Montana Campus Compact, a network of higher education institutions committed to promoting civic and community engagement, is proud to announce the 2023 George M. Dennison Civic Engagement Scholarship recipients.

Montana Tech student Nicholas Verlanic is one of 10 students receiving the scholarship. The 2023 recipients are Bridgette Shields-Aaniiih Nakoda College, Brandi Harwood-Blackfeet Community College, Shelby Smith-Montana State University, Melia Swirsky-Montana State University, Nicholas Verlanic-Montana Technological University, Shaylie Pierson- Montana State University Billings, Freeman Voyles-Montana State University-Northern, Samantha McNair-Salish Kootenai College, Maria Kouidi-University of Montana, John Mears-University of Montana Western.

The scholarship program, created in honor of the late George M. Dennison, aims to encourage students to become active and responsible citizens through community service and leadership. Dennison was president of the University of Montana (1990-2010) and a co-founder of the Montana Campus Compact.

This year, the students received $1,000 in scholarships for outstanding community contributions. The recipients were selected based on their dedication to serving others, leadership qualities, and potential to impact their communities positively.

"These talented, driven students are actively making positive impacts in their communities, and we're privileged to support them and their good work," said Josh Vanek, Executive Director of Montana Campus Compact. "The George M. Dennison Civic Engagement Scholarships embody the spirit of civic engagement, and we are proud to support these students in achieving their goals."

Montana Tech student Nicholas Verlanic noted, "I hope our community and world become more generous and kinder. My community engagement helps me to model this for those younger than me. It also provides me with opportunities to have mentors who have also been volunteering and connecting. While helping others feel inspired and greatly valued, I have felt much more myself. There is a definite sense of meaning and purpose when helping others. To see them rising above their obstacles and being resilient has motivated me to work toward doing the same--especially when faced with heartache or misfortune, which seems to be an inevitable part of this life."

Verlanic, whose family has resided in Butte, Montana, for several years but whose roots trace back to Anaconda, Montana, is a freshman at Montana Tech taking business courses. He is pursuing an associate of science degree with plans to continue in school, eventually receiving a doctoral degree.

For those interested in supporting the George M. Dennison Civic Engagement Scholarship, donations can be at

 For more information on Montana Campus Compact and the George M. Dennison Civic Engagement Scholarships, please visit