Chris Montoya received a small bursary to enter the undergraduate psychology program at the University of Lethbridge fall 1976. Politically he was elected resident counsellor/residence treasurer and president of the Students Union. Academically he was awarded a National Science Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Studentship in 1980 and an Alberta Medical Heritage Scholarship in 1981. Dr Montoya published his first peer reviewed paper as an undergraduate, in the Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society 1981. At the University of Lethbridge under the supervision of Dr. Ian Q. Whishaw, Chris Montoya graduated with distinction receiving a BSc spring 1981. He entered graduate studies at the University of Calgary fall 1981 in the area of physiological psychology under the supervision of Dr. Robert Sainsbury. That year he also published an abstract in the Second Annual Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Days. As a Masters Student Dr. Montoya co-designed a micro-drive for small rodents and by the time he received his Doctorate had published over a dozen peer reviewed scientific works more than any other student researcher in Western Canada. During his postgraduate training Dr. Montoya was awarded 2 NSERC Post Graduate Scholarships, a Fee Remission Scholarship and a Parkinson’s Society of Alberta Scholarship. Upon his graduation from the University of Calgary Dr. Montoya was awarded a NSERC Post Doc Fellowship to be held at Downing College, the University of Cambridge England under the supervision of Dr. Steven Dunnett. While at Cambridge Dr. Montoya lectured during the Lent Semester, and was a key note speaker at the III International Symposium on Neural Transplantation. The title of his presentation The Effects of Substantia Nigra or Neostriatal Grafts in the Restoration of Skilled Forelimb Use in the Rat, was one of the first papers to demonstrate the efficacy of multiple site stem cell placement in the rebuilding of brain tissue following trauma.
During his tenure at Cambridge Dr. Montoya was the head of the design team that invented the “Staircase Test.” This innovative device has been cited hundreds of times in international peer reviewed scientific journals and is currently utilized in dozens of laboratories around the world. The design features of the Staircase Test were first published in Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 1991. During his graduate training period Dr. Montoya was also active in the area of applied psychological assessments. As Dr. Montoya’s minor in his PhD program was Psychometric Test Design and Analysis, he and long time friend Pat Kilpatrick, a former RCMP officer, designed a 77 item projective pre-employment instrument named the Honesty, Integrity and Loyalty Survey (HILS). This instrument was 97.5 % effective in screening future employees that would engage in retail shrinkage. Endorsed by the RCMP in their Business Fraud Prevention booklet (2000) the baseline trials and normative data collection were completed at Thompson Rivers University over a 12 year period. In 2008 the HILS is set for global electronic distribution in English, French, Spanish and German. As 1/3 of all businesses fail due to internal theft the HILS and tests like it help to build a stronger global economy.
Starting in the 1990s Dr Montoya wrote as a columnist for Cariboo Living Magazine, and had bi-lines in the Williams Lake Advisor and Williams Lake Tribune. During this time he also hosted numerous seminars, clinics and workshops in the area of mental health, stress reduction and marital counselling. Through his business Canadian Psychometric Services he also continues to practice counselling psychology on a limited basis. In the area of community counseling Dr. Montoya has team counselled with various Canadian Mental Health staff members. Dr. Montoya finds this work interesting especially when he is called in when difficult clients abuse crisis line workers. Dr. Montoya was Principal of a Conduct Disorder Holistic First Nations Trial Summer School with the Knucwentwecw Society in 2004. Educational assessments and recommendations for each child were prepared and completed in 2005. He also assesses families, appears in court, works with other professional psychologists and mentors youth. In 2007, Dr. Montoya and his wife became foster parents for the first time.
After many years of service to Thompson Rivers University (TRU) Dr. Montoya was granted tenure in Canada’s newest University Spring 2007. While at TRU Dr. Montoya has participated and hosted many seminars and debates on Primary Theories of Origin. Recently, Dr. Montoya presented a new theory of the Origin of the Species at the Ian Ramsey Centre, St. Anne’s College, University of Oxford, 2006. The papers co-authored by his son David Montoya, an undergraduate at Thompson Rivers University, and a 3rd year physics student from Simon Fraser University, long time friend Graeme Mackay, were so well received that Dr. Montoya was requested to have the articles published in the newly acclaimed Indian Journal Omega. In 2007, Omega published: Transdisciplinarity, psychology and primary theories of origin. A book, concerning Primary Theories of Origin is in the works.