Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success 

Carina Beck

Dr. Carina N. Beck

 Vice Provost - Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success

& Director, Hilleman Scholars

   177 Strand Union Building 
   [email protected]

AYCSS Central

Lori Oakley, M.S.

Lori Oakley, M.S.

Systems Management Program Manager 

As a graduate of a land grant university and family of educators, I knew I wanted to continue the legacy and mission. Montana State University has allowed me to provide services to the students at MSU through supporting the Allen Yarnell Center staff and offices.  I support Student Success with targeted interventions tested in data analytics, metrics, budgeting, the ChampChange program, scholarship support via the CatScholarship system, computer systems and hiring and supporting staff that exemplify the servant leadership.  As a team member that supports all offices within the Allen Yarnell Center, I see my co-workers exhibit the common thread of service on behalf of students, in advocating for action, providing services, understand circumstances, and celebrating successes. 

    177 Strand Union Building
   [email protected]
Photo of John Hunter

John Hunter

 Program Manager, Champ Change

From the red side of Manchester, England. Graduated from the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. John worked extensively in IT systems support and management in several European countries before moving to the US. A Montana resident for five years, John joined the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success in 2018 and is program manager for Cattracks and the ChampChange program. He can be found on KGLT playing obscure soul music, organizing the local cribbage club, and watching the world’s greatest football team, Manchester United.

   177 Strand Union Building
    [email protected] 
Wendy Soeweno

Wendy Soeweno, M.S.

Assistant Director for AYCSS Communication 

Wendy joined the Allen Yarnell of Student Success in January 2020.  As an Assistant Director for communication, Wendy’s role is to ensure that MSU students find the resources they need to achieve academic success. She is leading the communication team in AYCSS to develop strategies across platforms to reach students, faculty and employers. Using her skills from her previous work in the corporate world of media agency and consumer products, she has been implementing brand strategy and digital communication to increase retention and graduation rate in MSU. 

    177 Strand Union Building
    [email protected] 

Career, Internship & Student Employment Services

Mary Biehl

Mary A. Biehl, PhD

Career Education and Development Program Manager

Mary originally joined the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success in 2020 as a Course Facilitator for the Hilleman Scholars Summer Success Academy. With both a B.A. and M.A. in English, Mary earned her Ph.D. in American Studies in 2020. Along with her education, Mary brings seventeen years of teaching experience at MSU to her role as a career coach. In addition to teaching and coaching, Mary has also worked as a freelance writer/editor and a museum professional in both Pittsburgh, PA and Ennis, MT. Mary's goal is to guide students as they design and embark upon their career journeys at MSU and beyond, offering support as they discover their purpose and enjoyment in the world of work. Mary enjoys hiking around the Gallatin Valley, playing classical piano, gardening, yoga, and spending quality time with her daughter.

   177 Strand Union Building 
   [email protected]
Gennifre Hartman

Gennifre Hartman, M.A.

Career Education Coach

Gennifre originally joined the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success in 2020 as a Course Facilitator for the Hilleman Scholars Summer Success Academy. Gennifre has B.A. in Journalism from University of Oregon, and an M.A. in Teaching English from University of Montana. Along with her work as a Career Education Coach, Gennifre works with multiple organizations that support her primary passions: experiential education; international travel, and authentic learning opportunities. During her 25-year career, she’s been a university instructor, an international guide, an entrepreneur, a non-profit founder, an Executive Director, a novelist, a teacher, an editor, and more. In addition to her work with MSU Career, Internship & Student Employment Services, Gennifre serves as a middle school humanities instructor and wilderness education guide. Gennifre believes that when people are inspired to grow both personally and professionally, every single one of us has the ability to change the world. Aside from her career, she is passionate about travel, wilderness, yoga, and is a voracious reader and writer.

   177 Strand Union Building
   [email protected]
Christine Phillips

Christine Phillips, M.A.

