Pictured from left to right: Kenda Jameson Evans 92, The Association Nominations and Awards Chair, Ann Tyrrell Cochran 72, The Association President, and Georgianne Hewett 90, associate vice president for alumni and parent relations.
This January, 66 Southwestern alumni attended Volunteer Leadership Weekend 2008. There, they learned about the many ways alumni can get involved as volunteers, including class reunion planning, local association development, prospective student recruiting and managing class fundraising efforts. As volunteers, alumni contribute an essential service to Southwestern students, parents and alumni as they support and embody the lifelong Southwestern Experience. If you would like to connect with your alma mater and continue your Southwestern experience as a volunteer, visit www.southwestern.edu/volunteer and fill out the online interest form to let us know what volunteer activities interest you!
Amy McKee 96 was always intrigued by the interplay of theory and practice. As a political science and sociology/anthropology major, she studied cultural patterns with Gwen Kennedy Neville, professor emeritus of sociology and anthropology, and social movements with Eric Selbin, professor of political science and University Scholar, who became her mentor. Outside the classroom, she pursued her passion for social justice through the Gender Awareness Center and Destination: Service. By the time she graduated, McKee knew she wanted to work in a helpful profession.
Selbin recalls, Amy could have done anything . . . but she wanted to make sure she didnt end up in an ivory tower. She wanted to affect peoples lives. In the 12 years since graduation, McKee worked as a social worker and researcher with Worldwide Ministries in Nicaragua, earned a masters degree in Latin American Studies from Georgetown University, promoted human rights policy issues as a Presidential Management Fellow at the U.S. State Department, volunteered as a patient advocate at The George Washington University Hospital and served on the Darfur Atrocities Investigation Team in Chad, all the time seeking to learn how the threads of culture and political policy run through the everyday lives of individuals.
Today, McKee is studying to become a physician assistant at Stony Brook University. While working to affect sweeping change through policy has been rewarding, what she finds most fulfilling are the day-to-day interactions with people. When others express surprise at her choice to make this major professional shift, she responds that when one is equipped with general background knowledge and the ability to think critically, the world is your oyster . . . you can pick up and re-educate yourself and change the direction of your career, or your personal life, whenever the opportunity presents itself to you, or you can create that opportunity for yourself.
Reflecting on her lifes trajectory, McKee does not think in terms of life before and after entering the health field. Rather, she sees her experience as taking place on a continuum that began even before she graduated. Southwestern really helped me know that all of these different currents of knowledge and experiences are all part of who we are. Its a real blessing to be able to explore them all when youre at Southwestern.
The Association of Southwestern University Alumni envisions that the Southwestern Experience can continue for alumni no matter where they live. Therefore, The Association supports alumni who want to organize local associations for the purpose of connecting Southwestern alumni with one another and the University. This spring, The Association of Southwestern University Alumni welcomes two new local associations: The Colorado Association and The Kansas-Missouri Association (official title to be announced). If you are interested in bringing a local association to your area, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each local association sponsors between two and eight events a year, including Road Scholars events, Days of Service, Candlelight Services and happy hours. Keep up to date on the upcoming events that these groups are planning, view photos from past events and find officer contact information by visiting www.sugrads.org and clicking on Local Associations. Find out whats happening in your area!