September 8, 2015
Salish Kootenai College’s DJ Fish

Since 2001, the colleges and universities that make up the Montana Campus Compact have honored the commitments of student athletes with the Montana Athletes In Service award. Whether it’s basketballer Jordan Johnston from Carroll College who worked with Four Georgians Elementary School on the Kids College project as well as Big Brother Big Sisters or SKC basketball player DJ Fish who mentored students with Student Support Services and youth basketball campus, Montana’s college student athletes offer some inspiring examples of what community leadership can look like.

Campus Compact’s blog recently ran an interesting piece called “Building Civic Muscle” in which Engaged Sport’s Kerri Heffernan argues that sports have huge and untapped “civic potential.”

“While many are eager to offer criticism on the place of sport in the academy, we need to balance such calls with recognition of the democratic and civic values that sport helps to cultivate and inculcate.” 

Carroll College’s Jordan Johnston

Heffernan calls on greater collaboration among academic and athletic departments, encouraging better communication about learning goals and tapping into the large potential that collegiate athletics offers for citizenship development, and practicing the democratic principles on which higher ed. was founded. It’s compelling stuff in the era of huge sports scandals and polarized rhetoric around college sports.

This year, during Montana’s Brawl of the Wild football game, hosted by Montana State University, (on Saturday, November 21st) Governor Bullock and the Montana Campus Compact board will present the Montana Athletes In Service awards, we hope you’ll tune in and send your support for the initiative! If you work for an MTCC campus, please note that our nomination form is live on the MAIS page.