Career Exploration Day Coming to Corvallis

May 23, 2018

MISSOULA – The We Are Montana in the Classroom initiative and Corvallis Middle School will collaborate on a career exploration day for the school’s fifth-graders from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Friday, May 25, in the school gymnasium.

Co-created with the University of Montana Broader Impacts Group, the event is designed to engage students with career pathways in their community – particularly in high-priority workforce sectors such as manufacturing, small business, health care and forestry/environmental management.  

BIG’s Bitterroot advisory group helped produce the event, which is of a collective-impact initiative powered by the Martin Family Foundation.

Participating career role models are:

  • Joe Butsick, U.S. Forest Service
  • Allie Hagwood, American Welding & Gas
  • Laura Newby, Laura Jean Welding
  • Michael Sharkey, Watchmaker to the Stars (retired)
  • Christa Haslip, Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital
  • Stephanie Mapelli, Town of Stevensville
  • Jason Forges, Montana Campus Compact
  • Mizuki Miyashita, UM Linguistics Program

Students will rotate through stations, where role models will lead activities and demonstrations and share stories from their career and educational experiences.

“Role models who students get to meet make the future possibilities a reality for kids,” said Kristina Berger, head teacher at Corvallis Middle School. “It’s one thing to tell kids what’s out there; it’s another to interact with someone living it. This opportunity plants a seed for kids and their futures.

The career exploration day is part of a multiyear effort to build community capacity for role-model engagement. As part of this effort, BIG collaborates with local schools and its Bitterroot advisory group to develop a database that educators can use to connect their students with role models and mentors. Following a pilot year, the database will launch online in fall 2018.


Contact: Holly Truitt, director, UM Broader Impacts Group and spectrUM Discovery Area, 406-243-4828,