a result of a senseless act of violence. Today he’s marching forward. Read his story in the Montana Kaimin.
The classic copper, gold and silver colors are making a one-year comeback at the University of Montana. On Friday, Nov. 21, UM released a limited-edition retail line featuring its official school colors of copper, gold and silver. The line, called Montana Tradition, includes clothing and several select non-apparel items. A list of retailers carrying the products is available online at http://www.umt.edu/tradition. Read more about the Montana Tradition line here.
UM’s School of Music Opera Theater and Symphony recently brought home a first-place prize for their production of “The Legend of Orpheus,” which was performed in February. UM submitted its opera production to the National Opera Association’s annual competition. Through the competition, the NOA seeks to encourage and reward creative, high quality opera productions in professional companies and college programs across the U.S. Read more about UM’s winning opera entry.
University of Montana Professor of restoration ecology Cara Nelson just returned from Kuwait where she worked with scientists at the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research to develop effective strategies for restoring arid land ecosystems. As chair of the Society of Ecological Restoration, Nelson was in Kuwait to sign a memorandum of understanding with KISR to work together on restoring Kuwait’s arid lands. Read more about Nelson’s recent work in Kuwait.
The Can the Bobcats Canned Food Drive is in full swing and donation bins are available all over town. The food drive is a friendly contest between UM and MSU to see which community can collect the most food for hungry Montana families, just in time for the holidays. The drive ends Saturday, Nov. 22, with the annual Brawl of the Wild Griz-Cat football game. Bring your donation to the game or find out where you can donate by visiting the Can the Bobcats website.
Twenty students in UM’s Anthropology and the Human Experience class taught by Instructor Garry Kerr were recently named Public Anthropology Award winners for opinion essays they wrote on the topic of ethics in research. More than 4,000 students from 30 schools entered the competition. Kerr’s students showcase the ability of UM students to learn effective writing skills while being active global citizens. Read the students’ opinion pieces here.
A video from the Montana Kaimin introduces two of artists whose work was selected for the 20th Annual Juried UM Student Art Exhibition. The exhibition is on display until Dec. 5 at the Gallery of Visual Arts on the first floor of the Social Science Building.
UM music Professor Steven Hesla knew he had to get Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe to Missoula. He saw the acclaimed classical piano duo perform at the Music Teachers National Association conference in March 2013. They gave seven encores, all greeted by standing ovations. This week Roe and Anderson come to town to teach a masterclass, play for 1,500 fifth-graders and perform for the public. Read more about the duo’s trip to Missoula.
Animals have developed horns, claws, and teeth to defend themselves, but what is the advantage of a bulky crab claw that weighs half as much as the entire animal, or 14-foot-wide antlers on the extinct Irish Elk that stood seven feet tall? UM Professor Doug Emlen, a biologist and author of the new book “Animal Weapons,” describes the evolutionary arms race that pushes these animal weapons to the extreme on “Science Friday.”
On a cold April night in 1933, hundreds of university students worked themselves into a fervor tossing books that challenged the German spirit onto a roiling bonfire. The book burning is depicted in a new display at the UM library. On loan from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the national exhibit sheds light on the fervor that fueled the rise of Nazi Germany. Read more about the “Fighting the Fires of Hate” exhibit.
Each fall, hundreds of UM employees raise thousands of dollars for local nonprofit charities in our community by generously donating to UM’s Charitable Giving Campaign. The 2014-15 campaign is open now. The nonprofits selected to participate in this year’s drive provide a broad range of services to Missoula residents and those in nearby counties. Learn more about the campaign and participating agencies at www.umt.edu/umgives and then consider pledging online at https://www.ipledgeonline.org/_um/.
UM School of Law students recently took first place in the American Bar Association-sponsored Law School Regional Negotiation Competition held Nov. 7-8 at Seattle University. UM team members Nick VandenBos of Bozeman and Lindsay Thane of Missoula, both second-year UM law students, advanced to the final round after earning the best score of 24 teams during the opening Friday and Saturday sessions. Read more about how the negotiation team performed.
UM alumna and longtime supporter Nancy O’Connor passed away Nov. 10 at her home in Malibu, Calif., at the age of 84. O’Connor was the daughter of Ralph and Hulda Miller Fields, who were also UM alums. Nancy married actor Carroll O’Connor in 1951. Over the years, Nancy served on several UM boards and the couple gave generously to UM. In 1999 the University renamed the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West to honor their contributions. Read more about Nancy’s life in the Missoulian.
Mark Plakorus, who led Montana soccer to an unbeaten 8-0-2 league record this fall and the program's first outright conference championship since 2000, was named the Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year on Nov. 12. The Grizzlies went 12-6-2 this season, and rolled through their league schedule, going 8-0-2 and outscoring their opponents 19-4. Montana posted shutouts in seven of its 10 league matches. Read more about what Plakorus and his Grizzlies accomplished this year.
UM students have raised more than $25,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital this year, and they plan on staying up all night this Friday to honor the kids they’re helping. The St. Jude Up ‘Til Dawn event at UM recruited 175 students who aim to raise $37,742. The $25,371 they have already raised places UM seventh nationally among the 89 schools that participate, and first among schools in the Northwest. Read more about the Up ‘Til Dawn event.
Throughout the fall 2014 section of Regents Professor Jakki Mohr’s Marketing of High Technology Products and Innovations class (BMKT 460), students have had the opportunity to hear many of Missoula’s most innovative professionals speak. Visit UM’s student-run American Marketing Association blog to read some of the lessons shared by local innovators Michael Manhardt, Glenn Kreisel and Chris Wright.
In 2009 the southern Bitterroot Valley’s elk herd—for years one of the state’s most productive populations and a source of pride among local hunters—was in a free fall. Ideas surfaced from all quarters on what was causing the decline. But most local hunters thought they knew the reason: wolves. Researchers from UM joined forces with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to develop a three-year study. The results surprised everyone. Learn what the study found in the Montana Outdoors magazine.
Biology Professor Ragan “Ray” Callaway, an internationally renowned ecologist, has been nominated to become UM’s 10th Regents Professor. Upon approval by the Montana Board of Regents during its Nov. 20-21 meeting, Callaway’s new title will be Regents Professor of Ecology. Regents Professor is the top rank awarded to faculty members in the Montana University System. They must demonstrate unusual excellence in instruction, scholarship and service, as well as distinctive impact through their work. Read more about Callaway’s nomination.
A UM student team recently participated in D.A. Davidson & Co.’s Student Investment Program, and ended the year with a 21 percent return on its investments. The UM team was one of 20 teams representing western U.S. universities that were provided with $50,000 to invest in the stock market. With its 21 percent return, the UM team receives a check for $4,002, representing its share of earnings from the experience. Read more about investment program.
A self-proclaimed “man of many hats,” Udo Fluck lives up to that title both literally and metaphorically. Nestled in a corner of UM’s International Center, Fluck’s office boasts just a few of the many hats he uses to teach students about different cultures. His other “hats” come in the form of his ever-shifting role as director of UM’s Global Gateway program, which works to instill global competence in the community. Read more about Fluck’s work in the Montanan online.
Paul F. Kirgis, a professor at St. John’s University School of Law, has been selected to lead the University of Montana School of Law as dean. Kirgis will begin his new duties July 1, 2015. UM Provost Perry Brown made the announcement after an extensive nationwide search. While at St. John’s in New York City, Kirgis received the Faculty Outstanding Achievement Medal and was twice named the professor of the year. Read more about Dean Kirgis.
In the lobby of a Missoula hotel recently, Adam Meier prepared for a trip up the Seeley-Swan Valley to observe Montana’s expertise in building bridges, not across rivers and streams, but between people and nations. Meier, with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, has measured the University of Montana’s part in hosting the agency’s Professional Fellows Program, and he likes what he’s seen. Read more about exchange program at UM.
Will Cherry showed up at the office a little early Sunday for his first day of work on the new job. As he was lifting weights, he heard in a booming baratone, “WILL CHERRY.” It was LeBron James, the best basketball player on the planet. Welcome to the Cleveland Cavaliers and the NBA, Will Cherry. The former Griz point guard has signed a two-year deal, the team announced Sunday. Read more about Cherry’s new job in the Missoulian.
