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A Stick for a Crib: A digital story inspired by the Northern Cheyenne culture

Chloe Erin Ortega

The purpose of this project is to create a digital story book which engages in the cultural preservation and language revitalization of the Northern Cheyenne, the tribe in Eastern Montana where I am an enrolled member. In this presentation, I will describe the steps I took for this project. First, I gathered material from personal experience and analyzed it working with community members, elders, and linguist mentors. For this project, I selected the Northern Cheyenne cultural teaching: “Put a stick above the crib to ward off bad spirits and keep away bad dreams.” I built a story in English, surrounding a little girl named Cedar who shows great determination to find the perfect stick for her baby sister's crib. Then the story was translated into Northern Cheyenne with an assistance from a native speaker consultant and linguist mentors. When the writing was complete, I began to research art styles. This led me to design the characters and the environment, referencing people and the Northern Cheyenne reservation. After drafting numerous storyboards, I set my final design. The finished illustrations were transferred to Adobe InDesign to add text. I made one E-book in English and one in Cheyenne. In the future, I hope to create animations from the illustrations I made. This project will contribute to the efforts in language revitalization in my community. Additionally, this project and my future work will address the issue of unbalanced ethnic representations since Native Americans are only portrayed in 1% of children’s books (School Library Journal 2019). I am committed to make materials that catalyze my Northern Cheyenne culture and language revitalization; it is also imperative that these materials help overall Native American representation.

An Exploration of Ethnobotanically Significant Plants to the Native American Tribes of Montana

Margaret I. Magee

An Exploration of Ethnobotanically Significant Plants to the Native American Tribes of Montana

Ethnobotany is the study of the human uses of plants; for the Native Tribes of Montana these uses refer to everything from food, to ceremony, to medicine and everything in between. As a collaboration with the Payne Family Native American Center Ethnobotanical gardens, I conducted research on the various plants and their uses that are of particular significance to the 12 Tribes and 7 reservations across the state of MT. I collected information from first-hand experience working as an intern at the ethnobotanical garden, through discussions lead by Native ethnobotanists, and through extensive exploration of literature and plant identification manuals. The culmination of this project is an interactive webpage accompanying the ethnobotanical gardens on the University of Montana campus that can be used as a resource for those visiting the gardens and for those who just want to know more about the native plants of Montana and their importance to the Native peoples of Montana. It will incorporate plant and Tribal information collected as well as depictions of the Native ranges and location of the reservations across the state of Montana to orient viewers.

Here in Montana, we are surrounded by abundant natural resources, cultures and histories that often go unnoticed and unutilized. The main goal of this project is to inform the larger public about these plants and cultures around them. It offers a unique tool to look at the natural world with a deeper and more meaningful perspective and a way to appreciate and learn from the knowledge and traditions of the Native Tribes of Montana.

Binegativity and Depression: Examining Alcohol Use Among Nonexclusively-Oriented Womxn

Kaylee Mae Kronsperger, University of Montana, Missoula

Title: Binegativity and Depression: Examining Alcohol Use Among Nonexclusively-Oriented Womxn

Authors: Kaylee Kronsperger, Kinsie Dunham, M.A., & Bryan Cochran, Ph.D.


Alcohol use disorders can lead to cirrhosis, cancer, domestic violence, and even death (Carvalho, Andre F, et al. 2019). Gender and sexual minorities (GSM; non-cisgender and nonheterosexual individuals) report elevated rates of alcohol use (“Sexual Orientation Differences”, 2013), although nonexclusively-oriented womxn (NOW; womxn-identified people attracted to more than one gender)(womxn - terminology encompassing all women identified individuals; more inclusive for transgender and nonbinary individuals) in particular report higher rates of alcohol misuse. NOW also report higher rates of depression than other sexual minority groups (Feinstein & Dyar, 2017). Minority stress theory conceptualizes health disparities as consequences of the increased stress of having a socially-stigmatized identity. Nonexclusively oriented individuals experience unique bi-negative minority stressors and elevated depression symptoms that may explain high alcohol misuse rates. This project investigates the associations between relevant bi-negative minority stressors (Meyer, 2003; Yost & Thomas, 2012), depression symptoms, and alcohol use disorder symptoms (AUD), in order to inform prevention and treatment for this at-risk population.


NOW (n = 219), were recruited using social media and completed an online survey. We conducted a hierarchical regression analysis to examine the relationships between bi-negative stress (distal and proximal), depression symptoms, and alcohol use disorder symptoms.

