Keith  Hamburg

Allen Yarnell Center, MSU-Bozeman

The following is a collection of nomination letters for Keith Hamburg.

Keith is always lending a smiling face and helpful insight into any issue you have. As a Hilleman scholar, he has been key in providing me with the best and most useful knowledge regarding my financial situation. Keith is an incredible mentor and not too bad of a comedian. I am very pleased to have Keith as part of my academic success.

Nickolas Slabodnik

1. Keith Hamburg is an absolutely amazing faculty member at MSU. He has gone above and beyond in so many ways. He has assisted me with my financial aid, as well as helped me get opportunities for the Positive Youth Development Club to get connected with the community. Every single time I need him he is so incredibly friendly and goes out of his way to check in with me. Everyone I have spoken with about Keith Hamburg has said the exact same thing. He cares greatly about the students of MSU and will do anything within his power to assist them.

2. Keith always makes sure to check in with every individual that has seen him in his office over the course of the years. Like stated above, he has connected my club with valuable community resources. He also has connected me and other students with important resources at MSU and in the community.

3. Keith inspires me through his genuine care for every individual he interacts with. He goes out of his way to help each student to his best capacity. If this means that he has to spend extra time on something that isn't quite in the financial education department, he will do it. I look forward to seeing him most days, as he truly cares about all of the students' well-being at MSU.

Kaitlin McCormack

Keith Hamburg the senior financial coach at the Office of Financial Education and is a pivotal piece to our community. Keith goes out of his way to ensure that students are being successful and make safe decisions when it comes to finances. Even when that requires him to schedule appointments spanning from early in the morning into the evening, Keith can be found with his office light on helping a student. Last year I was falling behind with student fees. I had taken out two semester payment plans and was looking like I was going to need to drop-out. Keith calmly looked over my budget with me and helped me plan for the coming semesters and assured me that I was going to be fine. Here I am graduating in May and it's efforts like his that keeps students like me here and continuing on with their higher education.

Tad Harnett

Keith Hamburg has always gone above and beyond to serve the students here at MSU. He is kind, helpful, and knowledgeable. Keith has done so much to help students with the financial questions and concerns. Keith has personally helped me figure out how I would afford to continue to pay for and attend school. Keith is the Senior Financial Coach in the Office of Financial Education and he sees (and helps!) thousands of students a semester with anything from Scholarship Applications to Student Loans. Keith makes the workplace a happy place to be and he inspires me to show up every day and do my very best to help students succeed. Keith is PURE GOLD!

Kimberly Biere

Keith is honestly one of the best people I've ever met. He goes above and beyond to make sure that students are knowledgeable about their finances. Students are always confident when they leave his office because he knows what his is talking about and how to make this information make sense to us college students.
Outside of a regular work week, Keith is always making sure that he is supporting the students of the school, whether it be an athletic event or not. He makes sure that all students know that they are appreciated. I don't know Keith outside of work but based on his personality I assume he does what he can to positively influence the community.
Keith has helped me understand what scholarships are available for me, and he is also there for me when I need someone to talk to. He has helped me understand that school is important, but so is socializing and making friends. Because of this, I've made friendships that I hope will last a lifetime. I aspire to be as kind and compassionate as Keith.

Jada Knight

Keith provides one of, if not the warmest and most welcoming environments on campus. From greeting you with a smile to signing you off with a firm handshake, Keith lights hope in those downtrodden by the scary world of finances in college. Keith takes his work very serious with a personable flare that can only come from someone who is master of their field. Keith has shown dedication to his workday in and day out, making himself available and willing to help with anything that could be worrying you. From my first moments on campus, Keith helped me to understand the ins and outs of student loans, building credit, and even budgeting for study abroad. Keith is an unsung hero to the students and an all-around all-star of the Montana State team.

