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International Programs > MSU Undergraduate Newsletter (Spring 2007)

MSU Undergraduate Newsletter (Spring 2007)

MSU students enjoy warm spring weather.

Happy Spring to each of you in your part of the world! Here in Bozeman the flowers are just starting to peek out and the snow is finally receding. We are enjoying the greenest time of year! The spring semester is just coming to an end and students are looking forward to their summer adventures. This spring newsletter will provide you with some reminders about upcoming deadlines, as well as fun information about recent and upcoming events.

Fall 2007 Deadlines and Scholarships

The deadline for undergraduate applications for fall semester 2007 is May 15th - rapidly approaching! If you or someone you know is intending to apply for fall semester please visit our web site immediately to start the application process at: You are encouraged to complete the fast and efficient on-line application and will also find application checklists for guidance throughout the process. Complete undergraduate applications will be assessed with an I-20 to successful students in less than 2 weeks.

Exciting undergraduate scholarship opportunities for Fall 2007:

1. Achievement Scholarships: Montana State University will offer millions of dollars in scholarships and awards to freshmen who apply for admission for the fall of 2007. To be eligible students must meet all minimum admission requirements and score above a 1050 on the Math and Verbal SAT scores on tests taken prior to March 2005. On tests taken after March 2005, the total SAT will be calculated by using the Math and Critical Reading scores only. Scholarship amounts are based 100% on SAT score and are renewable for all 4 years if a student maintains a B average in their grades throughout their study. 

Scholarship requirements and amounts are available online at:, and are also outlined in the chart below:

Test score:
Amount to be awarded:
1050 to 1160 total SAT   $6,000 Achievement Award
($1,500 per year renewable for 4 years)
1170 to 1270 total SAT $16,000 Achievement Award
($4,000 per year renewable for 4 years)
1280 to 1440 total SAT $24,000 Achievement Award
($6,000 per year renewable for 4 years)
1450+ total SAT $30,000 Achievement Award
($7,500 per year renewable for 4 years)

2. International Program Scholarships: of up to US$3,500 still remain for qualified applicants for fall semester based on passing TOEFL scores and a B average in their transcripts. All international applicants are considered for this scholarship directly from their application form. Please contact Ms Susan Reisch if you have questions about this scholarship at:

3. Partner Scholarships: selections need to be submitted soon to ensure funding. This is a US$4,000 scholarship guaranteed to 1 qualified student per year from an officially articulated partner institution.

International Street Food Bazaar

Mali students beam with pride after

winning first prize for Best Booth!

THE INTERNATIONAL STREET FOOD BAZAAR is an exciting intercultural gathering that has a 26 year history on the MSU campus. International students are the stars of this springtime event as they create booths to represent their home countries and prepare traditional foods to sell in a street market atmosphere. Music and a variety of entertainment complete the festivities that is attended by approximately 3,000 people from MSU and the Bozeman community.  For a closer look at all of the pictures please visit our Event web site at: .



MSU Student Volunteers Build House, Friendships During Spring Break

MSU student Elise Coy volunteers for

Habitat for Humanity in Louisiana over

Spring Break.

March 28, 2007 -- Anne Pettinger, MSU News Service

MSU student Elise Coy volunteers for Habitat for Humanity in Louisiana over spring break.

When a group of 12 Montana State University students arrived in Alexandria, La., during spring break, they found the foundation of a house. When they left a week later, the house had walls, windows and doors and was ready to be shingled.

The students were volunteering for Habitat for Humanity as part of a spring break trip organized through MSU's Office of Community Involvement.

Not only did the experience leave the students with tangible new skills -- "I learned how to hammer," said Amanda Larrinaga, a co-leader of the trip and a junior health and human development major from Boise, Idaho -- but they also left with an increased awareness of a different region, a new set of friends and a sense of pride because of the work they had accomplished.

"A lot of the trip was teambuilding," said Patrick Brady, Larrinaga's co-leader and a junior accounting major from Malta. "Nobody really knew each other before the trip. We had to find out each other's strengths and weaknesses."

The students also learned about the effects of Hurricane Katrina on cities like Alexandria. Though Alexandria wasn't hit directly by the hurricane, they said, the city, which is about the size of Bozeman, was drastically affected by an influx of displaced people.

"The hurricane didn't really touch Alexandria, but days afterwards, people couldn't buy food in grocery stores or restaurants, because they were out," Brady said.

Working with Habitat for Humanity leaders and another group of volunteers, the students accomplished a significant amount in the week they were there. Though they worked at several different job sites, the students' main project throughout the week was to work on one house. They often worked alongside the woman who would move into the four-room, one-level home with her two young daughters once it was completed.

"When we got there, there were studs, and we got it to the point where they were ready for shingles," Brady explained.

By all accounts, the students worked hard and lived up to high expectations that were set by a group of MSU students who volunteered on a similar project in the area last year, said leaders of Habitat for Humanity and United Way, groups that helped coordinate the trip.

"This group was equally hard-working and talented," said Viola Britt, executive director of Rapides Habitat for Humanity. "Their work ethic and commitment was equal to the group last year. We had a wonderful week."

The trip wasn't only work, however. The group managed to squeeze in a visit to New Orleans, where they spent a day visiting Bourbon Street and the French Quarter. While there, they listened to music, watched street performers, shopped and visited the market.

"It's weird seeing a larger city with so many big buildings closed." Brady said.

"There are still water lines on trees and buildings," Larrinaga added. "Some streetlights still don't work. There are areas you can't go into because of toxic material like black mold."

In addition to seeing a different part of the country, Larrinaga said the students also enjoyed the opportunity to make connections with their MSU peers.