Covariates (age, college student status, and education level), bi-negative minority stressors (proximal and distal), and depression symptoms were entered in separate steps predicting alcohol use disorder symptoms. Covariates (Adj. R2 = 0.127), bi-negative minority stressors, and depression (Adj. R2 = 0.210) accounted for 33.7% of the variance in alcohol disorder symptoms. Proximal bi-negative minority stress was positively related to alcohol disorder symptoms (B = 0.491, p < 0.001), and depression symptoms (B = -0.121, p = 0.043) were negatively related to alcohol use disorder symptoms.


Results indicated that proximal binegative minority stressors are associated with alcohol use disorder among NOW. Further research is warranted to understand the relationship between depression and alcohol use, in order to decrease alcohol use and improve the well-being of NOW. Alcohol-related illnesses and deaths are preventable, especially if factors associated with increased harmful use are identified within vulnerable populations.


Results of this study demonstrate the need for preventative resources for NOW in order to decrease alcohol usage and improve the overall health of the LGBTQ+ community.

Brain Cancer Caregivers Experience High Emotional Distress

Sunny Mathaun, The University Of Montana

Sunny Mathaun, Dr. Laurie Minns

Brain Cancer Caregivers Experience High Emotional Distress

Glioblastoma multiforme grade 4 is a type of highly malignant tumor that has an extremely poor prognosis, which leads to major emotional challenges such as heavy and unhealthy burden on caregivers. Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is one of the most severe types of cancer with an average prognosis of 15 months. Due to its high mortality rate, GBM creates major health challenges for patients in a fast rate, but also significantly impacts the caregivers who are caring for these patients. Caregivers can be categorized in a formal and informal manner. Most GBM caregivers are informal, specifically female family members and/or close friends that care for GBM patients during this short and painful time. One of the major challenges that caregivers encounter is their deteriorating emotional health. The emotional symptoms that arise from caregiving GBM patients are high levels of stress, anxiety, caregiver burden and mastery, depression, and more. For this research study, we want to examine these emotional symptoms that caregivers experience and if they have an influence on the survival rate and quality of care delivered for GBM grade 4 patients. To examine the emotional health aspect of caregivers, we collected data from 50 out of the 102 total letters from female caregivers of male GBM patients to conduct qualitative content analysis. We only focused on 50 out of the total 102 letters to analyze specific keywords that highly expressed emotional distress in caregiver burden. These letters are open-ended questions from as early as the summer of 2019. This study was approved by the institutional review board of the University of Montana (IRB #224-19) and all letter writers completed informed consent. By addressing the emotional health of caregivers and how they influence the survival rate and quality of care delivered for GBM patients, this can set a precedent to lessen caregiver burden, possibly improve quality of care delivered for GBM patients, and bring more awareness to this issue for medical providers.

Caregivers of GBM Need Support from Family and Friends

Dishanna Lynn Miller, University of Montana, Missoula

Caregivers of GBM Need Support from Family and Friends


Purpose Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is an aggressive and incurable form of brain cancer, both to the patient and the caregiver of the patient. GBM has a dismal medical prognosis for patients that area diagnosed with it. Caregivers struggle to maintain appropriate care to their patients due to the high stress job and often rely on the help of family and friends. Previous studies suggest longer life expectancy in GBM patients correlates with better caregiver mastery. This study aims to find ways and ideas for family members and friends to offer help to caregivers in need, as well as provide resources to said family members and friends.

Methods This study has been approved by the Institution Board Review of the University of Montana (IRB #224-19). 101 letters were received and analyzed from caregivers of patients with GBM giving their testimony of being a caregiver. All letters used in this study were letters with conformed consent. In order to determine how caregiver support impacted caregiver outlook, key words such as

“family,” “friend,” “son,” “daughter,” “mother,” and “father” were searched for in a qualitative analysis. Of the 60 letters that identified these terms, caregivers’ suggestions on way to improve caregiver support were quantified.

Results Caregivers relied heavily on family and friends for support.

Conclusion It is understood that GBM is a relentless disease that affects not only the patient, but those close with the patient. With help and suggestions from caregivers of patients with glioblastoma multiforme, care provided to the patients can be improved to not only boost the prognosis and give more guidance to the caregiver, but help the patient develop a better quality of life for both individuals.

