Meet Our Scholars
My name is Amy Barron. I am a 7th and 8th-grade science teacher at Riverside Middle School in Billings, MT. I received a B.S. in Biology and a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction Broadfield Science from MSU Billings. Before I became a classroom teacher, I was a science travel guide for middle school and high school students. I had the privilege of teaching students about nature and science through educational travel all over the United States and Central America. Now, I love being a classroom teacher because I really get to know my students and build a relationship with them. I am able to use my passion for science to get students excited about school and learning. I’m very thankful to be a part of the NOYCE Scholarship program at MSUB. The friends I’ve made through the program have supported me every step of the way, and I look forward to collaborating with them for many years to come.
My name is Brandi Norman and I’m currently a middle school science teacher at Shepherd Schools. I graduated from Montana State University Billings in May of 2005 with a Bachelor's degree in Biology and Minor in Chemistry. I went back to get a masters of education degree in 2013 while home with my kids. After receiving the Noyce grant, I received my Broadfield Science degree in 2015. I’m a full time Physical and Life Science teacher. I absolutely love science and love passing on the curiosity and problem solving thinking to my students, it really has been my calling. I have 4 kids ranging from 12- 5 and a husband of 13 years. I enjoy working out, hanging with family, hiking, camping, gardening, painting and sewing. The Noyce Scholarship has given me many opportunities to further my learning by attending conferences, learning new techniques and meeting many new people. Many of the people I have meet both faculty and other recipients of the Noyce grant will be life-long partners in my journey in education.
I’m Caitlin Kimmet, a 2016 graduate from Montana State University Billings with a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. After graduating, I took a year off to focus on working in higher education but missed being in the classroom. This fall, I will be entering my second year of teaching in Great Falls, Montana. I teach earth and space science and chemistry. On the weekends, I’m usually hiking with my dog or planning activities as the student government advisor. The Noyce Scholar program has given me the ability to persevere through even the toughest days, and to really push what I and my students are capable of. I hope to spend the next few years honing my teaching technique and increasing the number of hands-on activities that I do, and also hopefully starting my PhD.
Hello! I’m Carissa Jenkins and I grew up in the Gallatin Valley just outside of Bozeman, MT. I later landed in Billings and started the NOYCE program to work toward becoming a broadfield science teacher at the secondary level. From spring of 2015 to the end of summer 2016 I earned my teaching certification and a masters in curriculum and instruction. This program has enriched my life in a lot of ways: not only did it open up a new, exciting career opportunity, it allowed me to make friends and connections with my peers in the program and the mentors who helped us.
While still earning my Master’s degree, I accepted a job as the physical science teacher in a small town (population ~ 1800) in a northwestern Montana called Choteau. In the summer of 2016, my husband and I packed everything we owned into a horse trailer and hit the road on what has been an incredible journey that has made me thankful for taking the leap into “change” by completing this program and becoming a teacher. Teaching is a fun, rewarding experience that definitely requires hard work and dedication, but has a huge payout in the pride and love you develop for your students and learning new things.
While not in the classroom, I am assistant coaching our Lady Bulldog basketball team, spending time in and around the Rocky Mountain Front fishing and kayaking, and enjoying time with my husband, Jesse, and our friends and family in the area.
I graduated from Montana State University Billings in 2017 with a double major in Biology and Broadfield Science Education and a Chemistry minor. I am currently teaching ninth grade Earth Science at Skyview High School in Billings, Montana.
My journey toward teaching started in 2012, when I had the opportunity to travel around the world for a year assisting with service projects in Honduras, South Korea, and parts of the US. I was shocked by the living standards of the people I met, inside and outside of the US, and concluded that education has a profound impact on our lives. I wanted to be a part of something which was so integral to the individual and our society.
During my undergraduate, I was part of a research team led by Dr. Lynn George in the Department of Biological and Physical Sciences Lab at MSUB. Under her guidance, we were studying the neurological disease, Familial Dysautonomia. I came to realize the difference between how science is taught in schools and how the scientific method is actually applied to conduct research. This experience had a major impact on the way I understand and teach science. This research was later published in Nature Communications in March of 2018.
I am excited for my future at Skyview. In addition to coaching Cross Country, I am one of the coaches of the Science Olympiad team. My hope is to start a STEM Club, which will be an amalgamation of a series of smaller clubs at Skyview. I want to become the kind of teacher who can guide students through these programs and ensure that they are challenged to reach their full potential.
Jessica Gordy (Jessica M. Delaney)
My name is Jessica Gordy. I graduated from MSU-Billings with my Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a broadfield science endorsement in 2016. In 2009, I graduated from MSU-Bozeman with a BS in Microbiology and shortly after, I completed a Graduate Certificate in Public Health from the University of Florida. I discovered my passion for teaching during a two year stint as an expat in South Korea teaching English as a second language. It wasn’t until my service with AmeriCorps*VISTA immediately following that I developed a passion for also working with high needs communities. The Noyce Scholarship Program provided me with unique learning experiences and prepared me to work with the high needs communities of Montana. I’ve been teaching as a science educator in Montana for two years now and look forward to what next year will bring.
