Division of Business and Technology, Equine Studies, and Health and Human Performance

Welcome to Montana Western and the Division of Business & Technology, Health & Human Performance, and Equine Studies!  Our division offers Bachelor of Science degrees in the following areas: Business Administration, Kinesiology, Health & Physical Education K-12, and Natural Horsemanship.  In addition to bachelor’s degrees, you can earn minors such as teaching, farm & ranch management, coaching, and psychology. To see all minors available in our division, please refer to each of our department’s webpages.  

Completing a degree in the Business & Technology, Health & Human Performance, and Equine Studies Division will give you the confidence and skills you need to be prepared for an exciting career in industry or furthering your education in graduate school. The Experience One model features experiential learning, exposing students to the most relevant content and techniques in their industry while being supported by faculty with real-world, professional experience. You will engage in work projects in your field of study, internships, and undergraduate research while being supported by faculty who have professional experience in their disciplines. Block scheduling or focusing on one class at a time allows faculty to utilize field trips, travel to conferences for student presentations, and guest speakers or clinicians to support your learning. Equine students work with their horses on a daily basis! It is our mission to prepare students by providing exemplary hands-on experience.

Please contact any faculty member in the Division of Business & Technology, Health & Human Performance, and Equine Studies if you have questions about our degree programs.  We look forward to guiding you through your college experience while you achieve important life goals!

Division Chair: Denise Holland, Ed.D

Division Chair: Denise Holland, Ed.D



[email protected]


Business & Technology Building 212

Denise Holland, Ed.D, has taught at Montana Western since 2001. Before joining the UMW faculty, Denise taught public high school courses in business and marketing in Idaho and Montana and assisted elementary teachers in creating technology projects.

Her primary teaching interests include business education, technology integration, computer applications and business communications. In her classes, students are working on practical skills needed for today’s workforce such as hard skills (computer skills) and soft skills (communications and team-building).

Her research interests include business education, technology integration and computer skills. She is co-developer of the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK ) Technology Integration Education (TIE) Model for understanding preservice teachers’ classroom performance. Denise also co-developed the Microsoft Office Self-Efficacy Scale.

She has published in leading educational journals such as Journal of Educational Computing Research (2014, 2016), ISTE’s Journal of Research on Technology in Education (2016), Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice (2016), Journal of Leadership Education (2016), and Business Teachers Education Journal (2017). Denise is a member of the National Business Education Association (NBEA).

Division of Education

The Division of Education houses a wide variety of Education programs, including Early Childhood, Elementary, Secondary, K-12, and Special Education programs.  Additionally, we support a number of distance partnerships with tribal colleges in the state.  Graduates from Education programs at Montana Western go on to have fulfilling careers making a difference in children’s lives all over the state and across the nation.  Recent state and national accreditation means Montana Western’s teachers are prepared with the skills necessary to teach today’s students.

Division Chair: Estee Aiken, Ed.D

Division Chair: Estee Aiken, Ed.D



[email protected]


Main Hall 223

Estee served as an elementary classroom teacher and differentiation coach for more than a decade before transitioning to higher education.  Since 2011, she has been focused on educating pre-service teachers and consulting about gifted education and differentiation.  Her areas of research and publication focus on gifted education, early childhood, and very young children with special needs.

Division of Humanities and Social Sciences

Welcome to the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences! Our Division offers a wide range of courses and degree programs. We offer majors in Anthropology and Sociology, English, Glass, Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Modern History, Psychology, and Visual Arts, as well as Secondary Education dual degrees in English and Secondary Education, Interdisciplinary Social Sciences and Secondary Education, Modern History and Secondary Education. Our Division also works alongside the Division of Education to offer coursework towards degrees in Art Education K-12 and Music Education K-12. 

The faculty in the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences come from a range of academic backgrounds. They have published books, contributed important scholarship to their fields, and performed and presented their work in professional venues across the country. Most importantly, they are committed teachers who work closely with students to create experiential opportunities for students to engage in scholarly and artistic work. Through coursework in the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, you can produce original research, perform in theatrical and musical productions, create art using an array of mediums, and write creative or scholarly works. 

Whether you are fulfilling General Education requirements or working towards a degree in the Humanities, Social Sciences, or Arts, our Division has courses that will help you enhance your critical thinking, develop your communication skills, sharpen your creative abilities, and deepen you understanding of the world.  