Caregivers of GBM Patients Express High Financial Burden

Madison Rose Cutaia


Glioblastoma is described as one of the most pugnacious forms of brain cancer that is an uncurable diagnosis and entails a journey of adversity for the female caregivers. Female caregivers encounter high amounts of medical bills, job-loss for those diagnosed that leave families in a financial crisis with no safety net. 102 letters were written by female caregivers that express the challenges they experienced and were analyzed for data collection. These letter writers gave consent to viewing the information for data collection. Specific words and phrases were chosen throughout the letters that created a narrow focus of the study of financial concerns. For example, the words insurance, social workers, Medicare, Cobra, etc. were chosen to further the research of how an impact affects a caregiver’s quality of life. Using a subset of 67 letters, the focus on different outcomes and recommendations for financial burden can benefit female caregivers and those affected who may encounter this diagnosis in the future. This study was approved by the University of Montana institutional review board (IRB 224-19). The importance of this article is to tackle the challenge that female caregivers face with insurance companies and social workers. To create a higher quality of life for these caregivers, this information is necessary to promote knowledge and understanding to offer the patients with glioblastomas the best care. The recommendations that are provided throughout this article will bring a focus on ways to lessen the financial burden in the future.

Centering Trauma-Informed Care in Montana’s Juvenile Justice System: Why It’s Challenging, and Why It’s Important

Amelia Hawes

Youth incarceration is an urgent issue in the United States. Involvement with the juvenile justice system increases the risk of incarceration as an adult and results in profound and often lifelong social and economic consequences for young people. Even after release from prison, formerly incarcerated people face formal and informal barriers to educational attainment, job opportunities, and participation in civic life.

According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, it is estimated that over 90% of justice-involved youth have experienced at least some trauma. There is a tremendous body of evidence demonstrating a relationship between trauma and juvenile offending. While juvenile justice policy varies widely from state to state, there has been a movement in recent decades to center trauma as a way to inform work with these youth. Montana is a frontrunner in trauma responsiveness, and as part of these efforts in 2016 the Montana Youth Court Services Division incorporated the ACE screening tool into the assessments Juvenile Probation Officers use to evaluate risk factors among the youth they serve. ACEs, or adverse childhood experiences, are events experienced in childhood that are shown to increase the risk of health and social problems later in life. The ACE tool can indicate risk, but it was not designed to be used with youth and is not an ideal tool for Probation Officers to evaluate trauma with.

Through interviews with Montana Juvenile Probation Officers, review of research from the Montana Youth Court and the University of Montana Criminology Research Group, and analysis of available data on trauma among Montana’s justice-involved youth, I investigate how the Montana juvenile justice system assesses trauma among the youth they serve and how assessments are used to inform intervention strategies. I then discuss the challenges of collecting data on trauma and implementing trauma-informed care in Montana, and why centering trauma responsiveness when working with juvenile offenders matters despite these challenges.

Conservation Nonprofits and Communication of Values

Madeline Damon, University of Montana, Missoula
Libby Metcalf, University of Montana, Missoula
John Chandler, University of Montana, Missoula

The purpose of this study is to evaluate how effectively conservation nonprofits communicate their values, or beliefs linked to emotional effect, to the public. This study compares the basic values embedded in mission, vision, and values statements (MVVs) to the values embedded in tweets. The similarity between MVVs and tweets will be compared based on organization size in order to identify any relationship between the size of a nonprofit and how well they communicate values. Finally, the values found in tweets and MVVs will be used to identify a current audience each nonprofit connects to most. The primary method of data collection will be text mining, which collects and stores text data for analysis. Using Python, web scraping will collect MVVs from each nonprofit’s website and the tweepy package will collect a large volume of tweets. To identify values, a list of synonyms for each of the 10 basic human values identified by Shalom Schwartz (2012) will be used to generate values frequencies lists for both a nonprofit’s MVVs and tweets. Values similarity will be measured using cosine similarity, a calculation that compares the two frequencies lists. Ideally, conservation nonprofits would communicate the same values in both their communication to the public using social media and what they claim to represent in their MVVs. Additionally, if a nonprofit is looking to have a broad support base, they should be using language that appeals to a variety of political audiences. The methods used in this study represent a novel application of text mining to conservation efforts and has broader implications for improving science communication with the public. This study is based on the knowledge that language is strongly connected to values, and communication has the ability to polarize audiences or unify them.

Curriculum Design with the End in Mind: Creating an Interdisciplinary Unit on Climate Change

Sydney Anne Roberts, University of Montana, Missoula

The purpose of my research project was to design an interdisciplinary unit around the concept of climate change. Climate change is an essential topic to cover due to its global implications. It has a broad interdisciplinary application which emphasizes the importance of teaching climate change through an interconnected lens. This unit was designed for high school students and integrates the disciplines of Language Arts, Social Studies, Math, and Science. I employed backwards curriculum design methods to construct this unit (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005). Backwards curriculum design allows teachers to focus their lessons on an explicit end goal and evaluate if students have built the necessary knowledge to meet that end goal. This method of design can be beneficial to any teacher, whether they are designing a daily lesson plan or developing a broad and complex interdisciplinary curriculum unit. One of the constants of teaching is curriculum design, so why not design with the end in mind?

