Kent Davis, Honors College, Snake Oil Workshop

 Kent Davis is a writer, actor, solo performer, teacher and improvisational comedian. He’s been professionally making stuff up for over twenty-five years.

At the same time, boy’s gotta eat. Parallel to his artistic career career, he has held an array of positions in strategic planning, corporate law, universities, brand management, and strategic design.

Teaching and performing improvisation have been the constants in his professional life. Snake Oil Workshop was founded to leverage that background for business and the academy. We train academic and business professionals in the cornerstones of improvisation: creative risk-taking, navigating stressful situations, building teams, and managing change.
He is a faculty fellow in the Honors College at Montana State University. He is the award-winning author of the children’s literature trilogy, A Riddle in Ruby, published by Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins. He holds a BA in English from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA in Theater from UC, San Diego. 

Dr. Jennifer Green, Department of Mathematics

 Dr.  Green is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences and will serve as a Co-PI for this project. Green has expertise in statistics, and her research focuses on developing strategies and methods to enhance and assess educational programs in STEM-related disciplines. She has served as Co-PI for two NSF grants involving the use and development of advanced statistical methodology to study teacher and student outcomes, and she has experience communicating the educational impacts of these projects’ results with various stake-holders, including local school districts. Green has extensive experience collaborating with others in the mathematical and educational sciences to create innovative approaches for teacher development in grades K-12 and in higher education, and she currently develops and leads training for graduate teaching assistants in the Department of Mathematical Sciences. Dr. Green will serve as the domain expert for the math students in this project. 

Dr. Bryce Hughes, Department of Education

Dr. Bryce Hughes is an Assistant Professor of Adult and Higher Education in the Department of Education at Montana State University. He is also an affiliate faculty member with the Montana Engineering Education Research Center. One major focus of his research agenda is STEM education, particularly broadening the participation of underrepresented groups in STEM, including women, students of color, and LGBTQ students. Hughes previously worked on a national project with the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA that examined the educational
trajectories of underrepresented racial and ethnic minority students in STEM fields, and has extensive training in both quantitative and qualitative educational research methods. In addition to master’s and doctoral degrees in education, Hughes holds a bachelor of science in general engineering, and is currently involved in related research examining the effect of curricular innovations on engineering
students’ academic outcomes.

Dr. Brock La Meres, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Brock J. LaMeres is an Associate Profession in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Montana State University.  He is also the Director of the Montana Engineering Education Research Center (MEERC).  Dr. LaMeres’ technical area of expertise is computer engineering with specific emphasis on reconfigurable computing systems.  Dr. LaMeres’ educational interests are on student motivation and using e-learning systems to address background deficiencies of incoming engineering students.  Dr. LaMeres received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Colorado in 2005.  He has published over 80 papers and 2 textbooks in the area of digital systems and engineering education.  He has also been granted 13 U.S. patents in the area of digital signal propagation.  Dr. LaMeres is a member of IEEE Education Society and the American Society of Engineering Education.  He is also a Registered Professional Engineer in the States of Montana and Colorado.

Dr. Chris Organ, Directed Interdisciplinary Studies, Director & Chair, Honors College Department of Earth Sciences Department of Microbiology & Immunology Montana 

Dr. Organ has a broad background in comparative and evolutionary biology with specific training in paleobiology and phylogenetic comparative methods. The foundation of this expertise was earned during an NRSA postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard under the mentorship of Dr. Scott Edwards. Dr. Organ's research expanded throughout his fellowship to include work on sex chromosome evolution and human paleobiology. This work was driven by phylogenetic comparative methods Dr. Organ helped develop with Dr. Mark Pagel and Dr. Andrew Meade (University Reading, UK). After his postdoc, Dr. Organ joined the Department of Genetics and Genomics at Biogen Idec. His work there focused on viral-host interactions and multiple sclerosis GWAS, both of which integrated phylogenetic methods.  In 2013  Dr. Organ accepted a position at Montana State University in the Department of Earth Sciences and the WIMU Regional Program in Veterinary Medicine. Since 2017 he has also served as the Director of the Directed Interdisciplinary Studies Program in the Honors College. 

Leila Sterman, Library

Leila Sterman is the Scholarly Communication Librarian and Assistant Professor at Montana State. Sterman manages MSU's institutional repository, is the university copyright expert, publishes three journals on Open Journal Systems, and works to help researchers better communicate their findings, especially to the public. Her current research focuses on the trust that people put into printed academic literature and the ways that trust has transferred to the digital world in the hopes that by understanding those motivations she can help build trust in digital, open tools and resources. She is a graduate of Pratt Institute and Skidmore College, former editor of the Pacific Northwest Library Association Quarterly journal, and chair of the Women’s Faculty Caucus at Montana State University.