November 2014

In the Know

Nov. 3-Spring semester registration begins
Nov. 4-No classes; Offices closed
Nov. 8-Service Saturday; 9:30 a.m.; SUB Atrium
Nov. 11-No classes; Offices closed
Nov. 18-Last day to drop a class with advisor and instructor approval
Nov. 26-30-No classes; Offices open November 26



Get Involved!

We don’t have to tell you how important it is to get involved on campus. The connections you’ll make, not to mention the résumé-building potential, make it worth the while.

Consider joining the Veteran Services Club, which is a group of MSUB students who have military backgrounds. However, anyone with interest is able to participate. They host outdoor activities in the community, such as hiking, and they participate in community service projects. The members help other veterans assimilate and transition from military life to civilian life at MSUB. Check out their free Veterans’ Day Lunch on November 10 at 12 p.m. in the SUB Beartooth Room. Contact the president, Matt Rich, at or (406) 581-5953 to learn more.

Plus, you won’t want to miss Service Saturday on November 8. Have your pick among gardening at the Moss Mansion, de-cluttering a locker room at the Blair Boys and Girls Club, or cleaning classrooms, toys, books, and other items as a Billings Head Start Germ Annihilator. Now is the time to make connections in the community! Meet in the SUB Atrium on November 8 at 9:30 a.m. Service takes place from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at various locations.



Get Organized

Is there a funky smell coming from your backpack? Does your desk have piles of papers? Are you lucky if you can find your book in time for class? Finding a method of organization may be something for you to consider.

1 – Write down each assignment, project, and test for every class for the entire semester in a calendar. You can get this information from your syllabus.

2 – Keep all of your papers for each class in separate folders, notebooks, or binders. Store older papers in a separate folder so you don't have to carry them around every day, but keep them in a safe place for when you need them.

3 – Get your binders, books, calculators, and other items ready the night before so you’re not scrambling for class three minutes before it starts. And clean that backpack!




Scholarship Applications

Avoid boredom during Thanksgiving or Winter Break. Start working on your MSUB online scholarship application.

Sell yourself with the 500-word statement. This is your opportunity to shine and stand out from the crowd. Write about your background, as well as your academic and career goals. Show how you’re involved on campus. (Hint: If you haven’t gotten involved on campus yet, now is the time to look for opportunities.)

Ask three people to recommend you for scholarship funds. You could ask a professor, an academic advisor, a College Success Specialist, or a supervisor at work. Consider asking for the reference before the end of the fall semester so they're not bombarded with requests at the start of the spring semester. It would be great to provide them with a résumé or list of activities, too. Avoid asking high school teachers and former acquaintances to be references. The scholarship selection committee wants to see how you are connected to the campus community.

The priority deadline for scholarship applications is February 1. Find a list of outside scholarships here.




Jacket Fact

The MSUB parking garage located on Poly Drive was built in 1998, adding 500 new parking spots to campus (Yellow-Stone & Blue). MSUB now has 2,437 parking spots on the university campus and 682 spots on the City College campus (University Police).




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Jaclyn Tobin Photo

Wingin' It

Columnist Jaclyn Tobin, Third-Year Yellowjacket

As the weather starts getting cold, don’t let your energy freeze up! Fight the urge to skip out on classes by following some of these tips:

Refuse to Snooze! Rather than hitting the “Snooze” button seven times, challenge yourself to rise the first time through. The extra effort you place in getting up the first time will propel you through the day with more drive.

Embrace the Freedom: Your class schedule might seem exhausting, but if you use your free time outside of the classrooms and lecture halls to your advantage, you’ll see a change in your mood that will follow you into your classes. “Work hard, play hard” will really pay off in this season—if you find the balance between the two pieces.

Stay Focused! Bring snacks to class, use different colored pens per lecture, mix up your seating arrangements. Whatever tactic you use, make sure you are making some kind of effort to break out of the boredom and burnout. This season might be moving like molasses, but you can still stay afloat! Give it your best!

Contact education major and student leader Jaclyn Tobin.

College Corner

By Gillette Vaira

Steven Peterman

Gillette went to Hawaii for a conference at the end of her first semester of college. There, she visited Pearl Harbor.

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.

Attending MSU Billings was a major social experience for me. I was elated to live on campus and go to class with people from all over the world. You see, I felt a bit socially deprived. I grew up in a 100-person town in Eastern Montana. My graduating class had nine students. At one point, most of my classmates were my relatives. I was thankful for all of the experiences growing up rural brought me, but I was ready for the big city life of Billings!

The night before my first college classes started, I went to the Welcome Week BBQ with my new friends. We grabbed some grub and played games on the lawn, and then they started to head back to their rooms. But the night was still young! We had more socializing to do. So I made the most logical suggestion.

