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UMW student leadership gain summer experience.

July 20, 2016

ASUMW President Delaney Hansen is spending the summer commuting from Dillon to Twin Bridges, Mont., volunteering at Pride Summer Group (PSG) as part of her pursuit of an elementary education degree from Montana Western.

“I love the kids and having this authentic experience on a consistent basis has been great,” Hansen said.

PSG is a children’s camp where Hansen is part of a group that teaches 30 students ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade. Each week the camp focuses on teaching a moral such as courage, respect and kindness. They also take field trips and have visited the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Mont. and mining museums throughout the state.

“Montana Western’s Experience One program and the education department prepared me well for this teaching opportunity,” Hansen said. “My professors have provided me with the skill sets and ability to handle the work load involved with running an elementary class.”

X1 is Montana Western’s innovative block scheduling program where students take a single class at a time, three hours each day for 18 days before moving on to the next. UMW is the only U.S. public four-year university offering block scheduling.

ASUMW Vice President Kelsie Field is working for the local Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks office. Her responsibilities include inspecting boats for aquatic invasive species (AIS) at a station on Interstate 15 south of Dillon.

Aquatic invasive species are those that impact water bodies and wetlands. They usually come in the form of plant species or snails and are found on the trailers or hulls of recreational boats, Field explained. Their presence can cause severe damage to local ecosystems, industry and tourism.

“This job is very important because AIS poses a threat to many forms of outdoor recreation,” Field said. “Southwest Montana is a particularly beautiful and amazing place to hike, fish and hunt. I want to help to protect that.”

Field is earning an environmental sciences and biology degree from Montana Western. She enjoys hiking and fishing and wants to become involved in conservation efforts to safeguard the state’s environment and wildlife.

Field said she was first drawn to Montana Western because of its affordability, but was also attracted to the supportive community, environmental sciences program and Experience One.

“My classes have given me a tremendous amount of experience working outdoors,” Field said. “With my career I will spend a lot of time working in the field and Montana Western’s environmental sciences and biology classes can often be found outside working in streams or studying local geology. It’s the perfect fit for me.”

Hansen and Field said they will be creating sustainable projects around campus next year, including installing more hygienic water fountains, raising awareness about recycling habits and increasing accessibility to recycling options.