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 sixth 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 2020 recipients

Bozeman English Literacy Learner Association (BELLA)

Bozeman English Literacy Learner Association (BELLA), submitted by Bridget Kevane, professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures in the College of Letters and Science. BELLA is a collaborative initiative designed to support newcomer youth in Gallatin County through English learner literacy and mentorship. The nonprofit World Languages Initiative-MT, Bozeman School English Language coordinator and faculty and students from the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures will work together to help students new to the U.S. navigate the public school system and their new community. They will provide non-English speaking K-12 students with academic tutoring and organize a summer literacy camp in 2021.

Hilleman and Vaccines: Connecting Culture to Scientific Curiosity

Hilleman and Vaccines: Connecting Culture to Scientific Curiosity, submitted by Angela Weikert, director of operations of education and public programs at the Museum of the Rockies. In partnership with the Carter County Museum and Ekalaka Public Schools, the Museum of the Rockies will create a new collaborative curriculum, “Hilleman and Vaccines.” The project will share recently donated objects from the Hilleman family, an MSU alumnus who was a groundbreaking microbiologist and vaccine developer, along with lesson plans that expand student understanding of scientific concepts, a screening of the documentary “Hilleman: A Perilous Quest to Save the World’s Children” and livestream programs. Because Hilleman was born and raised in rural Montana, project organizers hope to inspire curiosity in Montana’s rural students and spark interest in global public health.

Community Ice Observations: An App-Based Approach to Map and Photograph River Ice by Citizens Across Montana

Community Ice Observations: An App-Based Approach to Map and Photograph River Ice by Citizens Across Montana, submitted by Eric Sproles, assistant professor in the Department of Earth Sciences in the College of Letters and Science. Seasonal river ice, which can have profound impacts on river dynamics and the economies of nearby communities, is of particular concern in Montana, Sproles said. This proposal will support the initial development of Community Ice Observations, an app that will allow citizens across Montana to map and photograph river ice. The information gathered will feed a database of river ice to be shared with community safety managers, streamflow forecasters and MSU researchers. The project will engage with educators in eastern Montana as ambassadors for the project, as well as work directly with stakeholders along the Yellowstone River corridor.

Bozeman Commuter Project Rebranding and Social Marketing to Increase Affordable and Sustainable Transportation Choices in Southwest Montana

Bozeman Commuter Project Rebranding and Social Marketing to Increase Affordable and Sustainable Transportation Choices in Southwest Montana, submitted by Matthew Madsen, research associate for MSU’s Western Transportation Institute. This seed grant will support a collaboration between MSU students and community partners, including Gallatin County and the city of Bozeman, to develop a social marketing plan and rebranding for BozemanCommute.org. The website encourages people to replace drive-alone trips to work with trips by bike, foot, bus, carpool or vanpool and telework in the greater Bozeman area. Organizers hope the project will encourage higher participation and a greater understanding of transportation options available to people living in and around the greater Gallatin Valley.

Addressing "Period Poverty" in Rural Montana Schools: A Multilateral Approach

Addressing "Period Poverty" in Rural Montana Schools: A Multilateral Approach, submitted by Crescent Montana, a student organization at MSU. This project will address the problem of Montana students missing school due to a lack of access to adequate menstrual hygiene products and reproductive education. Crescent Montana has partnered with the Central Montana Family Planning Clinic to provide free menstrual hygiene products in 24 school restrooms in central Montana. Crescent Montana also will create and distribute quality reproductive educational materials to complement these products. Since January 2019, Crescent Montana has successfully piloted similar programs in three schools in the Bozeman area. The partnership with CMFPC will allow Crescent Montana to expand its efforts beyond the Gallatin Valley.

Establishing an Experiential Food Entrepreneurship Curriculum with the A.K.F Wakhine School in Senegal to Support Indigenous Food Sovereignty

Establishing an Experiential Food Entrepreneurship Curriculum with the A.K.F Wakhine School in Senegal to Support Indigenous Food Sovereignty, submitted by Wan-Yuan Kuo, assistant professor in the sustainable food systems program in the Department of Health and Human Development in the College of Education, Health and Human Development. Team PATH (Promoting Agricultural Transformation Holistically) will collaborate with the A.K.F Wakhine School in Senegal, Africa, to develop a food entrepreneurship curriculum focused on Indigenous food sovereignty and sustainable agriculture. Team PATH, a student-led research organization at MSU that was founded by members of the MSU Food Product Development Lab, has expertise in education, agroecology, nutrition and food enterprise, a field that focuses on innovation and entrepreneurship in the food sector. Specifically, the curriculum will introduce activities in aquaponics, food product development and field projects with rural women farmers to establish food entrepreneurship. Team PATH will expand the project impact through conference presentations and connecting with other schools in Senegal.

Previous Recipients: 2015-2021

2021

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015