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Montana Tech Adds New Faces in Support of Student Success


The Institute for Educational Opportunities at Montana Tech is pleased to announce expansion of their student support staff.  “Montana Tech has a well-earned reputation of excellence in education and The Institute for Educational Opportunities is committed to helping the students of Butte and Southwestern Montana prepare for and succeed in earning a degree.  This commitment is most recently being carried out by expanding staff with three new professionals devoted to direct student support at all levels.”  The Institute’s college preparatory programs are offered in partnership with the Butte School District and funds from the US Department of Education, support for undergraduate students is also available through grant dollars.  “These programs are designed to develop disadvantaged student’s success skills and they are effective because we have passionate caring adults in place to support them.  The new hires are really top drawer and we are looking forward to what students can accomplish with their assistance!” reports Amy Verlanic, Executive Director of the Institute.

Theresa Rader, Institute for Educational OpportunitiesAssociate Director, Theresa Rader Theresa has served as the TRIO Coordinator in Butte for the past 6 years where she has assisted students in making the transition from high school to college. In addition, Theresa is a member of the Southwest Montana Community Management Team, Graduation Matters College Readiness Grantee and middle school Girl Scout Troop Leader.   Theresa was born and raised in Butte and graduated from Butte Central High School. She has Bachelor of Arts Degrees in English and Communication from Jamestown University. “Being a first-generation college graduate and from a low- income family, I understand the challenges students face and am living proof that they can be overcome.  I am committed to working with Montana Tech students, parents, faculty, and administrators to assist them in achieving their goal of a college degree!” 

Taryn Quayle, Institute for Educational OpportunitiesAcademic Coach, Taryn Quayle Taryn is originally from Sandpoint, ID and just moved to Butte in 2015. A graduate of The University of Montana, Taryn is thrilled to be back in Big Sky Country!  While attending UM, Taryn worked for Disability Services and TRIO as an Academic Assistant and Tutor. Taryn received The University of Montana Presidential Outstanding Senior Award in honor of TRIO in 2011. In the years after graduation, Taryn worked for multiple student success programs with North Idaho College and Duke University. A TRIO graduate herself, Taryn relates to the difficulties low income and first generation students face when attending college. Working with students is her greatest passion and she is excited to share this with the students at Montana Tech.

The Student Support Services program at Montana Tech is six years old and has served 240 students to date.  “Our data shows, 16% of the students have gone on to graduate school and another 57% have earned degrees.  Students who take advantage of the services this program has to offer, such as tutoring, study rooms, assistance with graduate school entrance exams, and workshops on stress and time management, increase their chances of graduation many fold!” noted Verlanic.

Matt Sargent, Institute for Educational OpportunitiesTRIO Coordinator, Matt Sargent To insure disadvantaged students from East Middle School and Butte High, take full advantage of their secondary school opportunities as a time to prepare for college, Montana Tech administers both an Upward Bound and a Talent Search program in partnership with the schools.  Carrying out most of the day to day support of students is new hire; Matt Sargent. Matt was born and raised in Butte, Montana.  He graduated from Butte High School in 2004 after which he joined the Air Force as a Weather Technician.  He was sent to the Air Force Air University where he was awarded a degree in Meteorology.  He forecasted weather on all seven continents for the next four years. In 2008 he was awarded the Air Force's Scholarship for Outstanding Airmen (SOAR) and sent to the University of Alaska Anchorage to earn his B.A. in Political Science.  He continued to serve as a meteorologist in the Air Force and was honorably discharged in 2012 at which point he returned to Butte, MT.  He trained with Headframe Spirits as a Distiller before transitioning into teaching with the Butte School District. For more information about these programs contact the Institute for Educational Opportunities at 496-4690 or visit http://institute.mtech.edu/.