As I engaged in designing the curriculum for this project, I started by developing my Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions. I focused on the specific understandings I wanted students to develop as a result of this unit. I then designed a sequence of formative assessments to check students’ understanding; I also designed a final summative assessment that would evaluate students on the whether they met the learning objectives. Finally, I created twelve lesson plans that provided students with the resources and experiences they needed to complete the summative assessment. These lesson plans involved a text set and multimedia resources. The significance of this work is that it provides an example of how to scaffold students’ interdisciplinary knowledge regarding a critical issue. High school teachers could implement this unit plan immediately.

Ending Rape Warfare in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: Addressing Root Contributors

Augusta M. Reinhart, The University Of Montana

One of the least developed countries, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is also home to the world’s deadliest ongoing conflict. Violence perpetrated by over 100 armed groups has killed and displaced millions. Brutal methods of systematically decimating the local population, including rape warfare and other forms of sexualized violence, are often used to depopulate land, which allows militants to maintain and enforce their regional stronghold. In addition to these territorial and logistical motivations, the psychological, political, and cultural underpinnings of sexualized violence have perpetuated rape warfare in the DRC. Drawing on reports by Human Rights Watch and the United States Institute of Peace, this paper proposes a two-pronged approach to ending rape warfare for land depopulation that focuses on the root problem of sexualized violence instead of the sub-motivation of depopulating land. The first approach focuses on short-term problems, like the lack of medical and psychological assistance given to rape survivors, the increase of sexually transmitted diseases through rape, and the underreporting of militant rape. The second aspect tackles long-term contributors that require more complex and multifaceted solutions, including the psychological and cultural reasons behind rape warfare and the impunity that militant rapists currently benefit from. Ultimately, this paper encourages greater international cooperation to dismantle and condemn the systematic rape warfare and sexualized violence that currently inhibits millions of Congolese women and girls from living unfettered lives. Sources such as the Joint Initiative on Sexual Violence Against Women and Children in the DRC, the Multi-Country Demobilization and Reintegration Program, various UN resolutions (i.e., Security Council Resolution 1820), and peacekeeping missions (i.e., MONUC) provided valuable context and information for this proposal.

Female Caregivers of Male Glioblastoma Patients Experience PTSD

Emily E. Burke

Female Caregivers of Male Glioblastoma Patients Experience PTSD

Authors: Burke, Emily E.; Minns, Laurie A.


Posttraumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is most frequent among women, but perhaps even more so in female caregivers of male Glioblastoma patients. Glioblastoma itself is a seriously neuro-debilitating disease; an invasive brain cancer that offers poor prognosis and a lifetime’s worth of trauma for not only the patient, but caregiver as well. Due to the patient’s inability to function, the caregiver takes on the pressure of standing in for the mental processes of their loved ones, while juggling their own health. Most prominent among the causes of PTSD is bearing witness to death; a slow, painstaking process each female caregiver must prepare herself for when caring for a Glioblastoma patient. The development of additional mental health issues for the caregiver is bound to follow such diagnoses. This study explores the greater ties between PTSD and caregiving as a female for male Glioblastoma patients. Qualitative analysis of 102 letters written by female caregivers of male Glioblastoma patients reflected the difficulties these caregivers face concerning PTSD. This study was reviewed by the University of Montana Institutional Review Board, and informed consent was obtained from each participant (IRB #224-19). The results of this study show female caregivers experience PTSD during and after actively caring for a spouse with Glioblastoma. While such intricate care is devoted towards the patient, these caregivers are left on the wayside of the medical system, stragglers left with insurmountable debt and heartbreak. Analysis of this data provides these women acknowledgement of their suffering, and suggests what to take into consideration with their own mental health while caring for a loved one.

Fostering Sustainable Collaboration within Indigenous Communities through Community Based Participatory Research

Kiah M. Hohenstein, The University Of Montana
Brittney Hunter, The University Of Montana
Wren Roe, The University Of Montana

Fostering Sustainable Collaboration within Indigenous Communities through Community Based Participatory Research

It is essential to support Indigenous children’s well-being in culturally responsive ways. One important approach is to collaborate with members of the community who understand the strengths of their culture, values, and language to support their children, particularly in Montana, where the rates of Native American students attempting suicide were nearly double that of their White peers (Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 2019). In this paper, we introduce community based participatory research (CBPR) and its importance in Indigenous communities, particularly for research addressing children’s mental health.

