Student Government’s 2021 Business Manager Kara Altmiller selected as student speaker for FVCC’s 53rd commencement ceremony
After growing up in the tight-knit community of Plains, Montana, Kara Altmiller knew she wanted to attend a college that had a low student-to-teacher ratio and that was close to her beloved hometown.
Two years after packing her bags for Kalispell, Altmiller finds herself writing a commencement address about her time at Flathead Valley Community College. It’s an address that seeks to inspire and give thanks, one that will pay homage to the leadership skills she gained in student government, the friendships she forged on campus and the gratitude she has for the faculty and administration who set her up for success as she transfers to the University of Montana this fall.
Altmiller, a self-proclaimed introvert, served as the business manager of student government for the 2020 – 2021 school year and a senator the year previous — roles she said encouraged her to come out of her shell and give back to the campus community.
While a student at FVCC, she also shared her skills earned as a middle blocker for the Plains Horsemen and Trotter volleyball team by coaching Kalispell youth club volleyball. Additionally, she worked for the Lolo National Forest in their fire, recreation and administration departments, and discovered a love for photography.
“I am excited to see where my career within the Forest Service will take me and to apply the education and skills I have gained from FVCC to my work,” said Altmiller who shared her dream job is to work for the U.S. Forest Service’s budget department.
First Altmiller will head to Missoula where she will apply the credits earned from her associate’s degree in general studies toward a bachelor’s in accounting.
“It was the principles of financial accounting class that really changed my mind on what major I wanted,” she recalled. Altmiller originally thought she wanted to pursue a bachelor’s in engineering, a decision that would have ruled out UM.
She looks forward to attending UM in person in the fall, where her father and two of her uncles are alumni, and is prepared for the transition after an arduous year learning online. Altmiller said the pandemic has taught her to be more independent with her schooling, and that it has helped her become more tech savvy and have better time management skills. She only wished she had more time at FVCC.
“It’s sad that the time here is so short,” Atlmiller added. “It’s a really great campus, and there are wonderful people here.”