Each Spring, the Women's Center and the MSU Alumni Foundation honor the "Student of Achievement" Awardees. These students have worked hard to promote diversity and equality, have demonstrated outstanding leadership abilities, excelled in their school work, and served as strong roles models for their peers.
Lyla is graduating this spring with a degree in Sociology-Criminology and minors in
Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies. Lyla has made the most of her years here at MSU as a program
coordinator for the Diversity and Inclusion Student Commons (DISC), student director of the Late Night
Streamline bus service through ASMSU, a Resident Advisor, and a Sustained Dialogue moderator. She is
Co-founder and former President of the Black Student Union, a member of the African Student
Association (ASA) and the Queer Straight Alliance (QSA). Lyla’s honors include this year's MSU
Homecoming leadership Pillar Winner, recipient of Forward Montana’s 25 under 25 Award, a Christy
Foundation Scholarship Winner and One of Nine African American Leaders in the Pacific Northwest. Lyla
has co-presented several Women’s Center Sack Lunch Seminars, and her greatest passion and efforts
while at MSU lie with social justice, and diversity, equity and inclusion. After graduation, Lyla plans to
enter into an Adult Education Master’s program to facilitate educating adults about healthcare access.
Olivia is graduating in May with a degree in Organismal Biology and minors in Statistics
Studies. During their time at MSU, Olivia has served as a Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador in the DISC,
a Sustained Dialogue moderator and as a part of the planning committee for the Rainbow over the
Rockies conference in April of this year. They have also served as President of the National Residence
Hall Honorary and as a member of the Residence Hall Association, where they have focused on making
activities for residents more accessible and sustainable for all students. Since 2018, Oliva has been a part
of the Cripps Mycology lab. They are also currently completing an internship with at the Museum of the
Rockies in the Cultural History department. After graduation, they plan to attend a master’s program in
Museum Studies, and hope to use their knowledge and experiences from MSU to encourage more
community-based and inclusive programming to museums. Olivia will advocate for greater inclusion of
gender and race in museum studies and in museum exhibits and operations.
Natalie is graduating this spring with a degree in Applied Mathematics. During her
career at MSU,
Natalie has served with the VOICE Center as a Student Advocate, an Advocate Mentor, an after-hours
crisis advocate and peer educator. She is currently the President of Students Against Sexual Assault and
a current chair and board member of the Survivor Fund. Natalie has also served as an ASMSU Diversity
and Inclusion Liaison member. She has volunteered with many organizations such as Sacks off Main--
supporting the Bozeman Help Center, and Bounty of the Bridgers’ Food Pantry. Natalie is also a member
of Alpha Omicron Pi and the Math Club. She has been nominated for a Day of Student Recognition
Award, has been honored as New Member of the Year for her sorority, and as the Homecoming
Ambassador of Involvement 2020. After graduation, Natalie would like to use her knowledge of
mathematics, particularly statistics, to aid in service, inclusion and human connection, perhaps working
as a data analyst/ specialist for a non-profit addressing social justice and human need.
Katy will graduate in May with a degree in Chemical Engineering. While at MSU, Katy
has served as an
educator, peer mentor and volunteer for the MSU VOICE Center on campus. In addition, she has served
as the HEART Initiative secretary, an Engineers without Borders Financial Team member and sanitation
member, and an MSU Honors College Advisory Committee member. Katy is a Cameron Presidential
Scholar and recipient of the MSU Vice President for Research Scholarship, as well as a Semptemveri
Award. Katy is a researcher in the MSU Food Product Development Lab, investigating intellectual
protections for marginalized communities and how universities and researchers can facilitate fairer and
more culturally sensitive research. Upon graduation, Katy would like use her degree to lead the energy
industry in a more sustainable direction and advocate for healthy and fair workplace practices for those
in the industry.
