Spring 1997 Montanan - Volume 14, Number 3
Voyage of the Senses
Students and townspeople alike packed the University Center April 6, to eat Indian tandoori chicken, Russian pirozhki, Nepalese momos and Bulgarian tarator at "Voyage of the Senses," the seventh annual International Festival and Food Bazaar, which kicked off International Month at The University of Montana-Missoula. Organized by UM's International Student Association and Office of Foreign Student and Scholar Services, the festival highlighted the foods, cultures and traditions of more than 400 foreign students from fifty countries. The bazaar was dedicated to Alex Stepanzoff, who founded the ISA in 1924 with the motto: "Above all nations is humanity."
International Month continued through April and featured a Caribbean jazz concert, a Native American cultural awareness dinner and a model Arab league. Visiting scholars also lectured about cultural, economic and social issues in Japan, Russia, Africa and Asia.
(PHOTO - Left) Only 25 percent of students at the Indian School for the Blind are completely blind. Others, such as Joel Cook (pictured), have vision impairments that prevent them from functioning in standard schools. This photo story was taken by Steven Adams, one of four journalism students honored in the international College Photographer of the Year competition.
(PHOTO - Right) Part of photo story depicting an afternoon bullfight in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, these two photographs were taken by Gregory Rec, a semifinalist in the national 1996-97 intercollegiate photojournalism competition sponsored by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. Student Bruce Ely placed tenth in the competition's second round.
UM News On Line With our new e-mail newsletter, TGIF (Think Grizzly, It's Friday), you can keep tabs on the news at The University of Montana-Missoula from your home computer. To subscribe to the weekly publication, compiled by University Communications' News Bureau, send an e-mail message to: firstname.lastname@example.org and in the message type: subscribe ucomm firstname lastname. (Substitute your first and last name). Note: TGIF will publish two summer issues and resume weekly publication in the fall.
Griz Earn NCAA's OK
The academic success of student athletes at UM helped intercollegiate athletics score its first-ever certification from the National Collegiate Athletics Association. The classification means UM's athletics program conforms with NCAA standards for academic and fiscal integrity, rules compliance and equity.
The certification was the result of a yearlong self-study by UM administrators, faculty, students and staff. UM received high marks for its commitment to academic excellence, said Dean of Students Barbara Hollman, who chaired the self-study committee. The NCAA review team noted that Grizzly student athletes earn higher grade-point averages than the general student population. They also stay in school and boast a higher graduation rate than nonathlete students.
UM Goes to Helena
Many Montana institutions probably wish they were part of the Corrections System this year. After all, when was the last time the Montana University System saw a $47 million budget increase? But the final legislative action was positive for the University System. After various ups and downs in committees, the Montana Legislature approved House Bill 2, appropriating $209.5 million in state funding for the University System, approximately $6 million less than the system's initial request. In other University-related action, legislators approved building projects on UM's Butte, Missoula and Dillon campuses and appropriated funds for information technology and research and development.
UM Cult Expert Hits the Media
The day after the news of Heaven's Gate, the high-tech California cult that committed mass suicide, sociology Professor Rob Balch's phone began to ring. And ring. And ring. On Friday, March 28, Balch had 160 phone messages from news organizations including Newsweek, CNN, The New York Times and The Times of London. Balch, UM's resident expert on cults, had infiltrated the group in the mid-1970s-when it was known as a UFO cult-and had written several papers about it, including a chapter in the book, The Gods Have Landed. Balch was surprised not only by the media blitz but by the mass suicide as well, since it seemed inconsistent with the group's beliefs twenty years ago.
Attention Campus Shoppers
Students who want the most for their money can find a good deal at UM, according to The Student Guide to America's 100 Best College Buys, which focuses on schools with the highest academic ratings and lowest costs for the college year. The authors researched almost 1,800 colleges for specific requirements including financial aid opportunities, a total cost below the national average, and a freshman class with a high grade-point average and SAT or ACT scores above the national average.
Another good buy: In U.S. News and World Report's 1997 list of America's best graduate schools, UM's graduate program in creative writing tied for tenth place with University of Massachusetts-Amherst, University of Washington and Boston, Cornell and Washington universities.
Law School: Take One
The cameras of Court TV focused on Melissa Harrison, associate professor of law, and the Montana Supreme Court during Law Week, April 7-11. The national cable station, based in New York City, was on campus to tape the court's hearing on the constitutional challenge of a Montana law that makes consensual sexual relations between adults of the same sex a felony. Court TV will televise the oral arguments after the Supreme Court issues its decision.
Harrison provided an overview of the precedent-setting case of Gryczan v. State of Montana for Court TV cameras and several hundred spectators who crowded into the law school's Castles Center. The case, brought by six homosexual Montanans in 1993, challenges the state's deviate sexual conduct law. A District Court judge in Helena last year declared the law unconstitutional, but the Montana attorney general's office appealed.
