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ForUM News from The University of Montana
  Jan. 23, 2012 | Vol. 40, 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.

President to give mid-year update Jan. 25 

UM President Royce Engstrom will host a mid-year update from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25, in the University Center Theater. The event is free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public.


Engstrom will give updates on University initiatives as the spring semester begins and take questions from the audience on all topics.


Additional student forums to address UM's sexual assault investigation will be held in the coming weeks. Those dates will be announced at the mid-year update on Jan. 25.

Commissioner to hold listening session at UM 

Recently appointed Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian will host a public listening session at UM from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25, in Turner Hall's Dell Brown Room.


After a welcome and introduction by UM President Royce Engstrom, Christian will  share a brief overview of system goals, and then invite questions, interests or concerns from the campus and Missoula communities regarding their perspectives on higher education in Montana.


Christian formerly served as Montana Board of Regents chairman. He recently was hired to replace Sheila Stearns as the new commissioner of higher education. Stearns announced her retirement last May after serving in the role since 2003.

UM launches directory of social media channels

Social media creates a paradox for college campuses. While Facebook, Twitter and other networks help build communities at UM, those communities have been disconnected from the University's Web pages.


Now there's a new tool at UM that facilitates a connection between the two. Found online, the first release of Community Hub includes about 40 campus social media communities.


Community Hub is a searchable directory of UM-related social media channels developed by the IT Web team that can be used to find UM content on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. It also catalogs UM blogs and email listservs. Sites are searchable by keywords and categorized by subject and social media platform.


Read more

Researchers find links between climate change, wildlife

Climate change in the form of reduced snowfall in mountains is causing powerful and cascading shifts in mountainous plant and bird communities through the increased ability of elk to stay at high elevations over winter and consume plants, according to a groundbreaking study by UM scientists.


The study, "Climate impacts on bird and plant communities from altered animal-plant interactions," was published online Jan. 8 in the journal Nature Climate Change.


The authors are U.S. Geological Survey scientist Thomas Martin, who also is a UM biology professor, and UM biology Professor John Maron. They mimicked the effects of more snow on limiting the ability of elk to graze on plants by excluding the animals from large, fenced areas.


Read more

Partnership launched with renewable chemical company

Two geosciences faculty members at UM have started a partnership with a private company to sustainably produce commercial products from algal biomass.


Potential products include organic fertilizers, natural pigments, food flavorings, fatty acids for biofuels, cholesterol-reducing compounds for food additives, and natural anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer drugs. Natural inputs and nontoxic production methods will give potential products a competitive advantage over similar products produced from petroleum and other nonrenewable sources.


Carrine Blank, a research assistant professor in UM's geosciences department, and Nancy Hinman, a geosciences professor, are working on the project with Blue Marble Biomaterials, a company specializing in fully sustainable, zero-carbon specialty chemicals.


Read more

State joins collaborative on science education for girls

UM will team up with Montana State University to promote science, math, technology and engineering education for girls as part of the state's recent acceptance into the National Girls Collaborative Project.


Membership in the project, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, will give Montana the opportunity to host free or low-cost professional development opportunities by coordinating with organizations, educators and business professionals serving K-12 female students.


Holly Truitt, director of spectrUM Discovery Area, will work with Suzi Taylor of MSU's Extended University and Martha Peters, program director of Montana NSF EPSCoR, as well as other state leaders to coordinate the project's activities in Montana.

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Mansfield Center director top UM grant recipient in 2011

The UM Office of Research and Sponsored Programs recently announced that Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center Director Terry Weidner was the University's top external funding award recipient for 2011. Weidner received $3.3 million in funding last year.


The Mansfield Center was established at UM in 1983 by an act of Congress to honor the long and distinguished service of U.S. Sen. Mike Mansfield and his wife, Maureen. The Center houses programs that embody the core interests and characteristics of Sen. Mansfield's career, namely modern Asian affairs and ethics in public affairs.


About 5 percent of the center's budget comes from an endowment, while the remaining 95 percent of its budget for staff and programming comes solely from external sources.


