ForUM: News from the University of Montana

April 14, 2014  |  Vol. 43, No. 13  |
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

UM Student Wins Prestigious Udall Scholarship

UM sophomore Hope Radford won a $5,000 2014 Udall Scholarship, contributing to a new No. 37 legacy by becoming the 37th Udall Scholar in the school’s history.

At the start of her Community, Consumption and Environment class on Thursday morning, Radford was surprised by UM President Royce Engstrom and faculty and staff members who had supported her Udall application. The group congratulated Radford, and she was presented with her own No. 37 Griz jersey to acknowledge her achievement.

“UM has strong athletic and academic traditions, and we thought it would be fun to reward our 37th Udall Scholar with a No. 37 jersey, which represents Montana excellence on the football field,” said Cary Shimek, UM University Relations communications manager and presenter of the jersey. “Now 37 represents excellence in the classroom, as well.”

Read more: UM Student Wins Prestigious Udall Scholarship

Rivertop Renewables Raises $26 Million

Rivertop Renewables, a Montana-based producer of novel chemicals derived from natural plant sugars, announced April 9 that it has raised $26 million from Cargill, First Green Partners and existing investors.
Rivertop's new partners represent world-class leaders in agriculture, finance and industrial products. Their contributions will enable Rivertop to commence commercial production of a new class of high-performance chemicals targeted at consumer product and industrial markets.
"This major financing milestone allows us to scale our platform technology and provide a whole new set of products to customers seeking a competitive advantage in the marketplace," said Mike Knauf, CEO of Rivertop. "Our novel chemicals will enable our customers and partners to innovate within their own product lines with new functionality, cost-performance advantages and sustainability."

Read more: Rivertop Renewables Accelerates Commercialization with $26 Million from Cargill, First Green Partners and Existing Investors

UM Receives Baucus Papers, Plans Institute

Max Baucus, Montana’s longest-serving U.S. senator, has departed to become ambassador to China, but a significant portion of his legacy will remain with UM.

On April 10, Baucus announced he would donate his official papers to UM’s Archives and Special Collections. In addition, the Baucus Institute for Public Policy and Service will be established at the UM School of Law if approved by the state Board of Regents.

Baucus will donate $850,000 of his remaining campaign funds to the UM Foundation to cover the cost of archiving his papers.

Read more: UM Receives Baucus Papers, Plans Institute

More News

Public Invited To Celebrate Native Heritage, Culture During Annual Kyi-Yo Pow-Wow
1491s Member to Deliver Lecture on Native Imagery at UM
UM Earns Silver Rating for Sustainability Achievements
Conference to Discuss Autism Treatment
College of Humanities and Sciences to Host Dialogue on Gender
Joan Baez Concert Coming to UM
UM FLAT Hosts Barbecue to Celebrate Earth Week
UM Advocates Host Semi-Annual World’s Largest Garage Sale April 26
UM to Celebrate National Student Employment Week April 13-19

Employee Recognition Day Celebration Slated for April 18

UM faculty and staff members are invited to the UM Employee Recognition Day celebration from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday, April 18, in the University Center Ballroom.

The event recognizes the contributions of UM employees to the University and will include live entertainment, hors d'oeuvres, an awards presentation, prize drawings and the chance to celebrate and recognize your colleagues. The event also can be live streamed at

To offer appreciation or to formally recognize fellow UM colleagues, send a personalized message to any UM employee through the Employee Recognition Day website before 5 p.m. Thursday, April 17, and it will be delivered by email to the recipient on Employee Recognition Day. 

Student Forum on AISS Director Search Moved to April 25

The American Indian Student Services director plays a critical role in fostering a campus community that supports Native American students in their transition to college and throughout their academic career. President Royce Engstrom, Vice President of Student Affairs Teresa Branch and Provost Perry Brown invite UM students to a forum to share their ideas and perspectives on the University’s search for a new AISS director.

The forum will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. Friday, April 25, in The Payne Family Native American Center Room 210. The search for the new AISS director currently is open and accepting applications. Initial screening of applications begins April 14. 

Read more: American Indian Student Services director position description

Indian Law Week Features Lectures, ICWA Conference

The UM Native American Law Students Association will present Indian Law Week Monday through Friday, April 14-18. Short sessions related to Native American law topics will be held Monday through Wednesday on campus, and the all-day Indian Child Welfare Act Conference will be held Thursday and Friday at the Wingate by Wyndham Hotel, located at 5252 Airway Blvd. in Missoula.

