Betty Coffey Award

betty coffey

The Betty Coffey Award honors the memory of an outstanding teacher and pioneering professor at Montana State University. Betty Coffey taught computer science in the College of Engineering from 1977 until her death in 1984, and was distinguished as the first woman ever to achieve tenure in the college. The award was created in 1986, and recognizes her considerable contributions to faculty development, teaching excellence and women's equity
at MSU.

Each year the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Committee seeks nominations of faculty and staff who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in incorporating women's perspectives into the curriculum or developing academic programs that contribute to the elimination of persistent barriers to women's success at MSU. The award winner is honored at both theWomen’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies reception and the university's spring convocation.

Between 1986 and 2011, sixteen women have been recognized with Coffey Awards, including faculty from the Colleges of Letters & Science, Agriculture, Nursing and Engineering. Several award winners have received the award for creating innovative courses that introduce students to women's issues from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Other winners have been the instigators of important programs on campus that provide opportunities for women students to gain access to traditionally male disciplines and to broaden their educational and career opportunities.

Award Recipients

  • 1986, Paula Petrik, History & Philosophy
  • 1988, Lynda Sexson, History & Philosophy
  • 1998, Melody Zajdel, English
  • 1999, Adele Pittendrigh, Letters & Science
  • 2000, Mary Murphy, History & Philosophy
  • 2001, Sharon Hapner, Cell Biology & Neuroscience
  • 2002, Michelle Maskiell, History & Philosophy
  • 2003, Joan Henson, Microbiology
  • 2004, Christian Sarver, VOICE Center
  • 2005, Wendy Stock, Agricultural Economics & Economics
  • 2006, Kay Chafey, Nursing
  • 2007, Christiana Stoddard, Agricultural Economics & Economic
  • 2008, Heidi Sherick, College of Engineering
  • 2009, Susan Kollin, English
  • 2010, Jessi Smith, Psychology
  • 2011, Leah Schmalzbauer, Sociology & Anthropology
  • 2012, Sara Rushing, Political Science
  • 2013, Bethany Letiecq, Health & Human Development
  • 2014, Kristen Intemann, History & Philosophy

Give to the Betty Coffey Award Fund

The Betty Coffey Award was initiated through generous memorial gifts from friends and colleagues. Now we seek to raise the award fund to fully endowed status, ensuring that those who contribute to the significant advancement of women at Montana State University will continue to be honored by this annual recognition. To learn more, click here.