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UM physician serves at Youth Olympic Games

Dr. Carla Fritz, a physician at UM's Curry Health Center, served as medical staff at the 2012 Winter Youth Olympics held Jan.13-22 in Innsbruck, Austria.


Fritz, who is board certified in family and sports medicine, treated sports injuries and illness for the U.S. team, coaches and support staff at various venues throughout western Austria. The medical team for the United States Olympic Committee chose Fritz because of her outstanding work as a volunteer team physician for the U.S. junior weight-lifting team.


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UM composer receives prize for excellence

UM music Associate Professor Charles Nichols recently earned the prestigious title of finalist in the 2011 International Music Prize for Excellence in Composition and will be honored by the National Academy of Music with a diploma in music composition.


Composers of all ages from around the world were invited to submit an original composition to the competition. A team of composers, performers, theorists and musicologists constituted the artistic committee that evaluated all submissions and selected the winning entries.


Nichols submitted his composition into the advanced level of the competition, which required the piece to be of concert-venue quality. More than 210 compositions were evaluated at this level, and Nichols was among 13 composers who earned the title of finalist. His composition, "The Blues is Crying," was nominated by four of the five artistic committee members.


Read more

'Lord of the Dance' coming to UM Feb. 15

A production of the world's highest-grossing Irish dance show, "Lord of the Dance," is slated for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, in the University Theatre at UM.


Individual tickets for the lower level or floor seats cost $51.50, and tickets in the upper balcony cost $47.50. Groups of 15 or more can receive a 10 percent discount by purchasing group tickets. Both individual and group tickets can be purchased at all GrizTix locations, online or by calling 243-4051. For more information on group tickets, call Kelsi Plante at 243-5329 or email


Sixteen years ago, Michael Flatley created and launched "Lord of the Dance." Today more than 60 million people in 68 countries have seen the show in sold-out arenas and theaters. Flatley, who retired from dancing in 2011, is artistic director of "Lord of the Dance" and oversees all aspects of the production.


Read more

Essay contest winners announced

The First-Year Reading Experience Committee has announced the winners of the autumn semester First-Year Reading Essay Contest. Students submitted essays inspired by Elizabeth Kolbert's "Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change."


Michael Zarling, a freshman from Helena majoring in prepharmacy, won in the scholarly analytical category for his essay, "Indebted to Change." Freshman premed major Nicole Thelan won in the personal reflection category for "Climate Change in Our First National Park."


Zarling and Thelan each received a cash award sponsored by UM's Office of the Provost. Their essays can be read online.

University Relations serves campus community

UM's Media Relations Policy requires that University Relations staff prepare and distribute all University news releases (except athletics) to local, state and national media. Members of the campus community should review University Relations' news release guidelines before submitting information to


Staff members also are available to edit University-related materials before publication.


University Relations also maintains the UM Events Calendar, which is posted on the UM home page and is an excellent venue for publicizing University-related events. Events posted to the calendar are distributed weekly during spring and autumn semesters to all campus and local media, including newspapers and radio and TV stations.


The faculty/staff e-newsletter, ForUM, is emailed to subscribers from University Relations each Monday during academic semesters. (Subscribe here.)


The UM Style Guide and Graphics Standards Manual also are available on the University Relations website.


Check out other UM newsletters and publications produced by University Relations staff, such as the annual President's Report, Research View, Vision, TGIF, Transcripts and the Montanan, UM's alumni magazine, on the Publications section of the University Relations website.


University Relations staff are available to answer questions about these and other services to the campus community at 243-2522.

VALIC consultant available for financial planning

A representative with VALIC will be on campus the second Thursday of each month for individual counseling sessions to assist faculty and staff with financial planning. The next session is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9.


Appointments are required for sessions, which will be held in University Center Room 224. To make an appointment, call 1-800-426-3753 or email

President Engstrom's office hours

President Engstrom welcomes members of the campus community to meet with him to discuss issues and topics of their choice. Please call 243-2311 or email to make an appointment to meet with President Engstrom during these times.


