|Friday, April 11th|
Robert M. Howe
9:00 AM - 9:20 AM
In Missoula, there are dozens of new apartments being built today, yet the homeless population continues to grow. The purpose of this research is to better understand what issues will keep a person out of a home and on the streets and to provide insights into alternatives to building more low-income homes. This project asks: what are the barriers to housing in Missoula for people who are already homeless or on the verge of being homeless? In order to understand what those barriers are, I will explore the perceptions that landlords hold toward the homeless population. Data will be collected from an available sample of local landlords, property managers and property developers. Additionally, I use referrals to landlords who are willing to explain their experience with the homeless population. The data consists of responses to in-depth interviews, consisting of personal experiences and suggestions for possible ways to make renting to this population more appealing. I analyze the data by searching for common themes in the interviews that reflect landlords' perceptions of homeless people, landlords' concerns about renting to people who are already homeless, and their suggestions for how renting to homeless individuals can be successful. These results will contribute to my community and to the people who are most affected by access to rental housing. I plan to share the results with Missoula’s current stakeholders, primarily social service agencies that are focused on the prevention of homelessness.
jesse e. desrosier, University of Montana - Missoula
9:20 AM - 9:40 AM
Second language learners are expected to have errors with pronunciation of new words. Many researchers have said that these errors are actually an influence from their native language – known as transfer effect. I investigated a transfer effect of English to Blackfeet focusing on pronunciation. The effect is anticipated to occur because rhythms of the two languages differ. Blackfeet is known as a ‘pitch’ accent language, while English as a ‘stress’ accent language. In a pitch accent language, accented syllables are pronounced with high pitch regardless of vowel length while in a stress accent language, accented syllables are pronounced with stress correlating with vowel length. Take the word saahkómaapi ‘boy’ for example. The second syllable kó is pronounced with a high pitch while the rest with low pitch. However, because the first and the third syllables saah and maa have long vowels, I expected English speakers would pronounce these with stress and kó without stress. In order to study this aspect, I conducted an experiment in which I recorded Native and non-native Blackfeet speakers pronouncing 20 Blackfeet words. I measured sound frequencies and vowel duration of each word, using an acoustic phonetics program (praat). Then I identified and analyzed the participants’ accent patterns. In my presentation, I will report the results to my experiment. The study concludes that transfer effect does occur from English to Blackfeet. As of now there is no report on the Blackfeet language Second Language acquisition and this study will contribute to advancing linguistics research in Second Language phonology. The information of the study provides Blackfeet teachers a better understanding of how non-native speakers acquire pronunciation.
Sandi M. O'Brien, University of Montana - Missoula
9:40 AM - 10:00 AM
The University of Montana offers a course, Human Sexuality cross-listed with Anthropology and Biology. As a major in Anthropology, I chose this course to gain an ethnographic cross-cultural perspective on human sexuality. In 2011, the course was taught from a health and human performance pedagogy perspective stressing biological knowledge. The cross-cultural comparison focused on different pedophilias in western, primarily U.S. society. Anthropology of human sexuality reflects every aspect of society and culture. How should the pedagogy of this course span different disciplines and integrate biological, cross-cultural, and also legal issues in K-16 sex education? My initial research reveals that college students surveyed do not understand their individual rights in both Titles Seven and Nine Civil Rights Acts; although, they have a broad range of expectations and goals for the scope and nature of human sexuality education and its importance. In 2014, I distributed an anonymous, voluntary survey to ANTY 227 (subjects were numbered). The sample population is demographically representative, drawn from ages 18-60; freshmen to seniors, and numerous majors. Of 148 students enrolled, 65 volunteered to complete the survey. My aim is to describe the changes, if any, in their opinions or knowledge about human sexuality, by repeating the survey in ten weeks. Based on comparative results of student opinions and knowledge, especially of the Civil Rights Acts, I will both describe and evaluate student receptivity for interdisciplinary pedagogy of human sexuality at the University of Montana to include knowledge of legal issues, as well as biological and cross-cultural perspectives.
