Meet Our Team
Carina Beck, Ed.D.
Erin McCormick, M.Ed.
Associate Director, Career, Internship & Student Employment Services
Erin has been at MSU since 2004 serving in various positions in another office on campus before joining the team in Career & Internship Services in 2008. She has a B.S. in Psychology from Montana State University and a Master’s of Education in Student Affairs, also from MSU. In her current role, Erin is responsible for the day-to-day operation of Career & Internship Services and oversees the ChampChange program.
Caressa Bailey Sack, B.S., DWS, CSW
Associate Director, Office of Student Success
For the past 15 years, Caressa has gained experience in project and business management, contract negotiation, data analysis, marketing and education. Originally from Bozeman, Caressa received her B.S. in Psychology from MSU. Caressa also studied viticulture and enology. She earned her DWS, CSW and became a WSET Certified APP (Approved Program Provider) and Educator. Caressa also founded her own wine education and consulting business. Caressa has worked for Moet Hennessy and became the National Training and Education Manager for DIAGEO, a global supplier and innovator. At DIAGEO, Caressa managed DIAGEO Trade Education for the Eastern US and a team of 60 distributor leads. Caressa has also managed the Complex Deal Training program for ORACLE, served on ORACLE’s project management team and served as an auditor for ORACLE Cloud contracts. Caressa is Tiny Habits Coach Certified, Mental Health First Aid Certified and has completed Lean Six Sigma and Kaizen Project Management Training. Caressa is pursuing a master's in Public Administration from Montana State.
Lori Oakley, M.S.
Lori joined the Office of Student Success is 2012 and began working as the Systems Manager and Budget Analyst for the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success the following year. She has her B.S. and Master’s in Human Resource Management both from Purdue University. She supports all of the offices that fall under the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success with data analytics, metrics, Human Resources, budgeting, computer systems and our inhouse CRM.
Laura Merante, B.A.
Laura joined the Systems Management Team at the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success in January 2016. She graduated from the University of Colorado with a B.A. in Art History. She enjoys everything the Montana outdoors has to offer, especially when joined by her family and her dogs!
Sarah Blaser, B.S.
Sarah provides communications for the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success through coordination with our team of skilled student graphic designers and program managers within the office. Sarah has a B.S. in Food and Nutrition from Montana State University and completed her dietetic internship through Utah State University. She enjoys taking walks with her husband, watching Netflix, and exploring Bozeman and the great outdoors!
Office of Student Success
Amy Lincoln, Ph.D.
Amy joined the Allen Yarnell Office of Student Success in the summer of 2017. She received her B.S. and M.S. in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Washington. Amy’s clinical background included working with a diversity of clients struggling with speech, language and developmental disabilities in a private practice setting. Her clinical specialty in Speech Language Pathology was working with school-aged students with language based learning disabilities including reading, writing and executive processing challenges. Amy’s love of research lead her to pursue her PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience, focusing on reading, memory and learning, at the University of California, Davis. Throughout her career paths as a clinician, researcher and advisor, Amy is driven with a passion for supporting the success of struggling and underserved students. Amy and her family moved to Bozeman in 2008. In addition to a love for travel, which took the family overseas for several years, she enjoys summer hiking and winter skiing here in Montana with her husband, sons and golden retriever.
Kristina Allison, M.S.W.
MSU Hilleman Scholars Scholar Success Coordinator
Kristina has been working in the field of education for nearly 15 years in a variety of capacities. She has taught English to international students, worked in learning and development in the business sector, developed educational materials for financial professionals, managed and edited online learning modules, and served as the liaison between parents and schools. She has also lived and worked overseas in an international organization and loves everything about learning and teaching languages.
Outside of work, Kristina looks for chances to get outside: running, biking, skiing, snowboarding, dining alfresco - if it’s outside, she’ll happily do it! She also spends a good portion of her downtime trying to wear out two dogs while keeping up with two kids.
Nicki Jimenez, B.A.
