Montana State University

Two MSU graduate students win top university awards

April 29, 2005 -- from MSU News Service

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BOZEMAN - A graduate student from Crow Agency who has worked tirelessly to promote health in Montana's Indian communities and an economist who surveyed prescription drug prices throughout the state have won Montana State University 2005 Foundation Graduate Achievement Awards. Each recipient will receive $500 and be recognized at MSU Honors Night on May 6.

Master's student, Outstanding Graduate Achievement Award
Adrienne Ohler of Mount Pulaski, Ill., applied economics, completed research on drug price variability in Montana, a study that her advisors describe as "a genuine contribution to economic research on the topic." Ohler received grant funding through her adviser, Vincent Smith of the MSU Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics. Smith said Ohler's work "constructively addresses an important policy issue." To complete her research, Ohler traveled throughout Montana for two months, surveying the prices of 75 drugs in 40 pharmacies in six Montana communities. She then analyzed price variation and the factors that contributed to that variation. She will graduate with a 3.86 grade point average. "Her work is of such importance that we have obtained some additional funding to enable her to develop a series of professional papers over the next three months," Smith said.

Outstanding Native American Graduate Achievement Award
Shane Doyle, of Crow Agencyand a member of the Crow tribe, has been involved with several MSU outreach programs to Native Americans in Montana while maintaining a 3.96 grade point average while earning a master's degree in Native American Studies. A 1997 MSU graduate in education, Doyle taught at Lodge Grass Elementary School prior to returning for graduate school. Since returning, Doyle has been involved in Messengers for Health, an MSU-based, grass-roots program funded by the American Cancer Society that encourage health awareness among the women on the Crow Reservation. His work with Suzanne Christopher, professor of health and human development as well as principal investigator of the Messengers for Health project, was instrumental in helping the program receive a $1.52 million American Cancer Society grant this spring to continue the group's work on the Crow Reservation. In addition, Doyle has been active in the Native AIR program, an education program focused on reducing asthma among Indian children throughout Montana. Doyle was also a conference coordinator for the MSU-based Native Waters program, serving as the chairman and coordinator for this year's MSU Native Nexus Spring Indian Issues Conference. He also helped bring Indian writer Sherman Alexie to speak at MSU. An instructor in introductory courses in the MSU Department of Native American Studies, Doyle is also a core member of the MSU Bobcat Singers, an Indian singing and drum group that spreads awareness of Indian culture.

Contact: Jennifer Miller (406) 994-4145