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A publication of the MSU Alumni Association for the alumni and friends of Montana State University

In this issue: Real-world research Jan Stenerud: The journey comes full circle Special alumni section

M ONTANA S TATE U NIV E RSIT Y Summer 2013 | 1




Real-world research: Three young alumni who are making an impact in industry


Into space: Astrophysicist Michelle Larson heads ‘America’s First Planetarium’


Armed and ready: Kevin Connolly’s adventures after MSU


The journey comes full circle: Stenerud honored in Bozeman


Cat/Griz Party Preview

12 Carol Hartman: Coming home to her new life


15 Michael Elich: MSU alumnus helping small businesses prosper

From the President 2

16 Gordon Johnson: MSU launched banking career that spans decades

Mail Bag


19 Jon Knokey: MSU business grad advises students to think globally

Blue & Gold


22 Taking ‘cowboy cereal’ into the future

Class Notes


23 Cyril Burguiere is a stand-up guy 26 Special alumni section

Summer 2013 | 1


Dear Alumni and Friends,


We are enjoying a beautiful Bozeman summer here at Montana State University. Summer classes are in full swing, and we have a number of construction and renovation projects underway on campus. We celebrated the groundbreaking for one of those projects, Jabs Hall, earlier this spring. Jabs Hall will be the new home of the MSU Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship. As you may know, the building and college are named for Jake Jabs, a 1952 Montana State alumnus whose $25 million gift is completely funding construction of the building and other programs. We are grateful to Mr. Jabs for his extraordinary generosity and are so excited to see the new Jabs Hall taking shape. The building is scheduled to be completed in 2015. We also are using the summer months to prepare for the next academic year. This fall, there are several special events in which you may be interested in participating. In September, we welcome our Freshman Convocation speaker, Yann Martel, author of the award-winning novel Life of Pi, which was made into an Academy Award-winning film. Martel is a compelling storyteller and inspirational speaker, and he is an excellent choice to kick off the fall semester. The event is set for September 5 and will take place in the Fieldhouse. Martel’s visit will launch an important new initiative, the Year of Engaged Leadership (YEAR). The YEAR features a number of events, some familiar and some new, scheduled throughout the academic year that will provide opportunities for students, faculty and staff to hone their leadership skills. The university is planning workshops, discussions, lectures and other programs as part of the initiative. Each month’s activities will focus on a single characteristic of leadership, concentrating on ways that it is, or should become, an integral part of the university’s campus culture. A few examples of these innovative leadership activities include a faculty-staff day of service in the community, alumni/student mentor brown bag discussions, and a leadership film series. In addition, MSU Extension will work through Extension agents to explore monthly leadership concepts statewide. I hope you will make plans to be part of our Homecoming celebration this fall, set for Sept. 30 through Oct. 5. This year’s Homecoming, known as “Leaders and Legends,” will feature an expansion of our Homecoming awards. During special Homecoming ceremonies, each academic college will present four awards. The award categories are alumni achievement, distinguished faculty, distinguished staff and honorary alumni. The awards are in addition to the Blue and Gold Award, one of MSU’s most prestigious awards that honors individuals who have rendered great lifetime service or who have brought national or international distinction to MSU or the state of Montana. We are so excited about all that will take place at your university this fall. We hope you will join us for these special events. With warm regards,

Waded Cruzado President, Montana State University

President Emerita Jaynee Drange Groseth, ’73, ’91 M

BOARD OF GOVERNORS Chair Mike Ferris, ’68, Columbus, Ga. Vice Chair Cory Pulfrey, ’82, Bozeman, Mont. Secretary/Treasurer Mark Sherman, ’97, Great Falls, Mont. Mark Bacigalupo, ’80, St. Paul, Minn. Alexander (Zander) Blewett, ’67, Great Falls, Mont. Susan Carstensen, ’85, Bozeman, Mont. Brian Clark, ’82, Kalispell, Mont. Richard (Dick) Harte, ’70, Bozeman, Mont. David L. Jackson, ’62, Helena, Mont. David Kem, ’67, ’00, The Woodlands, Texas Lois (Fulker) Norby, ’65, Excelsior, Minn. Bill Perry, ’02, Spokane, Wash. Tristan P. Renz, ’79, The Woodlands, Texas Linda M. Reynolds, ’71, Bozeman, Mont. Kevin R. Seth, ’83, New York, N.Y. Jean (Bennington) Sweeney, ’76, St. Paul, Minn. Mary Beth (Holzer) Walsh, ’86, Twin Bridges, Mont. Tony J. Waller, ’81, Falls Church, Va.

Vol. 90, No.2, Summer 2013 EDI TORIAL BOARD

Jodie DeLay, ’93, Tracy Ellig, ’92, Amy Falcione, Kerry Hanson, ’93, ’08 M, Julie Kipfer, Suzi Taylor, ’99 M, Caroline Zimmerman, ’83 E D I T O R

Caroline Zimmerman, ’83 C R E AT I V E D I R E C T O R

Ron Lambert D E S I G N A N D P R O D U C T I O N

MSU Office of Creative Services P H O T O G R A P H Y by Kelly Gorham, ’95, MSU

Photography (unless otherwise noted) AD MANAGER Lori Cox, ’92, 406-994-4595,

ext. 105 The Montana State Collegian (ISSN 1044-7717) is published four times a year by the Montana State University Alumni Foundation, Foundation & Alumni Center, P.O. Box 172750, Bozeman, MT 59717-2750. Periodicals postage paid at Bozeman, Mont., and additional offices. Web address: Postmaster: Send address changes to Montana State Collegian, P.O. Box 172750, Bozeman, MT 59717-2750 • (406) 994-2053 • Email: alumni@

On the cover Midway Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park/Photo by Kelly Gorham

Collegian | 2

MAIL BAG Y O U R L E T T E R S ALUMNI RELATIONS ADVISORY BOARD Chair Mary Beth (Holzer) Walsh, ’86, Twin Bridges, Mont.

The Collegian magazine welcomes letters from alumni and friends of MSU. Send them to collegian_mail_ or MSU Alumni Foundation, P.O. Box 172750, Bozeman, MT 59717-2750.

Vice Chair Jeff Sipes, ’86, Lake Tapps, Wash. Past Chair Bill Perry, ’02, Spokane, Wash. Pam (Turnquist) Birkeland, ’77, ’00, Helena, Mont. Jaden Erwin, ’01, Helena, Mont. Joe Ginalias, Miles City, Mont. Rainey (Peuse) Kellogg, ’97, Bozeman, Mont. Maria (Nomie) Ketterling, ’75, Eaton, Colo. Susan (Wallace) Raph, ’82, ’01, Shelby, Mont. Chantel McCormick Schieffer, ’99, Bozeman, Mont. Steve Skaer, ’00, ’07, Great Falls, Mont. David Yarlott, ’94, ’96, ’99, Crow Agency, Mont. Student Alumni Association Representative Mikaleen Lowe, Walker, Minn. Bobcat Club Representative Bill Miller, Lewistown, Mont.

DONOR REL ATIONS ADVISORY BOARD Chair David Kem, ’67, ’00, The Woodlands, Texas James Alderson, ’69, Whitefish, Mont. Frank Benevento, New Canaan, Conn. Edward (Jack) Cameron, ’62, Minneapolis, Minn. Mike Ferris, ’68, Columbus, Ga. Kathy (Metcalf) Finney, ’68, Corvallis, Mont. Jill Jarrett, ’94, San Francisco, Calif. Mary Ann Pearce, ’76, Houston, Texas Barry Remely, ’60, Bozeman, Mont. Linda M. Reynolds, ’71, Bozeman, Mont. Wendy R. (Shelton) Sire, ’75, Great Falls, Mont. Carol C. Smith, Hinsdale, Ill. Walt H. Smith, ’85, Medina, Wash. Lowell W. Springer, ’70, Bozeman, Mont. Will Weaver, ’65, ’71, Great Falls, Mont.

Dear Jaynee, The Class of 1953 Diamond Reunion was perfect in every way from planning to timing to events to meals. It was heartwarming to reminisce and catch up with old friends. We thank you for all the personal attention and effort in putting together this special weekend. Great job by you, Kerry Hanson, Rose Hanson, Michael Stevenson, Tyler Wiltgen, Lane Nordland and all the others. What a pleasure it was to meet President Cruzado — a dynamic lady leading our fine university. We wish you many blessings in your retirement and know that our paths will cross again soon. Best regards, Alice (Opalka),’53 Micro, and Bill Fluegel, ’56 Ag, Life Members, Marco Island, Fla. Thank you, thank you for a wonderful commencement anniversary celebration. It was simply GREAT in every way and we enjoyed seeing so many friends. Graduation was very impressive and fun to watch. We can’t say enough about the wonderful help and care you extended to us. You are all a wonderful team, and thank you again for a most memorable time in “Cat Country.” Don, ’53 Ag, and Nadine (Throop) Copley, Life Members, Helena, Mont.

Dear Kerry and all the Alumni Association Staff, Thank you so much for all your efforts in organizing the class reunions of ’63, ’53 and ’43. What a mammoth amount of organizing and coordinating were necessary to produce such a memorable time for us and our classmates of many years ago. You treated us royally and made us feel special. The meals were excellent, tours informative, presentations interesting, and graduation ceremony impressive. We especially appreciate the time President Cruzado gave us while also being needed at many events that weekend. Above all, it was wonderful for us to talk with friends and to relive our treasured time of the ’60s in Bobcat Country. Sincerely, Ken, ’63 GenStu, and Sharee (Clark) Ballinger, ’63 SecEd, Members, Missoula, Mont. Just a note to tell you how much I enjoyed the commencement reunions. How wonderful to reconnect with members of the Class of ’63. The MSU Alumni Association staff certainly had a well planned, organized three days — we enjoyed every minute. I also had the added bonus of a reunion with my Alpha Gamma Delta sisters. Sixteen of us spent a lovely afternoon at the chapter house, and Maddy Sokoloski was such a help in organizing this for us. The future is bright at MSU. Thanks for the memories, Go Cats! Jan (MacPherson) Vigre, ’63 Micro, Anacortes, Wash.


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MSU breaks ground for new Jabs Hall The new Jabs Hall at Montana State University will help mold Montana’s future entrepreneurs, according to Kregg Aytes, dean of the MSU Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship. “The building will shape our behavior, and we will become more collaborative and innovative,” said Aytes, who was one of several officials to speak at a groundbreaking ceremony held for the new building in May. The event began with a processional of students, faculty, staff and friends from MSU and the community. The MSU Spirit Band, members of the ROTC, and horseback riders from a local drill team also participated in the event’s processional. Jabs Hall will be the new home of the MSU Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship, formerly known as the MSU College of Business. Construction began this summer and will be completed in 2015. Both the building and the college are named for Jake Jabs, a Montana native and Montana State alumnus who in 2011 announced a $25 million gift that

will completely fund construction of the Jabs credits his parents for providing building and other programs. him with a strong work ethic, and Jabs’ Jabs’ spirit of entrepreneurship and deci- father, who had no formal education besion to give back to students in his home yond the second grade, shared with Jabs state is “exciting and empowering to our and his siblings his belief that education students,” said Lindsay Murdock, a sociolwas essential. ogy student and president of the Associated Jabs’ $25 million gift — the largStudents of MSU, during her remarks at est private gift in the history of higher the groundbreaking ceremony. education in Montana — will also be used “We are very excited,” Murdock said. for new scholarships and new academic Montana Commissioner of Higher programs in entrepreneurship, profesEducation Clayton Christian said that sional skills development, and fostering the building will “mean good things for cooperative work between business stustudents in Montana, mean good things dents and students in other disciplines. for Montana State University, and mean In addition to the $25 million gift, in good things for the state of Montana. 2010 Jabs gave $3 million to the MSU Col“Montana is very fortunate to be the lege of Business for the Jake Jabs Center for home state of Jake Jabs,” he added. Entrepreneurship, plus additional funds for MSU President Waded Cruzado scholarships for entrepreneurship students. said that the university has a “bold viOf his decision to invest in educasion” — for its business school to be one of tion, Jabs said in a 2010 interview that the best in the nation. Jabs Hall, she said, “education gives you the confidence to will help the university achieve that goal. take risks, and to be successful in life you Jabs himself noted that everyone have to have take risks.” needs business skills, and that there “is Others speaking at the groundbreakmore need for entrepreneurs today than ing event included Montana Lt. Gov. there has ever been.” John Walsh, who said the new building Jabs grew up on a farm near Lodge will help produce the next generation of Grass, Mont., and business owners, leaders and executives; received a degree in and Angela McLean, chairwoman of the vocational agriculMontana Board of Regents, who noted ture from Montana that Jabs Hall and the students who take State College in 1952. classes there will have a bright future. While at Montana Michael Stevenson, president and chief State, he played in executive officer of the MSU Alumni the marching band, Foundation, thanked Jabs on behalf of was on the rodeo all of MSU’s alumni. team and joined the The MSU Jake Jabs College of BusiROTC. ness and Entrepreneurship offers four Jabs, 83, is now undergraduate options of study —  president and CEO accounting, finance, management and of American Furmarketing , as well as six minors — acniture Warehouse counting, business administration, Montana State University broke ground for its new Jabs Hall during based in Denver. The entrepreneurship and small business management, finance, international a ceremony held May 3 at the building site north of Montana Hall. company is one of the largest retail furbusiness, and management of informaPictured here, from left, are Lindsay Murdock, ASMSU president; tion technology. It also offers a master Montana Lt. Gov. John Walsh; MSU President Waded Cruzado; Jake niture companies in the U.S. and one of of professional accountancy degree. Last Jabs; MSU Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship the largest privately fall, the college reported an enrollment Dean Kregg Aytes; Angela McLean, chairwoman of the Montana held businesses in of 1,151 undergraduates and 42 graduate Board of Regents, and local children. Colorado. students. —Anne Cantrell

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MSU’s work launched June 27 on NASA mission


Montana State University faculty and students who designed and tested optics for a NASA solar mission celebrated June 27 when they saw their work head into space. Watching a live feed from the Taylor Planetarium in the Museum of the Rockies, they cheered and applauded each time the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph made it through another stage in the launching process. When it was clear that IRIS had entered its orbit, they gathered in the museum lobby to celebrate. “That was about as picture perfect as a launch can go,” said program manager Larry Springer. Springer worked at Lockheed Martin for 35 years before coming to MSU six years ago. During the public launch party for IRIS, he said two of his friends were monitoring payload from onboard the airplane that carried a rocket and IRIS over the Pacific Ocean for launch. The launch occurred shortly before 8:30 p.m. Mountain time. “It’s very exciting to see the work of so many people come together. A rocket launch like this is such a focal point and such a milestone,” said Charles Kankelborg, leader of the IRIS team at MSU. MSU became involved with IRIS in 2007 after Kankelborg attended a solar physics meeting in Honolulu and longtime colleagues at Lockheed Martin approached him about collaborating.

