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Educating Montana’s Sons and Daughters

Photo by Kate Juedes, MSU Exponent

Photo by Kate Juedes, MSU Exponent

By Brent Zundel
For the MSU Exponent
April 25, 2013

He just deferred a position with Teach For America (TFA) to accept an English teaching position in Germany with the Fulbright Program. His new fiancé is going to Germany with him — on a Fulbright of her own. They both graduated with high honors from the University of Montana in fall 2012.

By all accounts, Paul Asleson and Alice Krebill are exactly the type of people our state needs: intelligent, driven, successful and passionate about educating future generations. Read More…

MSU Confessions: Internet Hate Machine or Community Forum?

The MSU Confessions Facebook page. Photo by Brent Zundel

The MSU Confessions Facebook page. Photo by Brent Zundel

By Pat Hessman and Brent Zundel
For the MSU Exponent
April 18, 2013

“Gotta love being a little drunk in class. So much more willing to answer questions.”

“I don’t get it, all these girls are like I just want a cowboy, but when I ride the electronic horse in the Walmart for an hour none of them come and hit on me.”

“i wish i knew anyone else my age here at MSU who has cancer too, it’s often really lonely having no one to relate to when you’re hurting.”

That was a sampling of posts on the Facebook page Montana State University Confessions (MSUC.) Read More…

Guns on Campus: A History

Photo by Nicole Smith, MSU Exponent

Photo by Nicole Smith, MSU Exponent

By Brent Zundel For the MSU Exponent February 14, 2013

“Some out-of-state students seem a little shocked,” AdvoCat Amara Crane recently explained. Most prospective students who visit MSU, however, don’t seem especially interested in guns.

The students who are interested, Crane said, are native Montanans, mostly concerned with storing their hunting rifles while they live in the Residence Halls during the fall hunting season. Crane, of Laurel, has worked as a tour guide for AdvoCats representing MSU to prospective students for two years.

“Some out-of-state students seem a little shocked.” —MSU AdvoCat Amara Crane Read More…

Marriage Equality Is a Montana Value

Photo by Samantha Katz, MSU Exponent

Photo by Samantha Katz, MSU Exponent

By Brent Zundel
For the MSU Exponent
September 6, 2012

Supporters of marriage equality converged on Bozeman this past June to celebrate the Montana Pride festival. More than any other feeling, a tangible sense of acceptance and support overwhelmed participants as the city came together in a big way.

During the parade, Main Street overflowed with happy, cheering supporters (and a lone megaphone-wielding protester). Young children and senior citizens, straight and homosexual Montanans, war veterans and Christians, nonprofits and Bozeman businesses marched down Main and watched from the sidewalk. Afterward, Diane Sands, the first openly gay member of the Montana Legislature; Jamee Greer, a lobbyist with the Montana Human Rights network; and many others spoke about both their personal and larger struggles. Read More…

Latin American and Latino Studies: Modern Languages Proposes One-of-a-kind Interdisciplinary Program

By Brent Zundel
For the MSU Exponent
April 26, 2012

A globally focused interdisciplinary major

A new proposal from the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures could help MSU students understand the cultural context behind phrases like “Qué tal,” in addition to the literal meaning of the words. Modern Languages is proposing to expand its current Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) minor into a full major.

With roughly 100 students who have declared or intend to declare a LALS minor, this new option responds to the needs of students and the MSU campus as a whole. Read More…

STEM Majors Need Increased Flexibility for International Success

By Brent Zundel
For the MSU Exponent
March 22, 2012

It’s a rare engineering or science student who has never suddenly wondered, perhaps as he or she frantically crams for an exam in the suffocating late-night hours, “When will I ever use this?”

Many students slogging through the death march of calculus and basic science courses fail to see how their degrees will actually help others, and some switch majors or drop out altogether.

The week before spring break, three other students and I gave a presentation to the Engineering Advisory Council on international opportunities available to engineering students at MSU. While waiting to speak, employees from companies as diverse as Boeing and American Express discussed how important international experiences and cultural sensitivities are. Read More…

Contrasting Bozeman’s Faith Communities

Journey, Bozeman's "mega-church," seen after service in February 2012. Photo by Brent Zundel

Journey, Bozeman’s “mega-church,” seen after service in February 2012. Photo by Brent Zundel

By Brent Zundel
For the MSU Exponent
March 1, 2012

Few organizations have as profound of an impact on a community as its churches, and Bozeman’s wide variety of churches approach fulfilling their congregations’ needs in very different ways. For the past three weeks, I spent each Sunday at a different church, observing the place of each in the community. I approached each as an average newcomer would, simply attending and observing. Read More…

SUB Pub Should Move Forward: Let’s Build Community Over Montana Brews

MSU students Bronwyn Rolph and Chris Zimny enjoy locally brewed beers at the Bozeman Brewing Company taproom, while bartender Mitzi Kuall pours a pint. Photo by Brent Zundel

MSU students Bronwyn Rolph and Chris Zimny enjoy locally brewed beers at the Bozeman Brewing Company taproom, while bartender Mitzi Kuall pours a pint. Photo by Brent Zundel

By Brent Zundel
For the MSU Exponent
February 9, 2012

The SUB Pub

Pint-based community-building could become a reality on MSU’s campus. Although the idea is in its infancy, a number of dedicated students have begun pushing to install a SUB Pub in the student union building.

While the concept has been discussed in the past, last fall’s student needs survey produced the “SUB Pub” proposal as one of students’ chief concerns, prompting student government to form an unofficial exploratory committee.

This column proposes an effective model for a tavern based on the success of local microbrewery tasting rooms, like the Bozone’s. As I conceptualize it, the SUB Pub would parallel the brewpubs that dot Montana. It would serve, in short, as a focal point of the SUB, a place where students and staff could meet for almost any reason. Read More…

Montana According to Montanans

Click to enlarge.

Illustration by Brent Zundel.

I originally completed this illustration for the MSU Exponent’s impromptu “Hastily Illustrated Edition,” published during fall 2011 dead week.

Local Band of Professors Releases Original Album

Textbook Blues performs at the release party for their latest CD, "Got Your Number," on Nov. 10, 2011. Photo by Brent Zundel

Textbook Blues performs at the release party for their latest CD, “Got Your Number,” on Nov. 10, 2011. Photo by Brent Zundel

By Brent Zundel
For the MSU Exponent
November 17, 2011

With final exams fast approaching, the name “Textbook Blues” likely conjures up many different images in students’ heads, but four Bozeman residents recently gave attendees at the Filling Station a different image. “Textbook Blues” is a local band composed of four members, all of whom have some connection to teaching, thus providing a fitting name.

John Priscu, a professor in the Land Resources and Environmental Sciences (LRES) Department, shreds a mean lead guitar when not conducting nationally renowned research in Antarctica. Edis Kittrell, an English professor who also teaches in the Honors College, provides a soulful lead voice.

Warren Jones, an environmental engineering professor and former Faculty Senate Chair, keeps rhythm for the band by playing a skillful bass. To round out the quartet, Greg Vallor holds a crisp beat on the drums. Although he holds a teaching credential, presumably he no longer teaches because he can “do.” Read More…