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The Montana State University Magazine

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THIS SPUD’S FOR YOU

Montana seed potatoes are at the root of crop’s excellence


ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ

CONTENTS Stuffed Chinese pandas decorate the China booth at the MSU International Food Bazaar. SEE PAGE 22.

12 MIS SION M A RS  MSU alumni, faculty and

students work to send humans to the red planet

22 F OOD : T HE COMMON GROUND  MSU’s 34th

annual International Food Bazaar

34 T HIS SPUD’S F OR YOU  MSU lab helps

make Montana seed potatoes the root of crop’s excellence

4 4 A LL IN T HE FA MILY  In Montana, small

business is often all in the family

4 8 A NE W F ORMUL A F OR SUCCE S S MSU’s people-

based strategies have improved math scores across the board

52 T HE FACE OF EQUA LI T Y 

Betsy Danforth

5 4 INS AT I A BLE CURIOSI T Y 

Blake Wiedenheft

56 A M A N W I T H A PL A N 

Leon Costello

58 HIS T ORY  MSU celebrates 125 years 60 W H AT I T TA K E S  A lasting impact

ON THE COVER Whitney Harchenko, doctoral student working in the MSU Potato Lab, examines the stem from a seed potato grown in sterile conditions. The lab helps ensure seed potatoes are disease free, Helping to make Montana the most popular seed potato state in the country.

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FROM THE HILL

The Montana State University Magazine

MINDS

CRUZADO  SEPP JANNOTTA

MOUNTAINS

Spring 2017 · Volume 11, Number 1 President Waded Cruzado Publisher Tracy Ellig Managing Editor Carol Schmidt Art Director Bridget Ashcraft Director of Visual Media  Kelly Gorham Assistant Editor Anne Cantrell Creative Services Director Ron Lambert Graphic Designers K risten Drumheller,   Alison Gauthier M arketing Director Julie Kipfer Photographer  Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez Production Manager Kay LaFrance Writers Denise Hoepfner, Marshall Swearingen Contributing writers: Michael Becker, Evelyn Boswell, Bill Lamberty, Emily Stifler Wolfe, Jessianne Wright Contributing photographer: Sepp Jannotta Mountains & Minds is published by Montana State University. Copyright © 2017 by Montana State University. All rights reserved. Mountains & Minds does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Excerpts from this magazine may be reprinted with permission. Please provide appropriate credit to Montana State University and supply copies of reprinted materials to the editor. Opinions expressed herein are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration. Montana State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution. Subscriptions: $12/year Editorial offices are located at: Montana State University 431 Culbertson Hall · P.O. Box 172220 Bozeman, MT 59717–2220 Telephone: (406) 994-1966 mountainsandminds@montana.edu Mountains and Minds is printed on post-consumer recycled paper.

Visit us online to subscribe to Mountains and Minds

WEB EXCLUSIVES AT WWW.MONTANA.EDU/MOUNTAINSANDMINDS

Dear friends, In advance of Montana State University’s 125th anniversary, which we will celebrate next February, I have spent a good deal of time re-reading the wonderful In the People’s Interest: A Centennial History of Montana State University. The university’s history was written 25 years ago in honor of MSU’s centennial. It is dramatic reading, and a story worth retelling. Thirty-one years after land-grant institutions had been launched by the Morrill Act, signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862, Bozeman’s town mothers and fathers thought a land-grant university would be an excellent fit for the Gallatin Valley. It was a bold quest. Nelson Story joined with Peter Koch, Walter Cooper and Lester Willson to bring a public college to Bozeman. They were strongly encouraged by their wives, who wished to make Bozeman a center of culture and learning. I quote from the book: “In 1892 … having spent the better part of three decades contending with some of the most monumental forces in American history—the Civil War, the passing of the mining frontier, the Indian wars and the industrialization of the American West, Bozeman’s elite began dreaming of a college that would transform their town into “the Athens of the West.” As I review the accomplishments of today’s students and faculty—many of them highlighted in the following pages—I’d say that the dreams of those pioneers who envisioned a university on the hill were remarkably realized. I hope all of you will be able to join us for the many activities we have planned for MSU’s 125th anniversary celebration. In particular, please mark your calendars to be on campus for the Bobcat Birthday Bash: MSU Celebrates 125 Years, a two-day festival that will begin on Feb. 16, 2018. Until then, I hope you enjoy this issue of Mountains and Minds magazine. And, I look forward to seeing each one of you on campus during our anniversary year. Warmly,

Waded Cruzado, president Montana State University 2

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BRYAN STEVENSON TO SPEAK ON ‘JUST MERCY’ AT 2017 MSU CONVOCATION Bryan Stevenson, a social justice activist who is called “the Nelson Mandela of America,” will speak at Montana State University’s 2017 Convocation set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24, in the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse. Stevenson’s book, Just Mercy, is the 2017 MSU book selection for first-year students. Stevenson’s Just Mercy is a New York Times bestseller that was named by Time Magazine as one of the 10 Best Books of Nonfiction for 2014. The book has been awarded several honors including a 2015 NAACP Image Award. His presentation “We need to talk about an injustice” is also a popular TEDTalk. Tickets are free, but must be reserved in advance. They will be available in June at all Bobcat Ticket outlets.

MSU Celebrates 125 Years F E BRUA RY 16 –17, 2018

A weekend of activities will commemorate the Montana State Legislature’s establishment on Feb. 16, 1893 of what was then called The Agricultural College of the State of Montana, now MSU. F E B RUA RY 16

Awards for Excellence dinner F E B RUA RY 17

MOKWA NAMED PROVOST Robert “Bob” Mokwa has been named MSU’s new executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. In his role, Mokwa serves as the second-highest ranking administrator at the university after President Waded Cruzado. He will oversee MSU’s 10 college and school deans, the university’s academic programs, faculty hiring and development, numerous centers and institutes, the WWAMI Medical Education Program and the university’s online course offerings through Extended University, in addition to other duties.

ZUMI  ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ

Mokwa, 54, has been at MSU since 2001, when he joined the College of Engineering’s Department of Civil Engineering. Mokwa received the MSU President’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2014, the Faculty Award for Excellence for the College of Engineering in 2009 and the College of Engineering Outstanding Instructor award in 2002. He also has served as a MSU Faculty Senate chair. He was named interim executive vice president for academic affairs and provost in June 2016.

Bobcat Birthday Bash Ice skating, Ferris wheel, music and food, tours of campus programs and inspiring lectures. The Associated Students of MSU will lead winter games for students, which will include an opening ceremony, cross-country skiing and broom ball, among other activities. For more information about the Bobcat Birthday Bash, go to montana.edu/125.

INTERNATIONAL STREET ARTIST’S MURAL LAUNCHES MSU PARKING GARAGE PUBLIC ART INITIATIVE Marina Zumi, a South American graffiti muralist with an international following, used more than 200 cans of spray paint to transform the first floor of MSU’s new parking garage into a massive mural. The project is the first of several installations of permanent public art planned for the garage, which opened in January, according to Royce Smith, dean of the MSU College of Arts and Architecture. Future installations in the garage will include Native American-themed murals to be created by Matika Wilber, a Seattle-based photographer from the Swinomish and Tulalip tribes, and a colored glass installation documenting some of Montana’s most prominent geographic features planned by Tad Bradley, assistant teaching professor in MSU’s School of Architecture. Smith said each of the college’s four schools—the School of Music, School of Art, School of Film and Photography and School of Architecture— will have installations in the garage that will bring together sound, image and space.

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MO N TAN A STATE U N I V E R SI TY   ·   M O U N TA I N S

1  GIANT SLALOM  KELLY GORHAM   2  MARINE LIFE  JORGE GONZALEZ   3 CARTER ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ  4  CHANG ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ   5 CATTLE  ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ

FIELDNOTES

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FOURTH BOBCAT TO WIN A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

Benedicte “Beni” Lyche became the fourth Bobcat in history to win an individual national title at the NCAA Skiing Championships this spring. The junior business major from Oslo, Norway, won the women’s giant slalom to join legendary MSU individual title skiers Tor Fageraas, Dan Brelsford and Anika Miller. MSU finished sixth in the national championships held on Cannon Mountain, in New Hampshire, with Lyche’s one individual title and eight All-American honors. This is the eighth consecutive year the Bobcats have placed in the top 10 in the national championships. MSU also learned this spring that it will host the national skiing championships in 2020.

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GRAD STUDENT CO-AUTHORS PAPER ON DIVERSE MARINELIFE FOSSIL SITE FOUND AS A TEENAGER

MSU doctoral student and paleontologist L.J. Krumenacker discovered a window into Early Triassic marine life by way of fossils he found near Paris, Idaho, more than 15 years ago. Krumenacker is part of an international team of scientists whose research into the 250-millionyear-old fossils he discovered as a teenager was published in the journal Science Advances. Krumenacker is coauthor of the paper, “Unexpected Early Triassic marine ecosystem and the rise of the Modern evolutionary fauna,” which describes the assemblage of fossils from marine animals that coexisted in the same ecosystem after a mass extinction wiped out 90 percent of all existing species from the planet. Pictured: An artist rendering of Early Triassic marine life depicts some of the animal biota represented by fossils L.J. Krumenacker found near Paris, Idaho.

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JOSH CARTER WINS RHODES SCHOLARSHIP

Josh Carter, a Watertown, South Dakota, native who will receive degrees in both mechanical engineering and microbiology, won a 2017 Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University. Carter is interested in developing smart prosthetics and while at MSU has become an expert in CRISPR technologies. Carter is a Goldwater Scholar with four publications, including one in the journal Science. Carter, whose application essay to the Honors College was a musical composition, is the 11th MSU student to receive a Rhodes Scholarship, considered the oldest and one of the most prestigious international academic awards.

RESEARCHER RECEIVES $1.3 MILLION TO DEVELOP VIRUSFIGHTING TECHNOLOGY

Connie Chang, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering at the Center for Biofilm Engineering in the College of Engineering, and her colleagues have received a $5.2 million grant to push the boundaries of a new approach for treating flu and other fast-evolving viruses that resist traditional vaccines. Chang and her team will explore the use of a sophisticated method called drop-based microfluidics for producing therapeutic interfering particles, or TIPs, for treating influenza.

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MSU PURCHASES FIRST RED ANGUS CATTLE HERD

MSU has purchased a 51-head purebred Red Angus cattle herd, the first in the university’s history. The herd, which MSU purchased from alumni Bob and Rita Dige of Sand Coulee, will enable MSU to conduct research on various issues such as heifer development, lifetime productivity, reproduction and profitability, among other economically relevant traits. The research is expected to impact Montana cattle ranchers for years to come.

MSU CELEBRATES RENAMING OF BARNARD HALL MSU College of Engineering Dean Brett Gunnink, Tim Barnard, MSU President Waded Cruzado and Mary Barnard gathered in front of Barnard Hall, formerly the Engineering and Physical Sciences Building, during a naming ceremony Thursday, December 15, 2016 in Bozeman. The Barnards recently pledged $6 million to MSU for its College of Engineering and the university’s South Campus development.

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FIELDNOTES

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MSU ALUM’S NIGHT-SKY PHOTOGRAPHY FEATURED ON NATIONAL PLATFORM

The night-sky photography of MSU alumnus Ryan Hannahoe was recently featured in the Smithsonian Institution’s Air and Space magazine. From March 6–12, the magazine shared approximately three of his images daily. Hannahoe’s photography was first featured in the publication in 2011 when he was an intern at the NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center. Pictured: The Orion and Running Man Nebulae are depicted in this two-frame mosaic image. The Orion Nebula is a vast cloud of dust and gas spanning 13 light years and contains over 3,000 stars.

CRUZADO REAPPOINTED TO BIFAD MSU President Waded Cruzado has been reappointed to the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development. President Barack Obama announced the reappointment in January. BIFAD is a seven-member advisory council that advises the United States Agency for International Development on agriculture and higher education issues pertinent to food insecurity in developing countries.

SHEARER WINS SCHWARZMAN SCHOLARSHIP

BERG INDUCTED INTO MONTANA PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS HALL OF FAME

Riley Shearer, a senior from Lake Oswego, Oregon, has become MSU’s first Schwarzman Scholar. As part of the competitive program recognizing leadership, he will earn a master’s degree in public policy at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Shearer will graduate from MSU in May with bachelor’s degrees in chemical engineering, biochemistry and economics with a minor in mathematics as well as a degree from the MSU Honors College.

The late Lloyd Berg, MSU’s longest-serving professor, was inducted posthumously into the Montana Professional Engineers Hall of Fame. Berg, who died in 2000, served as MSU’s Department of Chemical Engineering chairman for 33 years and remained involved with the university for another two decades. He mentored hundreds of students during his time at MSU.