Career Education Coach

Christine joined the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success in 2021 as a Course Facilitator for the Hilleman Scholars Summer Success Academy. Christine has a B.S. in Natural Resources from the University of Massachusetts and a M.A. in Education from St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN. She brings organizational leadership, management, and administration experience, especially with community organizations. Christine is also an experienced teacher, facilitator, and trainer, and has worked with children and adults of all ages. Whether leading a team-building retreat for international college students, teaching children in a Montessori school, training aspiring teachers, or facilitating a community group’s strategic planning session, she is committed to helping individuals learn, grow and create the change they are seeking in their lives. She and her family love to travel, especially in Central America, and spend as much time as possible outside in the natural world, hiking, biking, skiing, birdwatching and kayaking.

   177 Strand Union Building 
   [email protected]
Joan Ghassemi

Joan Ghassemi, J.D.

Career Education Coach

Joan joined the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success in 2022. She earned her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Akron and a Juris Doctorate from Ohio Northern University. Joan practiced in the areas of Criminal Defense and Bankruptcy Debtor work for 18 years in Tampa Bay, Florida. She founded and served as the managing partner of her own law firm and had the pleasure of hiring and mentoring law clerks, attorneys, and support staff. Joan served in leadership roles in several non-profits including: Business and Professional Women of St. Pete/Pinellas, Humane Society of Pinellas and is currently on the Advisory Council for the Bozeman Library Foundation. She is a licensed member of the Florida Bar and the Middle District of Florida: United States District Court. Joan loves encouraging others to follow their dreams and passions. A licensed Pilates instructor, Joan also enjoys painting, reading, bike riding, and hiking with her husband, Reza, and their French Bulldog, Roshi.

   177 Strand Union Building
   [email protected]

Office of Financial Education

Keith Hamburg

Keith Hamburg, B.A.

Senior Financial Coach

Hello Bobcats, my name is Keith Hamburg & I serve as the Senior Financial Coach in the Office of Financial education at Montana State University. I started working in this role in August of 2013. I have the privilege to work with students to help them pay for school while taking on as little debt as possible.I help to engage & develop students to take control of their finances with budgeting, scholarship searching, credit & more. I have been in Bozeman since 1994 and before coming to MSU. I owned my own business & also worked for MetLife Financial Services. My goal for my clients is for them to “Live like a college student today, so they don’t have to tomorrow”.

   177 Strand Union Building
   [email protected]
Jennifer White-Dobbs

Jennifer White-Dobbs, M.A.

Financial Coach

Jennifer joined AYCSS in 2019.  She enjoys working with students to learn strategies for successful budgeting, find creative ways to pay for school, and develop their future financial goals. Engaging with students through coaching as well as offering clinics and teaching class sessions are her favorite parts of the job. Feeling confident about finances is a challenge and a valuable life skill to learn in college. With a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Maine, Orono and a M.A. in Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program, Jennifer’s previous work experience is in museum education and collections. She moved to Bozeman with her family to enjoy the beautiful outdoor lifestyle.  In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, skiing, horseback riding, and exploring.

   177 Strand Union Building
   [email protected]
Bonnie Buell Fedchock

Bonnie Buell Fedchock, MS, CAE, CM

Program Manager - Financial Education and Career Services

Bonnie began working at AYCSS in 2021 and manages projects for both the career services and financial education programs. As a fourth-generation Washingtonian (DC), she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Government and Politics at the University of Maryland and her Master’s in Not-for-Profit Management from the University of Maryland University College.

Beginning her career working on Capitol Hill, she transitioned to the association world, initially working in the government relations arena where she taught legislative and tax courses. Finding her passion, she earned her CAE (Certified Association Executive) credential and served as Executive Director for the Society of Wine Educators and the National Association for Catering and Events. With her extensive experience in the hospitality industry, she has she created the Certified Specialist in Wine (CSW) credential and updated the Certified Professional in Catering and Events (CPCE) credential, writing the Beverage Management chapter. After moving full-time to Montana, she earned her Certified Mediator (CM) credential and has conducted many mediations in Gallatin County, both civil and family cases.

