Our Team

Kylla Benes

Director of Prestigious Scholarships


  • Office: DHC 116
  • Phone: 406-243-5241
  • Email: kylla.benes@umontana.edu
  • Office Hours:

    Tuesdays 10:00 am to 12:00 pm or by appointment

Personal Summary

As the Director of Prestigious Scholarships, I serve students across campus through personalized advising and scholar development around nationally and internationally competitive scholarships. I started this role after serving as a Teaching, Research, and Mentoring (TRM) Fellow in the Davidson Honors College from 2018 to 2020 and I am excited to continue to help UM's amazing students reach their full academic and career potentials. I earned a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and love learning about aquatic plants and algae. After receiving my PhD, I briefly did communications work for non-profits before returning to academia as a TRM Fellow. Outside of work, I love the outdoors, gardening, baking, and spending time with my family.

Boldest Thing I've Done 

Move across the country to start a PhD program, in a place I had never been and where I knew no one.

Most Important Book I've Read

Grapes of Wrath

One Piece of Advice

Just go for it, do the thing(s) that scares you.



2003 B.S. California State University Northridge

2006 M.S. California State University Northridge

2016 Ph.D. University of California Irvine