Over The Top: Chase Reynolds concluded his career as a UM running back in 2010 by breaking several records. The Drummond product scored a record 59 touchdowns during his UM tenure. He rushed for 52 of those touchdowns, which is another University record. His 4,067 rushing yards are just three shy of the UM record set by Yohance Humphrey from 1998 to 2001. In this sequence he vaults a University of North Dakota defender in a game UM won 27-17. Reynolds rushed for 173 yards and three scores during the contest.
Engstrom Named UM’s 17th President
The state Board of Regents voted Sept. 23 to approve the hiring of UM Provost Royce Engstrom to become the University’s 17th president. Engstrom began his new duties Oct. 15. Engstrom has served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at UM since 2007. He also is a chemistry professor. Born in Michigan and raised in Nebraska, he came to Montana after a national search from a provost position at the University of South Dakota. He replaced President George M. Dennison, UM’s longest-serving president who led his alma mater for two decades.
Report Outlines UM Economic Impact
A report found that UM in Missoula contributes 8,000 additional jobs to the Treasure State, nearly $600 million in additional after-tax income and $168 million in additional state tax revenues. The report, “The University of Montana: Growing Montana’s Economy,” was produced during a three-month period by UM’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research. BBER researchers found UM contributes to a more prosperous state economy through the earning power of its graduates; the contributions of its research, patents and inventions; and the millions of dollars of business it conducts with Montana vendors of products and services. The report also found that the average compensation per job throughout Montana is $865 higher because of UM.
Bee Researchers Find New Suspect in Colony Collapse Disorder
UM honeybee researchers and their partners have discovered a one-two-punch combination that may cause Colony Collapse Disorder, a mysterious malady that is depopulating beehives around the globe. Biology Research Professor Jerry Bromenshenk says his research group has learned that a honeybee virus previously unknown to North America, as well as a fungal pathogen, were found in all their samples collected at hives afflicted by CCD from 2006 to 2009. Those two pathogens were not found in the control groups – colonies with no history of CCD in Montana and Australia. The research was published Oct. 6 in PLoS ONE, a scientific journal. The team of UM bee specialists and Montana State University fungal pathologists eventually grew to include insect virus specialists at Texas Tech University and the Instituto de Ecologia, A.C., in Mexico. “Even if it’s not the cause of CCD, the discovery of the iridescent virus in our North American bees is important,” Bromenshenk says. “It warrants additional investigation, as it’s a whole different category of viruses than anyone has looked at before.”
2010 Commencement Held on the Oval
The 113th Commencement ceremony at UM was truly a Big Sky event as members of the Class of 2010 received diplomas May 15 under sunny skies on the Oval. It was the first time in the University’s history the ceremony was held in that location. Nearly 3,000 graduates took part in the annual rite of passage, while thousands of family members and friends observed from the expansive University lawn. UM presented four honorary degrees during the ceremony. Recipients were Robert S. Bennett, one of the nation’s most prominent attorneys and a generous and dedicated friend of UM, Honorary Doctor of Law; Stewart M. Brandborg, a towering figure in the American conservation movement, Honorary Doctor of Science; John Hollenback, a lifelong Montanan who has worked tirelessly to steward state lands, Honorary Doctor of Science; and Matt McCann, a former state representative and champion of higher education, Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.
University Dedicates Native American Building
UM celebrated the opening of The Payne Family Native American Center with a full day of activities on May 13. The morning began when representatives from all Montana Native American tribes took part in the symbolic “Coming Home” walk from the Adams Center to the UM Oval. Next, tribal songs were performed by Native singers as the flags of each tribe in Montana were raised. A formal dedication ceremony in the evening featured several speakers, including Native American activist Elouise Cobell, UM alumnus Jon Swan, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer and then-UM President George M. Dennison. The new building houses UM’s Department of Native American Studies, American Indian Student Support Services and related programs.
Pharmacy School Retains Top-10 Ranking
In early 2010 the Skaggs School of Pharmacy at UM was ranked No. 7 nationally for earning grants and contracts from the National Institutes of Health. According to figures from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the UM school raked in $11.2 million in NIH funds in 2009, earning a top-10 ranking among 112 pharmacy schools and colleges across the nation. When individual faculty members are considered, UM also ranks No. 7 nationally for garnering NIH research funds. The pharmacy school has the equivalent of 30 full-time Ph.D. faculty members who successfully competed for an average of $374,000 apiece in 2009. The UM school’s average national ranking since 2003 has been No. 8.