Student Success Advisor
Nicki joined the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success in Fall 2018. She originally hails from Massachusetts and earned her B.A. in Environmental Studies from Denison University in Ohio. After graduating, she served as a FoodCorps member in Ronan, MT on the Flathead Reservation. As the FoodCorps Fellow in Arizona, Nicki led a team of service members connecting kids to healthy food in schools. She returned to Montana and worked at Ronan School District directing after school and summer programs for K-12 students, coordinating adult education for community members, and teaching elementary and middle school students. Nicki’s goal is to help students be better learners so they can get the most out of their college education. When she’s not at work, you can find Nicki hiking with her wildflower field guide, biking country roads, skiing in the mountains, cooking with friends, and enjoying the beauty of Montana.
Kenny Bies, M.Ed.
MSU Hilleman Scholars Success Advisor
Kenny joined the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success in the summer of 2019. Growing up on the land that his grandparents (Harry and Pansie Squires) homesteaded in 1916, south of Opheim, Montana, he learned valuable life lessons in perseverance, purpose and possibilities. His Montana roots are helping to guide his life story. Graduating from Montana State University in 1985 (after stints working for Burlington Northern Railroad, and Conoco Oil Company) he has degrees in Guidance Counseling, Elementary Education and Physical Education. Teaching, coaching and serving as a counselor in the Bozeman Public Schools for 28 years after starting his teaching career in Great Falls, he feels most at home in Bozeman (Flathead Lake is a close second!). He and his wife, Christie (Registered Nurse at Bozeman Health), are most proud of their 2 sons. Kenny is a big fan of humans and everything MSU! Go Bobcats! He likes spending time with friends and family boating on Montana lakes and skiing and hiking in the Montana mountains. He is excited to be a part of the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success.
Amy Roach, B.A.
Program Manger, Student Learning Management
Amy grew up in eastern Montana and earned a bachelor’s degree in American studies from Pomona College in Claremont, California. She was a music publicist in Aspen and a museum curator in Billings. She got her start in journalism as the host of an interview program on Yellowstone Public Radio. In 1997 she moved to Washington, DC, where she worked for National Public Radio, National Geographic, and C-SPAN. She enjoys reading, movies, and travel. (To date she has visited 23 countries, 4 continents, and 49 states.) Since her return to the Big Sky in 2017, she has celebrated Montana’s extraordinary beauty by hiking, biking, and attempting to stay upright on skis.
Janet Barkow, M.A.
Student Success Advisor
Janet received a B.S. in Psychology from Colorado State University and a M.A. in Education from The University of Colorado. She taught Elementary Education for 14 years in Broomfield, Colorado. In 2003, Janet and her family reconnected with their Montana roots and moved to Bozeman. In Bozeman, Janet has worked at REI, taught Nordic Ski Clinics and been a K-12 Substitute School Teacher, in addition to working one on one with students as a Success Advisor.
William Kuba, Ed.D.
Student Success Advisor
Bill has over 30 years of student affairs, enrollment management, and academic experience at all levels in education, in both the proprietary and non-profit environments. Before going into semi-retirement he was an Asst. Professor and Department Head of Physical Education at a small Iowa University and a member of the State of Iowa’s K-12 Physical Education curriculum redesign team. Currently, he holds an IRB / Jeanne Cleary Act Compliance Certification and Montana Teaching Credentials for K-12 Health Enhancement. He has an Ed.D. from Montana State University – Bozeman, MA in Teaching from Whitworth College, and a BA from Tabor College.
Nina Matos, M.Ed.
Student Success Advisor
Nina has been a member of the student success team as an advisor since its inception in 2011. She is a native of New York City where she graduated from Lehman College and began her teaching career as a teacher of bilingual education. She and her husband moved to Montana after spending some time in Canada backpacking in the Canadian Rockies and falling in love with the mountains and the great outdoors. Nina taught in Libby, Montana for ten years before moving to Bozeman. She completed her teaching career after working in the Manhattan School district for 19 years, teaching Kindergarten, second grade and coordinating/facilitating enrichment activities for identified gifted/talented students. During that time, Nina received a master of education degree from Leslie University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After retiring from public education Nina spent time volunteering as a CAP mentor for THRIVE, at the Museum of the Rockies as a docent and at the Emerson Cultural Center. Nina’s lifelong dedication to education has been guided by the belief that a good education is the foundation for a successful life.
