October 2014

In the Know

Oct. 11-Service Saturday; 9:30 a.m.; SUB Atrium
Oct. 13-Columbus Day (Classes in session, offices open)
Oct. 21-Last day to drop classes without instructor permission (No refund)




Get Involved!

Have we mentioned you need to get involved in more than just academics in college?

HEROES provides students with prevention and educational tools to deal with a variety of issues, including alcohol and other drug use, sexual health, healthy relationships, and more! They host the Thank Goodness It’s Thursday (TGIT) events on campus, offering students fun activities like Root Beer Pong, Condom BINGO, and other alternative activities. The group also started Jacket Cab, which allows students to take a City Cab or Billings Yellow Cab back to campus if they are in an unsafe situation and HEROES will reimburse the cab fare! Check it out at Jacket Cab.

Fall 2014 HEROES Members

Fall 2014 HEROES Members; Photo by Patrick Williams, University Relations.


Collegiate 4-H offers opportunities to work with youth, help with county and state 4-H events, judge competitions, and host fun activities on campus. There are no record books or fair projects at this level, and no prior 4-H experience is necessary. They meet every other Tuesday night… so catch them October 14 or 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the SUB Missouri Room! Get more information by contacting them at msubcollegiate4h@gmail.com. You can also find them on Facebook.

Collegiate 4-H

Collegiate 4-H host a STEAM event for youth each year.


Are you trying to meet new people and get experience tied to your academic major? The Office for Community Involvement connects students to community agencies to help them engage in service and meet the needs of the community. Meet other MSUB students in the SUB Atrium on October 11 at 9:30 a.m. for the next Service Saturday for a quick and easy way to get started.

Service Saturday volunteers

Service Saturday volunteers work on the grounds at ZooMontana in September of 2014.




Need Legal Advice?

ASMSUB Student Legal Services has an attorney available to students enrolled in at least seven credits per semester. Schedule an appointment by calling (406) 657-2365 or stop by SUB 213.




Get Ahead in Class!

Find a tutor! Visit the Academic Support Center in the SUB on the University Campus and in the Tech Building at City College. The ASC provides free tutoring for math, writing, reading, science, psychology, foreign languages, and more! They even offer online tutoring! Use their computers, printers, and copy machines. You don't even need to make an appointment.




Get Registered... See Your Advisor!

It may feel like you are just getting into the swing of things in your first semester, but believe it or not, it’s time to start thinking about spring semester classes! Advisors help students decide which classes they’ll need to take each semester, and they can set you up with a Two-Year Suggested Course of Study.

The Advising Center is located on the first floor of McMullen Hall on the University Campus and in Jacket Student Central at City College. You can find the name of your advisor in your secure area on the MSU Billings website, or just ask at the front desk. You can make an appointment to meet with your advisor about spring classes starting the week of October 20. First-year students can start registering for classes on November 6 as long as they have connected with an advisor and receive the alternate PIN prior to that date.

Don’t miss out on the class you’re dying to take! Call the Advising Center on the University Campus at (406) 657-2240 or at City College at (406) 247-3019 to register before classes get full.




Jacket Fact

MSU Billings first opened in 1927, but residence halls hadn't yet been built. Students stayed with families throughout Billings, and they had to obtain permission from the school before they left town. The average cost of room and board was $35 per month.




Please send any BuzzFeed questions, comments, or ideas to gillette.vaira@msubillings.edu.

MSU Billings logo


Your First Year Experience Team

We are enthusiastic mentors who can help you have a successful first year at MSUB. Anyone on the College Success Specialist team can help you with academic strategies, financial tips, selecting a major, and more. Read about the folks you should be getting to know.

Steven Peterman

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

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.

Richard Raridon

Richard Raridon represents the College of Arts and Sciences. Having worked in multiple areas of higher education, he can help you navigate the university landscape and discover your passion.

Bryan Grove

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

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 Photo

Wingin' It

Columnist Jaclyn Tobin, Third-Year Yellowjacket

“Take notes, climb stairs, study terms, take test, repeat.” Before you get into a rut with this pattern, breathe. It’s surprising how fast your free time can slip away from you if you let it. The key to finding time to relax is in never letting it slip from your gaze in the first place. This might sound crazy, but you need to make time for free time. Here’s how you do it:

  • Write out your schedule: Begin with your class schedule, then slowly work toward the semi-flexible priorities in your life that deserve a slot on the calendar.

  • Appreciate the gaps: However small they are, the spaces in your schedule can be transformed into vital down-time.

  • Fill the spaces with good stuff: Whether you unwind best with a long walk or an hour of Destiny, make sure you are using your free time to truly restore before you dive into the next slot of your schedule. These hiccups of time can really pay off!

Contact education major and student leader Jaclyn Tobin.

College Corner

By Steven Peterman

Steven Peterman

Steven Peterman enjoyed a snack during a Resident Assistant retreat at Chico Hot Springs while he was attending MSUB.

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.

It’s the eleventh hour and I’m down to the wire. I’ve been asked to come up with some nuggets of knowledge that I can pass down from my days as an undergrad at MSUB. Of course, I could give the standard “get involved” and “go to class” answers, but I want it to be more than the canned answer you get whenever you ask someone to give advice to a current college student. So as I slowly inch closer and closer to my deadline of submitting this article, it hits me… PROCRASTINATION! This is huge in college, and apparently it can follow you when you get out into the working world, too. 

