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A Technologically Enhanced Introduction to Creative Writing --Instructional Unit Plan

Evangeline Campbell, University of Montana, Missoula

Technologically Enhanced Introduction to Creative Writing Unit Plan

My educational unit plan serves as an 9th & 10th grade Introduction to Creative Writing. Each lesson includes guiding questions, learning outcomes, content standards, and step-by-step instructional activities. As it spans over poetry, prose, nonfiction, and fiction, the unit plan will serve, for students, as an introduction to Creative Writing and, for educators, as an avenue for integrating different styles of technology into their teaching repertoire.

With the assistance of my mentor, I crafted each lesson around the Creative Writing content and skills most precedent for 9th and 10th graders. The addition of technology as a teaching tool in my unit plan provides educational opportunities for teachers across all disciplines. For example, any video can be transformed into instruction with simultaneous assessment using Ed Puzzle. Teachers can film their teaching, use any digitalized video, or time a slideshow and use Ed Puzzle to add checkpoints in which students are asked questions, can ask their own questions, or leave comments. In my unit plan, Ed Puzzle is utilized to teach figurative language terms and assess student knowledge by asking for and providing examples. In our current climate, and as education moves back to a more traditional setting, virtual learning will continue to offer bountiful products, adaptions, and extensions that can vary instruction, create online learning opportunities, and provide modified or advanced learning experiences.

As an English Education major with a second concentration in Creative Writing, this unit plan will be adaptable and beneficial to my student teaching experience and future classroom. Through its creation, I am more confident and capable to teach Creative Writing. At UMCUR I will present using an interactive PowerPoint which highlights content covered in my lesson plans as well as their unique emphasis on technology.

Accessibility of Police Officer Conduct Records in Montana and Policy Solutions to Move Toward Transparency

Sophia Speckert, University of Montana, Missoula
Isabelle Lyon, University of Montana, Missoula
Gillian Oneil, University of Montana, Missoula
John Bazant, University of Montana, Missoula

Police officers in the United States are granted an extraordinary amount of discretion in their posts and hold unique positions of power within their communities. Consequently, they carry increased responsibility for their actions. However, existing law in Montana provides multiple avenues for the classification or destruction of records relevant to officer conduct, making it impossible for the public to spot patterns of misconduct or adequately evaluate an officer’s fitness for public office. This particular legal issue is receiving special consideration as citizens of the United States are reckoning with the disproportionate police killings of people of color and searching for better ways to hold police officers accountable. In Montana, native people comprise the second largest population group and are the most likely to be killed by police. Ensuring that important police records are made accessible to the public is imperative to achieving fairness and transparency in the field of policing, and advances relationships between police forces and the communities they serve.

With this challenge in mind, our team began by researching pertinent state law and learning more about the Montana Supreme Court’s historical relationship with privacy and public interest concerns. Then, we explored legal solutions that have been suggested by groups working toward better policing and policies that other states have enacted to improve transparency. Our analysis suggests that a policy solution modeled after California’s 2018 legislation (SB-1421) on the release of peace officer records would achieve the goal of increased transparency while respecting Montana Supreme Court precedent.

African-American Women in Montana

Molly Putnam, University of Montana - Missoula

Despite the significant study of western history and African-American migration throughout the United States, until recent years the experience of African Americans in the West has gone largely untold. This is especially true in regards to African-American women and their contribution to western communities. Through a detailed historical analysis, this paper will identify some of the important African-American women in Montana’s past, shedding light on their experiences and main contributions. The essay leans on reputable primary and secondary sources including applications to the National Register of Historic Places, census data, and the writings of historians such as Dr. Quintard Taylor. I argue that African-American women played a crucial role in the creation and cultivation of African-American communities throughout Montana. Through the organization and mobilization of social groups, participation in social and political change, and by capitalizing on economic opportunities, African-American women were able to challenge western social norms and create lasting change that we can see across Montana today. These women were able to uplift the entirety of their community, generating improvements that are being celebrating in current times. Because of the near invisibility of these women in the historic record, it is paramount their contributions be studied, recognized, and appreciated today.

