Points of Pride


  • Success: Dani Parker, Media Arts MFA student, submitted her horror film project, “Safe Word”, to the Project Greenlight Reel Fear Horror Contest. She was selected as 1 of 5 finalists competing for a $300,000 budget to make her film. In addition to the industry publicity her work has received as a result of making it to this stage of the contest, she produced a scene and attended a Shudder Labs creative retreat during summer 2017. Winners will be announced the first week of August. Even if Dani’s project isn’t chosen for the grand award, she is already in conversations with producers who are interested in her work. We are proud the success Dani and her team are experiencing.

  • Connections: The Montana Repertory Theatre, in collaboration with the School of Theatre & Dance performed “To Kill a Mockingbird” in two cities in China – Beijing and Chongqing.  Nineteen students, faculty, and community members, along with Dean Kalm, joined Chinese actors in each city for this collaborative theatre production.  In addition to the performances, UM faculty gave workshops in theatre and voice.

  • Transformation: Marilyn Cole aspired to be a band teacher since fifth grade. However, after studying under UM’s greats such as Roger McDonald, Steven Hesla and Steve Bolstad, Marilyn decided to pursue a career in the Broadway orchestra pit. Shortly after graduation, she moved to New York. As a multitalented musician in oboe, piano, and musical consultation, she was able to turn her passion into her vocation. Marilyn’s accolades include performing in orchestra’s in New York; teaching all grades in oboe and recorder; performing on the Broadway shows Wicked and Les Mesérables; a founding member of the trio, Reeds Amis – featured artists at the International Double Reed Society conference in Tokyo and recently released their first recording; and is the oboe coach and musical consultant for the Amazon television show Mozart in the Jungle. Most recently she is starring in her own Broadway show as principal oboe in Natasha Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812. Marilyn emphasizes that UM transformed her and ensured her success as a performer, musician, consultant, and educator.

  • Knowledge:  The School of Art launched a fully online art degree. The Bachelor of Arts in studio art gives students a diverse toolbox of skills important to a range of careers, pairing traditional media – like drawing, photography, and painting with applied art courses, including illustration, video, web and graphic design. The degree anticipates changes in workforce needs as visual communication becomes increasingly important and ubiquitous. Data Arts is one of many innovative courses specifically developed to leverage art’s pivotal role in communicating complex subject matters.