UM Elects to Remain in Big Sky Conference
UM is staying put. University President Royce Engstrom announced in November that Grizzly Athletics will stay in the Big Sky Conference and the Football Championship Subdivision. University officials had the opportunity to consider a move to the Western Athletic Conference of the Football Bowl Subdivision. Engstrom says three principles guided his decision. First, he wanted to maintain the cross-state rivalry between UM and Montana State University-Bozeman. Second, he wanted UM to compete with more mission-similar institutions. Finally, he wanted to ensure that UM athletic teams can compete successfully and maintain the prestige and integrity the program has demonstrated over the years.
Researcher Lands $1.5 Million DOD Grant
UM received a $1.5 million federal grant to support the preclinical development of low-dose methamphetamine as a treatment to limit the damage caused by traumatic brain injuries. The Department of Defense grant was awarded by the office of Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs to David Poulsen, a researcher in UM’s Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences. His research has demonstrated that rats suffering severe traumatic brain injuries show behavioral, cognitive and neuromotor problems 30 days after the injury. However, injured rats treated with low-dose methamphetamine experience profound improvements. Poulsen’s lab has discovered that low-dose methamphetamine administered to rodents soon after strokes or traumatic brain injuries offers neuroprotective properties. Poulsen and his partners formed a UM spin-off company in 2009 called Sinapis Pharma Inc. The company has successfully completed Phase I clinical trials on human subjects and expects a Phase II trial to commence in 2011.
UM Marketers Win Awards
UM publications and commercials won eight awards in national and regional competitions in 2010. The University’s 2009 President’s Report won a Gold award from the 25th Annual Educational Advertising Awards, a national marketing competition. UM also won a Merit award for the Montanan, the University’s 80,000-circulation alumni magazine. Campus won a Bronze award for its “UM Heritage” television commercial. The ad gives a dynamic overview of University history in a minute and a half. UM also earned a Merit award for “Griz Tunnel Run,” a video spot played before football games at Washington-Grizzly Stadium. “UM Heritage” won again in the regional Council for Advancement and Support of Education awards competition, earning a Silver in the public relations video category.
UM in Top 10 for Peace Corps Volunteers
UM ranked in the top 10 in the nation for producing Peace Corps volunteers. In 2010, 29 undergraduate alumni served in the Peace Corps, placing UM at No. 10 on the list for medium-sized universities with enrollments between 5,001 and 15,000. UM also ranked 10th in 2009, with 30 alumni serving abroad. The top-10 ranking places UM ahead of universities such as Notre Dame, Yale and Syracuse. George Washington University ranked No. 1, also for the second straight year, with 53 alumni volunteers currently serving.
Campus Hosts Elite Exhibition
Montana residents and visitors had an unprecedented opportunity to view selected works by some of the most notable artists from the late 18th to the early 20th century at two exhibitions held at the Montana Museum of Art & Culture at UM. The exhibition “Renoir, Magritte, Gauguin and other Masterpieces from a Private Collection” was largely centered on portraiture and included works by Alexander Archipenko, Rosa Bonheur, William Bouguereau, Max Ernst, Paul Gauguin, René Magritte, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, George Romney, Théophile van Rysselberghe and John William Waterhouse. Concurrent with the masterpiece exhibition was “Three Centuries of European Prints,” a display of works on paper drawn from the same period. The works were from MMAC’s Permanent Collection and had never before been exhibited. They were on view in the museum’s Paxson Gallery. The Permanent Collection, which has existed since 1894, contains more than 10,000 artworks.
University Commercials Take Home Addy Awards
Two UM commercials produced by Montana-based Chisel Industries won three 2009 Montana Addy Awards as part of the first of a three-tiered national competition conducted by the American Advertising Federation. The “UM Heritage” commercial took home two accolades: “Best of Show – Electronic,” as well as a Gold Addy. The “Griz Tunnel Run” commercial won a Silver Addy. Under the direction of UM Executive Vice President Jim Foley, staff members from several University departments collaborated to produce the ad campaign, which began in 2005. The commercials have won dozens of national and regional awards, including a 2009 National Admission Marketing Award “Gold Winner” designation for “UM Griz Nation.” In 2006, UM’s television campaign was selected from more than 2,100 entries to win NAMA “Best of Show” honors. The commercials and other UM videos can be viewed online on the University’s official YouTube channel.
