SENIOR SAMPLER Accepting and conquering a challenge was routine for Maggie Weber, scaling a rock wall to test her limits.
The President’s Cup is presented by RMC President Michael Mace to two graduating seniors, one male and one female, based on scholarship, leadership and contributions to RMC and the greater community. Faculty make the ﬁnal selection. The Dean’s Cup, presented by RMC Academic Vice President and Provost Anthony Piltz, goes to the male and female seniors with the highest cumulative grade point average. This year the President’s Cup was awarded to Margaret (Maggie) Weber, and Harald Carlsson. The Dean’s Cup was awarded to Erica Wall and William Scott. This photo of Maggie Weber, climbing a rough rock face, to test her conﬁdence and have the experience is indicative of how 2012 seniors accepted challenges and were always above average achievers. Above average is the number of all seniors graduating with honors. Earning cum laude, magna cum
HARALD CARLSSON Harald Carlsson came to Rocky Mountain College from Sweden, and made a name for himself on the 2011 National Champion Ski Team, but he also proved just as accomplished in the classroom and community as he was Harald Carlsson donned a sombrero on the slopes. to acknowledge Cinco de Mayo, which
FACING CHALLENGES, TESTING LIMITS Every May, Rocky Now focuses on the winners of two prestigious awards at Rocky Mountain College: the President’s Cup and the Dean’s Cup.
PRESIDENT’S CUP WINNERS
laude and summa cum laude honors are 57 seniors – that’s better than a quarter of the class. Those seniors are well represented in the dean’s honor roll where RMC has 265 students making the grade, literally. This is a college where exceeding expectations becomes the norm. This is a class that had students who helped win the top 5-star rating for the NAIA Champions of Character; scored four National Science Space Consortium grants; took top honors at regional, semi-regional and national equestrian competition; beat out Air Force for the safety award in aviation and earned a berth at nationals; won the regional Students in Free Enterprise competition and earned a spot at nationals; and this was a class that pitched in to support Relay for Life, Habitat for Humanity, the Billings Rescue Mission, the Billings Food Bank, and the Rose Park Elementary School literacy project, just to name a few community efforts. It was a class that demonstrated they not only learned the lessons of leadership, but also put them into action.
Majoring in business fell on the same day as RMC’s 130th management and Commencement. Carlsson and Maggie managerial accounting, Weber, as 2012 President’s Cup winCarlsson considers one ners, were Class of 2012 speakers. of his most signiﬁcant achievements to be winning the President’s Cup, more so than being a part of the team that won the 2011 national championship Continued on back page
MARGARET (MAGGIE) WEBER Double majoring in art and sociology with a minor in music, Margaret (Maggie) Weber, from Kouts, Indiana, is a 2012 President’s Cup winner. Maggie was a tireless student, graduating magna cum laude, while working as a resident advisor for Joining in the fun, Maggie Weber also two years and then as wore a sombrero as she delivered her a resident advisor and message to her fellow graduates. apartment manager. One of the accomplishments she is most proud of is “pushing for more photography classes and a change in the Continued on back page
DEAN’S CUP WINNERS WILLIAM (BILL) SCOTT William (Bill) Scott was featured in the All About Our Students section of Rocky Now two years ago because he was an example of a “non-traditional” RMC student with an interesting reason for going back to college: he thought it would be great to graduate with his son, Jeremy, meaning there would be two college educated family members. As it turned out, Jeremy graduated in 2010 and Bill postponed graduating until this year. He wanted to complete a degree that would set him up to teach. This year, Bill realized a lifelong dream, with all the ﬁxings. He completed his B.S. in education, social studies broadﬁeld, and a B.A. in history, graduating summa cum laude. “I think the most signiﬁcant achievement is that I ﬁnally ﬁnished my college education, only 40 years after graduating from high school in Saco, Maine. To win the Dean’s Cup for having the highest GPA among the male students in the class is pretty cool, too,” he said. Why /how did you choose Rocky Mountain College? I decided on RMC after my son came here to go to school. My mother-in-law, a long-time
Billings resident, has wanted a member of the family to go to school here for years. Since no one in her direct bloodline has yet attended Rocky, I thought that my son, Jeremy, and I would grant her wish. Who (professors, coaches, staff ) do you regard as having an important impact on your college life? I think the two people that helped me the most were Dr. Tim Lehman (RMC professor, history and political science) and Dr. Shelley Ellis (RMC professor, secondary education). Tim helped me to understand that teaching history can be fun, for both the teacher and the students. Shelley taught me how to carry myself in front of a classroom and really prepared me to take on a classroom of my own. What do you consider to be the best opportunities RMC offers? Rocky offers an authentic learning environment for her students: kids in geology classes get out and explore geologic formations; education students work with real students in real classrooms; environmental science students work with local, state, and federal agencies to study and solve real-life environmental issues, and the list goes on and on. Rocky gives its students a chance to venture out and experience life in the professional world while still students.
Bill Scott receives his diploma during the 130th RMC Commencement. Continued on back page
ERICA WALL Erica Wall won’t move far from home or college after graduating summa cum laude. The Billings native begins her post-graduate career at her alma mater, where she will become the new RMC web journalist. Wall, who majored in literary studies and history, won the outstanding academic awards in both departments and the Dean’s Cup. “It was really rewarding to see my hard work ﬁnally paid off,” she said of her years at RMC. Why/how did you choose Rocky Mountain College? I began classes at RMC as a senior in high school as part of the Running Start program, and immediately loved the fact that my professors knew my name within the ﬁrst week of classes and took an active interest in me and my progress both in and out of the classroom. The closeknit community RMC provided was just what I was looking for in a college. Running Start is an opportunity for high school seniors to begin taking college classes early, while having the credits earned applied to both high school and college transcripts. Who (professors, coaches, staff ) do you regard as having an important impact on your college life? All the faculty, from the English and history
departments, have had an impact on me, but when forced to pick, I’d say that Drs. Steve Germic (RMC associate professor, English), Andrew Kirk (RMC professor, English), and Dr. Matt O’Gara (RMC associate professor, political science) have had an enormous impact on my college life. Both Dr. Kirk and Dr. O’Gara have really challenged me as a student and writer to become the best I can be; they always offer constructive criticism to help me improve, but they also continually encourage me that I am doing better than I think. Dr. Germic has given me so many opportunities to grow and improve, both as a student and person in classroom and work situations, that I’m forever grateful and indebted to him. What do you consider to be the best opportunities RMC offers? I’d say that some of the best opportunities RMC offers are the sense of community and personal interest. Everybody knows everybody and cares -- faculty, staff, and other students all want you to succeed and do well both at Rocky and in the future. If you have any advice for RMC students, what would it be? I’d say this: take advantage of the professors at Rocky. Classes here aren’t taught by teaching assistants, but by the actual professors, and they are so willing to help you succeed and grow in any way possible.
Erica Wall accepts her diploma from RMC President Michael Mace.
LEGACY: BROTHER AND SISTER SHARE RMC BOND CA R SE N AND KAYLEE MYHR E advisor for veterinary-related legislation. I can see myself getting involved in international trade regulations and relations, as well as international development and capacity building in disease prevention, particularly vaccination of humans and animals,” she “My parents love Montana and said. our leisurely trips from MinneNewly-minted graduate Carsen has not sota helped me decide I was going had time yet to build the kind of post-RMC West. When touring RMC, I had no experiences his sister has, but there seems doubts that the College would be little doubt that he will establish a similar my home,” Kaylee said. success story. His zest for competition and Brother Carsen had a similar noachievement was evident when he became tion. He beneﬁted from his older a member – and student coach – of RMC’s sister‘s assessment of RMC before 2011 United States College Ski Association he chose to follow four years later. championship mens’ team. Carsen’s penShe graduated in 2008; he graduatchant for people was evident while he was ed this May. For both, RMC was the a student. He was a team leader of Student home away from home they hoped Activities, which plans talent shows, conto ﬁnd. Both also found RMC was certs and community service events. a place that prepared them for the “The thing that drives me is working next chapter. with people,” he said, echoing what really “I always had a dream of going excited him about the ski championship. to veterinary school, so my courses “Winning was great, but the best part was were tailored to the health profesthe friendships I made.” sions. I