Faculty Member of the Week: Dr. Tom Rust

Updated: Mar 9


Dr. Tom Rust is a professor of History here at Montana State University Billings and has been since the Fall of 1999.


Before becoming a professor here at MSUB, Dr. Rust taught Latin to homeschool students and in an adult education course before finding himself here at MSUB.


A native Montanan, Dr. Rust calls Billings home, but can also consider Bozeman in that category. Dr. Rust is a world-traveled scholar, gaining his B.A. from the University of Minnesota, his M.A. from the University of Denver, his Master's of Education from right here, at Montana State University Billings, and finally obtaining his Ph.D. at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom. A well-traveled scholar, indeed.


Dr. Rust believes the most difficult aspect of obtaining his degree was not only the costs of obtaining your degree but also mentions just how mentally taxing college can be on the mentality of the students. He gave the example of how, about six weeks into Grad School, he went to a friend's party and took a sip of some cheap beer and realizes how alcoholics felt when getting their first drink of the night.


Though he is a well-traveled scholar, Dr. Rust enjoys much of the same things we as students do. He enjoys camping, fishing, and even coaches lacrosse in what little spare time he has aside from his "paid hobby" of teaching students and extending his research. When asked about his favorite aspect of MSUB's campus he mentioned how the students are more serious than most, as well as, mentioned that the dynamic was a great aspect as well.


His advice to students is profound, 1. Keep on trucking and take everything in stride, and 2. Don't be afraid of your professors, they're here to help teach you and, more often than not, had a similar issue to what you have currently.

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