“On a still-sweltering evening in Tanzania more than a decade ago, my colleagues and I crouched around a fresh pile of elephant dung to witness an epic struggle of wills,” writes UM Professor Doug Emlen in a New York Times Magazine article published Oct. 31. Emlen studies animal weaponry, and is the author of the new book, “Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle.” Read his full article on the animal arms race here.
The Charitable Giving Campaign is a chance for UM employees to give back to the community by donating to local nonprofit charities. The 2014-15 campaign is open now and runs through Nov. 14. Learn more at www.umt.edu/umgives and then pledge online at https://www.ipledgeonline.org/_um/.
The Washington family, for whom Washington-Grizzly Stadium at UM is named, has once more stepped forward with a major gift to the UM Department of Athletics. The sons of Dennis and Phyllis Washington, Kyle and Kevin, are giving $7 million on behalf of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation to be used for UM’s planned $14 million Washington-Grizzly Champions Center. Read more about the generous donation from the Washington family.
The Mansfield Global Leadership Podcast is a series by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at UM that captures the wisdom of international thought leaders and industry experts. The latest episode features an interview with Larry Abramson, the new dean of UM’s School of Journalism. Abramson discusses transitioning to life in Montana, the fast paced world of journalism, his vision for the School of Journalism and more. Listen to the podcast here.
The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library at UM is now hosting an exhibition produced by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum that explores how the German book burnings of 1933 became a potent symbol in America’s battle against Nazism and why they continue to resonate with the public to this day. The exhibition, titled “Fighting the Fires of Hate: America and the Nazi Book Burnings,” will be on display through Tuesday, Dec. 16. Learn more about the exhibition.
Tim O’Brien was stuck writing another book when he took a break in the late 1980s and penned “The Things They Carried,” a story that explores meaning in three simple words: “This is true.” That opening line in a mid-story chapter questions everything the famed author learned in the Vietnam War about guilt, fear and loss. O’Brien met with a group of freshmen at UM on Tuesday. Read more about his visit.
For Gordon Luikart, animal feces is a key reason why his research is among the most cited in the country. In the UM ecologist's Ph.D. research he tested the DNA of big horn sheep, found in feces, feathers and urine, to see if they had gone through a “genetic bottleneck,” then developed tests to identify problems like diseases and inbreeding. Luikart recently was named one of Reuters' "Most Influential Scientific Minds." Read more about Luikart’s research in the Montana Kaimin.
What once served as a deli for famished University of Montana students will reopen early next year as a casual yet upscale restaurant offering views of the University Golf Course. A building permit was filed last week with Missoula County, and UM Dining expects renovations on the golf course clubhouse to begin in early November. Read more about what’s planned for the clubhouse in the Missoulian.
Nationally celebrated fabric artist and Missoula native Amanda Browder is displaying her large-scale fabric soft sculptures during an exhibition at the Montana Museum of Art & Culture at UM. Because of weather concerns, the outdoor works of Browder’s “End of the Infinite” exhibition will hang only at select times until January. But that’s okay—the fleetingness of the exhibitions have always been a part of Browder’s process. Read more about her art in the Missoula Independent.
UM student Walker Milhoan is headed to New York City to attend the Blackstone LaunchPad Demo Day. Milhoan’s business venture, RanchLogs, is one of 20 selected to take part in the event, which organizers plan to host annually. Milhoan founded RanchLogs in August. RanchLogs is an interactive, Web-based software platform that serves as a livestock inventory and range management tool. Read more about Milhoan’s venture and his trip to New York.
UM is the 26th top degree producer for Native American students in the nation, according to the Diverse: Issues in Higher Education list, “2014 Top 100 Degree Producers.” The study names UM 40th in the nation for Natives receiving undergraduate degrees, 48th in the nation for master’s degrees, 19th for doctoral degrees and 12th for professional degrees. From summer 2013 to spring 2014, UM conferred 129 degrees upon Native American students. Read more about the ranking.
A former Microsoft data analytics expert will teach advanced marketing classes at UM’s School of Business Administration this winter and next fall. John Chandler is the founder of Data Insights, a Minnesota-based consulting firm that uses data science to help companies like eBay, General Mills and LinkedIn. He taught a one-credit weekend seminar to UM graduate students called "Advanced Marketing Analytics: Turning Big Data Into Knowledge." Read more about UM’s new marketing analytics classes.
Millions of people worldwide will practice how to drop, cover, and hold in the event of an earthquake during the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills. The University of Montana and other Montanans will join them by participating in the 2014 Great Montana ShakeOut, planned for 10:22 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22. Learn more at shakeout.org/montana/.
UM students Stephen Jenkins and Jena Trejo are finalists in the Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge for their proposal to convert forest slash to methanol. The challenge encourages and rewards innovative, market-based solutions to natural resource issues. Jenkins and Trejo, both forestry majors, are working to develop a gasification unit that can convert forest products left after thinning and logging into a methanol biofuel. Read more about their idea on the College of Forestry and Conservation website.
Ray Callaway’s research investigates the catastrophic consequences of some exotic plants in North America. The UM ecologist's original research on plant facilitation, found that over time, plants develop traits to compete with each other, which increases diversity. Callaway has taught ecology and biologoy for 22 years and was recently named one of the Most Influential Scientific Minds by Reuters. Read more about Callaway in the Montana Kaimin.
The library is one of the most commonly used places on campus by student veterans and now has a designated veteran’s study room within its walls. The $10,000 to refurnish the lounge came from an Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education grant. The room has newly painted walls, a TV, new furniture, blinds and frosted glass walls for privacy. Read more about the new veterans’ study lounge in the Montana Kaimin.
The UM Fencing Club held a free workshop last week, and a couple of dozen novices showed up to learn the basics of the sport. There are 15 dues-paying members, but the club always welcomes – and hopes to attract – newcomers. Club members say the sport is as much about the mental workout as the physical one. Read more about one of UM’s many student groups.
For the third year in a row, UM is ranked among the top 350 universities worldwide in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. UM is ranked in the 301-350 level of the 2014-15 list. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings are the most comprehensive global rankings of higher education institutions, using 13 performance indicators to examine a university’s strengths against its core missions: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. View the rankings here.
Bigfork’s Makena Morley, perhaps the most decorated prep runner in state history, plans to keep her talents local next year. The high school senior from the Flathead Valley, Montana’s all-class state record holder in cross country and a three-time champion, verbally committed to UM on Oct. 16. Morley will run cross country in the fall for the Grizzlies as well as compete in distance events for the track and field team in the winter and spring. Read more about Morley.
Hyeok Yun, a UM undergraduate student from South Korea, is gaining a wider perspective on how art therapy and counseling are impacted by disability research. Under the direction of Craig Ravesloot, a research professor at UM’s Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities, Hyeok’s work is exposing her to other issues too. Ravesloot also is learning valuable lessons to help him better connect with the South Korean culture. Read more about their cross-cultural exchange.
The Montana soccer team’s best start in a generation has been helped by a solid core of newcomers, including true freshmen Hallie Widner, who is the team’s leading scorer, and Allie Lucas. Savannah Witt hasn’t started a game for the Grizzlies and she’s technically a sophomore, but she belongs in that group. It’s hard to imagine UM’s 5-0 start in Big Sky Conference play without her. Read more about Witt’s return to the field after an injury.
Every day Steven Running photographs the entire world. Running uses NASA satellites to measure plant health around the world. One of his publications has been cited 6,666 times by other researchers in the business. The large amount of citations has earned the University of Montana ecology professor a distinction as one of the world's "Most Influential Scientific Minds" by Reuters. Read more about Running’s latest accolade in the Montana Kaimin.
Karen Ruth Adams stood before a Model United Nations class at UM on Tuesday, preparing students for careers in public policy, international affairs and high school teaching. While far away from Washington, D.C., this academic environment is fitting for Adams, a professor of political science and scholar who has earned a reputation for predicting world events before they happen. Read more about Adams’ recognition as a “super forecaster.”
UM’s equestrian team may fly under the radar on campus, but they're riding circles around their competition. Earlier this month, the team traveled to Utah State University to compete in the first regular season English show of the year. It was one of the largest Intercollegiate Horse Show Association shows, with more than 100 competitors from throughout the region. Montana won all three shows over the two-day event, sweeping the competition. The Montana Kaimin reports.