UM Makes Princeton Review’s List of Best Colleges
UM once again ranked as one the top four-year colleges and universities in North America by the Princeton Review. The 2011 edition, “The Best 373 Colleges,” was released in August 2010. The rankings are based on surveys of more than 122,000 undergraduate students. The 80-question survey asks students to rate their school on several topics and report their campus experiences. Only about 15 percent of the nation’s four-year colleges and two Canadian colleges made the list. This year’s report quotes a student as saying, “Life at UM combines a love for the Grizzlies with the outdoors.” Another says, “Academics at UM are facilitated by great instructors [who do] anything and everything for their students.” The Princeton Review also selected UM for inclusion in its new guidebook, “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 286 Green Colleges.”
UM YouTube Channel Earns EDU Status
UM’s official YouTube channel received YouTube EDU status. YouTube EDU is a listing of videos and channels from the website’s college and university partners. The education-based portion of the site was started by YouTube in 2009 and is exclusively dedicated to institutions of higher education. Featured content on the UM YouTube channel includes lectures from some of UM’s top professors, speeches from the President’s Lecture Series and Provost’s Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series, Enrollment Services videos, UM outreach commercial spots, Montanan magazine Web-only videos and a series created exclusively for YouTube with UM’s president called “The President’s Update.” The University’s official YouTube channel can be found at http://www.youtube.com/universityofmontana.
UM Announces Campus Climate Action Plan
UM celebrated Earth Week by presenting its Climate Action Plan to campus and area community members and announcing the University’s plan to become carbon neutral by 2020. The Climate Action Plan is a collaborative effort among UM administrators, faculty, staff, students and Missoula community representatives to determine actions that will lead the University to carbon neutrality. To encourage participation in the plan, UM held open houses, conducted surveys and held many conversations with community and campus experts that led to new ways of thinking about the challenges of climate change. The full text of UM’s Climate Action Plan is available online at http://www.umt.edu/greeningum/documents/CAPFinal.pdf. For information about ways to get involved in UM’s sustainability efforts, visit the Greening UM website at http://www.umt.edu/greeningum.
Enrollment Tops 15,000
For the first time in its history, the headcount enrollment at UM topped 15,000. According to the Registrar’s Office, UM enrollment for autumn semester 2010 was 15,642, which was 721 more than the all-time record set in autumn 2009. The headcount includes students at the central mountain campus and the UM College of Technology. The number of students jumped 382 at the mountain campus, with an additional 339 at the COT. For the COT, enrollment has surged even in an overcrowded facility – built in the 1960s for some 700 students and now hosting more than 2,400. The University also set a record for full-time equivalent students at 13,367.40, some 609.87 more than last autumn. (An FTE represents 15 undergraduate or 12 graduate semester credits.) FTEs jumped 436.53 for the mountain campus and 173.34 for the COT. The FTE numbers rose in most categories, including healthy jumps of 364.58 for resident students and 152.37 for nonresident students (all for the mountain campus). The only drop occurred among distance-learning-only students, down by an almost imperceptible 0.3 FTE.
UM Named Among 50 Safest Colleges
The Daily Beast, an online news site, named UM the 23rd safest college in the U.S. on its second annual ranking. The website used crime data compiled by the U.S. Department of Education, the FBI and the Secret Service from the calendar years 2006-08 to compile the 50 Safest Colleges rankings. The Clery Act mandates that all schools that receive federal funding disclose crime information annually. The data reflect incidents reported to campus or local police, not convictions. To be eligible for the Daily Beast ranking, colleges must have at least 6,000 enrolled students and provide residential facilities. A total of 458 schools across the country met this criteria and were considered for the ranking.
University Connects to High-Speed Network
UM marked the completion of a robust research network across northern states between Seattle and Chicago in June. The Northern Tier Network connects Montana and other northern states to a national high-speed network, providing affordable 10-gigabit-per-second network connections – a 10,000-fold bandwidth increase over a typical broadband connection – for research, education, public health care and government uses. Completion of the 700-mile route across Montana was the final step of the six-year network project. The Northern Tier Network Consortium comprises research universities from 13 states. More information about the consortium is available at http://www.ntnc.org.