Division Chair: Ashley Carlson, Ph.D.

Division Chair: Ashley Carlson, Ph.D.



[email protected]


Main Hall 311C

Ashley Lynn Carlson earned her B.A. in English and French from Chapman University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in English literature from the University of New Mexico, where her research focused on nineteenth-century literature. Her research interests include nineteenth- and twentieth-century women’s literature, science and literature, cultural studies, television, and popular culture.

Carlson has published essays on nineteenth-century authors Mary Shelley and Sarah Stickney Ellis, as well as multiple works on contemporary television. In 2015 she published an edited collection, Genius on Television: Small Screen Depictions of Small Minds, and she is currently working on two more edited collections, one on women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) on television, and the other on The CW network. She is also continuing her work on nineteenth-century didactic fiction and Sarah Stickney Ellis.

At Montana Western, Ashley Carlson teaches courses in British literature, cultural studies, and composition.

Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Welcome to the Division of Mathematics and Sciences at the University of Montana Western!  Our Division offers undergraduate students many degree options and focus areas to provide the tools and experience for careers and graduate programs in a diverse set of fields.  Our Division includes the departments of Mathematics, Environmental Science and Biology and we offer Bachelor of Science degrees in Mathematics, Environmental Science, Environmental Sustainability, Biology and Ecology in addition to secondary education in all three fields.

The exceptional faculty in our Division use their professional expertise to create unique educational experiences for our students by capitalizing on Experience One and the block schedule.  We prepare our students for careers and post-graduate study by effectively utilizing hands on learning and teaching our courses in ways to expose students to authentic field and laboratory research methods to gather and analyze data to address real world problems.  Our faculty also maintain active undergraduate research programs to provide students with advanced opportunities to explore diverse research questions.  These projects not only give students applied experience with research techniques, but also provide the opportunity to practice math and science communication skills when the research is presented in various written and oral settings.  

Our Division is excited to help guide you through your educational experiences with the hope of nurturing life-long learning and a strong understanding of the natural world.  We will provide you with the tools and experiences to excel in your post-graduate careers and we take extreme pride in helping our students be successful!  Please explore the information provided in our departmental websites and feel free to reach out to any of the professors within our Division to answer any specific questions that you may have.  We look forward to exploring our world together with you!

Divison Chair: Robert C. Thomas, Ph.D.



[email protected]


Block Hall 122

Dr. Robert C. Thomas is a Regents Professor of Geology in the Environmental Sciences Department at the University of Montana Western. He received the Carnegie/CASE U.S. Professor of the Year award in 2009 and was appointed a Regents Professor by the Montana University System in 2010. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America, Montana Regents Teaching Scholar, recipient of the Humboldt State University Distinguished Alumni Award, the University of Montana Geoscience Alumnus Award, the Geological Society of America Distinguished Service Award, and co-recipient of the Mike Malone Montana Educator of the Year Award. 

He earned B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in geology from Humboldt State University, the University of Montana, and the University of Washington, where he studied past climate change and mass extinctions. He currently works on sedimentation along the northern margin of the Yellowstone hot spot, remediation of grazing impacts on stream function, metal contamination on the Upper Clark Fork, and layperson books on the geology of Montana, like his current project, Montana Rocks!. He has authored or co-authored over 75 publications, including Roadside Geology of Yellowstone Country (2011) and Roadside Geology of Montana (2020), which was awarded the 2021 High Plains Book Award. In 2020, he created the Montana Geology Facebook page, which now boasts 12,000 members.

His international experience includes teaching mountain environments to Sherpa Mountain guides at the Khumbu Climbing Center near Mt. Everest in Nepal, natural hazards at St. George’s University in Grenada, and environmental sciences on the 2012 global voyage of Semester at Sea. He teaches summer geology courses for the Yellowstone Institute, the Yellowstone-Bighorn Research Association (YBRA), and serves as a technical advisor for the Clark Fork Coalition and the Nature Conservancy of Montana. He is deeply passionate about experiential education, using Western’s immersion scheduling system to engage students in authentic practice in the discipline. His personal passions include family, climbing mountains, skiing, and playing guitar around a campfire.