President George Dennison found himself taking orders from General Colin Powell, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at the highly publicized President's Summit for America's Future, April 27-29, in Philadelphia. While rubbing elbows with presidents from a higher office-Clinton, Carter, Bush and Ford-Dennison picked up some pointers on community service programs that will benefit children in Montana. As chair of the Governor's Council on Community Service, Dennison was selected by Governor Marc Racicot to attend the summit designed to promote volunteerism in the United States.
What's Swahili for Rodeo?
UM's "Backroads of Montana"-produced by UM's Broadcast Media Center and winner of three Program of the Year awards from the Montana Broadcasters Association-will soon be making inroads on a more international set. Accepted for the HEARTLAND*USA Program Collection, the United States Public Television International Program Service, "Backroads" may soon be entertaining audiences in the Third World with programs on people, places and events from around the Treasure State. HEARTLAND*USA is working toward pilot distribution in South Africa this year and, if that's successful, will market the service to other international venues.
You can see the largest barn in the West, a cabin once occupied by Charlie Russell and the hay sculpture contest between Hobson and Utica on a visit to your local library. Amber Waves of Grain, featuring the above, is the ninth installment of the documentary series and has been distributed to more than 140 city, county and college libraries throughout the state. To order copies, call UM's Broadcast Media Center, (406) 243-4101.
More Sheep, Anyone?
When Scottish scientists announced they had cloned an adult sheep, UM biology Professor Walter Hill said science has reached a point where "pure fantasy is upon us." Just a decade ago such advancement was considered impossible. Along with myriad research possibilities, Hill said the possibility of adult cloning has opened up "numerous and rampant" ethical questions. He added that adult cloning, developing organisms that have DNA identical to another organism, takes society back to the question of what is life. It could also have profound impacts ranging from improving food supplies to changing our understanding of how cells differentiate. Hill said society could even develop farms of clones that would be perfect genetic matches for organ and tissue transplants. "Is the product worth the price?" Hill asked. "Is there anything that would justify cloning people? My answer, right now, is no."
The Center for the Rocky Mountain West will sponsor a conference, "A.B. Guthrie's The Big Sky-After Fifty Years," September 12-14 at UM. Using Guthrie's tragic story of the West as a springboard for discussion, authors, historians and film makers will offer their end-of-the-century perspectives on the myths of the West. Speakers including historian and Montana State University President Mike Malone, film curator James D'Arc and writers Bill Bevis and James Welch will combine academic research and contemporary literature to cover topics such as Guthrie's career, the successes and failures of western revisionism, the rise of environmentalism, and western fiction and films of the forties. Call (406) 243-7700 for more information.
Exploring Tribal Issues at UM's Law School
UM's School of Law has been busy this spring exploring many of the environmental, legal and religious issues facing American Indians today. First there was the film festival, March 27-29, at the school's Castles Center. The films covered the Indian-led fight against Exxon's proposed mine near Wisconsin's Wolf River, interviews with Canadian Indian veterans of World War II, the history of the Flathead Reservation and the story of a band of Cherokees fighting to return to their ancestral home in Arkansas.
Then, April 14-16, leading American Indian thinkers from around the country took part in "Tribal Nation Building: Building Tribal Legal Infrastructure for Economic Prosperity." Speakers including Professor Frank Pommersheim, Professor David Getches and Attorney General Joe Mazurek addressed issues such as tribal sovereignty, tribal-bank relations and economic development. The conference's final day was devoted to developing tribal Uniform Commercial Codes.
Finally, April 25, several nationally known speakers were on hand to explore the issue of Native Americans' cultural and religious use of public land in areas such as Devils Tower, Wyoming, during the "Symposium on Native American Religious and Cultural Freedoms: The National Park Service and the Preservation of Native American Cultural Resources in the Twenty-First Century."
Spring is Coming Earlier?
Research Associate Professor Ramakrishna Nemani basked in the international limelight this spring when newspapers around the world-from The New York Times to the Vancouver Sun-reported on an intensive study that shows the Earth is getting greener and warmer. Nemani's study of satellite images showed that spring is coming earlier than it did a decade ago, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere.
Earlier snowmelt and higher temperatures, which are almost certainly the result of human-caused increases in carbon dioxide in the air, account for longer growing seasons in parts of the world. For years, indirect evidence indicated that people are changing the world's basic biological rhythms, but Nemani and researchers from NASA, Boston University and Scripps Institutions of Oceanography finally offered scientific proof.
On the Road to Buffalo
On April 10, academics and townspeople alike gathered at UM's Law Building to listen to Oregon-
born historian John C. Jackson's accounts of the early North American fur trade. In his talk, "Travelers, Indian and White, On the Road to Buffalo, 1800-1900," Jackson talked about the Indian road through Hellgate to the buffalo hunting grounds to the east, focusing on the association between the Salish tribe and the trappers who appeared in this area around 1800. Jackson's two books on the fur trade, Shadow on the Tetons and Children of the Fur Trade, were published by Missoula's Mountain Press and met an enthusiastic reception from historians around the country.
