Feature Article: Welding and Technology Volunteers
For the past few years, Lights Volunteers have been incorporated into the Technology department here at Southern. Ray Carson, department chair, says that having volunteers has been a huge benefit to the department and has created a more efficient and timely work environment. “They have saved a lot of time for the professors and students by preparing welding materials among many other tasks. It makes things run much more smoothly and helps save time for the professors who are already running busy schedules.” Currently there are four volunteers in the department: Bob Greve, Jim Engel, Duane Lemon, and Brett Burgoyne.
Bob Greve has helped out in different ways but is currently focusing on preparing welding materials for a class taught in the department. Lemon assists in the autoshop, and Burgoyne has been involved in much of the computer work for eClass. Engel has been working on organizing the machine shop due to current remodeling, as well as figuring out how to dispose or make use of different materials that have been in the department for many years.
Greve, who has been volunteering in Technology since August, says he enjoys the physical aspect of the job and being able to work with his hands. Growing up, he worked in his father’s repair shop, gaining him much experience. “What I enjoy about this job is being able to use my skills but also being able to learn new things. It also gives me something to do, and I enjoy the variety that I get in this job.” He also mentioned how he’s been able to learn more about the machinery used there. “I really just like to help out.” he said.
Jim Engel previously taught at Southern as an adjunct professor. He began volunteering with Lights three years ago, and has held a number of responsibilities in Technology—including welding. In the beginning Ray Carson asked him if he would start out by helping clean up the machine shop. “Don’t tell my wife that I’m doing clean-up work over here, when she wants me to do it at home,” joked Engel. Currently, he’s organizing the tool closet and collecting materials for redistribution or selling. Growing up he was experienced in welding from working in a garage. He’s also worked with metal and wood.
Engel confesses one of his favorite aspect of volunteering is socializing with the other volunteers. “I try to come in every Tuesday morning.” He enjoys working with the different types of equipment and is familiar with much of the machinery. He plans on volunteering long-term.
Feature Volunteer: Susan Peel
Susan Peel began her Lights Volunteer experience two years ago. She has always loved music, so last year when an opening became available in Southern’s orchestra, she happily accepted the position as a double bassist. “We practice two to three times a week, each session lasting about an hour and fifteen minutes.” She says that playing with the group is quite enjoyable and she always looks forward to the practice sessions.
Susan graduated from Southern in 1991, so she has a familiarity of and love for the university. When asked her favorite aspect of volunteering, she says, “most definitely being able to interact with a lot of the students.” She plans on staying in the orchestra long term.
Random facts about Susan
Hobbies: Quilting, sewing, and scrapbooking
Favorite food: Mexican
Volunteer Connections: Volunteering in America
Volunteering and Civic Life in America released statistics showing the importance that volunteering still has in our nation: 26.5% of adults volunteered in 2012, saving our country $75 billion dollars.
Research also found that in 2012, volunteers age 65 and above, spent an average of 90 hours serving. Their age group is the highest among any other group to offer so much time to their communities through this type of service. Another group that came close behind was working mothers.
Amongst all the research and statistics, one thing still stands: volunteering brings about stronger communities and enhances opportunities for many. It not only enriches the lives of those in the community, but those of the volunteers.
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