June 26, 2018





MSU Billings professor to receive governor's humanities award

Tami Haaland honored for leading efforts in poetry education



University Relations and Communications, 657-2266


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Montana State University Billings professor Tami Haaland has been named a recipient of a 2019 Governor’s Humanities award, presented by Humanities Montana. Haaland is a Professor of English and a director of the Elk River Writing Project.


Haaland and four other Montanans will be recognized during the Governor’s Humanities Awards Ceremony on February 7, 2019 at 3 p.m. in the State Capitol Rotunda, Helena. Honorees are Stephenie Ambrose Tubbs, Helena; Ellen Crain, Butte; Thomas McGuane, McLeod; and Elizabeth McNamer, Billings. The ceremony is free and open to the public.


“We are lucky to have such wonderful individuals across the state who ensure that Montanans have access to and engage in art, literature, and our unique cultural heritage,” said Governor Steve Bullock. “Congratulations to these awardees for devoting decades of their lives to supporting and promoting the humanities.”


A banquet follows the ceremony, with no-host cocktails at 6 p.m. and a dinner and program at 7 p.m. at the Radisson Colonial Inn. Bill Pullman, actor and rancher, will provide the keynote address. Banquet tickets will go on sale in mid-September on Humanities Montana’s website. Call Humanities Montana at (406) 243-6022 or e-mail info@humanitiesmontana.org for further information about the honorees, ceremony, and banquet.


In 1995, Gov. Marc Racicot established the awards, which Humanities Montana presents, to honor achievement in humanities scholarship and service and enhancement of public appreciation for the humanities. The 2019 honorees represent the full range of humanities accomplishments:

  • Stephenie Ambrose Tubbs is a historian and public humanities presenter who is well known for her books on the Lewis and Clark Expedition, including Why Sacagewea Deserves the Day Off: Lessons from the Lewis and Clark Trail.
  • Ellen Crain is the long-time director of the Butte-Silver Bow Archives who is an expert on Butte’s history and led the campaign to refurbish the current Archives building, a model of historic preservation.
  • Tami Haaland is a statewide leader on poetry education who has served as Montana’s poet laureate and volunteers extensively in the Billings area to encourage literary engagement among citizens of all ages and backgrounds.
  • Thomas McGuane is an award-winning, nationally prominent writer who has captured Montana in all its complexity in his novels, short stories, and essays.
  • Elizabeth McNamer is a religious studies professor at Rocky Mountain College who has introduced Montana students to archeology in Israel and Montana citizens to literature through her public radio programs.

Humanities Montana is the state’s independent, nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Since 1972, Humanities Montana has provided services and grants to hundreds of Montana organizations in support of public programs in history, literature, values, and public issues. Humanities Montana’s goal is to support top-quality, in-depth humanities programming in order to create a civil and engaged society where Montanans think critically and converse about our roles in the contemporary world.