graduated with a bachelor in Like several of his ski teammates, Carsen science as a biology major,” Kaylee concentrated on business courses, scoring said. an internship with Excel Plastics in MinneHer RMC record ﬁt perfectly sota that “really helped build my conﬁdence when she was accepted to the Uniabout how I could handle a real life business versity of Minnesota Veterinary Colexperience.” lege of Veterinary Medicine right Carsen credits Scott Severance and after graduation. James Smith, RMC business professors, for While at Minnesota,Kaylee spent preparing him for the business world. His a summer sponsored by Merck love of people and courses in economics Merial working in a human pharKaylee Myhre, RMC 2008, made sure she attended RMC Commencement to see her and business are reasons he eventually sees macogenomic lab at the Pharmacy brother, Carsen, celebrate his graduation this year. himself in sales. School. “They have a wealth of knowledge and The following summer, she spent share real experiences,” he said. “I can’t see three months in Geneva, Switzerland, myself sitting at a desk. I want to be out meetLooking back both Kaylee and Carsen, even working at the World Health Orgaing people and interacting in the world of nization. While there, she studied while separated by four years at RMC, share marketing and selling.” how humans and how animals share the opinion that RMC is built by students His enthusiasm as a “people person” has set a multitude of diseases, and animals him up for his ﬁrst job, as an admissions repretoday, as it was a century ago when students pose signiﬁcant risks to food safety. sentative for his alma mater. Promoting RMC During her clinical year of veteriquarried rock for the ﬁrst buildings. to prospects should not be a tough sell given nary school, she worked in Washhow he feels about his college. ington, D.C. at the United States Looking back both Kaylee and Carsen, Department of Agriculture, and also even while separated by four years at RMC, share worked at the Institute of Agriculture in Buenos the opinion that RMC is built by students today, Hoeﬂe went on to RMC’s PA Program, and Eva Aires, Argentina. as it was a century ago when students quarried Pulleva works in chemical engineering in San “I am conﬁdent that I never would have tairock for the ﬁrst buildings. Diego, Calif.). I remember her taking the time to lored my veterinary school degree with this many “You build your life here, you ﬁll it up, and you review my personal statement for vet school, in interesting opportunities had Rocky not allowed also build something for the students coming which she basically sent me back to the drawing me to set the path,” Kaylee said. behind you,” Kaylee said. “I would encourage all board because I wasn’t highlighting myself apThe close relationship between faculty and stucurrent and future students to see opportunity propriately. I am convinced her advice helped me dents was a major attraction when Kaylee came around every corner, and seek to make those opget accepted.” to RMC, and it proved essential. portunities into tangible realities. Be it new clubs, Kaylee’s success continues. She was selected as “There were so many professors that were weekend trips, revised majors, or internships and one of only three veterinarians to work on Capitol great inﬂuences in my career at Rocky, but one in travel experiences . . . at Rocky, truly you can Hill for a one year Fellowship through the Ameriparticular is Dr. Oakley. She took a real interest in foster your own amazing experience that will live can Veterinary Medical Association. advising me as well as my roommates (also in the on for other students to enjoy and build upon in “I will spend time working for representatives, health professions -- Nicole Ruske is in Medical the years to follow.” senators, or Congressional committees as a policy School at Albert Einstein in New York, Katelyn
Trips to Big Sky with their family convinced Kaylee and Carsen Myhre that when it came time to go to college, they’d choose Montana.
PRESIDENT’S CUP / Continued from front cover
Maggie Weber and Harald Carlsson received the 2012 President’s Cup Award from Michael Mace, RMC president, at the annual academic awards banquet.