In CBPR, researchers actively engage with the community, as members provide guidance and knowledge towards a solution (Walters et al., 2008). Within indigenous communities, CBPR plays a fundamental role in cultural resurgence. Tribal nations utilize self-determination to combine Indigenous knowledge and ways of being with Western research (Atalay, 2012). CBPR connects research to community sustainability by focusing on collaboration, and developing partnerships that build sustainable community models for positive change, which can help decolonize research.

In CBPR, researchers create meaningful relationships with members of the community, which allow them to build trust in order to foster the relationships important for social change (Tobias, et. al., 2013). Researchers must recognize that the process will be more interactive and prolonged, yet essential to effectively provide culturally responsive programs to support Indigenous youth. In order to partner with communities to address children’s mental health, researchers should: (1) recognize privilege and empathize with the community’s struggles, (2) respect the other view, (3) acknowledge community strengths, (4) allow both parties to share ideas openly, and (5) integrate traditional views (Walters, et. al., 2008). CBPR is beneficial for children’s mental health, as it bridges their culture to the research that affects their future.

Glioblastoma Multiforme Caregiver Burden with Family and Friends Present

Molly Christine Massman

Purpose: Female caregivers of patients with Glioblastoma Multiform suffer significant emotional, physical and financial burden. Additionally, these caregivers are not well educated or equipped to care for the high demands of a brain cancer patient whose condition declines rapidly and have inadequate support systems. In this study, solutions for particular caregiver burden issues are discussed and highlighted specifically to inform family members and friends ways to which they could provide better support systems for caregivers of GBM patients. Methods: Within this study, 102 letters were analyzed from female caregivers regarding their experiences with the various hardships associated with caring for a patient suffering from glioblastoma multiforme. These letters were approved by the UM IRB (#224-19) and informed consent was obtained. A subset of 70 letters, which mentioned family and friends providing secondary support, were further examined to better determine ways in which they could alleviate the intense stress female caregivers are under. Results: The most mentioned area of support needed from female caregivers with families was a deeper understanding and education of the cognitive decline their husbands would face, followed by the need for physical help for taking care of their husbands. In addition to these two areas, female caregivers talked about having more emotional support after their husbands passed away for both themselves and other family affected. However, female caregivers with medical experience either themselves or from a family member had a better outlook on their ability to properly care for their husband and felt more supported as compared to those who were just receiving information from their own research and medical professionals. With this information on common burdens GBM caregivers face, it is clear that if family members and friends are able to provide help with educating or researching GBM, assist with the physical aspects of caregiving and or emotional support after the hardship caregiver burden would significantly decrease. Conclusion: Glioblastoma multiforme causes significant reliance on caregivers for emotional and physical support, affecting more than just the patient diagnosed, quality of life for all parties involved declines steeply and this study looks to find way to improve and educate more people on this tremendous issue.

Internal and External Analysis of Atlassian

Ryan T. Sandau, University of Montana, Missoula

Atlassian is an Australian software company that specializes in the production of team management and organizational software. The software industry is currently a rapidly growing sector where many people are looking to find work, making an in-depth analysis of the industry and of a specific company within the industry incredibly valuable. This analysis will focus on both an internal analysis of Atlassian and an external analysis of the software industry for the sake of context. Looking to financial records from both Atlassian and the wider industry, preexisting reports on industry performance and expert analysis of the industry this report seeks to bring these sources together into one central document that provides key insight into the software industry. This analysis has led to several revelations about the industry including a noteworthy potential strategic avenue for Atlassian. Atlassian has the infrastructure in place to sell large volumes of software using “low touch” methods centered around their website. A Low touch sales approach allows the company to realize massive volume with few salespeople. Atlassian could leverage this potential by expanding into another sector of the software industry, focusing on a new software type such as time management software. Expansion would allow Atlassian to better leverage the volume potential their low touch strategy has created.

Local, State, and Federal Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Historical Perspective

Isabelle Brooks Melton

COVID-19 is not the first pandemic the world has faced, and today’s response to COVID-19 is similar in many ways to historic responses. For example, the concept of social distancing as a way to mitigate disease arose from governmental and societal responses to the Black Plague in the 1300s. In the last 100 years, the United States has faced multiple public health crises. This research analyzes the similarities in the federal government’s response to these public health crises; however, the research also uncovers multiple disparities in the federal government’s response depending on the type of disease and the population which is affected. In this presentation, I discuss the federal government’s practice of relying on state or local authorities to manage these public health disasters; I also evaluate cultural responses to diseases, including scapegoating and stigmatizing marginalized populations. Drawing on dozens of national and local primary source materials, this research analyzes the local, state, and federal responses to historic diseases and the current pandemic. It discusses the federal government’s generally weak response in addressing COVID-19 and compares the response to how it dealt with historical diseases. It summarizes the federal delegation of the responsibility for response to the states and specifically Montana. Finally, I will discuss the responses of Missoula County, local schools, and the University of Montana to various diseases. Ultimately, I conclude that the federal and state government’s responses to disease outbreaks have resulted in inadequate and inconsistent responses across time. The question remains whether we can learn from history, or whether we will condemn ourselves to repeat it.

