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MCC News

Samantha Burke

MCC Student Athlete Recognized with Service Award

Montana Campus Compact (MTCC), a seventeen-campus higher education network that includes Miles Community College, honored student-athletes from across the state of Montana for their outstanding community service work at the November 19th Brawl of the Wild Football Game in Missoula.

Each year MTCC recognizes one student-athlete from each affiliate campus who has dedicated their efforts to serving the community while also pursuing their college degrees/certificates and participating in college sports. The MTCC Board, Governor Gianforte, and OCHE Commissioner Clay Christian, presented 12 exemplary college student-athletes MTCC’s Montana Athletes in Service Award.

Representing Miles Community College on the list of recipients is Samantha “Sam” Burke. Burke is a sophomore at MCC and an outfielder for the Pioneer Softball team. She has been a volunteer with the "Raising our Community Kids Safely" (ROCKS) program in Miles City, MCC’s Reverse Trick-or-Treat event, and numerous other opportunities that serve children. Burke has also been active in supporting the food pantry and is currently promoting mental health awareness on campus and in the community. She is currently studying Elementary Education at MCC, with plans to transfer to the University of Montana-Western in Dillon upon graduation.

“I was really honored to receive this award,” commented Burke. “I’ve volunteered around campus because it’s something I wanted to do, but I’m completely honored to be recognized for it.”

Burke began her extensive volunteer experience in her hometown of Cut Bank, Montana. During high school, she was actively involved in student council, food pantries, and local church projects. She also spent her time in the summers watering plants for local community members.

“Volunteering has always been second nature to me,” Burke said. “It’s so important to help others, especially those in need.”

For 29 years, Montana Campus Compact and its affiliate campuses have supported students, faculty, and communities across Montana with programs that encourage and recognize community service. Montana Campus Compact and the State of Montana are proud to honor the athletes whose extensive volunteer efforts have been of great benefit to their communities.

honor the athletes whose extensive volunteer efforts have been of great benefit to their communities. “College students in Montana do amazing community work, and their investment of time, talent and energy help improve our communities across the state,” said Josh Vanek, Executive Director of MTCC. “Campus Compact’s Montana Athletes in Service Award honors the contributions of student athlete-volunteers.”

2021 Montana Athletes in Service Award Winners:
  • Samantha "Sam" Burke, Miles Community College Softball
  • Hayden Foltz, MSU Billings Baseball
  • Shelby Fronk, Dawson Community College Women’s Volleyball
  • Maria “Mia” Hughes, Montana State University Women’s Basketball
  • Alexander Hurlburt, University of Montana Football
  • Isabel Kerst, Flathead Valley Community College Logger Sports
  • Ismael "Esai" Longoria, Montana Technological University Football
  • Shania Neubauer, MSU Northern Women’s Volleyball
  • Bert Paulsen, University of Montana Western
  • Tom Robitaille, Carroll College
  • Bryor Smith, Fort Peck Community College
  • Juliana Takes Horse, Little Big Horn College

For more information on these awards, visit

Founded in 1939, Miles Community College (MCC) was established as the first community college in the state of Montana. Nestled in the heart of Miles City, the two-year college offers a bustling campus with on-site housing, a full athletic program, and a state-of-the-art Ag Advancement Center and offers quality programs including nursing/healthcare, agriculture & equine studies, business, information technology, education, and more.

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