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Military Times, a print and digital magazine, ranked MSU as No. 89 out of the 130 four-year universities to make its Best for Vets: Colleges 2017 ranking, published Nov. 1, on its website. The ranking will also be published in the print version of Military Times as well as in the print and online versions of Air Force Times, Army Times, Marine Corps Times and Navy Times. MSU is the only institution in Montana to make the list.

MONTANA WILSON WINS PRESTIGIOUS GATES CAMBRIDGE SCHOLARSHIP Montana Wilson, an MSU student from Poplar, recently won a Gates Cambridge Scholarship that will fund graduate work at the University of Cambridge in England. Wilson is a senior in the Honors College with dual degrees in economics and political science and a minor in Native American studies. He is the first Native American Gates Cambridge Scholar in the history of the scholarship program, according to the Gates Cambridge Trust.

MSU has been ranked No. 1 on a list of the 30 best colleges in the nation for outdoor sports and recreation by LendEDU.

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Graphic design professor Meta Newhouse’s imaginative design about a potential health risk due to climate change was named one of the top 10 posters in the international Poster for Tomorrow contest. Newhouse’s design of a giant mosquito with rifles as legs over the slogan, “Climate Change Bites,” was selected among the 10 best posters from more than 5,000 entries. The theme of the contest was “Make Extremism History.”

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DOCTORAL STUDENT COAUTHORS PAPER DESCRIBING HOW CITIZEN SCIENTISTS CONTRIBUTE TO MOUNTAIN GOAT RESEARCH MSU doctoral student Elizabeth Flesch has co-authored the paper, “Comparing citizen science and professional data to evaluate extrapolated mountain goat distribution models.” The paper details how, through their data collection, citizen scientists have played an important role in mountain goat distribution research in Glacier National Park as part of a study that spanned Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. The paper was published in the ecology journal Ecosphere. Pictured: A mountain goat is observed scaling a mountainside in Glacier National Park in September 2016.

MSU RANKED AMONG BEST COLLEGES FOR VETERANS BY MILITARY TIMES MAGAZINE

NO. 1 IN THE NATION FOR OUTDOOR SPORTS AND RECREATION

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NEWHOUSE DESIGN PICKED AS ONE OF TOP 10 IN WORLD

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MSU EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGIST CO-AUTHORS PAPER ON LIVE BIRTH IN AN ANCIENT REPTILE

Chris Organ, MSU evolutionary biologist, was involved in a recent discovery of a 250-million-year-old fossil from China that has scientists rethinking how reproduction evolved in a group of animals that includes birds, crocodiles and turtles. The fossil, called Dinocephalosaurus, is a long-necked, fish-eating marine reptile dating to the Middle Triassic period and contains an embryo inside its abdomen. This unexpected evidence is the only known example of live birth in this large group of vertebrates known as Archosauromorpha. The findings were published Feb. 14 in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

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6  NIGHT SKY  COURTESY OF RYAN HANNAHOE AND SALVATORE GRASSO  7  VETERANS KELLY GORHAM  8 NEWHOUSE ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ   9 GOAT COURTESY OF ELIZABETH FLESCH  10 DINOCEPHALOSAURUS ART BY DINGHUA YANG

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11 AVALANCHES KELLY GORHAM   12  UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH  ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ   13 BUMBLEBEES ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ   14 LAMERES KELLY GORHAM  15  LIZARD ART BY MISAKI OUCHIDA

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NEW YORK TIMES PROFILES PROFESSORS’ RESEARCH ON DEADLY AVALANCHES

MSU professors Jordy Hendrikx, snow science, and Jerry Johnson, political science, were featured in a New York Times story about the Tracks Project, detailing the impact of human decisions in deadly avalanches. The research found that older people, especially those with children, make more conservative decisions. Young, all-male groups take more risks. Those firmly set on a goal, like conquering a new slope, make riskier choices. And, although going out alone in the backcountry tends to be seen as risky, project respondents who were solo travelers tended to make safer choices than those who traveled in larger groups.

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MSU TO HOST 2020 NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH

The Council on Undergraduate Research selected MSU to host the 2020 National Conference on Undergraduate Research, a major conference that provides undergraduate students from across the country with an opportunity to present their scholarly research in a professional setting. The esteemed event brings together more than 4,000 students and their faculty mentors for a three-day conference.

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MONTANA BUMBLEBEES DOCUMENTED FOR FIRST TIME

MSU faculty and a former graduate student say they have compiled the state’s first inventory of bumblebees known to live in Montana. Their research reveals the largest number of bumblebee species known from any state in the nation. The group’s research is detailed in a paper, “Bumblebees of Montana,” which was published recently in the Annals of the Entomological Society of America.

MSU COMMUNICATIONS ENTRIES WIN TOP AWARDS MSU-produced communications received seven awards at the recent Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s District VIII competition, a regional contest for universities, colleges and secondary schools in the Pacific Northwest and western Canada. The viewbook for incoming students, Explorer’s Guide, won two gold awards. MSU’s institutional video ad Unbranded: Nothing is Impossible, featuring MSU alumni who worked on the award-winning documentary Unbranded, received gold in the advertising spots and public service announcements category. And, Mountains and Minds flagship magazine received a gold in the print and general interest category for magazines with a circulation of less than 29,999. University Communications produced the winning entries in-house.

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RESEARCHERS TEST COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY ON INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION

A Rubik’s Cube-sized computer prototype designed by MSU researchers is being used on the International Space Station to demonstrate an improved method for coping with the radiation of outer space. The new computer technology, developed by Brock LaMeres, associate professor in MSU’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, could one day be used for navigation, communication and a variety of other purposes on the ISS, as well as on satellites and exploratory spacecraft such as Mars rovers. Pictured: Brock LaMeres inspects a part of the Cube Satellite being built at MSU that will be deployed into the International Space Station in January 2018.

RUSSELL WINS GOLDWATER SCHOLARSHIP Magdalena (Maggie) Russell of Bozeman, who is researching compounds that could be used to treat a neurodegenerative disease has received the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship, the nation’s premier scholarship for undergraduates studying math, natural sciences and engineering. The junior is MSU’s 68th Goldwater Scholar, keeping the university one of the nation’s top institutions for number of recipients.

SHOW YOUR COLORS Congratulations to Kay DeMeritt of Bozeman, winner of the Bobcat “Show Your Colors contest. Mountains and Minds received eight submissions to the contest representing a variety of ages. The submissions were posted on the MSU Facebook account where followers could vote on their favorites. DeMeritt’s entry received 271 votes. McKenna Stokes of West Richland, Washington, was second with 199 votes. DeMeritt will receive a $50 gift certificate to the MSU Bookstore.

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PALEONTOLOGIST LEADS EXPEDITION THAT UNEARTHS NEW SPECIES OF ANCIENT LIZARD

MSU paleontologist David Varricchio discovered two nearly complete fossils of a small, insect-eating lizard on Montana’s Egg Mountain. The newly discovered iguana-like lizard that roamed the earth 75 million years ago lived alongside dinosaurs such as tyrannosaurs and bird-like troodons. Named Magnuviator ovimonsensis, which means “mighty traveler from Egg Mountain,” the specimens are the oldest, most complete iguanian fossils discovered in the Americas. Pictured: An illustration of Magnuviator ovimonsensis.

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Riley Norgaard, a senior forward from Canby, Minnesota, shoots over a pair of Griz defenders. The MSU Women’s Basketball team won the Big Sky Conference and represented the conference at the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1993.

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ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ

REIGNING CATS


CALENDAR M AY 6 Spring Commencement 11 Women’s Circle of Excellence Conference 15 Summer session First six-week session begins J U N E 14–17 Macbeth Montana Shakespeare in the Parks 21–24 You Never Can Tell Montana Shakespeare in the Parks

26 Summer session Second six-week session begins

J U LY 4 Ice cream social Museum of the Rockies Living History Farm

7 Field Day Arthur H. Post Farm Bozeman 8 Wine and Culinary Classic Museum of the Rockies

7–10 Montana 4-H Congress

AUGUST 23 Move-In Day 24–25 Catapalooza 24 MSU Convocation Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy

25 Community Cat Walk Downtown Bozeman 28 Fall semester begins

SEPTEMBER 7–8 Two-Fly Benefit Museum of the Rockies 9 Gold Rush game Bobcat Stadium 14–16 Ivan Doig Symposium 23 Roots of Wisdom: Native Knowledge Shared Science Museum of the Rockies 14–17 Memory on Glass: D.F. Barry on Standing Rock 1878–1891 Museum of the Rockies 25–30 Homecoming Week 30 Homecoming Parade and football game OCTOBER 6 Family Business Day 27 Entrepreneur Day For a complete MSU calendar of events, visit W W W . M O N TA N A . E D U/ C A L E N D A R

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M I S S I O N:

MARS MSU alumni, faculty and students work to send humans to the red planet by Marshall Swearingen

For an entire year, Carmel Johnston felt no wind on her face. Through the small porthole windows in the 36-foot diameter dome that she called home, she saw a desolate landscape of red-tinged rock. Her only communication with the outside world was email, with a 20-minute delay each way. She and her five crewmates ventured short distances from the dome, but only after encapsulating themselves in airtight suits. She might as well have been on Mars. And that was the point.

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Beginning August 28, 2015, Johnston, a soil scientist from Whitefish who earned a bachelor’s degree in 2011 and a master’s degree in 2013 from Montana State University’s Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, was commander of a mission to simulate a human expedition to the red planet. Called the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation, or HI-SEAS Mission IV, the experiment was the longest and most intensive of its kind. Perched on a remote slope of the

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Casey Stedman, commander of the HI-SEAS IV mission, leads a geological expedition simulating what future travelers to Mars might experience.

Perry Miller, MSU agronomist, holds pea and lentil samples in his MSU Cropping Systems Lab.

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Mauna Loa volcano on the island of Hawaii, Johnston’s crew led an existence resembling that of Mark Watney, the fictional astronaut played by Matt Damon in the movie The Martian. Electricity came from solar panels. Water, every ounce of it, was precious. Dehydrated foodstuffs were rationed. The crew even grew vegetables in compost made from food scraps and human waste. Unlike Watney, Johnston’s HI-SEAS crew, the fourth of what is now five crews, was subjected to nearly continuous monitoring, as researchers probed the effects of isolation and close-quarters cohabitation on their well-being. Crew members buzzed off square-inches of their hair for hormone analyses, wore a variety of sensors, and each day answered multiple questionnaires about their health, mood and social interactions. The results of the experiment could help humans go to Mars one day. For now, that remains the stuff of Hollywood films but the HI-SEAS experiment is just one example of how the lines between science fiction and reality have begun to blur. NASA has plans to actually send humans to Mars in the 2030s—an ambitious goal, but one

swirls with scalding clouds of sulfuric acid, the red planet’s thin, chilly atmosphere of carbon dioxide is relatively inviting. Martian temperatures can plummet to minus 200 degrees but warm to a balmy 70 degrees. Water, in the form of buried ice, is more abundant than was once thought. Much of what is known about Mars is the product of a NASA rover called Curiosity, an SUV-sized robot that has trekked some 10 miles, skirting canyons and sand dunes in a Martian crater and crawling up the broad slopes of 18,000-foot-tall Mount Sharp. Equipped with 17 cameras, a drill and a laser for measuring the chemistry of Martian rock and soil, and other instruments, Curiosity has returned to Earth stunning images and a wealth of information. Landing Curiosity on Mars in 2012 ranks among the Space Age’s greatest stunts. After zooming through space for more than eight months, the Curiosity spacecraft entered the Martian atmosphere at supersonic speeds and homed in on its 12-mile-wide target. Because radio signals, traveling at the speed of light, take up to 20 minutes to reach Mars (hence the delay on HI-SEAS experiment emails), the landing sequence was entirely preNASA has plans to send humans to programmed Mars in the 2030s—an ambitious goal and out of direct human that’s increasingly imaginable because control. Using of the work of MSU alumni, faculty first a parachute and then a and students. jetpack to slow its descent, the spacecraft that’s increasingly imaginable because hovered 60 feet above the Martian plains of the work of Johnston and other MSU and deftly lowered the rover to the alumni, faculty and students. ground, before blasting away. Those minutes were like a roller coaster ride for Jaime Waydo, who grew With its polar icecaps, glacier-carved up on a Gallatin County farm and mountains and vast deserts resembling graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the American Southwest, Mars has long mechanical engineering from MSU’s beckoned space explorers. Compared to College of Engineering in 2000. She Earth’s nearest neighbor, Venus, which

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Students in MSU’s College of Engineering build an autonomous robot that they will enter in NASA’s Robotic Mining Competition, which will be held at the Kennedy Space Center in May. There, the team will dig in simulated Martian soil to harvest buried rocks representing water ice.