10:00 AM - 10:20 AM
Businesses today face more performance risks than ever before. Progressively unjust social spheres, severe environmental disruptions, and corporate governance scandals are just a few issues afflicting the modern business environment. The demand is high for corporate disclosure of these and other sustainability matters. Currently, businesses are not subject to any mandatory sustainability reporting requirements. A number of sustainability reporting frameworks have therefore emerged to help businesses report on sustainability performance. The US nonprofit Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) offers one such framework. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the SASB’s framework and provisional standards for its ability to promote decision-useful sustainability reports, where decision-usefulness is a function of the following reporting principles: materiality; stakeholder inclusiveness; context; completeness and accuracy; measurability and verifiability; and transparency. Sustainability reporting is a nascent field. As such, emergent sustainability reporting frameworks have yet to be critically assessed for their value and effectiveness. This study highlights the SASB framework’s significant concepts and values, thereby clarifying its advantages and disadvantages for use in US business sustainability reporting.
Amy R. Sisk
10:20 AM - 10:40 AM
Only one small grocery store serves the 5,000 people living on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in rural southeastern Montana. Between its limited stock, fast food from a nearby convenience store and canned goods distributed to residents through the commodity program, it’s hard to come by wholesome meals. That has not stopped health-conscious people from sponsoring a host of programs to curb poor nutrition. But will their efforts go far enough to make a lasting difference across the reservation? And why is accessing quality food so difficult in this part of the state? I set out to answer these questions on a trip to the Northern Cheyenne Reservation over spring break. My research will culminate in a longform story for the University of Montana School of Journalism’s yearly Native News project, slated for publication on May 24 in the Missoulian and Billings Gazette. After dozens of interviews with people working in food- and health-related fields, as well as residents who struggle to find healthy food, I am compiling my notes into an article to be printed alongside other journalism students’ stories of innovation in Montana’s Indian Country.
christa moore, University of Montana - Missoula
10:40 AM - 1:00 PM
In an increasingly secular society, religion and spirituality are not often considered legitimate resources for improving quality of life and overall well-being. My research will delve deeper into the role that they can play in counseling, particularly in the community of Missoula, Montana. I have interviewed four different counselors in the community about their experiences with religion and spirituality at a personal level and how that translates into their work. This is a new approach to this topic because these are qualitative interviews looking into the experiences of these counselors with no focus on numerical data or broad generalizations. This paper will give a deeper insight into different methods and approaches counselors take when it comes to religion and spirituality, thus broadening society’s understanding and appreciation of their potential role and value in counseling.
11:00 AM - 11:20 AM
In the past at the University of Montana, architectural barriers to accessibility of the campus environment have closed the door to Post Secondary Higher Education for students with disabilities. Through effective retrofits to the existing facilities and the creation of a Strategic Plan for continued identification, most of these barriers have been removed. Today programmatic barriers to accessibility for students with disabilities have moved into a new space of fragmented accessibility within the virtual environment. Educational materials have transitioned to utilize emerging web technologies and learning management systems. However, presently, an audit has not been conducted o measure the usability and accessibility of these technologies for students with disabilities enrolled on our campus. Building a new web environment that is fully accessible to students with disabilities requires gathering information about the experiences student with disabilities have had using current technologies utilized for completion of coursework. Creating an objective assessment on the usability and navigability of university web technology is an opportunity for students with disabilities to collaborate with qualified university staff to effectively remove barriers and develop lasting measures to assess institutional procurement of future technologies. By conducting a qualitative questionnaire survey with students currently registered with Disability Services at U of M, I will be working to discover and document any barriers that have not been identified and presenting my findings from this research to the campus community in a 25 minute presentation. The need to document these barriers will help to provide the University of Montana with necessary insight for removal and assist the campus community in continued efforts to effectively implement the creation of a campus that is technologically, architecturally, programmatically, and attitudinally accessible to students with disabilities.