News from the DHC

Looking for Volunteers: Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA)

Various dates - Location in Buckhous Room, Mansfield Library (Level 2, Room 284)

 First-year honors students are invited to participate in the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA).  The University of Montana is looking for about 25 DHC students to take the test.

 Why take the CLA? First of all, this is a chance for you to play a very important role in our accreditation efforts; we are looking to track learning progress over your time at UM. This is also an opportunity for you to learn a bit about where you stand at the beginning of your college studies. Individualized results will be made available to you, but no one else (at the DHC or otherwise) will connect you to your results. As an incentive, Dean Tessman will host a pizza party for the first 25 DHC students that complete the exam. The Dean’s office will get the names (but again, not the results) of the students that sign up from the Provost’s office and plan a party for November.

 Sign up for an exam time

 The exam lasts 90 minutes. Students need to arrive a few minutes early for the assessment so that the proctors start promptly at the designated times.  Please email Associate Provost for Dynamic Learning Nathan Lindsay  ( if you have any questions.

Students bond, break bread with Brock and Kristin Tessman

First Year Dinner

October 2017 marks the second year’s worth of DHC First Year Dinner’s. All first year honors students at UM are invited to attend one of their choosing. Dates range from the end of September— this year being the 25th and 26th—through the first week of October, this year’s 2nd, 3rd, 4th. Be on the lookout for additional dinner’s scheduled throughout November!

20 to maximum 30 students are invited for each evening, convening outside the DHC around 5:30 p.m. and returning to campus at 7:30 p.m. Dinner’s alternate between the homes of Dean Tessman and longtime DHC supporters Lauren and Tim Descamps. All of these meals are home-cooked by either Lauren and Dean Tessman’s wife, Kristin. On the menu? Spaghetti, garlic bread, salad, and…Dilly Bars! The goal of the evenings is to enjoy warm comfort food while establishing worthwhile connections among DHC students, as well as with local DHC supporters—if dinner is at the Tessman’s students have the added bonus of interacting with the Dean’s daughters Frankie and Leona.

“These are some of our favorite evenings of the year,” explained Tessman.“The DHC will always have our academic mission as our core, but the First Year Dinners always remind me that one of our most important functions is to connect fantastic students with one another, and to serve them as a home away from home.”

A special event at the Braig Farm helps connect top high-school students with the Davidson Honors College

Braig Family Farm recruitment F17

"Our thanks go to Bob and Bev Braig for creating this wonderful opportunity for the DHC to connect with some of the brightest minds in the state of Montana. We were pleased to share the academic innovation, student support, and exceptionally welcoming community that defines the Davidson Honors College."  said Dean Brock Tessman.

Last winter, UM alumni Bob and Bev Braig noted that many Montana students, and their parents, don't know about the unique educational opportunities and support that the Davidson Honors College offers. Bob and Bev, long-time community leaders, offered to help the DHC connect with top high-school students to answer questions and give them the chance to learn about how the honors college can support their educational pursuits. 
On September 6, 2017 the Braig Family Farm set up a beautiful outdoor Griz-themed dinner for approximately 40 students and their families from six high schools in the Flathead area. Students invited to the event were identified by area IB Coordinators and school guidance counselors. Prospective students in attendance represented six of the area’s high schools and after picking up a hamburger from Mud Man Burgers, they visited with Dean Tessman and, the DHC's Director of Student Advising and Outreach, Dr. Robin Parent.

Current Davidson Honors College students were on hand to speak candidly with the high-school seniors about their own experience at UM and with the DHC. This landmark event is the first of it’s kind for the Davidson Honors College. The great wave of response from students and families has inspired the DHC to host similar events in other communities around the state. Future events are planned for Missoula, Great Falls, Billings and the Bitterroot Valley.

"All the credit for this event's success goes to Bob and Bev Braig. Their generous support and community connections made this event possible, and we'll see increased interest in UM from students in the Flathead area because of it." Davidson Honors College Director of Development, Chelsea Spreeman says.

For current Davidson Honors College student Reece Brandon, the event was a reminder of all the great parts of his honors college experience, “The honors college I adored last year did not go anywhere over the summer—[everything was] waiting for me when I came back to school!”  "Sharing the opportunities the honors college offers with parents and high school students also helps current students to remember what an amazing aspect of the University the DHC is."

