Montana State Exponent
Mr. Zundel began writing for the MSU Exponent in January 2009, stopping only because he graduated in May 2013. During his nearly five-year stint with the paper, he started as a columnist for what was then the “static” section, served two years as opinion editor — helping to revamp and rebrand a navel-gazing section into a full-fledged opinion section that was frequently the paper’s strongest section — and worked as the senior opinion columnist during his final year. In addition to his opinion columns, he regularly contributed outdoors essays, feature-style reporting pieces, satirical articles, and writing a biweekly column focused on Montana beers and microbreweries.
Mr. Zundel is an avid fisherman, hunter, backpacker, and general outdoorsman. Many of his columns called for the protection of wild places and increased public access or explored Montana’s outdoor heritage and the impact of politics on environmental issues.
Many of Mr. Zundel’s columns tackled tough political issues, such as civil rights, campaign finance, and the biennial Montana Legislature.
As a proud Montanan, Mr. Zundel frequently wrote about issues of rural and urban community in this state, exploring qualities of landscape and people. These essays focused often on the Montana ethic and the importance of education.
In addition to the many other hats he wore, Mr. Zundel frequently contributed feature-style reporting pieces, including portraits of MSU graduates, the opening of new microbreweries, or the history of guns on Montana State’s campus.
Mr. Zundel co-founded and co-wrote the Brewponent, a column that alternated between coffee and beer every other week and a task he still cannot believe he was lucky enough to be paid to do. In addition to enjoying and brewing good beers in his free time, Mr. Zundel wrote the beer half of this column for one year.
As one of his most enjoyable pursuits, Mr. Zundel regularly tackled important social justice and political issues through satirical Sugarbeet columns. (To be clear: These articles are satire. And thus not real.)