DATE: November 15, 2001
TO: Board of Regents
FROM: Geoffrey Gamble
RE: Campus Report for the November, 2001 Board of Regents Meeting
Montana State University’s Kay Kirkpatrick, a junior from Dillon, has been named co‑winner of the Alice T. Schafer Prize given to the nation's best female undergraduate mathematics student. Kirkpatrick shares the award with Melanie Wood, a student at Duke University. The Schafer prize is called a "genius" award for undergraduate math students, according to John Miller of MSU's Computational Biology Center, one of Kirkpatrick's mentors. In addition to her own coursework, Kay, who also won a Congressionally funded Goldwater Scholarship this year, is teaching an undergraduate class in the language of mathematics as well as serving as the student fellow in a freshman seminar for the Honors Program. She describes her passions as rock climbing, classical piano and abstract mathematics.
Glen Chamberlain Barrett, an adjunct English faculty member at Montana State University, has received an award identifying her as one of the six most promising women writers in the country. Barrett, who teaches composition classes at MSU, is the recipient of a 2001 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer's Award, a program created to identify and support women writers in the early stages of their careers. "One of the things that makes this so exciting is that this (award) is not something one can be nominated for," said Sara Jayne Steen, chair of the MSU English department. "A really distinguished group of writers and editors review the work of a group of what they consider to be the most promising women writers in America.”
Greg Weisenstein, Dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Development at Montana State University, is helping to introduce choice in the educational system in Eastern Europe. For the past year Weisenstein has been working with the Republic of Moldova to restructure its 12 institutions of higher education. This fall, the project is seeing its first outcome as the entering freshman class at the State University of Moldova will, for the first time, be able to take classes outside of their major, enroll in a minor, and take elective courses. "The people of Central and Eastern Europe see an opportunity today to change their lives and improve the quality of life," Weisenstein said. He noted further, "We lead the world in part because of the way we educate people. Our system fosters creativity and innovation. Once the Moldovan educators understood the value of our system, they were very quick learners.”
MSU microbiologist Dr. Barry Pyle was in Atlanta last week to consult with the Centers for Disease Control on the successful modification of a commercially available instrument that allows detection of anthrax and other agents within a few hours versus the current sampling time of a few days. Pyle worked on the Defense Department EPSCoR project with fellow MSU scientists Sue Broadaway and Dr. Gordon McFeters.
MSU’s Army ROTC Bobcat Battalion triumphed in the annual Ranger Challenge competition that includes physical training, weapons assembly/disassembly, land navigation, rope bridge construction, and grenade assault. The annual competition includes eight person student teams from MSU, UM, Idaho, Idaho State and Boise State. Both MSU’s Alpha and Bravo teams won their respective divisions. MSU’s teams were prepared by faculty members Sergeant Major Scott Irish and Sergeant First Class Daniel Wallace.