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2015
Friday, April 17th
1:40 PM

Expressive Arts as a Means of Increasing Well-Being in Children

Emily Vascimini, University of Montana - Missoula
Jordan Frotz, University of Montana - Missoula
HanaSara Ito, University of Montana - Missoula
Danielle Smith, University of Montana - Missoula

North UC Ballroom

1:40 PM - 4:10 PM

Across the country and throughout the world, children are receiving less exposure to expressive arts than in previous decades. Research has shown that expressive arts provide major benefits to young people. We implemented a student-directed program in a local fifth grade classroom to add to the current research on the benefits of expressive arts to children. Our program allowed students to select a central theme and self-select the expressive arts they participated in each day. They had the choice of creative writing, visual arts, dramatic play, and creative movement. Students completed measures of psychological well-being, specifically their self-esteem and self-confidence, both before and after participating in the four-week program. We hope our program and research will bring more awareness to the expressive arts, challenge schools to keep them in the curriculum, and increase their global presence. Our research findings from this program will be used to develop a comprehensive expressive arts program able to be distributed in a variety of global settings, such as orphanages, schools, or private organizations.

Getting Wild at School: adopting a Wilderness-based orientation program

Emily McKay, University of Montana - Missoula
Alanna Wulf, University of Montana - Missoula
Thomas McKean, University of Montana - Missoula
Jennifer Nelson, University of Montana - Missoula
Harold Kelley, University of Montana - Missoula
Thomas Egland, University of Montana - Missoula

North UC Ballroom

1:40 PM - 4:10 PM

The Freshmen Wilderness Experience (FWE) is the first extended orientation program at the University of Montana, and its long-term viability, success, and financial status are unknown. In seeking to address these unknowns, we have identified three research questions: are there areas in which the program may be improved, can this program succeed in successive years, and does this program benefit the University of Montana’s recruiting and retention goals? We identified areas of potential improvement by talking to participants in the first year. The areas they suggested are leadership curriculum, and education modules. We will incorporate leadership and skills curricula from outside sources. In addition, we plan to create our own education modules for students in areas such as map reading and navigation skills, and natural history content. Evaluating the potential success of this program will require research into similar institutions with similar programs and review published literature on the subject. We will assess aspects of comparable university programs and incorporate these components in this program. Primarily, we will examine the accessibility of access to the public lands on which this program will take place. We will speak with five ranger districts in Montana to build relationships with and work towards receiving permits for present and future participants of FWE. FWE will address problems that the University of Montana faces such as student recruitment and retention. The allure of a Wilderness focused orientation draws in many potential students that are choosing their school based on geography.

Making the Most of Intercultural Interactions: Designing a Catalyst for Intercultural Learning at the University of Montana

Amanda Charron, University of Montana - Missoula
Joseph Crowley, University of Montana - Missoula
Taylor Dantic, University of Montana - Missoula
Hannah Goetz, University of Montana - Missoula
Ashley Roness, University of Montana - Missoula

North UC Ballroom

1:40 PM - 4:10 PM

In recent decades, there has been a push for internationalization in higher education because many educators believe that cultural diversity is an essential element of the campus environment as universities strive to prepare graduates for a globalizing world. As international education scholar Darla Deardoff claims, “The question of integrating international and domestic students is an ongoing question that’s been with us for many years and unfortunately I haven’t found any institution that’s yet found the answer.” We aim to make use of untapped opportunities for mutual intercultural learning among students of diverse cultural backgrounds in higher education; to help bring about desired learning outcomes among both student groups. Specifically, we explore various kinds of interactions between foreign and U.S. students that can serve as vehicles for mutual intercultural learning, involving the development of transnational competence (Koehn and Rosenau, 2010). Through a student survey and interviews with university program officers and faculty conducted at the University of Montana, we found two main problems; non-engaging intercultural learning environment and a lack of motivation on the part of U.S. students. We endeavor to design a program that can address these issues. We will collaborate with offices on campus that already have relevant programs in place, such as the Office of International Programs, English Language Institute, and Student Involvement Network. Our program design is based on insights from a literature review, survey findings, and interview data. It involves a systematic three-step process that incorporates educational, social, and community service components that would help participants develop various aspects of transnational competence. Our program uniquely establishes analytic and emotional dimensions of transnational competence, to serve as the foundation on which participants can build communicative, functional, and creative dimensions. This paper reports on the research and the program development process that we engaged in to address the global problem.

Missoula Bike Swap: Creating a Step-by-Step Guide - A Community Enhancement Project

Madeline Halverson, University of Montana - Missoula
Cody Dems, University of Montana - Missoula
Brigitte Donahugh, University of Montana - Missoula
Sheridan Cook, University of Montana - Missoula
Danielle Albo, University of Montana - Missoula