More international students are choosing to attend the University of Montana than ever before. UM’s Office of International Programs reports 832 international students enrolled this semester, representing about 5 percent of the entire student population, compared to about 4 percent last year. Currently, 105 students from Brazil are enrolled at UM, second only to Japan’s 109 students. Nearly 80 students from Saudia Arabia are enrolled at UM this fall. Read more about international student enrollment at UM.
The University of Montana is a national leader in research on wildlife biology, ecology, forestry and areas related to the planet on which we live. Recently we have extended our reach into outer space. A spate of major research awards demonstrate the expertise that many of our faculty have in space-related research. UM Vice President for Research and Creative Scholarship Scott Whittenburg details some of UM’s latest research developments on his blog.
The Elouise Cobell Land and Culture Institute at the University of Montana officially opened its doors Oct. 10. The institute is located in The Payne Family Native American Center. The institute provides flexible classroom designs, advanced distance-learning platforms and a multiscreen theater room that will emphasize storytelling traditions in Native American culture. It occupies the entire garden level of The Payne Family Native American Center. Read more about Cobell’s legacy at UM.
A team led by University of Montana researcher Frank Rosenzweig has been selected for a five-year, $8.9 million NASA grant to study how life evolved and became more complex on Earth. Read more about the grant here.
“The Ploughmen,” is technically Kim Zupan’s debut novel, but the years beg to differ. The 62-year-old has spent the past quarter-century working as a carpenter to support his writing. Before he started teaching at Missoula College, which freed up his summers, he would save money to take months off to do nothing but write. Now he’s on sabbatical, ready to take his novel on the road. Read more about Zupan’s journey.
Rebecca Manners, a UM postdoctoral researcher, will receive $375,000 to explore a solution for managing limited water resources in the southwestern U.S. Learn more about her research in this video.
Why do bull elk grow such big antlers? How come whitetail deer antlers have tines growing off a single main beam, while mule deer antlers fork? And why don’t either of them flatten out like moose antlers? UM biologist Douglas Emlen can tell you all about that first question, and he loses sleep at night pondering the others. His new book on this topic, “Animal Weapons,” hits bookstore shelves Nov. 11. Read more about Emlen’s work and his book.
Despite the loss of the University's Blackfoot language classes, students may still have a chance to learn Native languages. A proposed Native languages student club is working on getting recognition as a student group from ASUM. The group has 18 Native and non-Native students tentatively signed on. Jesse Desrosier, a sophomore from the Blackfeet tribe, said he always wanted to organize a Native languages club. Read more about the proposed language club.
Kelly Conde, a 2013 graduate of the master’s program in Environmental and Natural Resource Journalism at UM, recently received a prestigious award for her story “The Damage Done.” The Society for Environmental Journalists awarded Conde second place for Outstanding Feature Story. Her in-depth article about the impact of oil drilling and the subsequent water contamination on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation was the capstone of her master’s work. Read more about her award. Read Conde’s article.
Annie Belcourt, a University of Montana College of Health Professions & Biomedical Sciences assistant professor, has accepted an invitation from Harvard University to be a JPB Environmental Health Fellow for the next three years. The fellowship will allow Belcourt, a faculty member in pharmacy practice and public health, to extend her work in environmental health while developing new collaborative research projects aimed at tribal populations in Montana. Read more about Belcourt’s fellowship.
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UM, known as MOLLI, has surpassed its all-time enrollment high this fall. There are 930 individuals registered for courses, and MOLLI membership grew to 737 members – an all-time high for the fall semester. MOLLI offers noncredit academic short courses to individuals who are age 50 and older. The courses are academic in nature and traditionally taught by UM faculty, emeritus faculty and professionals from the community. Read more about MOLLI.
The Social Work Degree Guide recently ranked the UM social work master’s program No. 3 among the “Top 25 Most Affordable Master’s in Social Work Degree Programs 2014.” Noting the program’s supportive learning environment and dedicated and accomplished faculty, UM’s “social work graduate degree program has a rich legacy for creating a cutting-edge learning experience that prepares social workers for 21st century challenges with a unique focus on rural social work practice.” Read the complete ranking here.
Brandon Reintjes, curator of art for UM’s Montana Museum of Art and Culture, helped install a 45-foot-long fabric sculpture titled “Rapunzel” on the Missoula Mercantile building in the downtown area. The piece is by New York artist and Missoula native Amanda Browder. The installation was only up for a few hours on Friday, Oct. 3. Read more in the Missoulian.
Sometimes, a name change can make a big difference. That's why security officers at the University of Montana decided it was time for a little re-branding. There's no confusion now - UM students should know that they're dealing with police as the Office of Public Safety is now known as the UM Police Department - a change that went into effect this semester. Local news station KPAX reports on the UM Police Department.
It won’t be the first time he’s been the only deaf person in the room. Kirk Hash, a well-bearded 38-year-old post-baccalaureate Missoula College student, is used to it by now. Next week, he’s expected to be sworn in as the first deaf senator in the history of the Associated Students of UM. Hash applied for an open seat earlier this fall. Hash said he wants to represent Missoula College students in ASUM. The Montana Kaimin reports on Hash’s new role.
Three members of the UM community were recognized for demonstrating exemplary service to victims of intimate partner violence and sexual assault. Captain Ben Gladwin of the UM Police Department was named Public Servant of the Year; Kim Brown Campbell, UM campus assault prevention coordinator, was named Educator of the Year; and Officer Shannon Parsons of UM Police Department was named Volunteer of the Year. Read more about the awards.
Last spring UM Professor Laura Dybdal and Shawn Grove, director of UM VETS Office, partnered with Dan Libby, executive director of the national Veterans Yoga Project, to implement a Mindful Resilience Training for student veterans. Participants reported life improvements and now Dybdal and Grove are expanding it. On Oct. 7, Libby will deliver a lecture at UM and hold training sessions for local health care works and student veterans. Read more about the program and the upcoming lecture.
The primal appeal of tools unites two shows at UM’s Gallery of Visual Arts. Stephen Glueckert built machines that generate the drawings themselves in his exhibit, “We Use Them to Do Things.” The Missoula Art Museum curator has been assembling mark-making machines for years. The other exhibit, “Re/Creation” features Chad Steve’s ceramic pieces, which strike a balance between hyper-realism and fancy. Steve is an artist-in-residence at the Clay Studio of Missoula. Read more about the exhibits.
UM Dining announced Monday it surpassed a goal to provide 20 percent real food by 2020 at a campus event called Real Food Rising. UM signed a commitment with the national organization Real Food Challenge last October. The student-led movement has challenged campuses nationwide to purchase what is called “real food,” defined by four major criteria: local, ecological, fair and humane. Read more in the Montana Kaimin.
Private support at the University of Montana gives students and faculty countless opportunities to partner together. Learn about three student-faculty partnerships underway at UM, and how scholarship support has helped these students thrive.
Like polar bears, muskoxen and yaks are modern metaphors for climate change. UM Professor Joel Berger faces sub-zero temperatures and travels across Arctic and alpine tundra to understand why populations of these species are changing, and what we can do about it. His work, setting in motion a new enthusiasm applying science to conservation actions, is why Berger has advanced as a finalist for the 2014 Indianapolis Prize.Watch this video to learn more. Watch this video to learn more.
Missoula College has received a nearly $8 million federal grant to give more students an opportunity for educations in health care fields and ultimately fill much-needed, high-paying jobs. The U.S. Department of Labor announced Sept. 29 that 15 two-year community colleges and tribal colleges in Montana will receive a combined $15 million to improve and expand health care training opportunities, and the grant will be administered by Missoula College UM. Read more about the Montana HealthCARE grant.
UM doctoral student Wylie Carr’s research takes him to places where the oceans are rising, the deserts are drying or the ice is melting. Once there, he finds people working on climate change and shows them a short video about climate engineering, then interviews them. Climate engineering, also known as geoengineering, is a controversial, futuristic way for humanity to artificially cool the planet. But it isn’t science fiction. Read more about Carr’s work.
The Mansfield Global Leadership Podcast is a new series by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at UM that captures the wisdom of international thought leaders. In this episode, UM President Royce Engstrom talks about the process of becoming a leader, the Global Leadership Initiative and examples of leadership from his own life. Listen to the latest podcast here.