Psychological disparities contribute to emotional burden for caregivers of glioblastoma patients

Markus R. Hirschfelder, University of Montana, Missoula

Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is an aggressive brain cancer that weakens brain function to the point where patients usually rely heavily on a caregiver. Oftentimes, the caregiver is a female spouse who is caring for her husband with GBM. However, few studies are specific to this caregiver’s emotional burden—in fact, they are typically adapted from studies of slower-progressing diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. GBM has a much shorter median survival time. The stress on caregivers in that generally shorter period is high. Mitigating the emotional burden may significantly contribute to longer, better survival outcomes for the GBM patient. For content analysis, 102 letters from wives who were the primary caregivers of their husbands were analyzed for key words relating to the emotional and psychological burden of caregiving. This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the University of Montana (IRB #224-19) and every participant gave informed consent for the inclusion of their letters. These letters were open-ended, but common themes were quickly established. The formed categories included feeling: anticipatory grief, anxious, confused, exhausted, false hope, fearful, isolated, stressed/overwhelmed, trauma, unheard/dismissed, and unprepared. The goal of this research is to bring awareness to the psychological disparities that contribute to a caregiver’s burden. These are issues that can be addressed by the medical community early on in the caregiver’s journey with glioblastoma patients, and it is crucial that they do so.

Spotify: Strategic Plan and Analysis

Riley T. Sletten

Spotify is a worldwide music and podcast streaming company. Spotify has the most active users of any audio streaming company in the world and is a key competitor in a growing industry. It is important to evaluate the external environment and internal forces that impact Spotify’s strategic decision-making to identify opportunities and threats that could change the audio streaming landscape. Drawing on industry research, company financial statements, and media reports, this paper analyzes the external and internal environment of Spotify to identify a strategic recommendation for the company going forward. I analyze different business frameworks to evaluate the competitive landscape and current resources available to Spotify. This analysis provides the basis of my recommendation for Spotify to create its own original content in the music industry to differentiate itself from competitors and lower its cost structure in an effort to reach profitability. This paper encourages Spotify to evaluate the strategic potential and financial viability of creating original music content to establish itself as the leader of the audio streaming industry.

Strategic Analysis of Lululemon Athletica, Inc.

Hanna Jo Kosbab

Strategic Analysis of Lululemon Athletica Inc.

Hanna Kosbab

Lululemon Athletica Inc. (Lululemon) is one of the biggest players in the athletic apparel industry. Lululemon has managed to corner a niche in the apparel industry and capitalized on brand recognition and superior performance materials. However, there is always room to grow within the industry and into new potential spaces. This strategic analysis seeks to evaluate Lululemon’s current position and offer suggestions for future strategies. I began this project by conducting extensive research into the current state of the industry and business practices for Lululemon. Using various business and financial publications, this strategic plan will examine the external industry-wide environment in which Lululemon competes. Brief findings from this review found that differentiation is one of the most successful strategies for athletic apparel companies to adopt. This analysis will also address the company's current internal environment including financial fitness, competencies and current strategies. Lululemon's current favorable financial situation, compared to similar companies, allows them to invest in superior materials and marketing techniques to gain brand recognition allowing the company to remain competitive within the industry. This information was summarized and used to form strategic recommendations for Lululemon moving forward. These recommendations include financial prioritization, new industries to expand into (including their current Mirror fitness acquisition) and marketing initiatives. The overarching purpose of this analysis is to take a holistic business approach to growth strategies within the athletic apparel and fitness industry and to address how Lululemon can take advantage of these opportunities.

Supporting Middle-Elementary-Age, Second-Language English Speakers: The Effects of Student-Centered Learning and Scaffolding

Madison Baroch

English language learners (ELLs) are the fastest-growing demographic in K-12 classrooms across the United States (National Education Association, 2020). Often, due to a lack of specialized ESL (English as a second language) programs, ELL students are directly placed into a mainstream classroom with no additional support. This tasks teachers with attending to ELLs’ unique needs while also instructing the entire class. Scaffolding is a teaching method that utilizes a student-centered learning (SCL) approach, and it has been increasingly incorporated by educators to enhance student engagement and performance. While positive effects of scaffolding have been reported, its effectiveness when utilized with ELLs is understudied. To address this issue, this study observes ELL students in an SCL environment and obtains insight into the effectiveness of scaffolding when assisting ELLs.