Bahá'u'lláh and the God of Avicenna

Joshua Hall

This paper, in three parts, compares the core metaphysical positions of the preeminent 11th century Islamic philosopher Avicenna with the theological teachings of the prophet-founder of the Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh, born in 19th century Iran. Part one presents Avicenna’s cosmological argument for God’s existence and analyzes his conception of God’s nature, and shows that Bahá’u’lláh broadly affirms Avicenna’s argument for God’s existence and his basic account of the divine nature. Part two subsequently discusses how Avicenna deduces further attributes of God from the notion of his necessary or unconditioned existence, and likewise attempts to demonstrate that Bahá’u’lláh affirms Avicenna’s account of God’s essential properties, such as unity, oneness, immateriality, eternity, intellect, and will. The third and last part compares the respective cosmologies of Avicenna and Bahá’u’lláh and their ideas regarding God’s creative act and relation to the world.

This study consists of original research on and translation and comparative analysis of Avicenna’s and Bahá’u’lláh’s Arabic and Persian works; it deals specifically with Avicenna’s ash-Shifá and Dánishnámih, as well as Bahá’u’lláh’s important epistolary works, such as the Tablet of Wisdom and the Tablet of the Simple Reality. The paper demonstrates the continuing influence of one of Islam’s most prominent philosophers, Avicenna, while it also contributes to the small but robust body of academic literature on the theology of the Bahá’í Faith, the youngest of the world’s religions. As such, this paper is relevant to the fields of comparative religion, philosophy of religion, metaphysics and theology, as well as Middle Eastern studies and history more broadly. The presentation will likewise familiarize a general audience with an essential figure of the history of Islamic thought, Avicenna, and likewise with the significance and intellectual richness of a contemporary faith that originated in the modern Middle East, with five million adherents worldwide.

Costco Wholesale's Dominance in the Market

Elliot Andrew Johnson, University of Montana, Missoula

This report examines how Costco Wholesale is able to serve as the world’s premier wholesale store. The competitive and rapidly changing business environment is forcing companies to become more efficient in every level of their operations. The wholesale stores industry survives by maintaining a high inventory turnover ratio, achieving high customer retention and satisfaction, and managing costs through strict supply chain management. Of all the companies analyzed in this report, Costco has the best market penetration and the most bargaining power with suppliers – i.e., more people are familiar with Costco than with its competitors, and suppliers are willing to conform to the wholesaler’s strict quality control metrics and pricing in order for Costco to carry their products. Costco’s strategy is to offer a wide breadth, not depth, of high-quality products at low markups. It minimizes losses by controlling entry and exits, restricting access exclusively to cardholders. That, combined with checking receipts at the door, reduces shoplifting. Costco also offers competitive wages and maintains a generous return policy. Costco has the lowest gross margins of any other company in its class, but it succeeds because it generates large revenues and effectively leverages debt. The wholesale warehouse stores industry is only four decades old, but in that amount of time it has changed the retail landscape in the U.S. and overseas by maintaining control over efficiencies at all levels of the company. While the industry has enjoyed phenomenal success in the past decade by capturing an impressive number of middle-class consumers, it will remain dominant only if it can capitalize on foreign expansion opportunities and adapt to compete with online retailers, economic conditions, and even less foreseeable threats, such as pandemics.

Disrupting Settler Stories: learning to live with respect, intimacy, and reciprocity on colonized land

Anna S. Favour

These essays and illustrations are informed by the question of how to form meaningful connection to place and care for a place when that land is colonized; when the creation of this place is rooted in harm. The purpose is to explore questions that have arisen during four years of Environmental Studies education. I want to learn what it means to be an environmentalist – to have a deep respect for the land and its inhabitants in a manner that extends beyond conservation – a relationship centered around respect, intimacy, and reciprocity. I want to understand if it’s possible to have that relationship to the land in this society – in which our current relation – of greed, misunderstanding and individualism is underscored by violence and genocide. How might we learn to live without furthering harm?

Drawing from life experience, extensive research, learning over the past four years at the University of Montana, and assistance from a mentor, I am spending the spring semester writing a collection of essays.