Not only did they get to know each other through the work they performed, but having spent more than 60 hours driving in a 15-passenger van, they also became friends simply by being together.

"It was family in a week," Brady said.

The students stayed at a church in Alexandria, and various groups in the area, including churches, the United Way and a sorority provided meals, some with a distinctly Southern flair.

The trip cost each student $275, an amount that was much lower than it would have been had the group not received grants from the Greater Gallatin United Way and the United Way of Central Louisiana.

"It turned out to be so tremendous last year that we decided to help fund the trip this year," said Carol Townsend, executive director of the Greater Gallatin United Way. "We thought it would be a great investment."

If Larrinaga's outlook after participating in the trip is any indication, that investment will pay dividends.

"I think it would be great to increase the reach of the program we do over spring break," she said. "We could help fundraise through the United Way by doing something like getting the elementary school together for a book drive."

Being involved in some way is important, even if on a small scale, added Larrinaga.

"The trip taught me to be more proactive, observant. Distance doesn't mean we should ignore something like the hurricane," she said. "It taught me to be involved. Do whatever you can do.


Burrowing, Digging Dinosaurs Found in Southwest Montana

A Montana State University
team uses a makeshift
stretcher to remove fossils
from a dig site near Lima,
Mont. (Photo courtesy of
David Varricchio).

March 20, 2007 -- By Evelyn Boswell, MSU News Service

BOZEMAN -- A new dinosaur that dug burrows and cared for its young in dens has been found in southwest Montana.

The 95-million-year-old bones of an adult Oryctodromeus cubicularis and two juveniles were found jumbled together in a burrow about 15 miles from Lima, Montana State University paleontologist David Varricchio said in an online paper published March 21 by the British scientific journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Co-authors were Yoshihiro Katsura, a former MSU graduate student, and Anthony Martin from Emory University in Atlanta.

"The presence of an adult and two juveniles within a denning chamber represents some of the best evidence for dinosaur parental care," Varricchio said. "The burrow likely protected the adult and young Oryctodromeus from predators and harsh environmental conditions. Burrowing behavior may have allowed other dinosaurs to survive in extreme environments such as polar regions and deserts and questions some end-Cretaceous extinction hypotheses."

Martin wrote in an e-mail that, "Paleontologists will now look twice at the sediments surrounding these types of dinosaurs and maybe even look more carefully at large, odd structures in Mesozoic rocks. ?Hmmm, I wonder if that's a dinosaur burrow ...' is now a hypothesis that will have to be considered."

Katsura found the remains of the Oryctodromeus in 2004 while prospecting on public land. The fossils were lying in the expanded end of a burrow that measured about 6.6 feet long. Sediment that filled the burrow just after the dinosaurs died preserved the skeletons and the burrow. Smaller tunnels branching from the main burrow indicated that insects or mammals shared the burrow.

The fossils laid within two or three feet of the surface in the Blackleaf Formation, Varricchio said. The formation existed during the Cretaceous Period, but is 30 million years older than the Hell Creek Formation of Eastern Montana. The Hell Creek Formation, which dates to the Late-Cretaceous Period, has been a rich source of Tyrannosaurus rex and triceratops fossils.

An artist's illustration shows an

Oryctodromeus head.

(Illustration by Lee Hall).

An MSU field crew removed the Oryctodromeus bones in 2005 with a stretcher they made out of two poles and a tarp, Varricchio said. The fossils went to MSU's Museum of the Rockies where they were prepared and analyzed. They will be displayed starting this summer in the "Hall of Giants," the third phase of the museum's Siebel Dinosaur Complex. Jamie Cornish, marketing director for the museum, said the grand opening for the complex will be held Saturday, June 9.

The burrowing dinosaurs didn't have the dramatic frills, horns or teeth of some other dinosaurs, but their fossils are valuable because they are the first vertebrate remains found in the Blackleaf Formation, Varricchio said.

"We have dinosaurs older and younger, but this is a little slice of time we haven't sampled before (in Montana)," Varricchio said. He added that the fossils also represent the first scientific evidence that some dinosaurs dug burrows and cared for their young in dens.

Martin said he became involved with the project in August 2005 when Varricchio sent him a photo and asked what he thought it might be. Running through some possibilities, Martin concluded that it was a large burrow, then asked what was at the other end. Was it a fossil crocodile?

"I just about fell out of my chair when he replied that it was an Early Cretaceous dinosaur," said Martin who visited the dig site in September 2005. He helped excavate and describe the fossils, then analyzed the burrow and fossils to predict behaviors.

David Varricchio and Yoshihiro

Katsura in the field near Lima,

Mont. (Photo courtesy of David


The paleontologists didn't find complete skeletons, but found parts of everything from the head to the tip of the tail, Varricchio said. Recent erosion exposed the bones and burrows, but Varricchio theorized that a significant portion of both were lost to erosion before the fossils were discovered. Based on the vertebrae, the adult was almost seven feet long. Much of its length was in its tail.

The Oryctodromeus was a small plant-eating dinosaur that had several adaptations for digging, Varricchio said. Its snout could be used as a shovel. The large bony attachments in the shoulder could hold powerful muscles. Strong hip bones could help brace the dinosaur during digging. Unlike modern digging animals, however, the dinosaur had long hind limbs and was well adapted to running on two legs.


If you have any questions regarding the information in this newsletter or Montana State University, please feel free to write me at any time. We send this e-newsletter out quarterly. If you would like to be removed from our email list, please respond to this email with your request to be removed and we will do so immediately. On the other hand, if you would like to add a friend to this e-list, please let me know and we can accomplish that as well.

Susan M Reisch
International Representative
Office of International Programs
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717-2260
phone: 406.994.6462
fax: 406.994.1619