Friday, November 20, 2015


As you might know, Montana Campus Compact is a seventeen campus higher education network that advances the public purposes of colleges and universities by deepening their ability to improve community life and educate students for civic and social responsibility. This weekend, Saturday November 21,  MTCC Board Members and Governor Bullock will honor fifteen exemplary college student athletes who are model examples of our mission and vision.

“College students in Montana do amazing community work, and their investment of time, talent and energy help improve our communities across the state. Campus Compact’s Montana Athletes In Service Award honors the contributions of student athletes and volunteers.” said Josh Vanek, of MTCC.

The 2015 Montana Athletes in Service are:

Anthony Williams, Fort Peck Community College, General Studies, Weightlifting, Football, community/college gym volunteer
Brett Thompson, Montana State University-Northern, Major: Biology, Basketball, Community Volunteer
Callee Remsen, Montana Tech of the UM, Major:  Nursing, Basketball, Big Sister/Child Mentor
Cameron Lee, Montana State University Billings, Major: Organizational Communications, Soccer, Community volunteer
Emily Mendoza, University of Montana, Major: Social Work, Track & Field, Advocate for Student Advocacy Resource Cntr
Greg Thompson, Helena College UM, Associate of Science, Basketball coach, Volunteer Coach & Youth Mentor
Jesse McCloud, University of Montana-Western, Major: Art Education, Football, volunteer Coach and Youth Mentor
Kayla Johnson, Salish Kootenai College, Major:  Tribal Historic Preservation, Basketball, SKC Foundation &  Safe Women’s Shelter
Robert  Pritchett, Rocky Mountain College, Major: Athletic Training, Football, Big Brother Mentor
Taylor South, Carroll College, Major: Biology, Football, Homeless shelter Volunteer, Volunteer Counselor, Disabled Child Volunteer
Taylor Buschy,   Montana State University, Major: Health Education, Track & Field, Elementary/Middle School Volunteer
Tiffany  Marks,  University of Great Falls, Major: Business Administration, Volleyball, Elementary School Volunteer
Zach Levitt, Flathead Community College, Major: Secondary Ed., Intramural Athletics, Volunteer Coach, Community Volunteer
Vanessa Old Coyote, Little Big Horn College, Major: Pre-Med, Basketball, Youth Mentor & Local Campus Clean-up
Ben Powell, Blackfeet Community College Major: Business, Rodeo, Local Toy Drive, BCC Rodeo fundraiser/volunteer

Kayla Johnson (SKC)
MTCC is proud to honor these remarkable student athletes for their outstanding effort this coming Saturday. Each student athlete was nominated for qualities that prove they are an integral part of their communities and campuses. Campus staff who nominated of these athletes provided some insight on why these students deserve recognition, here is what they had to say:

“ Kayla Johnson  has shown other students you can be involved in various things and still maintain high academic standards. Lending a helping hand to those in need can be self-rewarding when you see others benefiting from your efforts which, in turn, lead others to step up and help” said Juan Perez, Student Activities & Gym Director of Salish Kootenai College.

Shawn Huse Head Coach of Men’s Basketball at Montana State University Northern reports that, “Brett Thompson provides help in a friendly fashion to those in need, whenever needed. It is very rewarding for him when others’ lives are affected so positively.”

Robert Prichett (RMC)
Robert Pritchett is a first gen college student in his family and he is showing all of us the spirit of being more than “just a student.” He is the very definition of an engaged student. He is an inspiration to everyone he knows and perhaps part of his legacy will be showing all the kiddos in the schools that anyone can be a successful first generation college student” said Jill Washburn of Community Involvement, Veteran Services, & Parent Relations at Rocky Mountain College.

