Emory Report
January 26, 2009
Volume 61, Number 17

Manager program gives a boost
Is there someone on your staff who could benefit from a development program for administrative professionals, supervisors or managers, such as the Manager Development Program?

“With budgets tightening, a great way to let people know that you appreciate them is to send them over to us,” says Wanda Hayes, director of Learning Services.

Visit www.hr.emory.edu/
to find out how to nominate a member of your team for leadership training.



Emory Report homepage  

January 26
, 2009
Volunteer spirit takes form in GIVE

By Carol clark

The spirit of volunteerism in the Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (GDBBS) now has a formal name, a Web site and a momentum that is building community both within the division and beyond the campus.

GIVE — or GDBBS Involved in Volunteerism at Emory (http://sites.google.com/site/givemory/Home) — is the brainchild of Margie Varnado, business manager of the division.

“I just love helping out people when I can. It’s one of my passions,” she says.

Varnado had long wanted to create a structured approach for volunteering in the division, but she kept pushing the idea to the backburner. “We have about 500 students and 300 faculty within our division. Everybody is kind of scattered around the campus. It’s hard to have a sense of community,” she explains. “I wanted to find a way to help people come together and meet one another, and see that they are part of a much bigger picture than their individual program.”

When Varnado enrolled in a new Manager Development Program, offered through Learning Services in Human Resources, she finally got the impetus to launch GIVE. The management curriculum lasts several months and brings staff from throughout the University together to brush up their leadership skills. Each participant is required to complete a project that benefits their department or Emory overall. Varnado decided to make GIVE her project.

She formed a committee, sent out e-mails on a listserv, and GIVE got up and rolling in October. “We had an overwhelming response,” Varnado says.

She put out a request for a volunteer to create a Web site, and Roc Hu, a first-year student, stepped up to do it. He continues to keep the site up to date.

Each volunteer project is headed by a member of GDBBS, who plans and coordinates the details. GIVE has already raised money for breast cancer research through the collection of Yoplait yogurt lids and organized a winter clothing drive for local shelters. One Sunday, 30 students, staff and faculty showed up at Project Open Hand, where they donned hairnets to prepare meals for those in need.

For Christmas, GIVE adopted three families through the Monroe County Fire Department Auxiliary Club who were going through financial challenges. GDBBS staff, faculty and students fulfilled the wish lists of the 11 children, then pitched in more for the parents. “We did not request people to buy things for the parents. They just did it,” Varnado says. “Everybody really came through.”

GIVE volunteers wrapped the gifts and brought them to a fire department in the county, where they had the chance to meet the families. “I think it’s important for people to see the difference they are making for people,” Varnado says. “The families were very appreciative. Some of the parents were crying when we delivered the gifts.”

The Web site features slideshows of GIVE’s volunteer projects. People throughout the division can log on to feel connected and inspired.

GIVE hopes to coordinate some activities with Volunteer Emory. Varnado envisions the GIVE concept rippling out to influence other departments and divisions, offering more chances to link forces and strengthen the University community. “I’m going to be talking to people I know around campus, to encourage them to start a volunteer program within their areas, if they don’t already have one,” she says.