Bonnie teaches association management and leadership classes for the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), University of Houston, and chapter leaders. She also mentors association professionals studying for the CAE exam.

   177 Strand Union Building
   406-994-4984
   [email protected]

Office of Student Success

Amy Lincoln

Dr. Amy Lincoln

Director, Office of Student Success

Amy joined the Allen Yarnell Office of Student Success in the summer of 2017.  She received her B.S. and M.S. in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Washington.  Amy’s clinical background included working with a diversity of clients struggling with speech, language and developmental disabilities in a private practice setting. Her clinical specialty in Speech Language Pathology was working with school-aged students with language based learning disabilities including reading, writing and executive processing challenges.  Amy’s love of research lead her to pursue her PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience, focusing on reading, memory and learning, at the University of California, Davis. Throughout her career paths as a clinician, researcher and advisor, Amy is driven with a passion for supporting the success of struggling and underserved students. Amy and her family moved to Bozeman in 2008.  In addition to a love for travel, which took the family overseas for several years, she enjoys summer hiking and winter skiing here in Montana with her husband, sons and golden retriever.

   177 Strand Union Building
   [email protected]
Amy Roach

Amy Roach, B.A.

Assistant Director - Student Learning Management

Amy grew up in eastern Montana and earned a bachelor’s degree in American studies from Pomona College in Claremont, California.  She was a music publicist in Aspen and a museum curator in Billings.  She got her start in journalism as the host of an interview program on Yellowstone Public Radio.  In 1997 she moved to Washington, DC, where she worked for National Public Radio, National Geographic, and C-SPAN.  She  enjoys reading, movies, and travel.  (To date she has visited 23 countries, 4 continents, and 49 states.)  Since her return to the Big Sky in 2017, she has celebrated Montana’s extraordinary beauty by hiking, biking, and attempting to stay upright on skis. 

   177 Strand Union Building
   [email protected]
Maria

Maria Perks, B.A.

Student Success Coordinator

Maria joined AYCSS as a Success Advisor in the spring of 2021.  Before becoming a Success Advisor, Maria was an instructor of developmental math at MSU-Gallatin College.  Maria holds a BA in mathematics from Gonzaga University.  After serving in AmeriCorps, she pursued her career in education and has taught in a variety of academic settings primarily in the subject of math.  Maria’s specific interest in the comprehension of math and the challenges and anxiety students must overcome in college led her to the position of Success Advisor. 

    177 Strand Union Building
   [email protected]
julia Nance

Dr. Julia A. Nance

Early Alert, Student Success and Faculty Liaison Program Manager

Dr. Julia Nance joined the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success as the Early Alert, Student Success and Faculty Liaison Program Manager in July 2021. She is a lifelong learner who earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology in San Diego. Due to her passion for learning and dedication to working at MSU, she enthusiastically supports students to enhance time management skills and develop learning strategies. Aside from her career, Julia enjoys yoga, bicycling, walking, hiking, practicing mindfulness, learning, and spending time with family and friends.

   177 Strand Union Building
   [email protected]
wyatt mitchell

Wyatt Mitchell, M.A.

Second Wind Program Manager

Wyatt has been involved at multiple universities for almost a decade in either an instructor and staff capacity. Here at MSU, Wyatt reaches students individually through his Success Advising role. He is passionate about navigating the university experience to help students reach their goals and move toward the future they design. Wyatt is thankful to influence students at a group level through the Second Wind Program. This program aligns with his passion to help those who could benefit the most from increased support and guidance. Outside of the university setting, Wyatt is an avid outdoorsman who loves whitewater rafting, backpacking, and playing with his dog.

   177 Strand Union Building
   [email protected]
Janet Barkow

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.

   177 Strand Union Building
    [email protected]
Maggie

Maggie Richardson, M.A.

