Spring 2022

The Correlation Between Motivation & Success

Montana State University’s head foptball coach, Brent Vigen, will join Lt. Col. ChristopherL'Heureux, director of ROTC and professor of military science, to discuss the correlation between motivation and success at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 26, in the Procrastinator Theater.

Presented by the MSU Leadership Institute, this hourlong interactive leadership training is free and open to the public, but registration is required on Eventbrite.com  A reception will follow. 

Leadership. The correlation between Motivation and Success. A conversation with head football coach Brent Vigen and the director of ROTC, professor of military science, Lt. Col. Christopher L'Heureux - April 26 at 4:30PM - Procrastinator Theater - Free

Vigen will speak about his career in college football andshare his thoughts on the development and motivation of both his staff and student-athletes. This past season, Vigen led the Bobcats football team to the FCS national championship game. Prior to MSU, he was on the coaching staff at the University of Wyoming and North Dakota state, where he also once played.

L’Heureux’s career has focused on inspiring and motivating the next generation of military officers in the U.S. Army. He served in Battle Group Poland after an assignment in Washington, D.C., as a liaison to the House of Representatives. Previous assignments include deployments to Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan and various leadership positions with 35th Armor Regiment, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Infantry Regiment and 2nd Infantry Division. 

“We all need the ‘why’ to push forward, and understanding the importance of motivation and how to go about building it is something vital for every single one of us,” said Carmen McSpadden, director of the MSU LEadership Institute, whichwill facilitate the training along with student associate Isobel Pollock. “With two weeks to go in the semester, the timing for the topic of motivation could not be better,” McSpadden added. 

The event is sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Associated Students of MSU, the College of Letters and ScienceMurdoch's Ranch and Home Supply, MSU Army ROTC, First Interstate Bank, MSU Athletics, Department of Psychology, and Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success.

Youth V Gov poster with a young girl on a teen's shoulders during a protest.

'Youth v Gov' Film Premiere at Montana State University

Montana State University will be hosting the local premiere of "Youth v Gov," a film which follows a group of young people who sued the government for violating their rights to a clean climate, set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 23, in Ballroom A of the Strand Union Building.

After the event there will be a Q&A with the Emmy award-winning filmmaker Christi Cooper, and Julia Olson, the chief litigator for the case. The event is free and open to the public, although tickets are required through this eventbrite link

Cooper, who also has a doctorate in neuroscience and a master's degree in microbiology, received her Master of Fine Art degree from MSU in Science and Natural History Filmmaking in 2014. In addition to numerous awards for other film projects, "Youth v Gov" has screened at 51 festivals around the world, winning 25 awards, including the Grand Teton Award from Jackson Wild, ReelWomenDirect Award for Excellence in Directing by a Woman, Best of Festival and Best Feature Documentary from Woods Hole Film Festival, and Best Feature Film from Port Townsend Film Festival, among others. She and a number of MSU film graduates received a regional Emmy for “Indian Relay” in 2014.

Olson, chief counsel for the plaintiffs, is the founder of Our Children’s Trust, a nonprofit law firm. Her work focuses on representing young people and helping them speak up for the quality of their lives and of future generations. Olson is a recipient of the Rose-Walters Prize for Global Environmental Activism and received the Kerry Rydberg Award for Environmental Activism in 2017.

Cooper’s “Youth v Gov” film crew includes 12 MSU alumni. The March 23 event will also mark the 20th anniversary celebration of MSU’s MFA in Science and Natural History Filmmaking program.

The event is presented by the MSU Leadership Institute and sponsored by Office of the ProvostASMSUCollege of Arts and ArchitectureDiversity and Inclusion Student CommonsHonors CollegeDepartment of Native American StudiesMSU Model United NationsSustainability NowMSU Leadership Fellows Program and the Citizens’ Climate Lobby.



Mae Jemison Photo Event PostponedAn Evening with Mae Jemison: First African American Woman in Space


Montana State University will host former astronaut Mae Jemison for a lecture on Feb. 1, 2022. "An Evening with Mae Jemison: First African American Woman in Space" will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Strand Union Building ballrooms on MSU's campus. The event is open to the public. 

Jemison served six years as a NASA astronaut and is an inductee into the National Women’s Hall of Fame and International Space Hall of Fame. Aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, a landmark mission in September 1992, she performed experiments in material science, life sciences and human adaptation to weightlessness.

Growing up, Jemison said, she was inspired by African American actress Nichelle Nichols, who played Lieutenant Uhura on “Star Trek.” After her work with NASA, Jemison was asked to appear on an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” making Jemison the first real astronaut to appear on the show.

Jemison currently leads 100 Year Starship, a nonprofit initiative to assure that capabilities exist for human travel beyond our solar system to another star within the next century.

Her past endeavors include founding the Jemison Group Inc., a technology consulting firm that integrates socio-cultural issues into the design of engineering and science projects, such as satellite technology for health care delivery and solar dish Stirling engine electricity in developing countries.

In 1994, Jemison founded the international science camp The Earth We Share for students ages 12 to 16 from around the world. From 2011 to 2014, the Dorothy Jemison Foundation held The Earth We Share-Space Race in collaboration with the Los Angeles Unified School District, which trained hundreds of middle school teachers and thousands of middle school students in experiential science education.

“An inspiration for generations of Americans, we are thrilled to be able to offer our community a chance to hear from a leader who is heralded for her life story and her continued dedication to building a world of opportunity and equality,” said Carmen McSpadden, director of the MSU Leadership Institute

Tickets for Jemison’s MSU appearance go on sale at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1, at ticketswest.com. General admission is $15 and student tickets are $8. For more information contact the MSU Leadership Institute, at 406-994-7275 or [email protected]

Presented by the MSU Leadership Institute, the event is sponsored by the Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Associated Students of MSU, Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering, College of Letters and Science, Murdoch’s Home and Ranch SupplyMontana Space Grant Consortium, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Diversity and Inclusion Student Commons, Committee of MSU National Conference on Undergraduate Research, MSU Black Student Union andMSU Engineers Without Borders.

February 17th - 18th : Giving Day

MSU Giving Day is a 29-hour donation marathon where YOU can show your support for the MSU Leadership Institute. Funds raised will support our mission to provide exceptional student trainings, workshops, mentorships, and lectures to inspire students to become leaders who serve as catalysts for positive change. 

Leadership Beyond BarriersMarch 1st : Leadership Beyond Barriers: Denali's First Adaptive Descent







"Denali's First Adaptive Descent: Leadership Beyond Barriers"  features two accomplished adaptive athletes, Vasu Sojitra and Pete McAfee, will speak on their historic descent of Denali. Their story will facilitate a discussion on leadership, barriers, access, and inclusion.

Through intentional storytelling, Sojitra will focus on access and inclusion in the outdoor community and beyond. Sojitra, an adaptive athlete and advocate for intersectionality in the outdoors, will begin by telling the story of skiing Denali and demonstrate how access to proper resources that allow people with disabilities to accomplish great things. McAfee, an avid ski mountaineer and volunteer adaptive ski instructor, will join Sojitra to continue their story. To conclude the event, an interactive panel-style Q&A will shift the conversation towards discussing accessibility and representation at MSU. Afterwards, the MSU Leadership Institute will host a reception including the event speakers, attendees, and sponsors.

This event is sponsored by Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Associated Students of MSU, Office of Student Engagement, Office of Disability Services, College of Education, Health and Human Development, Diversity and Inclusion Student Commons, Eagle Mount, ASMSU Outdoor Recreation Program, Treasure State Orthotics & Prosthetics, Uphill Pursuits, and Ski Mountaineering Club