The 2011 Montana Governor's Humanities Awards were presented in a ceremony with Lt. Governor John Bohlinger on February 24, 2011, in the Capitol Rotunda in Helena. The 2011 honorees are:
Ellen Baumler of Helena. Baumler is the interpretive historian at the Montana Historical Society. Her responsibilities have included composing interpretive signs for historical sites in Montana, developing and writing walking tours of historic districts, successfully writing National Register nominations, writing and reviewing roadside historical markers for the Montana Department of Transportation, and sharing Montana’s heritage with students of all ages across the state. She is an award-winning author of diverse articles and books such as Montana Chillers: 13 True Tales of Ghosts and Hauntings for young readers, Dark Spaces—Montana's Historic Penitentiary at Deer Lodge, and Montana Moments: History on the Go.
Julie Cajune of Arlee. Cajune has been working in education focused on Indian cultures and histories for 20 years. She is currently executive director of the Center for American Indian Policy and Applied Research at Salish Kootenai College. She received a $1.4 million grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to produce authentic tribal histories in a variety of media. Julie has been integral to implementing Indian Education for All and the Tribal Histories project. She also served on the Board of Directors of Humanities Montana. In 2009 Utne Reader named her one of "50 visionaries who are changing our world." Julie is an enrolled member of the Confederated Salish-Kootenai Tribes.
Richard Drake of Missoula. Drake is professor and former chair of history at the University of Montana. He is a cultural and intellectual historian of Europe with a particular interest in Italy. He has published extensively on the subject of Italian terrorism. For the past twenty-four years, he has been the coordinator of the President's Lecture Series, bringing to campus ten speakers annually in the humanities, arts, and sciences. He is a past winner of the most inspirational teacher of the year award and the Burlington Northern teaching award.
Lowell Jaeger of Kalispell. Jaeger has taught creative writing at Flathead Valley Community College for over 25 years. He has published several volumes of his own poetry and has edited important collections of regional poetry, most recently, New Poets of the American West: An Anthology of Poets from Eleven Western States. He has been a leader of Meaning of Service, a reading and discussion program for AmeriCorps and VISTA members. He has served on Humanities Montana's Speakers Bureau, and during the mid-90s he led a radio discussion program focused on Montana writers, "Big Sky Radio," which was later syndicated by National Public Radio as "StoryLines America."
Ron Perrin of Missoula. Perrin has inspired many students with his discussion of political theory at The University of Montana. He became a national authority on public humanities work through his leadership of Humanities Montana and participation on the Board of the Federation of State Humanities Councils. He has served on the board of the Missoula Cultural Council and has traveled the state of Montana presenting public lectures on the humanities.
Joseph S. Sample of Billings. A pioneer of Montana broadcasting, Sample has been an avid financial supporter of public radio and television in Montana. His own jazz program on Yellowstone Public Radio, "Spreadin' Rhythm Around," promotes a major American art form with wit and historical context. As a board member for the Burton K. Wheeler Center in Bozeman, he has advocated public discussion of pressing social and cultural issues in Montana. He has also supported funding for public humanities programs at universities in Billings, Bozeman, and Missoula.