If you would like to help the Davidson Honors College hold a recruitment event in your area, please contact Chelsea at

DHC Host's Top-Ranking EU Ambassador

EU Ambassador

DHC students engaged in a conversation with prominent political figure, David O’Sullivan, on the afternoon of September 28, 2017. O’Sullivan’s career is five decades in the making. Most recently, in 2014, he was appointed as the Head of the European Union Delegation to the United States. O’Sullivan is the EU’s top-ranking diplomat in the United States: not only does he oversee the political, economic, and commercial affairs of the EU Delegation but he also aids the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, which is responsible for the construct and execution of EU’s foreign policy. O’Sullivan’s expertise as now EU Ambassador stems from his extensive professional development as the Chief Operating Officer of the ‘European External Action Service,’ which coordinates with 140 other diplomatic delegations around the world.

After a busy Thursday attending and presenting at UM lectures, O’Sullivan spent the latter part of the afternoon meeting with ten DHC IR/Political Science students in the Honors Lounge. Students present included  Braeden Campbell, Erin Harbaugh, Daisy Ward, Cassidy Alexander, Elaine Chandler, Erin Harbaugh, Meghan Jackson, Kayla Irish, John Schaefer, and Anna Favour. O’Sullivan conversed with students about his career experiences and background; he continued to offer his impressions of the interdependent political structure of the EU, as well as a general scope of world politics. O’Sullivan and students concluded the afternoon with a question and answer session about his work with both the Obama and Trump Administrations.

Call for Undergraduate Research Award Proposals for Spring 2018

The Undergraduate Research Committee is pleased to present this call for Spring 2018 Undergraduate Research Award proposals. Approximately 10 scholarships of $1,000 will be awarded to students through this application process. If you would like to learn about research in your field and would be like to develop your own individual research project in collaboration with a UM faculty mentor, then we encourage you consider this scholarship opportunity for qualified students of all majors. 

 If you wish to apply for this award, please plan to meet with your faculty mentor in order to discuss the academic expectations for the proposed research project. Award details and eligibility requirements are explained on the application form. Please note that the application deadline is noon on November 15, 2017, and awards will be announced by December 1. Questions about the program or the application process can be directed to the Davidson Honors College at 243-2541 or are welcome from UM undergraduates of all majors. We encourage you to apply!

DHC Graduation Checklist Due

Seniors who intend to graduate spring 2017 should come to the DHC office to pick up a DHC Graduation Checklist and to make an appointment for a graduation meeting with Karen Kaley. The purpose of this meeting is to assist graduating seniors in reviewing their Honors course requirements to graduate with the “University Scholar” distinction from the DHC.   The DHC Graduation Checklist is posted here.   Note: Don't forget that you must also apply for graduation from the University of Montana. UM graduation forms are available online

Department approved undergraduate degree applications for spring 2017 are due to the Registrar’s Office by November 10, 2017.   After this date has passed, an additional $15 late fee will apply.   

Ireland Study Abroad

Students from all majors, freshmen through graduate students, are invited to participate in the DHC Study Abroad program to Ireland and Northern Ireland. After DHC students have had a chance to sign up, all other UM students are invited to join the group. The final itinerary is still being worked out, but it will be similar to the 5 previous trips. Alumni from those trips will be happy to answer your questions. The focus is on history, literature, politics, religion, and, of course, the glorious scenery of the Emerald Isle.

Pick up an application from the DHC front desk and return it with a copy of your unofficial transcript to get registered with EFTours.

The trip requires a 2-credit preparation course. If this course conflicts with your schedule, or you don't have space for a 2-credit course, see Laure Pengelly Drake right away about independent study options.

Questions? Contact trip leader Laure Pengelly Drake, Director of External Scholarships and Advising, DHC 102, 243-6140.

Special Section

External Scholarship Program Deadline: November 15, 2017

Students who have demonstrated unusual ability, achievement, drive, leadership skill and experience, manifested concern for others, and/or commitment to their fields of study should contact the Director of External Scholarships and Advising (see end of document for contact information) as soon as possible for scholarship advising and coaching. Come in for assistance on any scholarships or other applications as well. This is just a partial listing, and I assist with many scholarship competitions I do not run.