‘What is the thing we can solve today? Let’s go do that. What’s the thing we can solve tomorrow? Let’s do that.’ The Mars missions are built like that... solving these incremental pieces. Gradually, the pieces are coming together toward putting humans on Mars. —Jaime Waydo

began working on Curiosity at NASA’s problem-solving mentality that she was Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, immersed in at NASA. California, in 1999, first as an intern and “‘What is the thing we can solve today? eventually as the lead engineer on the Let’s go do that,’” she said. “‘What’s the team that designed the rover’s wheels and thing we can solve tomorrow? Let’s do suspension system. that.’ The Mars missions are built like that, Together with the hundreds of other where you’re solving these incremental NASA engineers and scientists, Waydo pieces. Gradually, the pieces are coming waited for Curiosity to beam its first imtogether, toward putting humans on Mars.” ages back to Earth, confirming that the Across the university, as students and rover had survived the landing. When a faculty develop improved space computphoto flashed on the screen, showing that ers, cutting-edge optics and adaptive the rover’s wheels had unfolded beneath vaccines, they are making new pieces that it exactly as they were supposed to, “I could fit into the puzzle of how to help breathed a huge sigh of relief,” Waydo said. humans go to Mars one day. As Curiosity began its march across the Curiosity’s success inspired computer crater, snapping photos of the landscape science major Joe Whitney, of Helena, and drilling and zapping rocks, it wasn’t to join a dozen other MSU students long before the rover accomplished its priin building their own Mars rover, of mary mission. It determined that the crater sorts, as part of a senior capstone project had once been a stream-fed lake well-suited coached by professors in multiple to hosting life, probably billions of years engineering disciplines. In May, they’ll ago before solar radiation stripped away take the robot to NASA’s Kennedy Space most of the planet’s atmosphere. Center and compete against other teams Curiosity also measured radiation in the Robotic Mining Competition. In levels and the composition of the atmoan arena filled with simulated Martian sphere and gathered other information soil, their rover will dig for buried “ice,” that could help NASA plan a human enacting how future Mars astronauts mission to Mars one day. might harvest water. Waydo, now a chief engineer at Google, “It’s exciting to see all the progress bereturns to Bozeman each year to speak ing made by Curiosity and other recent to MSU students about her experiences. space missions,” Whitney said. Sending Sometimes she offers a design challenge, humans to Mars “seems more realistic like designing the wheels for the next now than ever.” Mars rover, or gives advice for tackling job interviews. Often, she discusses the “Every time we look at Mars, I’d say I

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NASA

The Columbia Grain processing facility in Tiber processes green peas that will be shipped to South America and East Asia.

get more excited,” said Eric Boyd, an assistant professor in MSU’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Boyd launched his career more than a decade ago by studying microbes in Yellowstone’s hot springs, funded by a “seed” grant from the Montana Space Grant Consortium at MSU. Today, when he thinks about the prospect of finding Martian life, “I get more optimistic,” he said. For Boyd and others in his field of astrobiology, which inquires about the origin and evolution of all life in the universe, Mars may hold answers to their biggest questions: Does life as we know it exist anywhere besides Earth? Has life evolved

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in fundamentally different ways on different planets? And if so, what is life, really? While Curiosity zaps rocks and looks for life’s chemical signatures, Boyd and others carry out the search for extraterrestrial organisms in another way: here on Earth, by seeking out environments so harsh that they resemble those found on Mars. “People make discoveries on Earth on a daily basis that further expand the possibilities of where we are going to find life” in the solar system and beyond, said Boyd, who has received millions of dollars from NASA to study microbes in places as far-flung as the Arabian Peninsula.

In 2007, Boyd and a team of MSU researchers traveled to the mountains near Alberta’s Banff National Park, where they trekked through miles of rock talus to the glistening face of Robertson Glacier. There, they crawled under the glacier’s overhanging front, into dark caverns where glacial meltwater gathered in icy streams. They spooned up mud— made of rock ground into powder by the glacier’s grinding flow down the mountain—and flash-froze it in vials to take back to MSU. In their lab, Boyd and his team found unique organisms in the mud. The microbes needed no sunlight, nor any

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In this self-portrait, NASA’s Curiosity rover stops at a site called Mojave, where it used its drill to analyze the local rock. The image is composed of dozens of photos taken by a camera at the end of the rover’s robotic arm.

other of the inputs that sustain most life on Earth. Instead, Boyd’s team determined the microbes were essentially eating rock, capturing energy released when the rock’s minerals interact with water. In the process, the microorganisms were releasing methane gas, “a biosignature for microbial life here on Earth,” according to Boyd. “We were extremely surprised,” Boyd said. The discovery could be likened, in degree, to British explorers stumbling upon the Inuit inhabitants of the Arctic in the 1700s. Although Boyd and his colleagues had known that such biochemical

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processes exist, their discovery marked the first time that anyone had observed microbes using that chemistry to survive in such a cold, dark environment. Further study revealed that the rockeating microbes supported other, more complex, organisms. “You have this whole food web, just like any other ecosystem on the planet,” said Boyd. “These organisms are making a living in an environment that you’d think would be inhospitable and providing food that sustains more complex organisms.” The discovery was even more exciting because it coincided with an announcement that NASA had found new evidence

on Mars of mysterious plumes of methane—the same chemical generated by the rock-eating microbes at Robertson Glacier. “You can see how it gets exciting really fast,” Boyd said. “On Mars, you’ve got mineral sources of energy; you’ve got water; you’ve got glaciers. Why couldn’t you have similar microbial communities?” The cause of the Martian methane plumes remains a matter of speculation. But as Boyd and his team, which includes Mark Skidmore, an associate professor in MSU’s Department of Earth Sciences, have learned more about the hardy microbes they discovered a decade ago, they remain cautiously optimistic

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For Eric Boyd and others in his field of astrobiology, which inquires about the origin and evolution of all life in the universe, Mars may hold answers to their biggest questions: Does life as we know it exist anywhere besides Earth? Has life evolved in fundamentally different ways on different planets? And if so, what is life, really?

that similar life forms might one day be found on Mars. “I’d almost be surprised to not find some evidence for life on Mars, if not active life then in the form of fossilized ancient life that is now extinct,” Boyd said. Now, Boyd and his team are ramping up a NASA-funded study of glaciers in Iceland, where the volcanic rock more closely resembles that on Mars. From what they’ve seen so far, they anticipate that the project could further bolster the case that similar microbes exist in analogous environments on Mars. When he considers what the discovery of life on Mars might look like, Boyd thinks of his students. Might they be leading their own labs, or working at NASA, when the first human footprints are laid down in the red dust, the Earth but a twinkle on the horizon? “That’s why I think it’s the most exciting time yet to be studying astrobiology,” he said. During her year in the dome on the Mauna Loa volcano, Johnston learned a few things that would come in handy on Mars. She learned to get by on one-minute showers once per week and laundry once per month. She learned to exercise in tight spaces, using a treadmill and an exercise bike. She learned to grow

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vegetables using water and no soil. (The cherry tomatoes were a welcome change from tomato powder, she said.) Because they were actually on Earth, Johnston’s HI-SEAS crew didn’t face many of the more daunting challenges of a true voyage to Mars. They didn’t have to worry, for instance, about their eyesight deteriorating during prolonged periods of low gravity. Their water, while rationed, was delivered by a truck. They didn’t worry about running out of oxygen. “Man, do we have to figure a lot of stuff out before going to Mars,” Johnston said. In other words, there’s no shortage of challenges for a new generation of engineers, scientists and medical professions. But “you can’t just think of the engineering aspect of a trip to Mars,” Johnston said. “You also have to consider the human aspect”—the social and psychological factors involved in supporting a small team on an isolated voyage to a distant world. Studying those factors was the main purpose of the HISEAS IV experiment. Johnston calls it “the ultimate experiment in coworker and roommate selection.” “Gone are the days of only selecting Type A, adrenaline-junkie fighter pilots” for space missions; nor would NASA

ever send a crew entirely made up of engineers or scientists to Mars, Johnston said. “It takes all kinds of people, both in personality and profession, to make a trip successful.” In addition to Johnston, the HI-SEAS crew was composed of two women and three men. They included an astrobiologist, a flight controller, an architect and others with a mix of expertise in medicine, journalism, engineering and physics. They also had general skills and experiences that helped with day-to-day operations, Johnston said. “You need people who can grow plants, treat water, ‘MacGyver’ just about anything, treat an injury or ailment, cook good food, and who aren’t a drag to be around,” she said. Johnston picked up many of those skills at MSU, doing fieldwork with the Ewing Lab (a lab run by Stephanie A. Ewing, assistant professor in land resources and environmental sciences) in remote parts of Alaska for her master’s thesis. She had to learn to conduct experiments with limited resources, and those skills, it turned out, were a good match for the job at HI-SEAS. Until further rounds of the experiment are finished and a final report is released, Johnston won’t know why she was selected as the mission commander. Until then, she isn’t permitted to talk in more detail about the conclusions of HI-SEAS, either. But she can offer practical advice to those dreaming of being the first to walk on Mars. Get an advanced degree, Johnston recommends, probably a Ph.D., in a science or engineering field. Start thinking early on about getting the specialized training that astronauts receive. Be passionate about what you’re doing. Throw in a bit of luck, in terms of your timing. And who knows, she said, “you may end up on another planet.” 

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In MSU researcher Eric Boyd’s lab, doctoral student Melody Lindsay inoculates organisms collected in a thermal area of Yellowstone National Park. Organisms inhabiting Earth’s extreme environments provide clues about where life forms could be found on other planets such as Mars.


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food THE COMMON GROUND

story by Jessianne Wright  ·  photos by Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez

Mina Botros, a Montana State University Street Food Bazaar, MSU’s Union Market international student from Egypt, placed bustled with people, food, sounds and a large metal pan onto a cart. The pan smells as students from around the world was filled to the lip with sliced potatoes. worked to prepare traditional foods from “It’s a secret recipe,” Botros said, their home countries to sell at the bazaar. smiling. “You’ll try it tomorrow.” This year marked the 34th annual event, Hanan Alkalaji of Syria arranged which is held in the SUB ballrooms each grape leaves and rice over carrots and February. As many as 3,000 visitors attend potatoes, while Albanian Herlin Kadriu the bazaar each year. kneaded and rolled dough on a nearby “It doesn’t matter what you read about table. At the oven, Omolola Comfort Be- going on in the world… you can find tiku, from Nigeria, fried chicken on the common ground in food,” said Rick stovetop. Other students stirred industri- Schneider, Union Market executive chef. al-sized pots of boiling water, steaming “Food is the universal binder.” vegetables and cooking meat, setting off “People can come to the ballroom an ambrosial melding of spices. and travel the world without leaving Two days before the International Bozeman,” said Deborah Chiolero,

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international student and scholar adviser in the Office of International Programs. Chiolero has been a leading organizer for the food bazaar event, which is one of the university’s most popular community events, for the past 16 years. She begins the planning process in September. “(The food bazaar) is a time for us to realize that the world is full of adventures, and we can learn so much from the (international) students, about their countries, values, customs and much more,” Chiolero said. Schneider and Union Market staff work with students weeks in advance to adapt recipes to serve hundreds of people. They also advise the students in order to

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Kartik Vakharia, an MSU student from Mumbai, India, helps cook a traditional Indian dish in advance of this year’s International Street Food Bazaar.

successfully prepare the food in advance of the bazaar so that on the day of the event, each represented country can offer authentic foods prepared by the international students themselves. More than 100 international students representing 27 countries participated in this year’s event. Alkalaji, a graduate student in MSU’s Adult and Higher Education program, prepared yalanji and kibbeh, traditional foods of Syria. “We do this food for big occasions.” For Alkalaji and many other students, being a part of the bazaar is a chance to teach people about a country, as well as take pride in their heritage. “I see that people are always curious to learn more about Syria,” she said. “(The ba-

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zaar) is a nice chance to exchange culture.” the outside,” Agastra said. “You need to see where you are in this world.” Kadriu, who is studying cell biology This year, the Office of International and neuroscience, agreed. “(The bazaar) is a good way to introPrograms awarded one of the student booths with the People’s Choice Award, duce myself to the community while as determined by event attendees, and representing my country,” he said. The Nigeria was voted the winner. first Albanian student to have a booth at Betiku, a Ph.D. student in animal and the bazaar, Kadriu said he was particularly excited to share his heritage and range sciences, worked hard preparing make his family proud. the food for the Nigeria booth in the Beyond sharing culture, involvement days prior to the bazaar. in the food bazaar is a chance to learn “I can tell you that Bozeman is cold, more about it, explained Pancasatya but the people are warm,” Betiku said. Agastra of Indonesia, who is pursuing his “Maybe that’s the reason (as international doctoral degree in engineering. Agastra students) we don’t actually feel the cold participated in the MSU food bazaar for so much.”  the first time in 1997. “I think you need to see yourself from

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L E F T The perfect topping to a perfect day. Maraschino cherries are placed on

cupcakes prepared by students manning the German food booth at this year’s MSU International Street Food Bazaar.  A B OV E Students from Sri Lanka celebrate a successful night of sharing dishes from their country at the food bazaar.