In the past six years, more than a dozen MSU students and researchers have worked on the IRIS mission to answer some of the biggest questions about the sun, Kankelborg said. Besides Kankelborg and Springer, other current or past participants are professor Joe Shaw, postdoctoral researchers Nathan Pust, ’02 CompEng and EE, ’07 EE PhD, Sarah Jaeggli, Keith Mashburn, ’09 Phys, Artist’s concept of the IRIS satellite in orbit. Christy Dunn, Janet Glenn, ’07 ME, and Erica Lastifka. AnIRIS is focusing on the layer between gela Des Jardins, ’01 Phys, ’04 Phys M, the photosphere and corona — the chro’07 ChemE, Randy Larimer, ’82 EE M, mosphere. Expected to give the most and Joey Shapiro Key, ’04 Phys M, ’10 detailed look ever of the sun’s lower Phys PhD, in the Montana Space Grant atmosphere or interface region, IRIS Consortium organized education and will observe how solar material moves, outreach efforts, such as the National gathers energy and heats up as it travels Student Solar Spectrograph competition. through this largely unexplored region Stefan Eccles, ’11 Phys, was an of the solar atmosphere. The interface undergraduate student in physics when region is where most of the sun’s ultrahe joined the team, Kankelborg said. By violet emission is generated. These emisthe time he graduated in 2011, he had sions affect the Earth’s climate and can become such an expert at testing optics interfere with satellite communications that he was invited to do the same durand the transmission of power. ing a summer at Lockheed Martin. IRIS carries an eight-inch ultraviolet One of the biggest mysteries about telescope, a spectrograph that contains the sun is why the corona — the outer MSU optics, and a “bus” carrying transatmosphere of the sun — is millions of mitters and batteries. It flies 390 to 420 degrees Celsius when a layer closer to miles above Earth and passes over the the sun is much cooler, Kankelborg said. poles every 90 minutes. —Evelyn Boswell That layer, the photosphere, averages 6,000 degrees Celsius.

The 2013 ‘Bobcat Motorsports’ travel team recently returned from the four-day Formula SAE competition in Lincoln, Neb. Dozens of students participated in the design, fabrication and testing of this year’s entry, which is MSU’s sixth FSAE racer. Eight travel team members hauled the car and supporting materials 1,000 miles to Lincoln for the multi-event competition. The MSU team scored points in all events, and was one of only 27 teams to complete

the rigorous endurance portion of the competition. The MSU squad placed 30th overall in a field of 80 international teams representing seven countries. The car is temporarily on display in the Engineering and Physical Sciences building atrium on the MSU campus.

Summer 2013 | 5


Montana’s T. rex heads to Washington, D.C. The Smithsonian Institution’s National 500 scientific research papers each year. “We are honored that the Wankel Museum of Natural History, the U.S. The Wankel T. rex will be the centerpiece T. rex will be representing Montana at Army Corps of Engineers and the Muof its new $35 million dinosaur hall. our national museum,” said Waded Cruseum of the Rockies at Montana State “Montana’s breathtaking and timeless zado, MSU president. “Kathy Wankel University announced on June 27 an landscape is home to some of the world’s is an alumna of MSU and the Wankel unprecedented agreement to showcase greatest natural treasures,” said U.S. Sen. name will always be associated with this a famous Montana Tyrannosaurus rex Jon Tester of Montana. “The Wankel important discovery.” skeleton at the National Museum. T. rex is an eternal testament to the Johnson said, “The inclusion of the The Wankel T. rex will be on display legends that once roamed Montana’s vast Wankel T. rex in the National Museum’s in the National Museum’s new paleontol- lands, and it is the perfect match for one paleontology exhibits will be one of the ogy exhibit scheduled to open in 2019. of the world’s most famous natural hislandmark events in the Smithsonian’s The skeleton is one of the most complete tory museums.” 167-year history.” T. rex specimens ever discovered, with Kathy Wankel discovered the speciThe partnership between the Museum 80-85 percent of the fossilized bone remen while on a family outing on the of the Rockies, the Corps and the Nationcovered. At the conclusion of the 50-year Fort Peck Reservoir. She took the bones al Museum of Natural History began in loan, the fossils will return to Montana. to MSU’s Museum of the Rockies for 2005 when former Smithsonian Secretary The Wankel T. rex was found on identification. “They turned out to be the Larry Small visited Bozeman to welcome federal land near the Fort Peck the MOR as a Smithsonian Reservoir in 1988 by Kathy affiliate. At that time, he asked Wankel, ’75 Nur, ’95 M, a Jack Horner, a Smithsonian rancher from Angela, Mont. adjunct senior scientist, to find It was excavated in 1989-90 a Tyrannosaurus rex specimen by field crews led by paleonfor their new hall. Five years of tologist Jack Horner from the fieldwork funded by SmithsonMuseum of the Rockies. The ian donors on lands owned by full specimen was housed at the U.S. Corps of Engineers the MOR in Bozeman where yielded several partial T. rex it was prepared in public view, specimens but nothing to comstudied extensively and ultipare with the Wankel T. rex. mately placed on display. “It’s only fitting that The Wankel T. rex will Montana sends its best to our leave for its new home in national museum. This is such Washington, D.C., and arrive an important paleontological at the Smithsonian on Oct. 16, find and all of us who worked National Fossil Day. on it are very proud to see it Jack Horner stands next to the Wankel T. rex fossils found near the “We’re thrilled to welcome displayed for the nation and Fort Peck Reservoir in Montana. this extraordinary fossil to the the world,” said Horner. Smithsonian,” said Kirk Johnson, Sant first arm bones of a T. rex ever discovMOR also announced that it is colDirector, National Museum of Natural ered,” explained Wankel. “It was a very laborating with the U.S. Army Corps of History. “The Wankel T. rex will be the exciting time for us. We are thrilled that Engineers to mount another federal most viewed T.rex fossil in the world, our T. rex is going to be at the Smithson- T. rex specimen in its Siebel Dinosaur and we wish to extend our sincere apian where everyone can see it.” Complex. Known as the Peck’s Rex, it is preciation to the U.S. Corps of Engineers, In 2001, the Wankel T. rex was cast as complete a skeleton as the Wankel the Museum of the Rockies and the in bronze and placed near Museum of T. rex and will be on display sometime Wankel family for all they’ve done to the Rockies’ front entrance where the in 2014. make this possible.” skeleton, nicknamed “Big Mike,” became “We are very fortunate to have two The National Museum of Natural a popular photo opportunity for toursuch wonderful specimens reposited History is the largest and most visited ists. In 2005, the bones were displayed in at MOR,” said Cruzado. “One goes to natural history museum in the world, their original “death pose” in the MOR’s the Smithsonian to represent Montana with over 7 million visitors annually. It Hall of Horns and Teeth in the Siebel and the other will be on display at the houses 127.3 million specimens and artiDinosaur Complex. Museum of the Rockies for our visitors. facts and its scientists publish more than Everyone benefits.” —MSU News Service

Collegian | 6


Browning wins Fulbright to Germany for coming year Elizabeth “Bizz” Browning, a 2013 graduate of Montana State University with degrees in both English and German Studies, has received a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship to teach English next school year at the Albert-EinsteinSchule in the town of Gross-Bieberau in Hessen, Germany. Browning said she was excited to learn about the Fulbright and the opportunity to spend a year in Germany, even though it means that she will be some distance from her husband, fellow MSU graduate Joe Thiel, ’13 ChemE, who will be studying in Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship. “At the time we applied, we didn’t know if either of us would get the scholarships we were applying for, much less both of us,” said Browning, who met Thiel while both were in high school in Idaho Falls, Idaho. “We thought if one of us got the scholarship we were applying for, that’s where we would go. And, if by some small chance both of us got it… well, England and Germany really aren’t that far.” Because Thiel’s Rhodes scholarship is for two years and Browning’s Fulbright is for just one, she said she is already applying for scholarships in England that will allow her to join him for the second year. Distance is a concept that may have a slightly different meaning for Browning. Born in Pusan, South Korea, she was adopted when she was six months old by a large, loving and accomplished family and raised in Idaho. She said she was in ninth grade when she developed an unexpected love for German. “I think I first started studying German because few people took it, and my friend and I thought we could talk together and no one would understand us,” Browning said. “But, I quickly developed a love for the German language and culture.” She credits her high school German teachers, Herr Koepplin and Mrs. Lloyd, with fanning her interest in all things Teutonic. She said learning about German history, particularly from MSU Ger-

man Studies professors Patty Simpson and Marc Mueller, inspired her to double major in German as well as English. “The more I learned about (German history) the more I was inspired,” she said. “It’s such an interesting country.” Browning also has a passion for English. In fact, she credits MSU English professor Michael Sexson with inspiring her and setting the tone for her scholastically and her adviser Doug Downs, also an MSU English professor, with Elizabeth “Bizz” Browning helping set her course for a double major. Despite the double majors and a semester abroad studying at the Universitat Marburg in Germany as part of an International Undergraduate Scholars Program, Browning graduated from MSU

and as a volunteer in-school tutor while she was an exchange student in Germany. “(Bizz) is so deserving, such a committed educator already,” said Simpson of her student. “She brings international

experience, energy, and openness to the table. Her students in Germany will benefit, she will gain further experience. It’s a win-win for international education.” Browning said she and Thiel are glad they decided to come to MSU together and join the University Honors Program. “It has been an amazing experience,” she “We thought if one of us got the said. Thiel has served as the Montana scholarship we were applying for, University System Student Regent. that’s where we would go. And, if Browning said observing Thiel and by some small chance both of us talking to him about his experiences as got it…well, England and Germany a Student Regent on the Montana Board really aren’t that far.” of Regents have inspired her interest —Elizabeth Browning in studying for an advanced degree in education theory. in five years with highest honors and a “Joe says that MSU rivals the topnearly perfect grade point average. Last named schools in providing a great eduyear she received the College of Letters cational experience, and I would have to and Science’s Dean’s Award for Academic agree,” Browning said. “We both would Excellence, an award presented to the top love to return to Montana one day. We two seniors in the college. She has also love it here.” —Carol Schmidt was involved in several service projects on campus and in the community, such as working as a SmartyCat tutor at MSU

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MSU physicist, Einstein expert wins $500,000 award from National Science Foundation A Montana State University physicist who recently led Bozeman in celebrating Einstein has now won a five-year $500,000 Young Investigator CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation. Nico Yunes, 32, learned about his award the same day he was notified that he and Angela Des Jardins, director of the Montana Space Grant Consortium (MSGC), were named Fellows in Engagement in MSU’s College of Letters and Science. The designation recognizes their significant contributions in communicating science to the public. The CAREER Award is the NSF’s most prestigious award that supports the early career development of teacher-scholars and honors outstanding scientists who haven’t yet received tenure. Richard Smith, professor and head of the MSU Department of Physics, said, “When one of our faculty wins a CAREER award, we are very pleased because it reflects well on the very high level of research programs at MSU, the top notch caliber of the faculty we are able to attract, and the respect that peer scientists around the country have for the talent and potential they see in new faculty at MSU. “Nico’s proposed work, along with that of the gravity group at MSU (with

Neil Cornish and Ron Hellings) is helping the community of gravitational wave astronomers to put in place a theoretical framework to help them identify gravity waves, the ripples in the fabric of Nico Yunes Einstein’s space-time, when they are (hopefully) first detected later in this decade,” Smith said. Regarding his research, Yunes said he Yunes, a former Einstein Fellow at will use his CAREER grant to help him the Massachusetts Institute of Technolcalculate gravitational wave solutions that ogy (MIT) and research associate at could then be used as software filters. Princeton University, said he will use These filters are critical to detect gravitapart of his CAREER grant to continue tional waves and to test Einstein’s theory. researching Einstein’s Theory of General Gravitational waves are produced by Relativity and gravitation. To help in that violent astrophysical events, such as when effort, he will hire an additional graduate stars explode or two black holes collide, student and postdoctoral researcher for Yunes said. Physicists believe they may his research. He will also use his grant be able to detect them for the first time for outreach and education efforts to take in the history of humankind by the end the Einstein celebration, held locally in of this decade. They say this feat will test April, to the next level. the accuracy of Einstein’s final theory MSU held “Celebrating Einstein” and lead to revolutionary discoveries two years before the 2015 centennial of about regions of the universe that are Einstein’s Theory of General Relativcurrently inaccessible with traditional ity and the impending detection of its electromagnetic astronomy. final prediction, gravitational waves, to “To make a simple analogy, these build public awareness and excitement, waves are like the soundtrack to the Yunes said. He added that his CAREER universe, and their detection will be grant will allow him to take the Einstein like transitioning from mute pictures to celebration beyond Bozeman and onto a modern cinema,” Yunes said. national stage. —Evelyn Boswell

Discover magazine features pioneering Antarctic research involving MSU A massive U.S. expedition that involves current and former Montana State University scientists is featured in the July/August issue of Discover magazine. A super foldout titled “Antarctica Inside Out” runs from page 48 through 61 and includes more than 30 photos and graphics. The package starts with a diary about experiencing the Dry Valleys of Antarctica. It continues with a vivid description of a project to explore one of Earth’s final frontiers. That project is called the Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling project (WISSARD). One of the leaders is MSU professor John Priscu. The Discover article on WISSARD — “Life Under the Ice” — opens by describing how a Hercules military cargo plane sat stranded, unable to take off after just dropping off the first scientist, 12 work-

ers and 10,000 pounds of gear needed to explore Subglacial Lake Whillans. The article continues by describing how the team finally reached the lake, collected water and sediment, and celebrated at the discovery of mineral salts that could serve as food for microbes. The historic project took more than a decade of planning, 3½ years of project preparation and a national team involving MSU faculty, staff and students. After hauling equipment hundreds of miles across the Antarctic ice and an intense week of weather delays, the team melted holes through half a mile of ice and reached Lake Whillans at 5 a.m. on Jan. 28. Researchers involved in WISSARD collected water and sediment from the lake. They continue to process those samples. —Evelyn Boswell

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MSU finishes strong year of scholarship wins After a year during which a stunning number of students won major national scholarships and fellowships, Montana State University is once again the school of choice for many of the state’s best and brightest students. Out of 213 Montana high school students eligible for the Montana University System Honor Scholarship, 135 (or 63 percent) have applied to MSU for fall 2013, university officials recently announced. The scholarships provide free tuition for up to four years to top students from Montana high schools, based on their grade point averages and college entrance exam scores. Students can choose to use the scholarships at any one of the state’s colleges, universities or two-year institutions. MSU regularly gets the largest share of the students, with 127 of 206 scholarship recipients choosing MSU last fall; 99 out of 176 in 2011; and 121 out of 199 in 2010.