One Hundred and Four Candles
The University of Montana celebrated its 104th birthday on February 20. After an address by former U.S. Representative Pat Williams, who joined UM's political science department in January 1997, the morning ceremony was given over to honoring five people who have made significant contributions to UM. An afternoon seminar focused on UM's future, showcasing technology and learning.
Native American Studies Director Bonnie Heavy Runner Craig received the Robert T. Pantzer Award for making the University a more open and humane learning environment. Marlene Bachmann, professor of curriculum and instruction, received the Montana Faculty Service Award. Other award winners were Missoula lawyer Thomas H. Boone, the Neil S. Bucklew Presidential Service Award; Umberto "Bert" Benedetti, the Montana Alumni Award; and Barbara O'Leary, the ASUM Student Service Award.
Zoological Collection Dedicated
At age 82, Professor Emeritus Philip L. Wright has devoted most of his life to establishing one of the largest zoological collections in the Northern Rocky Mountain region. His colleagues in UM's biological sciences division decided that it was only fitting that the collection of more than 40,000 preserved vertebrates-ranging from a rhinoceros skull to penguins from Antarctica-be named in his honor. Located in Health Sciences 211 and 212, the Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum contains bird and mammal specimens dating back as far as 1851 and a rare collection of mammals from Russia and China.
Mea Culpa Under the painting, Bag Ladies and Blue Jeans on page 14 of the winter Montanan, we mistakenly identified the artist as Dorothy Thomas '78. The artist was Donna Hashitani Thomas '78. Our apologies.
The Virtual University
Surf the 'net and you'll find UM courses everywhere. Nine courses-three in gerontology and six in wilderness management-are UM's first contributions to the Western Governors' University, which will get rolling next fall. Of the nine virtual courses, the forestry school's Management of Recreation Resources is the most sophisticated, offering students a chance to take a "virtual" hike in Glacier National Park and to develop a management scenario that depicts the same trail after being used by 500 people in 24 hours.
"The primary target is people who can't access traditional education because of time, place and other constraints," said Sharon Alexander, dean of UM's Center for Continuing Education. "The virtual university is asynchronous-not time and site specific. The instructor and learner are never together but are linked by interactive technology."
On May 9, students, faculty and staff gathered on the mall between the University Center and the Mansfield Library to celebrate the rich diversity of the UM community, which sports students from more than sixty-two countries and virtually every continent. Opening with a prayer by Victoria Yazzie, a Navaho doctoral candidate, the Diversity Celebration swung into action with a song from Blackfeet Indian singer Jack Gladstone, progressive blues recording artist AndrČ Floyd and Mood Iguana and a performance by the Deaf Moose Theatre, a deaf drama and comedy team.
The celebration was organized to promote an appreciation of diversity and a sense of understanding on campus, said coordinator Jon Stannard. Diversity is central to the University's mission, added President George Dennison. "We need more, not less, diversity to accomplish our mission to discover and disseminate knowledge, and we can succeed in that mission only if we guard jealously and zealously the basic freedoms of expression and association," he said.
U.S.-Chinese Relations at UM
Prompted by a warming trend in relations between Beijing and Washington, D.C., speakers from American institutions and China participated in a five-part public forum at UM in March and April, sponsored by the Mansfield Center. In an effort to explore economic and political issues, the forum featured talks by Xiong Zhiyong, dean of the College of Foreign Affairs in Beijing; Qing Simei, professor of Chinese-American relations at Michigan State University; Shao Wenguang, minister of the Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China in Washington, D.C.; and visiting Mansfield Professor Steven Levine, a specialist on modern China from Duke University.
KUFM: Loud and Clear
During KUFM's public radio week in April, when a record $285,717 in donations was raised, more people listened to the station than at any other time of the year. With KUFM's Montana Public Radio Signal Extension Project, a one-time fund-raising capital campaign, the station will soon be able to reach 102,000 new listeners throughout western and central Montana. The project will enable the station to convert to satellite technology and install a new translator in Dillon and full-power transmitters in Kalispell, Butte, Helena and Hamilton. Construction begins this summer and should be complete by September 1997.
The bulk of the project funding will be provided from a nearly $500,000 grant to KUFM from the U.S. Department of Commerce, but KUFM is responsible for a "local match" of $175,000. To date, more than $50,000 has been donated for the project. For more information, call (406) 243-4931 or (800) 325-1565.
UM's Center at Salmon Lake, an executive conference center on a small island forty miles northeast of Missoula, is now accepting reservations. Geared toward executive and corporate groups, the luxurious first-class retreat features a large conference room, four smaller meeting rooms, eleven bedrooms and dining facilities for on-site catering, says Jane Fisher, the new director of the center. For information, call (406) 243-5556.