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Recent UMW Graduates to Attend Veterinary, Dentistry and Medical Schools

May 26, 2020

Six graduates from the University of Montana Western’s Biology and Natural Horsemanship programs have accepted offers to attend veterinary, medical and dentistry schools across the country.

Recent UMW Graduates
From left to right: Tristin Bullshoe, Carol “Grace” Maxwell, Riley Savage, Garrett Mussmann, and Jake Malek. Not pictured: Skye Sutphin.

Students Garrett Mussmann, Carol “Grace” Maxwell, Jake Malek and Skye Sutphin graduated this May and will attend veterinary school, while 2019 students Riley Savage and Tristin Bullshoe will attend dentistry and medical school, respectively.

Alumna Grace Maxwell explains how shadowing vets in Twin Bridges, Mont. as well as UMW’s own Dr. Layne Carlson helped her to solidify the desire to continue on to veterinary school. Additionally, among the six letters of recommendation needed to apply to veterinary school, Maxwell included one from her UMW college advisor, Dr. Mike Morrow, who also assisted her with the essay process.

“My professors and advisor really wanted me to succeed. I also had constant check-ins and support from my supervisor at the Learning Center, Susan White, about how the application process was going,” Maxwell said in her interview on the support she received.

Creating strong relationships with professors, due to limited class sizes, as well as utilizing the block schedule to allow for multi-day laboratory exercises in classes, prepares students in modern techniques they can apply in graduate school.

“Within our sciences, we are well equipped for helping these students compete at a national level,” said biology professor Mike Morrow. “I’m less surprised we have this variety of higher ed acceptances than I am so proud of them.”

Students at the University of Montana Western enjoy a tight-knit community atmosphere and small class sizes where they work closely with peers and professors alike. Montana Western focuses on serving students, achieving academic excellence, and promoting experiential education. The 20-acre campus is an excellent choice for students to take advantage of the immersive learning opportunities offered by the nation’s only Experience One program, where they can build on critical and creative thinking skills to prepare for real-world job and graduate school opportunities.

With Experience One, students at Montana Western take one course at a time for 18 days, take a short break and then move on to their next course. By utilizing block scheduling combined with immersive learning, UMW is the only public four year university in the country to employ this model that is focused on student success.

When asked what advice he would give to students on the fence about pursuing higher education, Garrett Mussmann advised, “I was able to gain specialization in horses and the knowledge from it will pay off in the long run while providing more career options in the future.”

Grace Maxwell explained that “Shadowing an established professional in the field is very important to make sure you have a drive for it. Through my internships at Montana Western, I knew this is what I wanted to do for my career.”

For more information about Experience One and the University of Montana Western, or to schedule a visit, call 877-683-7331 or visit