North UC Ballroom

1:40 PM - 4:10 PM

In 2003, The League of American Bicyclists named Missoula, MT a Bicycle-Friendly Community. Missoula works hard to increase the use of sustainable transportation through various municipal and non-profit programs. Sustainable transportation is part of The City of Missoula’s mission to address global climate change. A strong local business network of bike shops and non-profit organizations promotes sustainable transportation to build a strong bike ethos. To enhance these local efforts to tackle global climate change, a GLI capstone group has teamed up with two Missoula organizations to create the first ever Missoula Bike Swap. The Bike Swap will help families and individuals find inexpensive bike upgrades, and put more bikes into circulation. The Missoula Bike Swap is like a community garage sale, but for bikes: people can sell their old bikes and bike gear, and have the opportunity to buy a new bike. Creating the Missoula Bike Swap required research on similar events nationally. Coordinating the event has required (1) the crafting of a marketing plan; (2) networking among various business sectors (selling sponsorships); (3) volunteer recruitment; and (4) operational/facility coordination. To make this event a lasting and viable part of Missoula’s bike culture, the GLI group is writing a step-by-step guide for holding the event, for Bicycle Walk Alliance for Missoula (BWAM) and Missoula Institute for Sustainable Transportation (MIST or Free Cycles). This guide will include a marketing scheme, a contact list ranging from sponsors to venue options, a sample sponsorship package, volunteer set up and organizational information, and an operations plan. The guide and this presentation, tell the story of the creation of the Missoula Bike Swap, and detail how the SWAP can be held again.

Montana: Humanizing the Wage Debate

Katheryn Houghton, University of Montana - Missoula
Dani Howlett, University of Montana - Missoula
Kaci Felstet, University of Montana - Missoula
Mackenzie Enich, University of Montana - Missoula

North UC Ballroom

1:40 PM - 4:10 PM

Minimum wage has been debated throughout American history. As society weighs wage inequality against employer burden, statistics define the discourse. Our team will humanize this debate by telling the stories of people working in Montana in low-income jobs. Rather than statistics, we will offer the faces of those living on the bare minimum. Our project gathers a variety of stories – from the single parent working multiple jobs to the small business owner – to explore the debate’s complexities. We will write at least three stories, each profiling a different person affected by wage inequality. For each story we will talk to a minimum of three sources. Our vehicle for change will be a website that includes print reporting, multimedia reporting, and social media posting. The print reporting will cover wage inequality through in-depth features and profiles written as newspaper articles and features. The multimedia reporting will cover the same topic but through short videos or radio pieces and miniature packages. Our social media campaign will create awareness about wage inequality through updates on our work, teases to our finished product, and highlights of other people’s work through four different platforms. Some might argue our project will not solve wage inequality. We believe one of the most effective ways to incite change is to put a face to the issue and to motivate people to initiate action by changing their perception of the average low-income worker.

Realizing Sustainability: Exchanging Concepts for Solutions

Kylie Rebich, University of Montana - Missoula
Ashley Kanduch, University of Montana - Missoula
Natalie Black, University of Montana - Missoula
Azucena Martinez, University of Montana - Missoula
Rebecca Singleton, University of Montana - Missoula
Luke Ninteman, University of Montana - Missoula

North UC Ballroom

1:40 PM - 4:10 PM

Global climate change is becoming a visible global issue. Many sectors of our society are taking on the challenge of mitigating climate change through sustainable practices. The business community in particular is tackling the challenge. Sustainability may be defined as doing things today that do not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. However, the business community has a distinct definition of sustainability. Many companies view “sustainability as an opportunity to gain a competitive edge and create tangible, economic value,” (Sommer, 2012, p. 3). Because our review of the literature demonstrated that businesses have a significant influence on trends in society, we wanted to further explore sustainable business as a platform for global and local climate change mitigation. Our project analyzed the interplay between business practices and sustainability on a local scale. We are working with a Missoula business to develop and implement, where possible, a specific sustainable business plan, which is realistic, affordable, and coincides with the goals of the business. We are working closely with the business to analyze current business practices, identify barriers in the environment that may prevent sustainable practices from being implemented, develop a current carbon footprint analysis, and look into local best practices for comparison. We also developed a survey to augment our work that was administered to local business owners to assess their understanding of sustainable business practices. This project will provide a proposal of business practices that equips the local business with ideas on how to implement sustainable practices into their current business operations.

UM Volunteers for Global Health Access

Rachael Schmoker, University of Montana - Missoula
Kyla Crisp, University of Montana - Missoula
Dylan Chaffin, University of Montana - Missoula
Taylor Preston, University of Montana - Missoula

North UC Ballroom

1:40 PM - 4:10 PM

As part of the Global Leadership Initiative of the University of Montana, the UM Volunteers for Global Health Access (UMVGHA) was developed to increase healthcare access in Missoula and South Africa. After an extensive literature review and focus groups with healthcare professionals, doctors, and patients, we isolated the challenge of healthcare access among low-income populations in Missoula and the surrounding areas. Through our research we identified a need within our community for increased transportation from the surrounding areas of Missoula as well as an online resource that can increase the health literacy of patients. We created a website that provides health information specific to Missoula, resources that cater to the low-income population, and a link to our transportation program. The transportation program is a framework which aims to connect volunteers from the community with patients who need rides to appointments at Partnership Health Center. We have developed this framework in such a way that it can be implemented in the next few years. Due to the global focus of the GLI, we also created a framework that can be carried out in Cape Town, South Africa. This aspect includes defining the parameters of our program and how it can be adapted and implemented in the townships surrounding Cape Town, South Africa. Our interest in Cape Town is due to the connection one of our group members has with organizations there. We plan to utilize these relationships.