Laura Gittings-Carlson

Laura Gittings-Carlson
Director of Student Achievement, Advising, and Student Support Services/TRIO

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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.


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Jennifer Pope
Interim Associate Director

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Jarren Keller

Jarren Keller
Program Coordinator

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Sonja Jones

Sonja Jones
Academic Counselor

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Hello, my name is Sonja Jones. 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 have 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 enjoy staying active and spending time with my husband and our two dogs. We enjoy golfing, snowboarding, archery, hiking, fishing, camping, and horseback riding. If it’s an outdoor activity, we probably enjoy it. 



David Airne

David Airne
Academic Coordinator

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My name is David and I am excited to be living in Montana. I did my undergraduate work at Winona State University in Winona, MN. After my undergrad, I did not know what all I wanted to do and a friend recruited me to come to North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND to do my Master’s degree in Communication Studies and help coach the debate program. I taught at several universities, coached speech & debate, and published research on political campaigns and gender. I most recently taught and directed the speech & debate program at the University of Montana. In my free time I can often be found in the kitchen cooking and/or baking, playing tabletop games, reading comic books, fishing, and watching my favorite teams