Headshot of Julian Collins, Director of TRiO Student Support Services

Julian Collins, M.Ed.


(406) 994-7480

[email protected]

Hometown: Tinton Falls, NJ

Meredith smiling at the camera with sunglasses on. The tetons are in the background.

Meredith Knowles, B.A.

Retention Specialist

(406) 994-7489

[email protected]

Hometown: La Crescent, MN

Meredith grew up in the Driftless Region of Minnesota—and has never been able to live anywhere flat since! She received her B.A. in Anthropology with a minor in African Diaspora Studies from Ithaca College. She served as a park ranger for five years in Rocky Mountain, Rainier, and Zion National Parks, and then for an outdoor company in Utah for three more years. Meredith made her transition from outdoor education to higher education in 2020, when she started at MSU.  

Her work is heavily influenced by Growth Mindset, and she endeavors to guide students as they discover their own methods and means to success. Meredith strongly believes that the more one understands systems of privilege and oppression, the better one can combat them. This belief has taken shape through her MSU work as a Safe Zone Trainer, as a participant in the development of the Africana Studies Certificate, as a co-creator of “Guide to Facilitating Challenging Conversations”, and as a board member of the Queer Faculty and Staff Association.  

During her free time Meredith enjoys Nordic skiing, hiking, camping, playing board games, learning new languages, and joining book clubs!  

Headshot of Mackenzie Spence, Program Coordinator of TRiO Student Support Services

Mackenzie Spence, M.Ed.

Program Coordinator

(406) 994-7455

[email protected] 

Hometown: Alberton, MT

Originally from Alberton, MT, Mackenzie came to Bozeman in 2017 to pursue her B.S. in Sociology - Criminology with a minor in German. During her time as a student, she also completed her Dental Assisting Degree from Penn Foster. She also completed her Masters of Education in International Educational Leadership from the Univresity of Montana in December

2023. Mackenzie graduated from MSU and the MSU Honors college in the Fall of 2021 and shortly after graduating, Mackenzie took a job in the Office of Admissions before eventually making her way to the TRIO SSS Office as their Program Coordinator.

She is very passionate about student success and is actively involved in First-Generation student and LGBTQ2+ student success and visibility as the First-Gen Committee Chair as well as a board member for the Queer Faculty and Staff Association on campus.

Mackenzie can be found geocaching, hiking with her dog, Kenai, or paddleboarding if she isn't working at a local veterinary office or volunteering with the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership program as their Leadership Seminar Chair.