“Anthony Williams is the first to volunteer his time for the community and college activities. He is a true leader; he is deeply engaged and concerned for others, sometimes to his own detriment. Anthony is a living example of the principle that hard work is its own reward and pays off in the long run” reports of Fort Peck Community College

These students are making a significant difference at their respective institutions and communities. Please join us in honoring these deserving award winners this Saturday during the Brawl of the Wild!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Montana Campus Compact has partnered with Barnes and Noble to help raise funds and awareness for MLK Read For Peace.  When you mention MTCC or Read For Peace at checkout, you are automatically supporting this initiative.  It also works when you go to the cafe for some coffee or lunch.  Bring your little ones for a pajama story time at 7pm.  A story will be read by one of our VISTAs.  Stop by and see us on December 11th to do some holiday shopping and support a great event!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


MTCC VISTA Alumni Mira Mendick
Mira Mendick had a very fruitful year as an MTCC VISTA on University of Montana’s campus here in Missoula. Recently she successfully procured a higher education position at Missoula College, and we decided to check in with her. This is what she had to say:

When and where did you serve your term as a Compact AmeriCorps VISTA?

I served as an MTCC VISTA with the University of Montana Financial Education Program from July 2014 to July-2015. The overall goal of my year was to develop an enhanced entrance loan counseling to be delivered to all University of Montana students. I assisted with the development of this project through research, which contributed to the outlines I developed to be used to guide informational videos. The state decided to take this project on as a bigger initiative, which will result in all students in the MSU system having access to this enhanced entrance loan counseling.

What are some highlights from your year of service?

Besides the main focus of my project, I worked on a communication plan, a nonprofit resource sheet, a list of emergency and transitional housing, planned and facilitated student task force meetings, created informational flyers to be used by advisers, a career comparison chart, a write up for the Foreign Student Handbook, student surveys, and a financial aid glossary. In addition, I created partnerships with community nonprofits, such as HOMEward, tabled at the VITA workshops, attended Missoula College tabling events, and partnered with the Personal Finance professor.

How did your service impact your life?

I got to meet and work with amazing individuals, who are making big changes in the world of higher education. My year of service made me aware of some of the needs and challenges that student’s face when entering college, which inspired me to continue my work in the field of higher education.

Where are you now and in what way are you still involved with civic engagement?

I’ve stayed in Missoula and I am working in the Academic Advising Center at Missoula College. I’m embarrassed to admit that I haven’t been so involved in civic engagement lately, because I’ve been so busy with work, but I’m excited to start looking for meaningful ways to contribute to the community. Reach out to me if you need a volunteer!


Thanks for your service Mira!

Friday, November 13, 2015


Theda New Breast facilitates Tribal Community Relationship Building 
Over the past 14 years, Building Engaged Citizens (BEC) has served as the Montana Campus Compact’s premiere civic engagement and service conference. Since 2000, through various iterations, BEC has provided hundreds of national service members and college students at-large the opportunity to explore the practical and philosophical implications of higher education’s role in civic engagement. This year,BEC continued the legacy through training in the areas of leadership/facilitation, marketing, grant-writing,  volunteerism, volunteer management and tribal community relationship building.  

This year, BEC was held in Great Falls on October 28th through October 30th.  Members and staff stayed at the beautiful Ursuline Center and sessions were held at Great Falls College.  Our guest speakers include:  Susan Wolf- Dean of Great Falls College, Theda New Breast, Roch Turner from Bitterroot College and one of our members, Kate Johnson serving at Bitterroot College.  

New AmeriCorps Program Leaders 

Three new leaders are sworn in for our new AmeriCorps Program.  Sara Sadowski joins us from the Govenor's Office of Community Service to help welcome them. These leaders will support and lead a team of college student AmeriCorps members.  Their teams will serve at least 50 high school youth in grades 9-12 to help them consider, plan for and prepare for postsecondary education.  

Eleven Members volunteer at Food Bank

One of our service projects was going to the Great Falls Food Bank to help prepare kid packs for the weekends.  In just two hours they prepared 600 kid packs.  The second group went to Great Falls Improvement District to clean and paint trash cans on Central Avenue.  In the two hour window they finished cleaning and painting thirty trash cans.  

We all had a great time in Great Falls for our annual Building Engaged Citizens conference.  We all learned a lot and made some awesome connections around the state.  We wish our VISTA members continued success and our new AmeriCorps Program Leaders the best of luck starting their terms of service!