MSU's 10th Rhodes scholar
MSU student Joe Thiel became the 10th MSU student to win a Rhodes Scholarship. Thiel, a chemical engineering and liberal studies major from Idaho Falls, Idaho, is also the student regent on the Montana University System Board of Regents. A Presidential Scholar, Thiel is also active in MSU's chapter of Engineers Without Borders. At Oxford, Thiel will study for master's degrees in public policy and the economics of development.
Golden MSU Case awards
A university events calendar produced by MSU Web and Digital Communications won a grand gold award, the highest award possible, in the website category of the 2013 Council for Advancement and Support of Education, or CASE, District VIII awards program. The competition included submissions from colleges and universities in the Pacific Northwest and western Canada. The revamped MSU calendar system built in-house by MSU Web and Digital Communications to meet MSU's specific needs and goals for event distribution and promotion received the highest award among all website submissions. The online calendar may be found at: http://calendar.msu.montana.edu/. For the second consecutive year, MSU's Mountains and Minds magazine won a gold award in the CASE District VIII competition in the category of general interest magazines with a circulation of less than 29,999. In total, MSU communication products won seven gold, silver or bronze awards at the annual competition.
MSU is 16th in the Peace Corps' 2013 rankings for volunteer participation among colleges and universities with enrollments between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates.
MSU's first Buchanan Award winner
MSU senior defensive end Caleb Schreibeis of Billings won the 2012 Buck Buchanan Award, which honors the outstanding defensive player in the Football Championship Subdivision. Schreibeis, who joined the Bobcat squad as a freshman walk-on following in the footsteps of his brother, Joe, became the first Bobcat to win an individual national player award.
MSU receives grant to advance women
MSU received a $3.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation to help broaden the participation of women faculty members by improving the work environment for the entire campus. The five-year ADVANCE Institutional Transformation focuses on ways to broaden the participation of women in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics and the SBS fields of social and behavioral sciences. Those are two areas where MSU women are outnumbered by men.
Blake Bjornson wins Udall Scholarship
Blake Bjornson, a former student body president who continues to lead Montana State University with his passion for sustainability and the environment, has won a Udall Scholarship.
The junior from Missoula and Whitefish is an honors student majoring in mechanical engineering. Bjornson is one of 50 Udall Scholars selected nationwide. He is MSU's fifth Udall Scholar, which he received in recognition of his commitment to an environmentally related career and sustained efforts and leadership toward this goal, even as an undergraduate.
100 best college buys
MSU was recently named to "America's 100 Best College Buys," a list recognizing select colleges and universities for quality and affordability. It was the only Montana university to make the list.
$3.1 million for scholarships
The MSU Alumni Foundation received gifts totaling $3.1 million from the estate of Warren and Phyllis Howe of San Francisco to support student scholarships. The announcement coincided with the 120th anniversary of MSU's founding on Feb. 16.
Spring enrollment record
MSU set a new record for spring enrollment with 13,700 students enrolled for the 2013 spring semester, nearly 400 more than last year's spring enrollment. MSU has set new records for spring enrollment the last five years.
Four MSU students-everyone nominated from the university this year-have won the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship, the nation's premier scholarship for undergraduates studying math, natural sciences and engineering. Brian Redman from Crane, Mont., Natasha Pettinger from Laramie, Wyo., Alissa Bleem from Fort Collins, Colo., and Matt Sherick from Hudson, Wisc., each received a Goldwater Scholarship.
MSU has now received 58 Goldwater Scholarships, keeping the university one of the nation's top institutions for numbers of recipients. The scholarship gives each student up to $7,500 a year for tuition, fees, books, and room and board.
Diana Eck, a Bozeman native and international expert on religious diversity based at Harvard University, and Helene Michael of Condon, an MSU graduate who became a vice president at Boeing Co., will receive honorary doctorate degrees from MSU during the university's spring commencement. Robert Pirsig, the former MSU English instructor who wrote the iconic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, received an honorary degree at MSU's fall commencement in December. It was the first time MSU had a fall commencement ceremony in more than 50 years.
Temple Grandin, a professor at Colorado State University who is widely known for the humane handling of livestock using lessons she learned from her own autism, spoke at MSU in March. Known for the Emmy Award-winning HBO movie about her starring Claire Daines, Grandin participated in an open forum and lectured twice to standing-room only audiences.
'Life of Pi' author to speak at convocation
Yann Martel, author of the book Life of Pi, which was made into an Academy Award-winning motion picture, will speak at Montana State University's 2013 Freshman Convocation on Sept. 5, and kick off the university's Year of Engaged Leadership.
MSU's first Marshall Scholar
Bryan Vadheim of Miles City, who plans to combine his academic interests of chemical engineering and economics to benefit the environment on a global scale, is MSU's first Marshall Scholar. As a Marshall Scholar, one of the most selective scholarships awarded to American students, Vadheim will earn a master's degree from the London School of Economics as well as a master's degree in engineering specializing in water science and governance from King's College, also in London.
Vadheim is also an MSU Presidential Scholar, active in student government and MSU's chapter of Engineers Without Borders.
MSU's Sustainable Food and Bioenergy Systems program has been named one of the 10 best college environmental programs in the United States by Mother Nature Network.
The Taylor Planetarium at MSU's Museum of the Rockies has been remodeled and now offers world-class experiences and new educational opportunities to its visitors. A $1.5-million upgrade allows the planetarium to offer high-definition shows with digital surround sound, a new look, and viewing opportunities that are among the best in the world, said planetarium manager J. Eric Loberg.