The MontPIRG Board of Directors
Sophie Moon - Chair
As a student of both environmental studies and political science, I know the difference that effective activism can make in our communities and our state. For over two years, MontPIRG has given me the chance to impact my community on issues that resonate with myself, and my fellow students, such as sustainability, voter participation, and so much more. After serving on the MontPIRG board, I have been able to further expand my opportunities for activism and make an even greater impact on the campus community. I am so grateful to continue to represent students on the MontPIRG board and assist MontPIRG in its mission to create positive, tangible change.
Ben Stone - Vice Chair
I am a Junior studying Political Science at the University of Montana. I am delighted to say that this will be my first year serving on the MontPIRG Board of Directors. I have lived in Montana for most of my life and have developed a deep respect for the preservation of our state’s natural environment, as well as an interest in ensuring proper access to voting and consumer rights for my fellow Montanans.
Michael Toppen - Treasurer
I have had many roles in MontPIRG, moving from an intern to a staff member to a current board member. As we move into a new year, I am excited to work with the board to focus on issues that are important to students. From fighting to keep lower tuition, to keeping students informed of their rights in tenant/landlord disputes, I am eager to fight with MontPIRG for our student constituents.
Melissa Glueckert - Secretary
Biography coming soon!
I've been involved with MontPIRG since 2014, and this organization has given me so many opportunities and has helped me in my career and my life. Whether I'm knocking doors, recruiting volunteers, or dressing up like a fish, MontPIRG has given me a home here in Montana and I am so grateful. I've seen the board operate from the outside and I would relish the chance to participate in weekly meetings and make sure we are fulfilling our organizational mission: to educate and empower the next generation of civic leaders.
I have been a MontPIRG Intern for the Spring 2017 term and like the work that they do, and the way they connect the students to what is happening at the University, in the Community, and with the Legislature and its preceding. I recognize that they are advocates for bi-partisan issues and empowering today's youth to be tomorrow's leaders.
I enjoy serving a greater purpose to facilitate positive, tangible change in the state of Montana. MontPIRG has given me a platform to pursue my passion of conservation and sustainability, while simultaneously being active in our state government and elections.
I have always had interests in politics, whether it's reading about, to working on campaigns, registering voters, advocating for bills. I love working with people and getting them excited for their future and the right to vote. In my experience, I have worked with multiple campaigns such as city council, state legislature, congressional. I was an intern at the Democratic Office for a semester and then went on and interned at Forward Montana. Both of those experiences were amazing. I'm always looking for ways to get involved and to help Montanans get involved too!
After working as a canvasser and field organizer in Montana and Texas I left political campaign work because I was burned out, although I have always retained my respect and admiration for those who continued to carry out the essential work that is the focus of grassroots engagement. I am now seeking to re-engage and return to working with interested students and citizens who want to develop the skills that will help them advocate for the causes they find worthwhile. As a former organizer and a first-year graduate student in the Environmental Philosophy program, I hope to offer a perspective that combines practical experience with a fresh set of eyes to the issues MontPIRG plans to address. Generally, I would like to see MontPIRG members address would be to continue advocating for environmental protections and linking those issues with matters that directly impact students. These would include continuing to press for sustainability initiatives on campus and increasing legislative and popular support opposing both general and targeted cuts to the university system's budget. Supporting sustainability initiatives and opposing budget cuts offer opportunities to improve student welfare and increase student engagement with the campus community.