Carlsson . . . for skiing and placing second individually in the slalom event his freshman year, 2009. But most important? “The greatest achievement of them all, I consider to be all the friendships that I have made during my four years at this ﬁnest of institutions,” Carlsson said. Here are some other observations by RMC’s President’s Cup winner, in his own words. Why/how did you choose Rocky Mountain College? I choose Rocky initially because of the ski team. I considered going to school in Sweden, but in doing that I would have had to quit skiing. Therefore, I came to Rocky because of its location in the mountains, the size of the school and the welcoming attitude of the admissions staff, the international director and the ski coach. Who (professors, coaches, staff ) do you regard as having an important impact on your college life? I regard Anthony Piltz (RMC academic vice president and provost) as having had a life changing impact on me during my college experience, this, through being a boss and a professor. Having had the opportunity to spend so much time around Anthony, gave me the chance to learn outside of the classroom as well as during lectures. I also regard James
Smith (RMC business professor) as one of the professors having a major impact on my life, by constantly answering my questions and sparking my interest in corporate ﬁnance. What do you consider to be the best opportunities RMC offers? RMC offers the opportunity to learn inside the walls of the classroom, as well as outside. The professors are very approachable and they will help you achieve your goals and build your resume in every way imaginable. What are your plans after graduation? I have accepted a position as head of sales and marketing with Vale Wine Company in Boise, Idaho. First and foremost, I will enjoy some time with my family who made their way over the Atlantic to see me graduate. My father (Per), sister (Tove) and brother (Henning), will be taking a road trip from Los Angeles to Portland. My mother (Kristina) will then help me relocate and stay with me in Boise for a few days before work begins. If you have any advice for RMC students, what would it be? Always focus on the learning over the GPA. Create as many experiences as you can, be proactive in your learning, and don’t go into college with the mindset that you know it all. Learning is a continuous process, and being open to the opinions of others is as important as anything a textbook can teach you.
Weber . . . art major set up.” Maggie was known for her curiosity, exuberance – “Sure, I’ll try rock climbing” – and community leadership. Why/how did you choose Rocky Mountain College? I chose Rocky Mountain College because of Austin Mapston. Initially I was looking other places. Once I applied, though, Austin was great at keeping in touch, made me feel welcome, and helped me to understand what the Rocky community was all about. Who (professors, coaches, staff ) do you regard as having an important impact on your college life? Ron Cochran (RMC professor, anthropology and sociology), Jim Baken and Mark Moak (RMC art
professors),Rhett Moak (RMC adjunct art instructor), Sam Hamm (RMC associate professor, music), and Jen Bratz (RMC assistant professor, music). Each of these professors helped me to better understand their area of study but also communicated their passion for it. I was able to pick up on their knowledge, but also their life lessons. Through each one of them, I was able to develop a greater understanding and appreciation of their ﬁeld of study. I can say with conﬁdence that I would not be the person I am today without these advisors. They are incredible people and I am blessed to have been given the opportunity to absorb some of their knowledge. What do you consider to be the best opportunities RMC offers? Rocky has an amazing atmosphere of community. The relationships I have made with peers and faculty have changed my life. Though I think the most important part of Rocky, apart from the relationships, is the availability of opportunity. Going to Italy was a life-changing experience. Rocky made this possible and attainable. You don’t get that at other schools. At Rocky, you are not just a number or a name. You are a part of the family, and your family is going to help you get wherever you desire to go. What are your plans after graduation? Following graduation, I am going home to work at a bakery, work as a youth leader, and to help jump-start a missions program at the Cornerstone Community Church. In addition to this, I will be working on getting my photography business up and running. My goal is to lead missions and share my experiences through photography. If you have any advice for RMC students, what would it be? Take every opportunity that you can. Go on a study abroad trip; you cannot replace that experience with anything. Listen to the knowledge your professors share because you never know when it is going to open the door for great things. Meet people, ask them their story. Share your story and be an active part in the Rocky community. Anything else you think might be important for readers to understand about your relationship with the College? Rocky has been a great place to spend my college days. I learned a million things and grew in so many ways. It’s one of those things that you don’t realize until you look back to who you were before you got to Rocky, and compare it to who you are when you leave.
DEAN’S CUP / Continued from front cover
Erica Wall and Bill Scott, with his granddaughter, received the 2012 Dean’s Cup Award from Anthony Piltz, RMC academic vice president and provost.
What are your plans after graduation? I will student teach at Riverside Middle School in the fall and then will be seeking a teaching job at the secondary level here in Billings. One option that is open to me, and one that I am familiar with after spending 31 years in the Air Force, is to teach overseas in a Department of Defense Dependent school -- my wife and I are exploring this one. If you have any advice for RMC students, what would it be? Work hard and take advantage of the knowledge hidden in the heads of your professors; they are subject matter experts and have lots to share with any student who is truly interested. College should be fun, but no matter your interest area, one thing to keep in mind is that when you ﬁnish school, life is next; make sure you are prepared for it as the world won’t wait for you.