Gender Equality Conference on March 25

Gender Equality and YOU

A Conference to Create, Foster, and Catalyze


A gender equality conference will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 25 in the MSU Strand Union Building Ballrooms.

"Gender Equality and You: A Conference to Create, Foster and Catalyze" will include a panelist luncheon led by famed ultrarunner Nikki Kimball; Brian Kassar, an MSU professor and psychologist; and Bryce Hughes, an MSU professor of adult and higher education who is a member of President Waded Cruzado’s ADVANCE Project TRACS team. The panelists are experts in the areas of gender in athletics, gender in politics, men and masculinity, intersectional feminism and bias recognition.

Organizers said the conference goal is for attendees to leave with the tools to build strong, inclusive communities that are sensitive to the needs of all gender and sexual identities.

"Even more important now than before, and because of a mistaken impression that gender problems have been solved, this dynamic conference offers attendees well-developed strategies to bring about sustainable positive change," said Carmen McSpadden, director of the MSU Leadership Institute and the lead sponsor. "A priority is the improvement of gender inequity, as there is no point presenting problems without striving for solutions."

McSpadden said the conference will include opportunities to network and engage with individuals that share a passion for equality and leadership.

Tickets are available at the ASMSU Office in Room 221 of MSU Strand Union Building. The cost is $10 for students and $15 for faculty, staff and community members. Breakfast and lunch are included. Please visit this link to register.

This conference is sponsored by MSU’s Leadership Institute, ASMSU, Office of the Provost, MSU Athletics, Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship, Office of Health Advancement, Women’s Center, Diversity Awareness Office, VOICE Center, Powerhouse Montana, Launch Cats, Treeline Coffee Roasters, Bridgercare, Backcountry Squatters, The HEART Initiative and the Body Project.

Complementing the conference is a free showing of the documentary “Finding Traction, a documentary about Kimball’s quest to be the first person to run the 273-mile Long Trail, the country’s oldest hiking trail, which will be shown at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 21, in the Procrastinator Theater. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Refreshments will be provided.

For more information, please call the MSU Leadership Institute at (406) 994-7275 or visit or

News from Fall 2016 Semester

Summit 2.0: Mission Impossible
Leadership Summit Fall 2016

2016 leadership retreat

 The Leadership Summit held on September 23-24 was a weekend packed full of intrigue, excitement, betrayal, turmoil and thrill. Specially designed for students, the MSU Leadership Summit 2.0 was an overnight retreat focused on an activity-centered learning environment that includes area such as team dynamics, decision making, and playing to one’s strengths.  Summit 2.0 provided participants with a chance to explore leadership in a whole new fashion. From the time students stepped off the bus at the “undisclosed” outstanding location, their leadership skills were put to the test and competed to determine which teams were the Ultimate Survivors.


Courageous Leadership Workshop

Lead Courageously. Person flying through sky overlooking city.

Free and open to the public, the Lead Courageously workshop held on October 25, 2016 focused on learning what it takes to communicate when you do not have all the answers and how to make decisions to move ahead. Conducting the workshop was Carmen McSpadden, Director of the MSU Leadership Institute. McSpadden was joined by panelists Liz Ann Kudrna, triathlete and entrepreneurial founder of “Body in Balance” Pilates studio and Ryan Erickson, graduate assistant for LGBTQ Student Support in the MSU Diversity Awareness Office. Kudrna and Erickson shared their personal stories of courage and perseverance.





Leadership Staff with Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou with the Leadership Institute.

Founded in 1997 by the Associated Students of Montana State University to provide leadership opportunities and inspiration to students, the MSU Leadership Institute offers answers, resources, and connections for the future leaders of business, government, and education. Acting as a catalyst to the awakening of students' natural leadership skills, communication abilities, and creativity, the Institute empowers students to do more.

The Leadership Institute will lead Montana forward by generating further student involvement through increased leadership connections, trainings, film series, dynamic lunch discussions, and quality keynote speakers. Students will be constantly challenged to think deeper about their current leadership roles and their future impact. By leveraging powerful ideas into action, the Leadership Institute provides an environment for growing student leadership innovations.


To donate to the MSU Leadership Institute click on the above link to access the MSU Foundation online donation form. Be sure to use the "Other" blank when choosing the designation for your gift to indicate that you want your donation to go to the MSU Leadership Institute.