For the first time since 2002, the University of Montana Foundation awarded the Order of the Grizzly, its highest honor. Tom Cotter, who gave millions to support student scholarships at the University of Montana, is the 2014 recipient and was honored posthumously at the Foundation’s President’s Club and Heritage Society Dinner on Sept. 25. Cotter passed away July 16. His daughter, Mary Ann Cotter, accepted the award on his behalf. Read more about Cotter’s connection to UM and his philanthropy.
Just in time for Homecoming, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library at UM has placed all 72 UM yearbooks online. The Sentinel yearbooks range from 1904 to 1972 and 1987 to 1989. They are online in ScholarWorks, UM’s open-access repository service. The text of each yearbook is fully searchable, and they include photographs and stories that document all aspects of life at UM, providing a rich source for history and culture of the University. Local news station KPAX reports.
UM recently launched a new Web portal called the American Indian Gateway. The American Indian Gateway provides access to University websites that feature academic programs with a Native focus, research related to American Indian communities, American Indian faculty and staff members, student programs and clubs, Alumni Relations, the University’s Strategic and Diversity Plans, and current news and events across campus and within the Missoula community. Find the American Indian Gateway portal here.
A UM student and member of a local think tank has drafted legislation he believes will give students more options to repay their college debt, and do so in a shorter period of time. Mitch Everts, a political science and pre-law student at UM, spent his September crafting what he refers to as the People’s Bill, allowing students to repay their college loans by opting to withhold an additional percentage of their income taxes. Read more about his bill.
After UM Ph.D. student Michelle Grocke received a Fulbright Scholarship and a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Award last spring, she headed to Nepal to get acquainted with her research field sites. She will spend 11 months examining the impact of new road construction on the agriculture, nutrition and overall well-being of the people who reside in the remote Humla District. Read a Q-and-A with Grocke to learn more about her experiences in Nepal.
UM offers a wide array of resources for students, from writing coaching and tutoring to health care services, IT help and outdoor gear rental. Looking for an internship: Head to Career Services. Need to get home from downtown at night? Jump on the UDASH bus. Find out more about the services and opportunities available to all students in a recent blog post from Phi Delta Theta titled “9 Amazing Resources All UM Students Should Know About.”
UM enrollment numbers show a 6.4 percent increase in freshmen students on the Mountain Campus for fall semester 2014. New freshman students totaled 1,597 on the Mountain Campus for fall 2014 – an increase of 96 students. For incoming resident freshmen on the Mountain Campus, UM shows an increase of 4.5 percent in headcount over the previous fall. For nonresident freshmen, UM shows an increase of 9.7 percent in headcount. Read more about UM’s latest enrollment numbers.
Hundreds strolled through Saturday’s Honey Harvest Festival on the University of Montana’s campus, explaining the different parts of the hive, the honeybee and the different products they produce. The Honey Harvest Festival followed on the heels of the Western Apicultural Society Conference and the International Conference on Hive and Honeybee Monitoring on UM’s campus. The four-day conference hosted upward of 160 attendees. Read more about the Honey Harvest Festival.
The University of Montana aims to educate students about cyber security with a new class. Sherri Davidoff is teaching the course, which is broken up into three parts to include cyber security testing, digital forensics and network traffic analysis. Davidoff says there’s a real need for the kind of skills her students are learning, but there aren’t a lot of schools that offer the kind of cyber security education that UM now does. NBC Montana reports on the new class.
Founded in 1914 by Arthur L. Stone, the University of Montana Journalism School is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Since its start in a few Army surplus tents pitched near Main Hall, the school has been both a source of pride, and at times, a thorn in the side of the university. The Missoulian looks back at 100 years of journalism at UM with this timeline, and considers what lies ahead for the school in this article.
Elizabeth Dove has been cutting up dictionaries for years, searching for meaning. Now, the Missoula artist and UM professor is showing off the product of her process. The Missoula Art Museum will have an exhibition of Dove’s work starting on Tuesday and running through the end of January next year. The exhibition will feature a portion of her series called “Corpus of the Unknowable.” Read more about Dove’s art and her upcoming exhibit.
The Montana Grizzlies softball team is entirely new. From the bats and balls to the players and coaches, this season will be an exercise in the unfamiliar. It’s been two weeks since the team held its inaugural practice on Sept. 3, and already, a routine has developed. The team is about to make program history. Saturday, Griz softball will play its first game, against Dawson Community College. The Montana Kaimin reports.
“Success” is a word that fits on entrepreneur and UM alumnus Hank Green as neatly as his black-rimmed glasses and the wide-eyed, gawky grin he beams around the world every week via YouTube. From his Internet platform, he has launched a fusillade of imaginative and popular multimedia ventures. They crackle with his ideas on the environment, technology, space exploration, sexual health, philanthropy and songs about Harry Potter. Read more about Green in the latest issue of the Montanan.
People who apply to the University of Montana next year will automatically be considered for admission to the Davidson Honors College. Before this school year, prospective students had to fill out a separate application to be admitted to the DHC. “The separate application created an artificial obstacle for students,” said James McKusick, dean of the Honors College. “It was one more application.” The Montana Kaimin reports.
The stunning array of weaponry brandished by male animals—be they antlers, horns, mandibles, spurs, or claws—is driven by each species’ individual fighting style, University of Montana scientists have revealed. The finding, which may solve a long-standing evolutionary puzzle, is thanks to perhaps the most impressive weapons proliferator of them all, the male rhinoceros beetle—also the world’s strongest animal. National Geographic's “Weird and Wild” blog reports on the latest findings from UM researchers Doug Elmen and Erin McCullough.
Bryn Hagfors was a rising star at UM, where he served on ASUM Senate as vice president while he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics. Now he’s back in his hometown of Great Falls, working as a business and marketing analyst for Davidson Investment Advisors. The Great Falls Tribune recently profiled him as a “Rising Star.” Read more about what Hagfors is up to these days.
For the second year in a row, Livability.com has ranked Missoula among the “Top 100 Best Places to Live.” Missoula ranks No. 8 on the 2015 list, which was released Sept. 15. "Nearby mountain ranges, three rivers and more than 400 acres of city parkland make Missoula an outdoor lover's dream come true," the article reads. "Home to the University of Montana, Missoula’s breweries, coffee houses, cafes and restaurants create a unique, cool vibe." Read more about what Livability.com has to say about Missoula.
The University of Montana received a $1.5 million boost Friday, making UM’s College of Education and Human Sciences the gifted education hub of Montana and the Northern Rockies. Missoula residents and UM graduates Suzanne and Dave Peterson pledged $1.5 million to the school, funding a professorship that will specialize in gifted education and advanced learning in the classroom. The donation will also fund research into how best to motivate gifted children to succeed. Read more about the Petersons' generous gift.
The University of Montana is ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities across the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. In the 2015 Edition of U.S. News’ Best College rankings, UM tied for 194th place. The University last made the list two years ago, when it was ranked 199. UM is the only Montana institution to make it onto the top 200 list this year. Read more about the U.S. News & World Report ranking.
Grizzly football will soon be coming to a highway near you thanks to a new partnership with Jim Palmer Trucking of Missoula. The company will transport team equipment for six road games using a prestigious 75th anniversary Peterbilt truck paired with a custom-wrapped Grizzly football trailer. The truck will travel more than 10,300 miles as it travels to games in Wyoming, North Dakota, Utah, Washington and California. Read more about the company’s generous donation.
“I was not always as involved on campus as I am now and my life now is better for my involvement. When I arrived on campus, like many first-year students, I put my head down and got to the business of getting a degree. I thought that I had an adequate life off campus and enough friends. I felt this way until one day I got involved, largely by accident.” Read more in this blog post from ASUM President Asa Hohman.
From antlers to horns, humans have long been fascinated by animals’ ability to defend themselves with their natural-born weapons. Researchers at the University of Montana recently discovered each species’ weapons are structurally adapted to meet their own functional demands of fighting.
Pollution in many cities threatens the brain development in children. Findings by UM Professor Dr. Lilian Calderón-Garcidueñas and her team of researchers reveal that children living in megacities are at increased risk for brain inflammation and neurodegenerative changes, including Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. The study found when air particulate matter and their components such as metals are inhaled or swallowed, they pass through damaged barriers, and can result in long-lasting harmful effects. Read more about Calderón-Garcidueñas’ research.