I was inspired to research the topic of sense of place and colonization after learning from Native people in the Navajo and Hopi Nations during a semester with the Wild Rockies Field Institute. During four years of EVST classes, I have always wanted to learn more about the root causes of the ecological crises in the United States, many of which stem from colonial ideologies that persist today. The Davidson Honors College capstone gave me an opportunity to dedicate a semester to learning about this. I am hoping that this project will inspire others with settler colonial histories to explore their own connection to land and place and the histories that have shaped their identities in relation to the land.

Inanna the Queen of Heaven and the Rise of Large-Scale Pastoralism in Ancient Mesopotamia

Juliana L. Lutz, University of Montana, Missoula

Archaeological evidence indicates that during the 4th millennium BCE ancient Mesopotamia underwent major transformations in its economy, subsistence practices, and sociopolitical organization. I review historical approaches, archaeological studies, translations in cuneiform administrative texts and literature to illuminate the principal role large-scale herding practices played in these structural changes. This research highlights the evolution of pastoralism in ancient Mesopotamia by looking at its pivotal role in the expansion and connectivity of the empire. Moreover, I discuss the importance of pastoralism in the formation of socio-political infrastructure, the interplay between cultic practices and wealth redistribution, as well as its use in consolidating power and identity across the vast regions of Northern and Southern Mesopotamia.

Individual Effects of Speech and Debate in High School

Patrick James Flanagan, University of Montana, Missoula

The term “forensics” originates from the Latin root forensis which means pertaining to the public, debate, and/or discussion. Co-curricular forensics are competitions of public speaking and argumentation that are usually pursed in addition to the normal course of study at a secondary or post-secondary institution. More commonly, the activity is known as speech and debate. I claim that participants of speech and debate are affected by the experience in a way that benefits their lives academically, professionally, and interpersonally. This is substantiated by the effect it has on relevant skills and participants personality.

A qualitative study of informants is performed to substantiate this. The informants are current high school speech debaters and debate participants. Interviews with these informants are the main evidence offered for the study. A Myers-Briggs personality test is also utilized. Analysis of this data is used to show the beneficial effects that debate has had on the informants.

This topic has been argued extensively in the realm of communication studies. Previously conducted research shows a measurable correlation between debate and certain aspects of student life, such as critical thinking skills or interpersonal skills. Objections to the benefits have been raised with consideration to disadvantages of a busy schedule, negative health effects, and unsatisfactory tournament results. Further research can be carried out within the communication studies discipline in order to fully conclude how forensics influences academic and professional achievement, especially in high school populations as there are no statistically significant research available for that demographic.

Beyond expanding previous research, the positive conclusions of this study can be used for recruitment and outreach efforts for both the study of communication and the passion of argumentation. Furthermore, forensics scholars can reference such positive conclusions when attempting to single themselves out as a superior candidate for a position, scholarship, or educational opportunity. Conversely, if the results prove to be negative, the study would be useful in reforming the art of debate into being a better program for participants.

Integrated Education in Northern Ireland

MaKayla O'Neil

In Northern Ireland, children are divided between Protestant and Catholic schools. As such, the path of integrated education there is slow and complicated.

Through research as well as interviews with experts and people directly affected, I hope to give an American audience an understanding of integrated education in Northern Ireland and draw connections between integration in the States and Northern Ireland.

Less than 10% of Northern Ireland’s students were enrolled in integrated schools during the 2019-2020 school year according to a study performed by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.

Unlike in the United States, education and religion have never been entirely separate in Northern Ireland. As far back as 1831, British authorities proposed creating non-denominational national schools.

When Northern Ireland broke off from the rest of the island in 1921, the leaders of the new Protestant-leaning government responded to popular pressure to ensure that the ‘state’ schools were essentially Protestant, according to scholars. The Catholic Church then insisted on maintaining its own schools.

The Education Reform Order 1989 mandated the Department of Education promote integrated education. It was the first time the government committed to support initiatives for the development of new integrated schools.

Nationalists targeted Holy Cross, a Catholic all-girls school in the middle of a Protestant neighborhood in Belfast, in 2001. Several acts of violence flared up, including throwing stones at students and their parents as they walked to school. Riot Police and the British Army lined the streets in order to protect them.

