Service is essential to the Volunteer experience and makes Rocky Top a special place. Every contribution through service—no matter how small—is an investment in our communities, demonstrating to others the world we help create.
The Jones Center for Leadership and Service has long been the campus hub for student service experiences, but they also assist faculty and staff in finding opportunities to get involved. In addition to the options listed below, faculty and staff can request a Jones Center ambassador to plan a service opportunity for departments or small groups.
Through June 2020, we’re asking faculty and staff to submit their service hours online. At the conclusion of UT’s 225th anniversary year, we will share a snapshot of the impact Volunteers have on their communities.
Looking for opportunities to serve? Here are some ideas from the Jones Center team:
- Visit the Jones Center sign-up-to-serve calendar.
- Find needs in the greater Knoxville community via Volunteer East Tennessee.
- Check out these recurring and long-term volunteer opportunities.
- Be a learning partner for the VOLbreaks alternative break programs. Learning partners are faculty and staff members who serve in an advisory capacity throughout the duration of the trip. Contact María Martínez for more information.
- Serve as an Ignite Leadership Summit group facilitator for fall 2020. Contact Cierra Burnette for more information.
- Join a volunteer group for MLK Jr. Day of Service, which will be held Saturday, January 18, 2020.
- Assist with or present at the Clifton M. Jones Student Leadership Conference on Saturday, March 7, 2020. Contact Cierra Burnette or Brooke Squires for more information.
- Sign up to advise a student organization on campus.
- Mentor students through tnAchieves or UT Promise.
- Volunteer with Leaders for Readers through the Great Schools Partnership.
- Assist with a voter registration drive.
- Volunteer with activities at a place of worship.
- Coach a local youth sports team.
- Serve on the board of a local nonprofit, parents association, or community alliance.
- Volunteer directly with a nonprofit organization.
- Support event programming hosted by other departments or offices.
Faculty are encouraged to submit professional public service hours; institutional and disciplinary service do not apply to this effort.
What Faculty and Staff Should Know About Student Service Tracking
UT students track their service hours through a different portal. Student service efforts have different parameters that do not apply to faculty and staff. Students are asked to enter their service activities within one month of completion. Through service activities, students can earn a bronze, silver, or gold medallion to wear at graduation.
The university’s broad definition of community service, taken from Campus Compact, is “action taken to meet the needs of others and to better the community as a whole.” The Jones Center further defines volunteer hours as noncompensated activities that are organized in partnership with a nonprofit organization and directly benefit the larger public or external community beyond UT. All types of service and volunteerism are encouraged, but only certain types of activities can be logged. The most important factor in determining an activity’s qualification is whether it serves an unmet need in the community, preferably one identified by a community partner organization.
Students should review the detailed JCLS service guidelines regarding volunteer hours. Those participating in the Chancellor’s Honors, Haslam Scholars, 1794 Scholars, or Honors Leadership Program should also review their program guidelines.
Maddie Stephens (865-974-3993, firstname.lastname@example.org)