Meet Our Students
Remarkable people study at MSU. From conducting cutting edge biomedical research to making original art to starting a business, MSU students are changing the world while forging their own exciting career paths.
Adeline Celenza grew up in a small town in Wisconsin called Mukwonago. She’s always wanted to be an artist.
After studying film at a community college in Chicago, she came to realize that painting was what she really wanted to do, and applied to several top arts schools. Although she was accepted to the Savannah College of Art and Design and the Chicago Art Institute, she ultimately chose to attend MSU. Bozeman’s tight-knight arts community drew her here.
Her work during an Art History class helped her get an Emerging Scholars grant to attend the Creative Times Summit in New York. There she learned more about how art can inform and support the fight for social justice.
She knows she’ll always work in a creative field, though for now she isn’t sure which one exactly. She’s painting sets and sewing costumes at the Black Box Theater in her spare time, and learning how to make art in other mediums.
Sam Lucas is the founder and president of MSU LaunchCats, a student club that’s like a business with a mission to help startups flourish.
After coming to MSU from Billings, Sam started working at the Blackstone Launchpad, which is a resource that offers coaching and support for entrepreneurs. Inspired by his mentor, Les Craig, he realized that he wanted more opportunities to learn about entrepreneurship. He cofounded LaunchCats to give all the inventors at MSU, regardless of their program of study, an outlet for their ideas.
The club has 13 members. Each member takes an active role in managing different aspects of the organization. They host an event called “Good Company,” in which a real entrepreneur from the Bozeman area presents a problem they are dealing with for the group to solve. Many club members and “Good Company” attendees have gotten career advancement opportunities through the events.
Ezekiel Sharples’ family has lived in Chinook, Mont., for over a century. Chinook has a population less than one-tenth the size of Montana State University. Growing up, he dreamed of becoming a doctor, and he knew that Montana State University could give him the foundation he needed to succeed in medical school.
He didn’t know that he would get the chance to do medical research on a rare genetic disorder called Familial Disautonomia. While majoring in Cell Biology and Neuroscience, he started working in Frances Lefcourt’s lab. The work he did, and the findings and data that came out of his research, are being used as part of the lab’s latest research paper.
Ultimately, his research experience gave him important insights into how medical research is done, and the persistence it requires. Next he plans to enroll in medical school.
Joe Jenson grew up on his family’s cattle ranch, where he learned the joys and challenges of farming. As a child, he was constantly curious about how things work and loved science. By combining the two, he could work on solving the many puzzles farmers and ranchers deal with every day.
Joe worked for two summers at the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station. He worked on a seed strip project, in which he would plant modified barley seeds and monitor their growth to determine the presence or absence of key soil nutrients. His research has taught him the value of an experimental approach to all problems in agriculture. When he started as an MSU student, he chose to major in Biotechnology, which combines his love of science and agriculture.
To Joe, MSU felt like the small, tight-knit community in which he was raised. Surrounded by friends, and with endless opportunities to meet new people, such as the Collegiate FFA club, he quickly found his home on campus.
MSU Sophomore Emily Stimac first realized she wanted to serve others through leadership in high school, when she was elected to her Student Council. At the same time, she was taking a class called “We the People,” during which she studied and debated constitutional principles. This led her to choose Political Science as her course of study.
Although she grew up in Reno, Nevada, both of her parents attended MSU, and instilled in her a love of the outdoors. This combined with a love of skiing and ski racing made MSU the natural choice for her.
As a sophomore, Emily was elected to the Associated Students of Montana State University (ASMSU), as a representative for the College of Letters and Science. She’s especially excited to serve her constituents by advocating for an outdoor bouldering wall, which ASMSU will be installing within the next year.
At the age of 12, Kalena Office realized that, while her parents supported and helped her learn every day, not every child was so lucky. She wanted to make a difference for those children who otherwise might not succeed, so she decided to become a teacher.
Originally from Sacramento, the more she learned about Bozeman and MSU, the more she fell in love with the idea of moving away from the city to the mountains. She knew she wanted to experience something new and different, and that’s what she got when she came to MSU.
Now she’s student teaching 8th grade math and science classes. MSU has prepared her to student teach with both theoretical and hands-on learning experiences. At first, she thought that to be a good teacher, she had to be an imitation of someone else. Now she knows that being a good teacher means being herself in the classroom.