Overall, the university has been draw- institutions for numbers of recipients. ing record numbers of students to its Also in March, Blake Bjornson, a doors. Fall 2012 enrollment hit a record former student body president at MSU, 14,660 — the sixth time in seven years won a Udall Scholarship in recognition MSU hit an enrollment record. of his commitment to an environmentalIn addition, the 2012–13 academic ly related career and sustained efforts and year has been an amazing one overall for leadership toward this goal. He is MSU’s the university in terms of major scholarfifth Udall Scholar. ships, said Ilse-Mari Lee, director of the In November, Joe Thiel was named University Honors Program at MSU. MSU’s 10th Rhodes Scholar, and Bryan In March, the university learned that Vadheim, ’13 ChemE, was named all four of its nominees for the Goldwater MSU’s first Marshall Scholar. In addition Scholarship had been chosen as winto outstanding scholarly achievements, ners — a rare feat for any university, but Rhodes Scholars are chosen for their the second time for MSU, the last time “character, commitment to others and to being in 1998. Each school can only the common good, and for their potennominate four, and MSU won all four. tial for leadership in whatever domains The Goldwater is the nation’s premier their careers may lead.” scholarship for undergraduates studying The Marshall Scholarship is similar math, natural sciences and engineering, to the Rhodes Scholarship, but while and it gives each student up to $7,500 a Rhodes Scholars must study in the year for tuition, fees, books, and room Oxford University system, the Marshall and board. MSU has now received Scholarship may be used at any institu58 Goldwater Scholarships, ranking tion in the U.K. —Anne Cantrell the university among the nation’s top

The Bobcat Prowler: A Tailgate in a Box Rolling through Big Sky Country and beyond, the new Bobcat Prowler, dubbed “a tailgate in a box,” is on the road visiting fairs, rodeos, events, and gearing up for Bobcat football. The MSU Alumni Foundation is behind the wheel, sponsored by Ressler Motors and Steer In Trailer Sales. “The Prowler supports the MSU mission of outreach and engagement,” said Lori Valentine Cox, ’92 SpCm, Director of Business Development at the Alumni Foundation. “By promoting MSU, we hope to strengthen relationships with our communities, build MSU Alumni Association membership and let folks know that MSU is their university.”

Wrapped in “Big & Bold, Blue & Gold,” the Bobcat Prowler makes a grand entrance in every community. Mid-State Signs in Winifred, Mont.—owned and operated by MSU alumni—wrapped the trailer and truck in striking MSU images and graphics. Those who spot the Prowler in action typically wonder what’s inside. The 37-foot trailer holds a tailgate setup — items like high-top tables, chairs and amenities — making assembly convenient and easy, no matter the destination. But the real appeal inside the Prowler is its interactive features — from cool engineering activities to digging for dinosaur bones. Some visitors have their faces painted with blue and gold streaks and others are impressed with the video about earning an education at MSU. The Bobcat Prowler has an aggressive schedule. Check out this list of upcoming appearances, or visit

The Bobcat Prowler

Summer 2013 | 9


Western Montana Fair & Rodeo • Missoula


Montana Fair • Billings


MT Cowboy Poetry Gathering • Lewistown


Cruisin’ on Main Car Show • Bozeman


Eastern Montana Fair • Miles City


Football Gold Rush Tailgate (Monmouth) Bozeman


Beaverhead County Fair • Dillon


MSU College Rodeo • Cody, Wyo.


Wings of Freedom Air Show • Sidney


Football Tailgate at SMU • Dallas, Texas


Fooball Tailgate (Colorado Mesa) • Bozeman


MSU College Rodeo • Havre


MSU College Rodeo • Miles City


Football Tailgate at Stephen F. Austin Nacogdoches, Texas


Football Tailgate at North Dakota Grand Forks, N.D.


MSU College Rodeo • Dillon

Real-world research Three young alumni who are making an impact in industry — John Aston, Ari Staven and David Mulder BY C H R I S T I N E SM I T H A N D SU Z I TAY L OR


ver the years, Montana State University has developed a reputation for offering solid, realworld skills that translate into career success. Meet three young alumni who learned the craft of interdisciplinary research through MSU’s Thermal Biology Institute (TBI) and Center for Biofilm Engineering (CBE) and are now making an impact in industry.

John Aston, ’10 Eng PhD, first visited MSU when his Washington State University advisor at the time, Brent Peyton, ’92 PhD, returned to his alma mater on sabbatical in 2004. “I liked what I saw,” said Aston of the university that Peyton already knew so well. After Peyton returned as an MSU faculty member in 2005, Aston followed in 2006. While earning his Ph.D. in chemical and biological engineering he collected a myriad of experience along the way. Aston currently works as a staff scientist at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) in Idaho Falls, focusing mainly on microbial engineering, using micro-organisms to produce compounds and mitigate contaminants. These applications range from the conversion of CO2 to alcohols and organic acids, to technologies that assist in recycling “dirty” waters, such as those produced during oil extraction.

Aston also studies how the addition of chemical pre-treatments to biomass (such as slash from the forest that is converted to fuel for pellet stoves) can make the fuels more energy efficient. Aston said his current work closely mirrors research he conducted at MSU, particularly the collaborative spirit of research groups such as TBI and the CBE. Aston also participated in IGERT, the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship, a National Science Foundation program that offers interdisciplinary training to scientists and engineers. “IGERT was very interdisciplinary: biochemists, geneticists, microbiologists, earth scientists, all working together,” said Aston. “We were constantly exposed to working with people across disciplines. That was pretty attractive to the people at INL. We can go after a problem from a lot of different angles, and I’m very comfortable working with people from different backgrounds.” Aston also completed several internships at INL while an MSU student and counts many MSU faculty members among his mentors, including Peyton (who became director of TBI in 2012), Bill Inskeep, Ross Carlson and Robin Gerlach. “I received mentorship from many different sides,” said Aston, who added he also benefitted from working alongside Collegian | 10

so many talented MSU students as well as the university’s equipment and facilities. “I was kind of blown away by the resources,” he said.

Ari Staven, ’10 ChE, ’12 M, didn’t

grow up a Montanan — in fact, her military family had roots in many places. But, friends of Staven’s family ran the KOA Kampground in Paradise Valley, Mont., and Staven’s family visited often. That campground and the friends associated with it became a bit of “Montana home base,” said Staven, which inspired her to transfer to MSU in 2006. Staven now works as a chemical engineer at Bend Research in Bend, Oregon. As part of the company’s research and development team, Staven works with clients, mainly pharamaceutical companies, to develop and test processes that allow drugs to be absorbed more efficiently by the body. Staven says her work is exciting, meaningful and a true extension of the skills she learned at MSU. “I get to directly apply principles of biochemistry,” said Staven, adding with a laugh that she and all of her colleagues have their university ChemE books at the ready. Staven says she also constantly draws upon other skills learned at MSU, from independent study to working with teams of people.


MSU alumni (clockwise from left): David Mulder, John Aston and Ari Staven PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID MULDER

“These students reflect the excitement and creativity of interdisciplinary research here at MSU. They embody the high level of quality that regional and national companies have come to expect from our MSU graduates.” —MSU engineering professor Brent Peyton

One of Staven’s MSU projects was analyzing thermophilic (heat-loving) micro-organisms that “eat” pine cones, pine needles and other plant debris surrounding the Heart Lake thermal area in Yellowstone National Park. Staven says the most rewarding part of her career is “interacting with lots of people — engineers, clients, business people very early in the process,” and then seeing projects through to the end, a sometimes years-long process. Staven credits Sarah Codd, Brent Peyton and other MSU faculty with guidance and mentorship. “(Brent) took a chance on me from the start,” said Staven. “I didn’t have the best GPA, but he didn’t just look at the traditional metrics.” “Ari stood out as a student who challenged herself continually,” said Codd, an associate professor in mechanical and industrial engineering. “She sought opportunities that not only broadened her experiences but also allowed her to facilitate the participation of others. In a very short

time she has established herself as a highly valued engineer at Bend Research.”

David Mulder, ’10 Chem PhD, discov-

ered MSU through Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU), a National Science Foundation program that brought Mulder to MSU during the summer of his junior year at Calvin College in Michigan. “I loved being in Montana,” said Mulder. When it came time to choose a graduate program, he set off for Bozeman. Mulder is currently in his third year as a post-doc at the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) in Golden, Colo., where he researches enzymes that produce hydrogen, a possible source of alternative energy. “There’s a lot of benchwork,” said Mulder. “Protein purification and spectroscopy. It’s a very similar line of research to what I did at MSU. It’s a carryover of the techniques I learned in MSU’s labs.” While at Montana State, Mulder worked closely with chemistry/biochemistry professor John Peters, whose lab also focuses on the potential to harness hydrogen from living organisms rather than extracting it using traditional processes that require the use of fossil fuels. “David was a really adaptable student who learned and mastered a variety of scientific approaches,” said Peters. “I really enjoyed being his mentor. Some of the projects are really competitive, and David learned that sometimes you need to get Summer 2013 | 11


down to work to get things done. At the same time he knew how to take care of himself and was very level-headed and focused.” Peters added that Mulder’s work was published in the prestigious journal Nature. Mulder said he was always interested in chemistry and how things work, but became particularly fascinated with biochemistry after arriving at MSU. “I’m interested in how we can decipher the intricacies of nature and apply basic science discoveries toward modern day problems,” said Mulder. Mulder said he’s pleased that his current position allows him to continue a line of research he initiated at MSU, and that the most rewarding part of his job is the opportunity to find meaningful solutions. “(I enjoy it) when you have a really hard problem — when you’re working on it for a year — and can eventually translate that into a solution and new scientific knowledge,” he said. “You can see that you’re making a difference in the world.” That’s a sentiment echoed by many, especially MSU faculty. Peyton said he had the privilege of working with all three students during their time at MSU. “These alumni reflect the excitement and creativity of interdisciplinary research here at MSU,” he said. “They embody the high level of quality that regional and national companies have come to expect from our MSU graduates.”

“I came back to Montana in the perfect year. Remember the summer of 2009? Lots of storms and wonderful skies. The early work I’ve produced since I came back focuses on the Montana skies.”

  A L U M N I P R O F I L E 

Carol Hartman

Coming home to her new life

— Carol Hartman



hen Carol Hartman, ’71 Art, decided the time had come to leave the world of salaried employment and try to make it as a full-time artist, she wasn’t sure how it would work out. But less than four years after she returned to her native Montana, purchased a condo on the edge of Bozeman, and transformed a large part of her living area into a studio, her new career is beginning to catch fire. Offers for her to present solo exhibitions in galleries around the state are filling her calendar, and she’s scrambling to produce new work to fulfill her commitments. Not that Hartman has ever had much down time in a peripatetic career that has involved arts education (her most recent job had been as gallery director at California State University Fresno) and stints conducting tours, writing grants, administering art councils, and serving as an advertising director for Lear.

Collegian |



Softness of a Simple Day, by Carol Hartman

“I wrote to Bill At present she is mostly working in oil Lear to tell him he on canvas, exploring the possibilities of usneeded me to iming cattle markers as a medium. prove his logo, and I “I came back to Montana in the perfect ended up as advertisyear,” she says. “Remember the summer of ing director of his 2009? Lots of storms and wonderful skies. Reno, Nev., avionics The early work I’ve produced since I came business,” she says. back focuses on the Montana skies.” When she first That’s certainly true of the huge paintgraduated from ing (produced on foot-square canvases Montana State and designed for easy travel) that she will take couldn’t find a job to Italy in December as a participant in an in the community international exhibition in Florence. where her (now ex-) Hartman also creates interactive instalhusband had taken a lations, many of which involve computer job, she simply creatanimations. At one point, this turned into ed her own: designing a sideline doing accident reconstructions wrought iron gates and courtroom animations for California and benches and lawyers and investigators. creating landscapes In installations, Hartman says, “I like for clients. Hartman to expose people to their own biases using has never been out interactive art.” of a job since, often Several of her installations were at Galjuggling several while lery 25, an early feminist gallery in Fresno, raising her children and following her forbut her interactive installations have also mer husband as his work assignments took been seen in galleries in Washington, D.C., them around the country and abroad. Des Moines, Minneapolis, Chicago and Although she had “done art” throughNew York City. One installation was on out her childhood, it hadn’t occurred to view during her one-woman show at Zoot Hartman to study it — until 1967 when she Enterprises outside Bozeman early this year. arrived at the Bozeman campus as a fresh“Alchemy” includes two 10-feet high panels man from Sidney, Mont. built around parts of manzanita trees. In “I thought I was going to be a science “Poison Tree,” viewers have written their anmajor,” she says. But on the orientation tour griest thoughts on and behind the branches. of campus she fell in love with the atmoIt faces “Soul Tree” where people select sphere in the art department, which was affirmative statements written on wooden then located in Herrick Hall. “So I talked bracelets and stones. to (late faculty member) Bob DeWeese and Hartman’s artistic philosophy is based said I wanted to take art classes, and even on comparing black and white and the full though I’d never had a formal art class in range of color. my life, they figured out how to fit me into “Black and white is truth and reality,” the department.” says Hartman who has produced many After doing some graduate work in pencil and ink drawings. “Color is the mojournalism and law at the University of ment or emotion. And right now I’m living Nevada Reno, Hartman earned an M.A. at in the moment.” Cal State Fresno in 1984.


Into space Astrophysicist Michelle Larson heads ‘America’s First Planetarium’ B Y E V E LY N B O S W E L L


ichelle Larson, ’93 Phys, ’95 her the background that eventually took M, ’01 PhD, never dreamed her to the Adler. that she’d someday become “She’s a great success story for MSU, president of the Adler PlanMSU physics and women in physics,” said etarium in Chicago. Joey Shapiro Key, ’04 Phys M, ’10 Phys Growing up in Anchorage, Alaska, PhD, education specialist at the Montana earning three physics degrees at Montana Space Grant Consortium where Larson State University and working most recently once was deputy director. in Utah, she was more in tune with the John W. Estey, chairman of the Adler West than the Midwest, Larson said. She board of trustees, said, “Michelle’s career didn’t know until someone told her that in research and university leadership has Paul Knappenberger planned to retire after focused on actively engaging the public in 21 years as president of “America’s First science. Her passion for science literacy in Planetarium.” today’s technology-driven world, and her But after Larson became the Adler’s dedication to finding innovative ways to ninth president and its first female make science exciting and accessible for president on Jan. 1 — sparking a flurry of everyone made her a clear choice to lead the cheering emails at MSU — she realized that Adler in the 21st century.” she had been preparing for the position in Larson said one of her first major opporgraduate school. tunities to communicate science came in “It was really quite serendipitous,” she 1994 when NASA approached her and said, said. “It just felt like I couldn’t have known “There’s this new thing called the Internet. it, but it seems to be what I was on a path We think it’s going to be big. We would for. It turns out to be a really great fit.” love your help in bringing our data, our imAn astrophysicist who earned her ages of the sun out to people. We want to doctorate by researching neutron stars, bring the sun to people in their homes. We Larson credits MSU and the palette of want to show them that the sun explodes, opportunities available at the land-grant and the sun rotates.” institution for turning her into a scientist in Another early opportunity was one the first place. She had originally planned that Larson and her husband, Shane, creto become an engineer. She also praised the ated when they founded the Mars Public university’s “fabulous faculty” for sharing Outreach Program at MSU. Now called the their knowledge. Space Public Outreach Team, the program Along the way to her Ph.D., Larson has trained more than 100 undergraduates discovered a passion for communicating to explain NASA missions to more than science. She later gained experience as a 90,000 Montana children since 1997. university administrator, all of which gave Summer 2013 | 13

“One of my greatest prides is that it’s still running,” Larson said. Larson completed her postdoctoral work at the California Institute of Technology. She later served as deputy director of the Center for Gravitational Wave Physics at Pennsylvania State University, then joined Utah State University in 2006. Now, as president of the Adler, Larson will use her combined experiences to oversee the world-class planetarium that attracts more than 470,000 visitors a year. She specifically plans to address two goals that surfaced early in her meetings with the Adler team. One focuses on the planetarium’s highly popular citizen-science program. With more than 800,000 participants worldwide, Larson wants to increase the visibility of this effort in Chicago and at the museum itself. The second focuses on telling the story that’s anchored in the Adler’s collection of historic artifacts, papers, photographs, paintings and telescopes. The collection is prominently featured in the Adler’s new planetarium show — and Larson’s first project since taking over the museum’s leadership — called “Cosmic Wonder.” Recently, the Adler kicked off summer-long programming that supports the show, called “100 Days of Wonder.” “I’m almost giddy at the fact that I’m leading an institution where you have 100 Days of Wonder,” Larson said. “History tells us that we as humans have always had this desire to explore and wonder about the world.”

