Montana State University

Office of Student Success

177 Strand Union Building
P.O. Box 174180
Bozeman MT 59717-4180

Tel: 406-994-7627
Fax: 406-994-5488
Email: success@montana.edu

Office of Student Success

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Carina Beck, Ed.D
Carina Beck, Ed.D Director

Erin McCormick, M.Ed.
Erin McCormick, M.Ed. Assistant Director

Erin has been at MSU since 2004 and joined the Career & Internship Services office in the Spring of 2008. She has a B.S. in Psychology from Montana State University and her Master's of Education in Student Affairs, also from MSU. Erin serves as the operations manager for the Center for Student Success. She enjoys gardening and traveling.

Janet Barkow, M.A.
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.

Blake Christensen, J.D.
Blake Christensen, J.D. Return to Learn Program Manager

Blake serves as a Program Manager for the Return to Learn Program, where he reaches out to and assists former students who want to finish their degree at MSU. Blake graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from Brigham Young University and a J.D. from The College of William and Mary School of Law. Prior to joining MSU, Blake practiced law with a large firm in Southern Virginia. In his free time, Blake is a big college football fan and enjoys time outdoors with his wife and two sons.

Tina Cusker, M.Ed.
Tina Cusker, M.Ed. SmartyCats Tutoring Program Manager

Tina Cusker, a Montana native is a MSU-Bozeman Alum with a B.S. in Elementary Education and a MEd in Curriculum and Technology from the University of Phoenix. As an Active Duty Air Force spouse, Tina, her husband and two children have lived in South Korea, Germany, Belgium and six US states. Her career has included teaching in public and private institutions, including Department of Defense and international schools overseas, supervising student teachers, and training K-12 educators to implement technology effectively in the classroom. Outside of her work in Education, Tina loves to travel and fills her free time as a licensed Realtor.

Katie Ebert, M.S.
Katie Ebert, M.S. Student Success Coordinator

Katie joined the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success in the summer of 2013 as a Success Advisor. Katie holds a M.S. in Education, Leadership & Policy, with an emphasis in Student Services from Portland State University in Portland, Oregon and a B. A. in Geology from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. In addition to helping university students, Katie enjoys hiking, skiing, snowboarding, playing lacrosse, traveling and being a foodie.

Kayla Fields, B.S
Kayla Fields, B.S Financial Education Program Manager

In 2012, Kayla graduated from the University of Montana with a Bachelors of Science degree in Community Health. Kayla is the Program Manager for the Office of Financial Education where she promotes and encourages students to make financial sound decisions while they are attending MSU. Kayla enjoys all of the outdoor activities that Bozeman, MT has to offer; including but not limited to hiking, biking and floating the river.

Katherine Foster, B.S.
Katherine Foster, B.S. Front Office Manager

Katherine serves as the Front Office Program Manager in the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success. She received a B.S. in Sociology and a minor in Health and Human Development from MSU in 2009. As an MSU student she worked as an Orientation Leader and Advocat with the Admissions office for 3 years. After graduation, Katherine served as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Minnesota developing service learning projects, youth enrichment activities and writing grants for elementary and high school students. The following year she trained AmeriCorps VISTA members in Wisconsin serving in elementary and high schools, on family and community involvement in schools. Katherine returned to MSU in 2012 to work for Financial Aid and joined the Center in 2013.

Elia Grenier, M.Ed.
Elia Grenier, M.Ed. Return to Learn Program Manager

Elia grew up in Bozeman and received her bachelor’s degree in History and minor in French from the University of Montana. She moved to Seattle in 2008 for an AmeriCorps position teaching cooking and nutrition in elementary schools, and then spent time tutoring and coordinating international student programs, which reaffirmed her commitment to helping students succeed. She earned her her master’s degree in Student Development Administration at Seattle University while working for the Office of University Planning. Elia returned to Bozeman to help MSU students return to complete their degrees and spend more time cooking, hiking, and playing with her sisters and niece.

Elin Hert, B.A.
Elin Hert, B.A. Student Success Advisor

Elin joined the Office of Student Success in fall of 2013. With a degree in Organizational Communication from the University of Wyoming, she made her way north to Bozeman. Most of her professional life has been spent helping travelers enjoy excellent vacations with local company, Off the Beaten Path. Over the years, her volunteer work has included mentoring elementary-aged students for Thrive’s CAP Program and working with middle and high school students as a member of the Community Mediation Center’s Youth Justice Council. Elin enjoys hiking, biking, skiing, and traveling with her family and friends.

Joy Kreikemeier, M.Ed.
Joy Kreikemeier, M.Ed. Student Success Advisor

A thirty-year resident of Gallatin Valley (from Colorado), Joy worked for Bozeman Public Schools and volunteered in Belgrade schools while raising three children, before acquring a Master's in Education/School Counseling (MSU). She worked in that capacity for Manhattan, Amsterdam, and Belgrade schools before joining the staff of MSU's Office of Student Success/Career Services. Along the way, she has been active in the 160-acre hay farm she shares with Mike, and both have been active in their childrens' soccer, dirt-biking, hunting, and skiing activities. Joy has mentored teens and college students, led women's retreats, studied piloting (solo'd), painting and poetry, and loves hiking, skiing, traveling, and motorcycling. With children now establishing themselves in post-college jobs, she understands the process, pain, and rewards of navigating the realm of post-secondary education, and the World of Work. She takes delight in offering support and resources to students, and has a knack for encouraging them to "go the extra mile.”

Tonya Lauriski-Karriker, Ph.D.
Tonya Lauriski-Karriker, Ph.D. Operations Research Analyst

Tonya started working as a Research Analyst for the Office of Student Success in 2012. She received both her B.S. and M.S. in Mathematics from Montana State University and her Ph.D. in Statistics from Colorado School of Mines. Tonya supports the office with data mining, data analysis, and predictive modeling.

Nina Matos, M.Ed.
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.

Mindy May, B.S.
Mindy May, B.S. Student Success Advisor

Mindy May proudly boasts she is a true native of Bozeman. She graduated from Montana State University-Bozeman with a degree in Speech Communication and is a life long learner who enjoys the learning process. Her goal after joining the Success Office in the fall of 2013, is to help students find a love for learning by sharing strategies for academic success. If there is "free" time you may find her with family, reading, or enjoying our bounteous local wonders.

Lori Oakley, M.S.HRM
Lori Oakley, M.S.HRM Budget Analyst/Systems Manager

Lori is the Budget Analyst and Systems Manager for Career & Internship Services, Office of Student Success and Financial Education. She has a B.A. in Communications and Psychology from Purdue University and her Master's of Science in Human Resource Management, also from Purdue.

Chelsey Wilson, M.Ed.
Chelsey Wilson, M.Ed. Communications and ChampChange Program Manager

Chelsey joined the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success in 2014 as the Communications and ChampChange Program Manager. A two-time alum of MSU, she received her Master’s Degree in Higher Education with a College Teaching Certificate, and her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management, with a minor in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management. Chelsey started her career at MSU in 2011, where she worked for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions for three years. Chelsey has a passion and commitment to helping college students succeed. For fun, she enjoys traveling, hiking, camping, and downhill skiing.

Jackie Wilson, M.D.
Jackie Wilson, M.D. Learning Strategist

Jackie brings to the position of learning strategist experience gained from 30 years as a psychiatrist, and most recently, as a Park Ranger and environmental educator in Yellowstone National Park. She received her BA in Psychology from University of Texas at Austin, and her MD from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. She loves researching the latest brain science related to effective learning and sharing this with students. She enjoys the outdoors, birding, skiing, swing dancing, and creating art.

Nikki Wyman, M.A.
Nikki Wyman, M.A. Student Success Advisor

Nikki holds a Master's of Arts in Teaching with an emphasis in Chemistry from Western Governors University. She earned a B.A. in Biology at Lewis and Clark College, and studied at MSU for an extended degree and teaching certificate. Nikki has been devoted to studying and working in education and science, which brought her to the Office of Student Success in the fall of 2014. In her free time, Nikki enjoys reading, writing, spending time on trails and backcountry skiing.