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L E F T Ronnie Jo Horse and Ashley LoneElk process tomatoes for the American Indian Council’s booth at the food bazaar.  A B OV E Lemon juice is are an ingredient in a traditional Pakistani curry.

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Serrano peppers, diced fine, are bound for a traditional Sri Lankan dish served at the 34th International Street Food Bazaar.

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A B OV E Students from across the globe spend weeks planning and preparing to share their native dishes, including these traditional dumplings served in the Chinese booth at this year’s International Street Food Bazaar. R I G H T Students from the MSU group representing England prepare scones at this year’s bazaar. The students sold the scones to earn money for a faculty-led exchange to the United Kingdom this summer.

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More than 2,000 students, faculty, staff and members of the community visited booths representing 27 countries at this year’s food bazaar. The eagerly anticipated annual fair is one of the university’s most popular community outreach events. 33


THIS

SPUD’S F O R YO U

MSU lab helps make Montana seed potatoes the root of crop’s excellence RUSSETT BURBANK

Common uses: mashed potatoes, commercial french fries, baking

by Evelyn Boswell

Russett potato

Purple potato

HUCKLEBERRY GOLD

A specialty variety

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Potato grower Dan Lake of Ronan considers himself one lucky man, a Montanan who gets to eat potatoes almost every day and work with his daughter and three brothers in the family business. Any time he wants, he can go to McDonald’s and order french fries that might have started out as one of his russets. And Montana State University can say it played a significant role in his good fortune. Not only did the four Lake brothers and Dan’s daughter, Bridgett Cheff, earn their degrees at MSU, but they are also among the 50 growers (many of whom are MSU graduates) who built Montana’s seed potato industry into a $50-60 million enterprise in partnership with the MSU Potato Lab and Montana Seed Potato Certification Program. The seed potatoes, growers and laboratory alike have gained widespread reputations for excellence. SATINA

Yellow flesh, excellent all-purpose potato

NORDONNA

Red skinned, great boiled, roasted

Purple potato

Purple potato

Purple potato

PURPLE FIESTA

Purple skin and purple flesh, good roasted and can be used to make purple chips

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Nina Zidack in a potato field.

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ZIDACK  SUSAN LAKE

Montana is recognized through the (potato) industry for growing the cleanest (most disease-free) seed potatoes in the United States.

“Montana is one of the most popular seed potato states, if not the most popular seed potato state,” said Willem Schrage, who served 16 years on a United Nations subcommittee for creating uniform standards for seed potato certification. He also retired in 2016 as director of North Dakota potato programs. And while neighboring states often Lab. And, growers outside Montana also claim they are the best source for prepurchase seed potatoes from Montana to mium potatoes, MSU scientists say that be re-certified as seed in their own state.” Montana-grown seed potatoes are at the Other contributing factors are the root of such excellence. relative isolation of Montana’s fields, the Nina Zidack, director of the MSU cold weather and the fact that many Potato Lab and Montana Seed Potato fields are at high elevation, Zidack said. Certification Program, said commercial Winters and the isolation provided by growers across the Pacific Northwest, the mountains help control pests. The particularly the Columbia Basin area distance between growing areas cuts of Washington and Oregon, buy seed down on the transmission of diseases. potatoes from Montana. Then they plant “Because of that, Montana is recogthose potatoes and sell them to comnized through the industry for growing mercial outlets. McDonald’s buys more the cleanest (most disease-free) seed popotatoes than anyone in the world and tatoes in the United States,” Zidack said. says its “epic” french fries are born from premium potatoes. Lake said McDonWhat does the Potato Lab do? ald’s accepts only a few varieties of potaZidack and her team at the MSU Potato toes and most of those are russets. Lab work indoors and outdoors, in state Potatoes low in moisture and high in and out of state to ensure that Montana solids—which russets are—make good seed potatoes are 100 percent disease-free french fries because they fry up “nice and continue to be of the highest quality. and crispy,” Zidack explained. She added “From the certification perspective, they that 95 percent of the total potato acrerun a good program,” said Kent Sather, age in Montana is some type of russet. director of potato programs in North In 2015, almost half of the acreage was Dakota. “The (Montana) growers that I Russet Burbank. know are really tuned into what needs to Montana has approximately 10,400 be done and certainly support it.” acres planted in seed potatoes. The largest Every summer, Zidack and research growing areas are around Manhattan and assistant Eileen Carpenter lead four other Amsterdam in Gallatin County. Other siginspectors into the seed potato fields nificant areas are in Beaverhead, Madison, of Montana to look for signs of disease, Broadwater, Lake and Flathead counties. insect problems and varietal purity. Since Another reason that Montana seed some diseases are hard to detect, the potatoes have a reputation for quality is crew also picks leaves for later analysis. because the state has the nation’s strictest Concurrently, a team of approximately 20 regulations for producing seed potatoes, MSU and high school students pick leaves Zidack continued. from farmers’ fields for testing. “We have a closed system,” she said. Back at the lab, laboratory supervi“We don’t allow seed potatoes to come in sor Susie Siemsen’s team performs tests from any other states. We are geographion the leaves, looking specifically for cally isolated from any commercial farms. viruses that reduce yield and cause ... We only have seed potatoes in Monmosaic patterns on potato leaves. One of tana that originate in the MSU Potato the primary diseases the lab addresses is

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—Nina Zidack

potato mosaic disease, which is caused by the potato virus Y, known as PVY. The most destructive disease is late blight, which is caused by a fungus and can lead to epidemics. The MSU Potato Lab is continually testing new methods to improve testing for diseases and looking for new ways to help growers grow disease-free potatoes, Zidack said. The lab is currently cooperating in a USDA-funded Specialty Crops Research Initiative project on potato viruses. The MSU Potato Lab has been tasked with developing methods to more accurately and economically test tubers for PVY as an alternative to a postharvest field growout. Last year, MSU plant pathology professor Dave Sands’ lab identified some low-glycemic potatoes approved for diabetics, including the Huckleberry Gold variety. The Potato Lab even encourages Montana gardeners to protect the state’s seed potato industry by growing only varieties that have been certified disease-free. Certified seed potatoes grow better potatoes than potatoes bought in a grocery store or potatoes left over from previous seasons, Zidack said. She explained that potatoes sold in grocery stores are often treated to restrict the sprouting of tubers. More importantly, they may come from other states and carry virus diseases and tuber- and soil-borne pests. Specialty seed potatoes ordered from catalogs may come from areas that have frequent outbreaks of late blight and higher levels of virus disease. To help gardeners decide what to grow, the lab provides a wholesale directory that currently shows and describes 27 certified varieties and lists their suppliers. The directory can be found online on the lab’s webpage: montanaspud.org.

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Research assistants in the Montana Seed Potato Certification lab collect sprouts that will be tested for disease.

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“The garden seed distribution network has really taken off in Montana,” Zidack said. “Last year we distributed over 30,000 pounds.” Some of those varieties offered to Montana gardeners include the Russet Burbank—“the most widely grown all-purpose potato in the United States,” according to the lab. Another is the Mozart, which resists common scab and has “distinct yellow eyes and an attractive sunrise red skin.” The Purple Viking has “deep purple skin dappled with pink splashes and stripes.” The All Blue, with its deep blue to almost purple skin and brilliant purple flesh, is excellent steamed, mashed, microwaved, roasted

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and chipped. It is often used to make blue potato chips. “It’s been a great industry to be involved in,” said Lake, who is the co-owner of Lake Seed Inc. near Ronan. Lake served as president of the National Potato Council in 2015 and became immediate past president in January 2017. From 2012 to 2014, he was the council’s vice president of its environmental affairs committee. “I have been in it for over 30 years. It really represents some of the best people in the world.”

Proud to be a Spudwoman Long before Jessica Rupp became an

MSU Extension specialist and potato

researcher, she rated the restaurants in her Kansas hometown according to their french fries. “I never met a potato I didn’t like,” said Rupp, who not only likes potatoes for their taste but their nutrition. A bumper sticker on her office door reads “Proud to be a Spudwoman.” It’s serendipitous, however, that potatoes are part of her focus as assistant professor of plant sciences and plant pathology and MSU Extension plant pathology specialist, Rupp said. While working on her Ph.D. at Kansas State University, she specialized in wheat and used biotechnology to produce disease

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resistance. Just before she left Kansas, a new gene editing technique called CRISPR /CAS-9 was being considered. The technique basically uses two molecules to introduce a change into the plant’s DNA. One molecule—an enzyme called CAS-9—acts like a molecular scissors. The other is a piece of RNA that guides the enzyme to a specific spot on a strand of DNA. The enzyme then cuts the DNA to get rid of a problematic gene or add a more beneficial quality. The plant heals itself. “People have learned to use this in agricultural crops because it is very precise,” Rupp said. When she came to MSU in 2015 and learned of concerns in the potato industry, she thought the CRISPR /CAS-9 technique might work on potatoes, too, Rupp said. The genes she targeted in wheat, after all, were in the same family of viruses that attack potatoes. Rupp presented her idea to the Montana Potato Improvement Association, which approved two years of funding totaling $63,000. When that expires, Rupp said she will probably apply for another grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She is now conducting her CRISPR / CAS-9 research with MSU doctoral student Whitney Harchenko, MSU postdoctoral fellow Myron Bruce and potato breeder Vidyasagar Sathuvalli from Oregon State University at Hermiston. Concentrating first on russet potatoes, the group wants to develop a virus-resistant potato by using the cutting-edge tool that is drawing attention for being faster, more economical and accurate than previous DNA editing techniques. “Our potato producers are incredibly innovative and excited …that this could happen,” Rupp said.

She added that her ultimate goal is to help producers become more effective and meet their needs. “The growers are such good people and you work so closely with them,” Rupp said. “You want to have personal success and success for the university, but that’s overshadowed by the growers you are working with. You want them to have success.”

Hawaiian connection Montanans usually plant potatoes in mid-May and harvest them about four months later. During the winter, Montana, Idaho, Colorado and California growers used to send samples of their seed potatoes to a military base at Oceanside, California, for post-harvest testing. Other states sent theirs to Homestead, Florida. When the California base eventually turned its farmland into housing, Montana turned to Hawaii. The MSU Potato Lab now ships tuber samples from every field and every variety grown in Montana to a former sugar plantation on Oahu, Zidack said. In mid-November, while Montanans are wondering if the weather will hold for Thanksgiving and surfers from around the world are gathering for the big waves

at Oahu’s famous North Shore, Zidack and potato lab staff are planting tubers nearby on the Twin Bridge Farms. It is co-owned by Milton Agader and Al Medrano who used to work for Waialua Sugar and then the Dole Food Company. Six weeks later, Zidack and Carpenter return to Hawaii to start inspecting their crops and picking leaves. Zidack and Carpenter then ship the leaves by air cargo to MSU. There, eight to 12 students, many of them international students who have found the MSU Potato Lab to be a good source of employment, work alongside full-time staff to analyze the samples. “The purpose of the post-harvest testing is to get information on any late season infections and diseases that may have developed in the seed crop that we weren’t able to detect during the summer,” Zidack said. “By growing them out during the winter in Hawaii, we can give the seed-potato farmers and their customers very detailed information on what the disease status will be for that crop the following year. This is especially important if the potatoes will be planted again to be recertified as seed.” The harvested potatoes themselves stay in Hawaii while the information returns to Montana. Agader said Montana, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota,

Aseptically maintained mother plants are used to propagate plantlets for distribution to Montana seed potato farmers. S PR IN G 2 0 1 7

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Nebraska, New York, Wisconsin and western Canada plant a total of 120 acres of potatoes in Hawaii for the post-harvest testing that’s required for seed certification. When the testing is finished, he and Medrano keep the potatoes for themselves to sell commercially in a state where people are more used to eating rice than potatoes. “People have slowly started to realize that the potatoes we put on the market taste a lot better than what they are eating at the time,” Agader said.

Jessica Rupp, assistant professor of plant pathology and Extension, focuses her research on plant disease problems facing Montana seed potato as well as sugar beet growers.

