Council Election Candidate Bios

Research Council


Name: Michele Hardy

College: Agriculture
Department: Immunology and Infectious Diseases
Title: Professor
Years at MSU: 14.5

I obtained a PhD from Texas A&M University in 1993, and then trained as a Postdoctoral Associate at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX, with a NIH Fellowship in Pediatric Gastroenterology. In 1997, I joined Veterinary Molecular Biology (now Immunology and Infectious Diseases) as an Assistant Professor, was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2002, and to Full Professor in 2011.


MSU has internationally recognized research programs in all disciplines, and it is well established that University research is an integral part of undergraduate and graduate education. My interest in serving on the University Research Council stems from an aspiration to participate in cross-disciplinary discussions centered around how MSU can best support, enhance, and expand its research programs, particularly from the standpoint of the student research experience.

My research program focuses on understanding the biology of viruses that cause significant disease in both animals and humans. The lab has consistently acquired competitive extramural funding from the NIH, the USDA, and the DoD. In addition to grants as Principal Investigator, I have contributed to multiple departmental Program Grants, including a role as Project Director on a multi-investigator NIH Program Project, and as mentor for junior faculty in the COBRE and INBRE programs. I currently serve or have served on journal editorial boards, and federal grant review panels including the NIH and the USDA. My program has involved graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and numerous undergraduate students over the years, all of whom have been key contributors to the overall success of the program. I believe my experience in establishing an independent research program gives me an appropriate perspective to contribute positively to the development of ideas and discussions of the committee.

Name: Michael Ivie

College: Agriculture
Department: PSPP
Title: Associate Professor and Curator of Entomology
Years at MSU: 27

My work history includes 3 years of Extension work in California and the Virgin Islands before graduate school at The Ohio State University, after which, I joined the MSU faculty in 1985 with a mixed research/teaching appointment. As part of that appointment I curate the largest repository of biodiversity research specimens in Montana. I teach graduate and undergraduate level courses in the Entomology program, and have advised many graduate students, several of whom now hold tenured and tenure-track positions around the country. I consistently publish in the peer reviewed literature in the areas of insect systematics and biodiversity, and have had continuous external funding since 1986. This funding history includes a wide variety of grants and contracts in both the basic and mission-oriented spheres. I have a large international component to my research, which has taken me to over 50 countries. In 1990-1991 I served as an NSF Program Officer in the Systematic ! Biology Program. I have served as President of the main professional society in both my general and specialty areas (Entomological Society of America and Coleopterists Society). I currently hold 2 editorships and serve on the Board of the Coleopterists Society.


I have held an 80% research/20% teaching appointment since 1985, and have watched MSU move consistently toward a stronger and stronger institution. As a former Extension Agent, I have been deeply involved in, and believe strongly in, all aspects of our Land Grant Mission. I believe that the research enterprise at MSU has saved this campus from mediocrity in all facets of our activities, teaching, research and outreach, in the face of ever-decreasing State support. In the upcoming fiscally challenging times, I believe that our research enterprise will be under ever increasing pressure to provide resources to other areas of our overall mission. While I support this in concept, it will be difficult to walk the line between killing the golden goose and keeping the lights on. I am interested in helping with this process.

I have a broad background in research, research administration, research facility supervision and graduate education that I feel makes me qualified to understand the needs of this council. I strongly believe that we do a less than optimal job of communicating the importance of our research activities to undergraduate education and economic growth. I would like to offer my views to contribute to our strengths in this area.


Name: Perry Miller

College: Agriculture
Department: LRES
Title: Professor
Years at MSU: 13

I have been on a tenure-track appointment (81% research) in LRES since Aug 1998. Prior to that I was a Res Scientist for 4 yr at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Saskatchewan, and a 'postdoc' at the University of Manitoba for 2 yr. My Ph.D. degree is from University of Minnesota, Dept of Agronomy and Plant Genetics. M.Sc. degree is from University of Guelph in Crop Science dept.


I am interested in representing the College of Agriculture in this new shared governance structure on behalf of my colleagues. Besides LRES I have active research collaborations with faculty in the Departments of Agricultural Economics and Economics, Animal and Range Science, Research Centers, and Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology. I have conducted a grant-driven project on a wide range of topics, from basic to applied, in sustainable agricultural systems. My previous involvement in faculty governance is limited. I chaired the LRES Promotion and Tenure Committee 2010-2011.


Name: Myleen Leary

College: Business
Department: Business
Title: Assistant Professor
Years at MSU: 5

I am currently an Assistant Professor in the College of Business at Montana State University. I received a doctoral degree in Organizational Theory and Strategy from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, a Master in International Management degree with honors from Thunderbird, The American Graduate School of International Management, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Modern Languages from Providence College.

My research focuses on top management teams and boards of directors in for-profit and non-profit organizations. I have published in the Strategic Management Journal, Group & Organizational Management, Management Research News, Leadership and Organization Development Journal and the Handbook of Organization Development. I have also presented my research at the annual conferences of the Strategic Management Society, the Academy of Management, and the Academy of International Business. My research has been recognized with best paper awards from the Academy of Management national conference as well as the Group and Organization Management academic journal. The article published by the Group and Organization Management journal, co-written with Michael L. DeVaughn of the University of Thomas, was one of two articles selected by the editors to represent the journal's most significant articles for 2011.