Anne will graduate May 1st with a degree in Applied Mathematics. During her time here
at MSU, Anne
has served as the co-president of Queer Straight Alliance, secretary of the Math Club, a tier three
representative on the Sports Executive Board, a Club Sports representative to the Rec Sports and Fitness
Advisory Board, and as a member of Out in STEM (oSTEM). Her role as the Swim Club President met an
extraordinary challenge when the Rec Center’s roof collapsed in 2019, but she and the club’s secretary
were vigilant and successful in keeping the organization running and thriving. Anne was accepted to
present research at (last year’s cancelled) NCUR 2020 and has been reaccepted and is presenting at
NCUR 2021. Anne is proud to be an undergraduate researcher in the STEM field as a woman and
member of the LGBTQ+ community. Anne has submitted testimony against Montana’s HB 112 bill in the
fight for the rights of transgender athletes in interscholastic sports. Anne has also volunteered with the
Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming. After graduation, Anne plans to use her experience in STEM and
in sports and diversity work to increase inclusivity and identities in STEM fields and in sports.
Lexi is graduating on May 1 st with a degree in Microbiology and Environmental Health,
with minors in
Global Health and Hispanic Studies. During her time at MSU, she has worked closely with Guardians of
Living Water, the Big Horn Valley Health Center, Crow Environmental Health Steering Committee and
Messengers for Health, an Indigenous led non-profit. Within these organizations, Lexi has specifically
collaborated with the Apsáalooke community to eliminate inequities this population faces. Last summer,
Lexi helped implement and has continued to work with a Tribal Health Improvement Program on the
Apsáalooke reservation. In addition, she is an intern with South North Nexus in Bozeman and La Guajira,
Colombia, conducting livelihood analysis in similar bioregions. Through this work, more can be learned
about the impacts of shock (climate change, COVID, political turmoil) within these global regions. Lexi
worked in the Pincus Lab at MSU understanding the mechanism of toxicity for ricin and on a cure for
HIV. She runs for the MSU Cross Country and Track Team. After graduation, Lexi would like to work
toward her goal of providing primary care for a rural, underserved populations, placing emphasis on
preventative and community care.
Elena will graduate this spring with a degree in Cell Biology and Neuroscience. As a student at MSU, Elena has served in the VOICE Center as an advocate and peer educator. She has completed the DISC’s Safe Zone training in order to serve our LGBTQ+ student effectively, and has demonstrated her leadership skills in her position as a course assistant and Leadership for Future STEM Professional’s course work. Elena has worked as a Smarty Cats Tutor and a specimen collector for the COVID-19 Symptomatic Student Testing Center. Elena is the recipient of the Academic Achievement Scholarship, has consistently been on the Dean’s List and is a member of the MSU Honors College. Upon graduation, Elena plans to complete the education and training to become a psychiatrist. Working in the VOICE Center has made Elena realize her passion for helping others, and being a psychiatrist is a great opportunity for her to continue her work with vulnerable populations using her strong background in STEM.
Allison will graduate in May with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Global
Health. During her
time as a student, Allison has developed a passion for public service. She currently serves as the student
lobbyist for the Montana Associated Students representing 40,000 students in the Montana University
System, is a Delegate for the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship, a Delegate for the New Leadership
Montana Summer Institute, an ASMSU Senator, Student Liaison for the University Planning Council, the
MSU Legislative Committee, the Outreach and Engagement Council and for the Bozeman Public School
Board. Allison was also selected as a delegate to the United States Senate Youth Program in
Washington, D.C. She is the recipient of many awards and won sixth nationally (first in Montana) in the
Nation for the Voice of Democracy speech contest, as well as the Torlief Aasheim Community
Involvement Award and an Award for Excellence. Allison has volunteered as an Honors College
Ambassador. After graduation, Allison would like to use her experience and education to continue in
public policy and encourage young people, especially women and girls, Indigenous communities and
rural communities to be active participants in our political system.
Mayuri will graduate on May 1st with degrees in Chemical and Biological Engineering and a minor in biomedical engineering. During her time at MSU, she worked at the DISC with Sustained Dialogue as a dialogue moderator, leading discussions on diversity, equity, intersectional identities and mental health. Mayuri serves as Student Director of the Honor’s Presents series and is ASMSU’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion. Her work in Dr. Stephanie McCalla’s lab focuses on disease diagnosis and biosensors, and she received funding for this research through INBRE. Mayuri is a member of the MSU BIPOC Action Planning Committee and a Diversity & Inclusion Ambassador. Mayuri has been recognized with an Undergraduate Scholars Program scholarship, an Honors College Dean’s Excellence Scholarship, an Award for Excellence, and Septemviri. She has volunteered with the Montana Racial Equity Project, Planned Parenthood of MT, Compassion Project, Gallatin Valley Food Bank and Bozeman United for Racial Justice. She is a member of The American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Society of Biological Engineers, and the Society of Women Engineers. After graduation, Mayuri will pursue a PhD in biomedical engineering and continue her work to improve equity and accessibility for all identities within the healthcare system. She will work to develop rapid diagnostic tools that are affordable and impartial for medical issues that disproportionately affect BIPOC and those in lower income areas.