Kevin Connolly’s adventures after MSU BY C A ROL SCH M IDT

Kevin Connolly hosted a travel show, “Armed and Ready,” on the Travel Channel.


evin Michael Connolly, ’08 F&Ph, is a man going places. It has been that way from the time he went on his first international exchange when he was a student. Since then, he has literally crisscrossed the world many times, and the five years since graduation have not slowed him down. “In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been in Los Angeles, Orlando, Poland, Telluride and now back to Montana,” Connolly said recently from his parents’ cabin on Canyon Ferry. Back up a couple of months more and you would have found Connolly training with astronauts in Houston, Texas, cliff diving and surfing in Hawaii, climbing trees with lumberjacks in Tennessee and biking with disabled veterans near Walter Reed Military Medical Center in Maryland. Connolly experienced many of the adventures as the host of the Travel Channel Show “Armed and Ready” that aired last winter. “It was a blast to host a TV show just a couple of years after graduation,” said Connolly, who is one of MSU’s most widely recognized graduates. A published author, photographer and filmmaker, he is known for his no-holds barred approach to life, despite being born without legs. And while his anatomy has resulted in people across the globe doing a “Double Take” when they first see him (that is also the title of his memoir published in 2009 by Harper Studio), it’s Connolly’s dynamic personality that really takes him places.

In between a hectic travel schedule, Connolly said he’s “been doing a wild mix of stuff from television to developing another book and photo exhibition project.” He said while the content will differ, the project will be similar to his debut Rolling Exhibition photography project that featured photos that Connolly snapped around the world from the perspective of his skateboard, his favored form of transportation. The photo exhibition led to Connolly receiving a book contract and then a television show. Connolly was also a very popular speaker at MSU’s 2010 freshman convocation. “It’s been exciting,” he said of his years since leaving MSU. “No doubt about it.” Connolly said “Armed and Ready” was well received, but was not renewed for next year by the Travel Channel. However, the show’s production company, Crazy Legs, is currently negotiating to place it with another channel. “It was a pretty crazy process making (the show),” Connolly said. He said that Fritz Stadler, ’08 F&P, one of his best friends and colleagues from the MSU film program, was second camera on the series. “He and I would be hanging out at NASA. We would say, ‘Good things can happen to you five years out of college, if you are lucky.’ “There has been a lot of hard work but, also a certain amount of fortuitousness in my career that I am grateful for.” Another big change in Connolly’s life is that he is moving this summer from Montana to Portland, Ore. Collegian |


“With all of the creative industries that I work in…travel, photography, film, writing…it’s important to be in a city.” Connolly said he looked at cities across the country, from New York and Boston to Los Angeles looking for a city where he would be able to skateboard every day. “Portland just fit when I went there,” Connolly said. “It reminded me of New Zealand, where I think I have been the happiest and healthiest.” Connolly said there are also a lot of MSU graduates and other Montanans now living in Portland, so he will find a ready community. Plus, if he gets really homesick, he said he can get in his car in the morning and be at his parents’ home in Helena, Mont., by the end of the day. “I love Montana. It’s where I was born and raised. My entire family lives in Montana, and they are so important to me. I would love to settle down and live here one day, so I know I will come back.” In the meantime, Connolly is working on his second book proposal and would like to use his degree in some creative capacity, as a producer, director or screenwriter in film or television. “I’ve been doing lots of crazy stunts in front of a camera, which have been fun, but I’m 27 now and need to ask: ‘What is the end game?’ So, my goals for Portland are to start a garden, have a dog and keep that dog happy and well exercised and work on my next project.”


Armed and ready

A L U M N I P R O F I L E 

Michael Elich

MSU alumnus helping small businesses prosper BY A N NE C A N T R EL L



recent article profiling the leading job creators in the United States has several well-known companies at the top of the list, but chances are, most people haven’t heard of the company — headed by a Montana State University alumnus — that comes in at number three. The article, published in November 2012 at, highlighted the leading U.S. job creators from 20082011. The top two businesses were Apple and Dollar Tree; number three on the list was Barrett Business Services, or BBSI, which provides business management solutions for small- and mid-sized companies across the United States. MSU alumnus and Butte native Michael Elich, ’91 Econ, is president and CEO of BBSI. According to BBSI, the company provides payroll, staffing and HR services for its client companies, which helps BBSI’s more than 3,000 clients improve the efficiency of their operations. The publicly traded company is headquartered in Vancouver, Wash., and has branches in 50 locations throughout 10 states. Elich said that BBSI’s number three ranking by Chief takes into account not only the employees who work directly for BBSI, but also all of the employees who work for the company’s client organizations. Those organizations are more likely to do well, he said, because of the services they receive from BBSI. reported that from 2008–2011, BBSI saw nearly 16,000 new jobs added to its client companies — a 41 percent increase over previous years — in the United States. “Because (the companies with which BBSI works) run more effectively, they’ve been the clean, well-run businesses that have survived through recession,” Elich said. “When I look at data on those companies, there is a very high probability that they’re going to do well and add employees and continue to grow.

Michael Elich

“What we’re doing for small businesses is very significant,” he added. “We’re taking the chatter and outliers out of our clients’ businesses and allowing business owners to focus on their core goals and grow.” As president and CEO of BBSI, Elich said he focuses on three things: Promoting an organizational culture that will enable the company to be successful, hiring the best people and removing obstacles to their success, and anticipating and removing obstacles so the company can address them in a timely and effective way. Elich was made president and CEO of the company in 2011 after six years as its chief operating officer. Previously, he served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Skills Resource Training Center, a staffing services company acquired by BBSI in 2004. Elich never had a clear career path, he said, but instead simply looked for opportunities to keep moving forward. He began his college career studying engineering at Montana Tech in Butte, but transferred to MSU two years later, where he became interested in economics and business. After Summer 2013 | 15

graduating from MSU, he eventually worked his way up to managing a food plant in eastern Washington. There, he said he began to understand just how important a business’s employees are to its success. With that idea in mind, he partnered with four others to start a business that was focused on improving employee efficiency. After about seven years, he began working with BBSI. Throughout his career, Elich has learned that employees not only are crucial to a company’s success, but they’re also the part of the job he enjoys the most. “I work with some of the most talented people around,” he said. “I’ve always enjoyed working with people, even while at MSU.” To current students and recent graduates of MSU, Elich’s advice is to never quit and never think that a job isn’t good enough. “Do whatever it takes,” he said. “You never know where the next door is going to open. If you go down the path and are willing to put yourself out there, I’m a big believer that things will work out.”

“What we’re doing for small businesses is very significant. We’re taking the chatter and outliers out of our clients’ businesses and allowing business owners to focus on their core goals and grow.” —Michael Elich

A L U M N I P R O F I L E 

Gordon Johnson

MSU launched banking career that spans decades BY C A ROL SCH M IDT


fter three decades of far-ranging experiences in banking, Gordon Johnson, ’83 Bus, is back where he began, and that is just fine with him. Johnson is in his second year as the president of Bozeman-based American Bank. Coincidentally, the company’s headquarters are located where Johnson helped work his way through the Montana State University College of Business (now the MSU Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship) as the night computer operator at a bank that previously occupied the same West Main Street location. Johnson said he finds a wonderful circularity to being back in Bozeman and involved with the university that helped him launch his banking career. “We just feel so fortunate to be back,” Johnson said about him and his wife, Linda (Conwell) Johnson, ’84 Psy. “Does the lifestyle get any better than in Bozeman?” Johnson is passionate about Montana, and banking, and said he has been fortunate to have had a broad-based and varied career in his profession without leaving his home state. Johnson said he knew while growing up in Billings, Mont., that banking and finance appealed to him. He attended another school out of state for a while, and when he decided to return to Montana, there was only one choice for him. “My dad went to MSU,” he said. “And, I struggled with the thought of being a Grizzly.” Johnson says that his experiences at MSU prepared him well for his eventual career. Dean Drenk, one of his business professors, honed Johnson’s writing skills by requiring countless one-page analyses that taught him to write concisely as well as to analyze and defend his decisions. But, perhaps his most lasting MSU memory was when he was among the first group of MSU students to travel to Ku-

mamoto Gakuen University in Japan on what is now the university’s longest running international exchange, which was first arranged by the late Sen. Mike Mansfield. His first job after graduation was at the bank where he had been the night computer operator. He then joined Norwest Gordon Johnson Bank at its Billings office. For the next 20 years he worked in a variety of capacities, ranging from check processing to serving as a controller, working his way up the ladder even as Norwest purchased Wells Fargo. Johnson then took a job with Wells Fargo as a vendor manager for all of Wells Fargo business lines that used the vendor for lockbox processing, a job that required a great deal of travel. “I was sitting in Los Angeles when I got a call from the president of American Bank. He asked me if I was interested in joining American Bank (as CFO),” Johnson recalled about a call that occurred seven years ago. After an interview with Bruce Erickson, chairman of the board and owner of the bank, “It took me just a few seconds to say yes.” In February 2012, Johnson was named president. Like Johnson, American Bank has deep Montana roots. Opened in 1947 as the Livingston State Bank, American Bank is a family-owned, full-service bank. Now in its third generation of ownership by the same family, the company has banks in Livingston, Big Timber, Big Sky, Whitefish and Bozeman.

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Johnson said community orientation is also a hallmark of the bank. Bank officers frequently guest lecture for classes at MSU. The bank has hosted a number of networking socials for the College of Business and invited local business leaders to interact with students and staff. The bank has funded scholarships for MSU business students since 2007, over the years totaling more than $100,000. Three of the scholarships are named for the late Carolyn Erickson, mother of Tyler Erickson, who is current Livingston branch manager and bank director, and the late wife of bank owner Bruce Erickson. Johnson said in addition to community service, stellar customer service is one of the bank’s emphases. Recently, the bank was recognized for both when it received an outstanding CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) rating. “Our commitment to MSU is part of that,” Johnson said.

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A L U M N I P R O F I L E 

Jon Knokey

MSU business grad advises students to think globally




s a freshman at Montana State University, Jon Knokey, ’04 Bus, was focused on football, but an injury left him unable to play. But in retrospect, Knokey said the football injury was the best thing that could have happened to him. The unexpected setback led him to MSU’s College of Business (now the Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship), to graduate degrees at Harvard and Dartmouth, and to his current position at a global corporation. Knokey, 31, now serves as chief of staff to the chief economist at John Deere. Based in Washington, D.C., Knokey works to understand the political and economic climate around the globe and how it affects the company. “The world is very dynamic, and because John Deere is a global company, we must appreciate what’s happening in different parts of the world and how it will affect our overall operations,” Knokey said. “There is a lot of uncertainty in the global economy, and my role is to explain to our senior leadership the opportunities and challenges facing John Deere from an economic perspective.” Knokey grew up in Portland, Ore. He said sports were a huge part of his life there, and he earned a scholarship to play football at Montana State. He joined the Bobcats intent on two goals: Leading the team to a national championship and being named first team all-Big Sky quarterback. He served as a back-up quarterback during his freshman year, playing in five games. But, he also took a hit from a defensive end and separated his shoulder. Three surgeries later, his football career was over. “It quickly became apparent that I had to think outside of football,” Knokey said. “My experience at Montana State taught me that life is dynamic, and that dreams can change rapidly.” Although he missed football, Knokey decided to focus instead on taking advan-

Jon Knokey

tage of all that MSU offered in the classroom. He became a business major and found that he appreciated the school’s entrepreneurial focus, as well as how it challenged its students to think globally. And, the analytical foundation he received at MSU has served him well in his career, Knokey said. “I left the university with a very strong cohort of lifelong friendships, lessons on leadership, and an exceptionally strong foundation of analytical ability and business communication,” he said. After graduating from MSU in 2004, Knokey began working for a small startup software company in Bozeman, Xionetic Technologies. He worked his way up to vice president of sales and marketing before deciding, in 2009, to pursue concurrent master’s degrees: one in business administration from Dartmouth, and a second in public administration from Harvard. From graduate school, he completed an internship through GE’s executive leadership program before doing an internship with John Deere. He parlayed that experience into a spot in John Deere’s executive management rotational program, where he is now. Summer 2013 | 19

Knokey said he likes the job because it involves the private sector, business growth, government policy and the nature of the global economy. John Deere currently has 67,000 employees, sales in 135 countries, and a manufacturing presence in 29 countries. His supervisor notes that Knokey’s interest in the work shows. “Jon is a real pleasure to work with because he is inquisitive,” said J.B. Penn, chief economist at John Deere. “He finds most topics of interest and seeks to learn more about them, and he constantly seeks background and context for what he sees happening in our industry.” Knokey’s career path is open, he said, but because he enjoys his current position he hopes to build on what he has learned to continue a career in a field at the intersection of business, government and economics. His advice to MSU students and recent graduates is to think globally, have multiple mentors and be curious. “The one thing that I have learned and am still learning is that the higher you get up in a company, the more questions you have,” he said. “Never lose that curiosity, never stop asking questions.”

The journey comes full circle Stenerud honored in Bozeman for a kicking career that began at MSU 50 years ago BY BIL L L A MBERT Y

Hometown Hall of Famer plaque honoring Jan Stenerud.


ot long after a ceremony in April honoring his professional football exploits in a college football stadium he never played in, Jan Stenerud glanced to the west. The Pro Football Hall of Famer stood a few blocks north of Bobcat Stadium, on the site where Gatton Field once stood. In that stadium, Stenerud and the 15 MSU teammates who came to Bozeman to celebrate with him, enjoyed autumn glory nearly a half-century ago. There were many stories, laughs, a few tears at the mention of then-Bobcat coach Jim Sweeney and others who have passed, and fond recollections of one of the most unique stories in football history. Stenerud’s path to NFL glory traveled through Bozeman, where he arrived in 1962 as a ski jumper and cross country skier. Like all great legends, the story of Jan Stenerud’s signature moment as a Bobcat has evolved over the years.

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“Even now, 50 years later, people will “Here come the cheerleaders, which tell me they were at that game,” laughs the we’d never seen in Norway, and here former two-sport All-America at Montana comes the team, and we all stood State whose 59-yard field goal was the and sang the (school songs). It looked longest on record when he drilled it on funny to me. For someone who didn’t November 6, 1965 at Bozeman’s Gatton know the game, it looked like they Field. “The strange thing is that people tell just ran into the pile, and lined up 30 me, ‘Oh, I remember how that kick beat seconds later and did the same thing the Grizzlies (MSU won the game 24-7),’ but it was actually in the first quarter and it again. But it was all very exciting.” made the score 3-0.” —Jan Stenerud, on his first season as a Bobcat Stenerud was honored by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, in conjunction with Allstate Insurance, in its Hometown Hall “Sweeney put his arm around my of Famers series at Bobcat Stadium. Among shoulder,” Stenerud explained with a laugh, the few hundred in attendance were more and said, ‘What are you doing tomorrow than a dozen of Stenerud’s Bobcat teamafternoon.’” mates, who welcomed him to a new sport Unable to fit inside the roster limit that and included him in a foreign culture fall, Stenerud suited up without competing nearly a half-century earlier. just to get used to a sport that was foreign That 59-yard kick sailed east-to-west to him. Before he joined the football team, on old Gatton Field, aided by a breeze. It Stenerud clearly grasped the importance of marked a high point on Stenerud’s jourfootball in his adopted country. ney from small-town Scandanavia to the “I could see that the biggest guys on American West and finally to the biggest campus were the basketball players, and stadiums and brightest sporting lights in especially the football players,” he rememthe world. That journey culminated with bered. “It was fun to go (to games). Here his election into the Pro Football Hall of come the cheerleaders, which we’d never Fame in Canton, Ohio, in 1991. seen in Norway, and here comes the team, But like all great legends, there is much and we all stood and sang the (school to the back story. The career of the first songs). It looked funny to me. For someone pure kicker inducted into the Pro Football who didn’t know the game, it looked like Hall of Fame began in a football stadium they just ran into the pile, and lined up 30 that no longer exists and was accomplished seconds later and did the same thing again. by a Bobcat student-athlete training for a But it was all very exciting.” sport the NCAA no longer sanctions. As a newcomer to the sport and to the Stenerud was running stadium steps squad, Stenerud recalls the kindness of in old Gatton Field to train as a Bobcat ski his new team. “Football players, they were jumper in the fall of 1964, his junior season the big deals on campus,” he says, “and on the MSU ski team, when he decided instead of making fun of me for being the to cool down by kicking a few footballs new guy from a different country they with Dale Jackson, ’67 BuMg, an injured made me feel very welcome. They were so member of the Bobcat squad. It wasn’t his nice to me. Instead of treating me like a first time doing so, but on this afternoon newcomer and someone who didn’t fit in, Montana State basketball coach Roger they welcomed me.” Craft happened to “stride across the field Stenerud had kicked plenty of balls as going from the old (Romney) gym to the a soccer player in Norway, but when he benew gym (the Fieldhouse),” Stenerud recalls. gan kicking for fun he didn’t immediately Craft told legendary Bobcat football utilize what is now known as ‘soccer style.’ coach Jim Sweeney of his find the next “I kicked with my toe at first,” he says. chance he got and, after some prodding Quickly, though, he transitioned to the from Craft, Sweeney offered Stenerud a style that made him the greatest kicker of tryout. footballs to that point in the sport’s history. During practice one day, “Sweeney got Stenerud said he never really dealt with me down on the field and had me kick a nerves from participating in a new sport. couple,” Stenerud said. “Then they made “I’d ski jumped in front of 80,000 in Oslo, me take my (right) shoe off and put on one but you don’t feel the crowd in ski jump. So of (Sweeney’s) terrible old coaching shoes. I was used to competing all the time, but it I clunked a couple, but then I found my was a different thing. I guess I was (nergroove and I kicked one a long way. vous), but my first ski meet I was 8 years Summer 2013 | 21

old, my first soccer match I was 8 years old, so I’d been competing all my life.” Stenerud was an instant sensation in the fall of ’65, even before the 59-yard boomer. “At times the student section would start yelling for me (when the team neared the 50-yard line) because people hadn’t seen a ball kicked that far,” he laughed. “Every time I kicked there was a kind of commotion in the stands.” The Bobcats finished 1965 with a 3-7 record, but bounced back in ’66 to win the first of three straight Big Sky Conference titles. Months later, Stenerud signed with the Kansas City Chiefs of the fledgling AFL, and the rest is history. He kicked three field goals in KC’s Super Bowl win over the Minnesota Vikings, was chosen for six Pro Bowls (including a pair of AFL all-star games), and had his jersey retired by three different organizations (MSU, the Chiefs, and the Green Bay Packers). As a Bobcat, he was an inaugural member of the school’s athletic hall of fame, and was an All-America in two unrelated sports, ski jumping and football. As a football AllAmerica, he was selected as the top kicker in the nation regardless of division, joining players from schools like Notre Dame and Michigan State. And he held school and NCAA records upon graduation. He has kept Bozeman dear in his heart since his days on campus. “I’ve always held this town in the highest regard,” he said. “It is so beautiful, and the people are so nice.” He helped raise nearly a quarter-million dollars for athletic scholarships at MSU through a celebrity golf tournament, and was active in the state’s Special Olympics program for many years. And of all the folks he met along the way, the group he holds as close to his heart as anyone sat just a few feet away from him during the ceremony. “My teammates,” Stenerud said, the emotion tangible, “are so special.” And he remembers one more story related to that famous 59-yard kick. “There was a good wind blowing (at his back), I’m not afraid to say that,” he said. “And on the kickoff after that field goal, I kicked it all the way over the bleachers in the end zone.” Then he pointed toward MSU’s student recreation center and physical education complex and beyond, to the western horizon, where nearly 50 years before the ball sailed off his foot, launching a career he could never have imagined.

Pictured in the Cream of the West production space are (from left): Billy Peck, Richard Moe, Steve Moore, Bobby Lewis, back; and Carie McLees, Liane Kent, Alicia Moe, Susan Moore, front.

Taking ‘cowboy cereal’ into the future Two MSU couples look to push Cream of the West past 100-year mark



s the calendar wound toward a Richard Moe, who, like Steve Moore, forward it’s important for it to stay true to new century, Alicia (Duncan), runs the family’s ranching and farming its roots: “It’s a simple, nutritious, whole ’85 M ElEd, and Richard Moe, operations full time, said just deciding to grain food.” ’69 AgSci, were looking to spark venture into a food manufacturing comDuring the process of looking to community development in Har- pany was a leap of faith. But, given the improve the business, the couples turned lowtown, Mont., by investing in a manufac- products’ agricultural nature, it felt like the to MSU and the consulting help available turing company they could relocate to their right move. through the Montana Manufacturing community. The couple, along with fellow “I think I came back home from MSU Extension Center, an outreach component ranchers Steve, ’84 MechAg, and Susan with an open mind and a willingness to try of MSU’s College of Engineering. Moore, ’84 BusFin, and some others had new things,” he said. “And it’s worked out As MMEC engineers evaluated Cream narrowed their search to a biofuels company. pretty well.” of the West, Alicia said she learned a lot Then they heard that Cream of the West, With deep roots in Wheatland County, about seeing it as part of a bigger picthe so-called cowboy cereal, was going up the two couples have taken great pride in ture economically, opening up a sense of for sale and their plans changed. adding to Harlowton’s economic mix. Their connection to Montana’s manufacturing “I grew up on Cream of the West,” Susan facility employs three people full time, in community. Moore said of the wholegrain hot cereal. addition to Susan, who manages the web“I was pretty naïve when it came to the “So, I had a really good feeling about it. Plus, site and creative design, and Alicia, who is business world, so the MMEC process we started to understand that biofuel was in charge of sales and marketing. was a real ‘aha’ moment,” said Alicia, who going to be a very technical business and “We are very proud that we can offer now serves as president of MMEC’s board. would have a pretty difficult learning curve.” some good jobs in our community,” said “Seeing what other companies were doing In 2002, the two ranching families Richard, who as a Wheatland County really gave me a greater understanding and a few others from the Harlowton area commissioner started the push to bring of the globalness of our economy.” That purchased Cream of the West and moved manufacturing to Harlowton. understanding has been wholeheartedly the business, manufacturing machinery Now, the Moores and Moes are planincorporated at Cream of the West, which and all, from Billings, Mont., to a building ning a birthday party to celebrate Cream is now stocked in grocery stores all over just off of Harlowton’s main drag. The fleet of the West’s 100 years in business. The Montana and the Pacific Northwest, and is of stock trailers and grain trucks they used milestone of its 1914 opening is important shipped across the country and overseas via to relocate the company was emblematic of because so many people in Montana have mail order. bringing Cream of the West to Montana’s been raised eating the Montana grown and “Generations of Montanans have started agricultural heartland, the Moes said. manufactured product, Alicia said. their mornings eating this ‘cowboy cereal’ Since then, the Moes and Moores have “We kind of feel like it’s a treasure, and for breakfast,” said Steve. “Our goal is to expanded Cream of the West to include oats we have to really take care of it,” she said. carry on the Cream of the West tradition, and organic lines of cereal, whole grains and “So it’s exciting to be promoting its history so we can provide great-tasting and nutriflour, snacks and mixes, as well as a line of as a part of Montana’s breakfast table.” tious cereals made from Montana’s best Montana honey, jams and syrups. Alicia, who had a previous career in whole grains for another 100 years.” education, said as the company moves Collegian | 22

Cyril Burguiere is a stand-up guy BY SE PP J A N NOT TA


n Portland, Ore., city of the hip and wholesome, where bicycle commuting is so prevalent its mention can incite a yawn, Cyril Burguiere, ’03 CE, can raise a jaded eyebrow or two with his alternative commute. To get to his job at the international wind power company Vestas, Burguiere walks a short distance from his home to the Willamette River. There, he puts a 14-foot canoe-nose surfboard in the water, grabs an extra-long canoe-style paddle and steps aboard. His 40-minute paddle along Portland’s urban river is part commute, part workout and part meditation on the joys of his new pastime and competitive sport — stand up paddleboarding, or SUP.

Once downtown, Burguiere hops on his bicycle to finish the journey. Sports, Burguiere admits, have always been a driving force in his life: “I definitely have a competitive streak.” The day after he first tried SUP with rented gear, Burguiere entered a race. When he was beaten, it was time for him to get serious about SUP, he said. He dove completely into the racing scene and within a year had sponsors backing his efforts. Burguiere’s sporting drive flourished after he moved to Whitefish, Mont., during high school. Having spent his youth living various places in Europe and Africa — Burguiere’s stepfather was in the oil and gas industry — Burguiere was thrilled to be in


Cyril Burguiere, a former MSU track and field standout, paddles to a win in the 2012 Willamette SUP Cup near Lake Oswego, Ore. Burguiere, who took up stand-up paddleboarding in 2009, has excelled on the bourgeoning Pacific Northwest SUP racing circuit.

“It’s so important to me to exercise and my sports need to allow me to be more than just a weekend warrior,” says Burguiere, a former MSU track and field standout. “Stand-up paddleboarding turned out to be something I could work into my daily routine. We live close to the water, so paddling everyday was an obvious choice. Commuting by water was the next evolution, allowing me to merge commute and exercise and free up more time with the family.”

a country that prized his favorite sport of basketball. His height and athleticism had him dunking the ball for the Whitefish High School team. It also brought him to the attention of the track and field coach. His abilities in long, triple and high jumping earned him a scholarship to MSU. Coming to Bozeman as a student athlete and going for a civil engineering degree was a turning point, Burguiere said. Summer 2013 | 23

There were a lot of challenges balancing school and athletics, but a lot of things started to click for him, both on the playing field and in the classroom, he said. “Trying to mix sports and work together successfully, that started at MSU,” said Burguiere, who convinced his high school sweetheart, Tiffany Byrd, ’02 ElEd, to transfer to MSU (they married in 2002 and lived a year in MSU’s married student housing). “It was full on with some great mentoring from coaches and professors. I embraced it. In studying engineering and completing several internships in engineering and project management, I found a career focus.” That career, which started in 2003 at ExxonMobil, gave Burguiere a chance to go up the learning curve in energy construction and production. It also gave the Burguieres a taste of big-city life in Houston, Texas, and introduced Tiffany to international living with 18 months spent in Geoje-do, Korea. In 2008, Burguiere, yearning for the great outdoors, took a job with Vestas in Portland. The move was a perfect blend of Burguiere’s enthusiasm for working in alternative energy and the kind of healthy lifestyle he valued. “It’s great because Tiffany has really bought into it, and we have integrated the kids into it, and now they love everything outdoors, too,” Burguiere said. “In general, I can’t see it getting any better. Being able to balance my work, my sports and my family has just been great.” The French-born Burguiere said the same paradigm should hold true for an impending move to Montreal to help Vestas set up a sales presence there. Montreal, split by the St. Lawrence River, has everything Burguiere wants in a city: A health-conscious culture, an international feel and great Nordic skiing for winter recreation and exercise. It also has one other critical thing for the everyday paddleboarder: “A wealth of water.”

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Proud to support MSU Rodeo and the Montana State University Alumni Association Collegian | 24


r Ticke

Saturday, November 23, 2013 12:05 p.m. MST kickoff in Bozeman

CAT GRIZ 2013 Satellite Parties The MSU Alumni Association, in conjunction with the UM Alumni Association, is proud to present these fun-filled gatherings across the country. Alumni, friends and families can watch the game with loyal and spirited Bobcat fans. Here are the cities, listed by state, where satellite parties have been planned. Please visit catgriz for party location details and updates. A suggested $5 contribution by each attendee goes to both schools to meet the costs of this incredible outreach program and continue planning parties across the country. ALASKA: Anchorage • Fairbanks • Juneau ARIZONA: Scottsdale • Glendale • Mesa • Tucson • Yuma • Flagstaff ARKANSAS: Little Rock* CALIFORNIA: Fresno • Los Angeles– Culver City • Orange County–Rancho Santa Margarita • Palm Desert–La Quinta • Sacramento–Fair Oaks • San

Diego • San Francisco East Bay–San Leandro • SF North Bay–San Rafael area • San Francisco proper COLORADO: Colorado Springs • Denver • Fort Collins • Grand Junction FLORIDA: Pensacola • Wildwood GEORGIA: Atlanta–Alpharetta GERMANY: Ramstein AFB HAWAII: Honolulu-Kailua IDAHO: Boise • Idaho Falls • Lewiston Twin Falls ILLINOIS: Chicago–Schaumburg • Chicago proper* INDIANA: Indianapolis IOWA: West Des Moines KANSAS/MISSOURI: Kansas City– Overland Park LOUISIANA: Monroe MASSACHUSETTS: Salisbury MICHIGAN: Detroit Area–Utica MINNESOTA: Minneapolis–Mendota MISSOURI: St. Louis–St. Charles • Kansas City–Overland Park NEBRASKA: Omaha* NEVADA: Carson City–Dayton • Las Vegas • Reno NEW MEXICO: Albuquerque NEW YORK: New York City


Lottery Attention members o f the MS Alumni A U ssociatio n: The Ca ticket lott t/Griz ery is bac k, and yo win the ch u could ance to p u rchase tic to the gam kets e, just for being a m ber. Watch emyour ema il and ma this summ ilbox er for lotte ry informa tion. As th is is one o f our mem benefits, b er only dues -paying Alu Associatio m n i n membe rs are elig you’ve mo ible. If ved or ch anged you address, p r email lease sen d a mess alumni@m a ge to w ith the up informatio d ated n and you r full nam graduatio e and n year. No t a memb Join today er? and you m ight be go to the big ing gest game in Montan Visit msu a ! in

113th Rivalry Meeting Visit

NORTH CAROLINA: Charlotte • Raleigh/Durham NORTH DAKOTA: Bismarck • Fargo OHIO: Cincinnati–West Chester OKLAHOMA: Oklahoma City OREGON: Bend • Portland • Medford • Salem-Silverton PENNSYLVANIA: Pittsburgh • Philadelphia SOUTH DAKOTA: Rapid City TENNESSEE: Nashville* TEXAS: Austin • Dallas–Richardson • Houston UTAH: Salt Lake City WASHINGTON: Bellingham • Bremerton • Clarkston/Lewiston, ID Olympia–Lacey • Seattle–Renton • Spokane • Spokane Valley • Tri-Cities–Richland • Yakima WASHINGTON, D.C.: Arlington, Va. WEST VIRGINIA: Morgantown* WISCONSIN: Madison • Milwaukee WYOMING: Casper • Cody • Gillette* Rock Springs* • Sheridan • Cheyenne *

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Thank you to the fantastic Bobcat volunteers who help us with Cat/Griz efforts. They are listed as satellite party contacts on *Bobcat volunteers needed. Email Kerry Hanson, Director of Alumni Relations: The Can the Griz food drive is held each year on the MSU campus in the weeks preceding the game. Local alumni and fans can support this effort at collection locations around Bozeman and the MSU campus. Find locations through MSU’s Office of Activities and Engagement. Online donations are also welcome on the Gallatin Valley Food Bank’s website— select the Can the Griz program.



Bleeding Blue & Gold Please help us recognize Jaynee’s incredible service to MSU at a celebration on Sept. 13. Check our website for more details. The Collegian recently sat down with Jaynee Groseth, who retired in July after 38 years of distinguished service to MSU. Jaynee Groseth, ’73 HmEc, ’91M, served as executive director of the Alumni Association from 1992–2008, assumed the role of president in 2008 and maintained that role after the 2012 formation of the MSU Alumni Foundation. She joined the MSU family in 1975 as the assistant director of admissions and became director in 1982. Over the course of her career, Groseth worked tire-

lessly to develop new initiatives, preserve MSU traditions, and entice countless students and alumni to connect with MSU. Under her leadership, the MSU Alumni Association has grown to record levels. Upon her retirement on July 1, 2013, Jaynee was given the title of president emerita of the MSU Alumni Association. Collegian: What was your first MSU experience? Groseth: Hannon Hall, right after my parents and sisters left after moving me from Billings. I was scared to death, alone and unsure of everything. I heard some others in the hallway, finally got the courage to open the door and suggest we go to A&W for dinner. That was the beginning of wonderful friendships and the first step to a beautiful life and fabulous career at MSU. And it all began at Hannon Hall, room 351. Collegian: How did you come to work for the Alumni Association?

Jaynee and her Bobcat-clad family: sons Anders and Peder, and husband Rolf.

Groseth: I graduated in 1973 and spent two years visiting college campuses for Kappa Delta as a National Collegiate Advisor. From that experience, I knew I wanted a career on a college campus. In 1975, I was hired as MSU’s Assistant Director

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of Admissions. When the director retired six months later, I became the lead admissions professional. Over the next 18 years, I signed 50 percent of all admission letters sent in university history. Knowing so many students prepared me perfectly for work with alumni. In 1992, Sonny Holland, ’60 I&ME, ’65 M Educ, the Director of Alumni Relations and winner of two national football championships as a Bobcat student-athlete and as our coach, announced his retirement. I applied and was lucky to be selected for the position. Then-President Michael Malone charged me with building an Alumni Association that encouraged and inspired alumni pride and engagement — a tremendous challenge that I immediately embraced. Today, the Alumni Association membership is at an all-time high with nearly 11,000 members. Collegian: Who stands out as most influential in your career? Groseth: There are so many who got me started and encouraged me along the way — my mom and dad; my husband, Rolf, and our sons, Peder and Anders; Kappa Delta mentors and the admissions and alumni teams I’ve worked with; and Presidents Tietz, Malone, Roark, Gamble and Cruzado. But the greatest influence came from a collage of people — students, board members and their spouses, countless loyal and dedicated alumni. They’ve shown the power of alumni loyalty and the MSU experience that improves us as individuals, along with our communities, our state and our world.

SPECIAL A L U M N I S E C T I O N Groseth: Budapest when I ran into Terry knows every ski run, hiking trail and and Bev Roark, ’77 Nurs, in the lobby rock climbing route. MSU has been of the Marriott. In Denver, when Jim both a personal and professional experiGroseth: It isn’t work—it’s a lifestyle. My Allen showed up at the hotel pool, then ence but most importantly, it has given workday doesn’t start or end. Relationhelped me with car troubles. Ingome a wealth of friends and colleagues ships are built on weekdays, weekends, at mar, Montana, when I walked into the who make me a rich and thankful huevents, in grocery stores, at weddings and, Jersey Lilly — a restaurant straight out man being. sadly, at funerals. I’ve loved every single of a Charlie Russell day representing MSU for our alumni. painting — and found I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of Bobcats enjoying the many people’s lives because of their love house special, saltine for and connection to MSU. crackers with a slice of orange and onion and Collegian: What inspired you to stay on bean soup. campus for 38 years? Collegian: If you could Groseth: There was no better place to reach out to every develop a career, raise a family, and be MSU alum, what part of something greater than myself. would you tell them? I’ve been a part of a team that is passionate and dedicated to creating the best Groseth: Join the experience possible for students, faculty, Alumni Association! staff and alumni. There’s always been For a small price, you Commencement was always a special time for Jaynee to celebrate something new to develop or improve to have a constant concurrent and past MSU grads. make MSU stronger. 38 years seems like nection to MSU and an eternity and a blink of the eye, all at are part of a growing family of thousands Collegian: Do you have a favorite MSU the same time. of alumni who, like you, have an affinity tradition? for MSU. Show your pride and loyalty by Collegian: How many miles have you being an active member of the Alumni Groseth: Hearing the steam whistle at travelled and how many people have Association. Then, get involved and noon on the Saturday of Commencement. you met? engage yourself in the life of MSU. Even It signifies the addition of hundreds of if you’ve moved away, you can still have new graduates to the alumni circle and Groseth: My sons once tried to guess. fun, make a difference, reconnect with puts an exclamation mark on the celebraThey concluded that number is so high old friends, and be a part of this wondertion of graduation, the parting of ways that it came to “Cheeseburger.” So, I’ve ful institution. MSU is your university of college friends. Every time I hear it, a traveled a Cheeseburger number of miles for life, so join the Alumni Association as flood of memories and faces pass through and met Cheeseburger number of people. a Lifetime Member. my mind, of those who are moving on In all honesty, I don’t have a guess but and those who journeyed on in years past. the rumor is it’s over a million miles. I Collegian: MSU played a large role in went to every high school in Montana at your professional life. What has it Collegian: Which MSU myth or legend least once a year for 18 years. I’ve been to meant to your personal life? is your favorite? countless reunions, receptions, tailgates, socials and meetings to greet alumni and Groseth: Where do I begin? Everything Groseth: Green beanies and Freshmen dropped in on alumni throughout the  — my closest friends, my valued colWeek. I proudly wore my ’73 beanie. We state and the country. Alumni travel took leagues, my family — has all come from all did and followed the rules and regulame to Alaska, the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, Montana State and has given me an tions. We couldn’t be caught without Norway, Germany, France, Switzerland, unbelievable personal life. I met my our beanies, walk in the front door of Budapest, Amsterdam, down the Missiswonderful husband, Rolf, and raised our Montana Hall or walk on the grass. If sippi River, and to New York City, Palm sons here and had the chance to estabcaught, a sophomore Spur or Fang would Desert, the Mexican Riviera, and Hawaii. lish long-lasting programs and services blow their whistle and announce the Tack on 20 years of travel with New Gen- for MSU and the Bozeman community. errors of our ways. Fangs, cute sophoesis, a campus ministry team, and one MSU represents the place and the experi- more men, convinced the girls to get our million might be an underestimate. ences that make the Groseth family. Anphotos taken for the official school direcders graduated from MSU in 2009 and is tory which, we learned later, was actually Collegian: On all of your travels, where now an Admissions Rep, doing the exact the “Hog Log”— a booklet of freshmen is the most unusual place you’ve found work that I did as a young professional. women pictures and contact informaMSU? Peder fell in love with the outdoors and tion that served as a dating guide. It all Collegian: What has surprised you about alumni work?

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SPECIAL A L U M N I S E C T I O N culminated with the Freshmen Beanie Dance when the freshmen came together, danced the night away and celebrated being MSU’s Class of 1973. Collegian: How many times have you sung the fight song? Groseth: Four years as a student + 38 years as professional staff x 15 home football and basketball games, on average 5 x per game, + approximately 5 times at each of 20 pep rallies, at least 2 times at each away game and probably 30 times at various campus special events and 5 times at the conclusion of Commencement. So what does that total? Add one more as I was singing it while figuring out the answer to this question. Cheeseburger. I’ve sang it that many times. Collegian: Do you have any colors besides blue and gold in your closet? Any maroon? Groseth: Maroon?! I don’t have green, red, orange, pink or maroon in my closet. Open the closet doors and you see Bobcat blue and gold. Maybe some navy and Vegas gold, too. Wherever I go, I’m a Bobcat. I love it when people show their loyalty and pride in their alma mater. I try to set that example and hope that others pick up on the practice. Collegian: What’s changed most on campus in your time here?

Groseth: The size and scope. Enrollment has grown tremendously, a dozen new buildings or renovations have been completed, and research has become a signature of MSU and the undergraduate experience. We’ve expanded international study abroad and community outreach programs both near and far, creating a strong linkage between the classroom and community service and showing our students how to put their education to good use. Collegian: What hasn’t changed on campus? Groseth: Three major things that define MSU — faculty commitment to teaching and engaging students; outstanding students coming to MSU and being challenged and encouraged; and Bobcat pride. In addition, Bobcats respect the campus and one another, we hold the door for each other, greet people with a smile. All of this happens with the “M” watching over the campus, just as it has since 1918. And traffic still stops for the momma duck and her brood to cross 11th. Collegian: What will you miss the most? Groseth: So much. The constant movement of campus, alive with activity. The hum of excitement that comes on game day, Homecoming, Cat/Griz and Commencement. The sound of the carillon. Alumni dropping by to see me and busy days with lots of coffee spent with colleagues committed to the same vision of

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enhancing our Alumni Association and serving alumni far and near. Collegian: You’ve created an inspiring, unmatched legacy at the Alumni Association. Where do you see it headed in the future? Groseth: The Alumni Association is strong and vital because of the alumni who show their pride in the university by joining and displaying their allegiance. In 1903, the Alumni Association was created and the mission statement was written and stated the following “to build lifetime connections between alumni and the college and to support scholarships.” One hundred ten years later, as an important part of the Alumni Foundation, the association remains committed to the same. While I’ve have been the “face” of the Alumni Association over the past couple decades, my retirement does not alter the organization’s commitment to the importance of alumni engagement. Under Michael Stevenson’s leadership as president and CEO of the Alumni Foundation and with fellow alumna Kerry Hanson, ’93 BuMk, ’08 M, guiding the Alumni Association’s day to day growth, we will still be the place to connect with MSU and with other alumni, inspiring people to support MSU in all ways possible. Montana State is for a lifetime. Go Cats!


Bobcat Mentoring Program pairs students with alumni


ikaleen Lowe started at Montana State with the same expectations many students have when they begin — that with hard work, a solid educational foundation, and her role as president of the Student Alumni Association, she could build a résumé that opened doors to a clearly-defined career path. “I was trying to figure it all out on my own,” Lowe said. “But with only one year left before graduation, I wanted to find somebody who could talk with me about the decisions I was making — to help me know I was on the right track.” That realization spurred Lowe, now a senior in business marketing, to join 15 other students from six colleges across campus in MSU’s inaugural round of the Bobcat Mentoring Program this February. There, she was paired with MSU alumnus Scott Levandowski, ’95 Bus, president and manager for the Gallatin Market for First Interstate Bank in Bozeman. “Talking with Scott gave me a great perspective on what the real work world is like,” Lowe said. “He helped me understand how important it will be for me to keep marketing messages focused on the customer experience, no matter what industries I find myself working in.” Creating an environment where seasoned alumni can share their hardearned professional wisdom and help MSU students better prepare themselves to seek their own success is at the core of the Bobcat Mentoring Program. Inspired by MSU alumni Mike Stears, ’78 ME, and Jeff Sipes, ’86 ME, and jointly designed by MSU’s Director of Career, Internship, and Student Employment Services Carina Beck, ’07 EdD, and MSU Alumni Foundation’s Chief Executive in Residence Kathleen Saylor, ’82 SpCom, the program matches students with alumni from around the country to create an educational opportunity that transcends the classroom. “This partnership between MSU and the Alumni Foundation enables alumni to share the value of their experiences,

connecting them with motivated students who want to make the most of their education,” Saylor said. “As we scaleup the program, we’ll be able to deepen the positive impact our alumni can make as they advise the next generation of Bobcats.” Created with the goal of building strong relationships between alumni and students, the program introduces students to role models who can shape their professional development goals and offer practical learning opportunities that will advance them along the path after graduation. The MSU senior Mikaleen Lowe and her mentor, alumnus Scott Levandowski end result is a program that creates benefits for both the “Based on my conversations with Scott, alumni and student participants. I know that I don’t have to pick the job “What I did not expect was what I now — I know that I can be prepared received in return,” wrote Bobcat mentor to change in my roles and build other Steve Locati, ’97 Arch, ’08 M, after the opportunities throughout my career.” closing session with architecture student Advice she may offer to another MSU Dalton Arndt. “I have been reminded of student — one just like herself — someday things that once inspired me that I have in the future. simply let lay dormant for some time, Alumni interested in volunteering for and how awe inspiring life is when we the Bobcat Mentoring program should are on the cusp of realizing the benefits contact Kitty Saylor at 406-994-2053. of achieving our goals.” For Lowe, the program helped her earn a summer internship that will provide experience that is more in line with her own aspirations. It also changed her expectations for her career path after college.

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MSU Alumni Association: We’re more than just tailgates Hosting roughly 300 events and connecting with more than 15,000 alumni and friends of Montana State University each year, the MSU Alumni Association is your connection back to your university. Our exciting programs and engaging events serve our incredible and loyal alumni and give us a chance to show you what’s happening on campus and within the MSU alumni community. Here’s a brief look at what we’ve been up to lately.

Kickoff Kid Aiden Reinhardt, our very first Kickoff Kid, hung out on the sidelines at Bobcat Stadium with his family before the 2012 Gold Rush game. Our Kickoff Kid experience, a member-exclusive program, offers the chance for kids aged 4–12 to win the ultimate game day experience, complete with a football jersey, field access and more, plus the exhilaration of retrieving the kickoff tee in front of 18,000 screaming Bobcat fans.

More than 600 grads from MSU’s Class of 2013 stopped by Bobcat Fest in Downtown Bozeman for their free MSU Alumni Association pint glass. Students, faculty, staff and the Bozeman community enjoyed the fun-filled, sunny spring evening on Main Street. Best of luck to all of our newest MSU alumni!

Bobcat Ski Day Reunion Champ hit the slopes in January for the 2nd annual Bobcat Ski Day Reunion at Bridger Bowl. Several Alumni Association members received discounted lift tickets by catching a ride on our shuttle bus and enjoyed delicious aprés ski food and drinks while rocking out to the live music of Unusual Suspects at the Jim Bridger Lodge. Be sure to join us next year on January 17, 2014, for the next Bobcat Ski Day Reunion.

Commencement Reunion We welcomed attendees and their guests to the 2013 Commencement Reunion festivities in May, which recognized the classes of 1943, 1953 and 1963. Participants enjoyed special campus events, breakfast with President Cruzado, dinner and dancing, and much, much more. Thank you to all of our attendees! Classes of ’44, ’54 and ’64, save the dates: May 1–3, 2014.

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Women’s History Reception We were honored to co-host the Women’s History Reception with the MSU Women’s Center (director Betsy Danforth in center) in March. This wonderful celebration bestows Student Achievement Awards upon individuals for promoting equality, demonstrating leadership abilities, excelling in school work, and serving as strong role models for their peers.

Young Alumni Cat/Griz Social Our Young Alumni program launched in March over the Cat/Griz basketball weekend with a spirited social of friends, food, drinks and Champ. Young Alumni are those who graduated from MSU within the last 10 years. Look for more events coming this summer and fall.

SAA Bobcat Dinner The MSU Student Alumni Association hosted its annual SAA Bobcat Dinner in April, where students and alumni met to network, talk about all things MSU and have fun.

Awards for Excellence

Native American Alumni Brunch Retiring Native American Studies professor Wayne Stein, ’73 F&Ph, was our keynote speaker at the 20th annual Native American Alumni Brunch in April. Guests had a chance to reconnect with one another and reminisce before attending the MSU American Indian Council Pow Wow, which followed the brunch.

The 2013 Torley Award winners were honored during the 31st annual Awards for Excellence banquet in February. The Awards for Excellence program recognizes MSU’s top 40 senior undergraduates for their outstanding academics and community involvement. Each student also nominates a professor who has impacted his or her life. The Torley Awards are given to one student from each academic college who goes above and beyond for community service. The award is named in honor of Torlief Aasheim, ’37 Ag. (Pictured above at center are his wife, Dorothy, and grandson Tanner, ’04 BuFi.)

Not a member yet?

Join today and show your Bobcat pride!

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The MSU Alumni Association and Bobcat spirit: Closer to home


ount me in! When Jeff Sipes, ’86 ME, and Lois Norby, ’65 HmEc, simultaneously uttered this phrase during an MSU Alumni Foundation Alumni Relations Advisory Board meeting last fall, little did they know those three words would launch a cross-country effort to bring the MSU Alumni Association—and Bobcat spirit—a little closer to home for thousands of loyal alumni. For years, MSU alumni in Montana and throughout the country have been looking for ways to connect with MSU and other Bobcats—not just when they are on campus, but when they are closer to home. Norby, who lives near Minneapolis, Minn., and is an Alumni Relations Advisory Board member, knows first-hand about the desire local alumni have to help MSU, come together more regularly and have fun at the same time. “Bobcats around the country are hungry to connect more often and to see one another outside of the always important Cat/Griz football gatherings each fall,” said Norby. “It’s high time our Alumni Association makes it happen.” And, it has. Now, thanks to a growing network of volunteer alumni, the Alumni Association has launched a pilot Chartered Chapter program through the MSU Alumni Foundation. Up and running just since January, the volunteer-led effort is already bringing long-time supporters and new alumni members together in fun and creative ways.

around Seattle, Wash., an area with more than 4,000 known MSU graduates, opportunities to bring alumni together to have an impact on the future are significant. In fact, Sipes has long been an advocate for building stronger volunteer networks and now chairs the chapter effort in the Puget Sound area. “When you’re 10 hours from campus, it’s easy to think you can’t help out,” said Sipes. “The alumni chapter gives you the chance to learn what’s happening on campus, be a bit of an insider, and actively support opportunities to serve MSU.”

Houston alumni get bragging rights

With a state motto of “Friendship,” it’s only fitting that Texas seized the chance to launch the first MSU Alumni Association Chartered Chapter. On May 9, dozens of Houston-area alumni gathered to celebrate success in bringing the Alumni Association closer to home. In presenting the official chapter charter, David Kem, ’67 ChE, ’00 HonDoc, noted the work of the founding chapter’s volunteer leadership including Mary Ann Pearce, ’76 ChE, Zoanne (Wynne) Zapata, ’ 81 ChE, David Ayers, ’81 Phys, Scott Kufeld, ’87 ChE, and Mark Juedeman, ’81 ES. “Your volunteer efforts in service to our alma mater represent a major mile-

Chartered Chapters help to grow MSU alumni networks

Based on the notion that “birds of a feather flock together,” alumni chapters offer area Alumni Association members exclusive opportunities to learn about MSU and from one another, have fun, and network—both professionally and socially—with other alumni. Chapters also provide alumni with new, unique ways to give back and support MSU, especially through volunteering. In and

stone in the history of MSU, the Alumni Association and the MSU Alumni Foundation,” said Kem, a member of the Houston chapter and member of the MSU Alumni Foundation Board of Governors. “You’ve created an ambitious path to follow, growing membership in your Alumni Association and strengthening the bonds between MSU and the enthusiastic alumni and their families living and working in our area.” “Our leadership team, with enthusiastic support from Alumni Foundation staff, hosted a great kick-off event, and we’re eager to welcome new members to the Houston Area Chapter team,” said Zapata. “It’s a great time to be a Bobcat in Houston.”

Local leaders, local programs

In the words of its leadership, the Houston Chartered Chapter has “ambitious plans.” But those plans are distinctly and uniquely tied to Houston. This idea of “keeping it local” is at the core of the Chartered Chapters Program. “Volunteers like those in Houston, Minneapolis, and Puget Sound are the crux of the success of Chartered Chapters,” said Michael Stevenson, president and chief executive officer of the MSU Alumni Foundation. “They are the experts on what alumni in their hometowns want and need and how the Alumni Association can help.” Each group of volunteer chapter leaders participate in an in-depth orientation session that provides insight into MSU and its Strategic Plan, the MSU Alumni Foundation’s mission and ambitions, and the specific roles of chapter volunteers and chapter leaders. Upon completion of the orientation, chapters have the freedom to establish an annual plan of events and member recruitment MSU Alumni Foundation Board of Governors member David Kem presented the signed Houston Chartered Chapter resolution to chapter volunteer Mary Ann Pearce.

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Who’s leading the way? Greater Twin Cities Area Chapter Mike Sherick, ’86 ChE John Swaney, ’76 Psy Jody Collis King, ’89 BuMg Julianne Bye, ’74 PoliSci Houston Area Chapter Mary Ann Pearce, ’76 ChE David Ayers, ’81 Phys Scott Kufeld, ’87 ChE, ’88 M ChE Mark Juedeman, ’81 ES Zoanne (Wynne) Zapata, ’81 ChE Puget Sound Chapter Jeff Sipes, ’86 ME Holly Kessle, ’02 Engl Stephanie Bunkley, ’89 BuMk DeeDee Rixe, ’82 BuMg Rob Ward, ’86 CE The MSU Alumni Association Houston Area chapter leadership includes alumni (clockwise from back left) Zoanne Zapata, Mark Juedeman, David Ayers, Mary Ann Pearce and Scott Kufeld.

that fits the spirit and culture of their geographic area. For example, the Twin Cities chapter is focusing on networking and lifelong learning, bringing celebrated MSU faculty members to their area for engaging lectures. Houston is particularly interested in developing “welcome home” events designed specifically for new graduates and alumni who recently moved to the area. Chapters also coordinate with area Cat/Griz volunteer coordinators and Bobcat Club leaders for more opportunities.

Is there a chapter near you?

The MSU Alumni Foundation’s efforts to establish a nationwide network of Alumni Association chapters are closely tied to its mission to build lifelong relationships and strengthen its resources to support MSU. Moreover, “this is going to be fun,” said Sipes. In addition to Houston and the Puget Sound area, volunteer alumni are working to establish chapters in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Billings, Mont., and encompassing the Montana towns of Shelby, Choteau and Conrad. Future plans call for pilot chapters in Denver,

Colo., Washington, D.C., Portland, Ore., and in at least two other Montana communities. While pilot locations for the development of new Chartered Chapters through June of 2014 have been determined, the Alumni Foundation is eager to hear from volunteers in other communities who may be interested in establishing chapters. The goal is to reach 20 chapters by the end of 2014 so that more alumni in more communities have more opportunities to connect with one another, learn about MSU and have fun. Just as it is in Houston, it’s a great time to be a Bobcat—anywhere and everywhere.

What does it take to become a chapter? Volunteer-led chapters of the MSU Alumni Association require a minimum of 50 active Alumni Association members and are eligible to receive their official charter when paid memberships in their region reach or exceed 15 percent of the total MSU graduate population in that same area. Additionally, chapters must have: •• an annual chapter membership recruitment and events plan, •• an annual chapter budget proposal, •• a trained leadership committee in place that has prepared and submitted a chapter leadership roster with biographical information for each member, and •• standard chapter bylaws and signed confidentiality agreements, available from the Alumni Association. To learn more about Chartered Chapters of the Montana State University Alumni Association or other volunteer opportunities in your area, please email Maddy Sokoloski, alumni relations officer, at

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Class Notes Class Notes are compiled from information received from MSU alumni and friends. MSU Alumni Association members receive priority listing in Class Notes. To submit information, please send an email to or drop a line to the MSU Alumni Foundation, P.O. Box 172750 Bozeman, MT 59717-2750.


Gretchen Novasio, ’75 Nurs, Seattle, Wash., is developing a teleconference/webinar program called “When Speaking out Matters; When How to Speak Out Counts.”

Dennis Clark, ’84 F&Ph, Helena, Mont., is executive officer for four professional licensing boards with the Business Standards Division Department of Labor & Industry.

and geology. Her current research focuses on the evolutionary history of Titanosauria — the latest surviving and perhaps most diverse lineage of long-necked sauropod dinosaurs.

Dale Alger, ’76 ElEd, Roundup, Mont., received of the Montana Library Association 2013 Honorary Life Membership Award.

Elizabeth (Chilcote) Thiel, ’84 ChE, Boise, Idaho, is currently working as a hazardous waste permit writer and inspector for the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. Her son Joe Thiel, ’13 ChemE, graduated from MSU this spring.

Mark Huhtanen, ’96 CelBio, Killeen, Texas, has been promoted to lieutenant colonel. He is a brigade operations officer at Fort Hood, Texas.

Cheryl (Driver) Lenox, ’76 Nurs, Shepherd, Mont., recently made a change at Billings Clinic. After 24 years in the Cardiac Cath Lab, she is now working in the ATU. This year marks Cheryl’s 30th year with Billings Clinic.

Donald Beatty, ’55 M&IE, Kailua Kona, Hawaii, is still scuba diving and ultra-lite flying.

Kristin (Olson) Van Luchene, ’84 Acctg, Billings, Mont., has been promoted to director of accounting at Kenco Security and Technology. Deborah (Hansen) Matus, ’86 BuMg, Bozeman, Mont., is happy to be back in Bozeman. She recently started her own product marketing contracting business to service the small business market in the area.



Barry Harmon, ’70 ME, Scobey, Mont., created Air Design in 1984. He designs and engineers products for agriculture (tungsten carbide scrapers for drills, air seeders, planters), colleges and custom orders using a water jet. Linda (Brekke) Harmon, ’70 PE, Scobey, Mont., is marketing director for Air Design. She is excited to create and market new products licensed with the Bobcats. Richard McBee, ’72 M Micro, Hood River, Ore., recently had his new nonfiction book, Rough Enough, published. The book documents the life of Richard Clow during the U.S. Civil War and the early Indian Wars in Montana and the Dakotas.

Timothy J. Holtan, ’77 MusEd, Sykesvill, Md., is the commander and conductor of the U.S. Army Field Band, Washington, D.C., headquartered at Fort Meade, Md., As the premier touring musical representative for the U.S. Army, the Field Band travels thousands of miles each year presenting a variety of music to audiences throughout the nation and abroad. Last October, the band performed in the Bozeman area as part of their fall tour. Tim and his wife, Laurie (Matheson) Holtan, ’80 MusEd, reside in Sykesville, Md.

Fred Bahnson, ’96 Eng, Brevard, N.C., has written a book, Soil and Sacrament: Food, Faith, and Growing Heaven on Earth. The hardcover book, published by Simon & Schuster, will be available in August. Gregory Cromwell, ’96 AgEc, Missoula, Mont., was promoted to lieutenant colonel, U.S. Army, Artillery. He is currently serving as the executive officer for the 4th Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery.

Herb Thackeray, ’79 ChE, Bozeman, Mont., has received a promotion with Thackeray Consulting LLC, the Oil & Gas Division of RowdyCo Enterprises.

1980s April Millar, ’80 Nurs, Seattle, Wash., received a master in nursing leadership from the University of Washington, Tacoma Campus.

Kristina Curry Rogers, ’96 BioSci, St. Paul, Minn., has been granted tenure at Macalester College. She is an associate professor of biology

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2000s Barbara Do Amaral, ’01 ModL&Lit, Bozeman, Mont., is currently pursuing a doctorate in adult & higher education. Barbara is employed in the College of Business as an office manager. Jennifer (Jones) Turchin,’02 Arch, ’03 M Arch, Las Vegas, Nev., is a senior consultant in the Las Vegas office of Sellen Sustainability and a principal of Coda Architecture, which she owns with her husband, Kevin Turchin. She received the Young Architect Award from AIA Nevada as part of their 2012 Distinguished Service Awards. The Young Architect Award recognizes those individual AIA members who at an early stage of their architectural career (licensed to practice for less than 10 years) have shown exceptional leadership in design, education and service to the profession. She is also serving as the U.S. Green Building Council Nevada Chapter president for 2013.

Scott Keller, ’03 BuFi, Cincinnati, Ohio, was named the newest shareholder in Truepoint, Inc. He is a senior manager on Truepoint’s Investment Advisory Services team. He joined the firm in 2007 and holds both the Chartered Financial Analyst and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designations.

CLASS N OT E S Kevin Turchin, ’02 Arch, ’03 M Arch, Las Vegas, Nev., is a principal in the Las Vegas-based firm Coda Architecture. He received his license to practice architecture in the State of Nevada in October. He is currently working on multiple medical office and public works projects in Clark County. Kelsey Edgren, ’08 Psy, Big Sky, Mont., and Brit Barnes are planning a summer 2013 wedding in Big Sky, Mont.

2010s Jesse Maynard, ’10 EnvDes, SanAntonio, Texas, graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. Scot Gangstad, ’10 GenStu, Avon, Mont., and Kaedy Horne, ’10 GenStu, Elliston, Mont., have announced their plans to marry at Fairmont Hot Springs this October. Zachary Fennelly, ’11 CET, and April Capp, ’12 HHD, both from Kalispell, Mont., are planning an Aug. 10th wedding.

BIRT HS Julie (Carlson) Chelmo, ’98 Acctg, ’99 M, Kodiak, Ark., and her husband welcomed son Cole Elmo on April 1. Robert Stevenson, ’98 AnSci, and Robin (Bruner) Stevenson, ’97 BioSci, Hobson, Mont., welcomed twins, son Teller Rye and daughter Armani Isabelle, on February 2. Colby Thomas, ’02 ME, and Erin (Dilts) Thomas, ’03 BuMg, Clancy, Mont., had a daughter, MaKenzie Rae, on March 22. MaKenzie joins big sisters Kira and Harper.

After three months in the NICU, they are home and doing well.

Nancy (Diehl) Dear, ’42 Bus, Simms, Mont., died March 17.

Curt Widhalm, ’05 Psy, and Angela (Conners) Widhalm, ’05 MTA, Beverly Hills, Calif., welcomed son George Walter on Feb. 4.

Richard Chambers, ’43 CelBio, Glendive, Mont., died Nov. 12, 2012.

M A R R I AGE S Lori Smith, ’91 BuMk, and Greg Russell, ’91 CET, Billings, Mont., are now married. Mary (Dodson) Douglass, ’93 Nurs, Helena, Mont., married Dr. Harry Israel on Aug. 29, 2012. Mary is 78 years old and plans to bike solo to her 60th high school reunion. She will ride from Helena to Folsom, Calif. Anissa (Scifres) Pascale, ’95 Nurs, Bellevue, Wash., married Dr. Mike Pascale on Aug. 4, 2012. The family now has four boys. Daniel Faaborg, ’05 Micro & ModL, and Patricia Anderson, ’08 CelBio & ModL, Loma Linda, Calif., were married in July in Anaconda, Mont. Jessi Peretti, ’10 HHD, Portland, Ore., and Jake Peterson were married in July in Butte, Mont. Katherine Herzog, ’11 Nutr, Rochester, Minn., and Ryne Dougherty were married on June 16 at the St. Helena Cathedral.

Barbara (Soule) Mockel, ’43 HmEc, Bozeman, Mont., died March 6. Ashley Neel,* ’43 Ag, Spokane, Wash., died March 15. Virginia (Howell) Barfknecht,* ’45 HmEc, Helena, Mont., died Feb. 25. George Moen, ’45 Bus, Missoula, Mont., died April 9. James Eddy,* ’48 CE, Fairbanks, Alaska, died Sept. 13, 2012. Jack Heath,* ’48 AnSci, Fresno, Calif., died Sept. 26, 2012. Joyce (Mansbridge) Siverts-Scott, ’48 HmEc, Tonasket, Wash., died Aug. 4, 2011. Patricia (Galt) Gustafson,* ’49 Art, Conrad, Mont., died Oct. 26, 2012. Jacob Hehn, ’49 AgEc, ’58 M, ’68 PhD, Fort Collins, Colo., died Oct. 20, 2012. John Lansberry,* ’50 M&IE, Bremerton, Wash., died April 3. Henry Lorentz,* ’50 Zool, Great Falls, Mont., died Feb. 12.

Gene Schilling, ’60 M&IE, Shelby, Mont., died June 19, 2012. Jon Englert, ’62 Art, Ryegate, Mont., died April 13. William Rupert, ’63 EE, ’69 PhD, Butte, Mont., died April 28. Lloyd Pedersen, ’65 GenStu, ’74 Educ M, Boise, Idaho, died May 6. Miles Wambach, ’65 M&IE, ’66 M, Billings, Mont., died March 1. Myron Wheeler,* ’65 F&WL, Power, Mont., died Jan. 22. Jeanne (Holmes) Hyatt, ’66 GenStud, Knoxville, Tenn., died Sept. 1, 2012. Bruce Ray, ’66 Ex Bus, Dallas, Texas, died Dec. 24, 2012. Van Shelhamer,* ’67 AgEd, ’79 M, Bozeman, Mont., died April 12. Kenneth Blutt,* ’68 Math, Colorado Springs, Colo., died Feb. 14. Phyllis (Luvera) Ennes, ’69 Sci&Tech, Redmond, Wash., died Jan. 7. Dennis Seibel,* ’69 ChE, ’73 M, ’90 Hist M, Cortez, Colo., died March 5. Howard Voiles, ’72 Educ, Menomonee Falls, Wis., died April 3.

Emily Anderson, ’10 HHD, Missoula, Mont., and *Andrew LeVeaux, ’09 BuMg, Billings, Mont., were married July 27 at the Riverside Country Club in Bozeman.

Dorothy (Lawson) Gruden, ’51 Bus, Clinton, Mont., died April 12.

Catelyn Lower, ’12 ElEd, Missoula, Mont., and Preston Gale, Forney, Texas, were married June 22 in Big Fork, Mont., Preston plays football for the Bobcats.

Leonard Kucher, ’51 AgEc, Spring Hill, Fla., died Jan. 28.

Margaret (MacKellar) Woods, ’79 Art, ’84 Hist M, Bozeman, Mont., died May 11.

Franklin Elliott, ’52 M&IE, Bozeman, Mont., died May 23.

Robert Greene, ’80 F&Ph, Portland, Ore., died Dec. 31, 2012.

Julius Ruedi,* ’52 AgEc, Del Mar, Calif., died Jan. 20.

Steven Clark, ’81 M&IE, Provo, Utah, died May 24.

Donald Eastman, ’53 M&IE, Green River, Wyo., died Jan. 12.

Jack Reich, ’93 AnRSci, Zap, N.D., died Nov. 6, 2012.

Richard Hamilton, ’53 Agron, Richmond BC, Canada, died Oct. 30, 2012.

David Sitek, ’11 M&IE, Ellington, Conn., died March 27.

I N M E MORY Kathleen (Spain) Williamson,* ’37 HmEc, Bozeman, Mont., died Aug. 25, 2012. Roberta “Bobbe” (Pond) Sullivan,* ’38 Educ, Clancy, Mont., died Sept. 8, 2012. Klayton, ’05 Psy, and Stephanie (Livers) Carroll, ’09 ChE & Chem, Sidney, Mont., are proud to announce the expansion of their family and welcomed their triplets — Aidan, Tristam and Abel.

Dorothy (Brewer) Dortch, ’43 HmEc, Kalispell, Mont., died Feb. 11.

Donald Olson, ’60 Zool, New Westminster, BC, Canada, died Feb. 28.

Allen Walton,* ’54 AgEd, ’64 M, Roundup, Mont., died July 12, 2012.

Lyle Clow,* ’40 M&IE, Helena, Mont., died Feb. 13.

Margaret (Myles) Glynn, ’55 HmEc, Billings, Mont., died Feb. 21.

William “Bill” Pattison,* ’40 M&IE, Glasgow, Mont., died April 22.

William “Bill” Bradford,* ’56 Bus, Billings, Mont., died May 16. Richard Kirk, ’56 Pre-Med, Sunnyside, Wash., died Feb. 28.

Summer 2013 | 35

Stephen Allen, ’79 Agron, ’82 M, Welches, Ore., died Dec. 12, 2012.

*Life Member of the Alumni Association YZ


Alumni Calendar of Events AUGUS T



MSU Retired Faculty/Staff Dinner


MSU Faculty/Staff Alumni Reception at Living History Farm Museum of the Rockies



Bobcat Athletics Family Fun Day


Move-in Day at MSU


MSU/Chamber Relations Cat Kickoff Party — Bobcat Stadium


X & O’s with Head Football Coach Rob Ash


Alumni Association Cat Chat — T he Pour House —7 p.m.*


MSU Football vs. Monmouth University (Gold Rush Game) 7:05 p.m. Alumni Association tailgate begins two hours before kickoff for all games.


Homecoming Week at MSU


SAA Blue & Gold Run, Go Cats Lighting, MSU Bonfire


Homecoming Blue & Gold Friday


College Homecoming Awards Events, Greek Alumni Summit


Homecoming Friday night with President Cruzado


Annual College of Business Golf Outing


Homecoming Bobcat Saturday Parade and Alumni Tailgate


MSU Football vs. Northern Arizona (Homecoming) — 2:05 p.m.


MSU Football at Weber State — 5:05 p.m. MSU Pre-game Fire-up at Teasers, Ogden, Utah — 3 p.m.


Celebrate Ag! Weekend


MSU Parent/Family Weekend


Fall Convocation Dragonboat Races at Flathead — Look for the Bobcat tent

MSU Football vs. UC Davis — 2:05 p.m.



Bobcat Friday Night in Dallas, Texas


Bobcat Friday Night in Fort Collins, Colo.


MSU Football at Southern Methodist University — 7 p.m. CT Tailgate  at 5 p.m. CT


MSU Football at Northern Colorado — 1:35 p.m. Tailgate  at 11:30 a.m.


Bobcat Club Sonny Holland Golf Tournament and Hall of Fame Banquet


Bobcat Friday Night in Spokane, Wash.


MSU Football vs. Colorado Mesa— 1:05 p.m. Alumni Association Tailgate  at 11 a.m.


MSU Football at Eastern Washington — 12:05 p.m. PT Tailgate  at 10 a.m. PT


Bobcat Friday Night in Houston, Texas


MSU Football at Stephen F. Austin — 6 p.m. CT Tailgate  at 4 p.m. CT


Bobcat Friday Night in Grand Forks, N.D.


MSU Football at Univ. of North Dakota — 2:35 p.m. CT Tailgate  at 12:30 p.m. CT

11 15–16

MT Farm Bureau MSU Alumni Social  Military/Veterans’ Weekend at MSU


MSU Football vs. Southern Utah — 4:05 p.m. Alumni Association Tailgate  at 2 p.m.


Cat/Griz Pep Rally Downtown Bozeman


Cat/Griz Satellite Parties (see pg. 25)


Cat/Griz Football in Bozeman — 12:05 p.m. Cat/Griz Alumni Association Tailgate  at 10 a.m.


Graingrowers MSU Alumni Social — Great Falls


Stockgrowers MSU Alumni Social — Billings


MSU Winter Commencement

All events are in Bozeman unless noted otherwise. Dates subject to change. * Get fired up for the game every Wednesday during football season during Cat Chats at 7 p.m. at The Pour House in Bozeman or find a radio station at

Stop by our Bobcat photo booth and get your Blue & Gold photo taken!

Collegian | 36


MSU Alumni Association adventure and educational travel | 201 4 T R I P S All prices listed are lead-in pricing per traveler; some trips include airfare from designated departure cities. All trips are listed on the Cat Treks website— or call to request a brochure: 1-800-457-1696

River Life along the Waterways of Holland & Belgium | April 6 – 15 From $2,995 per person, double occupancy (airfare not included) A seven-night cruise aboard a deluxe AMA Waterways River Ship sailing roundtrip from Amsterdam during the Spring Tulip Season.

Ancient Mysteries of the Americas Oceania Cruises (Miami to Lima) January 16 – February 3 From $3,999 per person, double occupancy (including airfare) Discover unspoiled natural wonders, dramatic coastlines and remains of ancient civilizations along the shores of the Cayman Islands, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador and Peru while sailing aboard the intimate Oceania Cruises Regatta.

Samba Rhythms – Oceania Cruises (Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro) March 16 – 29 From $3,999 per person, double occupancy (including airfare) Savor the sights and sounds of South America on the luxurious Oceania Cruises Regatta. Buenos Aires offers the perfect point of departure for a journey filled with historical and cultural marvels in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. 13 MSU - HR Recruiting.pdf



Town & Country Life in Oxford – Land Tour Oct. 18–26 | $3,795 per person, double occupancy (airfare not included) Spend seven nights exploring the English countryside in-depth from the deluxe Macdonald Randolph Hotel. Most meals and all tours included.

Cruising the Riviera & Islands of France, Italy & Spain April 18–26 $4,595 per person, double occupancy (airfare not included)

4:49 PM

A seven-night cruise aboard the deluxe small ship M.S. Tere Moana sailing from Monte Carlo to Rome. All meals aboard ship and all tours included.

Canada & New England Fall Foliage –  Oceania Cruises (New York to Montreal) September 16 – 28 From $4,999 per person, double occupancy (airfare included) Experience the glorious autumn foliage along North America’s scenic East Coast aboard the elegant Oceania Cruises Regatta. Savor stunning landscapes and visit historic sites in Canada and New England, stopping in Newport, Boston, Portland, Bar Harbor, Saint John, Halifax, Sydney, Corner Brook, Quebec City and Montreal.

Pearls of the Mediterranean – Oceania Cruises (Monte Carlo to Barcelona) November 7 – 15 Riviera From $2,299 per person, double occupancy (airfare included) Discover some culturally-rich pearls of the Mediterranean on a cruise aboard Oceania Cruises’ elegant Riviera. Explore the charming French ports of Marseille and Port Vendres, experience Spanish splendor in Mallorca and immerse yourself in the renowned Italian art and natural beauty in Portofino, Rome, Florence and Pisa.

If you like people and giving them top-notch customer service youʼre just the person we are looking for. That is what we strive to deliver to our customers every visit. It's what puts us above the competition! We can help our customers with everything from how to get their plants to grow to keeping their baby chicks healthy. We can advise on the best battery for your car, boot for your foot, or comb for your horse. Customers have come to expect this from us and weʼre proud of it. Visit and apply today. Summer 2013 | 37

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Collegian | Summer 2013  
Collegian | Summer 2013  

The magazine for alumni and friends of Montana State University.