Posted March 21, 2012 by Jeff Pelletier 

Reflections of a Volunteer

Like many conference attendees, Elizabeth Alexander's keynote yesterday gave me a chance to reflect on my work and involvement, particularly with our "beloved community" in ACUI.

As I write this, I am about to bring my time with the Education Council to a close. For the last four years, I have had the honor to serve with some of the best and brightest minds in our Association, furthering the educational mission for all of our members. I can only hope that I've imparted a fraction of the knowledge that I have gained from the 20 men and women I've worked with through monthly phone calls, annual in-person meetings, and countless emails.

The work of the Education Council is often behind-the-scenes, but as I think back on my time, I can't help but be proud of all that we've done. Just this year, we started a long-term project that will create a "library" of training modules focused on the core competencies, suitable for staff training, regional conference programming, and a host of other delivery methods. We've begun the process of operationalizing the skill sets, another project that will take time to see through to completion. Ideas that started around a board room table in Bloomington have grown into full-fledged programs, like the Dissertation of the Year Award and Research Grants awarded at yesterday's Community Builder Awards that started with a simple question: "Wouldn't it be great if..." Our idea for a certification warranted its own task force, with Bobby Woodard at the helm investigating what a program could look like.

I've spent four years with this Education Council, about the same time spent as an undergraduate. That time has flown by, and today feels a little like a graduation for me. As I declare this part of my experience complete, what lies ahead for me as a volunteer remains to be seen. But I know I can't be a part of this community without finding a way to give back.

We always need more people to answer that call to volunteer. Whether you find the time to work at the international level, commit yourself to your region's advancement (read Tim St. John's reflection on his experience here), or just give a little time helping with annual conference activities (like my colleague Joel Pettigrew did), we value your contribution.

It has been a pleasure to serve as part of this esteemed group. Thank you to all of you for allowing me to do so. Find a fellow volunteer, at any level of time and talent, and they will assuredly echo this sentiment: It is in giving that we receive the full benefit of our involvement with ACUI. I hope you will find a way to give and receive as an ACUI volunteer.

Jeff Pelletier

Jeff Pelletier is the Director, Ohio Union Operations & Events at The Ohio State University.

Jeff oversees building operations including event production, audio-visual, shipping and receiving, and office administration in the Ohio Union. He earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Boston College, a master’s in higher education and student affairs from Ohio State, and is completing a master’s in business operational excellence also from Ohio State. He has been a volunteer forACUI at the regional and international level since 2003, currently serving on the Board of Trustees. Jeff is active on social media, developing his digital identity alongside the students, colleagues, and mentors who aren’t bored with his posts and updates. When not tweeting, Jeff is often seen running the streets of Columbus training for the next half-marathon or 5K.


Jeff, Thank you for your service to the association, especially in the last four years working with the international education councils. Your work has moved this association forward and has really changed the way I view my job and how I continue to learn each day. I'm fortunate to know you and call you a colleague and a friend. I can't wait to see what volunteer role is next for you! Erin :-)
Comment posted 03/22/2012 7:20 PM
Nice reflection Jeff, it's been great working with you this last year. I echo your comments on the positive benefits of volunteering. We still have one vacancy on the Education Council. All those interested in applying should go to Volunteer section of the website!
Comment posted 03/26/2012 11:17 AM
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