Montana Campus Compact to Honor Student-Athlete Volunteers

November 17, 2017

MISSOULA – Montana Campus Compact, a 17-campus higher education network, will honor student-athletes from across the state of Montana for their outstanding community service work during the Saturday, Nov. 18, Brawl of the Wild Football Game in Bozeman.

The MTCC board and Montana Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney will present these 12 exemplary college student-athletes the compact’s Montana Athletes in Service Award.

“College students in Montana do amazing community work, and their investment of time, talent and energy help improve our communities across the state,” said Josh Vanek, MTCC associate director. “These inspiring students are making significant differences at their institutions, communities and world. Please join us in honoring these deserving award winners this Saturday during the Brawl of the Wild.”

For 25 years, MTCC and its campus affiliates have supported students, faculty and communities across Montana with programs that encourage and recognize community service. Vanek said the following athletes will be awarded for extensive volunteer efforts that have been of great benefit to their communities.

The 2017 Montana Athletes in Service are:

Alec Basterrechea, senior, health sciences and Spanish, Carroll College. Sport: football. Service: Special Olympics, Paint the Town Pink, children with special needs, letter writing campaign for cancer patients.

Breck Don, senior, diesel technology and business administration, Montana State University Northern. Sport: women’s Cross Country. Service: student ambassador, St. Jude Church volunteer.

Cade Dairy, sophomore, criminal justice, University of Providence. Sport: lacrosse. Service: Buddy Walk, Providence Formation Group.

Megan Dettling, senior, criminal justice and Spanish, MSU Billings. Sport: softball. Service: president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, Team IMPACT Initiative.

Emily Harwood, sophomore, general studies, Dawson Community College. Sport: women’s basketball. Service: Hike for Hope, MOPS, Play4Kay.

Sharmayne Hill, sophomore, biology, Little Bighorn College. Sport: women’s basketball. Service: Health & Wellness Center.

Samantha Hubbard, sophomore, interdisciplinary social studies, University of Montana Western. Sport: cheerleader. Service: ASUMW senator, Humane Society, Dillon Jaycees, Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship.

Ron Martin Jr., sophomore, business, Fort Peck Community College. Sport: basketball. Service: American Indian Business Leaders, Student Senate.

Sydney Matheny, senior, elementary education, Rocky Mountain College. Sport: volleyball. Service: Haiti orphanage missions, Community Clean-up.

Dillon May, junior, math, University of Montana. Sport: track and field and cross country teams. Service: UM Advocate, Project Homeless Connect, Missoula Food Bank, Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Luke Middelstadt, junior, mechanical engineering technology, MSU. Sport: track and field. Service: advocate and peer educator for the VOICE Center.

Hattie Thatcher, senior, business marketing management, Montana Tech. Sport: women’s basketball. Service: Dress a Child, United Way, Salvation Army, Special Olympics, Read for Peace, Walk to School Day.

Vanek said MTCC is proud to honor these remarkable student-athletes for their efforts to improve Montana communities. Each student was nominated for qualities that demonstrate the integral part they play in their communities and campuses.

Campus staff who nominated these athletes provided some insight on why these students deserve recognition. Following are a few of their comments:

“Dillon’s infectious spirit and enthusiasm can be felt immediately. His commitment to service to others is known on campus and within the community. Dillon’s legacy as a student-athlete who exemplifies kindness and models a steadfast commitment to serving the greater good will endure and inspire others with whom he interacts.”

Charity Atteberry, UM academic services adviser

“Ronald engages in community service because he understands the critical need … He grew up in an area of Cleveland, Ohio, where gangs and street violence were commonplace. He believes community service is necessary to create positive influencers for community members. Ron is a great example of how community service impacts youth to make positive personal and career decisions. Faculty, staff and students alike respect Ron for his ability to prioritize higher education while also making time to volunteer in various campus and community organizations.”

Elijah Hopkins, VP Student Services, Fort Peck Community College

“Alec’s compassion will not only have an impact on the people that he personally serves, but his example resonates with his teammates and friends. Everywhere he goes, he leaves smiles and gratitude. He is not easy to forget and he will leave a lasting impact on those who had the privilege of being around him.”

Jerek Wolcott, sports information director, Carroll College

“Cade is very active in wanting to help others, and he has a very servant leadership attitude. He has set the example for his teammates and peers to put the needs of others ahead of his own.”

Fred Boekel, head coach, University of Providence

“Emily is a positive ambassador for women’s basketball, and she is well-liked around the community. I have families throughout the community that continually applaud me for recruiting such a spectacular student-athlete and her service to Glendive.”

Romeo Lamay Jr., head women’s basketball coach, Dawson Community College

“Luke is setting the standard on our campus as to what it means to be a student-athlete. His legacy will be one of giving and caring, as Luke is a selfless individual who will step up to help wherever needed. He makes those around him better.”

Jamie Rozzuto, MSU assistant athletic director for academic services

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Contact: Kathy Peters, Montana Campus Compact, 406-243-5135, peters@mtcompact.org.