Nominate a Student or Graduate for Volunteer of the Month
Nominate a UMUC student or graduate today to be the next Volunteer of the Month! This recognition highlights outstanding student and alumni volunteers who serve their communities. Each month, one volunteer will be honored.
UMUC faculty, staff, alumni, and students are encouraged to submit nominations of outstanding volunteers who show a high level of commitment to helping others. This commitment can be demonstrated in a variety of ways, including consistent participation, a willingness to give extra effort, and going beyond the duties of their role.
To be eligible for the award, a nominee must be
- A UMUC student or graduate
- A current or recent unpaid volunteer for a program, organization, event, or service project
- A reliable and effective volunteer who is dedicated to helping others
To nominate a UMUC student or graduate for this award, please e-mail UMUC Student Success with the following information and with any questions. Self-nominations are welcome!
- Nominee's name
- Nominee's e-mail address
- Summary of the nominee's volunteer service
- Website or contact information for the organizations, events, and/or programs for which the nominee volunteers.
A new winner will be selected the first week of each month.
UMUC commends students and alumni for all of their volunteer work. We encourage you to nominate a student or alumnus who is an active volunteer, including yourself!
February 2017 Winner: Philippe Ki, '15 and '16
Philippe Ki, a UMUC alumnus from the Cybersecurity Technology graduate program, was a volunteer mentor with UMUC’s Allies Mentoring Program for two years. Philippe committed himself to providing encouragement and advice to several students majoring in information technology and related areas.
Philippe also coached students through educational challenges, sharing strategies for success. Most recently, Philippe signed up to be a tutor with WiseGuy.com, a university-centric online community, so he could offer academic help to current students.
"This [award] means a lot to me because my primary motivation is my desire to help others," said Philippe. "That drive and determination has enabled me to successfully teach traditional and non-traditional students (older adults) for years in remote and rural areas in Africa and to be a Peace Corps Volunteer Counterpart."Thank you, Philippe, for your commitment to helping UMUC students and for your volunteer efforts!
December 2016–January 2017 Winner: Maria Foster, '11
With the support provided by her employer, UPS, Maria Foster successfully obtained her UMUC bachelor's degree in Human Resources Management in 2011. "I enjoyed taking classes through UMUC," Maria said. "They offered many of my classes online, which allowed me a great deal of flexibility to balance school, work, and my mom duties."
Since graduating, Foster has been promoted to full-time management at UPS, and enjoys participating in volunteer activities with the UPS Veterans Business Resource Group. The activity closest to Foster's heart is UMUC's participation in Operation Welcome Home. The UPS Veterans Business Resource Group collaborates with UMUC alumni in preparing travel snack bags and "welcome home" cards for military members—and their families—as they pass through airports when returning from deployment. Foster's son is currently serving in the U.S. Army and he has started classes with UMUC as well. In 2017, he will begin his second overseas deployment since joining the military. Foster says it's wonderful to think that, as he returns, a group of well-wishers may be waiting at the airport to provide snacks and their "thank yous."
Thank you, Maria, for all you do for UMUC, our students and alumni, and our nation's service members!
November 2016 Winner: Seth Barksdale
Seth Barksdale is an undergraduate finishing up his bachelor's degree in Cybersecurity. During a biology class in the Spring 2015 semester, he attended weekly study sessions led by a peer leader. Seth appreciated the support so he decided to return the favor.
For the past year, he has worked closely with a few classmates in his computing courses, tutoring them over the phone, on the computer, and in person. He also signed up to be a WiseGuy tutor, volunteering to help other students through the WiseGuy platform. Since joining in mid-September, Seth has helped four students and logged more than ten hours in that system.
Thanks, Seth, for taking the initiative to help your fellow students in multiple ways.
October 2016 Winner: Dr. Anh Thai, '96 and '02
Dr. Anh Thai spent his career in business management and leadership, working 10 years for the government and more than 20 years in the private sector. His research involves the interactions and relationships between leadership and employment within organizations. Additionally, Dr. Thai developed and maintained his own consulting and business services at Athai-Edit-Consulting.com.
He earned his bachelor's in management and technology ('96) and his MBA ('02) from UMUC. Dr. Thai is an active alumni mentor in the UMUC Career Mentor Program and recently participated in the program's first-ever Mix & Match Mentoring Event.
Thank you, Dr. Thai, for being so involved with UMUC!
September 2016 Winner: Yvonne Davis, '08 and '16
Yvonne Davis served as the student president of UMUC's Phi Kappa Phi chapter during the 2015–2016 school year. In this position, she acted as a spokesperson for the student members, sat on the officer committee, and planned member activities. During the spring semester, she organized a drive to help collect books for a local children’s hospital. Thanks to her hard work, the Phi Kappa Phi chapter and the UMUC community collected more than 300 books to donate.
