A Little Juice for New Orleans
The Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans has received a little “juice” from up north. UM’s Environmental Studies Program provided a portable solar power system built by its director, Len Broberg, to help in rebuilding areas of the ward that were devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
Broberg traveled to New Orleans in May to deliver the solar power system, which will be used in a project with Kansas State University, the Tulane City Center, and Project Locus. The portable system will provide solar power for tools used to rebuild the House of Dance and Feathers, a community museum of Mardi Gras Indian history, and museum owner Ronald Lewis’ home, which is located on the same site.
“We want to encourage people to think about solar power as they rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf Coast,” Broberg says. “More solar power means less greenhouse gas emissions.”
After the Lower Ninth Ward construction project is completed, the portable solar system will be used by community-based organizations in the area for various reconstruction and educational purposes. The Tulane City Center, which is coordinating multiple university and community partnerships throughout New Orleans, will manage future use of the system.
Students and professors from the UM program have traveled to New Orleans several times to aid in the rebuilding process.
Dan Etheridge, assistant director of the center, is encouraged by the simple application of such appropriate technology at a time when there is much talk and little action regarding progressive rebuilding strategies.
“With so much work to be done, it is too easy not to include options like solar power in the rebuilding process,” Etheridge says.
It’s Tinkle time
You can look at it as the end of a short era or the continuation of a potentially long one. In June UM basketball coach Larry Krystkowiak left the University to join the NBA Milwaukee Bucks as an assistant coach; his head assistant coach, Wayne Tinkle, was tapped for the top spot at UM.
Krystkowiak (42-20), who still holds the record at UM for most points scored as a player, led the Grizzly basketball team to two straight NCAA tournament appearances in the two years he coached at UM, the first coach to achieve that goal.
Tinkle has been an assistant coach for five seasons, the last two for Krystkowiak. He played for the Grizzlies on teams with “Krysko” in the 1980s and was a three-time Big Sky Conference all-league selection from his sophomore through his senior seasons. In a professional career that spanned twelve years, he played in the Continental Basketball League in Topeka, Kansas, and Venezuela. The final four seasons were played in Spain, where he ranked among the league’s top scorers and rebounders.
“We are very fortunate to have someone like Wayne Tinkle waiting in the wings,” says UM Athletic Director Jim O’Day. “For the past several years he’s been a stable rock on our staff. As we’ve gone through some coaching changes, he has been the one constant, and this will give him an opportunity to show his talents.”
“I can’t express how excited I am to have the opportunity,” Tinkle says. “During my playing days, we could have picked anywhere to live, and we always came back to Missoula. We love the city and the state, and we wanted to be around the program. To now be able to run the program, along with my staff, is a dream come true.”
American Indian Leaders Rise
The University’s American Indian community celebrated two key achievements in the spring. UM’s student chapter of the Native American Journalists Association was approved—the first official chapter—and alumnus Joshua Brown ’01, MPA ’04, was chosen as one of Native America’s eighteen brightest new leaders and invited to participate in the landmark American Indian Ambassadors Program.
The NAJA chapter will serve as a resource for American Indians and other students in UM’s School of Journalism, says Luella Brien, who was a leader in the effort to get official NAJA status. Brien graduated in 2006 and is now a reporter for the Ravalli Republic in Hamilton.
“We are so excited to hear that we got our chapter from NAJA,” Brien says. “Half of all NAJA members are students, and student chapters are vital to retaining members.” Adam Sings In The Timber will serve as president of the chapter during the next academic year.
UM’s J-School has been a leader in creating a voice for and mentoring American Indian journalists with its Reznet Web site and Native News Honors Project.
Brown, a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, has traveled the world studying indigenous language revitali-zation efforts and is a co-founder of the Salish Language Immersion School for children. Currently, he is designing a language teacher-training program at Salish Kootenai College.
The ambassadors program he will participate in is spearheaded by Americans for Indian Opportunity and draws upon traditional indigenous values to empower new generations of leaders.
During the two-year program, participants will attend four weeklong gatherings to meet with key decision-makers and national and international leaders.
“Our applicant pool was especially com-petitive this year,” says Laura Harris, executive director of AIO. “The eighteen individuals chosen already exhibit exceptional leadership skills, so our program aims to further strengthen their talents by reaffirming their cultural values, cultivating their community organizing skills, and rebuilding a network of people and resources they can utilize throughout their careers.”
