Discovering the Graduate Student Community By Volunteering

By Lydia Morris and Amy Anderson‐Zose

Originally published Winter 2010.

sulcus114A new organization is harnessing the volunteer efforts of graduate students from across the Laney Graduate School. With help from an older “sibling” group GIVE (GDBBS Involved in Volunteerism at Emory), SAVE (Students Advocating Volunteerism at Emory) was chartered by the Graduate Student Council just this past fall. As an active member of GIVE, NaTasha Hollis (a PhD Student in Genetics and Molecular Biology) took the initiative to form a graduate school‐wide volunteer organization.

While GIVE provides volunteer opportunities for graduate students, post‐docs, staff, and professors across the Biological Sciences (GDBBS), SAVE is open to only graduate students across all fields and is completely student run. SAVE is also intended to be a social volunteer organization providing graduate students with a sense of community at Emory and a mechanism for meeting other graduate students outside their programs.

Graduate students are in a unique phase of life; it is important for them to interact with other students in different fields for them to gain perspective on their lives and their research. Neuroscience graduate student Yvonne Ogbonmwan, an executive board member, states that both the social aspect of a volunteer organization and serving the community motivated her to become involved. As its first outreach effort, SAVE collaborated with GIVE to hold three drives this winter: Toys for Tots collection, a canned good drive to collect food for the homeless, and a winter clothes collection to benefit domestic violence victims and homelessness prevention centers in Atlanta. Upcoming volunteer opportunities include judging a science fair, cereal box tops to raise money for local schools, child care at a local homeless shelter (Genesis), Aeropostal Teens for Jeans, a weekend trip in March to help monitor and preserve dolphin populations in the Savannah area, and much more.

Contact SAVE by emailing Amy Anderson‐Zose,, or check out our Facebook page, .


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