The University Center at the University of Montana is now offering the UM community a quiet room for meditation and prayer. Located in UC Room 209A, the space provides a respite from the hustle and bustle of campus. The Montana Kaimin visits the room in this video.
The Mansfield Global Leadership Podcast is a new series by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at UM that captures the wisdom of international thought leaders and industry experts on various aspects of U.S.-Asia relations. In the first episode, Mansfield Center Director Abraham Kim discusses the importance of Montana-Asia relations, and participants take part in a roundtable discussion highlighting leadership lessons learned from Mike Mansfield’s life and legacy. Listen to the first podcast here.
The best cybersecurity system in the world isn’t worth a floppy disk if it can be defeated by a child’s birthday balloon. And it probably can, according to Deviant Ollam, who’s plied his hacking skills for everyone from the FBI to the NSA. Ollam made a guest appearance for a roomful of University of Montana students in Sherri Davidoff’s Introduction to Cyber Security class last week. The Missoulian reports on UM’s newest cybersecurity course.
University of Montana President Royce Engstrom delivered the annual State of the University Address on Aug. 22, 2014, in which he outlined institutional priorities for the coming year and introduced new faculty members and administrators. Watch the address and see other UM videos on UM's YouTube channel.
Give him some time. Brendan Brady has gotten handy at so many things in the seven years he’s lived with the deadly degenerative disease known as ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. It’s only a matter of time before the 35-year-old Havre man will be able to literally stare down a bucket of ice water onto the likes of Julie Doerner. Read more about how the MonTECH program at UM’s Rural Institute is helping Brady and others.
Student-athletes thrive at UM, students like Derek Crittenden, Griz defensive end and 4.0 chemistry major. Crittenden recently sat down with the UM Foundation for an interview about his time as a Griz and his plans for the chemistry degree he'll earn at the end of the academic year. Read the Q-and-A here.
Over nearly four decades he's watched Montana transform from a basketball school to one crazy about football. He's witnessed the explosion of collegiate women's sports. And he's been courtside and in the press box for more than 30 years. Starting next fall he'll see it all from a brand-new perspective: the bleachers. Dave Guffey, who next month will start his 37th year as Montana's sports information director, decided recently that will retire next June 30. Read more about Guffey’s career at UM.
A new international study is giving scientists more insight into understanding the process of the domestication of animals. Jeffrey Good, an assistant professor of biological sciences at the University of Montana, is one of the co-authors of the study. Good worked with an international team of scientists on the report trying to better understand the genetic changes that transform wild animals into domesticated ones. Read more about Good’s study.
Fall semester began Aug. 25 with a flurry of activity on campus and all over Missoula. The Peers Connection Network in the Office for Student Success captured some of excitement this week and the many adventures that lie ahead for UM students in this video.
Since its inception in 1895, the Montana Museum of Art & Culture has built up an inventory of natural history artifacts, fine art from around the world, early Western art, antiques and textiles, experimental installation pieces and a variety of work from UM students. MMAC’s 11,000 pieces make it the largest collection devoted to fine art in the state. But as the collection has grown, the space for it has not. The Missoula Independent reports.
From the moment she arrived at the University of Montana in 2010, Helena native Mara Menahan has been making the most of her UM experience. She enrolled in the Davidson Honors College, biked across Bhutan, attended UN climate change negotiations in Warsaw, won Udall and Truman scholarships and was named a Newman Civic Fellow. Now that she’s preparing to graduate in December, Menahan reflects on what made her time at UM so successful.
Two is company, three is a crowd. But in the case of the cicada, that’s a good thing. A recent discovery in a University of Montana research lab found that there are actually three bacterial symbionts producing the nutrients cicada need to survive, whereas previously there was only believed to be two. Their work was published in the Aug. 28 issue of Cell. UM microbiologist John McCutcheon explains in this video.
The northern arm of the Rocky Mountains is sometimes called “the crown of the continent,” and its jewels are glaciers and snowfields that irrigate large parts of North America during spring thaw. But the region is getting warmer, even faster than the rest of the world. University of Montana researchers are studying what these changes mean for glaciers, wildlife and people. NPR’s All Things Considered reports.
UM is committed to helping students find a career that fulfills their personal and professional goals. Career Services can help students select majors, review and revise resumes and learn the art of interviewing well. This week, Career Services hosts the Student Employment and Academic Enrichment Fair, where students seeking part-time work can connect with employers. Visit the Career Services website to learn more about the fair and the other assistance the office offers UM students.
Meet Jordan Sullivan, former Lady Griz standout who graduated from UM this past May. Sullivan closed out her four-year Lady Griz career averaging 11.6 points and a team-high 7.8 rebounds per game, but her accomplishments didn't end on the court. She was named Most Inspirational Player and received the Outstanding Senior Award and the 2014 Athlete in Service Award.
Neighborhoods in and around UM are seeing some new faces as students make their way from around the country to start school on Monday. Some of those students are transitioning out of campus living to renting homes, and one of the most popular spots for off-campus living is the University District. To make the transition easier on students and nearby residents, the Neighborhood Ambassadors are jumping on the welcome wagon. Local news station KPAX reports.
With the right connections in place and the power of a good idea, a new business can move fast. Just ask Matt Gangloff and Andrew Burrington, who have seen an influx of funding and interest since the duo won the School of Business Administration’s Fall 2013 Business Plan Competition and founded New Leaf Environmental Monitoring. Read more about their product, which provides a low-cost way to monitor how natural gas from fracking operations impacts human health.
Former smokejumper and UM associate professor Charles Palmer had two goals after he read a newspaper article in 2003 about five men who died in the Waldron Creek wildfire west of Choteau on Aug. 25, 1931: Provide headstones for the three men without them and to write a book about the incident. The first goal will be met at an Aug. 24 memorial service and dedication ceremony. Read more about Palmer’s project.
Aiden Reichman is at the threshold of adult life. The 19-year-old college sophomore is moving into his dorm and starting his 16-credit semester. But this fall might be considerably more difficult. Instead of gearing up to meet President Barak Obama, like he did in through an internship in 2013, Reichman is gearing up to stay well enough to survive his political science classes while undergoing his second round of chemotherapy. Read more about Reichman's fight.
According to a “Smart Rating” developed by FindTheBest, Montana has the best overall colleges in the U.S. FindTheBest used a weighted average of rankings from U.S. News & World Report and Forbes, along with data from the National Center for Education Statistics, to determine each state’s smart rating. Click here to see a map of how FindTheBest ranked each state.
UM President Royce Engstrom will deliver his annual State of the University Address and host the official groundbreaking for the new Missoula College building on Friday, Aug. 22. The public is invited to both events. During his State of the University Address, Engstrom will outline institutional priorities for the coming year and introduce new faculty members and administrators. Following the address, the Missoula College groundbreaking will take place on East Broadway. Read more about both events.
Ground was broken Wednesday on the University of Montana campus for a new athletics academic center, and the occasion doubled as an opportunity for Director of Athletics Kent Haslam to announce a $1 million gift that will go toward additional facility improvements. The building will be constructed and equipped at a cost of $2.5 million, all of which came from private support. Read more about the new facility.
The countdown to the 2014-15 academic year is underway at UM with classes slated to begin Monday. That means 13,000 new Missoula residents are arriving in town, renewing the energy of this college city. Orientation begins Thursday. On Friday, UM President Royce Engstrom will deliver his annual State of the University Address at 10 a.m., followed by a groundbreaking ceremony for Missoula College at the new location on East Broadway. Read more about the pending semester.
UM is the first university in the nation to be part of software giant Symantec’s Academic Alliances Program. Earlier this spring, Symantec made a $100,000 in-kind donation to UM that included a server, software, data and support for a two-week, big data-focused summer course. Business, computer science and law students are taking the course. This week, Symantec executives are at UM to see the the eDiscovery Law and Practice course in action. Read more about this unique partnership.
The Wilderness Institute and Outdoor Program at the University of Montana launched a new Freshman Wilderness Experience Program on Aug. 16. Seventy freshmen arrived from all over the country to participate in the new wilderness-based program. Students spend four days in various wilderness areas throughout western Montana, either backpacking or rafting. UM students are leading all the trips. Read more about the new Freshman Wilderness Experience Program.