My name is Mary Owen, and I’m a 2016 graduate of the Noyce program, with majors in Mathematics and Health and Human Performance, and a minor in Physics. I’ve been teaching math at Skyview High School in Billings for the last two years, but this coming fall, I’ll be shifting my sights from geometry and algebra to health enhancement. When I’m not in the classroom, you can find me out coaching the cross country team, or running marathons. I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunities the Noyce program has given me, and I’m excited for another new year of teaching.
My name is Sally Robinson and I am currently a Biology teacher at the Career Center in Billings, Montana. I graduated from Montana State University- Billings in 2017 with a Masters in Secondary Broadfield Science Education. I also obtained my undergraduate degree from MSUB in 2015 in Biology with a focus in Environmental Science. I am looking forward to starting my first year in Billings Public Schools this year and I am excited for the adventure of teaching at the Career Center. I have a great passion for science that was sparked while I was a student in Billings Public Schools at West High school. I am looking forward to the opportunity to inspire students in science in the same way I was inspired while in high school. The Noyce Scholars Program was an incredible opportunity to pave the way toward becoming a science teacher and I am thankful for everything I have learned from being a Noyce Scholar.
My name is Shannon McKinney and I teach science for grades 6-12 at Moore School, in Moore, MT. I graduated from MSU-Billings in the fall of 2016 with my bachelor degree in Broadfield Science. I’ve always loved learning and exploring how things work. I didn’t always want to be a teacher, but when I realized that my passion was in sharing my awe of the world with others, there was no turning back. Being able to guide my students through the subjects that I love has been so enjoyable. Because I teach many different groups of students, I also get to teach a wide variety of classes ranging from the life sciences and chemistry to astronomy and forensics. Getting to teach so many different things each day has been challenging, but it also keeps me on my toes as I bounce from topic to topic (never getting the chance to be bored). After I joined the Broadfield Science program, and later the Noyce Scholarship Program, I was able to connect with other future STEM teachers who shared, and greatly expanded, my enthusiasm in both the learning and teaching aspects of this great profession. I am so fortunate to be a part of this amazing Noyce family as we continue to learn and grow and push each other towards greater heights.
My name is Sheena Abrams. I recently obtained a master’s degree in curriculum instruction in secondary broad field science from Montana State University-Billings. While I enjoy and appreciate all sciences, my true passion is in biology. I spent nine years working in cancer research, but decided I wanted to share my affinity for biology and positively influence future generations of young scientists!
I am a Wyoming native who enjoys all the wonders that nature has to offer. Some of the outdoor recreation activities my family and I enjoy include hunting, fishing, camping, hiking and skiing.
As a teacher, some of my professional goals are to help provide an opportunity for all students to experience the natural beauty of the world around them and help to enhance the development of the critical thinking skills that will be necessary to overcome global obstacles of the future. I am currently employed at Laurel Middle School where I teach 7th grade life science, as well as a 7th/8th grade STEM class. I will begin my third year in this position this fall. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience and I don’t think I could have asked for a better fit! Go Locos.
My name is Kourtney Carter and I’m currently a science high school teacher at Billings West High. I graduated from Montana State University Billings in December of 2015 with a bachelor degree in Broadfield Science with a teaching option. I’m a full time Earth Science teacher with 130 freshmen student’s. I absolutely love teaching I feel like it was my true calling in life. I have a 5 year old son that is a Kindergartener at Sandstone Elementary. I enjoy reading, skiing, hiking, working out, cooking and learning new technology tricks. My great passion is combining learning strategies and fun all within a positive and encouraging learning environment. The Noyce Scholarship has given me many lifelong friends and valuable teaching tools. I’m grateful to be a part of such a great program with so many wonderful memories. I look forward to continuing my teaching career with the support and wisdom from my scholarship family.
“I am currently finishing my undergraduate degree in Broadfield Science Education at MSU-Billings. I’ve always enjoyed the challenge and mystery that the sciences provided; I could never get enough. After my first semester at MSUB in a different science-related program, I realized that my real passion was in sharing my awe of the world and the sciences with others. After joining the broadfield science program, and later the Noyce Scholarship Program, I was able to connect with others who shared and greatly expanded my enthusiasm in both the learning and teaching aspects of the field. The best part of teaching the sciences is that I can get excited about rocks or dissecting sheep brains and not get TOO many funny looks!”.
My name is Rob Bryson. I grew up in the Billings area and graduated from Skyview High School in 2002. I served in the Air Force and Army National Guard for 10 years. I worked on aircraft in the Air Force as a jet engine mechanic and as a satellite signal specialist in the Army Guard. While going to school at MSU-B, I did a two-year stint for AmeriCorps volunteering my time to help out the Billings community. My service site was Discover Zone, an after-school program by the United Way, that was located in the local middle schools. After I finished my commitment to AmeriCorps, I was hired on part-time as the Youth Coordinator at Riverside Middle School. I have worked in this capacity at the various middle schools for the last 9 years developing programing, recruiting volunteers and mentoring youth. I recently acquired my coaching certification and was the 8th Grade Instructional Boys Basketball coach at Will James. I really enjoyed this experience and I hope to coach other sports in the future. My future goals include: becoming a national board certified teacher, winning state for my future academic team, winning state for my future basketball team, and eventually obtaining my doctorate. I am endorsed in Secondary Education, Broadfield Science and look forward to the challenge of teaching all the sciences and inspiring the next generation of great thinkers..
Scholars Not Pictured