Looking to the future Potato consumption in the United States is relatively flat, so the U.S. potato industry as a whole is focused on increasing exports, Zidack said. “Right now, U.S. seed-potato exports are about 1 percent of the total potato exports. The goal of the industry is to expand that market,” Zidack said. As a member of the U.N. subcommittee on seed-potato standards—officially The Columbia Grain Nations processing facility in called the United Economic Tiber processes green peas that will be Commission for Europe—Zidack said shipped to South America and East Asia. she will be able to assist in those efforts. The purpose of the seed-potato group is to standardize certification standards between Europe and other countries within the United Nations. The outcome should enhance trade. The commission works with and for its 56 member countries, Zidack said. Besides working toward uniform certification standards, the group performs outreach efforts to enhance seed-potato production in developing countries. Zidack was chosen by the National Potato Council seed committee in December 2015 to serve on the U.N. subcommittee. Her activities there are funded by USA Potatoes, formerly known as the U.S. Potato Board. “She will do very well,” said Sather, the potato official from North Dakota. Lake—who was born to a seed-potato grower and then became one himself— said he is excited about Zidack’s appointment, the potential of Rupp’s research and where the industry will go in general. “We just keep striving to produce the highest quality potatoes we can,” he said. 

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RUPP  KELLY GORHAM


PROGR AMS Lyndee Elliott Haire, left, and mother Rita Elliott pose with Elliott’s of Montana cookie products in their Bozeman production facility.

ALL IN THE FAMILY

story by Anne Cantrell  ·  photos by Kelly Gorham

In Montana, small business is often all in the family When Rita Elliott’s then school-aged daughter, Lyndee, came home with cookie dough to sell as a fundraiser for her rural Montana school, Rita thought the preservative-filled product could be fresher and made in state. A licensed caterer based in Fort Benton, Elliott already had facilities to handle food production, and as an entrepreneur, she recognized the potential business opportunity. Elliotts of Montana was born. That was in 2003. Since then, Elliotts

ABOUT 98 PERCENT OF ALL BUSINESSES IN MONTANA ARE FAMILY-OWNED.

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of Montana has grown into a successful, well-respected business that also helps organizations achieve their fundraising goals. The company’s line of 22 products ranges from cookie dough to trail mix to flapjack mix. Last year alone the company’s customers—primarily schools and nonprofit organizations in Montana—raised approximately half a million dollars for their causes. “In (Rita Elliott’s) mind, if you’re going to do something and make it worth your time and effort, it should probably be for a cause,” said Lyndee Elliott Haire, Rita’s daughter, who has worked with her mom at Elliotts of Montana since 2009. Like Elliotts of Montana, about 98 percent

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PROGR AMS

PART OF (THE JAKE JABS COLLEGE OF BUSINESS AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP’S) MISSION IS TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE ECONOMIC VITALITY OF THE ENTIRE STATE, AND SMALL BUSINESSES, PARTICULARLY FAMILY BUSINESSES, ARE THE LIFEBLOOD OF MANY MONTANA COMMUNITIES.

to continue working as third-generation Montana farmers. Elliott began looking for ways to supplement her family’s farm income. Over the years, she founded several businesses. She provided take-home meals —Kregg Aytes for clients, sold gift baskets and ran a successful catering company for 20 years that served groups of up to 400 people at weddings and other events. years). An independent panel of judges of all businesses in Montana are family After Elliott got the idea for the reviews the applications and selects the owned, according to George Haynes, a cookie dough business, her existing award winners. Over the years, honored professor and agricultural policy specialcatering facilities enabled her to quickly ist with Montana State University Exten- businesses have ranged from farms and start Elliotts of Montana. What began in ranches to breweries to manufacturing sion. That was the motivation for MSU’s a 160-square-foot converted kitchen outcompanies. They have also included furCollege of Business—now the Jake Jabs grew its space over the years, and in 2012 niture, funeral home, roofing companies, College of Business and Entrepreneurthe business moved to a 5,000-squareas well as grocery stores, general contracship—to start the MSU Family Business foot building in Bozeman so the Elliotts tors and vehicle dealerships, among many Program, now in its 23rd year. could live close to their three children— other businesses. And, like so many other family busiall of whom graduated from MSU and “We here in the Jake Jabs College of nesses based across Montana—particulive in the Gallatin Valley. Business and Entrepreneurship love our larly in rural parts of the state—Elliotts Haire, who now oversees facilities, hurelationship with family businesses in of Montana is, in fact, the heart of the man resources and some financial parts state, according to Tim Alzheimer, direc- Montana,” said Kregg Aytes, dean of the of Elliotts of Montana, said that one of college. “We feel strongly that part of tor of MSU’s Family Business Program the biggest benefits of having a family our college’s mission is to contribute to and a teaching professor in the Jake Jabs business is that it has enabled the family the economic vitality of the entire state, College of Business and Entrepreneurto grow closer. and small businesses, particularly family ship. Family businesses serve as the life“Elliotts of Montana has allowed us to businesses, are the lifeblood of many blood of their communities, Alzheimer grow closer as a family as adults, and it Montana communities. Celebrating those said, with the owners helping to drive has allowed us to stay closer,” she said. businesses helps bring recognition to the their local economies, serving as busi“If we need help with something like a important role they play in our economy.” ness leaders and supporting local causes. delivery, my brothers will jump in, or my “I am so excited that MSU supports Those are just a few of the reasons that sisters-in-law will help. It has allowed us entrepreneurs because that has been MSU, through its State Farm Insurance as adults to stay close and committed.” what my lifestyle has been from the getFamily Business Program, chooses to Another joy: Haire said she feels go,” Elliott said. “I haven’t worked for honor family businesses annually with pride and ownership in the business and Family Business Awards, Alzheimer said. anybody since I was 19 years old. in its products. “I love seeing that entrepreneurial spirt Since its inception in 1994, with sup“I don’t come to work because it’s in people and love that (the university) port from State Farm, the Family Busisomething I have to do. I chose to do ness Program has honored 150 family busi- honors it,” she added. “You don’t expect this,” she said. “(Rita Elliott) chose to recognition as a family business, so it’s nesses from across the state. Businesses do this, and the company itself is like a such a pleasant surprise when somebody are nominated for awards and then must family member that does a lot for us and recognizes you.” complete an application in order to be for our community.” eligible for recognition. A range of award On the other hand, the business is sicategories are available, including very Elliotts of Montana was one of six multaneously an ever-present, all-consumsmall business (fewer than 10 employbusinesses honored with a Family Busiing part of the family’s life, Haire noted. ees); small business (10–30 employees); ness Award in 2016. The company was “There’s never a day when we’re not medium business (30–50 employees); honored in the very small category. Their thinking about how to improve our large business (more than 50 employees); journey began when Elliott and her husproducts or what we might change,” old business (operating at least 50 years); band, Stuart, settled in Fort Benton after Haire said. “Mom and I will be cookand new business (operating 10 or fewer marrying in 1975 to begin a family and ing Christmas dinner, and we’re talking

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Ike Kaufman is photographed in his family’s Great Falls store, Kaufman’s Menswear.

about those things.” Perhaps that’s part of why being a family-owned and operated business gives stability and an expectation of quality to the business’s products, Haire said. “This is our name. Even if the company wasn’t called ‘Elliotts,’ if we put out a product somebody doesn’t like or we don’t reach our customers’ expectations, that gets put on us personally,” she said. “We’re invested in this company.” Kaufman’s Menswear won a Family Business Award in 1996. The company was established by Mose Kaufman, a German immigrant who arrived in Montana in 1880 via riverboat. Kaufman worked for his brother-in-law at stores in Butte, Fort Benton and Great Falls before founding Kaufman’s Menswear in Great Falls in 1894. Since then, the company has remained in the family, with two of Mose’s three sons, Fred and Ira, and then his grandson Ike and greatgrandson Brian, joining the business.

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At its height in the late 1970s, the company employed 23 people, according to Ike Kaufman. Now, the company has about 12 employees, including three members of the family. Kaufman’s Menswear prides itself on being a full-service shop, with both men’s and women’s clothes, shoes and accessories for sale, a tailor available on site, measuring and pressing services and tuxedo rentals available. Ike said the best part of running a family business has been the connections he has established with his customers over the years. “You know everybody,” he said. “If you’re civically involved, you care about relationships, and these people become your friends.” Still, there are big challenges associated with running a family menswear company. The business has had its share of ups and downs over the years, Ike said, and current challenges include relaxed dress codes—which diminish the need for the products Kaufman’s sells—and increased competition, particularly from

discount retailers and internet companies. Yet, Ike said he enjoys the work and, even at the age of 81, still spends the majority of his time at the store. Ike noted that the business owners who have been recognized by the Family Business Program are, themselves, a sort of family. “The program connects you to other people like yourself,” he said. “It’s nice to have those relationships and to have others to talk to about similar issues in business.” Perhaps that’s why, over the years, college administrators can’t recall a time when a business that has won a Family Business Award from MSU has ever failed to have at least one person attend the award ceremony in Bozeman, according to Audrey Capp, director of communications and public relations for the Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship. “Family business owners toil for years without notice,” Alzheimer said, adding that the winners often remark how much the program means to them. “It feels good to be recognized.” 

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A NEW FORMULA FOR SUCCESS

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MSU’s people-based strategies have improved math scores across the board story by Michael Becker illustration by Bridget Ashcraft

Science fiction has been saying for years that when aliens finally show up, the only means we’ll have to communicate with them will be math. Indeed, apart from being reputed as the universal language, mathematics has been called the “music of reason,” a “sensuous logic” and “the most beautiful and most powerful creation of the human spirit.” But math has another reputation, too, for spurring heart rates and raising anxiety at the thought of being confronted with x’s and y’s and strange symbols and an equals sign with an unkind blank spot next to it. A universal language, maybe, but not everyone speaks it. 49


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THERE’S A REAL AWARENESS IN THE ENTIRE MATH COMMUNITY THAT (MATH) SHOULDN’T BE A GATEKEEPER. INSTEAD, IT LAYS A FOUNDATION.

Yet every student at Montana State University must face some math, whether it’s an engineer taking the full menu of calculus or a student who needs just one quantitative reasoning class. With students of so many skill levels and degree paths converging on MSU’s Department of Mathematical Sciences’ courses, success had been, for years, hard to come by. Math classes historically had high fail rates—a statistic with real effect since students needing lots of math for their degrees might find their dreams imperiled by an early failure. That’s why, four years ago, the math department started something new: a program that provided enough tutors, training and support to make sure MSU’s math students—and teachers— could succeed across the board. In this case, the program was a group of people: the Student Success Coordinators. At age 31, Nathan Erickson came to MSU as a freshman seeking a civil engineering degree. He had spent most of his 20s as a builder, and he saw engineering as his path to the “smarter end” of the construction industry. Erickson’s old ACT test scores said he could start his college career taking Calculus I, but he was cautious about his math ability, not having been in a math classroom for more than a decade. He opted to start with MSU’s Pre-Calculus class instead. The math did not come easily to him. Even with the Pre-Calculus start, the Bellingham, Washington, native barely made it through the next course in the series, Calc I. By Calc II, he was “extremely overwhelmed.”

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—Elizabeth Burroughs

“I ended up dropping that course my third semester back in school and was literally on the verge of wondering if I could continue my program,” he said. “I thought I might be in over my head.” It was at that point Erickson sought out Corinne Casolara. Casolara is the student success coordinator for Calculus II. That means that, in addition to teaching, she coordinates all the sections of the class, writing content for the instructors, providing note outlines, making instructional videos and helping the 350 to 600 or so students who move through Calculus II each semester cope with setbacks like family emergencies or test conflicts. “I’m paid to care about Calc II. That’s my job,” she said. Erickson enrolled in Casolara’s section of the class and met with her weekly, taking to heart her conviction that spending more time with the material was a solid gold means to get it down. The one-on-one attention, he said, helped him understand concepts he wasn’t getting out of the lectures and a few sample problems on the whiteboard. Erickson, now 35, is in his final semester at MSU and graduated this May. Some of the credit for that, he said, belongs to Casolara and, by extension, the Student Success Coordinator Program. “She really went out of her way to help me and make sure I could succeed,” he said. “I was really able to get a good grasp on that level of mathematics, and it’s helped out my whole engineering career at MSU.” Casolara is one of the original student success coordinators, or SSCs, hired in

the summer of 2013 to do something about the math department’s fail rates— the percentage of students finishing a course with a D, F or W (withdrawal) grade. Those rates had been as high as 30 or 40 percent in some classes. MSU wanted improvement. That summer, four coordinators were hired using special funding from the university’s Strategic Investment Proposal program, which provides money to proposals at MSU that have been vetted through a competitive review process. Their positions weren’t yet permanent, and their mission was only broadly defined. “There was no real structure to what we were supposed to do, other than to ‘make this course better,’” Casolara said. So the first year was a lot of “flying by the seat of our pants,” she said. The SSCs brainstormed ways to help the students, developing online homework, crafting common lecture guides and holding weekly study groups. They tried targeting the students identified as struggling, then offered help to any student who wanted it. They studied prerequisites, developing strategies to make sure students wound up in the classes they needed to be in. But it wasn’t just about helping the students, said Veronica Baker, another of the original SSC hires who focuses on Calculus I. The SSCs were also there to help the teachers. “We have a lot of different teachers with different teaching backgrounds,” Baker said. “It’s about being able to pool the resources together and get similar experiences in the classrooms.” That commonly takes the form of weekly meetings with instructors, where SSCs go over upcoming lessons and point out areas where students have historically struggled. They then offer the instructors advice on how to teach through those tricky points effectively. Individual instructors might be able to come up with ideas to help their own classes, Baker said, but having the SSCs makes it possible for good ideas and techniques to benefit all the students, not

