Transformational Learning 2021-2022
BOZEMAN — Montana State University will host a summer professional development conference for teachers of science, technology, engineering and mathematics at all grade levels on July 25-27. The conference is hosted by the Science Math Resource Center in MSU’s College of Education, Health and Human Development and School Services of Montana.
Breakout sessions cover topics ranging from Arduino coding and geospatial thinking to Indian Education for All and proficiency-based education. The keynote speaker is Madelyne Willis, an MSU student who recently took part in a 45-day NASA simulated spaceflight to Mars’ moon Phobos.
The conference will also include networking opportunities, exhibitors, raffle prizes, a social event at the Museum of the Rockies and tours of MSU laboratories. Participants can earn renewal units from the Montana Office of Public Instruction or graduate credit from MSU.
BOZEMAN — In 2013, Kelcy Jensen-Coon’s cousin, who was 20, died by suicide, Jensen-Coon said. Both had grown up in Wisdom, a small community in southwest Montana. Jensen-Coon, who was then 19, saw how the death impacted her family and community, and she wishes there had been mental health services readily available close by for the family and community to utilize.
Jensen-Coon, who is now a graduate student in the counseling program in Montana State University’s Department of Health and Human Development, would like to make clinical mental health counseling services more accessible to small communities across Montana, like Wisdom. A program at MSU is helping her get closer to achieving her goal.
The Rural Mental Health Preparation/Practice Pathway is a collaboration between MSU, the University of Montana and the Montana Office of Public Instruction to prepare counselors to provide services for Montana’s rural schools and communities. In 2019, MSU, UM and OPI received a five-year, $2.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education for the program. Montana was one of only three states to receive the grant.
Stephanie Wilson one of first three students to complete Montana State’s individual interdisciplinary Ph.D. program
BOZEMAN — When Stephanie Wilson walks across the stage at Montana State University’s Brick Breeden Fieldhouse on Friday to earn a doctorate in interdisciplinary studies, she’ll be one of the first from MSU’s individual interdisciplinary Ph.D. program to do so. And when Wilson considers what has motivated her throughout her academic career – particularly in a program that she says requires a great deal of self-motivation – one word comes to mind: bayanihan. It’s a Filipino word to convey community spirit, or a sense of civic unity and cooperation.
“Part of my drive stems from a willingness to help others,” said Wilson, a Filipina American and first-generation college student. “That’s part of Filipino culture; it’s valuing community effort.”
In addition to the idea of bayanihan being a motivator for working toward an advanced degree, many of the aspects of Wilson’s time at MSU that stand out to her are also characterized by collaboration and community.
BOZEMAN — Montana State University will hold a virtual summit Thursday, April 28, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. to focus on providing access to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, learning across Montana. The summit will bring together representatives from education, business, after-school programs, government, industry and nonprofits, as well as engaged citizens, to discuss how Montana can continue to build a strong STEM ecosystem across the state.
The STEM Summit features keynote speaker Trisheena Kills Pretty Enemy, an MSU graduate student in microbiology from Crow Agency; a panel of youth from across the state; and interactive breakout sessions. The breakout sessions will allow participants to explore ways to expand STEM experiences in and out of the classroom; create a collaborative framework for more high-quality STEM learning; and share STEM resources across sectors and regions.
Understanding rural: MSU education students complete weeklong rural practicum experience in Glendive
BOZEMAN — Montana State University education student Sydney Browning, who grew up in a town of less than 1,000 in northern California, knew when she began studying education that she’d like to teach in a rural community.
“Where I grew up, I knew everybody,” Browning said. “I knew my teachers outside of school. As an adult pursuing my degree in education, I always knew I wanted to be in a more rural teaching situation because I know how close-knit rural communities can really be.”
A recent rural practicum she completed in Glendive (which has a population of just over 5,000) solidified Browning’s decision to pursue a career as a rural schoolteacher.
BOZEMAN — Applications are now being accepted for an online degree program offered by Montana State University that leads students to a master’s degree in teaching. A corresponding program offers participants a stipend and mentorship in exchange for a teaching commitment in an eligible school.
MSU’s Master of Arts in teaching program offers applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree a pathway to complete a preparation program and become a licensed Montana teacher in as little as one year.
Those admitted to the Master of Arts in teaching degree program can apply for the Montana Rural Teacher Project, or MRTP. Participants in the MRTP receive a living wage stipend while they complete the 12- to 16-month master’s program. They also receive two years of mentorship from established teachers. Students in the program must commit to teach in an eligible Montana school for three years.
BOZEMAN — Eight Montana projects have received mini grant funding from the Montana Girls STEM Collaborative to help develop or grow science, technology, engineering and math programs that serve girls and youth.
The collaborative is a statewide network with hubs at Montana State University and University of Montana. The mini grants of $500 to $1,000 were given in partnership with Lyda Hill Philanthropies, which created an online database called the IF/THEN Collection that features women scientists and engineers. The database features profiles of 125 female ambassadors who serve as role models for young people, and all photographs, videos and text found on the site are free for educational use. Organizations receiving grants will use the collection to encourage girls to pursue careers in STEM, which stands for science, technology, engineering and math.