Some people believe integrated education will lead to an increased understanding between Protestants and Catholics bringing an end to situations like what happened at Holy Cross.

By the end of the semester, more Zoom interviews will be done to show the direct impacts of integrated education on schools, parents and students.

Intersectional Feminism and Diverse Perspectives in Contemporary Romance

Abigail L. Nordstrom, University of Montana, Missoula

The lack of intersectional feminism and diverse perspectives has long been a critique of the literary canon. While the Academy has shifted toward a more progressive course of literary study in recent decades, there are still some genres that are treated as undeserving of scholarly analysis in spite of their unique and diverse perspectives. The contemporary romance genre embodies the very intersectional feminism that the traditional literary canon lacks, yet it is still treated as unworthy of consideration. Contemporary romance novels such as The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang, Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert and The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams all incorporate diverse perspectives and epitomize intersectional feminism. These novels explore sexual identity, race, disabilities, autism and a plethora of other perspectives that are severely underrepresented in both general media and academic literature. Despite the shift in canon in recent decades, there is still a sense of intellectual gatekeeping that designates the romance genre as inferior despite the many ways it realizes intersectionality. In this paper I will explore the reasons why traditional academia fails to consider contemporary romance as a valid study of intersectional feminism and diverse perspectives. Through research on the evolution of the contemporary romance genre and landmark intersectional feminist texts I am exploring the merits of studying contemporary romance as a source of intersectionality and diverse perspectives in literature. In addition to the novels mentioned, I will focus my research on texts such as Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own as well as essays from intersectional feminist writers such as Audre Lorde and Adrienne Rich. This research illuminates the need for traditional academia to consider contemporary romance as a valid format to explore and realize the intersectional and feminist perspectives that are currently underrepresented in the Academy.

Les Chiques: The Addition of a Third Gender-Neutral Option in the Spanish Language

Fiona Siobhan Bean, University of Montana, Missoula

All nouns, determiners, and many adjectives in the Spanish language are grammatically designated as either masculine or feminine, and the default is always the masculine form. For example, “the tall boy” in Spanish is “el chico alto”, “the tall girl” is “la chica alta”, and if there is a group of tall children the plural form is the masculine “los chicos altos” even if there are females in the group. This binary gender division and masculine default can cause harm, however, when used in reference to women and non-binary people. This paper explores the recent movement to include a third designator to allow for gender-neutral words that refer to animate subjects in order to be more inclusive to the two aforementioned groups. By synthesizing linguistic, psychological, and first-hand accounts, I outline the solutions being offered by Spanish-speaking communities, and propose a path forward in formalizing a gender-neutral option. There are a variety of different options being used, but the option that has gained the most popularity in Spanish-speaking communities is the use of the letter “e”,. Using the previous examples, the gender-neutral option with “e” would be “le chique alte” and “les chiques altes”. This option already has fairly widespread use and I offer various ways to further it’s implementation in Spanish-speaking communities.

1. Beit-Hallahmi, B., Catford, J. C., Cooley, R. E., Dull, C. Y., Guiora, A. Z., & Paluszny, M. (1974). “Grammatical gender and gender identity development: Cross cultural and cross lingual implications”. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 44(3), 424-431. doi:

2. “Uso De Lenguaje Inclusivo.”, 20 Oct. 2020,

3. Miguel Ángel Sarmiento Salinas (2015). “La e para la desexualización del género en beneficio de la motivación de ELE en Suecia.” La enseñanza de ELE centrada en el alumno (pp. 863-872). Y. Morimoto, M. V. Pavón Lucero, R. Santamaría Martínez (Eds.). ASELE.

