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March 24, 2014  |  Vol. 43, No. 10  |
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

$11 Million Gift Will Provide Scholarships

A 1953 UM alumnus has committed $11 million of his estate for academic scholarships at UM, the largest pledge for scholarships in the history of the University. President Royce Engstrom announced the gift at a reception for alumni from the San Francisco Bay Area.

Tom Cotter, of Palo Alto, Calif., is retired from a successful career in the investment field. The gift is a big show of support for UM’s Investing in Student Success Initiative, launched by Engstrom last summer.

“This is an incredible step toward providing resources for Montana high school students who wish to pursue a degree at the University of Montana,” Engstrom said. “It is such a generous gift, and one that dramatically influences UM’s ability to recruit and support Montana high school students. Tom Cotter and his family will forever change the lives of many people through this generosity and foresight.”

Read more: $11 Million Gift to Provide Scholarships for UM Students

Agreement to Improve Accessibility Services

UM has reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights to ensure educational accessibility for people with disabilities at UM.

The resolution agreement outlines a comprehensive set of policies and procedures so all electronic and information technology at UM can be used by the blind and other students with disabilities.

The full resolution agreement is online at  

Read more: UM Agreement to Improve Services to Students with Disabilities

Student Receives White House Award for Conservation, Helping Fellow Veterans


UM student and Afghanistan war veteran Tristan Persico was honored at the White House on March 18 with a Champions of Change award for his work conserving Montana wilderness and helping his fellow veterans readjust to civilian life.

The awards honor 14 individuals who through innovative approaches create opportunities for the next generation of Americans to take part in outdoor recreation and public lands conservation.

Persico, a graduate of Missoula’s Sentinel High School, is a full-time student studying parks, tourism and recreation management in the UM College of Forestry and Conservation. He also leads the Montana Wilderness Association’s Veterans Outreach Program, which helps veterans return to civilian life through outdoor experiences.

Read more: Missoula War Veteran Receives White House Award for Conservation, Helping Vets

More News

Engstrom Visits Lewistown, Great Falls on Seventh Stop of Outreach Tour
Missoula College Student Takes Bronze at Regional Culinary Competition
MA, MFA Thesis Exhibitions Open at UM Gallery of Visual Arts
UM Offers Intensive Summer Arabic Courses to High School Students
Researchers Seek Children Suffering From Nightmares for Study
UM Publishes Glacier, Yellowstone Region E-Magazine
UM Major Fair Comes to Missoula College
Hamilton-area Business Leaders, Community Invited to Career Pathways Workshop
Students Receive Awards for Promoting Campus Diversity

Use New Scholarship Hometown Release Form

Students who receive a scholarship and would like to have a news release sent to their hometown should use the redesigned form available online at

Faculty/Staff Giving Campaign Slated for April

Throughout April, UM employees from across campus will promote the power of giving and share the importance of private support for the University. The UM Faculty and Staff Giving Campaign garners contributions from about 15 percent of employees, or more than 300 faculty and staff, each year. This year, the campaign committee hopes participation tops 20 percent.
The campaign is co-chaired by accounting and finance Professor Ronald Premuroso and English Department Adviser Maria Mangold. They represent the Faculty and Staff senates.
During the 2013 campaign, Premuroso bolstered 100 percent participation from the Department of Accounting and Finance. As a committed member of the campus community, he wants to share with others the impact that giving has on UM and its students. Mangold also has been a longtime advocate for the campaign.
“I support the campaign because I can be part of something larger than my immediate work,” she said.
Employees can earmark their donations toward any department, program or scholarship fund they choose, and participation at any and every level makes a difference. For more information about the UM Faculty and Staff Giving Campaign, visit

Join Performance-Based Funding Forums

The Montana University System is exploring and developing performance-funding models as a component in the allocation of state funding for campuses. The process includes two phases: a short-term pilot phase for allocating funds for fiscal year 2015 and the development of a long-term performance-funding model.
Development of the long-term model will take place this year, and MUS will engage faculty and staff throughout the state during this process. The Performance-Based Funding Steering Committee will host Performance-Based Funding Metrics Forums at UM, and faculty and staff are invited to provide input at meetings from 3 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 26, or 2 to 3 p.m. Thursday, March 27, in University Center Room 327.
More information is available online at

Get Outside During Run/Walk at Work Day

In conjunction with UM Wellness, campus Wellness Champions have started a monthly Run/Walk at Work Day group that holds a lunchtime run or walk on campus the last Thursday of every month. This month’s run/walk is March 27. The group will meet at 12:10 p.m. outside the north entrance to the Skaggs Building.

The monthly runs/walks are modeled after the National Run at Work Day event, which takes place annually in September. The goal is to get UM employees out exercising for at least 30 minutes during their lunch break with the hope that a monthly group run will encourage regular physical activity. This event is open to the entire campus community, and runners and walkers of all abilities are encouraged to participate.

There will be run-, run-walk-run and walk-group leaders. For more information call Jen von Sehlen at 406-243-4786 or email

Faculty, Staff and Retiree Receptions will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on the Friday afternoons listed below in the Davidson Honors College Lounge. Spring semester dates and event sponsors are:
  • April 18: UM Foundation and College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences
  • May 9: UM Dining, Student Affairs and Campus Recreation
Director of the Center for Structural and Functional Neuroscience Michael Kavanaugh delivered the annual WWAMI Science in Medicine lecture at the University of Washington in Seattle on March 12. The lecture, “Rethinking the Roles of Glutamate Transport in the Brain,” dealt with his lab’s research on signaling mechanisms controlling learning and memory in healthy and disease states.

