Aislinn Rioux '06
Aislinn Rioux has a double major—sociology with a criminology emphasis and forensic anthropology. The daughter of Bonnie HeavyRunner, former director of UM’s Native American Studies Program, Aislinn stayed out of college to care for her mother, who died of cancer in 1997. She attended UM for a few semesters and spent some time selling cars in Missoula before returning to school in 2003. She plans to go on for a master’s degree, to research ways of preventing drug and alcohol abuse among young people on Montana reservations. Aislinn, a member of the Blackfeet tribe, is shown here with her uncle’s horse, Badger, special to her because he carries the Indian name of her grandfather. Many years ago horses were commonly seen on the land that is now the UM campus. Before the University was established, the land below Mount Sentinel was a popular stopping place for Indian tribes.
What is your strongest personality trait? A big heart.
Why are you at UM? It’s like a second home. I grew up in Missoula and on campus.
When you were ten, what did you want to be when you grew up? An oncologist or cardiologist. It’s funny to think I wanted to save lives and now I’m in a field to find out why people are dead.
What’s the best advice you ever got? I-gah-ki-mah—try hard.
What surprised you most when you came to UM? How different it was being an older student.
If you could light anything on fire right now, what would it be? Kindling, newspaper, a couple of logs—to roast marshmallows under the stars.
What is your favorite guilty pleasure? Shopping and laughing when people get hurt!
What would you change about UM? More football and more financial aid.
Sum up your life philosophy. Like my Grandpa said, never do anything halfway.
this article in Montanan