Sarah Shannon

Dean of the College of Nursing


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Sarah Shannon has served as dean of the Montana State University College of Nursing since 2017. Previously, she served for one year as senior associate dean for academic affairs of Oregon Health & Sciences University and as faculty for 25 years at University of Washington School of Nursing with an adjunct appointment in the School of Medicine Department of Bioethics and Humanities. While in Seattle, Shannon was a clinical ethics consultant at several organizations. She received her B.S. in nursing from University of Arizona and an M. S. and Ph.D. in nursing science from the University of Washington.

Laura Larsson



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Laura is an MSU alumna with a B.S. in Nursing as well as a Master's in Public Health and PhD in Nursing from Oregon Health & Science University. Laura's first job at the College of Nursing was as an instructor for the CO-OP. 

Twila Yellow Horse

Program Lead


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Twila is a member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe. She is MSU aluma with a B.S. in Psychology, Minor in Native American Studies, and M.Ed. in Adult & Higher Education. She's currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Education: Adult & Higher Education at MSU. In addtion to CO-OP, she teaches US101: First Year Seminar. Her first role at MSU was in the Office of Financial Aid in Fall 2018. 

Marcy Cobell

Student Success Specialist


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Marcy is an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Tribe, located in Browning, Montana. She is a MSU alumni with a B.S. in Education, a M.Ed. In Curriculum and Instruction and a M.Ed in Educational Leadership. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, beginning at University of Montana and will be finishing at MSU. Marcy is a life-long educator in the public-school systems across Montana. Most of her with experiences were on American Indian Reservations and their schools, where she has served as a teacher, Instructional Coach, Principal, and most recently a Superintendent. Marcy is the President of MIEA, which is the Montana Indian Education Association and serves as a board member on MACIE, the Montana Advisory Council on Indian Education. 

Tavia Torralba

Program Coordinator

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Tavia Torralba is a member of the Crow (Apsaalooke) Tribe, her Crow/Apsaalooke name is Uxxashee Assalukoosh (Sun Always Rises). She is a MSU alumna with a B.S. in Human Development and Family Science with a minor in Native American Studies.

Kellie Phillips-Asay

Academic Nurse Mentor (Billings Campus)

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Kelly is a former CO-OP graduate; an IHS scholar and a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.  She is the Billings Academic Nurse Mentor on the Billings campus.  

Rachel Huleatt-Baer

Academic Nurse Mentor (Billings Campus)

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Rachel is a Clinical Instructor on the Billings Campus teaching sophomore and junior level nursing courses. She will be working in the CO-OP as an Academic Nurse Mentor.

Amanda Mauws

Academic Nurse Mentor (Great Falls Campus)

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Amanda Mauws is a Clinical Instructor at Montana State University on the Great Falls campus along with the Academic Nurse mentor for the Caring for our Own Program.

Cathlyn Mendius

 Academic Nurse Mentor (Kalispell Site)


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Cathlyn Mendius is the Academic Nurse Mentor on the Kalispell Site. She received her BSN from MSU in 2008.  After receiving it she worked as a nurse at Kalispell Regional in the labor and delivery department, the NICU and the mother/baby clinic. Since she loves being a floor nurse, she continues to work PRN at the hospital as well. Cathlyn has now lived in Kalispell for 17 years and has raised two children with her husband.

Elizabeth Pecora

Academic Nurse Mentor (Missoula Campus)

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Elizabeth Pecora is a Clinical Instructor at Montana State University, as well as the Missoula Campus Academic Nurse Mentor for the Caring for our Own Program.

Sammie Old Elk

Student Assistant

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Sammi is a pre-nursing student soon to be applying for the nursing program. She is a participant in the CO-OP and will be assisting with program operations.