Keeping Up with GEAR UP Newsletter Graphic

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By Judi Haskins, GEAR UP Program Director

The Fall 2022 semester concludes soon, and that is cause to celebrate! Join GEAR UP and TRIO on Tuesday evening, December 6th for the "Moving On and Moving Up" Celebration. Enjoy dinner, prizes, and celebration as we congratulate GEAR UP and TRIO students finishing the semester and moving up to Spring 2023; and to the graduating seniors who are moving on. The Moving On and Moving Up Celebration will also include the awarding of the semester's grand prize for ChampChange engagement. GEAR UP students have been collecting ChampChange all semester long and have won monthly prizes for attending GEAR UP events, receiving GEAR UP support and services, and stopping by the GEAR UP office to print, check in, grab drinks and snacks, and more. All of these efforts will conclude with one GEAR UP first-year student winning a grand prize!

  • "Have fun while you here. Join a club or student organization" -Lindsey (Sophomore)
  • "Skipping class can become a bad habit. Make sure you stay caught up in classes" -Casey (Sophomore)
  • "Make sure to use MSU resources. We have tutors, counseling, and so much more" -Meghan (Senior)

Reminder! Books borrowed from GEAR UP are Due back by Thursday December 15th! Drop by the GEAR UP Office with your textbooks to return them!

Book Return

Seth Still Smoking

Seth is a 2022 graduate of Browning High School studying Sociology at MSU. Seth was inspired by his parents who are also MSU alumni to attend college. He grew up in an environment that influenced him to seek out higher education. Seth became involved with GEAR UP while in high school and found it helpful in getting him set up and ensuring that his transition to college was smooth. While in high school Seth enjoyed playing basketball and is a fan of the New York Knicks and the Kentucky Wildcats. Since arriving at MSU Seth has become involved with the American Indian Center and enjoys being involved in the AIC community.

Seth Still Smoking

Seth Still Smoking: Browning, MT

Managing Stress

Destress Fest

December 1st- December 7th

During the first week of December, as part of MSU's efforts to help students manage stress through the busy end-of semester, the Office of Health Advancement brings Destress Fest. Activities include anxiety workshops, yoga, plate smashing, and therapy animals! See flyer in this newsletter for more specific dates and times.

Moving on and Moving up

Moving On & Moving Up

Tuesday, December 6, 5:00-7:00 pm, SUB 233

TRIO and GEAR UP are excited to celebrate the end of the fall semester with a "Moving On and Moving Up" event. Come join us in celebrating the completion of the semester. Special recognition will be given to Fall 2022 graduates. Dinner will be provided, and awards and prizes will be announced.

Lights on Montana Hall

Lights on Montana Hall

Wednesday, December 7, 5:30 PM

As part of an annual tradition, Montana Hall will be lit up in celebration of the holiday season. The lighting event outside of Montana Hall will feature holiday music, remarks by ASMSU student government leaders, draft horses, a drum line, and a countdown by the MSU Spirit Squad. Refreshments will be provided.

Montana Hall

Spring 2023 Semester

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

The Fall 2022 semester officially ends on Thursday, December 15th. Enjoy your holiday break and we'll see you back for the beginning of Spring semester on Wednesday, January 18, 2023!

Anthony Hernandez

2022 Lodge Grass High School Graduate

MSU Freshman in Agricultural Education

Anthony Hernandez

GEAR UP student Anthony Hernandez from Lodge Grass, MT, is a State FFA Officer. As part of Anthony's officer's duties, he attended the 95th National FFA convention and Expo in Indianapolis, IN in October 2022. Anthony traveled with the Montana FFA state officer team, which serves over 6,000 FFA members from across the state of Montana. A few of his responsibilities as an officer include but are not limited to: serving the organization in local, state, national, and international activities in a way that will inform, motivate and inspire FFA members, advisors, state staff, teachers, and others to achieve the mission, strategies and core goals of the organization.

Anthony FFA

Being in FFA for nearly seven years, Anthony was excited to attend the national convention, as he got to work on national delegate business, meet other state officers from across the nation, and work alongside his seven teammates. The highlight of the convention for Anthony was that he got to carry the Montana state flag at the opening session amongst nearly 65,000+ FFA members in attendance.

Anthony Hernandez

Anthony Hernandez

Anthony was elected to serve as a Montana FFA state officer in April 2022, and he was the first person from his chapter to be elected to serve in this position. Being from a small, rural GEAR UP school, not many students get the chance to run for an officer position. In fact, Anthony is only the second person from Lodge Grass High School to run for an FFA office. His favorite part of being an officer is being able to travel across the state and engage with FFA members.

Anthony FFA

Anthony FFA

Vollyball Game

MSU welcomed GEAR UP schools Thompson Falls and Hardin who competed in the Montana High School Association All-Class State Volleyball tournament in the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse November 10-12th.

First-gen student panelFirst-gen day snacks in the library

On November 9th, MSU observed National First-Generation Student Recognition Day with snacks in the library, a photo display of MSU first-generation students, and a student panel which highlighted and discussed the challenges and successes of the first-generation student experience at MSU.

Zane Nordwick

On November 17th, GEAR UP was invited to present to Leadership Montana during their visit to MSU. GEAR UP's support and services to Montana students was shared, and GEAR UP first-year student Zane Nordwick, from Libby, described his experiences at MSU on transitioning to college and about the GEAR UP support he has received.


Destress Fest

Thursday 12/1

Test Anxiety Workshop with CPS SUB 235 12PM Meditation Danforth Chapel 5pm

Chair massages Renee Library 1-5PM


Friday 12/2

Core & Restore North Dome 12:15PM

Yoga North Dome 5:30PM

Movie Night Procrastinator 6:30PM & 9PM

Monday 12/5

Yoga North Dome 4:30PM

Paws to De-Stress Renee Library 9-11AM

Relieve stress with therapy animals!

Tuesday 12/6

Paws to De-Stress Renee Library 1-3PM

Meditation Danforth Chapel 5PM

Wednesday 12/7

Plate Smashing Centennial Mall 10:30AM-1:30PM

Yoga North Dome 12:15PM & 4:30PM

Paws to De-Stress Renee Library 4-6PM


We know that finals week can be stressful. Take some time to enjoy Destress Fest & relax with free snacks, fitness classes, movies, and stress-reducing activities throughout the week.

Click here to see the flyer in full print

January 23, 2023 Native Student Preview Day at Montana State University

Native Student Preview Day is an exciting opportunity for Native students to visit campus and  get an in-depth preview of life as a Montana State Bobcat! Prospective students will be able to explore MSU academics, extracurricular activities, Native American student support services, tour campus, and talk with current students. Prospective students are also welcome to attend a special event featuring guest John Herrington, the first Native American NASA astronaut to have flown to space.

Native Student Preview Day Flyer