I’ve worked and lived in a university system for more than 13 years now. I have heard and used almost every excuse when it comes to procrastination. One of my personal favorites was, “I work best under pressure.” Just so you know, no one works best under pressure. I understand that everyone is telling you to get involved and join a club. Don’t get me wrong; you should definitely do those things while you are in college. I actually think that some of the social aspects to college are just as important as the academics. What I’m saying is don’t wait too long to get things done! Waiting until the last minute to study for an exam or start writing that 10 page research paper is not going to produce the grades you want. Having a good study plan and staying organized can really help to prevent procrastination. 

The other side of procrastination has to do with everything outside of school. Trust me when I tell you that you don’t want to be finishing your junior year of college thinking you wish you had done more with your time. Balancing academics with involvement on campus and in the community is so important. Don’t wait to get involved. Now is the time that you can be in college, be involved, and enjoy the time you have. Now is also the time to overcome procrastination. 

Contact Steven Peterman at (406) 247-3017.

Be Money Smart

Elizabeth Almann

Columnist Elizabeth Almann, Financial Education Success Specialist

I was walking across campus the other day and noticed a student taking a picture of a squirrel.  The squirrel was sitting up on its haunches and nibbling on an acorn that it was holding between its paws.  It was a beautiful, sunny day in early fall and the little animal seemed so calm and focused on its meal that it reminded me how important it is to stop and take a break from all the busyness in our lives to enjoy the moment.

No, I did not take any food from the squirrel, nor do I recommend stealing from them.  Live and let live is my motto.  And squirrels can be feisty.  What I mean is that you can learn from their behavior.

Squirrels are famous for their ability to cache food for the winter.  While they may seem to be randomly scurrying around, squirrels are actually strategically building up reserves that they can later tap into when the weather turns cold and snowy. 

Now, I’m not suggesting that you should start hoarding little piles of food everywhere! That’s not going to be much use to you if your car breaks down or you lose your job, or you are short on money to buy books for school. Instead, you should save up enough money to be able to cover an unexpected expense or a loss (or delay) in income. Financial experts recommend that as a minimum, you should have at least $1,000 saved up for those sorts of situations.

Over the next several months, we will look at other reasons and recommendations for saving money. For now, just consider the wisdom of the animals. They don’t waste time or resources worrying about the future, but they do have instincts and behaviors that maximize their ability to thrive, even during times of scarcity or stress. 

When you see a playful squirrel running around as if it didn’t have a care in the world, just remember that it has been storing food all summer and knows exactly where to find those secret caches when it needs them.  Can you say the same?

Get Money Smarts! For more information about why – and how – to save, visit www.getmoneysmarts.org 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.

Seth Allen

Seth Allen’s classmates were celebrating high school graduation in June of 2003, but he wasn’t there. He had graduated early and was already in boot camp for the Marine Corps.

“I wanted to see the world. I wanted to do something awesome,” he said. “So I’m like, ‘I’m going to join the military.’”

Allen served three tours of duty in Iraq between 2003 and 2007. He experienced history in the making during that time, including providing security for the first elections in Iraq.

“I saw people (who) were willing to risk their lives to go and vote and make a change,” he said.

He was even a part of history himself. During his service in Iraq, he was featured on an episode of The History Channel’s “Shootout!” documentary series.

In 2007, Allen returned home to study Construction Management at Southern Utah University.

“It was a whole transition from military to being a college kid,” he said. “I went from a very regimented schedule to ‘I have class on this day and time and the rest of the day is up to me.’”

Allen transferred to Westminster College, where he studied political science and pre-law. He also started a veterans club on campus, which is still operating.

“I didn’t do the whole ‘normal college student’ thing,” he said. “I had to navigate the college system myself. I had to get the resources myself. I had to get answers to questions by myself.”

Now, Allen supports MSU Billings veterans and their families as the Veterans Support Coordinator.

“I can show them how to access the benefits that they have earned,” he said. “I can help them think of solutions to problems. I can also just be somebody to come and chat with who has been through this.”

Military Friendly SchoolAllen encourages students to do their best at MSUB.

“The college experience is what you make it,” he said. “If you want to have a great college experience, it’s on you. If your college experience is bad, it’s on you. It’s not just a veteran thing, it’s a student thing.”

Contact Seth Allen at veterans@msubillings.edu or (406) 581-5953.

Studying with a Family

Trudy Carey spent the first 40 years of her life taking care of her four children and her husband. But when she started a job in Rimrock Mall, her life changed.

Trudy Carey

Trudy Carey, Disability Support Services Director

A customer who came into the store where Carey worked mentioned that she had just graduated with a degree in communication from MSU Billings. When Carey learned about the degree, and the fact that a B. A. required less math and science than a B. S., she registered for classes the next semester. 

“That woman inspired me to go to school,” Carey said. “She was slightly older than I was, and she did it, so I knew that I could do it, too.” 

Carey started slowly, at first taking just nine credits, but she always took summer courses so she could graduate in four years. She took advantage of every opportunity she had to study, even reviewing flashcards during the time-outs at her daughter’s basketball games.

“I went to every single thing my kids were in,” she said. “I always put family first.”

But she said students must adjust daily activities in order to prioritize classes.

“There’s a tradeoff, and you have to realize what you’re willing to trade,” she said. She gave up time that was previously spent on hobbies and socializing and traded housework for homework.

Carey said students must have a backup plan in case of emergencies, such as a child becoming ill. She also said communicating with professors helps in situations where family must come before school.

Carey earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from MSU Billings. She has served as the director of Disability Support Services for twelve years.

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