Established in 2005, the Letters & Science Advisory Council is the college's outside advisory group that serves as a "cabinet" for the dean and associate deans. The council is comprised of leaders from the business, civic and academic communities who bring special qualities, expertise and interests applicable to the college's initiatives in areas such as undergraduate education, strategic planning, financial management and development priorities. Current L&S Advisory Council members are listed below.
John Kiely, Chair
John Kiely earned his B.S. degree from MSU in 1974 before going to North Dakota State to earn his doctorate in chemistry. He has held many important positions in the pharmaceutical industry, including Medical Chemist at Warner-Lambert (now part of Pfizer), Associate Director of Chemistry at Isis Pharmaceuticals (antisense drugs), Vice President of Chemistry at Trega Biotech (combinatorial chemistry) and Lion Biosciences (Heidelberg, cholesterol control pathways) and Vice President of Chemistry, Research and Operations at Gryphon Therapeuticals (chemical synthesis of proteins).
Robert Bargatze, an MSU alumnus, is a co-founder of LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals, Inc., acquired in 2012 by Takeda Pharmaceutical. Prior to the acquisition, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of the company. At LigoCyte, he headed the early-stage development of human vaccines, one of which is directed to the prevention of stomach flu caused by noroviruses. This vaccine has matured to clinical stage. He is also a founding member of the Montana BioScience Alliance, and served as chairman of the Alliance's board. He is currently a member of the Alliance's board of directors.
Michael Beehler was a professor in MSU's Department of English from 1985 to 2009, and served as chair of the department from 2002 to 2006. His scholarly fields are modern literature and literary theory, with particular attention to the relation of ethics to literary theory. He was also known for his work on architecture and literature. His scholarly activities include a book, T. S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, and the Discourses of Difference, along with dozens of articles, review essays and presentations. Throughout his career, Dr. Beehler was an inspiring teacher, winning the President's Excellence in Teaching Award in 2003.
A native of southwest Montana, Ingrid Degreef is an Engineering Manager at Lockheed Martin’s Space Systems Division in Denver, Colorado. A resident of Centennial, Colorado, she has been involved in a variety of youth enrichment programs such as Girl Scouts, FIRST Robotics, and reading programs with the Mile High United Way. She is currently a board member for the Colorado Children's Chorale.
Marshall Gingery received two B.S. degrees, one in earth science and the other in geography, from MSU in 1962 and 1963. He enjoyed a successful 31-year career with the Department of the Interior, holding various management positions with the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service across the country. He served in several senior management positions in Washington, D.C., as a Regional Director with the Department of the Interior, and his final tenure of ten years was as the Assistant Superintendent, Science, Resource Management, and Planning of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, from which he retired in 1994.
In 2013, Michelle Larson became the president and CEO of the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. A native of Anchorage, Alaska, Larson received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in physics from MSU. Her postdoctoral work in high-energy astrophysics was completed at the California Institute of Technology. Larson previously served as vice provost and professor of physics at Utah State University, and before that was the deputy director of the Center for Gravitational Wave Physics at Pennsylvania State University. She also served as the deputy director of NASA’s Montana Space Grant Consortium where she coordinated research and education activities with the faculty and students at 24 affiliate campuses and partners.
Ariana Paliobagis is the owner of the Country Bookshelf in downtown Bozeman. She is a Montana native who earned both a B.A. and
M.A. in English from MSU's Department of English. In 2008 she received the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant award from the College of Letters and Science. She also served as a non-tenure track instructor in the Department of English for several years.
Gary L. Popiel, CLU, ChFC received his business degree from MSU in 1968. He is especially proud of earning a full-ride football scholarship as a "walk-on," winning 3 Big Sky Championships, beating the Grizzlies all 4 years, and marrying the Homecoming Queen, Vicki Peterson, his wife for the last 45 years. Gary entered the Life Insurance business in April of 1969. After 2 years as an agent, Gary started a career as an "Agency Builder." Over the next 39 years, he built large, successful agencies for Farm Bureau Insurance, Massachusetts Mutual and Western States Insurance. Gary has spent many years as an advocate for those suffering from mental illness. He served 7 years on the Governor's Mental Health Oversight and Advisor Council, Montana's Youth and Young Adult Suicide Task Force, and as an advocate within the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). He is currently president of NAMI Montana.
Betsy Gaines Quammen is a Ph.D. candidate in Environmental History at Montana State University. In 2003, she founded The Tributary Fund, an organization that built bridges between science, religious and community leaders. She served as the Executive Director until 2013, with projects taking her throughout the U.S. and to Italy, England, Kenya, Mongolia and Bhutan to assist religious leaders in threatened species protection. Betsy earned her M.S. from the University of Montana in Environmental Studies in 1995 and served on the national board of directors of the Sierra Club from 1997 to 2000. She worked as the Outreach Director for both the Alliance for the Wild Rockies and American Wildlands. She served as Director of Development for Montana State University's College of Letters and Science, with priority emphasis on funding and promoting the Native American Studies (Katz) and the Wallace Stegner Chairs. She is a 2014 recipient of the Charles Redd Fellowship at Brigham Young University.
Bradley Snow is the great-grandson of the late Burton K. Wheeler, who served as U.S. Senator from Montana from 1923 to 1947. In 2012, Bradley was one of the first students to earn a Ph.D. in a humanities discipline from MSU. Along with Diane Smith, he received a Ph.D. in American History from the Department of History and Philosophy. He currently serves as the Vice Chair of the School District Board in Livingston, Montana. He is also currently chair of the Board of Directors for the Burton K. Wheeler Center for Public Policy in Bozeman.
Gary Stoner is a Montana native and professor emeritus in the Department of Internal Medicine at Ohio State University where he has based his studies of chemical carcinogenesis and cancer chemoprevention for more than 30 years. He is particularly recognized for his identification of chemical compounds, often natural products derived from common foodstuffs, which prevent cancer in the esophagus and colon. The results of his research have been documented in more than 300 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2009, Dr. Stoner received the MSU Alumni Achievement Award from the MSU Alumni Foundation and in 2010 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from MSU. Upon retiring, he returned to Montana to ranch outside Amsterdam.
Bill Yellowtail grew up on his family's cattle ranch on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana. Holding a degree in geography from Dartmouth College, he served as Regional Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during the Clinton administration, with responsibility for six western states and 27 Indian Tribes. He was appointed Katz Professor of Native American Studies at MSU in 2006, and subsequently served MSU as Director of Tribal Partnerships. He has served on the Boards of Directors of Humanities Montana, the Burton K. Wheeler Center and the National Audubon Society.