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just the 30 or 40 in one section. That means a more consistent education, no matter which instructor a student gets. Each strategy the SSCs try is studied to measure its effectiveness. “I have so much data,” Casolara said. “So much.” The result? After about a year, failure rates improved pretty much across the board. In Calculus I, success rates went from an average of 57 percent over the four years before the SSCs to 77 percent. In Calculus II, success rates went from 68 percent to 75 percent over the same period. And so four additional coordinators were hired for Calculus III, Pre-Calculus, Survey of Calculus and Contemporary Mathematics. And then, in the spring of 2014, the department and college, seeing the success, provided the funding to make the SSC positions permanent, thanks to more strategic investment funds, as well as money awarded for increasing graduation and retention rates and allocations from the Office of the Provost. Nineteen-year-old Travis Fisher came to

MSU from a small school in Riverton,

Wyoming, entering the university as a chemical engineering major. He started his math cycle with Calc II, brimming with confidence in his math skills. “The first test, it was a real slap in the face,” Fisher said, recalling his D grade. “I wasn’t used to getting grades like that.” Fisher, who has since switched majors to microbiology, said he had heard about the math help available on campus but never thought he’d use it because “I thought I was going to do so great.” Working with the SSCs and attending extra study sessions turned him around, and he wound up with an A-minus in the course. “Those resources restored my sense of confidence,” he said. Adjustments like the one Fisher had to make between high school and college math are the very type of situation the SSCs were intended to help with, said Elizabeth Burroughs, head of MSU’s

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math department. “We wanted to make sure that students putting in the effort and who want to succeed got the resources they needed,” she said. Burroughs acknowledges that there has been a sense of math as a gatekeeper to intelligence or college success. After all, her department touches every student at MSU and teaches 10 percent of all credit hours on campus. “It’s like math becomes a proxy for being smart,” she said. “If you can prove to me you can do your times tables really quickly or throw around your x’s and y’s in algebra, then I’ll give you a glimpse of this beautiful discipline.” That is the old view, she said. “There’s a real awareness in the entire math community that it shouldn’t be a gatekeeper,” she said. “Instead, it lays a foundation.” Further, Burroughs’ research and experience has shown that students learn better from what is called a “productive struggle,” the mental exercise needed for someone to truly break through and absorb a concept. For math, and other disciplines too, that struggle takes place in an interdependent system of teachers, students and classrooms. “We have learned that effective teaching of math is about meeting the student where they are and moving them forward,” she said. That’s why the SSCs are so important, she said. Their work has increased math success rates, sure, but their real success is visible in more than just grades. It’s visible in the number of students enrolled in the more advanced upper-level math courses. Those advanced courses don’t grow just because the student population grows, Burroughs said. “They’ve increased because we have more students on campus who want to take a lot of math classes,” she said. Baker agreed. She said, for example, that in the four years of the SSC pro-

gram, fail rates for her course, Calculus I, have improved by about 18 percent. “In a regular year we’ll have over 1,000 calculus students, and we’re having 200 more pass the class than would have otherwise,” she said. Casolara added that it has been nice to see the success rates improve without sacrificing the quality of the coursework, but she said that it’s also really about supporting the students who say, “I don’t know if I can do this.” “In my position, I’ve worked with students who have widely varying perspectives on math,” Casolara said. “Some say that math has always been their favorite subject while others have struggled in the past and worry that they might not be able to succeed. “My goal, and that of the Department of Mathematical Sciences, is to support every student as best we can. I’ve had students who look at me and say ‘I got an 84 on the exam and I have never gotten a grade that good in math.’ That kind of progress and achievement is inspiring and incredibly satisfying.” 

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DANFORTH  ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ

PEOPLE

THE FACE OF EQUALITY

Betsy Danforth has seen many changes in 25 years leading MSU’s Women’s Center by Denise Hoepfner

For more than a quarter of a century, Betsy Danforth has worked to empower the women of Montana State University by shining a light on the issues they face in the classroom or in the office. Sometimes she is inspired by the progress women have made; other times she is frustrated by how little has changed. 52

It’s this ebb and flow of progress that keeps Danforth motivated and is perhaps one reason she has stayed at the center’s helm for this long. Another reason has to do with personal growth, certainly her own, but also those “aha moments” she witnesses firsthand when one person’s story or experience resonates with others and creates understanding. “It’s fascinating seeing students, especially those from rural areas, exposed to diversity and new ideas and watching them grow,” said Danforth, who as the director of the MSU Women’s Center leads efforts to promote equity for women in health care, politics, opportunity and recognition. “The whole climate around gender and diversity is evolving and growing,” Danforth said. Under the Division of Student Success, MSU created the Women’s Center in 1982

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to empower and support women students, faculty and staff and to provide and assist in creating an equitable campus environment. Danforth has been affiliated with the center nearly from its inception. A native of the East Coast, Danforth attended high school in the melting pot of New York City. MSU English instructor and activist Jill Davis is one of her three older sisters, and she also has a brother. Danforth’s mother was a social worker, and Danforth remembers eagerly paging through her issues of the feminist magazine, Ms., in search of the “Stories for Free Children.” Danforth’s father, a research analyst in investment banking, believed that it was important for all his children to attend college. For Danforth, this meant moving across the country to Claremont, California, where she enrolled at Pitzer College. She intended to major in sociology, like her mother, but after taking and enjoying several women’s studies courses, Danforth changed her major. After volunteering at a women’s shelter where she worked with children who had lived their lives surrounded by violence and turmoil, Danforth decided to write her senior thesis on domestic violence. “That had a huge impact on me—seeing families torn apart by violence and watching the women go back to these bad situations out of economic necessity and inevitably ending up back at the shelter,” she said. “Watching this cycle repeat and wondering why perpetrators continued to hurt those they love most was, and still is, the question that haunts me the most. “I thought, ‘This is the work I want to do.’” After graduating, Danforth spent some time in Berkeley and Oakland, California. She moved to Bozeman in 1985 to be closer to her sister, Jill, and Jill’s newborn son. Shortly after, she began volunteering at the MSU Women’s Center, organizing the center’s lending library and re-invigorating Students Against Sexual Assault, or SASA, a student-led program that promotes awareness of sexual assault and domestic violence. While still active, SASA is now housed in MSU’s VOICE Center. S PR IN G 2 0 1 7

IT’S FASCINATING SEEING STUDENTS, ESPECIALLY THOSE FROM RURAL AREAS, EXPOSED TO DIVERSITY AND NEW IDEAS AND WATCHING THEM GROW.

—Betsy Danforth

When then-director Michelle Dennis studies minor. Her work earned her the received grant funding to hire an assistant inaugural President’s Commission on director, Danforth landed the position. the Status of University Women Award Within a year, Dennis left the center and and the Betty Coffey Award. Danforth took over as interim director, In 2012, the National Science Founand eventually was hired as director. dation awarded MSU a $3.4 million Other than Danforth, there are grant to implement ADVANCE Project no employees at the center except for TRACS, an initiative to broaden the student workers, who over the years have participation of women faculty in STEM brought with them enthusiasm, knowland underrepresented areas of social and edge of current issues and the initiative behavioral science on the MSU campus. to enact change, Danforth said. Every year since 2012, when MSU reOne example of this was the re-emerceived the grant, the university has hired gence four years ago of The F-Word, a an equal number of men and women for feminist discussion group that had lain tenure-track jobs in those fields. dormant for several years until a student “The ADVANCE grant has helped from Nashville, Tennessee, re-registered to get more women on campus, and I the organization and drummed up interest. hope we can continue the work on that,” In 2000, an outreach event brought Danforth said. “With the president’s attention to MSU’s Queer Straight Allicommission, we’re figuring out where ance. Vandals tried to destroy a symbolic the gaps in gender equity still exist on closet built on MSU’s Centennial Mall campus, those roles and what kind of for National Coming Out Day. While projects really help promote equity.” the actions were “offensive and horWhile the center’s purpose largely has rible,” Danforth said the experience remained the same through the years, brought recognition and growth to topics and audiences at its educational QSA, which now boasts an active and programs—Sack Lunch Seminars, the engaged membership that hosts dances Shannon Weatherly Memorial Lecture and fundraisers to benefit social causes and Women’s History Month events— and has played an important role in the have evolved. university’s diversity efforts. “Topics relevant in the past may not be Each spring, the Women’s Center relevant any longer, and new topics have pairs with the MSU Alumni Foundaemerged and moved to the forefront tion to honor student leaders who have of the gender equity struggle, such as worked to promote diversity and equalgender identity,” Danforth said. ity and who have served as role models Danforth said she has recently noticed for their peers through the Students of an increase in student involvement and Achievement awards. Past award winners interest in the center. have come from a range of disciplines “Many students are really feeling— across all MSU colleges. perhaps for the first time—the need In recent years, Danforth has lent her for engagement and activism,” she said. expertise to other projects that pro“Hopefully, the Women’s Center will be mote equity, serving on the President’s a resource that can help students express Commission on the Status of University their concerns, educate themselves and Women, the VOICE Center’s founding their peers about the importance of board of advisers and the committee to equality and social justice and discover create the women’s gender and sexuality the power of their voices and actions.”  53


PEOPLE

THERE’S NO REASON YOU CAN’T DO CUTTING-EDGE WORK AT A SMALL LAND-GRANT INSTITUTION, AND THE STUDENTS AT MSU ARE SECOND TO NONE .

—Blake Wiedenheft

INSATIABLE CURIOSITY

Blake Wiedenheft is at the forefront of CRISPR research by Emily Stifler Wolfe

Blake Wiedenheft was working as a ski patroller and guide in Big Sky when he chose science. Originally from Fort Peck, a tiny town in northeastern Montana, Wiedenheft, now 42, earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from Montana State University in 1998. He worked as a fisheries biologist on a crabbing vessel in the Bering Sea and spent a summer teaching school in West Africa. He said he was hooked on adventure, motivated by an insatiable urge to climb the next peak or see around the next bend. But, a chance encounter with Mark Young, a professor at MSU, completely reoriented his compass for adventure. “Mark Young is a scientific pioneer and at the time he was chasing viruses that thrive in the boiling acid environments of Yellowstone National Park,” Wiedenheft said. “Before meeting Mark, I had never really considered how microbes would live in such extreme habitats, let alone think about viruses that infect these microbes. Mark’s excitement for understanding how these biological machines work was, literally, infectious.” Now an assistant professor in the MSU Department of Microbiology and Immunology, which is part of both the College of Agriculture and the College

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work in bacteria, we learned that they of Letters and Science, Wiedenheft runs function like programmable molecular a research program focused on CRISPR, which stands for “Clustered Regularly scissors,” he said. “The bacteria use these Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats.” systems to cleave viral DNA, but scientists are now ‘borrowing’ the CRISPR These repeated DNA sequences are part of a sophisticated adaptive immune syssystem from bacteria and reprogramtem that bacteria use to fight off viruses ming these systems to cut plant, animal by slicing the viral DNA. and human DNA with precision.” Wiedenheft explains the CRISPR Among the many possibilities, process like this: Viruses are the most CRISPR technologies are being used to abundant and diverse biological agents try to cure diseases such as cystic fibrosis, on the planet, and most viruses infect sickle cell anemia, HIV and cancers. bacteria. But bacteria are not defenseless. “But with any transformative new During an infection, bacteria steal short technology comes an awesome responpieces of the viral DNA and record this sibility,” cautions Wiedenheft, who has DNA in the CRISPR in their own gepublished 40 papers on the topic and nome. Upon a subsequent infection, the speaks on the subject at universities and bacteria uses genetic information stored biotech companies worldwide. in the CRISPR as a molecular record of “(CRISPR) has the potential to cure previous infections. genetic diseases by correcting broken “This memory is used to create mopieces of DNA, but this same technology lecular guides that direct cleavage of the can also be used to selectively eliminate viral DNA,” Wiedenheft said. certain species from the face of the earth.” In the beginning, Wiedenheft’s work Wiedenheft’s contributions in the CRISPR arena are so significant that in the area was motivated by a desire to understand “what happens when in January, President Barack Obama bacteria get sick (i.e. infected by a virus),” awarded Wiedenheft a Presidential Early but understanding how these immune Career Award for Scientists and Engisystems work has led to a transformative neers, the highest governmental honor new technology, he said. for early-career independent researchers. “By studying how these systems Wiedenheft has been researching

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WIEDENHEFT  KELLY GORHAM

Wiedenheft won a Presidential Early Career Award for his work with CRISPR technology.

