Brenda York has been a prominent figure at MSU since 1997, when she began working in the Office of Disabilities, Re-entry and Veteran services. York, who grew up in Bozeman, enrolled as a non-traditional student at MSU in 1995. The mother of one son, she got her bachelor’s degree in science at MSU before completing her master’s degree in adult and higher education in 2002. York currently serves as the director for the Office of Disabilities, Re-entry and Veteran services.
The office “serves as a resource for disabled, re-entry and veteran students. It also helps accommodate access for students with disabilities, support for those returning to college, and benefits academically for veteran students,” York said. The office serves over 1,030 students at MSU including approximately 25 re-entry students, 504 disabled students and 589 veteran students.
York is busy in her role as director, sitting on “numerous committees, and meeting with students on a daily basis.” She has worked to ensure that students are receiving the support and access to resources that contribute to student success
Earlier in the semester, York spoke at a University Council meeting about removing struggles facing students at MSU who are blind, deaf or have other disabilities. This included a report recommending more training for MSU professors, more attention to accessibility, and a new policy for handicapped students, so that they don’t have to face unnecessary obstacles.
York has also served on boards in the area of veteran affairs, not only at MSU but in Montana as well. In 2012, York was appointed by Gov. Brian Schweitzer to join a task force that helps Montana service members, veterans and their families use the state and federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service resources that are available. She also was appointed by Sen. Jon Tester to serve on the veteran affairs board.
The veteran affairs board was established to provided a network of service for distinguished veterans and their families. York helps to continue education and assistance for the general public, governmental agencies and elected officials regarding veteran’s services, programs, initiatives and policy.
In her free time, York loves to be around animals. She helps with the Montana horse sanctuary that houses horses that have been abandoned or neglected. She also loves to spend time with her two red heelers when she can.
For York, her passion comes from the students, “Working with students and helping them towards a quality education is what I love.”