The President's Corner
In the last decade of the nineteenth and first of the twentieth century, the faculty and staff of the University of Wisconsin coined and translated into reality a conception of the role of a public university. According to that conception, the boundaries of the state serve as the walls of the university, conveying the message that the university must do everything possible to serve the needs of all the people of the state. UM has accepted and endorsed that conception in the effort to make certain that we do indeed serve all of the people of the state of Montana. This issue of the Montanan offers some insights as to the meaningfulness and depth of that acceptance.
One article explains how faculty and students from the Environmental Studies Program collaborated with UM’s Dining Services to develop what has become a very successful program linking the University to local producers in a way that benefits students, producers, and the state. Within a brief period, this program has added considerably to the quality of life on campus and to the economic vitality of sectors of the Montana economy. In addition, the program has provided wonderful hands-on experiences to the students, faculty, and staff involved.
Another article focuses on the successful efforts by faculty and students from the Schools of Journalism and Law to expose and right a wrong that occurred nearly a century ago. They received critical assistance from Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer. I need not do more than describe it to emphasize the valuable educational experience for the students and the service to people typically underserved. Finally, the last piece I will mention deals with an institutional commitment to serve the needs of all people, however abled. As the piece makes quite clear, we diminish ourselves and our society unless we make the effort to assure that all people have the access required to participate and benefit from the programs we offer.
These inspiring examples seem to me very indicative of the commitment of the faculty, staff, and students of UM to fulfill the mission of a public university. We in public higher education frequently invoke what we refer to as the social contract between the people of the state of Montana and its public universities to provide meaning to the mission. The social contract refers to the felt responsibility of one generation to educate the next generation by funding the institutions appropriately. The reciprocity of that felt responsibility, of course, imposes a responsibility of service upon the institutions. Absent the willingness of both sides, the contract will not achieve its intended result, as experience shows. We must all abide by its mandates to realize its benefits.
George M. Dennison ’62, ’63
President and Professor of History
The UM Alumni Association has tapped three distinguished alumni who will receive their awards at Homecoming. They are G. George Ostrom ’53 (left), Terry W. Payne ’63 (middle), and Steve Petersen ’74 (right).
Ostrom, a writer, broadcaster, and photo-grapher, is known as the “Voice of the Flathead Valley.” For the past fifty years he has served co-owner, general manager, and currently news director of KOFI radio. He built the Kalispell Weekly News into the largest circulation weekly newspaper in Montana. His “Trailwatcher” column has won state and national awards and he has been inducted into the Montana Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. Ostrom helped write the Wilderness Bill with Senator Lee Metcalf in 1962 and was a member of the UM President’s Advisory Council for more than twenty years. He was instrumental in establishing Flathead Valley Community College, has served on its board, and lectured in its classrooms. He is the author of three books on Glacier National Park. Ostrom and his wife, Iris Ann Wilhelm Ostrom ’57, have four children.
Payne is the founder, principal, and chairman of the board of Terry Payne and Co. Inc., an independent insurance agency established in Missoula in 1972. He also serves as chair of Payne Financial Group Inc., which has received national recognition for best practices from the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America. Business Insurance magazine ranked the company in the top fifty privately owned insurance agencies in the country. Payne is a director of Washington Corporations and numerous other companies and a trustee emeritus for the UM Foundation. He endowed a Presidential Scholarship as well as a scholarship for students with disabilities within the School of Business Administration. He also is committed to supporting the Native American Center to be built on campus. Payne and his wife, Patt, have two sons.
Petersen is the James S. McDonnell Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. A professor in the departments of neurology, psychology, and radiology, he is a pioneer in brain imaging; his work led to understanding the neural substrates of cognitive activity. Peterson has published in the top science journals and has received numerous grants and awards, including the Young Investigator Award from the Society for Neuroscience and the Grawemeyer Award in Psychology (with Marcus Raichle and Michael Posner). He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a frequent lecturer nationally and internationally. Petersen has served leadership roles in many professional organizations. His current work involves how the brain changes as children progress through stages of learning. He and his wife, Bonnie Ulvila Petersen ’74, have one son.
