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TRiO students celebrate recent successes

December 14, 2011

Nathan Boll — a UMW mathematics senior — received a $1,500 scholarship through NASA and Tamie Laverdure — a UMW biology, pre-professional fish and wildlife major — was featured in a story in the November/December 2011 issue of Montana Outdoors, the magazine of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

Both Boll and Laverdure are participants in Montana Western’s TRiO program, which is part of a federal program aiming to increase the college retention and graduation rates of students. TRiO’s name initially came into use for its first three programs originally authorized under the Higher Education Act in 1965, however the program now consists of seven distinct federally funded student programs.

Boll was chosen for his award based on his achievements in disciplines related to science, math, engineering, geology, technology and similar areas of interest to NASA. Boll also applied for a grant to participate in a paid summer 2012 internship through NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL), working for 10 weeks with a JPL scientist in Pasadena, Calif.

Laverdure spent her 2011 summer at the brand new Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Montana Wild Education and Conservation Center and Montana Outdoors editor Tom Dickson featured Laverdure in his story “Plugging People In To the Outdoors.”

Montana Wild is located near Spring Meadow Lake State Park just west of Helena, Mont. During her time at Montana Wild Laverdure developed a program to provide children with bear biology background and hands-on learning stations to help youth become comfortable with experiencing the outdoors safely in bear country. Laverdure encouraged Montana Wild visitors to connect with open spaces through education. Her work aligned with the Center’s long-range goal of educating the public about outdoor skills to encourage stewardship of the wildlife, water and land.