Missoula came in at No. 9 on a list of 16 greatest places to live in America, according to Outside Magazine. The Garden City was lauded for being a college town and cultural center with nearly instant access to nearby wilderness to explore. “It’s a really open, diverse community,” says Mike Wolfe, a lawyer and professional ultra-runner. “You can be whoever you want to be here.” Read more about the list.
Dyer’s woad is an invasive plant found in five Montana locations, including Mount Sentinel near UM. That’s where Working Dogs for Conservation comes in. Based in Montana and founded in 2000 by four biologists, this nonprofit organization and its dogs have hunted the weed for the past four years. In 2011 and 2012, 500 plants were found. That decreased to 113 plants last year and so far only 19 plants this summer. Read more about the Dyer’s woad project.
UM, in partnership with the Missoula Public Library’s The Big Read program, has selected “The Things They Carried” by National Book Award-winner Tim O’Brien as the 2014 First-Year Reading Experience book. All first-year students at UM are invited to participate in the First-Year Reading Experience. This is the first time UM has partnered with the Missoula community to share a common read. Read more about this year’s title.
Each year, a handful of outstanding students are selected to participate in the 10-week Summer Undergraduate Research Program at UM’s Center for Environmental Health Sciences. This summer, Andrew Closson, an honors student from the University of Maine, was one of six undergraduates was selected. Closson is conducting research with mentors Andrij Holian, SURP adviser and CEHS director, and Ray Hamilton. Read more about Closson’s research.
New research by UM doctoral student Jared Oyler provides improved computer models for estimating temperature across mountainous landscapes. The work was published Aug. 12 in the International Journal of Climatology. Collaborating with UM faculty co-authors Ashley Ballantyne, Kelsey Jencso, Michael Sweet and Steve Running, Oyler provided a new climate dataset for ecological and hydrological research and natural resource management. Read more about Oyler’s research.
Effie Koehn, UM director of Foreign Student and Scholar Services, said international student enrollment continues to grow, passing the 600 mark last year. “Their orientation starts three days before the regular orientation starts,” Koehn said. “We introduce them to the different services and the people in charge of those services.” The efforts also involve the Global Partners Program and the Missoula International Friendship Program, where new students make friends within the community. Read more about international students.
The Global Leadership Initiative at the University of Montana creates an opportunity for students to ask some of the most pressing questions of the 21st century while gaining the skills necessary to find the answers. Launched in 2011, the first class of GLI Fellows is now nearing their senior year at UM, with students wrapping up the global experiences of their junior year. Read about their worldly adventures on the GLI blog, Beyond the Classroom.
Chris Phelps, right, unpacks a chair last week while other workers from the Silver Eagle Relocation moving company sort through a truckload of new furniture intended for the social and study lounges in the nine University of Montana residence halls. The on-campus living communities, which house about 2,400 students, open Saturday, Aug. 16. General classes at UM begin Monday, Aug. 25. See the full-size photo on the Missoulian newspaper website.
Bill Moore said his father, Bud Moore, taught him lessons of the wild he didn’t even know he’d learned until later. By making the late conservationist’s journals and letters, reports and notes, speeches and photos and even his voice available to the public through the University of Montana archives, his son said he hoped others will glean some things too. Read more about the Bud Moore collection at the Mansfield Library.
It bodes well for business when the boss is pleased. And after Tuesday night’s record-breaking concert in Missoula, Paul McCartney was pleased indeed. Crews spent Wednesday morning completing work to tear down the stage and rigging where McCartney dazzled 25,000 fans in Washington-Grizzly Stadium the night before. By 11 a.m., all traces of the high-energy, three-hour concert were gone, though the memories lingered. Read more about what people are saying after the historic show.
As a biochemistry major, Katie Dorsett is interested in the connections between human diseases and environmental science. This summer, she is participating in UM’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program through the Center for Environmental Health Sciences. Dorsett is working with mentors Zeina Jaffar and Kevan Roberts to study the role certain cells play in the development of asthma. Read more about her research.
UM archaeological field school students, graduate student research assistants and First Nations partners worked together this summer to expose ancient house floors in Housepit 54 at the Bridge River archaeological site in British Columbia. The site is a housepit village in the Middle Fraser Canyon with 80 houses and occupation dates spanning the mid-19th century back to nearly 2,000 years ago. Learn more about UM’s work at the Bridge River site.
Over the weekend, in celebration of his first Minneapolis show in nearly a decade, the governor of Minnesota declared Aug. 2 as Paul McCartney Day. Not to be outdone, the University of Montana and the City of Missoula commemorated the Aug. 5 show at Washington-Grizzly Stadium by renaming the iconic Mount Sentinel to Mount McCartney. Somewhere, Ringo Starr is stirring his tea, fighting to keep his smile from cracking into a frown of unfathomable disdain. Read more about Mount McCartney.
A semitrailer carrying the legacy papers of former U.S. Sen. Max Baucus arrived at the University of Montana on Monday, bolstering the school’s already robust legislative collection. Crews spent Monday transferring 21 pallets containing more than 900 boxes of Baucus’ papers to the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, where the files will be sorted, archived and eventually made available for research. Read more about the Baucus papers at UM.
When Jamie Pinkerton accepted the position as head coach of the University of Montana’s new women’s softball team he had no players, no roster and no u0niforms. His team had no bats, no helmets and, in perhaps the most glaring obstacle of all, the Lady Griz didn’t have a playing field. That began to change Thursday when UM sank six silver shovels into the soil, breaking ground on a new softball stadium. Read about UM’s newest sport.
Summer theater season is in full swing and more than 50 UM students, alumni and faculty from the School of Music and School of Theatre & Dance are working in theaters around Montana and Idaho as actors, designers, musical directors, writers and technicians. Many of these companies have productions running through Labor Day. Find out where you can catch the talented members of the UMArts family in action this season.
Meet Elena Beideck, a visiting honors student from the State University of New York at Geneseo. Beideck is participating in UM’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program and conducting research with mentor Chris Migliaccio, a faculty member in UM’s Center for Environmental Health Sciences. Over the course of the summer, they are researching the potential therapeutic uses of nanomaterials. Read more about Beideck’s project and the Summer Undergraduate Research Program at UM.
Over the past five decades, Jack Stanford has grown intimately familiar with the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. As the longtime director of the Flathead Lake Biological Station, Stanford has led research efforts with his wife, Bonnie Ellis, and their team of scientists who all together are carrying on the legacy of Dr. Morton J. Elrod. Stanford recently spoke about the importance of the world’s cleanest lakes.
Washington-Grizzly Stadium has the reputation of producing the best fan experience in the Football Championship Subdivision, but reputations are like eggs: fragile, easy to break and very hard to put back together. That’s why fans who attend a Grizzly football game this fall will notice three major upgrades to the stadium, all added to enhance the fan experience. Read more about the upgrades taking place in Washington-Grizzly Stadium.
A delegation of high-level Chinese ambassadors will stop this week in Missoula, one of just three U.S. cities listed on their North American tour. Organized by the Mansfield Center at UM, the stop in Missoula includes talks with university officials, Gov. Steve Bullock and state business leaders, among others. The exchange will focus in part on economic trade, energy, internet technology and academic exchanges. Read more about the delegation’s visit.
Three UM faculty members are lauded in the recent publication “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds” for publishing the greatest number of highly cited papers between 2002 and 2012. UM Regents Professor of Ecology Steven Running is listed in the Geosciences section and Associate Professor of Conservation Ecology Gordon Luikart and biology Professor Ragan Callaway are listed in the Environment/Ecology section. Read more about the professors’ ranking.
UM archaeologists are leading an effort at Fort Missoula to better understand the lives of black soldiers in the American West in the late 1880s. Nicknamed “buffalo soldiers,” the 25th Infantry at the decommissioned fort included 220 African-Americans. The group made history in 1896-97 by testing whether bicycles could be used instead of horses during times of war, pedaling to what became the Glacier and Yellowstone national parks and then on to St. Louis. Read more about the archaeological project.
Marion DiVore came to UM’s 2014 Kermit and Kathleen Schwanke Honors Institute for high school students seeking a true college experience. She lived on campus for two weeks, dined at the Food Zoo and even pulled an all-nighter. “I actually didn’t sleep last night,” says DiVore, a sixteen-year-old junior from Mountain Home, Idaho. “A group of us were up writing and helping each other with our projects.” Read more about the Schwanke Honors Institute.
