Around the Oval
On a Grand Scale
Three elegantly massive pots crafted by Great Falls native David Pledge are anchored on the lawn next to UM's Skaggs Building, where they stand sentinel over students and other passersby, a visual respite in a landscape of brick and concrete and grass.
The pieces evolved out of Montana's Percent for Art program, which requires a fraction of the budget for state-funded buildings to be spent on public art.
Pledge had just completed his master's thesis show at UM, which included several large pots, when the call went out for submissions. "I got this mental image," he says. "It seemed natural to increase the size further to a more architectural scale."
Pledge earned a bachelor's degree in art from Montana State University in 1996 and was a resident artist at the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in Helena before moving to Missoula to enroll in UM's master of fine arts program.
Pledge's pots can be found in collections across the country.
UM's Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library now boasts a small but rich collection on the Crow Indian culture. The Fred W. Voget Collection includes resources on the language and customs of the Crow as well as numerous photographs from the 1930s. The collection came to the University from the estate of Voget, a noted cultural anthropologist and American Indian ethnologist. His widow, Mary Kay Mee Voget '39, chose UM to receive the collection over the Smithsonian Institution and Yale University. Voget spent many summers with the Crow in southeastern Montana and authored several books on their life and customs. An adopted member of the Crow Tribe, Voget died in 1997.
Greetings from the President
Within the covers of this issue of the Montanan, we all have the opportunity to appreciate once again the value of diversity within our community and how much things have changed since we attended The University of Montana. It seems clear that no one has the scope, nature, and breadth of experience with UM that Bert Benedetti can claim. He knows virtually everyone who has had any association with the University since the period of his forced incarceration at Fort Missoula some five decades ago. Moreover, he has little if any reluctance to let people know that, as far as he's concerned, this University has preemptive rights within the state of Montana. Paddy MacDonald's affection for Bert and her appreciation for his unique role in the community make for wonderful reading and reflection.
Things certainly have changed since my timeand presumably yoursas a student on this campus. The opening of the new state-of-the-art Fitness and Recreation Center provides an exclamation mark for that statement! Let everyone remember as well that this change to the campus environment came as a result of a student-led movement that culminated in a vote by the students, who agreed to pay the higher fees to fund the program. Anyone who uses the center also pays, and we have very strict rules on usage to make certain that we do not compete with the private sector in Missoula.
The most persuasive argument I heard for the facility when its funding was being debated was its importance in the lives of the young people who spend years at the University. Now they have a place to go for healthy, enjoyable, and essential diversion from study. I believe that this diversion will have a positive impact on the academic performance of those students who take advantage of it. Let me assure you that the extent of student use today has more than justified the faith of those who led the movement. Stop in and see for yourselves next time you visit campus.
George M. Dennison
Beetle Propels Prof to Top of the Heap
An evolutionary biologist at UM has been awarded the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists and engineers in the early stages of their careers. A 2001 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers went to Doug Emlen, assistant professor in UM's Division of Biological Sciences, and the first Montana researcher to earn the award. He will receive the award at a White House ceremony.
Emlen earned a $650,000 Faculty Early Career Development grant from the National Science Foundation earlier this year, which made him eligible for the presidential award. His studies of a small variety of horned beetle have provided insight into some of biology's most basic questions: Why is there so much diversity in life? How can there be so much diversity among closely related species and even within the same species?
"This is an award that only comes around once in a career," Emlen says. "It's amazing. To be recognized at this level of distinction for doing what I love-research and teaching-means a lot to me." Before coming to UM in 1996, Emlen was a postdoctoral research fellow at Duke University. He earned his doctoral degree from Princeton University in 1994.
Number one in the nation. Nonot UM's football team, not its law school's moot court team, not its creative writing program (okay, one of the top ten). This time it's UM's School of Business Administration. The school was ranked first in the nation for a first-time pass rate of students taking the May 2000 Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination, a comforting thought in the wake of the Enron/Andersen debacle and even more comforting for this writer, whose CPA is a UM business school graduate.
The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy recently published the rankings of performance on the uniform CPA exam, showing UM students achieved an 82.4 percent first-time pass rate for all four subjects tested, compared to a national average of 17.4 percent. Wake Forest University came in second with a 71.9 percent first-time pass rate.