Student Success Advisor

Maggie joined the Office of Student Success in the summer of 2021.  Having earned a BA in English from Dartmouth College, and MA in Teaching of English from Teachers College, Columbia University and an Advanced Certificate in School Leadership from the City College of New York, Maggie holds teaching and school leadership credentials in Montana and New York State, where she spent 19 years teaching high school English and serving as an Assistant Principal in the New York City public school system.  She is the District Clerk for rural Springhill School and a developmental writing instructor at Gallatin College.  Maggie is excited about continuing her work supporting students as a Success Advisor.  Relocating to Montana with her Bobcat alum husband, Maggie enjoys these varied opportunities to serve the students of Montana while exploring her new state on the hiking trails, cultivating a garden, and reveling in the sunshine and big sky.

   177 Strand Union Building
   [email protected]
William Kuba

William Kuba, Ed.D

Student Success Advisor

Bill has over 30 years of student affairs, enrollment management, and academic experience at all levels in education, in both the proprietary and non-profit environments. Before going into semi-retirement he was an Asst. Professor and Department Head of Physical Education at a small Iowa University and a member of the State of Iowa’s K-12 Physical Education curriculum redesign team. Currently, he holds an IRB / Jeanne Cleary Act Compliance Certification and Montana Teaching Credentials for K-12 Health Enhancement. He has an Ed.D. from Montana State University – Bozeman, MA in Teaching from Whitworth College, and a BA from Tabor College.

   177 Strand Union Building
   [email protected]
Sonja Chandler

Sonja Chandler, B.S.

Student Success Advisor

Whether teaching math and science at public schools on the Kitsap Peninsula of Washington, instructing mathematics at Gallatin College or even teaching preschoolers their letters and numbers, Sonja relishes the joy of students understanding something new. She joined the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success in the fall of 2021. After growing up in California, Sonja began her Montana adventure, earning her Bachelor of Science degree at Rocky Mountain College (emphasis in Mathematics and a Minor in Art) and her teaching certificate from MSU Billings. Sonja moved to Bozeman after meeting and marrying her husband, Doug, and perhaps most of her experience advising and teaching is with her own four children, who attended Bozeman Public Schools, the University of Montana, and the University of Utah.  These combined experiences have cemented her passion for helping students succeed and knowing that the factors for success are widely varied.  In her spare time, Sonja loves to travel, hike, work on a building project or two and spend time visiting with family and friends.  She is energetic and optimistic that all students can be successful and education is a beneficial element toward that goal.
   177 Strand Union Building
   [email protected]

Hilleman Scholars Program

Carina Beck

Dr. Carina N. Beck

Vice Provost - Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success

& Director, Hilleman Scholars

 

   177 Strand Union Building
   [email protected]
jenna hicks

Jenna Hicks, B.S.

MSU Hilleman Scholars Program Logistics Program Manager

Jenna joined the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success in December 2020 and is from the Hi-Line of Montana. She earned her B.S. in Agriculture Education with a focus on communication from MSU in Fall 2020. Jenna is an alumnus of the MSU Hilleman Scholars Program and was in the 2017 cohort of students. She served as both a scholar mentor in 2018 and a lead mentor for the program in 2019. Jenna is passionate about the MSU Hilleman Scholars Program as it helped her achieve her dream of an education and she is excited to help build and support the program. When she’s not at work, Jenna enjoys spending time with her dogs and her husband.

 

   177 Strand Union Building
   [email protected]
Photo of Kenny Blies

Kenny Bies, M.Ed.

MSU Hilleman Scholars Success Advisor

Kenny joined the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success in the summer of 2019. Growing up on the land that his grandparents (Harry and Pansie Squires) homesteaded in 1916, south of Opheim, Montana, he learned valuable life lessons in perseverance, purpose and possibilities. His Montana roots are helping to guide his life story. Graduating from Montana State University in 1985 (after stints working for Burlington Northern Railroad, and Conoco Oil Company) he has degrees in Guidance Counseling, Elementary Education and Physical Education. Teaching, coaching and serving as a counselor in the Bozeman Public Schools for 28 years after starting his teaching career in Great Falls, he feels most at home in Bozeman (Flathead Lake is a close second!). He and his wife, Christie (Registered Nurse at Bozeman Health), are most proud of their 2 sons. Kenny is a big fan of humans and everything MSU! Go Bobcats! He likes spending time with friends and family boating on Montana lakes and skiing and hiking in the Montana mountains. He is excited to be a part of the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success.

    177 Strand Union Building
   [email protected]
Elizabeth Dickensheets

Ann Dickensheets, B.A.

MSU Hilleman Scholars Success Advisor

Ann joined the Office of Student Success in the fall of 2021. She received her BA in biology and secondary education from the University of Colorado, in her hometown of Boulder. For the next ten years,  she taught middle and high school science, math and physical education and couched track and cross country. In 1997, Ann and her husband moved to Bozeman where they raised their two sons and daughter. Since then, she has spent 22 years coordinating the youth and college ministries and leading music at the Methodist church, and has led dozens of domestic and international service weeks. In her spare time, Ann enjoys singing, traveling, hiking with her dog and skiing the beautiful trails around Bozeman.

   177 Strand Union Building
   [email protected] 
Louisa Matthews

Louisa Matthews, B.A.

MSU Hilleman Scholars Success Advisor

Louisa joined the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success & the Hilleman Scholars Program in 2021.  She holds a degree in psychology & religion from the University of Rochester and completed her degree in Israel by participating in an archaeological excavation.  Louisa is a believer in life-long learning.  After college, she continued to take various classes including an internship for a television news department. Louisa also participated as a volunteer and has served on a number of non-profit boards.  All these activities give her insight into how organizations work how to overcome challenges.  In each industry that she has worked at along the way:  communications, sales, marketing or most recently the real estate industry, she has found that being prepared and present yields better results.  She is excited to share her depth of experience with the Bobcat community and looks forward to supporting the MSU students in achieving their goals!

   177 Strand Union Building
   (406) 994-4392
   [email protected]

Return-to-Learn

Stearns

Jacqueline Hagerman, B.S.

Assistant Director for Return-to-Learn 

Jacquie returned to MSU after working for three years and graudated in December 2018 with a B.S. in Economics and Business Administration. As a returning student, Jacquie is passionate in assisting other returning and adult learners through the exciting journey to finally earn their degrees. She now considers herself a lifelong learner and takes every opportunity to take classes or learn new skills. Jacquie was born and raised in Boise, Idaho and moved to Bozeman in 2011. She enjoys archery, yoga, and spending time with her husband, border collie, and two Siberian huskies.

   177 Strand Union Building
   [email protected]
Jennifer White-Dobbs

Jennifer White-Dobbs, M.A.

Program Manager

Jennifer joined AYCSS in 2019 and Return-to-Learn in 2021.  Working with returning students is a fantastic opportunity and it is always exciting to learn someone’s story and find out their goals as they work to complete their degree. She enjoys helping students navigate campus resources, build a plan for a successful school/life combination, and develop the college experience they desire. With a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Maine, Orono and a M.A. in Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program, Jennifer’s previous work experience is in museum education and collections. She moved to Bozeman with her family to enjoy the beautiful outdoor lifestyle.  In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, skiing, horseback riding, and exploring.

   177 Strand Union Building
   [email protected]

Montana's Own

Deborah Albin

Deborah Albin, M.S.

Montana's Own Program Manager

Deborah (Deb) Albin joined the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success in December 2021. Deb was born and raised in rural Montana and is a proud alum of MSU Bozeman (B.S., Sociology) and MSU Billings (M.S., Public Relations). After spending her early career out of state, Deb returned to Montana and began a 20+ year career serving the MSU and greater Montana communities, most recently as an Extension educator. As the manager of the Montana’s Own Scholarship Project, Deb is excited to assist students with deep ties to Montana graduate with purpose and embark on meaningful and service-driven careers.
   177 Strand Union Building 
   406-994-2981
   [email protected]