Each year, MSU honors faculty and staff who have achieved impact in outreach and engagement. Additionally, the university itself has received several national awards.

Innovation and Economic Prosperity Awards (APLU)

Connections Award: 2018

In 2018, MSU won the Connections Award in the sixth annual Innovation and Economic Prosperity, or IEP, University Awards given by The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The award is the grand prize in a competition that recognizes public research institutions for their economic engagement efforts, specifically their work with public- and private-sector partners in their states and regions to support economic development through things like innovation and entrepreneurship, technology transfer, talent and workforce development, and community development. MSU was recognized for its working engaging with American Indian communities.

Talent award: 2016

In 2016, MSU won the “talent” category of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ fourth annual Innovation and Economic Prosperity Awards. It was one of six universities to be named a finalist for the awards; those six universities competed for four different awards that recognize different components of university economic engagement: talent, innovation, place and connections. Read the news article.

C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award

In 2011, Montana State University was honored as the national recipient of the C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement award from the American Association of Public Land-grant Universities (APLU.) Given just once a year, the award recognizes a four-year public university that embraces outreach and community engagement and comes with a $20,000 prize. Montana State was recognized for the contributions its students have made in bringing clean water to a region in Kenya through the work of the MSU chapter of Engineers Without Borders.

In 2014, MSU's Towne's Harvest Garden, a student-initiated farm and community-supported agriculture project, received a commendation from the APLU as an exemplary outreach and engagement project.

Excellence in Outreach Award for MSU faculty and staff

Each year at Spring Convocation, the Office of the Provost honors one faculty member and one staff member for their commitment to and impact in community engagement. Members of the Outreach and Engagement Council review the applications and forward recommendations to the Provost. About the Provost's Excellence in Outreach Award.

Spring 2020 award winners:

Cathy WhitlockCathy Whitlock, a paleoecologist and Regents Professor in MSU’s Department of Earth Sciences, won the Excellence in Outreach Award for faculty.The award honors Whitlock’s tireless efforts as an ambassador of the university and of climate and environmental science. 



Shantell Frame-MartinShantell Frame-Martin, program coordinator of the Montana Noxious Weed Education Campaign, won the Excellence in Outreach Award for staff. Frame-Martin was nominated for her work on the campaign, which aims to increase public participation in ecologically based integrated weed management. 

Read the news article

Past winners

HRDC Commitment to Community Award

In August 2018, Montana State University received the Human Resource Development Council’s 2018 Commitment to Community Award, honoring the university for its dedication of time and talent to HRDC efforts. Read the news article.