MISSOULA, Mont. -

Outside his new home as the new dean of The University of Montana Journalism School, Larry Abramson said the beheading of American journalist James Foley was shocking and horrifying.

Next week, Abramson will welcome a couple hundred journalism school students. He said he knows violence like the beheading of an American journalist is rare, but students still need to be aware of it.

"This, I think, should be a reason for students considering this profession to redouble their commitments to it, because it's so important for us to know about a country that is so far away but ends up controlling a lot of our lives here," said Abramson.

"I think the fact that ISIS and other organizations target journalists, it's proof that journalists need to be there," said UM journalism student Katheryn Houghton.

Houghton, a senior, just returned from studying in the Middle East. She said she was grateful for Foley and his work.

"I think he did what he had to do, and I'm sad that it ended that way, but hopefully for journalists who follow suit it will be a different outcome," she said.

While Houghton and hundreds of other students studying to become journalists will probably never be in a similar crisis, Abramson said it really underscores what journalism is about.

"It also underscores something many Americans take for granted, which is the great lengths great journalists to go to just to bring home the daily news," said Abramson.