The Bewitching Eye: Women as Basilisks in the Writing of María de Zayas

Betta C. Lyon-Delsordo, University of Montana, Missoula

A commonly referenced motif in Golden Age Spanish literature is the power of a woman’s gaze. For some, this female seductive power is something to be feared, and it is likened to the gaze of a basilisk, a monstrous serpent that can kill by locking eyes with its prey. One author who makes heavy use of this comparison is María de Zayas y Sotomayor (1590 - c. 1661), author of the Novelas amorosas y ejemplares and the Desengaños amorosos, two collections of short stories that bring to light the experiences of Spanish noblewomen in the 17th century. In the writing of María de Zayas, women are frequently described as basilisks to place the blame on them for generating male desire, and as a symbolic representation of the dangerous powers of women to seduce and reproduce. Since her novelas tend to place the blame on men instead of women, her basilisk references may be the residues of the dominant male discourse of the time, but Zayas also uses basilisk imagery to further her aim to show the unfairness of men toward women. The result is that male characters often describe women as basilisks to justify their efforts in seducing these women. After considering various interpretations of basilisk mythology from Biblical, Greek, and pagan sources, this work explores the textual implications of this symbolism by analyzing examples of women as basilisks in Zayas’s writing.

The Contributions of Women in Law Enforcement Throughout Missoula

Sarah Harrell

It is seemingly common knowledge that women have been seen as the stereotypically inferior gender for centuries. Nowadays, however, women are starting to get the recognition and equality they deserve. Along with this, women are climbing their way up the ladder of power. I am interested in how the women within the different law enforcement agencies perceive their position, recognition, and power in what is traditionally seen as a ‘man’s world’. My research will include semi-structured interviews with 3 women who currently serve on or have served on varying law enforcement agencies. I asked the women in law enforcement questions such as what initially attracted them to this particular line of work; if they were concerned about the work because they are women; if they have had to jump over more hurdles and work harder than their male counterparts for the same pay and recognition; and how they confront what they perceive to be unfair treatment in the workplace. I expect to find a common theme between these women and the way they believe they have been impacted as a woman in this career, such as a sense of togetherness and pride for the work they have accomplished on the job. With more and more women joining law enforcement all over America, it is important to understand how these women see their role in their tough and demanding line of work.

“The Himalayan Hungary Gives the Free World a New Torch in the Cold War”: The Tibetan Uprising and American Identity at Home and Abroad, 1959-1962

Kayla Irish, University of Montana, Missoula

In late March of 1959, thousands of demonstrators in Tibet began a violent revolt against Communist China in response to perceived threats against their religious practice and way of life. News of the Tibetan Uprising spread across a Cold War consensus-shaped American media. While scholarship on US-Tibet relations has examined CIA involvement in the Uprising and debates in the United Nations in 1959, few works have analyzed how the American public processed and discussed the revolt. This project investigates the impact of the Uprising on American political culture and the geopolitics of human rights. Newspaper and periodical writers interpreted the Tibet crisis as continued evidence that communism threatened global self-determination and the freedom of religion. Journalists often framed the Tibetan rebellion as a religious and humanitarian struggle against the atheistic communists, comparing their plight to the failed 1956 Hungarian Revolution. Yet, this time at stake were the rights of non-christian and non-white individuals. As commentators urged the American government to intervene militarily or diplomatically and save the Tibetan “freedom fighters,” they shifted from portraying them in a predominantly exoticized lens to one that was increasingly political. Moreover, they also suggested that their government’s ability to protect human liberties should be exported and asserted abroad. Underpinning those arguments were assumptions that human rights had been achieved at home, at least in contrast to beliefs that communism continually infringed upon them in other parts of the world. This paper ultimately argues that the Tibetan Uprising informed Americans’ perceptions of communism and of their identity as a global power and nation.

The Historical Relationship Between Classics and Fascism

Canyon S. Lock, University of Montana, Missoula

The Historical Relationship Between Classics and Fascism

This paper, and its corresponding presentation, will serve to explore the most prominent connections between the political ideology of Fascism and the academic field of Classics. Greco-Roman imagery and symbolism have been prominent in modern displays of extremist activity in the United States and throughout the world, reinvigorating the need to understand the historical connection between Classics and Fascism. This contribution seeks to understand why Fascists, both throughout history and into day, have been so drawn to Classics.

After a brief summary of the history of Classical scholarship, and specifically the ways in which it shaped national identities in the nation-states of early modern Europe, particular attention will be given to the iterations of Fascism that came to power in Italy under Mussolini and Germany under the Nazis, and the obsession of those regimes with the Ancient Romans and Greeks, respectively.