CRISPR since 2007 when he teamed-

up with Professor Jennifer Doudna at University of California, Berkeley. At the time, Doudna’s lab was focused on the role of ribonucleic acid, or RNA, pathways in humans, and Wiedenheft’s background in viruses made him a good fit for the new project. “He’s tenacious and fearless,” Doudna said of Wiedenheft. “He was willing to tackle a really big project when not a lot of others would. At the time, we knew CRISPR systems existed, but we had very little understanding of what they did, much less their potential applications.” Gradually, Doudna’s lab shifted to focus primarily on CRISPR, and in 2012, Doudna and French scientist Emmanuelle Charpentier were the first to show CRISPR’s potential as a genomic editing tool. Doudna is now a Nobel Prize contender, thanks in part to foundations Wiedenheft laid while he trained in her laboratory. Ross Wilson, a scientist in the Doudna Lab at Berkeley, remembers Wiedenheft’s intense passion and drive. S PR IN G 2 0 1 7

There was one weekend, Wilson recalled, scientists in different locations and from when Wiedenheft spent a straight 48 different disciplines, there’s no reason hours doing an experiment. He literally you can’t do cutting-edge work at a slept next to it. small land-grant institution, and the That work ethic, Wilson said, was students at MSU are second to none,” also coupled with a play-hard sensibilWiedenheft said. ity. After lunchtime road bike rides, Yet, Wiedenheft is a researcher who Wiedenheft would start doing science loves teaching and is a mentor to his immediately, still wearing his cycling students, as Young once was to him. gear. Sometimes he’d walk around the Josh Carter, who as a freshman lab for hours in his helmet. heard Wiedenheft speak, immediately As a leader in one of the hottest fields signed on to work in his lab, because in life sciences today, Wiedenheft could “Blake’s passion was infectious.” Carter likely work anywhere he wanted. But he graduated this May with degrees in has chosen MSU, drawn home by deep mechanical engineering and microbiroots and a connection to Montana. ology, and the research he performed The son of a fisheries biologist and in Wiedenheft’s lab helped him win a a soil scientist, Wiedenheft grew up 2017 Rhodes Scholarship, as well as a spending time on Fort Peck Reservoir, Goldwater Scholarship. working on friends’ ranches, doing 4-H, “He gives 120 percent to everything, and running track, playing football and he pushes you to give 120 percent, as well,” wrestling. As an undergrad and graduCarter said. “He genuinely wanted to help ate student, he skied and ran the trails me be a better student and researcher, and near Bozeman. a better all-around person.”  “At a time when technology allows such facile communication between 55


PEOPLE When Leon Costello, right, became MSU’s new director of athletics, he brought with him from South Dakota State University an emphasis on planning and successful fundraising. Here he gives support to Nathan Stark, marching band director.

A MAN WITH A PLAN

Leon Costello builds the foundation for an exciting future for Bobcat athletics by Bill Lamberty

Leon Costello traces his career as a college athletics administrator to a task that many find tedious. As a member of the basketball team at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, he was asked to serve during the search process, as a member of the student-athlete advisory committee, to find the school’s next athletics director, leading to more time than many college students would find appealing. But it also led to opportunity. “It opened my eyes to the possibilities in athletics administration and the role of administrators in developing student-athletes,” said Costello, who to that point studied athletic training and sports medicine. “That experience really indoctrinated me.” Last summer, Costello’s journey came full circle when he became Montana State University’s seventh full-time director of athletics. Indoctrination into that role came quickly, as well. He said since that time, a whirlwind of activity has barely subsided. “A lot of good things happened this

year, and some great things—capped off by the ski team’s accomplishment (an individual national championship and top 10 team finish) and women’s basketball winning the Big Sky Conference. We’re getting ready for what’s to come, and that’s what I’m most excited about.” The process of “what’s to come” paved the road for Costello’s first year, which involved listening and plenty of planning. “The one thing we’ve talked a lot about recently is the strategic plan,” he said, “I’m glad we waited until we got through the fall and spring to do that because there were a lot of questions I wouldn’t have been able to answer earlier. It takes time to live it, and I learned a lot. Getting started has been fun.” Getting started has never been a problem for Costello, an Iowa native who as a Loras Duhawk played hoops in non-scholarship Division III where “you play a sport because you love it,” he said. “I had the opportunity to play a couple of different sports, and basketball was the one I chose. In Division III you play

OUR VISION IS TO CREATE AN UNBELIEVABLE STUDENT-ATHLETE EXPERIENCE . ... IT’S OUR JOB TO GIVE THEM EVERY CHANCE TO BECOME THE BEST PERSON THEY CAN BE. —Leon Costello

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because you want to keep playing.” Costello made an impact there. “I remember Leon well during his time at Loras,” said Steve Helminiak, the school’s current head football coach who was an assistant during Costello’s playing days. “He was an excellent person and basketball player while at Loras. He was an athletic, energetic and intelligent basketball player, the ideal student-athlete.” After earning his bachelor’s degree in physical education and sport science (1998) and his master’s in sports management from Western Illinois (2002), Costello accepted a marketing position at the University of Northern Iowa in 2002. Early on, a couple of important things happened, he said. First, he began a working relationship Justin Sell, an athletics administrator. Costello rose through the ranks at UNI, eventually becoming associate athletic director for external relations. In 2009, Sell became the director of athletics at South Dakota State. In 2010, Costello followed him. “Watching (Sell) go through his career, I got to see every step firsthand,” Costello said. “Most of all, he put me in position to be ready for this job. If he thought there were experiences (for which) I needed to be ready, he helped me with that. I owe a lot of my preparation to him as far as knowing what I needed next and getting me into those roles.” More importantly, it was at UNI that Costello met his wife, Heather, who also worked for Sell.

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COSTELLO  KELLY GORHAM

While at South Dakota State, Costello managed much of the department’s day-to-day functions while Sell spent time on the road fundraising for facilities upgrades. Costello was also involved in the fundraising and design processes, and during these years was able to build and hone “my management style and the skills it takes for the role I’m in now.” When opportunity presented itself at Montana State, Costello reflexively began with what he knows best. “In my experiences, I firmly believe that when you have a plan, it saves you time and saves you money down the road,” he said. “You know exactly what it is you’re going to do, where you’re going to do it, so five years down the road you’re not telling yourself, ‘I wish we’d done this,’ or ‘I wish we’d thought about this.’ Having a plan in place takes that out of the equation.” After a fall and winter spent listening

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to student-athletes and coaches, fans and alumni and professors and staff members, the process of building plans for the department and its facilities kicked into full gear this spring. Much of February and March were spent working with college athletics veterans who work as consultants in creating a strategic plan and a facilities master plan “that will inform each other and work together to give us the chance to experience success in all areas.” Costello’s college athletics experience is rooted in marketing, and he says revenue generation is a crucial component of an athletic program’s success. “Fundraising and drawing fans to events, building off past success and creating exciting environments in our venues allow for growth,” he said. He added that feeds into Montana State’s focus on student-athlete success. “Our vision is to create an unbeliev-

able student-athlete experience. Everyone within an athletic department has a job because of student-athletes. We want them to develop socially, we want them to develop academically, and we want them to win championships. It’s our job to give them every chance to become the best person they can be in each of those areas.” Costello’s experience as a studentathlete and working in marketing makes him appreciate the most significant lesson he takes from his first year at Montana State. “What I’ve learned is that we have really passionate fans, we have a supportive campus and community that love the Bobcats, and we’ve seen glimpses of what’s to come. We have a great foundation, and so many people who support us right now and want to help us, and I think they’ll see the fruits of their labor in a short amount of time.” 

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PHOTO  KELLY GORHAM

HI S TORY

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MSU ARCHIVES PHOTO  KELLY GORHAM

WHAT’S PAST IS PROLOGUE

MSU sets Bobcat Birthday Bash in February to celebrate its 125th anniversary This photo, thought to be the earliest panorama of Montanan State University, is remarkable not only for what is, but also for what is to come. Since it was founded on Feb. 16, 1893, MSU has made an impact on the state, region and the world. Starting with only a few academic programs focusing on agriculture, MSU expanded over the years to more than 225 programs across eight academic colleges. The campus, launched with just a handful of buildings, has expanded to more than 50 principal buildings on 956 acres, with more new buildings to come. MSU graduates have bettered the world in diverse fields, ranging from life-saving vaccinations to paradigm-

breaking art. Likewise, MSU faculty are making new discoveries that better all of our lives, from discovering new lifeforms in hostile environments to discovering new worlds in microscopic DNA. There is much to celebrate at MSU, and we’d like you to celebrate with us at one of the biggest parties in the university’s history. Please put Feb. 16–17, 2018, on your calendar and make plans to be on campus as we celebrate MSU’s 125th anniversary with the Bobcat Birthday Bash. We hope to see you at the Bobcat Birthday Bash. And, keep checking www.montana.edu/125 to keep up with all the events and happenings. 

We want to hear what MSU means to you. Did MSU help you achieve your dreams? Did you meet someone important to you through MSU? Do you have a photo of something that reminds you of your time on campus? Please post your MSU story or photograph at www.montana.edu/125. S PR IN G 2017

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The OTO Ranch in Gardiner is Montana’s first dude ranch.

A LASTING IMPACT Bess and Clyde Erskine’s vision has benefitted generations of MSU students by Jessianne Wright

The Erskines’ family story started with a vision. Helen “Bess” Erskine’s parents, Dick and Dora Randall, bought the OTO Ranch in Gardiner in 1898. The Randalls envisioned not only a working ranch, but a destination: Montana’s first dude ranch. Bess and her husband, Clyde Erskine, operated the ranch during most of the 1920s, and the locale was a mainstay for famous and wealthy travelers, including President Teddy Roosevelt, well into the 1930s. Today the story of the ranch, and the Erskine family, lives on through two scholarship endowments that Bess and Clyde created at Montana State University. “Clyde and Bess had no children, but were big proponents of education,” said Clyde’s great-niece, Leslie Hankins. “They were always trying to help.”

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INVESTING IN STUDENT ATHLETIC ACHIEVEMENT After a successful run at the OTO Ranch, Clyde and Bess pursued a career in hotel management that took them from Yellowstone National Park to resorts in California, Arizona and Florida. Eventually, their journey led them back to the Paradise Valley, where their love for the MSU Bobcats began. Clyde, born in Iowa in 1895, took his high school basketball team to the national championships and played basketball and football at Iowa State University. An athlete at heart, Clyde cheered for his local sports teams wherever he lived. In 1985, Clyde and Bess established the Erskine Excellence in Athletics endowment at Montana State to award scholarships to

football student-athletes. Jason Hicks was awarded the Erskine athletic scholarship in 1994 and 1995, playing defensive end for former head coach Cliff Hysell. “I was drawn [to MSU] by the strong engineering department and wonderful opportunity to play the sport I loved,” said Hicks, who was from western Washington. “I quickly learned about the rich history of Montana State’s athletic department and wanted to try to help build on the success of past Bobcats.” While playing football for the ’Cats, Hicks studied engineering, graduating with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering in 1996 and 1998 respectively. “I grew close to several professors in the engineering department who taught me

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in-depth engineering principles that will guide me for the rest of my life,” Hicks said. He is now the principal of Hicks Engineering in Bozeman. A true Bobcat, Hicks has employed six MSU graduates in the 14-year history of his engineering firm. “From my own experience in the MSU (College of ) Engineering, … I know these candidates are well-educated, have a developed sense of problem-solving and are committed to accomplishing difficult tasks,” he said. A more recent recipient of the Erskine athletics award is former football running back and team captain Gunnar Brekke. Brekke may be known for his role on the Bobcat football field, but he said it is his MSU education that has brought him

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BY REMEMBERING MSU THROUGH PLANNED GIFTS IN THEIR ESTATES, DONORS LIKE THE ERSKINES INSPIRE AND SUPPORT STUDENTS FOR GENERATIONS.

lasting challenges and rewards. “I never was a big math guy … but I always wanted to learn more about business,” Brekke said. He said he has put his nose to the grindstone, specializing in finance in the Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship, and is hoping to one day own his own small business. “When I came in four years ago, I knew that as much as football would take over my life, it couldn’t be everything,” said

—Tyler Wiltgen

the Helena native. “I had to work hard and get good grades.” Brekke said he was inspired by the scholarships he received to do his best.