President Engstrom's scheduled office hours for spring semester are:


  • Wednesday, March 21: 2-4 p.m.
  • Friday, April 27: 10 a.m.-noon
Faculty/staff/retiree socials

Socials will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. most Fridays during spring semester in the Davidson Honors College Lounge. Spring semester dates and event sponsors are:


  • Jan. 27: Davidson Honors College
  • Feb. 3: President Engstrom
  • Feb. 10: Office of the Provost
  • Feb. 24: College of Technology
  • March 2: UM Foundation
  • March 9: College of Arts and Sciences
  • March 16: University Relations
  • March 23: Mansfield Library
  • March 30: School of Business Administration
  • April 20: Alumni Association
  • April 27: College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences
  • May 4: President Engstrom
News about U
News About U

Amy Capolupo has been appointed to serve as Disability Services for Students interim director through fall 2012.

Wildlife biology Assistant Professor Mark Hebblewhite and Professor Mike Mitchell's article, "The interpretation of habitat preference metrics under use-availability designs" published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, received the Best Article of the Year from The Wildlife Society, the international society of wildlife biologists, at its annual meeting in November.


Political science Professor Peter Koehn and communication studies Adjunct Assistant Professor Phyllis Ngai delivered 17 invited individual and joint presentations and workshops over winter break at Fudan University, Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, Shanghai International Studies University, Nankai University in Tianjin and Renmin University in Beijing. Topics included transnational competence, intercultural-workplace and multicultural-organizational communication, management skills and local government.


Regents Professor of Ecology Steve Running was quoted extensively in "Seeing Forests for the Trees and the Carbon: Mapping the World's Forests in Three Dimensions" published on NASA's Earth Observatory website.


Mary Lee Vance, former Disability Services for Students director, will serve as a consultant in universal design and assist with accreditation and research efforts in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in UM's Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences. 


The Association of American Colleges & Universities posted a proposal, "Liberal Education for Greater Global Understanding and Cooperation: Preparing Students for Today's Peace Corps," submitted by Associate Provost Arlene Walker-Andrews and political science Professor Peter Koehn, on its annual meeting website.


Costa, Bruce; Keith Jakob. 2011. "Risk-Adjusted Returns of Socially Responsible Mutual Funds: How Do They Stack Up?" In The Journal of Index Investing. 2(3):94-107.


Hines, Samantha. 2012. "Incorporating Decision-Making Concepts into LIS Education." In The Reference Librarian. 53(1): 4-11.


Johnson, H.E.; L.S. Mills, et al. 2011. "Translating effects of inbreeding depression on component vital rates to overall population growth in endangered bighorn sheep." In Conservation Biology. 25:1240-1249.


Johnstone, Anthony. 2012. "A Madisonian Case for Disclosure." In George Mason Law Review. 19(2).


Koehn, Peter. 2011. "Donors and Higher Education Partners: A Critical Assessment of U.S. and Canadian Support for Transnational Research and Sustainable Development." In Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education. Online.


Minnick, C.L. 2012. "Cover Letters for Graduating Students: Engineering, Sports Marketing and Advertising." In Gallery of Best Cover Letters (Fourth Edition). David F. Noble. Indianapolis: JIST Publishing Inc. 424 pp.


Murray, Ray. 2011. Evidence from the Earth -- Forensic Geology and Criminal Investigation (second edition). Missoula: Mountain Press. 201 pp.  


Schleicher, Holly E.; Kari Jo Harris; Duncan G. Campbell; Solomon W. Harrar. 2012. "Mood Management Intervention for College Smokers With Elevated Depressive Symptoms: A Pilot Study." In Journal of

American College Health. 60(1):37-45.


Publication guidelines 

When submitting publications for ForUM, please be sure to include the following information. Submission is not guaranteed unless all information is provided.


For books:

Names of UM-affiliated authors only; year of publication; title of book; name, city and state of press; number of pages.

For journal articles:

Names of UM-affiliated authors only; year of publication; article title; journal title; volume and issue number; page numbers.

ForUM submissions must reach University Relations, 319 Brantly Hall, by noon Wednesday for inclusion in the following week's newsletter. Be sure to note that the submissions are for ForUM. Email submissions may be sent to Items will be included as space permits. For more information email Allison Squires, ForUM editor.


phone: 406-243-4853


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