Native American Students from C.S. Porter to Experience Behind-the-Scenes Tour at UM

March 16, 2016

MISSOULA – Native American students from C.S. Porter Middle School in Missoula will experience hands-on activities and get behind-the-scenes access to the University of Montana’s labs, studios and performance spaces during a campus visit on Tuesday, March 22.

While on campus, the 50 visiting students will tour the Payne Family Native American Center, where they will explore Native American games with Native American studies Professor Wade Davies and experience a planetarium show led by the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Through We Are Montana in the Classroom, they also will visit the School of Journalism, the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and the School of Theatre and Dance.

At the School of Journalism, students will have the chance to practice broadcast journalism in front of a green screen with Assistant Professor Jason Begay and Professor Ray Ekness. Begay also will share with students UM’s Native News Project and opportunities for undergraduate journalists at UM.

At the Skaggs School of Pharmacy’s Native American Center of Excellence, students will meet with Program Coordinator Wilena Old Person and Student Resource Adviser Shane Sangrey, who will lead activities with the school’s SIM Man patient simulator.

With School of Theatre and Dance Professor Alessia Carpoca and Director Mike Monsos, students will learn hands-on how theaters use molds and 3-D printing to create props.

The campus visit is designed to promote students’ sense of belonging in higher education and preview the array of opportunities awaiting them at UM.

“I remember being in high school and being really intimidated by college, which seemed so mysterious and intense,” Begay said. “I hope projects like this help students see that college isn’t a foreign concept; it’s fun and extremely beneficial.”

We Are Montana in the Classroom partners with more than 100 UM faculty members, professionals and graduate students to inspire K-12 students about higher education and career pathways. This academic year, the program is on track to reach 10,000 students through statewide tours, local classroom visits and distance-learning experiences. We Are Montana in the Classroom belongs to the UM Broader Impacts Group in the Office of Research and Creative Scholarship.

To book a UM role model in your classroom or to learn more about We Are Montana in the Classroom’s array of free programming, call Jessie Herbert at 406-243-4828 or email

Contact: Jessie Herbert, We Are Montana in the Classroom program manager, 406-243-4828,