Volunteers of the Month Summer 2020

Brought to you by the Graduate Student Council and Graduate Women in Science Outreach Committee

The 2020 Summer Volunteers of the Month are…

Reid Anderson! Congratulations, Reid!

On top of starting his own business and working to support himself, Reid selflessly volunteers every week for the Fort Collins Delivery Network and Net Impact CSU. Reid spends time shopping and delivering groceries to those who are not able to during this time. He also manages the finances for the Delivery Network by keeping track of cash flow, applying for grants, and managing a bank account. The Delivery Network would not be as successful without his dedication and attention to detail. Additionally, Reid is the treasurer for the Net Impact team. He spends time every week planning events for the community like the Mountain Film Festival, sustainability trivia nights, volunteering days at the FoCo Cafe, and, since COVID, helped his team to host a webinar geared towards aiding small businesses.

Jasmine Donkoh! Congratulations, Jaz!

Since the pandemic, Jaz has been sacrificing her weekends in order to fight the SARS-CoV-2 virus in Colorado. As such, she has used the molecular biology skills learned in graduate school to help our community identify cases of COVID-19. By doing so, she has contributed towards a better understanding of community spread and infection containment and, ultimately, made our community safer through increased testing.

Jen Roux and the CSU School of Public Health! Congratulations, Jen!

As a public health student, Jen has has personally volunteered with the Food Bank and at local testing sites, as well as assisted with contact tracing and case investigation. However, she has also gone further to mobilize groups of people to fight COVID-19, not just individuals. Specifically, she collaborated with her public health program director to engage with organizations around Fort Collins who were being impacted by the pandemic. Together, they set up a communication network – her director referred local contacts to Jen, and she would then communicate the community COVID-19-related need to other public health professionals in her program who could provide specialized assistance. Shortly after, her main campus at CU Anschutz created a student initiative platform to continue these efforts. Jen helped bridge CSU public health students into that system and pair volunteers with community needs. However, her work was not done alone. Without the support, guidance, and intentional effort of her public health student peers, Jen would not have been able to contribute to the pandemic response the way that she has. As such, she is accepting this award on behalf of the Colorado School of Public Health student body at CSU who have also been involved in the COVID-19 response. 

Kara McIver! Congratulations, Kara!

At the start of 2020, Kara began volunteering at UCHealth Family Medicine Center Food Pantry, which serves as an extension site of the Larimer County Food Bank. However, the food pantry was closed for the safety of their shoppers due to the pandemic. With the amount of unemployment soaring in Larimer County and across the country due to COVID-19, many families who have never experienced food insecurity are finding themselves in a new world. The combination of changes in Food Bank procedures to contactless shopping plus the loss of many of the typical volunteers, who are older and more at risk for the virus and therefore staying home, has led to a shortage of Food Bank volunteers. Kara has helped to fill that gap by pivoting to volunteering at the Larimer County Food Bank on the COVID-19 Emergency Response Team. While working on the intake team, she checks in shoppers from their car for contactless grocery pick up. Since CSU went to online course delivery, Kara has been volunteering for two hours, twice per week in both the Loveland and Fort Collins food shares.

**The next award cycle is for Fall 2020. If you would like to nominate yourself or another graduate student for volunteer of the month, please apply here by October 16.

Brought to you by the Graduate Student Council and Graduate Women in Science Outreach Committee