Meet the Full-Time TRIO SSS Staff
Welcome to the SSS/TRIO Staff Page!
My name is Laura. I started college by obtaining an Associates Degree while working full-time to pay for tuition, right out of high school. After this degree, I decided to take some time off and work. About seven years later, I felt I was ready to go back to college. As an older, nontraditional student I received my Bachelor's of Science in Sociology & Anthropology from MSU-Bozeman while working three-quarters to full-time. Fast forward a few more years and I completed my Master's in Public Administration at MSU Billings while working full-time and taking care of a busy family. I enjoy creating artwork, listening to music, learning new things, and spending time with my husband, two boys, and our dogs.
My college career began at the age of eighteen, fresh out of high school, in my home state of Florida. I quickly learned that I was not ready for the rigors of academic life. After some life experience, including moving across the country to Montana, I decided to return to college at the age of thirty. I attended college full-time while working and raising two sons, and proudly graduated from MSUB in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Secondary Teaching Certification. For the next eleven years, I taught at-risk and adjudicated delinquent teens and young adults in Billings and Sheridan, Wyoming. In 2018, I found my way home to Billings and the MSUB campus. I love learning and wholly believe in the limitless potential of developing a Growth Mindset. I enjoy spending time with my children and playing around with photography and ceramics.
Hello, I grew up in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. Before attending Mansfield University, I took a year off between high school and college. While obtaining my Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Media: Broadcasting and Creative Writing Minor, I was a first generation college student who participated in TRiO SSS. In my senior year, I served other students as a TRiO Peer Mentor. I also completed my Master’s Degree in Strategic Public Relations from Shippensburg University. After graduate school, I moved to Montana to volunteer with the AmeriCorps VISTA program. I spent my AmeriCorps service doing Economic Development in Red Lodge. In my free time, I enjoy working out, photography, writing, hiking, traveling, and learning.
Hello, My name is Sonja Jones (Choriki). I grew up in Billings, MT and graduated from MSUB with a B.S. in Criminal Justice. Throughout my college career, I was very involved with several organizations and spent my last year as the Student Body President for MSUB. I also worked for the TRiO Upward Bound summer programs while I was on campus and was a part of the TRiO program ETS growing up. In the future, I plan to go back to school and receive my masters and possibly a PHD. In my free time, I like to stay active. I enjoy golfing, snowboarding, archery, hiking, fishing, and horseback riding. If it’s an outdoor activity, I probably enjoy it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m any good at it!