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UMW Professor Earns Title of Professor Emeritus

October 1, 2019

Congratulations to Dr. Steve Mock on being conferred upon by the Montana University System Board of Regents for the title of Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences. Dr. Mock served the University of Montana Western with dedication and valued service for 28 years.

Dr. Mock started his career in Montana as a public-school teacher in Lima and Clyde Park before earning his Ph.D. in analytical chemistry at Montana State University in 1989. After teaching for a year at Gonzaga University, Dr. Mock joined the faculty of the University of Montana Western in 1991. He rose rapidly to the rank of Associate Professor and then Professor.

Dr. Mock helped create the Environmental Sciences Department, served as a chairperson, directed the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Educations (FIPSE) grant that launched the innovative Experience One program and was the Dean of Arts and Sciences. He served on numerous committees, worked to create the arts and sciences degree programs and was instrumental in helping Montana Western becoming the first public university in the history of the United States to adopt Experience One, a system of experiential, immersion learning where students take, and faculty teach, one course at a time. For his efforts, Dr. Mock received the Montana Ambassadors Mike Malone Educator of the Year award in 2012.

Professor Mock was a very successful and popular teacher at Montana Western. He was well known by students as a passionate and caring educator. He creatively used Experience One to integrate lecture and lab in his chemistry courses and developed several field-based experiences for students in classes like environmental geochemistry, environmental education, environmental field studies, rock climbing, winter camping and more. Dr. Mock had many successful chemistry students over the years, some who went on to be public school science teachers, lab chemists, medical professionals and veterinarians.

Over the last few years, Dr. Mock provided opportunities for students to travel to Nepal and work with him at the Khumbu Climbing Center near Mt. Everest, where he currently serves as Director. He also serves as the President of the Denali Rescue Volunteers in Alaska. Dr. Mock’s passion for climbing and outdoor education exposed countless Montana Western students to mountain recreation and changed the lives of many who now share his passion.