Environmental Journalism Conference Hits Missoula
Top Obama administration officials, leading scientists, business leaders and environmental advocates from around North America and Europe converged in Missoula Oct. 13-17 for the Society of Environmental Journalists 20th annual conference, hosted by UM. The gathering explored a wide range of local, regional, national and international environmental and science issues and offered professional training in new media skills for working journalists. More than 500 people participated. SEJ is an international organization of more than 1,500 working journalists, educators and students dedicated to advancing public understanding of environmental issues by improving the quality and visibility of environmental affairs reporting. Members work in a variety of mediums, including television, radio, print and online.
UM Fares Well At World Fly-Fishing Competition
The UM fly-fishing team took third place at the inaugural World Varsities Trout Fly-Fishing competition held in August on Lough Corrib near Cong, Ireland. UM’s team consisted of staff member Tony Tomsu and student Jesse Filingo. The duo competed against teams from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, France, Germany and the United States. Ireland’s Galway Mayo Institute of Technology won the event, and Limerick Institute of Technology, the host team, was second. The UM team was sponsored by Kesel’s Four Rivers Fly Shop, Kingfisher Fly Shop, Missoulian Angler and Grizzly Hackle.
Horizon Unveils Griz-Themed Plane
UM, Missoula International Airport and Horizon Air held a tailgate Nov. 19 at the airport to welcome Horizon’s new Griz-themed airplane. When the freshly painted maroon and silver Q400 turboprop arrived from Seattle, Monte rolled out a Griz-themed carpet to welcome passengers, which included UM Executive Vice President Jim Foley and his wife, Julie, and Dan Russo, Horizon’s vice president of marketing and communications. The pep band played “Up With Montana” as they got off the plane. Horizon painted the airplane with UM’s colors and logos and unveiled it just in time for the 110th Brawl of the Wild, held Nov. 20 in Missoula. The new look was provided at no cost to the University.
UM Listed Among ‘Best Colleges for Winter Enthusiasts’
UM again has received national recognition for its great winter lifestyle. UM was among eight schools named in 2010 to U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges for Winter Enthusiasts.” The eight were chosen as best schools in the nation for students who are searching for a “cold, crisp breeze; fresh snow; and access to skiing and snowboarding.” U.S. News & World Report’s Education Web producer Ryan Lytle wrote, “If winter weather tops your college wish list, then these schools are for you.” UM’s profile showcases a popular photo titled “Main Hall in Winter” by University photographer Todd Goodrich. In the profile, Lytle writes that UM “offers a ton of winter fun.” Other schools that made the list are the University of Colorado-Boulder, Dartmouth College, Middlebury College, Sierra Nevada College, the University of Utah, Williams College and the University of Wyoming.
Student Volunteer Efforts Boost Local Economy
Recent statistics from UM’s Office for Civic Engagement show that UM students exceeded expectations for community service during the 2009-10 academic year, with a total of 1,641 students completing 161,246 hours of service. This equates to an economic impact of more than $2.2 million based on the value of a volunteer hour in Montana calculated by the Independent Sector. The volunteers included 1,309 students who participated in service learning courses between autumn and spring semesters. UM offers 40 service learning classes across multiple disciplines that engage students in community-based volunteerism to enrich academic learning. Service learning students logged more than 57,000 hours of community service.
School Rolls Out New Name, Appoints Dean
At a meeting in October the state Board of Regents approved the decision to rename UM Continuing Educaton to the UM School of Extended and Lifelong Learning. SELL administers the University’s online degree and certificate programs, as well as extended-learning courses, professional development opportunities, UM’s summer semester and winter session, and UMOnline, which offers courses using an Internet-based system. Among its many programs, SELL also houses the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (MOLLI), which offers programs that promote learning and personal growth for people 50 and older. In December, SELL announced that Roger Maclean will serve as the new dean of the UM school. Maclean replaced Dean Sharon Alexander, who retired at the end of 2010.
Thousands Present at National Research Conference
More than 2,500 undergraduate students and their faculty mentors from around the country gathered on UM’s campus April 15-17 for the 24th National Conference on Undergraduate Research. NCUR is dedicated to promoting undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activity in all fields of study. It featured thousands of presentations on campus, including more than 1,300 oral presentations, more than 1,000 poster presentations, 60 dramatic presentations and 42 visual arts presentations. In addition, there were 197 presentations covering 45 topics by UM students. NCUR is the nation’s premier venue for undergraduate research. UM last hosted the conference in 2000.