Jennifer Grahl Miller, B.S.
Jennifer joined the Allen Yarnell Office of Student Success in the summer of 2018. She is a proud native of Wisconsin and graduated from Winona State University with a B.S in Elementary Education and Fine Arts. After college, she joined AmeriCorps and worked to implement service learning into the curriculum in Seattle schools. She then began working in higher education, first as an adviser at The Art Institute of Seattle, and later at the University of Washington in The School of Music. Jennifer fell in love with Bozeman after spending a summer in the Big Timber area, and when her husband was offered a job in the area, jumped at the chance to move to their family to Bozeman. Jennifer, her husband, and her daughter love the outdoors and are excited to explore all that Montana has to offer. Jennifer feels fortunate to be at MSU and able to do what she loves most -- working and connecting with students and guiding them towards their educational and life goals.
Office of Financial Education
Keith Hamburg, B.A.
Senior Financial Coach
Keith has been an active member of Montana State & the Bozeman community since 1994. Prior to working as an Adjunct Professor for Gallatin College at MSU & working in the Office of Financial Education, Keith owned & operated his own business for 21 years. Keith's goal is to help Montana State students in any way possible, starting with financial education.
Jennifer White-Dobbs, M.A.
Jennifer joined AYCSS in 2019. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Maine, Orono and a Masters Degree in Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program in Cooperstown, New York. Jennifer has over 25 years of experience working in museum education and collections at several museums in New England. She has experience creating programs for a wide range of audiences and has worked extensively developing and managing internship programs for college and high school students. She moved to Bozeman in 2018 with her husband, two sons, and dog to enjoy the beautiful outdoor lifestyle. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, skiing, horseback riding, and exploring with her family.
Irene Reynolds, M.Ed.
Irene has been able to work at the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success previously as a Hilleman Scholars Success Advisor and now as a Financial Coach. She has a B.A. from Gonzaga University and is an ardent Zag basketball fan! She received her M.Ed in Counseling from MSU-Northern. The first part of her career was spent in Montana as a teacher and school counselor. The last 20 years she was a higher education advisor in Washington state. Born in Glendive and raised in Helena, Irene is happy to be back in Montana. She loves spending time with her husband, adult children and lovely grandchildren and enjoys being a CAP Mentor for Thrive.
Career, Internship and Student Employment Services
Lisa Yarnell, M.A.
Lisa joined the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success in the summer of 2017 as the Employer Relations Manager. She holds a B.F.A. in Fine Arts from Tufts University and an M.A. in Photographic Preservation and Collections Management from Ryerson University. In her free time, Lisa enjoys reading, camping and spending time with her dog.
Steve Enoch, M.A.
Steve joined Career Services in August, 2013 after retiring as superintendent of schools for 18 years, having served both small rural districts and large urban districts. Steve started his career as an elementary teacher, later serving as principal at elementary, middle and high school levels before becoming superintendent. He has also taught educational leadership courses at the graduate school level and has been published nationally on several occasions. He earned a B.A. degree from the University of La Verne, a Master's degree from California State University, Fullerton, and has done additional advanced study at Claremont Graduate school. In his "semi-retired" life he enjoys doing professional writing, hiking and biking, travel with his wife, and activities with children and grandchildren.
Meg McConnaughy, M.Ed.
A graduate of Arizona State University’s West campus, Meg taught adult education programs for three years before becoming a career advisor at ASU. During her six-year tenure in Career Services and Personal Counseling, she researched and delivered over 60 presentations each semester to students, staff and community members. Meg served as a faculty member in ASU’s Communication Studies program where she started the Oral History and Storytelling course, and was the founding Director for the Communication Assessment and Learning Lab. In addition to teaching graduate courses at Northern Arizona University and undergraduate classes for Maricopa Community Colleges, Meg served frequently as a keynote speaker for various events and has been awarded multiple grants for the creation of a career exploration course and for instructional development and support. Meg served as the faculty advisor to the Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity, was a TRIO mentor, an ASU Senior Technology Fellow, and a member of the Campus Environment Committee. She retired in 2011 but found she missed the energy and excitement of working with students, and joined Montana State University in 2019.