Buy Book, Help UM
James T. Grady ’72, acclaimed novelist of Six Days of the Condor and recipient of UM’s 2005 Distinguished Alumni Award, is donating some of the profits from his new book, Mad Dogs, to UM’s scholarships and general expenses. “I want to give something back,” Grady says. “This is my chance.” Mad Dogs is a thriller launched from the CIA’s fictional insane asylum. A reading by Grady and a book signing will be a part of UM’s Homecoming celebration October 13-14. To purchase a copy online and help this fundraising effort, log onto www.umt.edu/urelations/maddogs.htm.
Erin Go Braugh
Irish student Alan Noonan came to UM to study and write a master’s thesis about how his forefathers helped settle Big Sky Country. He never suspected the leader of his country would follow him.
Mary McAleese, the president of Ireland, brought the Emerald Isle and Treasure State closer together in May when she spoke in a packed University Theatre about the historical and cultural ties linking the two regions. She also helped launch UM’s new Irish Studies Program.
“This is fantastic,” Noonan said as he watched his president speak. “What an opportunity for somebody like me being a student here. The Irish community had a huge impact on the history of Montana, and I think this visit accentuates it and brings it into the open. I think it’s great.”
In his introductory remarks, UM President George Dennison said, “The establishment of the Irish Studies Program at this University will provide scholarship, research and friendship and will goad us into developing our understanding and familiarity with Irish language, literature, history, and culture.”
Bolstered by several standing ovations, McAleese said there was “a lovely synchron-icity” involved with her visit, since it was exactly 100 years ago that Douglas Hyde—an Irish language scholar who later would become Ireland’s first president—came to Montana and discovered Irish settlers who had lovingly protected their language and culture. This was at a time when the Gaelic tongue had almost been eradicated at home, so McAleese honored those pioneers for helping preserve the language.
“There seems to be a kind of hand of history at work here,” McAleese said. “It’s no mere accident that we inaugurate a program of Irish studies whose hand and heart are focused on the Irish language.”
She said her country provided UM with $40,000 to help start the Irish Studies Program. She also lauded Terry O’Riordain, a UM Gaelic language instructor from Ireland and a University College Cork graduate, for his work to help create the unique program.
Initially UM will offer a minor in Irish studies, but instructors hope to expand to a major in the next several years. The program will offer instruction in conversational Gaelic, as well as Irish literature, history, music, dance, film, and theater. Students also will have the opportunity to study at Ireland’s University College Cork, an institution with which UM has developed strong partnerships.
Though five Irelands could fit inside Montana, McAleese said Irish settlers made a huge impact on their new home, and she used a Chinese proverb to illustrate this point: Those who drink the water should remember with gratitude those who dug the wells.
“I hope the establishment of this program will develop a new chapter in the relationship between Ireland and Montana,” she said. “It’s a relationship, you know, that stretches back more than 150 years. It’s about Irish men and women who made Montana their home and held Ireland in their hearts.” — Cary Shimek
A UM professor and two graduate students discovered weightlessness in April while testing a device that measures muscle tone. Chuck Leonard, a professor in UM’s School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, used his ride in NASA’s “Weightless Wonder” to test the Myotonometer. The Weightless Wonder is a C-9 jet that flies a series of parabolic arcs that produce weightlessness on the downhill runs. Leonard hopes NASA will use the Myotonometer in future manned space missions to monitor astronauts’ muscle tone. Because astronaut muscles atrophy and weaken during spaceflight NASA is looking for a way to measure changes in muscle health. Every ounce counts aboard a spacecraft, so the device has to be portable, easy to use, can’t be influenced by atmospheric pressure, can’t involve disposables, and can’t use much energy.
Leonard says the Myotonometer fits the bill. He came up with the idea for the instrument while visiting St. Petersburg, Russia, with a group of scientists in 1993. He said the Russians had a machine that used tissue mechanics to measure muscle tone. So for the next seven years, he and a Russian collaborator re-engineered the device to make it portable and received a patent in 2000. Then in 2001 they formed Neurogenic Technologies, a UM spin-off company, to market the device. Leonard and the graduate students had various computer- and human-related problems during the test and report that they were not able to gather as much reliable data as they would have liked. However, NASA is interested in the device for use on the International Space Station and Leonard was invited back to the Johnson Space Flight Center in Houston to make more presentations.
this article in Montanan