Montana Digital Academy Opens Virtual Doors
Montana Digital Academy launched its online learning program in fall 2010 by offering more than 45 high school courses to students around the state. Located in UM’s Phyllis J. Washington Education Center, MTDA is the state’s publicly supported K-12 online school and is specifically designed to offer flexible education options to Montana students. Courses were offered free of charge for the 2010-11 school year. MTDA courses are delivered via the Web, and students can access them whenever and wherever they want. Content is taught by qualified Montana-licensed instructors and aligned with state educational standards.
Missoula Named Among Towns with ‘Authentic College Vibe’
MSN named Missoula, home of UM and the Grizzlies, one of eight towns with an authentic college vibe in an online news story titled “College Towns: An Honor Roll.” It points to Missoula’s wilderness surroundings and its active residents “who tend to fish, bike, ski or hike before most of us have stumbled into our first cup of tea.” It also notes Missoula’s relatively mild winters, its placement near three of the “Mountain West’s most revered rivers” and its varied cultural offerings. The top towns were selected after the author reached out via social media to followers and friends for suggestions, then reviewed the results and selected eight cities “that stand out as the best of what a college town has to offer, including colorful history, an array of cultural festivals and residential experiences that score plenty of lifestyle points.”
Students Award $10,000 to Local Nonprofits
School of Business Administration students learned about philanthropy firsthand when they awarded $10,000 to five local nonprofit organizations in 2010. Students in the spring semester Individual and Corporate Philanthropy class took part in a philanthropic experience funded by the Sunshine Lady Foundation’s Learning by Giving program. The students issued a request for proposals and received 25 submissions from local nonprofits requesting $83,384. The class implemented a rigorous in-class review and scoring process. In the end, five Missoula nonprofit organizations received funding: Garden City Harvest, Missoula Aging Services, Watson Children’s Shelter, Missoula Food Bank and Friends to Youth. Grants ranged from $1,000 to $3,500. Doris Buffett, sister of Warren Buffett, is the benefactor of the program that provides grant money to integrate curriculum focused on philanthropy.
Research Center Approved by Regents
The National Center for Landscape Fire Analysis at UM was approved as an official Montana University System center at the May Board of Regents meeting in Havre. The approval formally establishes the center to provide research, service, education, training, and technology and application development to help active, on-the-ground natural resource managers make more effective and safe fire and land management decisions. The center designation gives UM regional stature as an innovative hub of wildland fire research, application development, outreach and education. The National Center for Landscape Fire Analysis was formed in 2001 as a program in UM’s College of Forestry and Conservation to develop a research relationship between the University and the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station. Visit http://firecenter.umt.edu for more information.
UM Student Employee Wins National Award
Ryan Stevens, a 2010 UM graduate who worked for University Dining Services, was selected as the National Association of College and University Food Services Student Employee of the Year. Founded in 1958, NACUFS is a trade association for food service professionals at more than 600 institutions of higher education in North America and abroad. The award is given annually to an outstanding food service student employee at a NACUFS member institution. The NACUFS award followed a string of accolades Stevens garnered during the year. Stevens completed major projects at UDS that ranged from developing online data forms to overhauling financial-management and budget-planning systems.
Dining Services Feast Highlights Montana Food
The UM Farm to College Program held “Fall Feastival: Celebrating Montana’s Food Cycle” Sept. 16 in the Food Zoo and the Cascade Country Store. The event gave students, faculty and staff a holistic view of Montana’s agricultural food cycle. It was the culmination of more than a year’s planning and cooperation with 23 Montana food-producing partners. Nearly 99 percent of the items on the menu were provided by local farmers, ranchers and food producers. Preparations to grow and raise the food for the feast began in April 2009. University Dining Services documented the development of the livestock and growth of the crops raised specifically for the feast.
UM Technology Launches Brain Imaging Company
Two new patents for brain imaging agents discovered at UM have produced a company called Rio Pharmaceuticals, which offers specifically designed molecules to image select biomarker proteins in the brain. The new technology may help understand, diagnose and follow new therapies for neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and neuropsychiatric conditions such as depression. The lead inventor of the brain imaging agents is John Gerdes, an associate professor in UM’s Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Gerdes, whose department is based in UM’s College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences, has developed tracer molecules that target specific transporter proteins in the central nervous system. These molecules have quick-decaying radioactive atoms attached to them that allow for Positron Emission Tomography scanning. The PET scans detect the tracer molecules when they are bound to the biomarker protein inside the brain, allowing the biomarker proteins to be quantified.