I hypothesize ELL students will exhibit increased performance in sight-word identification, alphabetic recognition, and writing accuracy, after receiving assistance from an ESL specialist in their scaffolded learning setting. The method of this study takes an observational approach. I work side-by-side with ELL students, for thirty minutes a day, following along with the entire group lesson during instruction. Students’ growth is observed for two-months, and pre- and post-tests are administered to measure their improvement in English literacy skills.

The significance of this study is as follows. SCL paired with ESL-specific scaffolding can benefit ELLs, because it fills the gap between what the student can do with help and what they can do independently. ESL assistance through scaffolding provides ELL students with sufficient support to appropriately achieve the learning goals primarily on their own, and ELLs can gain the confidence that leads to their academic success. By implementing an SCL approach paired with individualized scaffolding, as opposed to a traditional "pull-out" ESL method, teachers are able to support their students while they remain in class and complete the same assignments as their peers. In order to meet the changing needs of students in the United States, teachers of today and the future must adapt their skill set and expertise to meet the learning needs of students who speak English as a second language.

National Education Association. (2020, July). English Language Learners. Retrieved from National Education Association:

Taxation Without Representation: A Lack of Social Benefits Perpetuates Injustice for DACA Recipients

McKenna Stahlberg

For this research, the main theme will revolve around inequalities for those who are under DACA in the United States. Specifically, it will focus on how this community pays taxes on income, yet are denied social benefits from programs that are tax-funded. This research will be comprised of primary data collection, as well as an analysis of existing literature regarding the issue.

The working thesis statement for this research is as follows. The lack of benefits given to DACA recipients, given average employment, wages, and taxes paid, perpetuates a cycle of inequality. Data about income and tax information, as well as the history of receipt of any type of public benefit will be collected via a survey of DACA recipients across the nation. The respondents will be found through recruitment from various online support forums and social media groups. Questions will largely be closed-ended, and participants will be able to select their responses from a set of provided options, in order to more easily quantify results.

The data from the survey responses will be analyzed in comparison with existing information regarding income, tax information, and benefit eligibility for DACA recipients. Finally, an analysis of all available information will be conducted to determine whether DACA recipients pay into tax revenue in a proportionate amount with how much US citizens contribute, but are denied a majority of the public benefits that are funded through taxes. I expect to find that they are largely impacted by this inequity.

This topic is important for the general public to care about, as it is a question of fairness and addresses a large problem of inequality in our society. There are a large number of people being disadvantaged by the laws and policies that regulate the DACA program and limit opportunities for the recipients. In order to promote social justice and establish a truly equal and just nation, more social awareness must be raised regarding these issues, and steps must be taken to ensure the rectification of the unequal treatment of DACA recipients.

The Town of Twisp: Resilience and Rejuvenation

Zoe Tyson, University of Montana, Missoula

Every system on the planet – be it a forest stand, a specific Native American community, or a town – has capacity for resilience. Every system is like a rubber band and the resilience of the system is based on how far the band can be pulled without snapping. Resilience can be understood utilizing two concepts from the complex adaptive system theory – the adaptive cycle and the panarchy model. The adaptive cycle is a model that assesses a system’s resilience state, and the panarchy model shows interactions with other systems’ adaptive cycles that have different spatiotemporal characteristics. Twisp’s resilience is analyzed using these models.

Situated at the base of the Northern Cascade Mountains at the confluence of the Methow and Twisp rivers, Twisp’s setting is seemingly idyllic. Founded in 1897, today Twisp has a population of nearly 1,000 people. It’s been home to a Native American Tribe (the Methow Indians), gold miners, and loggers. Today, it’s a tourist town drawing hikers, seasonal vacationers, and retirees. Twisp’s resilience is assessed in the context of its history and people, its exposure to natural hazards, and its transition to a tourism-based economy. This study leverages cultural and political ecologic theory using primary and secondary sources including government documents, non-governmental organization reports, and newspaper articles. Twisp’s economic transformation from logging to tourism-based over the last 50 years shows that it has completed its first Euro-American dominated adaptive cycle. The current iteration of the cycle is not complete. For Twisp to become truly resilient it needs to contend with new challenges including a revised wildfire regime, resentment of new residents by locals, increasing property values, and the question of whether a population of rich urban escapees can sustain a small town.

