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A Moment to Celebrate Champions of AU

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In 1927, the American University Alumni Association had a total of 71 volunteers. Today, the Alumni Association has more than 3,000+ volunteers across the world, devoting their time and energy to advancing the mission of American University. 

In honor of National Volunteer Week, the Alumni Association is celebrating its volunteers throughout the week on social media. Volunteers are champions in the AU community, serving as leaders in regional alumni communities, young alumni chapters, affinity and alliance groups. In addition to alumni volunteer leaders, alumni around the world serve as ambassadors, conduct admissions interviews, and act as mentors.

We are excited to highlight a few alumni volunteers who share why they volunteer for AU.

For American University Alumni Board member Keesha Ceran, SPA/BA ’10, SPA/MA ’12, the journey to becoming a volunteer for AU started with attending the Multicultural Alumni Reunion and a conversation with Judge Gerald Bruce Lee SOC/BA ’73, WCL/JD ’76, a trustee of the university. Since then, Keesha has been involved with the AUAB, Black Alumni Alliance, Eagle’s Nest, Women’s Network, Alumni Admissions Volunteer Network, and as a Social Media Ambassador. Her favorite part of volunteering is greeting fellow alumni at the annual Eagle’s Nest Breakfast for AU faculty and staff who are also alumni. “Seeing fellow #ProfessionalEagles (those of us who work for the university and are alumni) is incredible. We continue to dedicate our time and energy to AU in different ways,” she said. 

The support Laura Yochelson, CAS/BS ’12, CAS/MA ’19, received from faculty and staff as a student in the health studies program changed her life. Laura says, “I’m so grateful they didn’t give up on me when I was really struggling with my mental health.” Now, Laura gives back as a guest presenter discussing health promotion topics with students and interviewing prospective students as part of the Alumni Admissions Volunteer Network. On March 18, Laura authored an article on Active Minds titled “Managing the Stress of Living at Home for College” to provide insights for students transitioning to living and studying at home during COVID-19. 

Asian and Pacific Islander Alumni Network (APIAN) founding member Michelle Le, SPA/BA ’15, approached Don Michael Mendoza, CAS/BA ’10, SOC/MA ’17, about joining APIAN, the newest affinity group for AU alumni at the time. After the discussion, Don Michael was all in. APIAN interested him due to its focus on providing mentorship for current Asian Americans and Pacific Islander students and building a bridge back to AU for AAPI alumni. Today, Don Michael is the chair of APIAN, saying the mission of APIAN and the Multicultural Alumni Reunion is what keeps him dedicated.

AU thanks all Eagles across the world who commit their time to the university. Your commitment, dedication, and talent propel the institution forward. 

The Alumni Association is offering virtual volunteer opportunities for alumni across the globe. To learn more about virtual volunteer opportunities, please visit this page.