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 fifth round of funding by MSU’s Outreach and Engagement Council since the council began its seed grant program in 2015.

Read the MSU News press release about 2019 recipients

Reimagining Rural Initiative

Reimagining Rural Initiative, submitted by MSU Extension agent Jennifer Anderson. Reimagining Rural is a collaborative, innovative effort to create opportunities that support small-town leaders in building vibrant futures for their communities. The initiative’s second phase will involve creating a statewide virtual community where leaders in rural communities can connect, learn, share and discuss ways of reimagining their communities’ future. Discussions and activities will be guided by a local, trained facilitator.

Inclusive Community Camp

Inclusive Community Camp, submitted by Jody Bartz, the Don and Sue Fisher Endowed Chair in the MSU College of Education, Health and Human Development. Held in summer 2020, the camp will provide an inclusive, active, creative, hands-on, playful summer experience for approximately 36 students, about half of whom will be students with disabilities. MSU elementary education teacher candidates will work to modify lessons and activities for the camp so that all students have a meaningful experience.

Participatory Open Space Planning in Bozeman

Participatory Open Space Planning in Bozeman, submitted by Susanne Cowan, assistant professor in the School of Architecture in the College of Arts and Architecture. Members of the research project team will provide open space mapping, trail counts, surveys, interviews and design charrette data to the city of Bozeman and the Gallatin Valley Land Trust that can be used to inform the Parks, Recreation, Open Space and Trails plan, which is slated to be updated in the next two years. The data is intended to help meet challenges the city faces as it grows, including retaining open space, meeting transportation needs and mitigating increasing air and water pollution.

Enhancing K-12 STEAM Education and Mentorship Opportunities in a Rural Community

Enhancing K-12 STEAM Education and Mentorship Opportunities in a Rural Community, submitted by Bernadette McCrory, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering in the Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering. Through a peer-mentorship program, MSU undergraduate and graduate students will partner with high school students in Manhattan to craft a science, technology, engineering, art and math – or STEAM – project. Over the course of 16 weeks, MSU peer mentors will interact with teams of high school students to adapt and customize their projects and translate them into lessons to teach at Manhattan middle and elementary schools. The project is designed to enable students to link STEAM with higher education and their career aspirations.

Scientists and Latinos United against Disparities

Scientists and Latinos United Against Disparities, submitted by Sally Moyce, assistant professor in the MSU College of Nursing. Members of the project team will engage with the Gallatin County’s growing Latino community about their health concerns. Through the creation of a community advisory board and a series of focus groups, the researchers will work to identify barriers to optimal health and brainstorm strategies for ways to promote health.

Development of Water Quality Outreach Workshop to Reach Rural Montana Students

Development of Water Quality Outreach Workshop to Reach Rural Montana Students, submitted by Adrienne Phillips, assistant professor in the Department of Civil Engineering in the Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering. Members of the project team will develop learning modules and a workshop highlighting water quality and water quality analysis. The modules and workshop will be designed for students at Fort Peck Community College and in eastern Montana schools. The work is intended to foster relationships between MSU faculty and students and the faculty and students of Montana’s tribal colleges in an effort to encourage more Native American students to pursue engineering degrees.

Near - Peer Cultural Diversity and Academic Mentor for High School Students in Montana

Near-peer Cultural Diversity and Academic Mentor for High School Students in Montana, submitted by Que N. Tran, doctoral student in adult and higher education in the College of Education, Health and Human Development. The project will use international graduate students from multiple disciplines at MSU to provide a cultural immersion experience for high school students. Five graduate students from different countries will share information with approximately 180 students, teachers, staff and leaders at Butte Central Catholic High School about opportunities and challenges they have experienced, perspectives on their cultures and information about their research and career opportunities. The project is intended to expose high school students to different international cultures, research disciplines and career opportunities.

Previous Recipients: 2015-2021