Uriah Birchmier

I worked with Keith in the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success. Not only was he an incredible colleague, but he was/is an exceptional mentor. I am in my senior year of college and he always makes time for me to ask any questions about financial decisions or just general advice. He has this type of relationship with every student that seeks in counsel and always makes time in his day for people, no matter how packed his day is. I have never seen someone move things around in his work and personal life to help those in need like Keith does. His entire persona is uplifting and encouraging. I believe that Keith is truly one of the most essential resources on this MSU campus. He advises current students, alumni, parents, and faculty every day. He truly cares about the situations people are in on this campus and goes out of his way to help them find solutions. Keith has demonstrated to me what it means to be selfless and positive to every person he encounters. He approaches every situation with genuine concern and intentionality. As an education student, I have come to realize that I want to have the same impact on people around me as Keith does. While working with him, he made me feel like I had value and purpose in the work I was doing. He also encouraged me to keep working hard, and that encouragement made all the difference.

Alicia Benson

Keith Hamburg is a name known well on campus, both with students and co-workers. He routinely will go out of his way to help anyone with a question or concern. There are times that Keith's schedule will be completely full, yet he finds the time to meet with anyone that comes in asking for him by name. I think of Keith Hamburg when anyone mentions Pure Gold!

Todd Bucher

I work with Keith and anytime anyone needs a Financial Education Appointment I always try to schedule them with him because they always seem to have exactly what they need to succeed. He is always so cheerful and says hello anytime he comes in the office.

Andrea Porch

I work with Keith and he is just someone always willing to help. Every time a student comes in for financial education they ask for Keith because he genuinely cares and wants the best for every student he meets. I have met with him personally about FAFSA and he was so helpful and made sure to follow up with me. He deserves to be recognized for what he does and the calm, outgoing environment he surrounds us students with.

Ryen Olson

Keith never hesitates to help students. He provides excellent education about finances and takes the time to walk you through each step one-on-one. He has personally helped me and many of my friends with things like budgeting and learning about loans.

Drew Lashly

Keith is a Senior Financial Coach within the Office of Financial Education who helps many, many students each year to finance their education. When I was an undergraduate, Keith helped me immensely with student loans, scholarships and credit. Now that we are colleagues, I see the sheer volume of students he comforts and empowers each day to make financial decisions and take control of their finances.

He is level-headed, funny, and kind - students love him! MSU is very lucky to have a dedicated employee who works as hard as Keith Hamburg.

Sarah St Clair

Keith Hamburg has helped me in many ways in my time in college. He has gone above and beyond the call of duty by making time to see me even when he had a busy schedule. Ensuring that I had everything I needed to feel comfortable at school and answering all of my many questions. Keith has many positive contributions to the community by ensuring many students like myself feel they have someone to come to when they are unsure of what to do. He has helped me especially to feel better about not only my financial capability of going to school but also checked in with me about my everyday life. He makes college much less stressful and helped me to understand all I needed to know about the coming years.
Keith has inspired me by making some of the biggest problems I’ve had much more manageable. He has put many intimidating concepts of college into perspective and made them understandable. Overall, Keith is a valued faculty member that without, I wouldn’t feel as comfortable at MSU. He has made the journey into college much less intimidating and inspires me to reach to new heights by being comfortable in my college experience.
-Thank you, Keith, for being a Pure Gold member of Montana State University!

Sarah Tripp




Nominated by Tad Harnett; Received award on December 2, 2019

Bill Stadwiser

Montana INBRE, MSU-Bozeman

Not a day goes by that Bill Stadwiser does not offer to help others or volunteer to take on a task to save them time. Despite his own heavy workload, he is quick to serve in any ways he can, and he handles all the work he does with expertise, grace, and efficiency.

Bill is the epitome of a team player. He is generous with others, positive and encouraging, and absolutely dedicated to doing a great job. He is a fantastic notetaker for meetings and a talented synthesizer of goals, objectives, and action items. He is on the YOUR and NCUR Steering Committees, and, true to his nature, he volunteers to help as often as he can.

Bill"s generosity and genuine desire to help others and pitch in wherever necessary, while at the same time completing his own work expertly, inspire me to be more generous and positive in our workplace. He is a creative, thoughtful, giving team member who uplifts those around him. He has truly made a difference in Montana INBRE and we are deeply grateful for and appreciative of the person he is and the many talents he shares with our program and university.
Nominated by Ann Bertagnolli; Received award on November 20, 2019