What's In A Pronoun: The Effect of Default Pronouns on Opinions of GRSM Rights

Rachel N. Cebull, University of Montana, Missoula

Tavits and Pérez discovered that usage of gender-neutral pronouns in Sweden correlated with higher acceptance of women and LGBTQ+ individuals, and I decided to see if that effect could be replicated in the USA. In this study, I am replicating Tavits and Pérez’s 2019 study, “Language influences mass opinion toward gender and LGBT equality.” I surveyed a sample of 161 individuals and gave them a priming task where they had to write a few sentences using an assigned set of pronouns. The assigned pronouns were he/him, she/her, they/them, and ze/zir. After that, participants were asked to write about a hypothetical person running for political office using whatever pronouns they chose, and were asked a number of questions about their political beliefs, particularly regarding LGBTQ+ individuals. In Tavits and Perez’s study, being primed with a feminine or gender-neutral pronoun correlated positively with feminine and gender-neutral pronouns used for someone running for office, and with more positive beliefs about the LGBTQ+ community. In my study, however, I found that there was no statistically significant difference in the pronouns people used when given free reign and the scores on questions about political belief between individuals primed with different pronouns; however, a significant number of people did not comply with instructions on the short priming task. On average, far more people chose to use he/him pronouns than any other, despite what condition they were assigned to (p < .001), and over half of participants who used ze/zir pronouns often couldn’t conjugate them, despite being given a guide. This difference between my study and the Swedish one is potentially attributable to the lack of widespread gender-neutral pronoun usage in the US and the different political climate. It’s vital to look at why people might hold certain beliefs, particularly about a vulnerable community, and any changes in language we can make to facilitate acceptance must be researched.

Why We Should Lower The Voting Age to Sixteen

Noah Grabe

America’s lackluster democratic tendencies are widely recognized as problematic. Through encouraging civic involvement from a young age, voter turnout and overall civic engagement can be bolstered. Drawing on public polling data, NGO reports, academic journals, and informant interviews including Montana and Oregon state legislators, this white paper advocates the societal benefits from lowering the voting age to sixteen in presidential, state, and local elections. Youth have the passion to enact positive change in the world they will inherit. Two recent examples are Greta Thunberg, the 15-year old phenom, who took her global campaign against climate change all the way to the United Nations; and the Parkland, Florida teens who led the nationwide #NeverAgain movement against gun violence after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. While further assessment is needed to more comprehensively determine the potential effects of extending voting rights to 16- and 17-year olds, research does exist, from this country and others, to suggest that potential negative consequences are minimal and that lowering the voting age improves voter participation and overall civic engagement. Similar to how Vietnam War protests sparked the movement to lower the voting age to eighteen, youth today face existential crises such as climate change in which their say in political matters is imperative. Through my research I explore whether extending voting rights to 16- and 17-year olds will fundamentally improve the political processes and dialogue in the United States.

Youth Wilderness Therapy Intervention Outcomes: Case Study in Montana

Morgan Heimbigner
Cali Caughie, University of Montana, Missoula
Phoebe S. Bean, University of Montana, Missoula

Title: Youth Wilderness Therapy Intervention Outcomes: Case Study in Montana

Authors: Morgan Heimbigner, Cali Caughie, Phoebe Bean, Samantha Russell, Stuart Hall

Objective: Wilderness therapy is a model of treatment intervention which utilizes components of traditional therapy in combination with outdoor expeditionary principles. The current pilot project seeks to understand the role of executive function, attachment, resiliency, and hope in wilderness therapy treatment outcomes in a population of at-risk youth (13-17 years of age) taking part in the 5-week Inner Roads treatment program run out of Missoula, Montana. The study aims to gather data to better inform Inner Roads program development and to add to the literature informing wilderness therapy effectiveness for youth populations.

Participants and Methods: The participants (n=11) completed a series of surveys and cognitive tests at intake and discharge from the program. The surveys targeted behavioral and emotional factors such as resilience (YOQ, CYRMR), attachment (AAQ), and hope (BHS). The cognitive tests targeted executive function (TMT, COWA). Student participants were additionally engaged in semi-structured 20 minute interviews with clinical researchers at intake, discharge, and two weeks post discharge.

Results: All measured domains improved from pre-to-post with one exception (COWA). This aligns with our hypotheses, as well as the goals of the program. The most significant and positive main effect of intervention occurred on the somatic subscale of the YOQ (t=3.198, p=.019).

Conclusion: The data shows overall positive improvement in participants cognitive, behavioral, and emotional states from pre- to post-intervention. However only one of the outcomes measured reached statistical significance. This is expected given the small sample size and low statistical power used in this study. Now that a pilot study has been conducted, future studies with more participants and improved methods is the next step.