Carroll Honors Students with Hunthausen Award

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Carroll College Honors Students for Exemplary Service

HELENA - Carroll College is pleased to present the prestigious Raymond G. Hunthausen Outstanding Collegiate Citizenship Award to four deserving students who have made outstanding contributions to Carroll and their communities. The selection committee chooses students who work to improve the lives of others through their own unselfish commitment of time, energy, and compassion. This year’s recipients are Allison Buckner, Susmitha Helbling, Caroline Herzog, and Ashley Wilt.

Allison Buckner is a graduating nursing student who has been involved in and leads a wide variety of Carroll activities. From Gold Team to CAMP, Campus Ministry to Engineers Without Borders, many people on and off campus have been cheered by her smile and welcoming way during her time at Carroll. Her impact on our community has not been so much through all of what she has done but who she is every day, which is reflected well in her response to her nomination for the Hunthausen Award: “I try to be intentional with others and cherish their presence and value... not a service, just me being me.”

Susmitha Helbling is a graduating Nursing major who has volunteered in many ways both on campus and in service to our community beyond Carroll, including with Campus Ministry on retreats and on the CORE team for freshman orientation, where she led a mask-making workshop. As the very active president of the campus student nursing organization CCSNA, she has started multiple drives/events (recent examples are creating hygiene kits for God’s Love and collecting donations for Food Share). She also volunteered multiple times at the fairgrounds for the COVID-19 vaccination clinic. When asked about the inspiration for doing these things in the midst of the very busy schedule of a nursing student, she responded that she was inspired by what she learned in public health about serving vulnerable populations, and wanted to serve those who may need a little extra help right now especially through the pandemic. She is a bright light with a ready smile, open heart, and willingness to show up and to serve.

Caroline Herzog is a graduating anthrozoology major who is also completing the Honors Scholars Program. Not only does she show love by little acts of kindness to those in her life, but her work has also helped make the Spokane and Helena communities better places to live. Caroline is the current president of the Carroll Outreach Team, or COT. In that role and as the secretary in previous years, she has led a large group of Carroll students in volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, Families with Heart, Helena Food Share, and Son Heaven Assisted Living, where she organized cards to be sent regularly when COVID-19 restrictions decreased volunteer opportunities. In her hometown of Spokane, Caroline has volunteered for a veterinarian clinic where she will be working this summer. Caring for animals is one of her favorite acts of kindness, as evidenced by her training of an anthrozoology dog who was happily adopted after a year in the Carroll program. She also participates in various marches to stand up for the causes she believes will improve life for all individuals. As one of her peers enthusiastically offered, “She constantly encourages me to do more for my community by leading by example.”

Ashley Wilt is a graduating anthrozoology major who has been a volunteer puppy raiser for the past five years for Canine Companions for Independence. This is a national nonprofit that breeds, raises, and trains expert assistance dogs for a multitude of disabilities. Ashley shifted her studies in college to enhance her own curiosity regarding the science of the animal-human bond and development of behaviors to elevate her own skills in training dogs to assist with a wide variety of abilities and needs. While back home early from school due to the COVID epidemic last spring, she found other ways to be of service to others including dropping off meals to a local emergency department to feed nurses working long shifts. As one nomination stated, “The magic of Ashley is that she seeks out no attention for any of her actions. She is generous and special. Few among us can say that they have changed a life. Fewer still can get credit for changing many.”

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.

Carroll College is a private, Catholic, liberal arts, and pre-professional college in Montana's capital city of Helena. Carroll College has earned top national and regional awards for its academic programs, professors, and extraordinary tuition value. For ten years in a row, Carroll has been ranked as the number one regional college in the West by U.S. News & World Report.