Mary  Pizzini

Nursing, MSU-Northern

Mary Pizzini has gone above and beyond in providing quality education to the nursing students at MSU Northern. She brings a sort of excitement and fascination to our classroom. She has a passion to share her knowledge of nursing with students. She is extremely supportive of MSU Northern as a whole, for example she and her husband have hosted an out of state athlete every year for over 20 years. She provides these students with home cooked meals, laundry services, and an overall mentorship. She has also worked as a registered nurse for 37 years. She is always sure to invite students on her weekly hikes to provide an outlet for stress relief during tough academic weeks. Mary regularly checks in with her students mental and physical health and is always available for students to reach out to if they need help with anything, school related or not. Mrs. Pizzini has been more than an inspiration to students in their endeavors to become nurses. As I asked my classmates for positive words regarding Mrs. Pizzini, comments such as "she's the best" and "she's an angel" continued to be offered. She embodies a passionate and ambitious nurse, and is a positive aspect to this program. She is someone I am motivated to symbolize in my own career as a nurse. I believe that Mary Pizzini is a "golden" choice for a Pure Gold nomination and I am pleasured to nominate her for such.
Nominated by Blair Tymchuk ; Received award on November 13, 2019

Jenna Andujar

Radiologic Technology, MSU-Billings

It is my pleasure and honor to nominate Jenna Andujar for the Pure Gold award.

I am excited to nominate Jenna Andujar for the Pure Gold Award. Jenna started her teaching career with MSUB College of Technology, now City College, as a part time clinical instructor in our Radiologic Technology Program while she worked fulltime at a Billings hospital in the radiology department. Her dedication to students and the program success was very clear early in her career. Her part time clinical position evolved to a classroom instructor, while continuing her clinical work with students. In that time, she completed her B.S. degree and is now a 1.0FTE faculty member.

As an instructor she has been critical to the many successes of City College's Radiologic Technology/Ultrasound programs. Jenna is highly intelligent, motivated, insightful, and personable - all characteristics which have contributed to her excellence as an instructor.

Over the years, Jenna has demonstrated an exceptional ability to quickly and easily grasp highly complex issues which has enabled her to develop and teach a very well thought out program. Additionally, she regularly collaborates on course design with other faculty members in order to enhance her programs. These collaborations have dramatically improved student performance. Additionally, Jenna has been a key player in her program's assessment and accreditation program. Thanks to her tireless efforts, our Radiologic Technology and Ultrasound programs have never been better prepared for accreditation. She seeks out clinical sites, teaches, guides, comforts and encourages her students and exhibits a high level of professionalism in all she does.

Jenna's appearance, professionalism, and character have always been outstanding and reflect well on this institution. She instills in her students the importance of having passion about everything they learn and her students love her teaching style.
Jenna has been a model faculty member who has worked well with students both as an instructor and mentor. Her professionalism and character are outstanding and have reflected well on this institution during her many contacts with the community and other colleges. In my opinion, Jenna will continue to excel at anything she attempts and it is with complete confidence that I recommend her for this honor. She is gold for City College MSUB.

Nominated by Sheri Steiner; Received award on November 6, 2019

Lisa Perry

American Indian/Alaska Native student Success, MSU-Bozeman

Lisa Perry is an enrolled member of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe on the Wind River Indian Reservation and was born and raised in Fort Washakie, Wyoming. Lisa received her degree in Renewable Resources from the University of Wyoming in 2006 and her Master of Business Administration from Grand Canyon University in 2012.

As the Director of the American Indian/Alaska Native Student Success Center in the Native American Studies department, Lisa is dedicated to being an advocate and supporter of all Native American Students. Ms. Perry assists students needing and seeking support to become academically and personally successful at Montana State University. Lisa is committed and passionate about helping American Indian/Alaska Native students in all majors pursuing academic success through networking, creating a supportive community and connecting students to resources.

Lisa goes above and beyond her role as the Director and helps students in any situation. Recently, she spent the day at the hospital with a student who was ill and did not have any family in town but took it upon herself to give emotional support. It gave the student a sense of caring with encouragement to continue her educational responsibilities. Supporting and encouraging her staff; along with creating a healthy, supportive and academic environment to the department is very important to Lisa. Family and culture for her staff and students are continuously encouraged in the center to make it a welcoming place for all.