Although Yvonne recently graduated with her master’s degree, it is likely she will continue to play an active role with UMUC. She has been volunteering since her time as an undergraduate student when she participated in the Allies Mentoring Program, helping other students acclimate to the university.
Please join us in thanking Yvonne for her service!
August 2016 Winner: Jacqueline Williams, Current Student
Jacqueline (Jackie) Williams is a UMUC student studying to earn her Bachelor of Science in business administration, with a minor in human resources management. She serves as the vice president of public relations and recruitment for the UMUC Chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars Honor Society. Jackie is responsible for fostering awareness of NSCS and its activities among potential members, the online student body, and the community at large.
Jackie says that volunteering as an officer with NSCS is a role that she takes very seriously. She demonstrates her dedication to the student members by listening to their concerns, answering inquiries, sharing information, and finding ways to implement suggested ideas.
Thank you for leadership and service to our students, Jackie!
July 2016 Winner: Anne Alston '12
Anne Alston earned her dual master's degree in 2012 from UMUC in information technology, specializing in information assurance and cybersecurity policy. Anne is active in the UMUC Mentor Program and has mentored 20 UMUC students and alumni since joining the program in October 2015. She is extremely responsive to her students and is an example of mentoring excellence.
Anne is the founder and CEO of Alstntec, LLC, a new, emerging woman-owned consulting organization that "connects clients, industries, and technologies." With more than 25 years of combined information technology and administration experience, Anne's extensive background comes with the knowledge and precision of providing valuable consultation services to all business levels.
Thank you, Anne, for being so involved with UMUC!
June 2016 Winner: Sharna Olafisoye, Current Student
Sharna Olafisoye is an undergraduate student who has been a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars Honor Society since 2013. In March of that year, she applied for and later received the position of vice president of social media, a role that has afforded Sharna the opportunity to connect with many students not only within UMUC but at other universities as well.
Because NSCS is an online chapter, Sharna and the other officers have to be creative in how they plan activities and how to support other members. This includes learning new technology for communication.
"I work with a great team of officers who strive to help other members enjoy NSCS as we do," Sharna reflects. "You get to help this great community of learners that you wouldn't realize were out there by sitting on the sidelines."
May 2016 Winner: Philip Callahan '66
Philip Callahan—an alumnus of the Munich, Germany campus—currently serves as senior vice president for the 2015–2017 UMUC Alumni Association Board. He chaired the 2013 Munich reunion, which brought together more than 80 alumni to the Maryland event. This summer, Philip is helping Munich alums organize a trip to Germany to revisit the campus.
Philip regularly attends UMUC volunteer events, like Operation Welcome Home, where students, alumni, faculty, and staff honor military servicemembers returning home from overseas. Since December 2014, he has served as a career mentor for the UMUC Mentor Program. Philip earned his AA in general studies, with an emphasis in psychology.
Thank you, Philip, for being so involved with UMUC!
April 2016 Winner: Antoine Boyd '12
Antoine Boyd is a UMUC alumnus and has been an Allies Mentoring Program volunteer since 2012. Over the last four years, he has played an important role in providing advice and resources for academic success to students majoring in finance, business, accounting, and other related areas. He also shares his experiences and motivates students who are juggling class assignments and job responsibilities.
Antoine describes the enjoyment he gets from being a mentor, saying, "[I]t is both exciting and rewarding helping individuals travel a path so important to career advancement."
Antoine completed his undergraduate degree in finance and also obtained a certificate in financial management, both from UMUC, before earning his MBA from Frostburg State. Even while studying for his MBA, he continued to work as a UMUC mentor in addition to managing his career as a full-time corporate accountant.
Congratulations and thanks to Antoine Boyd for his important contribution to the success of other students!
March 2016 Winner: Alex Deac '15
Alex Deac was named the UMUC Volunteer of the Month because of his dedication as a peer mentor in the Allies Mentoring Program for five semesters, during which he has worked with nine students. When Alex returned to school, his goal was to be able to change careers, something many of our students aspire to do. During his studies, he not only had the flexibility to complete his classes, but he also was able to gain experience within his new field through an internship, which he believes jump-started his career in cyber security. As a mentor, Alex guides new computing majors by helping them acclimate to UMUC, providing them with tips on how to manage time, and giving suggestions on how they, too, can transition into their field of choice.
In addition to mentoring students, Alex had a mentor when he first attended UMUC.
"I remember how hectic my first weeks in classes were after more than a decade break," Alex said. "To this day, I am confident that having a mentor helped me cope with managing necessary time dedicated to competing priorities while setting me up for academic success."
Alex began mentoring in 2014, after he felt comfortable with his classes, and continues to mentor as an alumnus.
"After mentoring for five semesters, I still enjoy the excitement of helping new students, which reminds me of my first days in class," he said.
We thank Alex for helping other students and sharing his tips for success!