Anthropology and Native American studies Professor Neyooxet Greymorning traveled to Campbell River on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, where he conducted a Kwakwala language teacher workshop Feb. 14-16. Forty-three language teachers participated. A highlight of the workshop was when an 8-year-old who had no previous speaking abilities in the language learned and demonstrated mastering more than 40 Kwakwala phrases in less than 30 minutes.
Department of Mathematics Professor Bharath Sriraman participated as a co-convener at the “Sami Mathematics in Kautokeino Secondary Schools” symposium at the University of Tromso in Norway March 17-19. The symposium was the culmination of a large research project from 2010 to 2014 titled “Mathematical Structures in Sami Weavings and Ornamentation,” which was funded by the Norwegian Research Council. The project resulted in culturally congruent items used for student achievement measurement in Norwegian exams, journal articles related to measurement and the release of a video, “Mathematics in Sami Weavings.”

Missoula College Applied Computing and Electronics Department Chair Penny Jakes has been recognized as an "Expert Level Instructor" by the Cisco Networking Academy program. This award recognizes Jakes' achievements as one of the top 10 percent of instructors globally in the areas of participation in professional development opportunities, attention to student needs, student performance and use of resources.
Girtsman, T.A.; Beamer, C.A.; Buford, M.; Holian, A. 2014. “IL-1R Signaling is Critical for Regulation of Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes-Induced Acute Lung Inflammation in C57Bl/6 Mice." Nanotoxicology. Volume 8, Number 1: pp. 17-27.
Johnstone, Anthony. 2014. “Outside Influence.” Election Law Journal: Rules, Politics and Policy. Volume 13, Issue 1: pp. 117-137. Full-text link
Samson, Sue; Swanson, Kimberly. 2014. “Support Your Staff Employees: They Support the Academy.” Reference Services Review. Volume 42, Issue 1: pp. 165-180.
Bates, Sarah. 2014.  “Mapping the River Ahead: Priorities for Action Beyond the Colorado River Basin Study.” Carpe Diem West policy report. 24 pages. Full text link
  • VETS Office Workshop: "Creating a Degree Plan," open to students using VA Educational Benefits, 9-11 a.m., Mansfield Library Buckhous Room and Computer Learning Center.
  • International Week Lecture: "Intercultural Communication and Social Justice," Phyllis Ngai, noon-1 p.m., Jeannette Rankin Peace Center, 519 S. Higgins Ave.
  • Center for Biomolecular Structure & Dynamics and Cellular, Molecular and Microbial Biology Graduate Program Seminar: "The ESCRT Pathway in HIV Budding and Cell Division," Wes Sundquist, 12:10 p.m. Interdisciplinary Sciences Building Room 110.
  • Global Health in the Global South: Montana's Mountains Beyond Mountains: “Improving Road Safety in Developing Countries," Dr. John Miller, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Gallagher Business Building Room 106.
  • VETS Office Workshop: "Creating a Degree Plan," open to students using VA Educational Benefits, 8-11 a.m., Missoula College Rooms AD16-17.
  • Office of International Programs Brown Bag Lecture: George Stanley will discuss his experience networking between the U.S. and Japan, 12:10-1 p.m., Brantly Hall Presidents Room.
  • VETS Office Workshop: "Creating a Degree Plan," open to students using VA Educational Benefits, 2-4 p.m., Mansfield Library Buckous Room and Computer Learning Center.
  • International Week Lecture: "Misconstrued Concepts: Tattoos and Hijabs," Rae Brouwer, 3-4 p.m., Brantly Hall Presidents Room.
  • Community Lecture Series: "Are We Running out of Water?" Marco Maneta, 7-8:30 p.m., UC Theater.
  • Taboo Series: "Entomophagy," 7 p.m., UC Rooms 326-327.
  • 2014 Wilderness Institute Lecture Series: “Mountains and Rivers are Myself Turned Inside-Out: Tales of the Wild,” David James Duncan, 7:10-8:30 p.m., Gallagher Business Building Room 122.
  • VETS Office Workshop: "Creating a Degree Plan," open to students using VA Educational Benefits, noon-2 p.m., Mansfield Library Buckous Room and Computer Learning Center.
  • International Week Lecture: "Mesopotamia: The Cradle of Civilization," Yassin Ahmed Khalaf, 2-4 p.m., UC Room 326.
  • Curry Health Center Workshop: "Successful Goals," 5 p.m., Curry Health Center Counseling Office, west entrance downstairs. Open to UM students.
  • Montana Innocence Project Lecture: Innocence Project co-founder Peter Neufeld, 6 p.m. School of Law Room 101.
  • Plum Creek Lecture Series: Various speakers. Schedule available online.
  • VETS Office Workshop: "Creating a Degree Plan," open to students using VA Educational Benefits, 9-11 a.m., Mansfield Library Buckhous Room.
  • VETS Office Workshop: "Creating a Degree Plan," open to students using VA Educational Benefits, 2-5 p.m., Missoula College Room AD15.
  • Curry Health Center Workshop: "Managing Unhealthy Thinking," 5 p.m., Curry Health Center Counseling Office, west entrance downstairs. Open to UM students.
  • Sustainable Business Council Annual Lecture: "Beautiful Business: New Models for Local Living Economies," Judy Wicks, 6:15-8 p.m. Gallagher Business Building Room 106.
  • Montana Museum of Art & Culture Lecture: "Japanese Friendship Dolls," Alan Scott Pate, 7 p.m., Montana Theatre.
  • Plum Creek Lecture Series: Various speakers. Schedule available online.
  • VETS Office Workshop: "Creating a Degree Plan," open to students using VA Educational Benefits, 1-3 p.m., Mansfield Library Buckous Room and Computer Learning Center.
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