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Jan. 21, 2014  |  Vol. 43, No. 1  |
Welcome to ForUM, the e-newsletter for University of Montana staff, faculty and administrators. ForUM is published weekly during the academic year except during scheduled academic breaks. Submissions for ForUM are due by noon Wednesday the week before publication. Email submissions to

Look Back at UM in 2013

2013 was a big year for UM. Check out this slideshow to see some news and events from the past year. You can find fresh news throughout 2014 at

UM Makes Screen-Reading Software Available

UM has added new software that allows all students and employees to have whatever is on a computer screen read to them out loud.

While the University’s purchase of Read&Write Gold primarily is directed toward students with barriers to print, the unique attributes of this program bring added benefits to all users, said Timothy McHenry, assistive technology coordinator with UM Disability Services for Students.

Read&Write Gold is available now as a free download for all UM and Missoula College students, faculty and staff. To download the program, visit Read more

School of Journalism Ranked Ninth Best in U.S.

The UM School of Journalism recently was ranked the ninth best college journalism program in the country in a poll by NewsPro magazine and the Radio Television Digital News Association.

The magazine and professional association surveyed news professionals for their 2013 top choices of J-schools around the country, both undergraduate and graduate. Responders emphasized the importance of fundamentals and practical application in programs, such as teaching Associated Press style, grammar and different ways to write about news. Read more

New COO Hired for Family Residency Program

Barry Kenfield, former chief financial officer and chief operating officer of Missoula’s Community Medical Center, recently accepted the position of COO of the Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana and director of the Western Montana Area Health Education Center at UM.

The Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana, sponsored by UM as part of the University of Washington Family Medicine Residency Network, operates at Partnership Health Center in Missoula. It is one of three residency programs in Montana. Read more

Study Shows Large Carnivores in Decline

New research co-written by UM scientists finds steep declines in the worldwide populations and habitat range of 31 large carnivore species. The analysis, published Jan. 9 in Science, shows that 77 percent of the studied species – including tiger, lion, dingo and puma – are decreasing in number.

Associate Professor of ungulate habitat Mark Hebblewhite and John J. Craighead Chair and Professor of Wildlife Conservation Joel Berger, both of the UM College of Forestry and Conservation, co-wrote the study with scientists from Oregon State University, the University of California, Yellowstone National Park, University of Washington, Yale University and researchers in Australia, Italy and Sweden.

The study shows that 17 of the species occupy less than half their normal habitat range. These changes have serious environmental consequences, the authors argue. Read more

Scholarship Application Reviewers Needed

Reviewers are needed for the 2014-15 General Scholarship Competition. The reading period will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 19-20, in the Brantly Hall Presidents Room.

Volunteers are asked to read a scholarship packet of 10 applications, which should take about an hour. Readers will be provided with guidelines to judge and rate applications. Readers are a valuable part of the scholarship program, and deans and supervisors are thanked for allowing faculty and staff time to participate.

If you would like to participate, RSVP with the day and time you can commit to Kathy Gaskill at 406-243-5379 or email

Nominate Student Employee of the Year

Supervisors of UM student employees are welcome to nominate students for the annual Student Employee of the Year Award. Recognize students for their job performance and contribution to the work environment.
To be eligible, students must have worked a minimum of six months part time or three months full time between June 2013 and May 2014. The Student Employee of the Year Recognition Program begins at the institutional level and moves on to state, regional and sometimes national recognition.
Career Services will award a $500 scholarship to the UM Student Employee of the Year, who will be announced on Thursday, April 17, during National Student Employment Week. The winner will move on to the state-level competition.
Nominations are due online by Friday, Feb. 14. One student employee per department may be nominated. Call Janay Whisman at 406-243-2239 with questions.

Pianist Spencer Myer to Play Fundraiser at UM

When UM piano professors Steven Hesla and Christopher Hahn heard pianist Spencer Myer play the headliner recital for the Montana State Music Teachers Association’s state conference in November 2012, they knew they were hearing one of the nation’s top young musical artists.

“It was one of those ‘pin drop’ musical experiences,” Hesla said. “We simply knew we had to have him play for our Missoula audiences.”

