S.E.A. Change Initiative for UM Students


Made possible by a generous seed gift from Dennis and Gretchen Eck, the S.E.A. Change Initiative for UM Students is a new program that will prepare students to be change-drivers and next-generation leaders who champion gender equity. Participants will develop the skills necessary to understand, navigate and change systemic biases as they seek to become leaders in business, nonprofits, higher education and beyond.

The program will provide experiences in four areas: mentorship and research, mindset building, entrepreneurship and leadership. Students will explore the skills and mentality necessary to change their own trajectories and influence broad societal change. These students will be the future elected officials, CEOs, governors and presidents, contributing to a more gender balanced environment.

The S.E.A. Change Initiative for UM Students aims not just to support women as they become successful and influential professionals and leaders but also to foster allyship across all gender identities.

UM students who participate in the program will have the opportunity to become paid mentors to Missoula-area high school and middle school students and will run a summer program that emphasizes the tenets of the S.E.A. Change Initiative.

We invite students to register for the inaugural S.E.A. Change Initiative course to be offered Fall 2020!

HONR 391 – Women & Gender Equality: Inspiring a Sea Change

This course is part of UM’s broader S.E.A. Change Initiative, which is a focused effort to ensure equity for all. Through this initiative, UM fosters an environment that is safe for women, one that uniquely empowers all women to reach their full potential, and one that accelerates women into careers of impact. Students who successfully complete this course will be eligible to become paid mentors for Missoula area middle- and high-school students and will be eligible for a summer job helping to run a UM S.E.A. Change summer camp for high school students.

Through readings, discussion, active learning experiences, and group research projects, students in this course will learn to recognize and assert their own value, will understand the importance of advancing gender equity, and will explore strategies for supporting and mentoring future generations to become aware of the value they bring to the building of a bright future for themselves and others. Students will come to understand systemic biases that impact women, and will learn to navigate and potentially change them. Most important, students in this course will become part of a cohort of UM students who support gender diversity and who are committed to inspiring positive change for themselves and others.