Nominated by:
Rita Sand
Monti Pavatea
Nick Ross Dick

Nominated by Rita Sand; Received award on October 30, 2019

Michael Becker

University Communications, MSU-Bozeman

Out of all of the staff members and outside consultants and engineers who were onsite after the South Gym collapsed, Mike Becker out worked all of them. Mike's steadfast demeanor, work ethic and common sense was critical for MSU success in the immediacy after the collapse. His writing acumen and ability to craft messages for the media very quickly helped MSU regain the public trust. This was especially important for the prospective students still being recruited to MSU, and the parents of our current students who were in a panic all over the country.

Mike is an incredible partner on campus, and has been a major addition to our team that works to respond during campus emergencies. He's my leading recommendation for MSU Pure Gold.
Nominated by Matthew Caires; Received award on October 23, 2019

Monique Hill

Gina Himes Boor & Vickie Bakker, MSU-Bozeman

This is a co-nomination from Gina Himes Boor and Vickie Bakker, both assistant research professors in the Ecology Department.

We are pleased to nominate Monique Hill for Pure Gold recognition. As research professors, we rely entirely on grants to fund our research and our salaries. The funding stream consists of ever-changing combinations of large and small grants, each with different accounting requirements. Given how critical our grants are to our livelihoods, grant accounting might be associated with some level of anxiety. Might be, except that we have Monique as our budget analyst.

Monique is a meticulous accountant and an innate problem-solver who consistently goes above and beyond in helping us manage our complex funding streams with a style that is both thoughtful and thorough. Our individual appreciation for Monique deepened when, as colleagues, we happened upon the topic of grant administration and realized we were both part of the Monique Hill appreciation club and that she must provide this top-notch service to all her assigned faculty. We have both found that any time we email her with questions or problems, she responds quickly and addresses our issues efficiently and comprehensively. Often, she emails us anticipating a problem (and a solution) before we even realize there's a pending issue. When we've made a mistake, she's ever-gracious and kind even if it requires extra work on her part. If we encounter a problem that can't be resolved in her office, she will make phone calls or send emails to other offices to figure out the bottleneck, facilitate a solution, or just make sure we know what's going on.

In all cases, she's an excellent communicator, providing rare peace of mind in the "soft-money shuffle" and allowing us to focus more on our research and less on administrative issues. Thank you, Monique, for making our work lives better and easier!!

Nominated by Gina HImes Boor; Received award on October 17, 2019

Kelsie Bourque

Recreational Sports and Fitness Staff, MSU-Bozeman

It is my pleasure to nominate Kelsie Bourque for the Pure gold award.

Kelsie went above and beyond to serve the MSU community after the closure of the Marga Hosaeus Fitness Center due to collapsed roofs. She worked through hundreds of emails and fielded many MSU community questions with patience and professionalism as the Fitness center worked towards refunds, returning locker contents, and setting up alternate workout areas. Her composure during this tense period exemplified the fitness center's Vision and Mission Statements.

She has inspired me to stay positive and motivated during challenging times and keep the wellbeing of the MSU student and employee community in mind at all times.

For these reasons I would like to nominate Kelsie for the Pure Gold award.
Nominated by Nicholas Fox; Received award on October 9, 2019

Jennifer  Williams

UHP Dental Services, MSU-Bozeman

Jenni routinely goes above and beyond her duties as the receptionist/dental records manager at the dental clinic. She consistently goes the extra mile to make sure our patients are taken care of by helping them to submit insurance claims or by taking the extra time to chat with them to put them at ease before and after their appointments. In addition, she is ALWAYS willing to help out her co-workers in any way she can. It's a pleasure to have such an upbeat reliable person at our office, as it wouldn't run the same without her!
Nominated by Greg Swica; Received award on October 2, 2019

Ken Shelley

University Printing, MSU-Bozeman

Anyone who has met Ken in his workplace knows he's a fan of minions; clever minion-themed memes surround his main computer at University Printing, which is where small and large campus print jobs land every day. What many may not know about Ken is that he embodies many of MSU's ideals in terms of access and excellence.

He works with customers to make sure they obtain the highest quality product at an appropriate price-point. For example, some time ago he took one look at our Soils Lab Manual PDF I'd emailed him and gently noted that I had inexpertly copied the barcode onto the last page. If that page were to be ripped from the rest of the manual (hopefully in a 3-ring notebook), the students would lose access to the rubrics printed on the next-to-last page. He proposed adding blank pages into the document to guard against this. (Good thing he's on my team.)

This level of attention to detail was also reinforced when I offered one year to assist with production of 250 copies of the plastic-sleeve-wrapped, three-hole-punched document. I (again inexpertly) began stuffing warm manuals into their plastic bags; I started to feel proud of what a great help I was as Ken worked on another deadline. Then he came over and I said something like "This is great. We should have these done in no time." Without missing a beat, he continued: "Except you have to 3-hole-punch them BEFORE you bag them."

When I came back another year and set about trying to help, it didn't take long for him to come over and mutter (gently) "Do I have to train you every year?" (Apparently, yes!) Even so, as happens everyday at our university, our conversation in the print shop turned to his prior experiences as an EMT, to this notion we should document things as clearly as possible in ways that help us pay things forward, and, of course, parking.

I hereby document Ken"s pure-gold-ness!

Nominated by Tony Hartshorn; Received award on September 24, 2019

Olivia French

Residence Life, MSU-Bozeman

With her experience as a student plus two years as a Resident Advisor for Hapner and South Hedges Hall, Olivia has gained a unique perspective with the ability to relate and connect on a deeper level with students and colleagues. She has used it to spark new ideas, develop new processes, streamline information, and create new marketing materials to be more transparent with information for our students. Amid completing a degree in Cell Biology & Neuroscience, Olivia became an Administrative Associate and was the front line of customer service for Residence Life and continues to provide fruitful information and effective guidance for the incoming and current students.

While she’s a valuable employee it is Olivia’s charisma that really makes her stand out! She often leaves the offices in laughter; furthermore, she has left a lasting impression on students, parents, and her MSU colleagues. Recently, during a MSU Friday Olivia helped a family complete a housing application and left such an impression that she made her way to a five-star review on the MSU Yelp page, “Special call out to Olivia French in the residence admin office who helped our son sort through all of the on campus living options. What a great gal! Thank you!” - Jim

I am grateful and fortunate to be working next to Olivia. Day-in and day-out she answers any question that I have, regardless how many times she’s had to repeat it; moreover, she has helped me become a better communicator of information. She is a shining star in this department, and we hope she continues to be a part of our family in Residence Life and MSU for years to come!

Nominated by Eddy Gomez; Received award on September 18, 2019

Jonathan  Dove

Honors College, MSU-Bozeman

Jonathan Dove is one of the many extraordinary people at MSU who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make the experiences of our students and guests both memorable and flawless. As the technical coordinator in the Strand Union, Jonathan is the person who is responsible for the quality of the experience for our prospective students and their parents as well for to our graduates, when they cross the stage for departmental and college celebrations in the SUB.
With other words, Jonathan Dove's work bookends our students experience at MSU: from Orientation to graduation.
Jonathan is infinitely patient and and accommodating. No matter how
complicated the AV requirements are for an event, Jonathan always delivers, with a big smile.
It is a pleasure to recommend Jonathan for the Pure Gold Award. He is most worthy of such distinction.
Nominated by Ilse-Mari Lee; Received award on September 11, 2019

Brenna Szott

Earth Sciences, MSU-Bozeman

It is my honor to nominate Brenna Szott for the Pure Gold Award. Brenna is an amazing person that also works as the Business Operations Manager in the Department of Earth Sciences. Like many that service in these critical support positions, Brenna has diverse responsibilities. On any given day, you will find her processing travel paperwork, completing graduate student appointment forms, ordering equipment for faculty, and organizing departmental activities. You are also likely to find Brenna moving university owned vehicles (with dead batteries) for an ill faculty member or using the departmental wagon to transport boxes of books between offices in preparation for the arrival of a new faculty member. Every day, Brenna goes beyond her assigned duties to serve the students and faculty of our department. Brenna arrive early to work, eats lunch at her desk, and is always willing to help anyone during the noon hour.

Brenna brings a positive attitude and strong work ethic to all that she does. She inspires us all to strive towards excellence and to value the importance of supporting student success at all levels. People like Brenna are what makes Montana State University a wonderful place to work. Brenna is truly Pure Gold.

Nominated by Michael Babcock; Received award on September 4, 2019