Montana Tech's Baylie Phillips Receives Montana Student Volunteer Award


On Friday, Butte native Baylie Phillips solidified her clout as one of the top STEM students in America by receiving the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, and now she’s receiving another award for a different reason: her commitment to service.

Phillips is one of 14 Montana college students awarded the Montana Student Volunteer Award by the Governor’s Office of Community Service.

The Metallurgical and Materials Engineering junior says that volunteering will always be a part of her life, even as she pursues research and a doctorate in Materials Science.

“Volunteering has been extremely important in my life; no matter how busy I am, I will always find time to volunteer,” Phillips said. “If I find a project to do, I will make time for it. I set aside time every month to volunteer.”

Phillips began volunteering while she was at Butte High School, when she first started making tie blankets for the She also has volunteered at every elementary school in Butte, including spending time as a reading monitor where weekly she tested students on their reading skill and organized food drives there.

Copper Ridge Health and Rehab and The Springs Assisted Living facility are also places where Phillips gives her time.

Phillips has an energy for volunteering that is so contagious she convinced the entire campus to join in last semester. Within 24 hours of approaching Montana Tech staff with a plan to create a food drive last fall, she had started implementing it.

Food Wars was born, and the Orediggers on campus showed up in force, with 24 teams joining in. Phillips hoped to collect 500 items, but by the end of the competition, more than 6,200 items were collected, accounting for more than 4,000 pounds of food donated to five organizations in Butte.

“I find it rewarding and humbling to be an active member in the community,” Phillips said.

“Volunteering and creating events like Food Wars allows me to give back to the community that has always supported me.”

Phillips continues to take on new service opportunities. She’s started serving at Science Days at elementary schools in Butte this semester, and in April she will lead an event to create care packages for the Butte Rescue Mission.

“I believe volunteering gives you a different perspective in life and makes you more personable and understanding,” Phillips said. “Being able to give to others is one of the greatest gifts in life.”