Summer 2014

In the Know

August 31: Residence Halls Open
September 2: New Student Day
September 3: Classes Begin
Sept. 5: Make fee payment arrangements


Grand Selfie Station*

In each issue, we’ll ask you to send us a selfie of you doing something pertaining to your first year of college. Get creative… prizes are involved.

John Schreier

Meet ASMSUB President Daniel Barnhart, who took a selfie on campus during his campaign.

Send a selfie of yourself preparing for college. You could be packing, participating in orientation, chatting with your future roommate, etc. Send your selfie to or 406.794.7593 by August 19 in order to be considered for the prize. Provide your first and last name, as well as a description of the selfie. We just might include it in the next newsletter.

*Editor’s note: Please do not take a selfie as you are driving or operating machinery. Please send only appropriate selfies.


Childcare on Campus

Don’t worry about finding a place for your child to stay while you hit the books. MSU Billings has it handled. Consider getting your child on the waiting list for the William R. Lowe Child Care and Enrichment Center, which is located on the west side of campus at 2630 Normal Avenue. Check out the discounted pricing options for children of students:

Ages six weeks to two years old: $173/week

Ages two to five: $120/week

Ages five and older: $33/week

The center offers educational activities and curriculum for youth. Call (406) 896-5820 for more information.

Plus, ASMSUB is offering five scholarships worth $500 each to defray childcare costs at the William R. Lowe Child Care and Enrichment Center for fall and spring semesters. Apply by September 14, 2014. Pick up an application in SUB 213. Call ASMUB at (406) 657-2365 with questions.


Park It

We know you’ll love being as prepared as possible for your first semester. So complete one task right away and avoid the hassle of standing in line by purchasing a parking permit online through your secure area. You’ll need a permit to grab one of MSUB’s nearly 2,500 parking spots on the university campus and just about 700 spots on the City College campus (University Police). You can also visit University Police in the southwest corner of the parking garage to get one in person. Remember to have your license plate number ready.


“Anything You Want… You Got It”

So you may not have been alive when Roy Orbison recorded “You Got It,” but it still has an important message. Seriously… anything you want, you can get it from the First Year Experience Web site. Learn academic strategies, view semester checklists, meet staff who can help you, get tips from current students, and more! Contact us if there’s something else you would like to include on the Web site. After all, it’s all about you.


Need Help Paying for College?

Be financially ready for the 2014-15 academic year by submitting your Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Remember, the MSU Billings code is 002530. Please contact the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office at (406) 657-2188 with questions or concerns.


Get Involved!

You have heard it time and again. You know college is more than just books and classes. You’re quite aware of the importance of getting involved in the Billings community and making connections. So get to work! You can join a student organization even before classes start! Check out these two groups:

MSU Billings logo

The Associated Students of MSU Billings serve as the student government. The group represents and protects student interests and needs. ASMSUB will elect three University Campus freshmen senators and two City College senators in the fall. Applications are due in the ASMSUB office in SUB 213 by 5 p.m. on September 12. Contact Valerie Sperry at (406) 657-2365 for more information.

MSU Billings logo

The Jacket Student Ambassadors help to recruit prospective students by accompanying tours and sharing their perspectives. Applications to participate are due by the second week of classes. Contact Julie Hrubes for more information at (406) 657-2886.


Where Will You Live?

Avoid grocery shopping, cooking, and dirty dishes. Don’t waste money on utilities, cable, and laundry. Live on campus at MSUB. Call the Housing and Residential Life Office at (406) 657-2333 to reserve your room. Plus, check out some packing tips so you don’t forget a thing.

Learn about campus life from one student who is living the dream.


Jacket Fact

Eastern Montana College changed its name for the fourth time in 1994, becoming Montana State University Billings.


Please send any BuzzFeed questions, comments, or ideas to


MSU Billings logo

Welcome to MSU Billings!

Congratulations! You can now officially call yourself a Montana State University Billings Yellowjacket. College is a new beginning, and it could be different than anything you have ever experienced. But you don’t have to do this alone. The College Success Specialists help first-year students get acclimated to campus by teaching First Year Seminar and College Success Strategies courses, connecting students with resources, and coaching students in academics and beyond. We will be sending you important information through emails, texts, and this newsletter in order to help you have a successful first year. Feel free to contact any of us here:

Steven Peterman is an MSUB graduate who has worked with thousands of students on campus for more than a decade. Now he specifically helps City College students be successful.

Jennifer Pope can help you get adjusted to your future in the College of Allied Health Professions. A former sociology instructor, she knows what professors expect from students.

Jamie Lane represents the College of Arts and Sciences. Having studied the sciences herself, she has tips to help you be successful inside and outside of the classroom.

Bryan Grove, an enthusiastic mentor, hails from the College of Business. He’s an avid cross country runner, so he knows all about setting goals and meeting them.

Gillette Vaira is an MSUB graduate and former journalist who works with College of Education students. She can help you get connected on campus and develop a plan of attack for that hardcore class.


Jaclyn Tobin PhotoWingin' It

Columnist Jaclyn Tobin, Third-Year Yellowjacket

Happy summer, everyone! I remember how the summer before my freshman year played out: it was filled with to-do lists! Rest assured that this list isn’t going to give you more stress than motivation!

  • Get your R & R! You have been working hard for your diploma, so take time to take care of yourself. Relax a little more, and you will see the difference in your energy level… and your sanity.

