|Friday, April 15th|
9:00 AM - 9:20 AM
It sounds almost comical to say that a potato altered the course of history. For one country, however, that statement has become an undisputed fact. The Great Potato Famine gave birth to modern Irish nationalism and proved to be a crucial rallying point during the Irish fight for independence. During this period of hunger, Scotland experienced a similar famine that failed to produce the same nationalistic sentiments from its people. Drawing from firsthand accounts such as famine diaries and newspaper articles, as well as other scholarly sources, this paper examines what factors led to the divergent paths of Ireland and Scotland following their respective famines. My research suggests that the history of British exploitation, based on religious differences and manifested in economic practices, left Ireland exceptionally vulnerable to the effects of the famine and spurred the Irish independence movement. Scottish nationalism, however, focused merely on increased autonomy rather than complete independence from Britain because the effects of the famine were minimized by Scotland’s strong religious ties to England. This paper reveals the importance of religion in solidifying national identity and transcending ethnic boundaries to sustain multinational states.
9:20 AM - 9:40 AM
The Valor House is a transitional housing facility for homeless veterans in Missoula, MT. In collaboration with the Veterans Administration, the Poverello Center, and Missoula Housing Authority, the Valor House works to address the multifaceted needs of America’s largest homeless population: Veterans. Many residents of Valor House struggle with post-traumatic stress and other mental health issues, and live in individual one bedroom apartment units. Although residents might benefit greatly from group activities, guest speakers, and group classes their mental health issues cause many residents to be hesitant to participate. Therefore, as a nonresident, it is challenging to encourage residents to participate in such planned events. Drawing on two Valor House volunteers’ experiences, this presentation examines the various methods used to encourage veterans to participate in organized activities at the Valor House, and explores the failures and successes of the methods used . We will conclude by offering suggestions about successful strategies for engaging Veterans in events such as fly fishing, bowling, financial and anger management classes, mental health seminars and AA meetings.
9:40 AM - 10:00 AM
The millennial generation, born between the 1980’s and 1990’s, is an understudied population in terms of financial contributions to charitable non-profit organizations. National studies show that this generation is civically engaged despite commonly held misperceptions. As the millennial generation matures, they will become increasingly important for the viability of the nonprofit sector. This study assesses various aspects of financial contributions of Missoula millennial donors to determine how the local nonprofit community can more effectively target this population. This study uses in-depth surveys of approximately one hundred randomly selected University of Montana student millennials who are 18 years-old or older. The survey questions are designed to examine Millennial donation and communication preferences. Students were asked about their financial contributions and about their preferences for solicitation. This information will be used to compare the regional Missoula data to similar national studies. Understanding how to engage the millennial population is increasingly critical to nonprofit organizations that seek to use donor segmentation as a means of building and maintaining a donor base.
Tara Kirkham, University of Montana - Missoula
10:00 AM - 10:20 AM
This study tests whether offering students a 'menu' of options for the Group Project requirement portion of the AIS course is of value to students. The menu of options for the Group Project include the choice of one of two software projects (QuickBooks or Microsoft Dynamics), or one of two intricate case studies from a major accounting academic journal (Information Technology General Controls or XBRL) or a case study from the teaching support section of a major CPA firm (Financial Statement Risk Assessment Following the COSO Framework). Surveys are administered over two semesters during one school year at one State University. Surveys are administered to all students before and after performing their chosen Group Project to determine both the student's learning experience and satisfaction with this 'Menu' approach to the Group Project. In general, the 'menu' approach to a case study option in the introductory AIS class appears to be relevant and of value to students taking this course, and potentially provides students with practical experience which the student can use to their benefit in the future in various ways. The study also documents how to use a learning management system to effectively and efficiently manage the implementation of such a 'menu' Group Project approach and the time required of the instructor to grade the Group Project submissions, including grading guidelines.
10:20 AM - 10:40 AM
There are many reasons why companies don’t export, including lack of market knowledge and uncertainty over foreign regulations. Trade missions are designed to help companies overcome some of these obstacles. While previous export research has focused on determinants of export success or the effectiveness of export promotion programs, this research examines factors that contribute to export success for companies participating specifically in trade missions organized by world trade centers. Through a survey administered by the author to past participants of Montana World Trade Center trade missions, this study analyzes four separate factors and their role in the success of a trade mission: prior export knowledge, market-specific knowledge, follow-up activities, and the services provided by a world trade center. The success of a mission is measured in both objective and perceptual terms, including the number of business contacts made, growth in export sales, and the degree to which a firm’s objectives for participating in the mission were met. The results of this study will indicate what services a world trade center can offer to improve the export performance of participants in trade missions. In addition, the results will allow the Montana World Trade Center to measure the value of the services it offers to its clients.
10:40 AM - 11:00 AM
With the rise in youth education programs incorporating foreign languages around the United States, researchers are interested in understanding what types of foreign language programs are most beneficial to students. In Europe, students are exposed to several languages throughout their grade school years as a result of the importance placed on multilingualism. In this cross-cultural observational study, students in Rome, Italy and students in Montana were observed while learning a new language over the course of eight months. The researcher was interested in cross-cultural language development and the importance placed on acculturation in these instructional settings. Although the main focus of this qualitative study was on the settings mentioned above, the author also explored various other foreign language teaching strategies being used in Montana during this time. By meeting with English teachers from Korea and Chinese teachers from China, the author gained insight to teaching techniques used in different cultures. The primary results gained from the study are reflected in the acculturation research. Rather than finding a main difference in language development across cultures, results are discussed in terms of the significance placed on the need to acculturate. Limitations and suggestions for further research are also discussed.