Faces of MSUB

Elizabeth Erfle

Rapelje, Montana

Class of 2019

B.S. Health and Human Performance with a Teaching Option and a Mathematics Education Minor

 

I have NEVER regretted my decision to come here.

 

Elizabeth ErfleWhat activities, clubs or jobs are you involved in at MSUB?

 

I am a member of HEROES which is a peer health organization on campus that puts on events that cover health topics such as drugs and alcohol, sexual health, mental health, and more. I have become a peer educator since becoming a member of HEROES which gives me the opportunity to interact with students on campus and teach them about various health topics.

 

I am also a kinesiology tutor in the Academic Support Center (ASC). During my freshman year at MSUB, I struggled with my introductory kinesiology course and lab. I went to the ASC to seek help and there were no tutors that specialized in kinesiology. After realizing the need, I approached the tutor coordinator at the time and he gave me a job! It was hard to get started, but the ASC has diligently worked with me to improve the outreach to the HHP department. Now I am a kinesiology supplemental instructor, which has proven to be extremely effective for introductory kinesiology retention rates. I enjoy that as a supplemental instructor I get to be in class with my peers every day and create a unique study schedule for them outside of class. It has been so rewarding to pass on my knowledge to upcoming classes and help them succeed.

 

Why did you choose MSUB and what do you like about the university?

 

I chose MSUB for its affordability and proximity to home. However, the beautiful campus, caring staff, and sense of community has made my love for this university grow. Being selected as a Haynes Foundation Scholar has helped make college more affordable. I have NEVER regretted my decision to come here.

 

I like that MSUB has relatively small class sizes (especially in upped division classes). I know nearly all of my classmates in my major and will be honored to graduate with incredible strangers who have become my friends.

 

You come from a small town and would like to return to a small town to teach after you graduate. Did MSUB shape your decision to do this and what are some ways that MSUB has supported your decision to do this, if any?

 

I wouldn't say that MSUB necessarily influenced my decision to return to a small town after graduation (that was always my plan), however they have always supported that decision! None of the faculty have ever discouraged me from pursuing a future teaching in a small school and they have given me great advice moving forward. For example, the COE faculty have encouraged me to pursue an unrelated minor in math education to make me more employable to small schools.

 

What have you learned about yourself from your time at MSUB?

 

Since I began attending MSUB, I have learned that educational endeavors are never a waste of time. It’s okay to change your major and it is okay to take an activities class. Lifelong learning is a noble thing to strive for and I have learned to treat every situation as a learning opportunity.

 

What advice would you give to prospective new students, specifically those who are coming from small towns like you, as they embark on the path to higher education?

 

Collect as many experiences, opportunities, and connections that you can at MSUB. Any experience, big or small, is one of the best tools that you can apply to a career. So take chances on the opportunities that MSUB provides for you because 9 times out of 10 it will lead to something great. The opportunities are out there, you just have to find them.

 

I would encourage students with small-town roots to not be overwhelmed with the idea of higher education. Moving to a big city like Billings was hard for me; I felt claustrophobic with so many people. It helped me focus to go home on the weekends—don't be ashamed to visit your family and support system often. However, don't let that create distance between you and your peers at college! Jumping in head first into all of the opportunities college that has to offer is going to promote success. Also be sure to apply for all of your local scholarships, people from larger towns don't get those opportunities so you should take advantage of all of them.