University Studies Staff

Diane Donnelly, MEd


Diane is the Director of University Studies and the Academic Advising Center. When it comes to cross-campus academic advising and curricular issues, Diane shines. She brings energy, knowledge, and expertise. She enjoys the continual contact with students and the variety of courses and faculty. Diane's undergraduate degree is in English Literature, and she received her MEd in Adult and Higher Education from MSU.Diane also received the 2010 National Academic Advising Association Region 8 Administrator of the Year Award.

Shannon Patterson

Shannon Patterson

Administrative Associate

In her role as the Administrative Associate, Shannon is the first person who greets students when they enter the Advising Center.She has worked at MSU since 2008 and brings with her a familiarity of campus with a background in Financial Aid.Prior to working at MSU Shannon lived in Havre and was the Director of Development for St. Jude Thaddeus School and the Administrator for the Hill County Conservation District. Shannon enjoys spending time with her family, golfing, hiking, skiing, and traveling.

Emily Edwards

Emily E. Edwards, M.F.A.

Academic Advising Coordinator

Emily Edwards serves as an academic advisor and the advising coordinator for the Academic Advising Center. Originally from a small town outside of Pittsburgh, PA, Emily once was an undecided student at Ohio University. Emily tried out several degrees, but finally found her academic niche studying literature and film. After completing her undergraduate degree, she earned an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. Emily loves working with students and helping them find their path at MSU. When not at work, Emily enjoys reading, watching sports, camping and spending time with her husband, and cooking.  

Ryan Storment

Ryan Storment, MA

Assistant Seminar Director,
Academic Advisor

Ryan Storment is an academic advisor and the Assistant Director for the First Year Seminar in the University Studies department.Ryan received his BA and MA in English Literature from Montana State University and has most recently taught the Knowledge and Community Seminar class for the MSU College of Letters and Science and College Writing I for the Department of English.He enjoys writing, photography, camping, travelling, and especially spending time with his wife and daughter.

Karen Steele

Karen Steele, MEd

National Student Exchange Coordinator
Academic Advisor

Karen is an academic advisor and the Coordinator of the National Student Exchange program. She received her BS in Civil Engineering and her MEd in Curriculum and Instruction both from the University of Colorado. Karen also teaches in the University Studies and Mathematics departments. A little known fact about Karen is that she has lived in eight and traveled to most of the states, which explains her excitement and dedication to sending Montana State students all over the country. Her passion for the outdoors is apparent and she is always planning the next adventure for her husband and two energetic boys.

Denise Malloy

Denise Malloy, MEd, JD

Pre-Med Advisor
Pre-Law Advisor
Academic Advisor

Denise Malloy brings a diverse background to her position as an academic advisor in the University Studies department.She received a BS in Education, a MEd in Counseling and a JD from the University of Louisville.Prior to entering law school, Denise was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Western Samoa. In law school, she reignited her passion for writing. Denise’s essays and articles have appeared in national and regional publications. A compilation of her humor columns was recently published. Denise feels extremely fortunate to live, work and play in Big Sky Country with her husband, two teenage boys and her dogs.

Joe Barr

Joe Barr, MA

Academic Advisor

Joe Barr is a general academic advisor and works closely with veteran and international students.He received a BA in Modern Languages-French at Montana State University and an MA in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Kansas.He has previously been a pre-med advisor who completed both military and Peace Corps service.Having also taught US 101, CLS 101, and the foundational honors courses, he offers a wealth of background and experience for those seeking academic advising and major exploration.

Sheila Gilbertson

Sheila Gilbertson, MEd

Students-in-Transition Advisor

Sheila Gilbertson is an academic advisor and First Year Seminar instructor for University Studies. She specializes in helping Students in Transition – those who are wanting to change their major but are unsure of what that new major should be.  Originally from Plentywood, Montana, she began her college career as an undeclared, undecided major right here in this very department. She received a BS in Biological Sciences, a minor in Music and a M.Ed. in Adult and Higher Ed Administration, all from MSU. She has worked in various departments across campus, but has found herself right back here where she started. When she isn’t working in the Academic advising center helping students, Sheila is most likely enjoying photography, music, theatre, or simply being an avid fan of her husband and four teenage children.

Mary Noll

Mary Noll, MA

Academic Advisor
Director Emerita

Mary began her career in University Studies in 1979 as an intern while completing her master’s degree. During the subsequent 26 years, she served as an academic advisor, taught the First Year Seminar for 12 years, chaired orientation and scholarships, the National Student Exchange Coordinator and was the Assistant Director for six years. During her final five years before retiring in June of 2005, she served as the Director of University Studies. Although Mary continues to stay involved with University Studies as an academic advisor on a part-time basis, she is enjoying retirement with her husband and two dogs hiking, skiing, camping, and visiting grandchildren.