On Sunday, Feb. 9, Myer will perform during UM’s Celebrate Piano Series IV. The performance begins at 3 p.m. in the UM Music Recital Hall, and tickets cost $20 for general public, $15 for seniors and $10 for students. Proceeds will help support the Keyboard Benefit Fund, which allows students to travel, compete, earn scholarships and allow the School of Music to maintain and improve keyboard inventory. Read more

Illusionist to Bring Show to Dennison Theatre

Jay Owenhouse, “The Authentic Illusionist,” will bring his show “Dare to Believe” to UM for two performances at 4 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, in the George and Jane Dennison Theatre.

Audiences not only will witness magic, but experience it. Participants will get sawed in half, disappear and predict the future. The show also will feature two sister Bengal tigers, one white and one orange. In support of this endangered species, proceeds from two levels of tickets will go to to help save tigers and cheetahs from extinction. Read more

MC Offers Online Computer Security Certificate

Missoula College UM will begin offering a certificate in network and information security during spring semester. The certificate proposal was reviewed at the Jan. 7 Board of Regents meeting.

The new professional certificate is designed to prepare computer and networking professionals for a career in the emerging field of computer security. It will provide experience in business continuity, computer system design, risk assessment, mitigation techniques, contingency planning, data integrity, security investigation and troubleshooting. Read more

Rural Institute Researcher Kathy Humphries was an invited guest speaker at the State-of-the-Science Conference on Community Living Outcomes and Quality of Life in Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

Several UM faculty members were recognized with 2013 Artist’s Innovation Awards from the Montana Arts Council. The awards are meant to foster an environment at the state level in which innovation and creativity of artists are valued and celebrated. Ten awardees were chosen from across the state, including six UM faculty members. They are English Department and Davidson Honors College Instructor Erin Saldin; School of Theatre & Dance Professor Karen Kaufmann; School of Theatre & Dance Adjunct Instructor Tarn Ream; School of Art Adjunct Assistant Professor Shalen Valenzuela; English Department Adjunct Instructor Natalie Peeterse; and MOLLI Instructor Mark Gibbons.

Shawn Grove assumed the role of director of the UM VETS Office in mid-December. Grove previously was a Veterans Affairs analyst with the Maryland Higher Education Commission. In the U.S. Army, Grove prepared intelligence reports, coordinated missions and served as a linguist from 2004 through 2009. He also has been a social worker and registrar’s assistant. He received a bachelor’s degree in counseling from Marshall University in West Virginia in 2004.

Director of Public Safety Chief Gary Taylor retired at the end of December after 25 years with the University of Montana. Marty Ludemann has been hired as interim director, and the search for the new director started Jan. 2. Ludemann has had a long, distinguished career in law enforcement.
Kelley, Allyson; Belcourt-Dittloff, Annie; Belcourt, Cheryl; Belcourt, Gordon. 2013. “Research Ethics and Indigenous Communities.” American Journal of Public Health. Vol. 103, Nov. 12: pp. 2146-2152.
Grey, Ramona. 2014. “Political Theory and the Human Predicament: An Introduction to Major Political Thinkers.” Cognella Inc. San Diego. 560 pages.
Anderson, LL.; Humphries, K.; McDermott, S.; Marks, B.; Sisarak, J.; Larson, S. 2013. “The State of the Science of Health and Wellness for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.” Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Vol. 51, Issue 5: pp. 385-398.

Hughes, R.B. 2013 “Depressive Symptoms in Women with Physical Disabilities: Identifying Correlates to Inform Practice.” Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Volume 94, Issue 12: page 2410-6.
Hughes, R.B. 2014. “Depression and Depression Treatment in Women with Spinal Cord Injury.” Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation. Volume 20, Issue 1: pp. 23-31.
Traci, M.; Seekins, T. 2013. “Integration of Chronic Disease and Disability and Health State Programs in Montana.” Disability and Health Journal. View online.

Berger, J.; Hebblewhite, M. 2013. "Status and Ecological Effects of the World's Largest Carnivores." Science. Volume 343, No. 6167: pp. 151-163.
Information about ongoing workshops and lecture series will be posted here. If you have a lecture series or workshop coming up, please email One-time lectures will be featured as a news story or in the Arts & Events section.
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