College of Letters and Science Alumni: Knowledge in Action

Scott Dersam and Sari Breitenfeldt

A Race Against Time

CLS alumni win prestigious prize for ice patch archeaology

Angela Des Jardins

Aiming for the Moon

Two women after graduating three times from MSU


Michael Ruiz (left) and Ron June

Being Human

Anthropology alum receives fellowship to pursue doctoral studies at Harvard


Joseph Azzarelli

Bringing Value to Society

Chemistry alum part of a team working on a low-cost lung cancer screening tool


Nina Erickson

Staying in the Treasure State

Liberal Studies graduate opens hostel


Daniel Zizzamia

East Meets West

American West scholar earns prestigious postdoctoral environmental fellowship at Harvard

A Keeper of Knowledge

A voice for the land and people

Graduating from MSU in 2015 with a master's degree in Native American Studies, Marsha Small is a cultural preservationist, activist and keeper of knowledge.

Student Highlights

Josh Carter

In 2016, math major Zane Huttinga and microbiology major Josh Carter received Goldwater Scholarships, the nation's premier scholarship for undergraduates studying math, natural sciences and engineering.

Montana Wilson

Montana Wilson, a double major in economics and political science with a minor in Native American studies, received a 2016 Udall Scholarship in recognition of his service to his tribal community.

Kristen Emmett

Kristen Emmett, a doctoral student in the Department of Ecology, was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Program Fellowship that will support her work using a computer model to build and analyze "virtual" forests.

Melody Lindsay
Melody Lindsay, a doctoral student in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, received a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship to continue her research on early life on Earth and the potential for life on other planets.

Faculty Highlights

Cathy Whitlock

Earth sciences professor Cathy Whitlock received the Association for Women Geoscientists Professional Excellence Award which recognizes exceptional women who have made distinguished contributions in their professions throughout their careers.

Robert Rydell

Robert Rydell, professor of history in the Department of History and Philosophy and in the interdisciplinary American Studies program, won the 2016 Mary C. Turpie Prize from the American Studies Association.

Mark Fiege

Mark Fiege, a historian known for his writing and scholarship about the environment of the American West and the country's national parks, was selected as the Wallace Stegner Endowed Chair in Western American Studies at MSU.


Colter Ellis and Kelly Knight

Colter Ellis and Kelly Knight, both assistant professors in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, received a grant from the Montana Healthcare Foundation to expand their research into health disparities and victim service provider needs among American Indians in Montana.

Carly Urban (left) and Christiana Stoddard

Associate professor Christiana Stoddard and assistant professor Carly Urban, both in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics, received a grant from the Montana Office of Public Instruction to study the impacts of high school financial education on college financial aid and load decisions.

Thom Hughes

Thom Hughes, a professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, is part of a team working with genetically encoded voltage indicators (GEVIs) which is a biotechnology that enables researchers to see the electrical activity of individual neural cells "light up" when active.

Raina Plowright
Raina Plowright, assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, co-authored a paper that found that bat deaths worldwide are markedly rising due to human causes largely unique to the 21st century.


Avalanche beacon park

Snow Avalanche Workshop

Avalanche workshop and research improves safety for backcountry recreationists

Yellowstone Writing Project workshop

Yellowstone Writing Project

Where teachers learn to be writers and better writing teachers


Hua Li

World languages in schools

Modern Languages professor receives seed grant to develop Chinese language program in area elementary schools