Meet Jaxie Friedman, a visiting honors student from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. Friedman is participating in UM’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program and conducting research with mentor Fernando Cardozo-Pelaez, a faculty member in UM’s Center for Environmental Health Sciences. Over the course of the summer, Friedman and Cardozo-Pelaez are researching the neurochemical and behavioral effects that pesticides can cause in the brain in order to better understand Parkinson’s disease. Read more about Friedman’s research at UM.
UM Dining recently won the National Association of College and University Food Services 2014 Grand Prize for Sustainability. The awards recognize member institutions that demonstrate outstanding leadership in the promotion and implementation of environmental sustainability – specifically as it relates to campus dining operations. The NACUFS Sustainability Awards support the globally accepted triple bottom line philosophy, also known as “people, planet, profit.” Read more about how UM Dining earned the Grand Prize.
UM received unprecedented private support in fiscal year 2014, with donations totaling $53.7 million. This is a $16.3 million increase over the previous record, set in 2008. In July 2013, the UM Foundation set out to raise an extra $45 million for students over a three-year period. After one year, the “Investing in Student Success” initiative has received $22 million. Read more about how alumni and friends and joining the UM Foundation to invest in student success.
UM student Steve Page of Boston recently is the inaugural artisan designer for Boston-based retail shop HUDSON. On July 15 interior designer Jill Goldberg announced the launch of a new annual program called HUDSON Discovers, which showcases emerging artisan-designers from across the country in the retail shop as well as online. Nineteen-year-old Page is the first artist to be featured. He studies business at UM. Read more about Page’s art and the program.
The official title of the seminar was “Recent Advances in Applying Genetics and Genomics to Conservation,” but it was really about family. Dozens of scientists who started their careers under the wing of UM geneticist Fred Allendorf came to celebrate his influence at the North American Congress for Conservation Biology in Missoula on Monday. Read more about how Allendorf and his former students have made vast contributions to conservation management.
The Montana Society of Certified Public Accountants recently awarded UM accounting Associate Professor Kenton Swift the 2014 Jack Kempner Outstanding Educator Award. The award honors an educator who is distinguished for excellence in classroom teaching, motivating students and educational innovation. The award also recognizes Swift’s contributions to the accounting profession. Read more about what makes Swift an outstanding educator.
On a switchback overlooking the Missoula Valley, UM visiting Professor Robert Pal knelt down and pulled a Jim Hill mustard plant – aka tumbleweed – from the arid soil alongside the trail. The plant’s stems included tens of thousands of seeds waiting to burst forth and proliferate. Pal, a botanist and ecologist from the University of Pecs in Hungary, recently arrived at UM on a Marie Curie Fellowship. Read more about what Pal found on Sentinel.
Five outstanding UM graduates will receive 2014 Distinguished Alumni Awards during Homecoming weekend festivities on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 26-27. The awards are the highest honor presented by UM’s Alumni Association. This year’s distinguished alumni are Eric Sprunk ’86 of Beaverton, Ore.; Elizabeth Vinson Kohlstaedt, Ph.D. ’89, of Helena; Charles Hood ’61, M.A. ’69 (posthumously awarded); Denise Juneau, J.D. ’04, of Helena; and James Murray ’76 of Washington, D.C. Read more about the distinguished alumni.
Ten new family doctors were selected as the Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana’s second class. The new residents began their intensive orientation earlier this month at the Partnership Health Center, where they learned about electronic medical records and spent time with a senior physician to learn how to prevent burnout in their career. The program is sponsored by UM as part of the University of Washington Family Medicine Residency Network. Read more about residency program.
Assistant Professor Ryan Mizner has designed a cutting-edge device that makes patients lighter as they do physical therapy to recover from knee injuries or even severe brain injuries. His Bodyweight Reduction Instrument to Deliver Graded Exercise (BRIDGE) device offers consistent vertical force no matter what the movement. He earned a grant from the Foundation for Physical Therapy to conduct a double-blind study with 30 patients recovering from knee surgery. Read more about the device.
Meet Harley Fredriksen, a visiting honors student from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Fredriksen is participating in UM's Summer Undergraduate Research Program and conducting research with mentor Dr. Yoon Hee Cho, a faculty member in UM's Center for Environmental Health Sciences. Over the course of the summer, Harley and Cho are researching changes in DNA that man-made nanomaterials can cause in order to better understand the genetic and health impacts of nanomaterial exposure. Read more about Fredriksen's project here.
In recent weeks the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, better known as ISIS, has emerged as a major insurgency. Evidence now suggests they are using illicit antiquity trafficking to fund their growth and arm their members. Such profiteering fits well with a longstanding pattern in the region, says Thomas Livoti, a Ph.D. student at UM who is studying the impact of counterinsurgencies on archaeological sites. Read more about Livoti’s work in this National Geographic article.
Longtime UM law professor “Duke” William Crowley passed away recently at age 91, but while he’s gone from this world, his legacy as a friend, a professor and the principal draftsman of the Montana Criminal Code will linger. The school estimates that more than 3,000 law students attended his classes over the years. He left them rich with knowledge and stories they wouldn’t soon forget. Read more about Crowley’s legacy.
When it comes to food waste management at the Food Zoo, UM Dining's advanced composting program doesn't leave a single morsel behind.
It’s the centerpiece of campus, commanding the Oval at UM. It appears in historic black-and-white photographs, and on today’s postcards of Missoula. Of the city’s many icons, Main Hall is surely high on the list. UM was established in 1893 and Main Hall is the oldest building on campus. It was designed by the well-known Missoula architect A.J. Gibson in the Richardsonian-Romanesque style and opened in 1899. Read more about Main Hall’s history in the Missoulian’s 100 Missoula Icons series.
Reed Humphrey, director of UM’s School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, has accepted the position of dean of the College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences. Humphrey will begin his new role as dean on July 1. He replaces Dean David Forbes, who recently retired after leading the college for many years. Read more about Humphrey and his new role.
Montana’s student-athletes spent more than 2,190 hours donating their time to community service events and projects during the 2013-14 academic year. How much is 2,194.5 hours, to be exact? If you worked 40 hours per week for an entire year, without a vacation day, sick day or holiday break, you'd put in 2,080 hours. Read more about the great things UM student-athletes are doing.
UM alumna and Assistant Professor Annie Belcourt (Otter Woman) is approaching health disparities among Native American populations from many angles. She’s working to improve indoor air quality in Nez Perce and Navajo communities. She helps community members promote health by telling their own stories through digital media, and she’s actively involved in bringing more Native Americans into academia. This article explores Belcourt’s interdisciplinary work.
With his boxes packed and a picture of his golden retriever on the computer screen, David Forbes is already dreaming of life’s next chapter, one that will allow time for golf and a trip to Europe with an uncertain return date. Forbes, dean of the University of Montana’s College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences, will retire at the end of this month, marking the end of a 26-year career. Read more about Forbes’ successful career at UM.
As a human biology and psychology major, Sarah Kinsey is very interested in the connections between human health and environmental science. This summer, she is participating in UM’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program through the Center for Environmental Health Sciences. Kinsey is working with mentor Liz Putnam to study the role a specific protein plays in the development of lung fibrosis after exposure to asbestos that may lead to future asbestosis treatments. Read more about her research.
UM is part of a new national network that recently received a three-year, $2.4 million grant to increase the number of indigenous Americans obtaining advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has formed a three-year collaboration with the Montana University System; as well as the University of Alaska, the University of Arizona and Purdue University. Read more about the Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership.
Only a dozen men ever have experienced the one-sixth gravity of the moon as they walked across the lunar surface and into history. But for patients who find themselves in UM Assistant Professor Ryan Mizner’s low-gravity environment, the goal isn’t to slip the “surly bonds of Earth” and walk amongst the stars. They simply want to walk again. Read about Mizner’s new physical therapy invention.
Chris Hahn sat down at the upright piano outside Higgins Plaza, and played part of a Chopin etude on the Kurtzmann manufactured in 1910. Across the street, a couple people cheered at the brief but spontaneous concert, the first live music on the instrument in its new home in downtown Missoula. Thus began the Downtown Piano Project, an idea that Hahn helped bring to fruition. Read more about Missoula’s Downtown Piano Project.
