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Change How the World Thinks

Trees without leaves stretch their branches into the blue sky above
Bringing about change for the place and the people

We are not intellectually isolated. We are out in the world, engaging with people and interacting with the environment. It's how we teach and it's where we learn. It's how we meet real world challenges head on. And it's where we give back. We take great care to leave the world better than we found it and to leave a path forward for those who follow in our footsteps.

Leader in the making

If academic scholarships came with trophies UM senior Beatrix Frissell would need a case. Selected as a Truman Scholar, Demmer Scholar, Montana University System Honors Scholar and UM Presidential Leadership Scholar, Beatrix recently learned she’s been selected as one of just 40 students in the country to receive a 2023 Marshall Scholarship. She will spend the next two years completing her master's at the University of Edinburgh and King’s College London.

“I have definitely learned a lot about leadership the past few years,” Beatrix says. “That includes being willing to speak out about causes you believe in.”

'Seek that discomfort'

Through dance and Blackfeet language studies, UM student Zachariah Rides At The Door rekindled a connection with his culture. As he grew, so did his leadership skills.
UM student Zachariah Rides At The Door used dance and leadership to connect with his culture and others.

Education and Awareness

UM student Sophia Rodriquez knows first-hand the challenges people who experience autism and other neurodiversities face each day. The communicative sciences and disorders major grew up with a cousin who has level 3 autism, the most severe form that greatly impairs verbal and nonverbal communication.

Sophia came to UM in 2019 to learn more about how to help those like her cousin who have specialized needs. She became the student director of MOSSAIC (Mentoring, Organization, and Social Support for Autism/All Inclusion on Campus) program and a member of the Global Leadership Initiative where she works toward a certificate in social inequalities and human rights. In 2022, Sophia was named a Newman Civic Fellow.

We can make changes to be better and be more educated,” Sophia says. “And that is all I want to do.”

'Dramatic positive life change'

Luke Santore wrestled with mental health and learning disorders as he bounced in and out of college and on and off the fire line as a wildland firefighter. In 2020, he reconnected with UM's Davidson Honors College, switched his major to sociology and found his calling.

Social justice became my primary motivation in life,” Luke says. “I chose sociology because it seemed like the best educational vehicle to a career focused on social justice issues.”

Changing the narrative

Native American stories make up only about 1% of children’s literature. That percentage becomes even smaller for books by Native authors or illustrators. UM alumnae and authors Mandy Smoker Broaddus and Natalie Peeterse are working to change that with their new graphic novel, "Thunderous."

'Maid' in Montana

Before Netflix created “Maid,” a series inspired by UM alumna Stephanie Land’s memoir, it began as an essay for a UM writing class called "Confessions of the Housekeeper" by Land, who studied English at UM. It was Netflix's fourth most-watched show of 2021, viewed by an estimated 67 million households.

Land’s capacity to identify and develop a writing voice at UM and then make her own way into the business of writing is a trait that is uniquely Montana – and is an authentic success that the entire Grizzly community is celebrating.

Do you have the heart of a Grizzly?

Going to college means joining a community. What type of community do you want to belong to?

If you’re the type of individual who cares about the world and wants to use your degree to create ideas, insights and change, welcome to the University of Montana.