Under the M: UM healthy foods program expands to Corner Store
Under the M

Under the M: UM healthy foods program expands to Corner Store


After a successful first year at the University of Montana’s UC Market, the Optimal Bear Approved program run by Curry Health Center’s wellness department is expanding to the Corner Store on campus.

Starting Monday, shoppers will find Optimal Bear Approved stamps on select items in this new location on campus to support and encourage healthy eating habits.

The growth of the program, which originally began at UM in 2015, is spearheaded by Optimal Bear coordinator Kayli Julius. It seeks to identify and promote healthy foods to students.

“I’m excited to expand the Optimal Bear Approved program to the Corner Store to reach a wider demographic of students,” Julius said. “Sometimes I think students struggle to identify healthy choices. By putting the stamp on them, I think it will really help individuals make a better choice.”

Rebecca Wade, director of staff development and environmental health at UM Dining, shares Julius’ enthusiasm about the collaboration.

“UM Dining is thrilled to partner with the Optimal Bear Approved program for several reasons. Primarily, we want to make it easy for students to identify and choose healthy options that we offer in the Corner Store,” Wade said.

Items on the OBA list typically are all-natural, sometimes organic, include no artificial color, limited added sugar and are made with real-food ingredients.

“We try to keep it simple and easy to understand,” Julius said.

Wade also believes that it takes a fair amount of knowledge and effort to make healthy choices, not only on campus, but in everyday life.

“The items that are OBA approved, by and large, are going to be the healthiest options available – meaning students can make quality food choices quickly, saving mental and physical energy for learning,” she said.

The OBA initiative also supports clients of the Curry Health wellness department’s Optimal Bear and Weigh to Go UM programs. Both programs help UM students set and reach goals that support healthy lifestyles. With an emphasis on preventative care and encouraging a healthy lifestyle, Wellness aims to be an easy-to-access resource for students across campus.

For more information about the Optimal Bear program, call Julius at 243-6719 or email kayli.julius@mso.umt.edu.


In other campus news:

The UM Alumni Association invites the community to escape the cold Montana winter – if only for an evening – at the second annual Boots to Beaches fundraiser scheduled 6-9 p.m. Saturday at the Holiday Inn Downtown.

The lakeside party-themed evening will feature live and silent auctions, food and beverages, music, entertainment and prizes.

Auction items include a round of golf with Montana Grizzlies head football coach Bob Stitt, one-half beef from Big Sky Natural Beef, lift tickets for Whitefish Mountain Resort and more. All proceeds will benefit the Alumni Association, an organization that reaches out to more than 105,000 UM alumni and friends, helping them stay connected to UM and each other through events, programs and services such as homecoming and commencement reunions, alumni awards and career mentoring.

The public is invited to attend, and summer attire is encouraged. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased at grizalum.org/events/SignatureEvent.php or by calling 243-5211.


The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library will host the exhibition “Opening Doors: Contemporary African American Academic Surgeons” starting Wednesday and continuing through Saturday, Feb. 27. It is free and open to the public during regular library hours.

The library also will host related lectures this Thursday and also Thursday, Feb. 11.

The exhibition celebrates the medical and educational contributions of African-American academic surgeons. It tells the stories of four pioneering African-American surgeons and educators who exemplify excellence in their fields and believe in educating and mentoring younger physicians and surgeons.

Through contemporary and historical images, the exhibition takes the visitor on a journey through the lives and achievements of these surgeons and tells the stories of those who came before them and those who continue the tradition today.

The four pioneers are Alexa Canady, the first African-American woman pediatric neurosurgeon; LaSalle Leffall Jr., cancer surgeon and the first African-American president of the American College of Surgeons and the American Cancer Society; Claude Organ Jr., general surgeon and the first African-American to chair a department of surgery at a predominantly white medical school; and Rosalyn P. Scott, the first African-American woman cardiothoracic surgeon.

Ellen Baumbler, an interpretive historian at the Montana Historical Society, will present “African-American Montanans in the Healing Arts” from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday in the Mansfield Library East Faculty Office Area. The lecture will highlight the legacy of the pioneering Bridgewater family and daughter Octavia’s nursing career.

A virtual lecture, “Entering a ‘White’ Profession: Black Physicians in the New South,” is scheduled 6-7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11, in the Mansfield Library East Faculty Office Area. It will be presented by medical historian Todd Savitt, who teaches at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.

The exhibition was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture.

The exhibit will be open during the Mansfield Library’s regular hours, listed at lib.umt.edu/about/hours/text.php.


The Alumni Association plans to honor eight members of the UM and Missoula communities at the annual Charter Day awards ceremony and reception Thursday, Feb. 18.

The ceremony, which will cap off the celebration of UM’s 123rd birthday, is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom.

A list of this year’s award recipients follows.

  • ASUM Student Service Award: Byron Boots, UM senior, business administration.
  • Neil S. Bucklew Presidential Service Award: Nelson Weller, former UM Foundation Board of Trustees member.
  • Montana Alumni Award: Marcia Holland, former UMAA board chair and active volunteer.
  • George M. Dennison Presidential Faculty Award for Distinguished Accomplishment: Vince Colucci, professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice.
  • George M. Dennison Presidential Staff Award for Distinguished Accomplishment: Barb Seekins, assistant director, Foreign Student and Scholar Services.
  • Outstanding Service to the External Community Award: Sara Polanchek, clinical director, Department of Counselor Education.
  • John Ruffatto Memorial Award: Sam Panarella, associate professor, Alexander Blewett III School of Law.
  • Robert T. Pantzer Presidential Humanitarian Award: Deena Mansour, associate director, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center.

More information is available at grizalum.org/events/charterday/default.php.


The Staff Senate will host a community run/walk to raise money for its scholarship fund.

The 5K Diploma Dash is scheduled at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 26, at the Van Buren Street footbridge. The route will take runners and walkers around and through campus, and all registered participants will receive a technical race T-shirt, chip timing and a 5K race "diploma" upon completing the course.

The Staff Senate supports more than 1,000 classified UM staff members who work behind the scenes to ensure a smooth-running campus and the success of students. Each year, Staff Senate grants more than $3,000 in scholarships to dependents of UM staff members.

Register for the 5K Diploma Dash at umt.edu/staffsenate/5k-diploma-dash/default.php by Sunday to receive the early-bird rate of $25. After Jan. 31, the price increases to $30. UM students receive a $5 discount. Register by Friday, Feb. 26, to be guaranteed a shirt. Children age 10 and younger are free. However, they do not receive a shirt and must be accompanied by a registered adult. To register a child to run with an adult, check the box and list the child's name during the adult’s registration process.


School of Journalism photography student Evan Frost placed among the top 20 finalists in the national Hearst Journalism Awards Photo One Competition.

Frost’s portfolio placed 18th in the Photojournalism I: News and Feature Photography category.

Journalism professor Jeremy Lurgio said he knew Frost’s work was worthy of placing among the best students in the nation.

“His submission of eight images showed vision, humor, action and impact,” Lurgio said. “Above all, they were solid storytelling images.”

Lurgio said Frost was able to put his skills to the test through a summer internship at the Great Falls Tribune.

“That hard work in the professional world rewarded him with a group of solid images that earned him a top-20 finish,” he said. “This is a testament to the importance of the professional internship experiences our students pursue.”

Frost worked as the photo and video editor at the Montana Kaimin during fall semester of 2015, as well as the multimedia editor for the 2016 edition of the Montana Journalism Review. Montana Kaimin adviser and UM journalism professor Nadia White worked with Frost during fall semester.

To see Frost’s work and recent projects, visit evanfrostphoto.com.


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