Great Falls sits right in the heart of Montana. The Missouri River snakes through one of the windiest cities in the United States. The Lewis and Clark Expedition had to portage around the area's five waterfalls in 1805. It was also home to former Montana Grizzly quarterback Dave Dickenson, who was voted as the No. 1 male athlete in the first 50 years of the Big Sky Conference. Read more about Dickenson’s latest honor.
Graduate student Matthew Ferguson is spending his summer conducting research at UM’s Center for Environmental Health Sciences. His goal is to understand the cause of health effects due to the inhalation of small particles in the air, known as particulate matter. Ferguson is currently investigating seasonal differences on the health effects of outdoor particulate matter, and how home wood stove usage influences particulate matter levels. Read more about Ferguson’s research.
A new study led by the Wildlife Conservation Society says that in wild yak societies, it's the mothers that are the real climbers. The study found that mothers with young venture on steeper terrain and slightly higher elevation than either males or females without young. Study authors expect that this strategy is an adaptive way to avoid predators and to access more nutritious food. Read more about the study, which was co-written by UM Professor Joel Berger.
A current exhibit at the Mansfield Library titled “Women in Montana Politics” features photographs and documents from well-known early 20th century suffragists along with information on contemporary activists and politicians. Archives specialist Carlie Magill and fellow Archives Specialist Kellyn Younggren spent nearly three months curating the exhibit, which is featured in display cases on the fourth floor of the library, as well as online. Read more about the exhibit in the Montanan magazine.
The UM School of Journalism has created a second visiting professorship that will allow the school to bring a high-profile journalist to campus each spring semester to teach a course to advanced journalism students and to mentor students at the Montana Kaimin newspaper. Since 2001 the school has had the T. Anthony Pollner Distinguished Professorship. The school recently announced a second endowment that will expand the program to spring semester. Read more about the Pollner professorship.
It’s been a busy spring for Internet sensations Iris and Stanley, a pair of adult osprey who have captured the attention of viewers from around the world thanks to a high-resolution camera installed by UM researchers. The pair returned to their Hellgate Canyon nest in April, and Iris laid three eggs on May 5, 8 and 11. All three chicks hatched in mid-June. Watch a livestream of the Hellgate nest here and follow the Montana Osprey Cams on Facebook.
These days she’s known as UM assistant coach Schweyen on campus, but between 1988 and 1992, Shannon Cate scored 2,172 points and pulled in 878 rebounds for the Lady Griz. When her last game was played, she was the No. 1 scorer in conference history. Now the Big Sky Conference has named her the top female athlete in its history. Read more about her amazing career here.
George Stanley Jr. has gone retro. Stanley is a geoscience professor and paleontologist at UM. He learns and teaches prehistoric life. He is also the director of the school's Paleontology Center. Its fossil collection is mammoth. While modern Missoula is Stanley's home, ancient volcanic islands are his place. Read about how Stanley’s work takes him to remote Canadian mountain ranges, central China and more.
Montana’s record-setting heptathlete Lindsey Hall is headed to Eugene, Ore., where she’ll be among 23 competitors for an NCAA title when her event gets underway June 12. She’s not the favorite – Georgia super freshman Kendell Williams will be awfully tough to beat – but she could be right there when her events wrap up June 13. Hall is, in the smaller universe of the Big Sky Conference, a marvel. Read more about Hall’s collegiate career and her final event.
KPCN: The Peer Connection Network, an award-winning, student video production group housed in UM’s Office for Student Success, recently visited 12 Montana colleges and universities to interview fellow students on financial literacy. The Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education contracted KPCN to produce seven videos that capture advice from peers around the state on financial education for current college students. The videos are expected to be completed in September. View more KPCN videos.
Travis DeCuire has always had a passion for basketball. That was apparent way back in 1990 when Blaine Taylor visited DeCuire on a recruiting trip to Seattle. Even today, Taylor and DeCuire have differing versions of what occurred that day, but DeCuire’s enthusiasm was unmistakable. That passion led Athletic Director Kent Haslam to introduce UM's new basketball coach with the pronouncement: “We got our guy.” Read more about UM newest basketball coach.
UM School of Journalism students and recent graduates are cleaning up at regional and national competitions. In early June, Christoper Allen and Ruth Eddy won first and second place, respectively, in the radio news category at the Hearst Intercollegiate Journalism Awards competition in Washington, D.C. And just a few days later, five UM journalism projects received student Emmy Awards for excellence in broadcast journalism. Read more about UM’s talented journalism students.
The Missoulian newspaper recently released its annual 20 Under 40 publication, a special section recognizing the top young business professionals in western Montana who excel in leadership, innovation and dedication to community. Several of the professionals who made the list have ties to UM, either as alumni, faculty or staff. UM congratulates all those who made this year’s list. Read more about these rising stars.
Hedge fund founder Renée Haugerud works in a corner office of the landmarked Beaux Arts Scribner Building on New York City’s busy Fifth Avenue. But the ideas that brought her here are rooted in a tiny log cabin near Montana’s Blackfoot River, surrounded by groves of larches, Douglas firs, lodgepoles and ponderosa pines. The 1980 graduate of the UM School of Forestry is now the chief investment officer of Galtere, Ltd. Read more about Haugerud in the Montanan magazine.
Learn more about the Flathead Lake Biological Station, UM's unique ecological research and education center located in Yellow Bay on Flathead Lake. For over 100 years, FLBS scientists have conducted research focused on the Crown of the Continent ecosystem while educating college students and the public through academic programs and community outreach.
His American students call him “Gee-Wiz” - and now the chemistry wizard’s science experiments have delighted New Zealand kids in Wellington. Professor Garon Smith, 67, is on sabbatical from his job as a chemistry lecturer at UM, and is making the most of his sight-seeing and tramping trip to Middle-earth by touring schools with his bag of tricks. Read more about Professor Smith’s travels across New Zealand.
This February, Provost Perry Brown announced UM’s new Brain Initiative. UM already is known for the bench research it conducts through the Montana Neuroscience Institute, a collaboration with St. Patrick Hospital, and the National Institutes of Health-funded Center for Structural and Functional Neuroscience. But this new project would consolidate brain research from across the University. Read more about the Brain Initiative in the spring issue of the Montanan, UM’s award-winning magazine.
On June 2, UM hosted its annual Retirees Luncheon, where former UM faculty and staff members came together to socialize and recognize the newest crop of retirees. More than 65 people retired from UM this year, including Vernon Grund, who served as UM’s associate dean for research and graduate education for the College of Health Professions & Biomedical Sciences. Vernon was instrumental in establishing what has become one of the strongest and most widely recognized research units on campus. Read more about this year’s retirees.
Brent Ruby is the head researcher at UM’s Department of Work, Performance and Exercise Metabolism. Enthusiastic and wonkish, he is exactly what you want a scientist to be. His lab is stocked with treadmills and high-end bicycles, but also mid-century modern furniture and an iPhone amplifier he made out of a wooden box and what appears to be a gramophone horn. Ruby is either a shameless huckster or the real deal. Read more about Ruby’s work in Headwall magazine.
On June 2, UM hosted its annual Retirees Luncheon, where former UM faculty and staff members come together to socialize and recognize the newest crop of retirees. More than 65 people retired from UM this year, including Dan Pletscher, who led the UM Wildlife Biology Program for nearly 20 years. Dan built one of the nation’s most prestigious research and teaching programs in wildlife biology and management. Read more about this year’s retirees.
On June 2, UM hosted its annual Retirees Luncheon, where former UM faculty and staff members come together to socialize and recognize the newest crop of retirees. More than 65 people retired from UM this year, including Annette Rocheleau who served as assistant basketball coach for the Lady Griz for 32 years. During her tenure the Lady Griz won numerous conference championships and played in 20 NCAA tournaments. Annette was instrumental in the growth and popularity of Lady Griz basketball. Read more about this year’s retirees.
The spring semester was just coming to a close when Patrick O’Connor received the news: UM Department of History doctoral candidate will be the first George M. and Jane I. Dennison Doctoral Fellow. O’Connor’s research focuses primarily on the social, political and intellectual histories of 19th-century America. The fellowship honors former UM President George Dennison and his wife, Jane, for the many contributions they made to the University. Read more about the first Dennison Doctoral Fellow.