Carroll College recognized four students for their exemplary commitment of service to others by awarding them with the Raymond G. Hunthausen Outstanding Collegiate Citizenship Award. The selection committee for this award looks for students who benevolently serve others with no thought of being singled out for recognition – seeking students who exhibit a true sense of unselfish service. This year’s recipients were Matthew Christiaens, Abby Hunthausen, Megan McInnis and Melanie Vert.
Senior Matthew Christiaens from Valier, Montana, has been actively engaged in the Carroll community since his freshman year. He has been a peer minister, Gold Team member, Hunthausen Center liaison, a volunteer on many Headlights service trips as well as serving as an integral participant and organizer on numerous Campus Ministry retreats and organizations. His selfless ways, joyful disposition and willingness to put others first were all notable characteristics that led to his nomination.
Abby Hunthausen, a senior nursing student from Helena, Montana, has been an active member on the campus student nursing organization, CCSNA, during her time at Carroll, most recently serving as president for the past one and half years. Under her leadership, membership and outreach projects have grown. In addition, she is has been a very active volunteer in the Helena community having helped with Race for the Cure, Paint the Town Pink, highway clean-ups and Festival of Trees. Abby is described as kind, competent and compassionate and “embodies the best of what the Hunthausen family has contributed to the world.”
As a senior biology major and gender studies and Spanish minor, Megan McInnis of Bozeman, Montana, has extended her interest and knowledge in these subjects to better both our local community in Helena as well as our global community. She has volunteered at the Florence Crittenton Home, interned at Exploration Works and both worked and volunteered for Family Outreach. After experiencing a life-changing two-week mission trip to Guatemala her junior year, Megan has decided to pursue a master’s in maternal and child health and serve in the Peace Corps following graduation.
Melanie Vert, a junior from Mount Hope, Ontario, has spent a good deal of her time, effort and resources on helping those less fortunate. She has participated in many service trips abroad to places such as El Salvador, Chile, Malawi, Kenya, Argentina and India, where she has done everything from helping to build homes, to providing dental services, to volunteering at leper colonies. She has focused a great deal of her attention on bringing fair trade education to both the campus and Helena community, and has spent many hours working to make Carroll College a Fair Trade Certfied campus. This is just a sampling of Melanie’s many volunteer efforts as she focuses her career aspirations on humanitarian work in order to make the world a better place.
This prestigious award for community service, presented to deserving students who make outstanding contributions to the college or a community, has been a Carroll tradition since 1986. The award was named for Archbishop Raymond G. Hunthausen because of his exemplary commitment to peace and justice in his personal and professional life and his strong pastoral care for all people.