December 2014

In the Know

Dec. 6-Service Saturday
Dec. 8-11-Final Exam Week
Dec. 11-Final Day to Withdraw from Fall 2014
Dec. 11-Semester Ends
Dec. 12-Residence Halls Close



Get Involved!

Join Student United Way as they carol at assisted living facilities in Billings. Meet on December 2 at 5:45 p.m. in the SUB across from the Missouri Room. The first 17 students to arrive will travel via the Jacket Shuttle! They plan to sing until about 8 p.m. The student with the most “festive” Christmas sweater will win a prize! Contact Kalen Hance or Lacey Mogan for more information.

Plus, participate in Service Saturday on December 6. Meet in the SUB Atrium at 9:30 a.m. You could help with Family Services’ Festival of the Trees, ring bells with the Salvation Army, or serve with St. John’s Lutheran Ministries.
Don’t miss these opportunities to get connected in the community. Your résumé is waiting!

Steven Peterman

Students prepared for the caroling adventures in the fall of 2013.




Sweat Out the Stress!

Join Rec Activities for a night of free stress relief activities in the PE Building! Kick it off with Zumba® in the racquetball courts from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. Then catch the dodgeball tournament at 7 p.m. in the lower gym. Bring your team or join a team when you arrive! Sweat out the stress to do your best!




Success Coaching

Need an extra boost of confidence in and/or out of the classroom? We may have just what you need! Get individualized success coaching during the spring 2015 semester. Your College Success Specialist will contact you with more details.




Get Your Final Grades

Access your final grades by logging into your "MyInfo" account on the MSU Billings website. Follow these directions to easily find your way.

You can print an unofficial transcript of your grades in "MyInfo." If you need an official transcript, you can request one here or stop by the Admissions and Records Office in McMullen Hall. An official transcript costs $3 and unofficial transcripts are free.

Grades are not mailed to students' homes. The FamilyEducational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) restricts university communication about student records to anyone other than the student. Students may grant family members access to their academic and other records. Please contact the Office of Admissions and Records at (406) 657-2158 if you would like to pursue this or have other questions about FERPA.




Jacket Fact

The construction of McMullen Hall was completed in December of 1935. It was the first building on campus. Before then, classes were held in downtown Billings (MSUB website).




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Jaclyn Tobin Photo

Wingin' It

Columnist Jaclyn Tobin, Third-Year Yellowjacket

Dwindling class sizes, class notes filled with chicken scratches and doodles, and a schedule filled with more eating breaks than studying breaks… These are the signs of a semester coming to an end. Before you start getting comfortable in that last month of your year, remember something: you still have this last month! You might think this is crazy, but the students who start their celebrating early will definitely find finals week more stressful. Consider these tips to help you stay the course (quite literally):

Break if off with Facebook: Instead of opening up the browser every time you hit a wall, schedule a five-minute browse for every hour or so of studying. Look at the habit as a reward instead of a distraction.

Be accountable: Seek out a roommate or close friend who can keep you on track with your study times. The best part about having an accountable partner is having someone there to hang out with you between study sessions. I recommend movie breaks and spur-of-the-moment ice-cream trips. Get creative with the small rewards! They definitely pay off.

Be bold: It being your first round, finals might be intimidating to you. The good news? You have time to study, you know your stuff, and you are capable. Never forget the power of self-confidence!

Contact education major and student leader Jaclyn Tobin.

College Corner

By Richard Raridon

Steven Peterman

Richard Raridon monitored the control room at KNBN in Rapid City, SD.

You’ll discover more about a College Success Specialist and his or her awe-inspiring collegiate experiences in each issue. Soak it up. You can’t get this kind of quality expertise just anywhere.

Just imagine… You’re two months from college graduation. The beginning of your career is at your fingertips. Then, a life changing experience completely changes all of your plans.

This is what happened to me.

I tried several universities and a few majors before finally settling on a degree in mass communication. I really enjoyed shooting and editing video, as well as understanding all of the ins and outs of producing a live show. Before I knew it, I was hired as the General Manager of the campus TV station. I practically lived in the studio, sometimes editing video all night and leaving when the sun was coming up! This experience led directly to a job at the local NBC station, where I was directing the news and working in master control. I had found my calling; I knew what I wanted to do.