Madison is graduating this spring with a degree in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics. During her time at MSU, Madison has been involved with the MSU Leadership Institute, currently serving as the Senior Associate, where she has advocated for events and discussions surrounding the 2020 elections, climate change and Black Lives Matter. She has also participated in and served as an officer in the Association for Women in Computing, and as a member of the Women in Engineering Student Advisory Board. Madison is an undergraduate researcher in the MSU Security and Privacy Lab, and has been recognized with the Torlief Aasheim Community Involvement Award, an Award for Excellence, a Semptemviri Award, a National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergrads, a Cameron Presidential Scholarship, a Hambly Women in Engineering Scholarship, and she was selected as an Honor’s Intern with the FBI. Madison has volunteered with Mountain Time Arts and with Heart of the Valley. After graduating, Madison would like to combine her passions for service, justice and leadership, technology and security, and encouraging women and girls to pursue educations in engineering and computer science.
Tiga will graduate in December with a degree in Industrial and Management Systems Engineering. During her undergraduate career at MSU, Tiga has volunteered as a TRIO Peer Mentor and helped coordinate and facilitate First Generation Student Day. She is a member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and has served as the Secretary, Internal Representative, and Regional Representative. Tiga has been honored with the Emerging Scholar’s Grant Award for SHPE, the Hambly Women in Engineering Scholarship, and a Montana Access Scholarship. She has also worked as the ASMSU Secretary, is part of Earthtone Outside for BIPOC outdoor activity accessibility, and is an EMPower Scholar. Tiga has also collaborated with TRIO and the DISC to train TRIO mentors in Safe Zone education as she is Safe Zone trained. Throughout her career at MSU, Tiga has strived to support first generation students like herself and encourage marginalized students to run for leadership roles within student and professional organizations and clubs. After graduation, Tiga will continue to work towards a more equitable, diverse, strong, and inclusive future.
Mikayla is graduating this spring with a degree in Chemical Engineering and a minor in Hispanic Studies. Her career at MSU includes research work with Dr. Stephanie McCalla and volunteer work with Engineers without Borders. In her lab work with Dr. McCalla, Mikayla is driven by the project’s goal of increasing medical care in limited resource settings. She uses her position in her engineering cohort to encourage intersectional feminism and young women’s participation in STEM careers. As a member and officer of Engineers without Borders, Mikayla has strived to bring issues of power dynamics, “voluntourism,” colonialism and the white savoir complex to the forefront of the club’s activities and projects. Mikayla has served as an Honors College Ambassador and co-presented a Women’s Center Sack Lunch Seminar for our MentHERship series. She has received a Presidential Scholarship, an Award for Excellence, the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering’s Outstanding Senior Scholarship and was a 2020 Goldwater Scholar. After graduation, Mikayla plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at University of Texas at Austin to research sustainable energy solutions.
Max will graduate this spring with a major in Biochemistry and minors in Economics, Global Health and Hispanic Studies. During his time at MSU, Max has been a part of the Callis Lab in the Chemistry/Biochemistry Department and worked as a research assistant for the Center for Interdisciplinary Health Workforce Studies in the College of Nursing. He also worked as a research intern at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. Max is a member of the MSU Honors College and Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. He has volunteered as a tutor in the Native American Student Success Center and for Eagle Mount in Bozeman. He has served as an Advocate, Peer Educator and crisis line staffer for MSU’s VOICE Center. Max was a Truman Scholar in 2020 and a Rhodes and Marshall Scholarship National Finalist. He was a Presidential Scholar and a recipient of an MSU Senior Award for Excellence. After graduation, Max plans to eventually attend the University of Cambridge to obtain an MPhil in Population Health Sciences and eventually medical school. He hopes to help shift the model of healthcare to focus on community members and work in a rural area to help equip Indigenous communities to fight the injustices of the medical system.