This research was conducted using library resources and other visual references found online, and through weekly consultations with a faculty mentor.

Themes to be explored will include language, imagery, history, and art. The paper will, in conclusion, make light of the continued obsession with Classics demonstrated by far-right political actors throughout time and into the year 2021, and furthermore offer suggestions for ways in which Classics can divorce itself from its historical connection with Fascism. Attention will also be given to the interdisciplinary nature of Classics, and the ways in which other fields which were prominent in Fascist or otherwise malevolent regimes (such as Anthropology) have been successful in renouncing their connections thereto.

The Pedagogy of James Baldwin; What Undergraduate Peer Educators Stand to Learn from Emancipatory Teaching Processes

Arwen Baxter, University of Montana, Missoula

James Baldwin is known as a civil rights activist, novelist, and accomplished orator, his words reaching students across college campuses during the civil rights movement of the 1960’s and today. Not only was Baldwin a spokesman for civil rights, his body of work reflects a pedagogical stance of emancipatory education, encouraging active learning and visualizing the process of education as one of revolution divergent from societal expectations. Through close readings of the works of James Baldwin, reflections on my experiences as a University of Montana Undergraduate Learning Assistant, and a personal paradigm shift resulting from a semester of research study into carceral justice in the United States, I explore the ideas of educational partnership and reciprocity in a new age of civil rights crisis, as well as the shifting, increasingly specialized and monetized context of higher education. Through the lens of Baldwin’s collected essays, The Fire Next Time, Living and Growing in a White World, A Talk to Teachers, and Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed,I explore possible epistemic and social implications for a generation of students educated by and for an increasingly fractured sociopolitical setting. Higher education frameworks based solely in concepts of career preparedness and personal advancement may function to estrange minoritized populations and exclude non-dominant bodies of knowledge. In response to civil rights movements of the past, universities have responded with calls for equity, but Baldwin and Freire call rather for educational reciprocity. Students from marginalized groups, especially those of native backgrounds, may face cultural erasure and educational assimilation through equitable but not reciprocal teaching methods. Baldwin speaks to this issue, warning against classrooms that homogenize rather than diversify. This paper argues for continued and expanded inclusion of Baldwin’s works in university curricula and ponders the practical applications of his radical teaching practices for undergraduate peer educators to increase inclusivity and student re-humanization through reciprocal teaching methods.

Time for Radical Action: The Black Grassroots Freedom Struggle in America's Second City in the Mid-1960s

Stephen Vincent Hayes, University of Montana, Missoula

The traditional narrative of the civil rights movement focuses on the South, the influential rights organizations that drew national attention, and the men who led these organizations. It also presupposes nonviolence as the central organizing principle. Consequently, this narrative often ignores important actions and actors that fall outside this limited purview, and our understanding of the movement suffers as a result. My research adds nuance and granular detail to the broad Black freedom struggle. I embarked on a “local studies” examination of Chicago and have investigated two topics: school segregation and housing segregation.

I reached several interpretive conclusions about Chicago. Most importantly, most actions in Chicago were not nonviolent. The traditional narrative’s tendency to focus on the sharp divide between nonviolent actors and others who advocated armed resistance obscures the fact that most of what occurred in the movement was really neither—it was unviolent. It also obscures the fact that all resistance was toward common goals. In light of these revelations, I have developed an interpretive framework called the resistance continuum. This new concept allows one to understand more intuitively that all movement actions were fundamentally resistance to oppression rather than competing acts from antithetical factions. Moreover, one can more easily explain how purported dogmatists vacillated and sometimes found cause to welcome actions antithetical to their ostensible philosophy. These actors sought only to advance their cause, which occasionally meant sliding along the continuum.

I immersed myself in secondary source literature to get a firm sense of the historiography. I subsequently focused on Chicago newspapers to provide the research base. This project is significant because it will add important depth to the history of the Black freedom struggle. Moreover, I am hopeful that the development of the “resistance continuum” framework will guide future historical study by inviting investigation of the rich space between nonviolent and armed resistance and illuminate the cooperation that occurred in the movement.