HONORING A RANCHING HERITAGE It was rewarding for Bess and Clyde to see the impact their athletics scholarship had on the Bobcats. At the end of her life, Bess made plans for a gift from her estate that would establish another

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BREKKE  KELLY GORHAM

Bobcat running back Gunnar Brekke, a recipient of an Erskine Excellence in Athletics Scholarship, said he was inspired by the scholarship to do his best athletically and academically.

endowment to honor her family’s ranching heritage. After Bess died in 1995, the Clyde and Helen Erskine Excellence in Agriculture endowment awarded its first scholarship to a student who would contribute to the future of agriculture and land management in Montana. Jay Skovlin was among the earliest recipients of the Erskine Excellence in Agriculture award in 1998. “I remember going to the banquet for the College of Agriculture,” Skovlin said. “I remember how cool it was to see all these family scholarships. The Erskines donated that money for that purpose. When you receive that money, you want to do well with it. You want to go as far as you can.” Driven by the support of this and other scholarships, Skovlin went on to graduate with an agriculture degree in soils and is now a USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service soil scientist in Montana. “I’ve learned to appreciate landscapes in a whole new way through studying soils,” Skovlin said. “Every day I’m using the knowledge I gained from my degree at MSU.” For Linda Johns, a 2004 Erskine agriculture recipient, the initial experience in higher education inspired her to learn even more. Intrigued by the science-based classes offered as a part of her landscape design program in the Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology, Johns sought to take as many science classes as landscape courses while attending MSU. She is the current pesticide licensing, registration and training program manager for the Montana Department of Agriculture.

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SHAPING THE FUTURE “Since they were established more than 30 years ago, the Erskines’ endowments in athletics and agriculture have benefited more than 50 MSU students,” said Tyler Wiltgen, vice president of estate, trust and gift planning at the MSU Alumni Foundation. “Endowed funds are designed to survive in perpetuity and serve as a permanent legacy of a donor’s vision. By remembering MSU through planned gifts in their estates, donors like the Erskines inspire and support students for generations.” Fast-forward to today; the Erskine award continues to equip MSU students for success. “Coming from a large family, I receive plenty of emotional support and encouragement, but financial resources have always been difficult to come by,” said Noelani Boise, the most recent Erskine agriculture awardee from 2016. Boise is a double major studying environmental

studies and German studies and is also taking courses in the Honors College. “I want to be invested in research that can assist small communities across the globe, including our own here in Bozeman,” Boise said. Originally from Emigrant, Boise has studied abroad and hopes that after graduation she might pursue a master’s degree abroad as well. “Scholarships can offset the cost of tuition, books and rent for students, but the deeper impact of these awards is that they inspire students to set ambitious goals and make these dreams possible,” said Ilse-Mari Lee, dean of the MSU Honors College. “I am so grateful to receive the financial support that I do from multiple generous donors who seek to aid students in need,” Boise said. “Scholarships such as the ones that Clyde and Helen Erskine established are truly what make my education and my time abroad possible.”  Learn more or become involved at MSUAF.ORG/AISC

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COURTESY OF THE MSU ALUMNI FOUNDATION

Noelani Boise, the most recent Erskine agriculture awarded, said the scholarship helped her accomplish the goal of studying abroad.

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CASTING INTO THE FUTURE The impact of giving

MANY WAYS TO GIVE With philanthropic intention and commitments that suit their finances, these donors have found a variety of ways to make impacts across campus. ROLLOVER IRA GIF TS

Leroy and Agnes Luft committed to making gifts through the charitable IRA rollover provision. IMPACT College of Agriculture scholarships ESTATE GIF T

Teddy Birnie left a gift to MSU establishing an endowment through his estate. IMPACT Anthropology studies fieldwork JOINT CHARITABLE GIF T ANNUITY

Pete and Carol Nelson established a joint deferred charitable gift annuity. Hilleman Scholars fund

IMPACT

BENEFICIARY DEED OF PROPERTY

Howard Hahn designated MSU as the beneficiary of personal property. IMPACT Scholarships for elementary and secondary education majors and academic development support for student-athletes OUTRIGHT GIF T

Paul and Barbee Franzen gave a currentuse gift to ensure access for those who have served our country. IMPACT Veterans and military families support

To make your own impact, visit M O N TA N A . E D U/ W H AT I T TA K E S

Who doesn’t love a good fishing story? Ed Engle and the many contributors to the MSU Trout and Salmonid Collection have many fishing stories to tell. In an archived interview from 2016, Engle, who is a well-known angler, flytier, guide and writer based in Colorado, shares one of these fish stories about how, as a youth growing up in Virginia, his father would take him fishing when he got into trouble at school. On one of these occasions, Engle’s father explained to the man from whom they rented a boat that “Eddie got into a little trouble, and we need to fish and talk.” The man replied, “Well, the way I see it, any boy who fishes can’t be all bad.” Today, more than 50 years later, the author of several fly fishing books is considered a staple of fishing in the Rocky Mountain West. Seeking to add depth to the collection’s angling historical perspective from Colorado, James Thull, MSU Special Collections librarian and curator of the Trout and Salmonid Collection, invited Engle to sit for an oral history of angling interview. “Oral history is important because it is original research,” said Thull, who has conducted more than 50 interviews for the collection’s Angling Oral History Project. “The anglers, some with more than 70 years of fly fishing experience, tell us about changes they have seen

IT IS INSPIRING TO SEE SO MANY PEOPLE STEPPING FORWARD TO INVEST IN MSU. ... THEY SEE THE VERY REAL IMPACT THEIR DOLLARS HAVE ON OUR CAMPUS, OUR PEOPLE AND PROGRAMS. —Chris Murray

over the years in the size of fish, water levels and temperatures, runoffs and the timing of hatches. They tell us about threats to streams and rivers as well as organizations that are doing good work to improve river ecosystems.” Engle continues to travel around the country giving presentations and sharing his passion for all things fly fishing. The MSU Library’s work on the project so impressed Engle that in addition to his oral history contribution, he delivered a portion of his own papers to Thull as a donation to Montana State and the Trout and Salmonid Collection. And, Engle has committed to making a gift designated to support the MSU Library Trout and Salmonid Initiative. Engle’s gifts to MSU cast his work into the future sustaining the lore of angling for generations to come. “It is inspiring to see so many people stepping forward to invest in MSU. They give generously because they see the very real impact their dollars have on our campus, our people and programs,” said Chris Murray, MSU Alumni Foundation president and CEO. “In the case of the MSU Library, the incredible value and broad accessibility of its holdings and special collections have inspired gifts from a wide variety of alumni who graduated across our campus as well as donors from our community and around the country.” Engle’s interview and those of more than 50 other anglers from all walks of life who hail from the Appalachians to the Oregon coast are available online on the MSU Library website www.lib. montana.edu/trout/oral-histories. 

The MSU Alumni Foundation takes seriously the responsibility to honor the confidentiality of donors and their gifts to MSU. All donor and gift stories are published with the express approval of donors and affected family members.

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SCHULTZ, EMERSON, WOODRIFF  KELLY GORHAM  ARCHITECTURE  ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ

Erin and Raymond Schultz have set up a gift that helps Robin Gerlach, professor of chemical and biological engineering, investigate the use of biofilms and extremophilic microorganisms to benefit the environment, such as in the cleanup of contaminated soils, treatment of wastewater and sequestration of carbon dioxide. The Schultzes funded their gift through the IRA rollover provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.

Because Arne Emerson, an MSU graduate who is a successful architect in Santa Monica, California, knows that international travel to study architecture in other countries and cultures remains a dream for many students, he established a gift that supports travel stipends for fourthyear students in good academic standing who want to study abroad.

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Don Baker’s master’s degree in architecture from MSU in 1966 led to a very successful career as well as a lifelong appreciation of higher education. The native of Glasgow, Montana, died in 2016, but his legacy lives on through the Don Baker Scholarship, which will support scholarships for students from Valley County who have financial need and attend any of MSU’s affiliated campuses in Bozeman, Billings, Havre or Great Falls.

R. Lee Woodriff saw firsthand, as a professor of mathematics and computer science at universities around the country, how talented students in science and math could go unrecognized due to their challenges in reading, writing and communication. Woodriff established a scholarship endowment for mathematics and computer science majors. He also created the Lee Woodriff Mentorship Award for faculty who go above and beyond to mentor students.

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ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ

SPRING 2017 CAMPAIGN REPORT CAMPAIGN ACHIEVED GOAL $300 million SECURED $340,771,099

PEOPLE ACHIEVED

PLACES

GOAL $75 million RAISED $115,690,241 GOAL $125 million RAISED $101,759,859

PROGRAMS ACHIEVED

GOAL $100 million RAISED $123,320,999

CAMPAIGN PROGRESS BY DIVISION (as of March 31, 2017)

ATHLE TICS ACHIEVED

GOAL $25 million RAISED $23,171,097

COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE GOAL $22 million ACHIEVED RAISED $25,399,223 COLLEGE OF ARTS & ARCHITECTURE GOAL $7 million RAISED $6,847,212 JAKE JABS COLLEGE OF BUSINESS & ENTREPRENEURSHIP GOAL $45 million RAISED $44,972,049 COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, HE ALTH & HUMAN DE VELOPMENT GOAL $3.25 million ACHIEVED RAISED $3,477,170 COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING GOAL $110 million ACHIEVED RAISED $120,367,348 COLLEGE OF LETTERS & SCIENCE GOAL $30 million ACHIEVED RAISED $32,887,528 COLLEGE OF NURSING GOAL $8.5 million ACHIEVED RAISED $13,669,004 MSU LIBRARY ACHIEVED

GOAL $1.75 million RAISED $3,885,105

GR ADUATE SCHOOL

GOAL $300,000 RAISED $249,931

HONORS COLLEGE ACHIEVED

GOAL $7 million RAISED $7,086,958

DIVISION OF STUDENT SUCCESS GOAL $2.1 million ACHIEVED RAISED $2,935,215 GRE AT FALL S COLLEGE–MSU GOAL $2 million RAISED $1,612,198 MUSEUM OF THE ROCKIES GOAL $7 million RAISED $4,827,473 66

REACHING BEYOND Last fall, Montana State University President Waded Cruzado announced that the university had exceeded its goal of raising $300 million. Since then, the What It Takes campaign has raised another $40 million. At $340 million, the campaign is still gaining momentum with more than 18 months remaining to make MSU even stronger before the campaign concludes at the end of 2018. “I continue to be amazed and humbled by the generosity and commitment of MSU’s extraordinary alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students,” Cruzado said. “We appreciate all who have contributed in helping us achieve the campaign goal. We reach beyond it to generate greater outcomes for our university.” Chris Murray, MSU Alumni Foundation president and CEO, pointed out that while many campaign priorities have been funded, there are still areas of need and more objectives to accomplish. “In the coming months, we are focusing our efforts to inspire gifts for scholarships and faculty support,” he said. “The Hilleman Scholars program is a priority for undergraduates as are endowments for professorships, chairs and faculty leadership grants. We have had fantastic success as alumni and friends step forward to give, and we are confident this campaign will continue to yield positive impacts across campus.”

FUNDRAISING PRIORITIES SCHOLARSHIPS & FELLOWSHIPS  ·  PROFESSORSHIPS & CHAIRS STUDENT SUCCESS FUNDS  ·  AMERICAN INDIAN STUDENT CENTER FACULTY RESEARCH & LEADERSHIP GRANTS

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IT TAKES YOU. montana.edu/whatittakes P.O. Box 172750 Bozeman, Montana  59717-2750 406-994-2053 | 800-457-1696 info@msuaf.org

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PA RTI N G SHOT

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PHOTO  KELLY GORHAM

WHERE ART INTERSECTS SCIENCE Jim Peaco, center, Yellowstone Park photographer, helps Serena Dahle, left, adjust settings for a photograph of Yellowstone Park thermal features as teaching assistant Sukha Worob, right, a local artist and teaching assistant, captures an image. The group is part of a popular summer Yellowstone photography workshop course taught by Jeffrey Conger, MSU graphics design professor and freelance magazine photographer. Conger said the class is in its 15th year and includes students from all majors. “It is a great opportunity for MSU students to work in the spectacular teaching environment that is the university’s back yard,” he said. Conger also teaches a similar summer photography workshop in Grand Teton National Park.

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NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION U.S. POSTAGE

Mountains and Minds Magazine P.O. Box 172220 Bozeman, MT 59717–2220

PAID PERMIT NO. 69 BOZEMAN, MT 59715

Explore online exclusives for this issue of Mountains and Minds online at WWW.MONTANA.EDU/MOUNTAINSANDMINDS PHOTO BY ADRIAN SACHEZ-GONZALEZ

Mountains and Minds - Spring 2017  

Montana State University Mountains and Minds magazine.

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