"This ranking is a significant national honor," says Professor Stanley Earl Jenne, chair of the UM Department of Accounting and Finance. "It directly measures the success of our graduate students against every other graduate program in the nation."
The last time UM was ranked first in the nation was May 1987.
The Envelope, Please
At the risk of shameless self-promotion, we at UM's University Relations announce that we, along with colleagues at UM's Broadcast Media Center, have won a record number of eleven awards this year in two competitions.
TV producer Gus Chambers brought home a gold for a thirty-second television spot titled "Seekers and Learners," which focuses on the importance of a University in the wake of September 11. His award was presented by the Admissions Marketing Report, sponsor of a national competition for university promotional materials.
In that competition, Montanan editor Joan Melcher and graphic designer Mike Egeler won a silver award for an advertising series, "We can get you in the door." UM also won a silver award in the newsletter category for Research View and another silver for Vision 2001, the University's annual research magazine. The two publications were produced by a University Relations team headed by Rita Munzenrider, with support from the Office of the Vice President for Research and Development.
In a separate competition, University Relations won a record seven other awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education's District VIII, which includes colleges and universities in the Pacific Northwest and western Canada. Both Research View and the 2000 president's annual report, The Dennison Decade, 1990-2000, earned silver awards. The Montanan garnered two silver awards for bookend columns written by freelancers featured in the Fall 2001 magazine. Patia Stephens won two bronze awards, one for a Montanan feature story and another for the Web-site version of Vision 2001. Cary Shimek earned a bronze award for a feature story that appeared in the summer 2001 issue of Research View.
New Leap for UM Hoopsters
In early April the Montana Grizzlies men's basketball team found itself with a new coach: Pat Kennedy, known as one of the country's top college coaches. Siting quality of life and community as important reasons for his decision to leave the Blue Demons of DePaul University in Chicago, Kennedy brings twenty-two years of head coaching experience to UM, including thirteen post-season appearanceseight in the NCAA tournament and five in the NIT.
Kennedy coached the Florida State Seminoles to Sweet Sixteen tournament play in 1991- 92 and to the Elite Eight in 1992-93. He was head coach of the Blue Demons for five years and coached at FSU for eleven years. His stint with DePaul was hindered when several Blue Demons were recruited to the NBA before finishing their college careers.
Kennedy replaces Don Holst, whose contract with the Grizalong with his assistant coacheswas not renewed. Kennedy has rehired Wayne Tinkle as an assistant coach. He is a former Griz hoopster and professional player.
Prof of the Year
UM economics Professor John Photiades was named the 2001 Montana Professor of the Year at a luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., last November. The prestigious award is presented by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. CASE Professors of the Year are chosen from each state to salute outstanding undergraduate instructors.
A thirty-one-year member of UM's economics department, Photiades was nominated at the recommendation of economics Chair Tom Power. In his nomination letter Power described Photiades: "His interests are broad, which allows him to reach out to a diverse group of students. His points of view are provocative, which allows him to lead students into exciting new realms of intellectual exploration. His logic is brutal, which allows him to challenge the intellectual skills of students in ways in which they have never been tested before."
A native of Greece, Photiades has won several other teaching awards, and he consistently receives the highest possible marks in both faculty and student evaluations.
War Hits Home
As we went to press with the last issue, news came of the first military casualties resulting from the U.S. response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. One of the men who lost his life when a Black Hawk helicopter crashed in the first days of the U.S. retaliation was Pfc. Kristofer T. Stonesifer, 28, a former UM student and Missoula resident. The crash occurred as the helicopter landed at Dalbandin Air Base, apparently the result of a dust storm that disoriented the pilot.
In 1999 Stonesifer was an ROTC cadet and philosophy major with a 3.51 grade-point average at UM when he decided to leave school to pursue a position with the 75th Ranger Regiment, a special operations unit of the U.S. Army. A fellow cadet, J.C. Schneider, described Stonesifer: "He was a warriorno question. But he was kind and gentle, tooa thinker. He was just an energy and inspiration." Our condolences go to Kris' family, friends and fellow students.