A Look at Montana State University

A Look at Montana State University

October 24, 2019 12 By Stanley Isaacs


[ Music ]>>Welcome to Montana
State University. My name is Waded Cruzado and I’m
honored to serve as president of this great institution. We’re delighted to have you here at what I usually
call your university, because we’re very
proud of the fact that Montana State University
is the land grant institution of this beautiful
state of Montana. And you will see in every corner
of this campus that we take that job very seriously
and very proudly. We’re delighted to have
you here and I look forward to hearing back from you. Enjoy your tour. Go, Bobcats. [ Music ]>>Welcome to Montana
State University. Today we hope to give you an
idea of who we are and what it’s like to be a student
at Montana’s largest and fastest growing university. MSU is among the top 3% of
colleges and universities in the nation for
research expenditures. It’s Montana’s largest research
enterprise, conducting more than $100 million in
research annually. Because of its high
undergraduate profile, MSU undergraduate
students get opportunities to conduct research of
national importance. Opportunities that would
typically be reserved for graduate students
at other universities. That’s one reason why
MSU is a national leader in producing winners of
the Goldwater Scholarship. It’s the nation’s premier
award for undergraduates in math and science fields. MSU has produced more
Goldwater scholars than Yale, Johns Hopkins and Northwestern. MSU is the only university
with easy access to Yellowstone National
Park and is known as the University
of the Yellowstone. For MSU students Yellowstone
is a 20 million acre classroom, lab and adventure hub
featuring hot springs, rivers, peaks and wildlife. With more than 225
academic programs, 13 NCAA Division 1 athletic
teams, 24 intramural sports, and 250 student clubs,
there’s a home for any interest or career goal. Graduates of MSU are
typically hired by more than 700 employers each
year and attend more than 50 graduate schools. A focus on service
learning, relevant programs and skills training and internship opportunities
have made our graduates competitive for a
variety of employers, from Oracle to National
Geographic. Part of what sets MSU
apart is its focus on undergraduate research. Meet a few of our undergraduate
students who’ve conducted important research projects.>>This lab is the Fluvial
Landscape Ecology Lab. And what we do is look at
basically aquatic eco systems, but not just the streams,
but the riparian zones, the flood plains and
things like that. For example, the model that
I’m working on is aiming to provide a framework
that researchers can use for biogeochemical modeling,
which is a very complex web of elements and nutrients
cycling through a system, which is really hard to
conceptualize without the help of computational skills.>>As an undergraduate
student I have my own project and I collaborate, of course,
with other workers of the lab. And I’m studying
how this disease, familial dysautonomia affects
the central nervous system and specifically neurogenesis
in the embryonic brain.>>I got a research
position to work for the Corrosion Science
Lab here on campus. My project was principally on
understanding the mechanism by which hot corrosion occurs. This research project was chosen because of its significance
in jet engine. We’re looking at how the
mechanism by which, you know, the salts causes hot
corrosion to occur. In the long run it will
save money for the company because they don’t have
to change or do a lot of maintenance work
on those engines.>>If you are eager to learn
something new there are people here who can help you do that. And, for example, the
skills that I’ve acquired through my research are
something I wouldn’t get out of my curriculum
necessarily. These skills are
something I’ll carry with me throughout my career
and continue to build on.>>It’s really cool to be
able to learn certain material in my classes and
apply them into lab.>>If you are looking
for a school that will give you the attention
that you need to grow and mature as an undergraduate, I feel
like MSU’s the right school. People here are really friendly
and really very open and helpful.>>Both inside and outside
the classroom, MSU students and professors are
working together to create innovative
approaches to learning. Because the campus has eight
distinct colleges with hundreds of programs, there are nearly
limitless opportunities for collaboration. One example is the Design
Sandbox for Engaged Learning. DSEL for short. Which is an interdisciplinary
approach that combines many different
areas of study to make for an innovative
learning experience. At the DSEL labs
students from all over campus combine their areas
of study to create solutions to some of our most
pressing problems. See how DSEL classes
influence this MSU student.>>Two years ago I took one of the
honors design thinking classes through the DSEL space and
that class was really one of the most influential,
because it broke down creativity into
a methodology. And so after that
class I started to — I started to gain
creative confidence. So, I think in some ways out of
that class came the confidence to move forward and
start ShareLift. A friend of mine came to
me and pitched this idea of a ride share app for
skiers and snowboarders, because he had had
trouble getting to the ski hills as a freshman. Kind of realized there was
a lot of potential here. That we were solving a
problem that was a real problem and that it’s something
that can work. My class at DSEL
inspired, afterwards I like actually formed an
entrepreneurial think tank called Synapse. We pitched problems and then
I tried to identify solutions. The idea from there was like
after that we would, you know, hopefully launch those
potential solutions into viable businesses.>>MSU students apply problem
solving tactics learned in the classroom to improve
their communities at the local, regional and even global levels. Typically more than 50% of
the student body participates in service learning each year. Events such as Service
Saturdays, the annual Can the Griz food
drive and painting the M located on the Bridger
Mountains connects students with local projects. As little as an afternoon of their time can change the
community for the better. Other options include service
projects through student clubs and organizations and
our Breaksaway program. Breaksaway lets students spend
their spring break working on projects in communities
across the US. International service learning
opportunities are also available through student clubs and
the study abroad office, which offers more than
250 study abroad programs and more than 60 countries. One example of students
serving abroad is MSU’s chapter of Engineers without Borders. Which has worked to
provide clean water to the people of
Khwisero, Kenya.>>EWB at MSU was created
to implement clean water and sanitations at all the local
primary schools in Khwisero. We work with local communities
in like the very rural area. No water, no electricity. That’s essentially why
we were out there was to give them the fundamental
needs they need to learn. It’s changed my life
quite a bit. It opens up a lot
of opportunity. It’s very challenging and
what you do out there is not like your normal internship. You know, we don’t have all the
commodities that you do here in America and you’re trying to
solve these engineering problems with like different
cultural barriers. So, it really makes
you think hard and it makes you
think critically. At first the idea of
traveling to Kenya, the idea of doing this
seemed pretty daunting, but it’s probably the best
decision I’ve ever made in my life, because
it tests you and it puts you in a totally different
plance and it opens up so much opportunity
beyond what is provided for us here.>>Today you’ve seen some of the
extraordinary people and places that make MSU one of a kind. Here in Bozeman we hope you
feel the same sense of wonder and excitement we do as you look out across our beautiful
Gallatin Valley. This is a place for
knowledge seekers. People who want to make
discoveries that help people around the world
live better lives. It’s also a place for adventures
and outdoor enthusiasts, with easy access to
world class skiing, hiking, fishing and more. But most of all it’s a place
rooted in Montana values, friendliness, persistence and
a strong connected community. Welcome to Bobcat country.