By ERIN MURDOCK/Montana State News
Whether she’s researching materials for missile tips for the Navy or promoting inclusion and equality at Montana State University, Lexie Kambich is ambitious and focused. The senior has spent four years at MSU taking advantage of various opportunities and has become an extremely involved student on campus.
Kambich was born in Butte but spent a majority of her time growing up on the east coast. At the young age of eight, Kambich moved to Damascus, Maryland, where she lived until college. She did, however, spend her summers in Montana, enjoying “the best of both worlds” as she called it.
While she appreciated her time on the East Coast, she was ultimately drawn back to Montana for college. In fact, Kambich was so eager to start her college career that she graduated from her high school a year early so could begin at MSU.
Although she originally came to MSU for the biochemistry program, Kambich shifted her focus and declared a major in psychology with a minor in chemistry.
Kambich, now a senior, has spent all of her previous summers working on the east coast. During the first three summers of her college career Kambich worked at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, in Bethesda, Maryland. During her time there Kambich worked in an inorganic materials chemistry lab where research was undertaken to discover the best materials for missile tips and conducted tests, sampling the materials.
“That job was great because I got to work with students from all over the country while doing some really interesting research,” she said.
This summer will be different for Kambich as it will be her first summer in Bozeman. Kambich’s decision to stay in Montana for the summertime was difficult for her seeing as she has always enjoyed returning home during the summer to spend time with her family and dog, and she enjoys the city atmosphere. However, this summer Kambich had another reason influencing her decision to stay in Montana, she will be working as an orientation leader over the summer.
Kambich is excited to advise and guide the incoming freshmen. “I think it’s a great opportunity and it will be really fun to work with freshman and see them begin such an exciting and life changing journey,” she said.
Being an orientation leader is the third position Kambich has had at MSU. Kambich has previously worked in Professor Joan B. Broderick’s lab during her sophomore and junior year as a student research assistant. In August, Kambich began working for ADVANCE Tracs as a student research assistant.
ADVANCE Tracs is a national science foundation grant that aims to broaden the participation of women faculty in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM fields and underrepresented areas of social and behavioral science at MSU. Kambich was drawn to the mission of ADVANCE Tracs.
“I’ve always been passionate about equality and inclusion and to be able to integrate those values into work is ideal, I couldn’t ask for a better job,” she said.
While Kambich has enjoyed her positions as an employee, she has also gotten involved in several student organizations. Kambich is currently an Associated Students of Montana State University senator for the College of Letters and Science and works with constituents to understand and communicate student concerns to her peers in student body government.
“It is a really great to work with administrators to ensure the student voice is being heard,” she said of her involvement with ASMSU.
She also noted that she has enjoyed learning the “behind the scenes” work that goes into so many MSU projects, “To see first-hand how student fees are allocated has been really informative.”
Kambich is also an active member of Chi Omega, a MSU sorority. She rushed her sophomore year after bonding with members who encouraged her to rush. She credits her sorority sisters for pushing her towards campus involvement and academic excellence.
“I’m surrounded by girls who are really involved and active in various parts of campus which has been a great motivator for me,” she said. She has held the positions of assistant recruitment chair and house manager within Chi Omega.
Along with ASMSU, Kambich is a member of the Mortar Board, Order of Omega, a student representative for $tart $mart Workshops and is currently the administrative coordinator for the Not in Our House Taskforce.
In her four years at MSU Kambich has worked hard to take advantage of the many opportunities available to her at MSU.
“Everything about MSU has been perfect and have helped shape my great experience thus far,” she said.
Gabriel Wattenbarger, Kambich’s close friend and orientation co-worker spoke of her work ethic. “She has this incredible focus and at the end of the day she is just a really dedicated person to everything she is a part of. She’s a great person to have on your team, always enthusiastic and energetic.”
As for the future, Kambich hopes to go to graduate school. She will graduate from MSU in December and is particularly interested in George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, for graduate school. Ideally, she would study organizational psychology at GMU. Kambich said that she hopes that one day she will be part of a consultation team that works with companies to help them run more efficiently and effectively while promoting equality and inclusion in the workplace.
For now though, Kambich is content enjoying her final semesters at MSU, “I’m not too worried about the future right now, it’ll work itself out one way or another. I’m just appreciating the time I have left at MSU and trying to make the most out of everything. It’s been a great four years and moving on will definitely be bittersweet.”
– Edited by Brett Nelson