Law instructors honored, homecoming art fair on tap

University of Montana professor Hillary Wandler and adjunct professor Chuck Willey were honored with prestigious awards this month during the State Bar of Montana’s Annual Meeting.

Gov. Steve Bullock awarded Wandler, a law professor, the Neil Haight Pro Bono Award for her work with veterans in Montana.

Earlier this year, Wandler was cited in the Missoulian’s “20 Under 40” feature, highlighting 20 business professionals under 40 years of age. The Missoulian highlighted her work on behalf of veterans even as she battled breast cancer, which she was diagnosed with in 2012.

“I’m excited that pro bono work for veterans is getting attention,” Wandler said. “The veteran community needs to navigate through the complexities of the Veterans Affairs system. Attorneys are well-equipped for that.”

Wandler was nominated for the Pro Bono Award by U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont. In his letter, Tester noted that Wandler developed the law school’s veteran law course and has partnered with the Montana Supreme Court Pro Bono Program to develop Montana Attorneys for Montana Veterans, a pro bono program to help veterans with claims for disability benefits.

Tester, in his nomination letter, cited Wandler’s work as a mentor, noting that through her leadership the state has gone from having three attorneys accredited before the Bureau of Veterans Affairs to having 70.

“Mentor, that feels way too big for me,” Wandler said. “I really like to troubleshoot with people who are having difficult cases. More often than not, it’s just a one-time call.”

Willey was honored with the George L. Bousliman Professionalism Award, which recognizes lawyers or law firms that have established a reputation for and a tradition of professionalism and have demonstrated extraordinary professionalism within two years prior to the nomination.

Willey moved back to Montana from California, where he was serving as president of the Santa Barbara Bar Association and chairman of the Committee on Justice.

For most of the 15 years since he has been back, he has served as an adjunct professor at the UM law school. He also has served for 10 years as the chairman of the Business, Estates, Trusts, Tax and Real Property Law Section; presented at 12 continuing legal education sessions; presented at the Tax Institute four times; and has done legislative work for the bar.

Willey said it was an accident that he first got into teaching. The UM law school’s business transactions professor at the time had fallen ill and, knowing Willey had expertise in the subject, she asked if he could take over half of her class.

Since then, he said, he has filled in whenever there was a need.

He has taught real estate transactions, property, conflict of laws and business organization. He wrote the only Montana real estate transactions textbook.

He was nominated for the award by Randy Snyder, a Bigfork attorney who has served as president of the Montana Bar Association.

“Chuck has always supported the state bar and past age 80 still contributes,” Synder wrote in the nomination letter. “He exemplifies professionalism and deserves our recognition.”

University Relations also announced the following this week:


UM will launch a new alliance this fall called Access Partners that will provide faculty and staff a new opportunity to promote accessibility to the UM community.

Access Partners is an alliance that aims to promote a campus environment that goes above and beyond disability compliance. It also promotes an inclusive campus community that welcomes all individuals and brings together faculty, staff and students to create a more positive and innovative UM experience for all people.

UM Disability Services for Students and Human Resources Service Training and Development has scheduled a workshop for Access Partners participants from 2:10 to 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, in the Payne Family Native American Center, Room 201.

The workshop will provide information on campus resources for faculty and staff to improve accessibility and will address how the workshop participants will become Access Partners.

Topics of the workshop will include Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility compliance, how Accessibility Technology Services and UMOnline assist with accessible electronic information, how UM employees can request reasonable accommodations for their work, support and services DSS offers to faculty members who work with students with disabilities, and the role the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action and the Americans with Disabilities Act Team play in providing accessibility.

More information on Access Partners and the workshop registration can be found at


UM will host events Monday through Wednesday, Sept. 2, to advocate for the LGBT community and other marginalized people.

Sponsored by the Student Involvement Network at the University Center, Ally Week will include multiple events and activities.

Tabling and crafts are planned from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Wednesday in the UC. The documentary “Straightlaced – How Gender’s Got Us All Tied UP” also will be shown at 6 p.m. each day in the UC Commons. In addition, UM Allies will conduct a student training from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday in UC Room 326. Students interested in the training can register at

Ally Week was started by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network as a week of education and fun for LGBT youth and other marginalized people without speaking for or over them. For more information about the events or about the UM Allies program, visit


The Mathematics Enthusiast, a journal founded in 2003 by UM mathematical sciences professor Bharath Sriraman, is now available through ScholarWorks, the Mansfield Library’s online, open-access hub where faculty, students and staff share their research and creative scholarship.

The Mathematics Enthusiast is an eclectic, internationally circulated peer-reviewed journal that focuses on mathematics content, mathematics education research, innovation, interdisciplinary issues and pedagogy. It has been available for a few months on ScholarWorks and has been downloaded more than 3,400 times in more than 120 countries.

“It has been a pleasure working with professor Sriraman on this project, and I was thrilled to be able to make TME available in ScholarWorks,” said Wendy Walker, assistant professor and digital initiatives librarian at UM’s Mansfield Library. “It’s an important, internationally recognized journal that really exemplifies the global reach and impact of our faculty’s work.”

TME is an addition to a roster of other UM publications that are or will be available in ScholarWorks within the next year, including The Oval, CutBank, Montana Journalism Review, Education’s Histories and Camas.


Climbers, adventurers and fans of the outdoors, get ready for a night of film at the UM that will rock your world.

The 10th annual Reel Rock Film Tour is a global production of the best climbing and adventure films of the year. The event is scheduled at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8, at the UC Theater.

From big walls to big moves, Reel Rock 10 features athletes Tommy Caldwell, Kevin Jorgeson, Alex Honnold, Jimmy Webb, Daniel Woods and a special tribute to the late Dean Potter. The tour will travel to more than 450 locations around the world.

Advance tickets are available for $10 and can be purchased at the UM Outdoor Program, located inside the Fitness and Recreation Center. Tickets also will be available at the door for $12. Admission includes entry to the film and a chance to win raffle prizes.

Proceeds from this event benefit the Outdoor Program and are used to maintain the climbing wall, offer new programs and purchase equipment.

For more information on the event and for film previews, visit