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Parents and Family News: Published by the Parent and Family Association



Wednesday, October 9, 2013




Parent/Family Association Update

Dear Bobcat Families,

We have reached the middle of the seventh week of classes and Homecoming week has just concluded at Montana State.  With all the fun around campus sometimes it is easy to forget that October can also be a tough month. The seasons are changing and it is darker for a longer portion of the day.  October is often a time when some students realize that "the honeymoon is over” and the newness of being a college student is starting to wear off and roommate issues may occur.

Mid-October marks the uphill path toward midterms.  Homework and midterm tests can cause additional stress. For our first year students, October is a time when students may question their place at a University, reevaluate previous relationships, and may rethink majors. It can also be a month where a student's expectations about college life are either confirmed or challenged by the reality of college.

We have a few suggestions that you can use to assist your student. For the ill student, the Student Health Service is fantastic. For stressed students, encourage them to use our Counseling & Psychological Services, Office of Student Success, or Recreational Sports & Fitness Program. If you student just is not making connections, try our Office of Activities & Engagement.

Parent & Family Weekend is a great weekend to reconnect with your students and connect to their campus. Come and join the Bobcat Family as we enjoy milk and cookies with Deans, take in a fall football game, serve the community, and take your Christmas photo with Champ. We'll begin festivities on October 25 and conclude with breakfast on October 27.

Lastly, don’t forget…Send your student a bit of love in the form of a phone call, letter, email, care package, or even a quick text message...your support and encouragement will always be welcomed.


Terra Shewmaker, Lauren Marsh, Allie Hay, and Erin Murdock
Parent & Family Association Staff
(406) 994-7359





A Fresh Perspective
Erin Murdock, Freshman, Student Program Assistant PFA

My name is Erin Murdock and I am a freshman here at Montana State University. Although I moved here from Frederick, Maryland, I am originally from Montana.

Since the start of the school year I have found a few ways to become more familiar with MSU and Bozeman. I recently got a job with the Parent Family Association. Although I have only been working here a few weeks, I’ve enjoyed getting to know the wonderful staff I work with.

I have also taken advantage of the breathtaking views the area has to offer. I’ve gone on several hikes with my new friends that I have made here. My favorites include Lava Lake, Sacagawea and of course hiking the M.

Thus far in the year I have attended a few fun events MSU has put on, including convocation and Legend of the Bobcat. I am looking forward to homecoming weekend seeing as it will be full of exciting festivities. Overall I have loved everything about MSU so far and I can’t wait for the rest of the year!

Group Hike

Erin and friends hike to Lava Lake.

Career Fair and Office of Student Success
Encourage You Student To Attend Our 26th Annual Fall Career Fair

Montana State University will host its 26th Annual Fall Career Fair from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, in the SUB Ballrooms of the MSU campus. The career fair is open to employers, MSU students, and alumni looking for jobs. Typically 1,500 - 1,800 students attend this event!

Even if your student is not yet looking for a professional position, we encourage students to dress up, attend the career fair, practice their interpersonal skills, and consider future career or internship paths.

For more information, click here!

For tips on how your student can prepare for the career fair, click here.

Office of Student Success Logo
Get to know the Office of Student Success

As we begin week 7 of the academic semester, it is time for your student to meet with their personal Success Advisor with the Office of Student Success. The Office of Student Success, located downstairs of the Strand Union Building, can assist your student to develop their "academic success plan" for the Fall semester as well as address any problems they are currently facing. Focused on Freshman and Sophomore success, the office hosts SmartyCats Tutoring (FREE tutoring for ALL classes), Student Success Advising, Financial Education, MSU 101 (a program designed to assist your student with "retooling" their habits to be successful) and more.

Success Tips to consider now:
-Register online for the October 16th MSU 101:
-Visit with their personal Success Advisor to develop their academic success strategy for the Fall semester. Additional assistance for time management, learning "how" to be a college student and more can be discussed with their Advisor.
- Visit with the Office of Financial Education (co-located with the Office of Student Success) to begin thinking about their budgeting and savings strategies for their time at MSU.

Visit the Office of Student Success online at

Residence Life Update
Residence Life Staff

September was a very exciting month in Residence Life!  With all of our residents diving into classes, they still found some time to attend some great events.  The Movie on the Wall was a great success, as students thrilled to Ghostbusters under the stars.  The Roskie Basketball Court was turned into party central with the annual Blacklight Dance, helping students meet new people, make new friends, and get their groove on.  Hannon Hall and the Quads hosted their extra-special Night with Frank event, which gave students a chance to dress up, enjoy a potluck dinner, and dance to the music of Frank Sinatra in the Quads’ courtyard.

Homecoming just concluded, and the residents of all of the halls helped deck their halls in blue and gold for the big game.  Thanksgiving Break is also right around the corner.  Students will be able to work with their Resident Advisors to sign up for housing over the break starting in October.  The residence halls will close at noon on Wednesday, November 27, and will re-open at noon on Sunday, December 1.

Our students took full advantage of these fun events to meet new people and make connections with their fellow students.  As we get further into the Fall 2013 semester, we are excited to see how our residents are growing and settling into life here at Montana State University!

Service Saturday
The MSU Office of Activities and Engagement will host Service Saturday October 12th from 10 a.m. – noon

Service Saturdays connect students with local service projects and is held on the first Saturday of the month (except October). Service Saturdays offer a great way for community members and students to create relationships while working to enhance Bozeman.

Plan to meet at the Ask Us Desk in the Strand Union Building (SUB) fifteen minutes early. Registration starts at 9:30 a.m. Transportation will be provided if project is not within walking distance of MSU. No registration necessary, just come and bring your friends!

October Projects: Irving School Garden, Sacks Thrift Store, QSA Drag Show set up, Halloween Card Making, Gallatin Rest Home, and Habitat for Humanity (longer project from 10 to 2).

Check out the website for specific project details or more information.

Advising & Registration for Spring 2014
Diane Donnelly, Director of the University's Academic Advising Center & The University Studies Program

Diane Donnelly

All continuing students should meet with an academic advisor over the next few weeks to decide which courses to take Spring Semester 2013.  Advising for Spring ’14 officially starts on October 21st, and continuing students will begin registering on October 30th. Once a student has registered, they can adjust their schedule online through the first five days of class in January.

Different colleges and departments use different advising models, so the specific method of advising services will vary. Whatever the method of delivery, the goal is to provide students with the information they need to prepare to register for courses in Spring that will support their success and progress to graduation.

MSU’s new DegreeWorks on-line planning and audit system is a crucial tool for students to use to see how their courses meet degree requirements, as well as determine what future courses are needed. DegreeWorks also has a fabulous tool called: “What If” where students can investigate what courses would be necessary if they wanted to explore a different major or add a minor.  Here’s a link to a video explaining all the features of DegreeWorks and how to access it. Check it out and make sure your student is aware of this useful advising tool!

Finally, here is a list of student responibilities throughout the advising process:

-Make and keep appointments, call if necessary to change
-Log-in to DegreeWorks and become familiar with your academic Program requirements
-Prepare a list of possible courses for Spring 2014
-Bring specific questions to the session
-Be open to suggestions on study habits, academic progress, possible majors, and  career paths
-Consider class times and days for a schedule
-Watch for emails from the department with info on how advising will work in their major. The Department Office for their major is always the best point of contact for advising information for students.





Important Dates

October 10th, 2013

MSU's 26th Annual Fall Career Fair 


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Montana State University
PO Box 174220
Bozeman, MT 57917

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Terra Shewmaker

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