Haylee Mooney

Helena, Montana
Class of 2019
B.S. Health and Human Performance


I think one main thing I have realized while at MSUB is my desire to help others.



Campus Compact Newman Civic Fellowship 2017-2018

What activities, clubs and jobs are you involved in at MSUB?

Towards the end of my freshman year I got involved in Student United Way, and have found many opportunities since. I am the President of Residence Hall Association as well as Student United Way. I also am a Resident Assistant with Housing and Residence Life, in the LEAD @ MSUB program, and a member of the Ex-Officio Committee.

You changed majors halfway through your college experience at MSUB. How did MSUB support your change to a different major and do you have any advice for those who may be thinking of changing to a different major?

During the fall semester of my sophomore year, I had to take Organic Chemistry, and let’s just say it didn’t go great. Over that winter break, I tried to really evaluate why I was a biology major in the first place. While on break I was working at Arnold Physical Therapy, and I realized how much I enjoyed it. I started to look into what majors could lead to a career as a physical therapist, and health and human performance was one of them. I took one class in the HHP department as a tester in the spring semester of my sophomore year and absolutely loved it. I had switched by the fall of my junior year.

At first, I was unsure if I made the right decision, but Foundations of Exercise Science, taught by Karsyn Hornby, made me realize that Health and Human Performance was the right path for me. She made learning the basics of HHP interesting and relatable. This made me understand just how many directions this degree could take me in.

That fall I actually had two classes with Karsyn, one being the entry level Foundations of Exercise Science, and the other Health and Well-Being Across the Lifespan. She questioned how I could be in a 100 and 400 level class at the same time, and I explained that I had switched majors and was cramming to get the degree done. Over the course of the semester she took the time to check-in with me and ask how my development in her classes and the HHP department was going. She also would talk with me about future career paths, and how to start working towards them. Karsyn wasn’t just teaching the subject matter—she was ensuring that the class understood the usefulness of the information.

For students considering changing majors, I would say to try a class in that major. See how it goes, and truly evaluate if you like the subject matter and what it can lead to. I would also say, don’t be scared! If you are feeling that you aren’t in the right major, there is likely merit to the thought. So indulge it, and go for it!!

Why do you think that MSUB was a great fit for you for your college experience?

MSUB is a great fit because of its people. While here I have formed so many close and meaningful relationships with students and staff, making it a place I truly enjoy being. You really feel like you belong to a community. Once I became involved on campus I realized how many connections I had made at MSUB, and in the Billings community. To the professors and administrators, students aren’t just a number, they are individuals with unique contributions to the campus.

I feel that some of the greatest keys MSUB has given to me is a sense of confidence and the ability to connect with people. Many of the activities and organizations I have been involved with have required connecting with people. Being an RA, we are tasked every day with attempting to develop connections with our residents as well as between them and the campus. I feel that these personable skills can transfer into any career!

You’re pretty involved on MSUB’s campus. How do you juggle being an RA, working on campus, being involved and going to class?

Oh my gosh, finding Google Calendar changed my life! It reminds me of everything, and is color-coded… it’s truly magic! In all seriousness though, making sure I had things on the schedule and stayed on top of class deadlines is key. At the beginning of the semester I go through all the class syllabi and put the important projects and papers in the calendar, and set reminders for two weeks before they are due.  As far as the student involvement side is concerned, I found I had to set priorities, and stick to them. Sometimes there is conflict but knowing what is of more importance to the school and myself is what I would tackle first. And lastly, relying on others! Take a break with friends, or study with them, and let others in the organizations pull their weight too. One person can’t do it all.

What have you learned about yourself from your time at MSUB?

I think one main thing I have realized while at MSUB is my desire to help others. Through work in our Office for Community Involvement and Housing and Residence Life, I have had many opportunities to help Billings’ community members, and students at MSUB. I plan to carry that development into my professional career: I want to be a physical therapist is because it is a helping profession. While working at Arnold Physical Therapy, I get to meet and help so many people on their way to recovery, and I want to do that for a long time. It is amazing how a simple exercises can lead to a better quality of living for people. My dream has always been to help veterans and wounded servicemen and women get back on their feet, so I am thinking about possibly working at a VA clinic after I get my doctorate.