Paula Mozen, M.F.A.
Paula Mozen holds a Master of Fine Arts in Film from San Francisco State University. She is an Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker, educator, and PBS consultant and has served on the film faculties at Towson University in Baltimore, San Francisco State University and MSU. Her highly acclaimed films are currently distributed nationally and internationally to over 6,000 universities, high schools, public libraries, hospitals, medical schools, community and public health departments. She loves career coaching and advocating for MSU students to achieve their academic and personal goals. Given any excuse, she will get outside to go play in the snow, rock and waters in the mountains surrounding Bozeman.
Cathy Nolan, M.Ed.
Cathy earned her M.A. in Administration, Supervision, and Curriculum Development from the University of Colorado, and her B.A. in Education from Ohio Wesleyan University. Prior to moving to Bozeman in the spring of 2014, she worked as an independent consultant with state and federal grants related to increasing the graduation rate/decreasing the dropout rate of designated Colorado high schools. Prior to that role, Cathy spent 25 years in administration at the secondary level in the public school system in Colorado. From 2002-2011, she served as a high school principal in a 2100 student school in the Adams Twelve Five Star School District. Cathy’s goal is to effectively assist MSU students in the transition from student life to career life.
Rachel Randash, B.S.
Rachel is a graduate of Montana State University with a double major in Psychology and Spanish. Following graduation she lived in Las Vegas and Denver working in corporate sales and marketing for telecom and software companies such as SmartCity Networks, TelePacific Communications, Avaya and CIBER. Rachel's marketing career also includes working at an advertising agency assisting projects for clients such as Coors Light and Procter and Gamble. With a desire to move back to Montana, Rachel and her husband returned to open a business and raise their two sons. Rachel seeks to teach students how to confidently market themselves to potential employers or graduate schools. In her spare time, Rachel is also a Sorority Advisor and she enjoys hiking and being outdoors.
Amy Stefan, B.A.
Amy holds a degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Minnesota. She has worked as a designer and project manager for large multi-disciplinary firms in Minneapolis and London prior to moving to Montana where she works as a consulting landscape architect. She has been involved in many Bozeman K-12 programs including; Imagination Destination, Special Olympics and youth sports. Amy loves being accessible to students and working with them to define their story as a resilient plan of who they are and where they are going. Being a transplant to Montana, she jumps at the chance to explore new places in the mountains for running, skiing and biking with family and friends or in quieter moments she is pursuing the 'art of knitting.
Sarah began as a Career Coach in 2017 and is passionate about supporting students and alumni as they discern and explore their academic and professional interests. She hails from North Dakota, but most recently lived in Colorado where she worked at a small, liberal arts university directing Career Services and Community Engagement. She holds a MS in Educational Leadership from Miami University in Ohio, and a BA in Sociology and Management from Luther College in Iowa. She moved to Montana with her partner and daughter to be closer to family. Outside of work you might find her enjoying quality time with family and friends, hiking, camping, reading, or attempting a DIY project.
Marilyn Cuthill, M.Ed.
Marilyn joined the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success in January 2016. She received a B.S. degree in Wildlife Ecology and a M.S. in Education both from Montana State University. Marilyn has spent her professional career in business, cougar research and developing educational ecology programs in Mongolia and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. It is with sincere conviction that Marilyn aspires to assist students to tap into and pursue their dreams. She loves spending time with her family and enjoys gardening, hiking, fishing, bluegrass music and writing.
Jacqueline Stearns, B.S.
Jacquie was born and raised in Boise, Idaho and moved to Bozeman in 2011. After three years of working as a project manager in the construction industry, she returned to MSU to complete her final two semesters. Jacquie graduated in December 2018 with a B.S. in Economics and Business Administration. As a returning student herself, she is passionate in assisting other returning students through the exciting journey to earn their degree. Outside of work, Jacquie enjoys archery, yoga, reading, needlepoint, and spending time with her partner and three dogs.