There are lots of interesting characters on campus. Here are a few that you might see.
Montana’s famous winters feel mild to Dr. Christine Foreman. As Associate Dean of Student Success in the College of Engineering, and an expert of microbial biology in cold-temperature environments, Foreman has done research in both the Arctic and Antarctic. Her current project is based in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, one of the harshest regions of Antarctica and one of the most remote deserts in the world. Winds can reach up to 200 mph, where only the toughest microorganisms survive—one of them being Foreman, who not only survives, but brings back data to share with her students and the world.
When you think of a computer-science professor, “funny” isn’t typically the first word that comes to mind. Professor Hunter Lloyd, however, is an exception. Lloyd toured the country on the comedy circuit for a number of years before coming to MSU to earn a master’s degree in computer science. He has since combined his two loves of performing in front of an audience and building robots. With “Looney the Robot” at his side, Lloyd tours the globe, showing students and professionals how comedy and robotics can work together. Under his guidance, MSU has garnered numerous accolades, including medals at the Robo Olympics and a NASA Robotics Innovation Award—and that’s no joke.
Like many Bozemanites, snow is at the center of Dr. Jordy Henrikx’s life. A native New Zealander, Hendrikx leads MSU’s Snow and Avalanche Lab, which studies snow as a resource, but also as a potential danger. Hendrikx is in charge of educating undergraduate snow-science majors and grad students doing research, but much of his teaching doesn’t take place in the conventional classroom—it happens in the four snowy mountain ranges within an hour of MSU. You’ll often find Hendrikx and his crew of snowmen and women braving the weather to make sure the mountains are safe, now and in the future.
Interview with a Resident Advisor (RA)
Every student in the residence halls has an RA, but what does it mean to be one?
Q: So what are RAs and what do they do?
A: An RA is a live-in staff member—typically one on each floor in the residence halls—who is a resource and reference for the residents on their floor. A big part of the RA job is building community—first on a floor and also throughout the hall. We plan floor activities, build relationships between residents, take care of the building, respond to emergencies, and have an overall great time.
Q: Why did you choose to become an RA?
A: One of my friends here had a great experience as an RA and she encouraged me to apply. So after thinking about it, I decided that it would be a great leadership opportunity, a lot of fun, and also a great deal—the compensation of free room and board sounded pretty good too.
Q: What’s your favorite part about being an RA? The most challenging?
A: The most fun part has been hanging out with residents and meeting so many awesome people. I’ve made a ton of friends with both staff and residents. It’s really rewarding at the end of the year to see how many great relationships have been built on a floor where no one knew each other on the first day. As far as the most challenging, I’d say that time management and balancing the job was pretty tough at first, and also it’s not the most fun thing to carry out discipline in the halls. But overall, it’s been a great experience and the positive aspects definitely outweigh the negative.
Q: How does one become an RA?
A: Well, it is a pretty long process that starts in January or February each year—first you submit an application, and go through an individual, and then a group, interview. This is followed by a six-week, once-a-week leadership class that’s topped off by a weekend overnight camp toward the end of the semester. It takes the better part of the semester, but it’s honestly a lot of fun and you make a lot of new friends whether you’re hired or not.