I have taught strategy, organizational behavior, and organizational theory to undergraduate and graduate students. These classes are structured to maximize student learning and participation through a mix of experiential exercises, cases, and lectures.

In addition to my academic experience, I have worked in a variety of industry jobs. Before pursuing my graduate degrees, I worked for the Massachusetts Port Authority managing environmental and community planning project for Logan and Hanscom airports. Other jobs I have had include translating for the Italian Men's Volleyball team at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and tutoring at a Boys and Girls Club in Wisconsin


I am interested in serving on the Research Council to learn more about and contribute to the conversation of the role of research in the College of Business and Montana State University.

With the exception of the International Programs Committee, my service to date has been focused at the College level and primarily concerned with curricular issues. For example, I have served on the Academic Programs Committee and its predecessor for the last four years. In that capacity I have been involved in conversations about and created recommendations for curriculum development. I am eager to broaden my University-level service and particularly interested in participating in discussions about supporting research on the MSU campus and making recommendations for strategic investments to support research in its many forms as the College of Business' representative on the University's Research Council.

Since submitting my tenure application with a focus on research in the Fall of 2011, I have been increasing my participation in research activities across campus. In the Spring 2012 I participated in preparing for the Social and Behavioral and Economic sciences External Advisory Committee's site visit by initiating cross-university, interdisciplinary discussions about the challenges and opportunities for secondary research at Montana State University.

Education, Health and Human Development

Name: William Ruff

Education, Health & Human Development
Department: Education
Title: Associate Professor
Years at MSU: 7

I have 10 years experience as a tenure track professor of Educational Leadership both here at MSU and Arizona State University. Throughout that period, I have been active in researching issues of educational reform, leadership preparation and social justice including being PI on two large and highly successful U.S. Department of Education grants (combined total of $2.4M)


In addition to having a strong interest in research, I would like to participate at the university-level in developing effective collaboration models among the physical/biological sciences and social sciences. I have authored or co-authored more than 2 dozen published works appearing in research journals, academic book chapters, and a book. Many of these publications explore issues of organizational theory, specifically organizational planning, improvement and systemic change. As collaborative models among physical, biological, and social scientists are conceived and implemented at MSU, such expertise may be of use on the Council.


Name: Laura Larsson

College: Nursing
Department: Nursing
Title: Assistant Professor
Years at MSU: 10

Nursing was my second baccalaureate degree with my first being in natural sciences. After completing my nursing degree in 2001 I worked at the Swingle Student Health Center at MSU and the Gallatin Community Clinic in Bozeman for a year before returning to MSU College of Nursing as an “Instructor” in the Caring for Our Own Program (CO-OP). I continued to work for the CO-OP and as an on-call nurse as I completed courses toward my dual MPH/PhD from Oregon Health & Sciences University. In the fall of 2005 I began teaching in the nursing baccalaureate program while continuing with the CO-OP. I accepted a tenure-track position in the College of Nursing that began in 2008 and have taught in six undergraduate courses since that time.


The combination of my academic preparation in the physical and social sciences is the foundation for my research interests. I am a public health researcher with a focus on environmental exposures and lung injury. I have an emerging record of cross-disciplinary projects with faculty from Geospatial Sciences, Chemistry, and Immunology. My current projects are the “Montana Radon Study” funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and “Risk Communication for Native Health” funded by Montana INBRE. I am interested in serving on the Research Council for two reasons. First, I am always eager to learn more about the research projects going on at Montana State University and thinking about the areas where our research programs converge. These areas of overlap provide the opportunity for undergraduate and graduate research teams to work together across disciplines and for the respective faculty to explore mutual research questions. Second, as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundatio!

Nurse Faculty Scholar, I aspire to serve the university beyond the walls of my own college or department. This is an opportunity to network with other researchers and observe and model university-level service.

Research Center

Name: Cathy Whitlock

College: Other
Department: Institute on Ecosystems
Title: Director
Years at MSU: 7

As MSU Director of the new Montana Institute on Ecosystems, I am working with faculty from both campuses to build a statewide program in interdisciplinary environmental sciences. The institute started as a faculty-led planning effort in 2010 and was given BoR approval in 2011. Given the great faculty interest in the IoE (currently over 200 faculty affiliates), my position as Director gives me a broad perspective on the challenges facing research institutes that receive state funding as well as grant support. I am also Director of WildFIRE PIRE, an NSF Partnership in International Research and Education program. This five-year multidisciplinary project involves collaborators from MSU, USFS, Univ Colorado, Univ Idaho, New Zealand, and Australia, and is training MSU and tribal college students in fire science.


Prior my current position, I worked in the VPR Office on interdisciplinary research initiatives across campus. I have also served as a member of the Research Council for the last two years as the IoE-initiative was developing. My experience in both these capacities plus the perspective I bring as a new Institute director will help me represent research institutes on campus as well as research-active faculty.