Then I decided to go on my school’s Alternative Spring Break trip, an annual week-long service project. The service part of the trip was kind of an afterthought to me, but it turned out to be life-changing.

I spent the week in New Orleans gutting homes that had flooded during Hurricane Katrina. They hadn’t been touched since the storm, so we had to remove everything in the houses and strip the walls down to the studs so they could be rebuilt. We were taking just about everything a family had owned and throwing it into the street so it could be taken to a dump. The work was as difficult emotionally as it was physically.

Getting to know some of the residents and hearing their stories about the storm made the experience a little easier. They made it clear that what we were doing really mattered. This helped me realize that I wanted to use my career to serve others and make a difference in the world.

I knew I had to leave behind my TV job. On the trip home, I decided to apply to join AmeriCorps NCCC, a national service program I had learned about in New Orleans. My experience in NCCC led me to another AmeriCorps program, VISTA, where I served as the Volunteer Coordinator back at my alma mater, Black Hills State University. I have been working in higher education ever since.

I don’t mean to suggest that you should decide on a new career during your final semester of college, but there are a few things I think you can learn from my story.

  1. Get involved in events outside of the classroom. My television job, and now my career in education, were both direct results of getting involved in extracurricular activities.
  2. Study what you like. Your degree doesn’t lock you into one job for the rest of your life. Pick a major that is interesting to you and you’ll find a variety of ways to use it.
  3. Learn to accept change. If you are the same person when you leave college as you were when you got here, something went wrong. Use this opportunity to become the person you want to be.

Contact Richard Raridon at (406) 794-7475.

Be Money Smart

Elizabeth Almann

Columnist Elizabeth Almann, Financial Education Success Specialist


The MSU Billings Foundation awards about $1.2 million dollars in scholarships every year. Here are some common MYTHS about scholarships, as well as the FACTS.

MYTH #1:  Scholarships aren’t really free. 
FACT:  Scholarships are free money to help you pay for college, and they don’t need to be paid back. The application is now open for the next academic year (2015-16). Apply early! The priority application deadline is February 1.

MYTH #2: Applying for MSUB scholarships is time-consuming and difficult.
FACT:  To be considered for most MSUB Scholarships, you complete ONE online application. You have to write ONE personal statement that is 500 words or less. A writing tutor at the Academic Support Center can assist you with editing and proofreading your personal statement. You must ask three professional people who are not your relatives (such as a high school teacher, MSUB faculty or staff members, a school counselor, an employer, etc.) to agree to be a reference for you. That’s it! Just remember to have the correct spelling of their email addresses.

MYTH #3: Scholarships are only for really smart students who get good grades.
 A few scholarships require a high GPA, but not all. Many only require a minimum GPA of 2.5. The scholarship committee takes into account the quality of your personal statement and your participation in school and community activities, in addition to your grades. Many scholarships are based on demonstrated financial need, as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA for the next academic year will be available beginning in January. We recommend you file your FAFSA early to be considered for need-based scholarships.

MYTH #4:  You can’t get more than one scholarship.
 Many students receive multiple scholarships. The scholarship committee will determine your eligibility for receiving scholarships. There are different kinds of scholarships to help you with the costs associated with going to college. For example, one scholarship may help cover your tuition and another may pay for your books or childcare expenses.

MYTH #5:  Scholarships are only for incoming freshmen
 You should apply for scholarships every year you are in college. The priority deadline is February 1, but it’s a good idea to start the application process now so you can easily meet the deadline. You will have the best chance of receiving a scholarship if you apply early. 

To apply for MSUB scholarships, go to Contact Financial Aid & Scholarships at (406) 657-2188 with questions about the application.

Elizabeth Almann can help you with applying for scholarships. Contact her at (406) 657-1795 or

Finals Week Must-Haves

The week you may have been dreading is just about here. These tips could point you in the right direction come test day.
True/False Clues:

  • 100 percent modifiers (always, never, every, none) are usually false.
  • In-between modifiers (sometimes, usually, often, seldom) are usually true.
  • Relationship clues (because, since, "is the reason that") are usually false.
  • If any part is false, the answer is false.

Multiple Choice Clues:

  • 100 percent modifiers (always, never, every, none) are usually false.
  • In-between modifiers (sometimes, usually, often, seldom) are usually true.
  • Relationship clues (because, since, "is the reason that") are usually false.

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