a smiling woman with long brown hair wearing a blue top

Hello, Bobcat parent and family members of new first-year business students,

I'm Brenda Truman and my role as Assistant Dean of Student Services & Retention in the Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship (Jabs) is to connect with students and support them along their academic journey.

Originally from Livingston, Montana, I am a Montana State alumna and have worked at MSU for 16 years. When I'm not working with students, I'm home wrangling my four-year-old, Oskar. He's the light of my life, and I can see myself in your shoes in the not-too-distant future.

It was a pleasure to meet some of you during Bobcat Bootcamp this summer and I hope to continue building relationships during Parent-Family Weekend. I love connecting with parents, which is the purpose of this email series.

I hope your student is settling into their new college routine. We know that the first six to eight weeks of the initial semester of college are most critical in forming positive new routines, making friends, and developing a sense of belonging -- setting a trajectory for success.

It's a big transition and often punctuated with ups and downs. Early bumps in the road often include the need to change class schedules, homesickness and technology issues (new passwords and log-ons). If you think your student may be experiencing ANY of these things, please send them to our office in Jabs Hall Room 124. Our office is home to their academic advisor and oversees admission to the College, orientation, advising, retention, study abroad, degree certification, and graduation for business majors. What that means for your student is that my team and I are here to help them every step of the way. We just need them to walk through the door and we'll take it from there.

Even though the shift to campus life can be challenging, it's important to remember the reason your student is here -- to earn a college degree. Demographic data shows that people who earn college degrees are more likely to be happier and healthier, live longer, and earn more money in their lifetimes than those who do not have college degrees. Those who earn a business degree benefit from an array of skills including critical thinking, effective communication, quantitative reasoning, and ethical decision-making. These skills lead to a wide range of careers in businesses that can be influential in positively impacting societies around the world. This is what I want for your student!

The key to unlocking that future is ensuring your student is successful inside and outside the classroom and ultimately earns their diploma -- that's what my job is all about. Next week, I'll discuss the concept of retention and how we help students stay the course to commencement.




Brenda Truman
Assistant Dean of Student Services & Retention