2015 Seed Grant Proposal Recipients
Seed grants promote outreach and engagement between the university and the community through pilot projects, research, service learning and education. The program is designed to bring MSU faculty, staff and students together with local and regional partners to address the needs of Montana’s communities.
This was the first round of funding by MSU’s Outreach and Engagement Council since the council began its seed grant program in 2015.
Christine Stanton, assistant professor in the Department of Education, and Lucia Ricciardelli, associate professor in the School of Film and Photography. Stanton and Ricciardelli are collaborating with Blackfeet Community College on "Piikani Digital Storywork," a project that collects digital stories from the Blackfeet tribal community. Through the project, students and faculty at BCC and at Blackfeet Academy high school will learn filmmaking techniques from MSU students and faculty, who, in turn, are engaged in culturally responsive, community-centered filmmaking and education.
Christa Merzdorf, associate professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience. Merzdorf is collaborating with Montana's Aaniih Nakoda College in Harlem and Chief Dull Knife College in Lame Deer to bring tribal college and MSU students together as student-teachers for an intensive research practices course for undergraduates. The one-week research course was taught by MSU faculty last summer; the expansion will allow tribal college and MSU students who are actively participating in research to share their skills with fellow students and learn about each others' cultures.
Kalli Decker, assistant professor in the Department of Education. Decker will collaborate with Montana's Department of Health and Human Services to study the effectiveness of support services for families of children with disabilities. Currently, state programs offer support services to families, enforcing the importance of early intervention for children with disabilities. However, resources are not available to provide in-depth feedback from the families regarding how well the services are working. MSU students will be trained to conduct interviews with families in rural communities in order to provide critical data to early childhood professionals.
Angela Weikert, education and public programs director at the Museum of the Rockies. Weikert will partner with the Carter County Museum and a Carter County High School mathematics teacher to develop a collaborative education program called the "Mobile MAIA Science Lab." Students in rural communities will measure the bones of cattle, chicken and the dinosaur Maiaisaura in order to better understand the mathematical and biological concepts of growth curves while connecting with Montana's agricultural economy and rich fossil history.