Atkinson honours volunteers

On May 2, the Atkinson Student & Alumni Relations unit (STARS) feted 130 volunteers who have served as mentors and ambassadors over the past year at the inaugural Shining STARS Volunteer Celebration.

Since STARS was established last summer, dozens of students, alumni, faculty and staff have contributed more than 1,600 volunteer hours largely as mentors and ambassadors at Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies‘ events. Volunteers received personalized certificates and letters of commendation, and one in particular was singled out for the first Shining STARS Award.

Right: Dean Rhonda Lenton (right) presents Shining STARS Award to volunteer Susan Atkinson

Atkinson Dean Rhonda Lenton handed the honour to Susan Atkinson, a STARS member and psychology grad (BA ’02) who has been an active volunteer since the program began. In addition to helping out at various events throughout the year, Susan Atkinson helped found the Faculty’s student alumni mentorship program and the STARS advisory committee.

In her opening remarks, Atkinson’s Associate Dean Martha Rogers praised the volunteers for their continuing commitment. “I would like to personally thank each of you for your hard work. Your time and effort has contributed to building, developing, and celebrating the Atkinson community,” she said.

Left: Volunteers were feted at a special awards celebration May 2

STARS volunteers help in a variety of ways both on campus and in the surrounding community. Students Helping Atkinson Rookies Excel (SHARE) is a peer mentorship program that pairs new Atkinson students with upper-year volunteers to smooth the transition to university life.

Team of Enthusiastic Atkinson Ambassadors (TEAM) members volunteer at events on and off campus. Alumni also volunteer to mentor upper-year Atkinson students about their career paths as well as taking time to help top students prepare applications for prestigious Millennium scholarships.

“The volunteers give back to their community and really enhance their own university experience” said Nupur Khandelwal, a fourth-year human resources management major and STARS volunteer. Volunteers also gain valuable interpersonal skills and a chance to get to know other Atkinson students, faculty and alumni.

Left: David Peck performs his magic.

An interactive magic show by philosophy grad David Peck (BA ’03) kept everyone entertained, while the rest of the evening was an opportunity for STARS volunteers to mingle with friends and meet new ones.

 This article was submitted to YFile by Bethany Hansraj, Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies.