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Vol. 6 Issue 2

Fresh news every day at www.rocky.edu

February 2011

All About Our Students

Fielding Honors Jacqueline “Jackie” Nelson literally found Rocky Mountain College was her field of dreams. The Great Falls native navigated soccer fields with uncommon speed and verve, earning her athletic awards throughout her career. As a sophomore, she was not only an honored defender, she won the leadership award. She capPhoto: Dave M. Shumway, RMC tained the Jackie Nelson excelled on and RMC socoff the soccer field, winning cer team her athletic and academic honors. junior and senior years, exemplifying what her coach, Richard Duffy, told his players, “Have fun when you play, and you’ll play well. Otherwise, why play at all?” His advice was not only good for the soccer fields, but for everything Jackie became involved with at Rocky. “I liked Rocky for its pretty campus, small class sizes, great faculty and staff, and the real feeling of community. But I also liked it because it was fun in class and on the playing field,” she said. Her athletic achievements were matched by her academic accomplishments. Maintaining a 3.5 GPA, the biology major won the Frontier Conference All-Academic award this year, capping her effort to be recognized as a scholar athlete. “I have so many people to thank for helping me along the way. Dan Albrecht (professor of biology) was always a positive influence. Cynthia Hutchinson (student life counselor) and Coach Duffy were always there for me,” she noted. (Please see All About Our Students on back page)

The expansion of the Frontier Conference has been discussed for years, but with RMC President Michael Mace, who is also serving as president of the Frontier Conference Council of Presidents, the discussion turned into reality, with the creation of a larger conference and new opportunities.

A New Frontier “I think it increases our brand awareness. I think it increases our ability to attract new and exciting athletes into our family. It probably allows us, in time, on a step-by-step basis, to expand some sports at Rocky Mountain College.” RMC President Mike Mace commenting to The Billings Gazette about the successful negotiations he hosted at RMC to expand the Frontier Conference. President Mace is also president of the Frontier’s Council of Presidents, and was the catalyst for discussions that resulted in adding Dickinson State and Southern Oregon. Inspired by a Rocky Mountain College initiative to grow the NAIA Frontier Conference, presidents from the conference schools agreed to admit North Dakota’s Dickinson State University and Southern Oregon University beginning with the 2012-13 school year, concluding successful negotiations held at RMC in February. DSU will become a full member of the Frontier in all sports, and Southern Oregon, from Ashland, Ore., will become an associate member for football only. Both schools were unanimously approved by the presidents after they made presentations during a two-day meeting. Expansion has been discussed in the Conference for a number of years. Eastern Oregon University was added in football in 2006. Serious discussion about admitting additional schools began in August. “The thing that I was most impressed with was the shared vision by all of the presidents in the Frontier Conference to expand the Conference and make it stronger,” RMC President Michael Mace stated. Along with increased brand awareness, by expanding the Conference, member schools can also build on the principles of the NAIA’s Champions of Character program, which emphasizes integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and student leadership, Mace told The Billings Gazette. “It’s an opportunity for athletes to see the value of an experience in the NAIA,” Mace said. At the moment, the Frontier Conference will have eight football teams in 2012-13, and nine teams for basketball and women’s volleyball. “We are poised and ready to become the premier conference in the NAIA,” Frontier Commissioner Kent Paulson told The Billings Gazette. More schools may be on the horizon for the Frontier, noted Mace. Jamestown College (N.Dak.) and Menlo College (Calif.) need to make more decisions based on information they learned before committing to the Frontier. The Conference will likely be divided into two divisions, according to RMC Athletic Director Robert Beers.


Insider By Michael R. Mace, President

Winter Reveries: A Lesson from the River Just remember in the winter

Far beneath the bitter snow Lies the seed

That with the sun’s love, in the spring Becomes the rose

■ From The Rose, Bette Midler The river is iced over, still with miniature rivulets caught in mid wave. You can hear its slumber, a soft snore as the current flows beneath, while snow settles softly on its surface, and bare trees cast skeletal shadows on a winter’s day. I stop by the river, as I do many rivers, many winter days, just so I can understand it in the seasons. You see, I am a fly fisherman, but not just a fair weather one. The best seasons are when I am standing on river-smoothed stones, leafy shadows dappling the running current, the sun warming my back, and a rod flexed in my palm. But autumn, when the dry leaves flutter down before moistening in the water and sink into bright layers on the bottom, are good days to come to the river, too, as are days when winter’s light slants, the dark comes quicker, and you can barely discern the slabs of trout merged along the stone-speckled bottom. You can do a lot of thinking on a river. The season may color your thinking, but that’s good. Thinking should have seasons. Here at the water’s edge is where, as RMC President, my vision for the future of the academy now and again flows. One constant thought I have when I come down the grassy

bank before standing to take a long look up and down and around, is how much this act of fly fishing reminds me of what we do at Rocky Mountain College. We bring our young students to the rivers of learning. We show them how to cast their lines on the river. There are days we could bring them here when they will never un-sheath their rods and reels. There will be days when they’ll struggle for footing on the muddy, icy banks, and days when they’ll shiver as the wind comes on and penetrates to their bones. So is the spirit and challenge of a college education. Sometimes it’s not easy. Sometimes the rejection felt in the critique by a professor makes one feel as though they are slipping down an icy bank. They may find days that are frightening as well as challenging, and days of anxious anticipation and worry. But that is why we come with them, we more seasoned river readers. We reassure them, teach them, show them, guide them, and watch as they learn to flick a line into the perfect spot, to see the trout rise to the fly, and the rod bow with the weight of “their” life’s successes. The long cast is a challenge that promises opportunity. The long cast is a prayer we can tell them will be answered. I know the lyrics to Bette Midler’s song, The Rose, are so often sung by so many people that they become hackneyed, but those words from the song that began this column are what I think about when I stand by a winter river. That is what our learning is all about. We cast the seed of knowledge so that we can graduate the educated person, who will one day bloom. Some day, with our help, all those seeds that are our students will become roses.

Focus on Alumni & Friends

Earning an MBA Degree to Complement Her Ph.D If there is a key to Staci Stanford’s life, it is one she does not hesitate to use to open new doors. Staci, who graduated from Rocky Mountain College in 2001, began her RMC experience after finding her classes at a public college were “uninspired and boring.” Staci preferred Rocky when she conducted her college quest, but didn’t think she could afford a private school. “My mom felt differently when she realized I was not being challenged. She knew the quality of a Rocky education, and the biology program was the strongest in the state. She said we’d find a way, and we did,” Staci said. Staci was soon immersed in the pre-med program, encouraged and motivated by Dr. Claire Oakley, RMC’s professor of biology and allied health, currently teaching in both the biology and physician assistant programs. “She was tough, but if you were serious about your studies, you could count on her,” Staci said. Dr. Oakley and Dr. Cristi Hunnes, RMC professor of chemistry and another

Photo: Dave M. Shumway, RMC

Staci Sanford, RMC’01, is combining her passion for science with her interest in finance. After earning a Ph.D in neuroscience, Sanford is tackling her MBA.

important influence, opened Staci’s eyes to the importance of research. “There are always questions to be

answered, and that was intellectually stimulating to me and one major reason that I chose to go into a Ph.D program in neuroscience,” Staci said. After graduating from Rocky with honors, Staci chose the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center for her postgraduate education, largely because of the strong research effort in neuroscience, but also because of the opportunities to work in clinical situations. “UCHSC is on the leading edge of neuroscience research. It’s impressive and I wanted to be a part of that,” Staci said. “I finished my Ph.D in 2008, and then did a two year postdoc at UCHSC. I split time between the lab and the clinical trials office at University Hospital learning the ins and outs of clinical trial development and regulation.” From some technology transfer and bio-entrepreneur courses Staci took during her thesis work, she discovered she also loved the finance side of research. (Please see Alumni & Friends on back page)


Third Annual Honors Invitational

Photo: Dave M. Shumway, RMC

Nearly 200 students from across Montana came to RMC in February. They were accepted into the 3rd Annual RMC Honors Invitational Choir and Band, which performed at Alberta Bair Theatre.

From Across Montana, They Brought Sweet Sounds nights they were here. This allows more given the unique combination of colleBlessed by a grant from the Billings students the opportunity to travel to Billgiate-level training, kicked back socialTourism Board, the generosity of many ings and participate in this event. The izing, and, ultimately, the performance donors and businesses, the hard work ClockTower Inn and Stella’s Kitchen and with combined college and high school of the Rocky Mountain College music Bakery combined resources to provide ensembles, faculty and admissions staff, and motiinexpensive hotel rates and a free breakThe families of many of the particivated by two previous successful years pants came to see their stuof bringing Montana high dents perform, adding an school students to Billings, economic boost to the city. the third year was a great Over 700 people attended success when Rocky Mounthe concert Friday evening, tain College hosted the and enjoyed songs such as Third Annual RMC Invita“Earthdance” and “America tional Honors Concert. the Beautiful.” This year, 180 high school While hosting the concert students were accepted into not only provides an outthe 2011 Honor Choir and standing performance for the Band. Students came from community, it also exposes all over Montana, Colorado, students to the College. The Idaho, and Wyoming. Most Honors Concert serves as an traveled all day Wednesday opportunity for young musito be ready for rehearsal cians to develop their skills bright and early Thursday while also providing a taste morning. Rehearsal wasn’t for music at Rocky. the only thing that students “We are always delighted engaged in as they also to hear how much students participated in an Open Mic enjoy coming to our camnight enjoying each other’s pus. Their time here can help talents, a workshop on them make a decision about keeping music in their life attending RMC in the future. throughout college, and good Photo: Dave M. Shumway, RMC I know that this year we had meals with good company. The students rehearsed under the direction of RMC faculty, and then presented a free several students say that this Thanks to generous public concert at Alberta Bair Theatre. is where they wanted to be donors, the concert was next year,” Schallock said. free to all participants. Sevfast, as well. Note: Photos from the event are eral businesses, such as Back Porch Deli According to Christa Schallock, RMC available at photos.rocky.edu, click on and Old Chicago Restaurant, provided enrollment services representative and Academics, Choir, Invitational Honors. Rediscounted meals to RMC, which was 2011 Honors Concert coordinator, some quests for high resolution photos should able to provide the meals for free. The students described the Honors Concert be addressed to Dave Shumway, RMC only thing that students had to cover as the single best music event of the year, photographer, at shumway07@rocky.edu. was their travel and hotel rooms for the


Neighbor to Neighbor

It’s February: Blessed by Many Valentines By Barb Skelton, Chairman of the Board of Rocky Mountain College recently in the 40 Under 40 OutstandJohn Fitzgerald Kennedy said, “As we express our gratiing Leaders for 2011: Kelly Edwards, tude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is Kayhan Ostovar, Michael Unquera, and not to utter words, but to live by them.” Elizabeth McNeilly represent this ColThose words came to mind recently when I was doing lege very well in the community. what I like to do best--thank people. For some, that is a Could we ask for anything better than the news articles chore. For some, it is an afterthought. But I was raised, as about our Physician Assistant Program? Dr. Bob Wilmouth you’re probably tired of hearing, to value neighbors. You and his team are achieving spectacular results with one of might think the fellow across the fence was a hard-to-getour most neighborly along-with crank, programs. but when he We have a good showed up to help neighbor and friend in you get your cows Ben Steele. It’s taken off the highway books to describe and back into your what a remarkable fenced pasture, you man Ben is. A survivor were grateful. And of the Bataan Death your dad might box March and Japanese your ears if you prison camps, his art forgot to tell that saved him, but sharing neighbor thanks. his art enlightens us. A neighbor might Recently we received think you were some of his collection pretty uppity, too, because he felt Rocky but heaven help would be a good you if you sat on home for some of his your hands when work in Billings, and his wife took to bed he appreciated what sick and you failed our College has done to take a casserole in the community. As to him. my good friend, Obert After a while, Undem, told me, “The saying thanks gift evidences the rebecomes a good gard held by this fine habit, one of those things that you know Photo: Dave M. Shumway, RMC artist and long-time institutional friend for makes you feel as Rocky Mountain Colgood or better than Ben Steele signed six charcoal life model drawings he donated to RMC. Steele also presented the College with one of his sketchbooks. lege.” the person you’re Dr. David and Mrs. thanking. It doesn’t Marilyn Klein donated become automatic or less genuine than saying please, eithe 1991 edition of Russell Chatham’s “Montana Suite” colther. In fact, I was taught the two went together. Please lend lection. These four numbered and framed lithographs us a hand. Thanks for doing so. are, “Beaverhead Summer Twilight,” “Boulder Valley Fall,” And as President Kennedy said, we learn to live by the “Silver Bow Winter Dusk,” “Sweet Grass Spring Evening.” words we say. Total donation was $37,000, which is a fantastic addition So, consider this month another month like all the others to the collection of artist proof Chatham prints we received when I’ve written a column to recognize good neighbors over a year ago from Helori Graff. and to thank them for being good neighbors. Consider this We celebrated some wonderful friends this month at our another month that I profoundly pledge we will be good annual scholarship luncheon. This is a small gesture to recneighbors, too. ognize people who have provided opportunity for our stuIf anyone needs an example of what a devoted alumni dents, but it always makes me happy to see those students and friend is, we have him in Bob FitzGerald, RMC’64, who seated with their benefactors so they can see who makes was honored with an alumni association award for service at their education possible and allows scholarship providers to this year’s Candlelight Dinner. Also receiving an award is an see what a good investment they’ve made. example of the servant leader we pride ourselves on. Dustin What good news we had earlier this week about the Smith, RMC’05, was honored with the alumni association expansion of the Frontier Conference. I’m not a huge sports achievement award, flying missions of mercy and hope in fan, except, I confess, when it comes to equestrian compeAfrica. tition--and, by the way, our equestrian team is doing fantasWhat a terrific group of students we have in our Students tic. I recognize the hard work Mike Mace and Bobby Beers In Free Enterprise (SIFE) organization. Not only are they did to create this growth, which means expanded opportuworking on a project to help Head Start reduce heating nity for our students and growth for our school. costs by converting its furnace to burn recycled fuel oil, but I know I’m leaving someone or something out, so please they are also helping a student and his girlfriend with a projforgive me. I will never have enough time to thank everyone. ect for diabetes research, as well as introducing students in But if that’s a problem, it’s a good one. three Billings middle schools to free enterprise by helping It’s February. them launch businesses in their schools. You are all my Valentines. How about our four exceptional young leaders recognized


Focus on Friends

Scholarship Luncheon Honors Generous Benefactors As someone who received a scholarship that was crucial not only for her opportunity to receive an education, but also to enjoy the whole college experience, Miranda Ainsley provided an interesting personal perception about the value of scholarships. Miranda has always worked hard, and she helps pay for her Rocky education with a job as assistant manager at City Brew, so, even with scholarships, she works 30 hours a week. “Without the scholarships, I would not be able to be as involved as I am in college life,” she said. “I might only be going to class and studying, but the scholarship help gives me the opportunity to experience much more of what college life should be. It allows me to have a total educational experience above my expectations,” she said. That was just one Photo: Dave M. Shumway, RMC description by a student at the annual scholarship Richard Brown, representing the Keith Brown luncheon held this month Endowed Scholarship, visits with Obert Undem, RMC director of planned giving. in the Great Hall. The luncheon brings together those who provide the scholarships and those who benefit from those scholarships. “We cannot thank our donors enough, but one good way to show our appreciation is for them to meet the wonderful students who are benefiting from their generosity,” said Vicki Davison, RMC director of development. “They see what a good investment they’ve made in the future.” Honored at the luncheon were William and Lorraine Baker

Endowed Scholarship, represented by Lorraine Baker; Keith Brown Endowed Scholarship, represented by Richard Brown; Winston Cox Scholarship, represented by Dick and Cheri Cox; Margaret Eddy Endowed Scholarship, represented by Richard Eddy and Dan and Celia Scheihing; Charles and Helen Erickson Scholarship, represented by Helen Erickson; Berv and Virginia Kimberley Scholarship, represented by the Kimberleys; Ruth B. Ping Endowed Scholarship, represented by Margaret Ping; George Stickney Family Scholarship, represented by Edwin and Jessica Stickney; and Ralph Rauh Music Scholarship, represented by Palma Wolverton. Also addressing the luncheon guests was Jesse Murphy, 2008 President’s Cup winner and founder of MyFight, an organization that fights poverty in third world countries. Murphy, Photo: Dave M. Shumway, RMC who completed four majors at Rocky and Miranda Ainsely addressed guests at the graduated summa cum annual RMC Scholarship Luncheon, thanking laude, has forged a close scholarship donors. friendship with Dick and Cheri Cox after being a recipient of the Winston Cox Scholarship when he was a student. “You lose if you let your relationship end with a check,” he told scholarship students in attendance. “The relationship with donors is indisputably one of the best things that can happen to you when it continues after your time here. It will enrich your life.”

Celebrating Candlelight Dustin Smith was unable to attend the 102nd Annual RMC Candlelight Dinner, but his mom, Lesley Bruce Smith, left, was on hand to accept the annual RMC Alumni Association Achievement Award on his behalf. Smith, RMC’05, was honored for his service as a pilot flying missions of mercy and hope in the Congo. Also honored was Bob FitzGerald, RMC’64, right, with friend Alice Lyon, whose late husband, Robert, was one of Fitz’s professors. Introduced by close friend, Rusty Harper, RMC’73, “Fitz” was recognized for six decades of service to his alma mater. This was one of the best Candlelight Dinners held at Rocky, according to many stalwart attendees. As President Michael Mace said in his welcoming remarks, the dinner is not meant to be a re-enactment of the first dinner held 102 years ago, but rather a renewal of the pioneering spirit of those early educators and students, and an affirmation of their purpose to “keep the candles of enlightenment burning.” Also speaking was Sam Cornthwaite, an RMC sophomore majoring in organizational leadership, who is also founder of Parallel 49 Strategies. Cornthwaite spoke about how a gift of $50 from Amos Prescott to help buy a load of coal grew into continuing support from the New York City businessman. Prescott Hall, used for so many college occasions, is named for this early donor. RMC Board Chair Barb Skelton had the honor of reading a congratulatory letter to Fitz from U.S. Senator Max Baucus. Music was provided by Lance Hansen, accompanied by Tony Huang.


All About Our Students (Continued from front page)

“The SAS (Services for Academic Success) was really important. I received SAS scholarships my freshman and sophomore years that kept me going.” Graduating this spring, the daughter of William and Michelle Nelson will aim at another important goal, that is, entering a bachelor of nursing program leading to a doctorate program with an emphasis on women’s health. “I hope to eventually become a nurse practitioner, and want to focus on aiding women in labor and delivery,” she said. Rocky will always be a major influence, she added. “This has been a positive educational experience that has prepared me for my future, and I appreciate the extra time and effort my professors gave me in and out of class to help me succeed. I was never just a number.” Except for when she donned her soccer jersey, she joked.

Alumni & Friends (Continued from inside)

“They say scientists don’t make good business people, and business people don’t make good scientists, but I decided to challenge that theory,” Staci said. “If you can’t find ways to finance research, then there won’t be research.” With her newly-minted Ph.D, she decided to add a masters in business administration to her repertoire. “I enrolled in the Daniels School of Business (at the University of Denver) and landed an internship with a mid-level investment bank in Denver,” she said. Interested in bio-business incubators--the kinds of business investments that develop patents to finance continuing research and development--she was delighted that her internship is engaged in biotechnology and pharmacology capital raises, mergers and acquisitions, and licensing. “It has been a wonderful experience thus far,” Staci said. “This is what I want to do, be involved from bench to bedside, meaning the whole process from lab to patient care.” From Bridger, Montana, to Denver has been an interesting journey, but more importantly, a purposeful one. “I ended up choosing a bit different path than most, but I really enjoy it,” she said. “Rocky definitely was an essential part of what I’ve chosen to do, and how successful I have been in doing it.”

Coming Attractions THROUGH MARCH 4 “Digital Art,” an exhibit from the Computer Science Department of Rocky Mountain College, continues. Gallery hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. This exhibit is an attempt to explore some of the ways computers have influenced the world of art. Exhibiting artists are from the Computer Science Department. For more information, Sally McIntosh, Ryniker-Morrison Gallery director, (406) 259-6563/ mcintoshart@imt.net. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 19 – SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 20 Rocky Mountain College will be hosting the three Western shows as well as the Regional show at the Intermountain Equestrian Center. For more information, Meredith Burton, RMC IHSA Equestrian Team Captain, (719) 641-6421/ meredith.burton@rocky.edu. MONDAY, FEB. 28 – SUNDAY, MARCH 6 Mid-term break. FRIDAY, MARCH 18 – THURSDAY, APRIL 14 Spring 2011 Art Student Exhibit opens, with a free public reception on March 18 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. For more information, Sally McIntosh, Ryniker-Morrison Gallery director, (406) 259- 6563/ mcintoshart@imt.net. SATURDAY, MARCH 19 - SUNDAY MARCH 20 RMC’s Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) is hosting a 3-on-3 basketball tournament. Details are available by contacting Angela Stewart, SIFE president, (406) 8559880/ angela.stewart@rocky.edu. FRIDAY, MARCH 25 – SATURDAY, APRIL 2 The RMC Theatre Program performs “California Suite” in the Billings Studio Theatre on March 25, 26, 31, April 1 & 2. There will be a special showing for RMC night on March 30. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors/students, and $6 for RMC family. For more information, Gearld Roe, RMC professor, Theatre Arts, (406) 657-1111/ roeg@rocky.edu. FRIDAY, APRIL 15 Last day to submit nominations for the RMC Athletic Hall of Fame. A nomination form is available at http://bismuth. rocky.edu/fame.php, or you may contact Vicki Davison, RMC director of development, 406-657-1005/ vicki.davison@rocky.edu.


Rocky Now - February 2011