Kimberly Kost

Laura Gittings-Carlson

E-Mail Laura

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.

Stephen Stefan
Academic Counselor

E-Mail Stephen

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.  

Kimberly Kost

Sonja Jones
Program Coordinator

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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!

David Airne

David Airne
Academic Counselor

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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