“Why don’t we all catch a movie together?” I asked.

"I need to get ready for classes tomorrow," one friend said.

“Oh yeah… classes,” I thought.

I didn’t reveal that I had momentarily forgotten the next day was the first day of school. I was so caught up in campus life that I forgot why I was on campus in the first place.

A couple of days later, I gave my parents the college experience update.

"College would be great if it wasn't for the homework," I said.

They laughed, but I was serious.

My social drive continued. I could not get enough campus involvement. Of course, I would get up early and go to class. But my afternoons and nights were filled with club meetings, cheerleading practices, late-night distributions of the “Potty Press,” and chats with the girls down the hall. At 11 p.m., when my friends were finishing their homework and going to bed, I was just winding down and attempting to settle into my homework. Academics always prevailed, but not without sleep deprivation.

One night, after an exhausting 18-hour day, I finally had the chance to get to bed. That’s when I had an epiphany. I vividly remember having this thought: “Who am I trying to prove myself to?” I wasn’t winning some award to see who could be involved in the most campus activities. I realized I had to put myself first. But by then, it was too late. I had come down with mononucleosis. My body couldn’t keep up with my pace. My extrovert-to-the-extreme mentality almost cost me an internship in Washington, D.C. that summer because I had run myself so ragged.

Don’t take this the wrong way. You need to get involved in college. This is your time to become who you are. You have so many opportunities at your fingertips. You can be a kid AND an adult all at once. However, I learned the hard way that getting too involved can sometimes have negative repercussions.

So take care of yourself. Get involved in a couple of causes that truly matter to you. Network. Make a name for yourself. Then do your homework and get to bed at a reasonable hour. It’s up to you to find a balance between college life and academics.

Contact Gillette Vaira at (406) 794-7593.

Be Money Smart

Elizabeth Almann

Columnist Elizabeth Almann, Financial Education Success Specialist


Are you a spender – or a saver?

You may know that it’s important to have savings for an emergency or for a future goal. But did you know that having money in savings can actually help you enjoy your life now?

It’s true! You need money to live, but you don’t have to buy things to be happy. Some people think that in order to enjoy money you have to spend it, but you can also experience satisfaction from having money that you never spend.

How is this possible? Well, money offers both security and freedom of choice. Knowing you have money that you could use - but choose not to – puts you in the power seat because the potential is there to use it however you like. Once you spend the money, you lose that power. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, try the following exercise.

You probably have some discretionary income, or money not required for necessities, that you can spend however you like. Designate a certain amount of this money to be your prosperity money. Prosperity is the experience of having plenty of money, so the actual amount you keep depends on you. It can be just the $20 (or even $5) that make you feel rich when you have it in your wallet or your checking account.

Don’t spend this money! Once you spend it, it’s gone – along with the feeling of prosperity. Having the money and NOT spending it lets you practice saying no to impulse buying and peer pressure. It also cultivates within yourself the security and confidence that comes from knowing you have money

If you are already a saver and enjoy the feeling of having money, then work toward building up your savings account so you can experience the satisfaction of seeing your savings grow.

Get Money Smarts! For more information about why – and how – to save, visit and click on SAVE SMART.  Or call for a free financial coaching appointment! I’m here to help you reach your goals and dreams.

Contact Elizabeth Almann at (406) 657-1795 to get financial fitness tips.

Academic Integrity: DOs and DONT's

Let's say you're writing a research paper. You've toiled over it for weeks. Your research is complete, and you're just about done with the first draft. But in the back of your mind, you can't help but to wonder if you have done the unthinkable… you're concerned you may have plagiarized.

According to the MSU Billings Code of Student Conduct, plagiarism is defined as "representing the words, data, works, ideas, computer program or output, or anything not generated in an authorized fashion as one's own."

Note these DOs and DON'Ts to avoid getting in hot water.
Do think about your topic. Understand the content.
Don't simply research, copy, and paste.
Don't just retype research word-for-word.
Don't submit the same paper in different classes without permission. This is plagiarism.
Do write your own words to exhibit your understanding of material you have researched. Only use others' words (and cite them) in order to enhance your own writing.
Do identify when you're using someone else's words. You can do this by using quotations or paraphrasing. Also, do list references throughout your work and/or at the end of the assignment.
Do ask your instructor about what kind of citation style he/she prefers. MLA, APA, and Chicago styles are commonly found in college settings.
Do visit the Academic Support Center, Student Opportunity Services, or other tutoring services to have help with citations.
Do find a system of note taking that works for you when researching. Cite your sources as you go in order to stay organized. Ask your College Success Specialist for help in this department.

Visit for more information about the policies at MSU Billings.

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