University Relations and Communications

One Day on Campus: Fostering the Joy of Learning at an Affordable Price

April 2, 2009



Adam Sundstrom, MSU Billings Downtown, 896-5890
Bruce Whittenberg, MSU Billings Downtown, 896-5890
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269


No exams. No stress. Just the best single day of learning in Montana 


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — There is a Chinese proverb that says “learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.”


Unearthing that treasure is the foundation of a new project at Montana State University Billings called One Day on Campus. It’s a program where noted professors, instructors and lecturers from the university come together for a single, stimulating classroom learning experience with various topics. 


Designed by the MSU Billings College of Professional Studies and Lifelong Learning, One Day on Campus provides a fresh opportunity for professionals, senior citizens or even recent college graduates who feel nostalgic for a time when life was more about learning than job performance.


The inaugural presentation of the MSU Billings One Day on Campus will be Saturday, April 18 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Lewis and Clark Room of the MSU Billings Student Union Building. The day features four full lectures and lunch for only $99.


Bruce Whittenberg and Adam Sundstrom, who both work with outreach efforts with the Downtown Billings campus, have organized the event to allow students-for-a-day to rediscover the joy of education by journeying back into beloved subjects and exploring new ones. 


Whittenberg said the diversity of topics that will be presented — from jazz to theories on Zen to climate change — are not only fascinating topics, but also showcase the world-class faculty at the university.


The subjects to be discussed at the April 18 session and instructors are:


What is Zen, if it’s not philosophy, religion, or ethics?”
In his talk, Dr. Eric Buck will argue that Zen is an aesthetic practice of life, one of whose results is an experience of complete unanimity with all reality.  In this practice of life, compassion — a typical Buddhist value — is understood not as a moral law but as a consequence of zazen, or seated meditation. Buck came to MSU Billings in 2006 and is an assistant professor of philosophy. He teaches courses in introductory philosophy, East Asian philosophy, the history of philosophy (especially modern), and Urban Ecology.  


“Jazz, Bebop and Charlie Parker: The beginnings of a new style and its influences on generations of players”
Charlie Parker was a jazz saxophonist and composer, and one of the top musical innovators of the 20th century. Parker is commonly considered one of the half-dozen greatest jazz musicians, on a level with Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Miles Davis.  Parker became an icon for the Beat generation, and was a pivotal figure in the evolving conception of the jazz musician as an uncompromising artist and intellectual. Presented by Dr. Gary Behm, this lecture will lead students through a closer look at this unique musician and his influence on later generations. Behm is an active performer, clinician and adjudicator last year retired from full time teaching at MSU Billings.


“Climate Change and Montana”
Presented by Dr. David McGinnis, this lecture will focus on one of the most important topics of our times.  While global climate patterns are important, impacts of climate change will be dealt with at local levels.  This presentation describes the scientific evidence behind global climate change and provides a focused description of the likely impacts to be felt in Montana.  Seasonal and regional differences will be explored based on the latest computer models for future atmospheric conditions and recent trends in Montana climate. McGinnis trained in climatology and geography at the Pennsylvania State University where he focused on global climate change and Rocky Mountain water resources. He currently helps direct the research office at MSU Billings.


“Process plant technology”
Join Jim Hughs as he explains the technology behind transforming oil into gasoline and other fuels.  Montana has numerous petroleum refineries and chemical processing industries. With the support of the local/regional processing plants Hughs teaches mechanical and safety systems utilized in oil, chemical and power processing plants. Mechanics of fluids, hydrocarbons, gases, heat, and chemistry as it pertains to processing plants.  Hughs has an AAS in Chemistry from Eastern Montana College and a BAS from the University of Alabama in Applied Chemical Engineering. After working for 30 years with ExxonMobil, he now is the lead instructor of the process plant and power plant programs at the MSU Billings College of Technology.


For more information or to register for One Day on Campus, call 896-5890 or visit the website  The deadline to register is April 14.


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