The University of Montana

Christmas Cookie Cooks
Skiers test Saga outerwear in the backcountry

Students Turn Class Assignment into Successful Ski Outerwear Business

Saga Outerwear has always been grounded, an independently owned company since it first launched in 2005. The brand got its start when Andrew Mallett and Austin Stevens, both longtime skiers and then students at the University of Montana, were tasked with developing a theoretical business plan for a college course. Saga has come a long way since then, growing rapidly in sales and now selling to retailers around the world. Freeskier magazine reports on Saga’s rise.

Osprey with fish

UM-Banded Osprey Sighted in Texas

A Missoula-born osprey has become a celebrity among birdwatchers on the Gulf Coast of Texas. As a chick, the bird was tagged with a blue leg band bearing the designation “M8” by UM wildlife biology Professor Erick Greene and his team of researchers. In September, Sally Mitchel of Rockport, Texas, photographed the bird, saw its band and reached out to Greene and his team. Read more about the rare sighting of a banded bird.

Cattle on IX Ranch

Startup Launched through Blackstone Saves Ranchers Time, Money

Walker Milhoan recently took his ranching background and his business acuity to the Blackstone LaunchPad’s annual Demo Day in New York City, where he pitched a new venture he believes can lower ranching costs, increase stock weight and drive up the return on cattle. In partnership with the IX Ranch in Big Sandy and with support of UM’s Blackstone LaunchPad, Milhoan aims to make Ranchlogs available for purchase next summer. Read more about Milhoan’s idea.

Coach Bob Stitt roams the sidelines at the Colorado School of Mines.

Griz Hire Bob Stitt as Head Football Coach

Bob Stitt has been selected to serve as UM’s 36th head football coach. Stitt has been the head coach at the Colorado School of Mines the past 15 seasons, where he has compiled an overall record of 108-62 and has a conference mark of 83-44. His 2014 Orediggers team went 10-2 and qualified for the NCAA Division II football playoffs. Read more about UM’s new head football coach.

PBS Newshour anchor

Journalism Student’s Report Airs on PBS NewsHour

In Montana, illegal fish dumping of non-native species is threatening the state’s native trout. In a segment for Student Reporting Labs, UM journalism freshman Meri DeMarois and her mentor Anna Rau of MontanaPBS report on how conservation organizations are working to protect the indigenous fish population. DeMarois interviews local anglers, activists and scientists in this piece that aired on PBS NewsHour on Nov. 27.

Jane Baker

MC Hires Interim Dean to Lead College into Construction

Jane Baker came of out retirement in October to serve as interim dean of Missoula College UM. The transition comes as the college races to meet state workforce demands and expands its programming to give students an affordable jump on a four-year degree. Baker will hold the position on a temporary basis as a new search committee begins the hunt for Dean Barry Good’s long-term replacement. Read more about Baker’s leadership experience.

The Story Behind the Photo

UM students Sam Brown, Kara Adolphson and Karlie Reilly create cookies during the 17th annual Great UM Christmas Cookie Cook-off on Dec. 15. The event was held at the Lommasson Center Food Zoo Dining Room, and the theme was “A Christmas Story.” Participants could take home half the cookies they baked, and half were donated to local youth homes, senior homes, group shelters and other nonprofits.

Submit photo and story ideas to thrive@umontana.edu
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