  • Spend time with your friends and family! Time will surely fly when you are elbows-deep in college life and are centered on a new stage. That’s why you should keep your good friends close and build a habit of making time for those you care about..

  • Think about your next “move”! For my freshman year, I decided to leave home and live in the residence halls. I am going to be honest with you; it was the best decision I could have made to really tap into college. Live on campus if you want to automatically connect with fellow freshmen and experience the perks of stretching your comfort zone.

Contact education major and student leader Jaclyn Tobin.


Join the SOS/TRiO Family

By Barb Waters, SOS/TRiO Academic Coordinator

You already know that college is going to be different than high school. The only person responsible for your success in college is you, but there are many support services available to help you do well. 

Student Opportunity Services/TRiO is a federally funded program that helps you succeed in college by providing individualized academic and personal support. SOS/TRiO provides services such as tutoring in general education classes, mentoring and emotional support, assistance with academic planning and financial aid, and much more. 

Who is eligible?

  • Student must be a U.S. Citizen or eligible for federal financial aid.
  • Student must be enrolled in a 4-year degree program at the MSUB senior campus or enrolled in the 2+2 program at City College.
  • Student must meet at least one of the eligibility criteria:
    • Be low-income (according to Federal Government guidelines based on taxable income).
    • Be a first-generation college student (meaning that neither parent has a bachelor’s degree).
    • Have a documented physical, emotional, or learning disability.

Space in the SOS/TRiO program is limited. Eligible students must complete applications, which are due by August 29, 2014. Learn more by visiting or by calling 657-2162.


John Schreier

Columnist Elizabeth Almann, Financial Education Success Specialist

Get ready to manage your money in college!
For many students, their freshman year of college is their first chance to experience the freedom and responsibilities of managing their own money. Your education is a big investment of your money and your time! Knowing how to spend, save, borrow, and plan can help you reach your goals in college and in life. We are available to help you be money smart so you can stay successful in college and beyond.

MSU Billings has some great resources to help you be ready for these responsibilities. Check out the Montana University System Web site to learn how to Prepare and Pay for college. Sign up for a free account at Get Money Smarts. Read through Dollars & Sense to learn basic money management skills.

As MSUB's Financial Education Success Specialist, I am a resource to help you navigate college so you can earn your degree. Some of the topics I can assist you with include paying for college, managing spending, living on a tight budget, and understanding student loan debt and repayment options. 

Go to the Be Money Smart Web site to find more information about financial education at MSUB. I’m always glad to answer your questions and talk with you about strategies for financial success!

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


Operation Sting

John Schreier


Columnist John Schreier, Veterans Support Coordinator

You could be dealing with a lot of stuff right now, including the reality that you’re onto your next stage in life. No matter your situation, MSU Billings has staff ready to help students. I’m one of them. I’m here to help veterans and their family members who attend MSUB on the City College and university campuses. 

Veterans and their families may have dealt with the stress of warfare, family separation, single-parenting, or the upheaval of moving at a moment's notice whenever their military member changes duty stations. They change schools, jobs, and their whole lives according to the needs of the military. They are used to adapting rapidly.

The freshman year of college presents changes for all students, but veterans and their families have additional obstacles to overcome. It may have been some time since they have been in an academic setting, but plenty of veterans and their families take on the challenge of pursuing higher education. They don't fit the mold of a traditional freshman, but they make it work while carrying other burdens.

If you know someone who is a family member of a person who serves or has served, say thanks to them. Sit down to visit about their life… the good, the bad, and the ugly. They will appreciate someone who cares, and you might learn from their experiences of adapting to change.

Stop by my office in the College of Education 119 or one of the veterans' lounges and share your story. It's just another way we've got your back at MSUB.

Contact John Schreier at (406) 581-5953.


College Corner

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.

Jennifer Pope stepped foot onto the Idaho State University campus for the first time during her freshman year in the 1990s.

“I fell in love with college,” she said. “Just being around other people that I thought were interested in the same things as me was helpful.”

Pope married her fiancé after her first semester. They were juggling classes with caring for their child, working, and commuting to campus from another town.

“We had a lot of life changes in one year,” she said. “Being a nontraditional student, I think I was worried that I wasn’t going to be able to enjoy college like students who weren’t in my same situation.”

Pope didn’t have much free time, but she felt that something was missing from her college experience.

“I started realizing I couldn’t be anonymous anymore and that in order for me to move forward with my major and my career, I needed to get to know my professors and other students better.”

John Schreier

Jennifer Pope strikes a pose before one of her Taiko drumming performances in college.

So she went out of her way to participate on campus. She took her son to family-oriented campus activities. She joined a Japanese club and a Taiko drumming group, which gave her the opportunity to travel to Japan. She helped build veterans housing with Habitat for Humanity in Arizona. She networked with faculty through her work-study job in the sociology department.

“You might not have those opportunities later on,” she said. “Do things that you don’t think you would normally do. Try a new class. To get to know more about yourself, you’re going to have to take a step and make yourself a little uncomfortable.”

Pope’s campus immersion paid off in the long run. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sociology, and she has taught several college sociology courses. Now, she works with MSU Billings students as a College Success Specialist. She didn’t let obstacles during her college years get in the way of her lifetime goals.

“I was dealt some difficult circumstances during college, but I just kept going,” she said. “I didn’t give up.”

It all started with just one footstep onto campus… and one decision to get involved.

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