Goldwater Scholarship

The Goldwater Scholarship provides $7500 for students committed to careers in math, science, or engineering. Students with one or two years of college remaining may apply.  Also check Amgen, National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health, and other sites. UM deadline, Round 2:  December 4

Udall Scholarship

The Udall Scholarship provides $5000 for students committed to careers related to the environment AND to Native American students committed to careers in tribal public policy OR Native American health care. Students with one or two years of college remaining may apply. UM currently leads the nation in Udall Scholarships. UM deadline, Round 2: February 16, 2016

Truman Scholarship

The Truman Scholarship requires application a year early; candidates apply as juniors. You must demonstrate outstanding potential for public service and be committed to making a difference through careers in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education, or elsewhere in the field. You will write a brief policy proposal as part of your application.  UM deadline, Round 2: December 4

UK Summer Fulbright

The UK Summer Fulbright is an amazing opportunity to study for freshmen and sophomores in any discipline; look for 2016 sites in late fall; deadlines for most programs: winter

Language-Focus and Study Abroad Awards

The Boren Awards for Undergraduates and Graduate Students

The applications are now available.  Boren Awards provide unique funding opportunities for up to $ 20,000 for U.S. undergraduate and up to $ 30,000 for  graduate students to study in Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East, where they can add important international and language components to their educations. The scholarships are awarded with preference for countries, languages, and fields of study critical to U.S. national security. All scholarship recipients must agree to the NSEP Service Requirement. UM Deadline, Round 2:  January 26, 2016

Contact UM Boren campus representative Marja Unkuri-Chaudhry at or at 243-2296.

Critical Language Scholarship Program

The Critical Language Scholarship Program offers intensive summer language institutes in thirteen critical foreign languages for summer 2013 as part of the U.S. Department of State effort to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and mastering critical-need foreign languages. Students of diverse disciplines and majors are encouraged to apply. Participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period, and later apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers. Please visit the CLS Institutes page for more information. National deadline: November 23; see Laure ASAP

Azerbaijani, Bangla/Bengali, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Punjabi, Turkish, and Urdu: Beginning, advanced beginning, intermediate and advanced levels;

  • Arabic and Persian: Advanced beginning, intermediate and advanced levels;
  • Chinese, Japanese, and Russian: Intermediate and advanced levels.

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies or credit-bearing, career-oriented internships abroad. Check the website for the deadline that fits your travel schedule. See Marja Unkuri-Chaudhry for study abroad and Kevin Hood for international internships. Laure will help with essays.

Phi Kappa Phi

Phi Kappa Phi offers a study abroad scholarship twice a year (deadlines in mid-September and mid-February) for students with GPAs 3.75 and over. Membership in the honors society is not required. Check other honors societies of which you are a member.

Graduate Scholarships and Fellowships

See me now if you are interested in preparing for applications next year or later. Among the most prestigious scholarships available to our students in most fields are the Gates Cambridge, the Marshall, and the Mitchell. Students who are qualified for graduate study at top American universities should consider applying.


See above

Carnegie Junior Fellows Program

The Carnegie Junior Fellows Program provides one-year research assistantships in Washington, DC, for students who desire careers in international affairs. UM deadline: November 20

Fulbright Student Program

The Fulbright Student Program, a year abroad after graduation. Options are English Teaching Assistant, study, or research. Contact Liz Ametsbichler in the German program. UM deadline: probably mid-September. Check the website for this year’s programs at the end of March.

The Gates Cambridge

The Gates Cambridge, for study at Cambridge University, requires leadership potential, social commitment, and intellectual ability. UM deadline: as early as possible in September

Marshall Scholarship

The Marshall Scholarship, for graduate study at any British university in most fields, supports students who will “strengthen the enduring relationship between the British and American peoples, their governments and their institutions”. UM deadline: as early as possible in September

Mitchell Scholarship

The Mitchell Scholarship, for graduate study in Ireland, honors “Senator Mitchell’s commitment to public service and community, integrity, leadership, justice and fairness”. UM deadline: as early as possible in September

Schwarzman Scholars

Join a global network of the world's most talented young leaders, helping to build stronger links between China and a rapidly changing world. The Schwarzman Scholars experience is anchored in a rigorous and innovative master's degree program at Tsinghua University, one of the country's leading universities. The curriculum bridges the academic and professional worlds to educate students about leadership and about China's expanding role in the world. The program also provides Scholars with unparalleled learning opportunities with leaders from China and the world through high-level interactions at lectures, an internship program, a mentors network, and intensive deep-dive travel seminars.

Applicants must be at least 18 but not yet 29 years of age as of June 30 in the academic year of application. So, please, think about alumni who might be good candidates for this opportunity. 

Other programs are available. Please set up appointments through 243-2541. Bring an unofficial transcript and a draft resume. All deadlines: 4:00 PM

Contact: Laure Pengelly Drake, Director of External Scholarships and Advising

Davidson Honors College 102, (406) 243-6140 [to make appointments: 243-2541]