Writing Center on cutting edge of teaching theory

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By RANIA AMPNTEL CHAFINT/Montana State News

The Montana State University (MSU) Writing Center provides an environment where undergraduate and graduate students can meet with their peers to collaborate on writing. The center operates on theories and guidelines that have changed in recent years.

The MSU Writing Center has moved away from hiring instructors, and towards hiring students who tutor their own peers. The center currently has 22 peer tutors on staff, according to the MSU Writing Center website.

The center hires peer tutors because “students are comfortable working with them, and because the tutors are not disciplinary experts, student writers gain authority and confidence as they articulate what they know about their discipline,” according to the MSU Writing Center website.

Writing centers across the U.S. operate on the premise that peer tutors are coaches, instead of teachers, that provide reader feedback and encourage writers to develop their own ideas and revisions, according to the International Writing Center Association (IWCA) website. More

Campaign launched against mussel invasion

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By VIRGINIA HOLST/Montana State News

Canyon Ferry and Tiber reservoirs are being infested by mussels, and the state is doing everything it can to prevent them from spreading to other bodies of water.

Aquatic invasive mussels first arrived in Montana in 2016. Other states that have been infested by these pests have incurred millions of dollars in damage to facilities, as well as issues with water and other species health, according to the Montana Mussel Response Website.

“They can change the ecosystem in ways you don’t want the ecosystem to change,” according to Dan Malloy, a research scientist who studies the invasive species. These mussels feed on plankton, a major food source for sportfish, which may be problematic in Montana as the economy largely relies on fishermen.

Boaters and other recreational water users inadvertently transport Zebra and Quagga Mussel larva nearly every time that they don’t properly clean their equipment. Therefore, Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) is doing everything it can to prevent the dangers that tag along with these tag-alongs. More

Climbers are the face of unusual foundation

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BY MICHELLE BURGER/Montana State News

Mountain climbers Conrad Anker and Jimmy Chin recently lectured at Montana State University on behalf of the MSU leadership institute and the Khumbu Climbing Center. The talk focused on their growing success, their failures and their life after what has become regarded as their iconic ascent.

Conrad Anker, a renowned climber living in Bozeman, teamed up with filmmaker and producer Jimmy Chin to speak on behalf of the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation.

The Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation came to life following 2008 after the film Meru came out. The film documents two ascents, one unsuccessful in 2008 when they lost fellow climber Lowe, the other when Anker, Chin and Rennan Ozturk successfully ascended Meru’s famous peak with its shark fin features in 2011.

The movie Meru shed publicity on all the climbers, but more importantly about Anker. Anker serves on many boards for the area. He was able to connect to communities around the area to educate about the dangers he and his colleagues faced during the ascents. More

Philanthropic program provides pinball therapy

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By TIM STOVER/Montana State News

Pinball machines have allowed a different kind of recreation for those who spend their time in hospitals around the country.

Project Pinball started in 2011 and originated with the intent to provide “… recreational relief to patients, family members, and hospital staff,” according to the organization website.

According to Project Pinball they “…provide all equipment, parts, supplies, and regular maintenance at no cost to the hospital.”

The company has provided “… 25 pinball machines to 23 different hospitals” across the country. Testimonials on Project Pinball’s website attest to the fact that people love what they are doing.

Joe Dacy, a parent of a child who benefited from Project Pinball at Advocate Children’s Hospital said in a testimonial, “One of those challenges was getting him out of bed away from the video games, his tablet, and the confinement of his hospital room.” More

Local mall exception to grim national trend

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By CULLAN STAACK/ Montana State News

Shopping malls are losing some of their most valuable tenants—department stores—at an alarming rate. Retailers like Sears, JCPenney and Macy’s have been closing hundreds of locations over the last several years, leaving dead or dying shopping malls in their wake as they try to remain profitable amid the growing threat of e-commerce.

The slow death of the American shopping mall is not evenly distributed. A disproportionate number of recent high profile store closure announcements have been in communities that are already struggling, according to Conor Sen, a Bloomberg View columnist and portfolio manager for New River Investments. Bozeman does not fit the profile of a struggling community, and as a result, the Gallatin Valley Mall is not currently exhibiting any signs of future foreclosures. More

Food bank fills empty tables with local generosity

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By EMILY SCHABACKER/ Montana State News

Gallatin Valley Food Bank serves 3,105 individuals a month including families, kids, single parents, and seniors; but with the upcoming summer season, Laura  Stonecipher, program coordinator at the food bank, expects an increase in clients. Despite this increase, the food bank is experiencing a decrease in donations.

On average, Gallatin Valley Food Bank serves 1,200 households every month, according to Stonecipher.

Stonecipher said, “the majority of our clients do not come regularly…. Think about your budget and everything lines up, but then your car breaks down or you have a medical bill…. then you need to divert money that you might spend on groceries to pay for those bills.”

The food bank also supports Bozeman’s seniors with their Senior Commodity Program, according to Mariah Smith, administrative officer at the bank.

“Clients have to be over 60 years old and there are some income limits as it is a government funded program. It is an extra two bags of food plus cereal and shelf stable milk. That’s once a month for our seniors,” said Stonecipher. More

Fort played little-known role in state history

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By JORDAN SPARR/Montana State News

Fort Ellis stands a small distance east of Bozeman, Montana. Built to protect mining operations and new-coming settlers in the region, the fort played a large part in the development of Bozeman and military operations of the era.

Deeply involved in the conflicts arising at the time with Native Americans and the boundary wars that resulted from the confrontation, the history of Fort Ellis provides an invaluable insight into early Montana history and the way of life in the American West.

Established in 1867, it largely stood as a countermeasure to a Sioux warrior campaign aimed at shutting down any operation of the Bozeman Trail by pioneers attempting to reach the region.

According to “Military and Trading Posts of Montana” by Don Miller and Stan Cohen, Major Eugene M. Baker used infantry stationed at Fort Ellis to take military action against the Piegan tribe. This ended with the Marias Massacre, which killed many unarmed and unready Native Americans within the tribe while many were away to hunt. More

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