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Montana Tech Student Receives Montana Student Volunteer Award


Zack Torgerson, Montana Tech student athlete, receives Student Volunteer AwardThe Montana Student Volunteer Award, previously known as the Volunteer of the Game Award, is awarded in partnership between the Governor’s Office of Community Service (ServeMontana) and Montana Campus Compact campuses to college students across the state who have demonstrated service to their communities while pursuing a college degree or certificate.

“This incredible group of students is certainly deserving of our recognition as they take the time and commitment to be a force of good in their communities,” Governor Bullock said. “I commend these students for what is likely the start of a lifelong commitment to service and encourage others to follow their example.”

This year, 13 student volunteers across Montana will be recognized at a campus event or home sporting event and presented with a certificate signed by Governor Steve Bullock and their college president.

Montana Tech Business & Information Technology student from Shelby, MT, Zach Torgerson received the award. Torgerson, a Campus Compact AmeriCorps service member, and Oredigger football player, serves over 300 hours a year with youth, assisting them with Science Club, reading skills, and even launching a suicide prevention program in Butte designed for 4th-grade students. His ability to connect with students and inspire his peers to serve has distinguished him as a service member and leader at his Montana Tech.

“Zach is the perfect student to represent Montana Tech in this cadre of scholars,” noted Amy Verlanic, Executive Director of the Institute for Educational Opportunities on the Montana Tech campus. “He gives selflessly of himself to the community and works hard to motivate his fellow students to join him. We are delighted Zach is being recognized by the Governor’s Office because he is incredibly deserving!”

Zach will receive the award at Montana Tech during halftime of the men's basketball game on Saturday, December 7, 2019, in the HPER.

All 2019 Montana Student Volunteer Award Winners are as follows:

Blackfeet Community College | James Clarendon Watts III is the Student Senate and AIBL (American Indian Business Leaders) President. He is involved in AISES (American Indian Science and Engineering Society) and an active contributor to his tribal and campus communities. James sets an example of professional leadership for his fellow students.

Carroll College | Brett Rotz is a senior and president of Carroll’s Engineers Without Borders (EWB). He has volunteered with EWB since his freshman year, providing clean drinking water in Uganda, building safe structures in Guatemala, and other global service projects. Brett is also an active member of “Christ in the City” (CIC) and Carroll’s Campus Ministry Headlights Immersion trips, serving low-income people in Denver and Philadelphia over the past several years.

Dawson Community College | Riley Caudle is a sophomore actively involved in serving fellow students and the community. He is a volunteer freshman softball coach, prepares and serves food at school and community events, and helps new students move into the dorms. Riley volunteers for the college’s semi-annual blood drives and is always willing to help members of the community move when they need assistance. He also serves as an RA and student worker in the Physical Plant Department.

Fort Peck Community College | Cal Christian is a member of the Student Senate and is actively involved in cultural activities on the Fort Peck Reservation. He is an advocate for tribal students with the ability to build cross-cultural relationships. Cal was a participant at the annual Tribal College and University Capitol Hill visits in Washington, D.C. There he met with state representatives and senators to advocate for funding. He is considered the “go-to” student on campus for positions of leadership and service.

Great Falls College MSU | Charmaine Engum is President of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She leads Service Saturday and organizes campus blood drives. As the Associated Students Treasurer, she collaborates to provide Thanksgiving meals for low-income students and volunteers for the campus food pantry weekly. During “Stop the Stigma Week,” Charmaine advocates for addiction and mental health awareness.

Helena College University of Montana | Courtney Radke is a dedicated Student Ambassador, studying to become a Registered Nurse. She devotes time volunteering weekly in the Tinker Lab at Explorations Works and as a “book pal” for local elementary school students. She has volunteered at Festival of Trees, Special Olympics, and the Governor’s Cup. Courtney served as a tutor with the Lewis and Clark Literacy Council and as a member of Montana Supporting Soldiers. She is a committed student and still finds time to give back to her school and community weekly.

Miles Community College | Michael Quintana is a full-time nursing student and President of the Student Nursing Association. He volunteers as a coach for Montana’s Special Olympics and Developmental Education Assistance Program. He served as Vice President of the Student Senate, is a member of Montana’s Alliance of LGBTQ, and organizes service projects benefiting underprivileged families in his community.

Montana State University | Callista Schoettmer is an Engineering major, volunteering through MSU Office of Student Engagement as the Service Saturday Coordinator. Callista recently led a project called “Rockin the M,” engaging 90 student volunteers in 340 hours of collective service. As a “Spring Break Breaks Away” leader, she led a group of nine students on a service project working on trails in New Mexico. She consistently shows compassion and willingness to step up and meet identified needs in her community.

MSU Billings| Sari Robertus is the Student United Way of Yellowstone County President and develops volunteer and work-study projects around education, income, and health. She advocates to address food insecurity, mental health, housing, animal welfare, and the environment. Sari also volunteers as MSUB’s Service Saturday Manager, connecting students, faculty, and staff with high impact service projects in the Billings community. She is a positive role model for fellow students, leading others through cooperation and inclusion.

MSU-Northern| Robert Pair III is a Civil Engineering major participating in multiple service activities while balancing a full course load. He is Secretary for the Association of Student-Athletes, a campus tour guide, Student Ambassador, and MSUN Rodeo volunteer. Robert reads to local elementary students, volunteers as a youth wrestling coach, and was awarded the 2019 Student Excellence Award and 2019 NAIA Academic All-American for wrestling.

Montana Tech | Zach Torgerson is a Campus Compact AmeriCorps service member and Oredigger football player. He serves over 300 hours a year with youth, assisting them with Science Club, reading skills, and even launching a suicide prevention program in Butte designed for 4th-grade students. His ability to connect with students and inspire his peers to serve has distinguished him as a service member and leader at his university.

Rocky Mountain College | Bailey Rheaume is a senior majoring in Elementary Education. She is the Student Coordinator of Bear’s Cupboard, an emergency food program she developed while serving as an AmeriCorps service member on campus. Passionate about literacy education, she serves in elementary school classrooms across Billings and advocates for access to higher education. Bailey uses her education to lead others into service.

The University of Montana Western | Brock C. Doty is a key campus volunteer and mentor for new students. He is a member of the Student Senate and volunteers for the incentive program - “Paw Prints for Success.” He spends time advocating for Western’s “Home for the Holidays” and Experience One programs. Brock has been instrumental in leading new student orientation and preparing freshmen for a successful start at Western.

Nominations for the Montana Student Volunteer Awards open the beginning of the fall semester and close in early October.