A detailed policy proposal, 14 essays, and multiple interviews. And you're only competing with 708 other candidates to be one of 60 chosen.

Oh, and while you're at it, be the Chief Push during the annual construction of a makeshift logging town for your school's most celebrated social event. To say this gal is driven, motivated, cool under pressure and smart probably doesn't do her justice.

UM News Service tells us that University of Montana senior forestry student Jaiden Stansberry is one of only 60 Truman Scholars selected among 709 candidates this year.  She is also is part of UM's Davidson Honors College and is completing a Fire Science Management minor and Franke Global Leadership initiative certificate.


With $30,000 in funding for graduate studies at stake, fellow students would no doubt have understood if Jaiden had excused herself from her responsibilities during the construction of the logging "town" for UM's annual Foresters' Ball this past winter. Add to that maintaining her normal responsibilities as a senior forestry student.

But bail on her fellow students? She's just not programmed that way.

Jaiden says that, “After deconstruction, the next day I was at the library fixing all my Truman Scholarship essays.” She also noted with pride that her team tore down the Foresters' Ball setting in record time.


Described by some as probably the most competitive award for undergraduates who want to pursue public service, Truman Scholarships demand "outstanding leadership potential, commitment to a career in government or the nonprofit sector, and academic excellence." Jaiden's application focused on the connection between her education and professional work aspirations, and that which is near and dear to her heart: wildland fire. Besides studying fire science and management at UM, she works summers as a wildland firefighter in Yosemite National Park, a self-proclaimed "park brat."

We extend congratulations to both Jaiden Stansberry and to the quality program at the University of Montana School of Forestry for turning out such amazing students.

21 Unique Courses at the University of Montana

Here are 21 unique courses that I bet you didn't know were offered at the University of Montana.

Gallery Credit: Nick Chrestenson

11 Items You Should NEVER Buy at a Montana Dollar Store

$1.25 sounds like a great price, but is it a great value for these products? According to several major publications, no.

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart