AdvoCats reconnects student with school community

By JODI WILSON/Montana State News

Kaley Hinrichs was born and raised in Montana and has always been proud to call the Big Sky State home.  Hinrichs is a student here at Montana State University and understands that in, order to be a strong part of the university community, you have to be involved with the school in a positive way, and for her, this is in more ways than one.

Hinrichs first started attending MSU in the fall school year of 2008 after graduating from Helena High School.  In high school, she was very involved with sports and other extra-curricular activities such as DECA, which is a program in high school that introduces students to business scenarios.  Her main focus during her high school years was volleyball because it was her favorite.

“I really bonded with the other players and really enjoyed the sport in general,” Hinrichs said. “My teammates were some of my best friends in high school and were basically like my sisters and support group.”

The sense of teamwork and community are still two very important pieces to her academic life here at MSU.

“I was very involved in high school and missed that feeling of belonging, so I decided to get involved.”

Along with her full load of business, math and education courses required to complete her degrees in business marketing and math, topped off with a teaching option, Hinrichs decided to get involved with AdvoCats.

AdvoCats team members are current MSU students from all different majors, who are student representatives for the school.

“We learn just about everything you could think of about the campus and the different buildings and colleges,” Hinrichs said. “It’s a great way to learn your surroundings and you meet so many different people.”

On MSU Fridays, AdvoCats are seen throughout the campus, walking backwards, leading prospective students and their parents around the campus, telling of its history and significance to the university.

“It’s fun and it’s something different,” says Hinrichs, “and it definitely makes me feel like I belong at this school.”

Hinrichs is also a SmartyCats tutor and for the athletic study table groups, which help her prepare for teaching in her own classroom one day.

“I decided that I wanted to become a teacher because I like helping people learn new things, and I really enjoy business and math and want others to enjoy them too.”

Hinrichs is on track to graduate in the fall of 2013 and couldn’t be more excited to get involved with another, new, learning and athletic community.

“Ideally, I would like to get a teaching and coaching job at a high school in a small town in Montana or a southern state.”

For more information about AdvoCats, students can inquire at the Admissions Office in the SUB.  For information about SmartyCat and its services, stop by The Office of Student Success, located in the lower level of the SUB next to the Bobcat Grille.

Edited by Randi Tyler

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