March 1, 2013



Sarah Brockel, Alumni Relations, 247-5780
Aaron Clingingsmith, University Relations, 657-2269


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — A Montana lawyer, a family medicine resident, an artist/ special education teacher, and community leaders will be honored as outstanding alumni for Montana State University Billings.


The 31st annual Outstanding Alumni Awards event on Friday, March 15, recognized the accomplishments of five people selected by the MSU Billings Alumni Association. Outstanding alumni are recognized in three categories:

  • Distinguished Alumna: Honors an alumnus/a who has distinguished him or herself through personal, professional and civic contributions, while bringing a sense of honor, pride and recognition to the University community.
  • Alumni Merit Medallion: Honors an alumnus who is dedicated to the advancement of education, exemplified by his or her commitment of professional expertise and/or volunteer service to Montana State University Billings.
  • Recognition for Exceptional Achievement: Honors two alumni who have distinguished themselves in fields ranging from business, professional, education, volunteer service to a community, public or civil service, or arts and sciences having impacted those fields while bringing a sense of pride and recognition to the University community.

Past recipients of these awards have included persons who have exhibited unusual courage, creativity, perseverance, originality of competency in their chosen field; raised the quality of life for others; contributed to and promoted the advancement of higher education; or distinguished themselves as leaders in their profession or area of interest.


This year’s recipients are:



Bobby Anner-Hughes, Outstanding Alumna Award. After receiving her bachelors’ degrees in education, English and communications in 1980. Bobby taught subjects including Spanish and English at Billings Central as well as coaching the speech and debate team. After a move to Butte she continued her teaching career at Butte Central. She then continued her education by pursuing a law degree from the University of Montana. After receiving her Juris Doctorate she worked at Edwards Law and eventually became a partner. After 15 years of working at larger firms Bobby opened her own practice in Billings, MT. Bobby has served on the MSU Billings Foundation Board of Trustees since July 2009.



Jeremy Vannatta, Merit Medallion Award. Vannatta is the Director of Business Outreach, Recruitment & Marketing at Big Sky Economic Development in Billings. He received his bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies in 1999.




Sue Schuld, Recognition for Exceptional Achievement. Sue received her bachelors’ degrees in education and art in 1972 and Master’s degree in Special Education in 1988.




Laurentiu Istrate, Recognition for Exceptional Achievement. Laurentiu is a family medicine resident in the Cascades East Rural Family Medicine Residency Program in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Hereceived his master’s degree in Health Administration in 2003.




Kathy Kotecki, Ronald P. Sexton Award for Professional Commitment to the University. During her time at MSU Billings as a student Kathy was a Resident Assistant (RA) in Petro Hall. After graduating in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration Marketing Option Kathy spent additional time on the MSU Billings campus in capacities such as: Resident Hall Director, . She received her Master of Education in Interdisciplinary Studies in 2000. Kathy currently serves as the Director of Community Involvement and Student Leadership at MSU Billings and she works closely with many agencies in the Billings area to connect students to their community in meaningful ways.  This award is named for former chancellor Dr. Ronald P. Sexton and will be awarded periodically to alumni who dedicated their professional careers to serving students and the university.


More information about the awards and the Alumni Association can be found at or by contacting Sarah Brockel, Director of Alumni Relations, at 247-5780.