Find a full schedule of events on the NALSA Indian Law Week website. All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

Mansfield Center Hosts Free Conference on Human Trafficking

Leading experts, government officials and civic leaders from around the world will gather at UM Tuesday through Thursday, April 15-17, to discuss the prevalence and challenges of human trafficking during the 2014 Mansfield Conference: “Fight for Hope and Freedom: Human Trafficking, Montana & the World.” The conference will address how people can get involved in the fight against this international crisis.

During the conference, four sessions and six workshops will feature guest speakers Montana Lt. Gov. Angela McLean, Attorney General Tim Fox, Sarah Symons of Made by Survivors, James Pond of Transitions Global, Melissa Farley of Prostitution Research and Education, Fiachra Kearney of Global Eye | Counter-Trafficking, Ethan Batstone of Not for Sale, Pralhad Dhakal of The ISIS Foundation, Brittany Vanderhoof of the Polaris Project, Thomas Kim of Justice Ventures International, Teresa Sobieszczyk of UM, Dana Toole of the Department of Justice, Cyndee Peterson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Carla Croft of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

Register for free and find a full conference schedule on the conference website.

Largest Easter Egg Hunt in the Region Held at UM April 19

The Easter Bunny and Monte will look on as thousands of colorful eggs and candy are scooped up by western Montana children Saturday, April 19, when the Mountain Broadcasting Foundation hosts the 14th annual Easter Eggstravaganza on the Oval.

Children ages 9 and under are invited to bring their baskets and search for thousands of eggs packed with Easter treats during western Montana’s largest egg hunt, which gets underway when the Main Hall bell tolls 1 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public, and Mountain Line will provide free bus rides all day. Because of a large volume of UM events taking place April 19, participants are encouraged to bike, bus, carpool or walk to campus. Mountain Line’s Saturday route schedules can be found online at

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
African-American Studies Program Director Tobin Miller Shearer has been accepted into the National Endowment for the Humanities summer institute “Finding Mississippi in the National Civil Rights Narrative: Struggle, Institution Building and Power at the Local Level.” He will spend three weeks in Jackson, Miss., with scholars from across the country who together will explore the struggle for freedom in Mississippi.
Professor and Chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction Georgia Cobbs presented at two math conferences: “Communicating the Common Core: A Blended Professional Development in a Rural State” on April 9 at the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics annual conference, and “What’s Your Domain? Get the Facts!” and “Partnership in Action: A Collaborative Model for Designing Professional Development” on April 11 at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics annual conference.
School of Theatre & Dance Professor Karen Kaufmann, director of The CoMotion Dance Project, presented 17 performances of “Fire Speaks the Land: An Active Audiences Performance.” The professional company toured rural Idaho, Whitefish and Missoula March 6-April 5 with sponsorship from the U.S. Forest Service, Nez Perce tribe, Rocky Mountain Research Foundation, Montana Cultural Trust, schools, foundations and private individuals.
Environmental Studies Program Instructor Rosalyn R. LaPier was invited to speak on “Issues in the Study of Native American Religion” at the Harvard Divinity School on April 3. Rosalyn’s talk explored Blackfeet world view and environment. The Harvard University Native American Program also hosted her for a brown-bag lunch gathering on April 2.
In March, UM graduate students Traci Brown and Forrest Jessop, working with the UM Center for Environmental Health Sciences in the Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, presented at the Society of Toxicology annual meeting in Phoenix. More information on their involvement with the event is available on the CEHS website.
  • II2014 -- Innovation and Imagination 2014: Several events will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. A full schedule is available at
  • Global Health in the Global South: “Transmigrant Health in a World of Permeable Borders: Place, Access and Transnational Competence," Peter Koehn, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Gallagher Business Building Room 106.
  • II2014 -- Innovation and Imagination 2014: "Poetry for Lunch: Oval Launch and Reading," noon, Mansfield Library Lobby.
  • Office of International Programs Brown Bag Lecture: James Laskin, 12:10-1 p.m., Brantly Hall Presidents Room.
  • Native American Minority Health & Cultural Competency Lecture Series: "Intent, Reception and the Reclamation of Native Imagery," Migizi Pensoneau, 4-5 p.m., University Center Theater.
  • Conservation and Social Science Seminar: "Adaptive Management and Forest Restoration in a Changing Climate," Anne Carlson, 4:10 p.m., Forestry Building Room 301.
  • Curry Health Center Feel Better Fast Seminar: "Managing Unhealthy Thinking," 5-6 p.m., Administration Building Room 05.
  • Montana IoE Distinguished Visiting Lecturer Series: "Will Reliance on Bioenergy Affect Climate-Regulating Services of Ecosystems?" Evan DeLucia, 7 p.m., University Center Theater.