Volunteering has always and continues to be a huge part of my life. Below are some of the organizations I have had the pleasure to work under.
American Fisheries Society
The American Fisheries Society (AFS) has been a pillar in my academic career. AFS is a community that supports one another, that builds friendships that last a lifetime, and develop skills to produce the best fisheries biologists out there. I have been part of all four AFS divisions either as a professional or student while working at five different universities and institutions in the U.S. and Canada. Throughout the duration of my master’s I served on the executive committee of our student subunit every year. The programs our subunit led and workshops I helped organize as well as strong student involvement resulted in our subunit being awarded outstanding student subunit. When I started my PhD program, there was no student subunit in the entire province of Quebec, so I served as Canadian Division Representative within the Students and Early Career Professionals (ECP) Subsection of the AFS Education section to remain involved with AFS before establishing a new student subunit for which I am now President. Our new subunit has already formed a successful mentoring program and job board to connect graduate students looking for field or lab assistants with motivated undergraduate students looking for experience. We have also hosted visiting researchers, held a film screening and are currently planning a research symposium with a panel discussion. I am continuing my service in the Students and ECP Subsection as President-elect for which I have already led a webinar on Resources & Strategies for AFS Student Subunits and am planning/organizing a symposium on increasing communication and collaboration with stakeholders for the annual meeting. In addition, I serve as a volunteer editor for the International Fisheries Section Editorial Assistance Program to aid non-native English speakers in manuscript preparation and review articles for Transactions of the American Fisheries Society and Fisheries magazine.
American Field Service Intercultural Programs
Through the U.S. Department of State, I have been certified to select student ambassadors. My positions as liaison and returnee ambassador charge me with overseeing families and exchange students, working with multiple high schools, organizing and running orientation programs, community outreach, and chaperoning international high school students.
International Volunteer Action Corps
Serving under IVAC, I performed service projects throughout Central America from building a playground at an orphanage to restoring an old school. While abroad we try to learn as much about the history of the place we are in and the culture of the people as well as give back to the community we are living in. In the United States, we promote intercultural community involvement and service.
Stern Tutoring and Alternative Techniques of Education (STATE)
Through the STATE program, I mentored students with learning disabilities. I taught positive study habitats, identified and addressed areas of weakness, monitored progress, and offered support.
Beekman Therapeutic Riding Center
While a Parelli trainer and rehabilitator at Beekman I rehabilitated abused horses then trained them to work with disabled adults and children.
Family of Strength Organization
As a liaison I raised funds for small grass root organizations in Sub-Saharan African villages that care for orphans and vulnerable children struck by the HIV-AIDS crisis and coordinated programs to educate the public in the United States about these issues.
Cat Tail Farms Feline Sanctuary
As volunteer coordinator and a board member of Cat Tail Farms I recruited and trained volunteers, planned and assisted with future sanctuary projects, budgeted expenses, raised funds, led meetings, headed outreach program, public relations for the sanctuary, designed and ran website, converted all paper records to computer database. In addition to caring for, socializing and providing medical treatment to FIV+ and feline leukemia cats, rescue horses, goats, sheep, ducks and pigs.
Michigan State University Associated Students of Michigan State University
I served as College Representative and Policy Board member where I oversaw a 1.5 million dollar budget to support over 550 registered student organizations, started the collegiate readership program, lobbied for the Good Samaritan Policy, funded scholarships, and ran the iVote campaign. This position provided me with the opportunity to collaborate with members of City Council and meet with state officials to discuss plans of integrating the university, community, and capital.