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Volunteer of the Month

Nominate a Student or Graduate for Volunteer of the Month

Nominate a UMGC student or graduate today to be the next Volunteer of the Month. This recognition highlights outstanding student and alumni volunteers who serve their communities. Each month, one volunteer will be honored.

UMGC faculty, staff, alumni, and students are encouraged to submit nominations of outstanding volunteers who show a high level of commitment to helping others. This commitment can be demonstrated in a variety of ways, including consistent participation, a willingness to give extra effort, and going beyond the duties of their role.

Important Information

February 2024: Catherine Pearson, ’03, ’08 & ’11

Catherine Pearson is passionate about volunteering and serving others to foster personal, professional, and spiritual growth. A military veteran, an alumna of UMGC and North Central University, and a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success and the Delta Mu Delta Honor Society, she fulfills her passion by coaching and mentoring students.

As a mentor through UMGC's Community Connect, she helps students align their career paths with their personal interests, providing guidance and business strategies. She has also volunteered at UMGC’s Career Fairs, sharing résumé and interview tips.

Beyond UMGC, Pearson is active in local organizations. She is the vice president of Texas Business Women of San Antonio, where she creates an environment in which women can thrive through education, networking, and community outreach. She also serves as a mediator for the local justice of the peace courts. In addition, her service on the Community Resiliency and Health Promotions Council and involvement with children's centers and charter schools reflect her unwavering commitment to her community.

Pearson’s journey in volunteerism began in high school when she assisted students with academic challenges. Of her mission to volunteer, she says, "I understand the struggle, and I loan my heart to the world by serving people in need of a better life experience."

January 2024: Catha Marie Stewart ’13

Catha Marie Stewart enjoys volunteering for her church service activities and UMGC alumni events. She often volunteered for the alumni fundraising telethon when it was held in Largo, Maryland, and loves helping out at UMGC commencements.

She also supports her fellow alumni at Prince Georges Community College, where she received her Associate Applied Science Degree in Forensic Science Technology. Since 2008, she has managed student and faculty administrative matters for the Weekend College Program, currently on a part-time seasonal basis.

One of Stewart’s dreams was to work for University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP). She began her career with UMCP in 2006 in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. After earning her associate degree, she took advantage of the tuition remission program to study at UMGC, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Investigative Forensics in 2013. Later, she completed a Leadership and Management certificate program through tuition remission.

Now a program manager at UMCP, Stewart oversees administrative functions for various scientific research programs associated with the Institute for Physical Science and Technology within the College of Mathematical and Natural Sciences. She is a nominee for the 2024 Employee MVP Award for successful leadership in a postdoctoral fellowship program that awards tuition remission to students conducting research collaboratively with UMCP and advisors at the National Institutes for Health for the Partnership in Integrative Cancer Research.

Throughout Stewart’s career, she has been able to pursue her educational goals by having employers pay for classes. She delights in seeing students’ academically successful outcomes from tuition benefits because she gets to witness their dreams come to fruition.

Stewart is a fraternal twin and a Maryland state public notary for Prince Georges County.

 

December 2023: Nia Luckey, current student

In the past five years, Nia Luckey has volunteered for a number of organizations, including the Information Systems Security Association, Kennesaw State University, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and the CyberSafe Foundation's CyberGirls Initiative.

As a career mentor in the cybersecurity field, Luckey provides mentees with guidance and support to help them achieve their career goals. In 2023, she has assisted more than five mentees on their journey to their next career milestones. Her one-on-one mentoring, résumé review, interview preparation, and interactive podcast sessions have proven to be instrumental in helping her mentees succeed. Through the CISO Mentor Program at Kennesaw State University, Luckey helps graduate students enter the workforce and provides invaluable insights about breaking into the industry and navigating the path to success.

“Through my military service, I learned that selfless service is a core component of a great leader,” said Luckey, who is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity management and policy. “The idea of giving oneself without expecting something in return is lost in a society fueled by transactional relationships. Voluntary contributions become a critical component of selfless service, embodying the spirit of empathy and solidarity.”

Luckey’s unwavering dedication and outstanding contributions have profoundly and positively affected both the organizations she serves and the communities they support.

 

November 2023: Diane Monn ’22

Diane Monn volunteers at Second Alarm Brewhouse, a nonprofit company that operates as a coffee house during the day and a speakeasy at night to support volunteer firefighters in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Using the skills that she learned while pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Monn serves as the membership manager of the speakeasy. In her role, she maintains the roster of more than 500 members, processing renewals and sending out mailings. She also handles the organization’s donations for memorial bricks.  

“I volunteer at Second Alarm Brewhouse because I believe in their mission to bring awareness and recruitment to the volunteer fire service,” shares Monn. “Recruiting for the volunteer fire service will increase the number of firefighters and EMTs in neighborhoods and help reduce wait times when people need help.”

 

October 2023: Donald Hogge ’18, current student

Donald Hogge, a Marine Corps veteran, has volunteered as a law enforcement officer with the Bel Air Police Department since 2017. As a member of the volunteer Bel Air Auxiliary Police, Hogge responds to accident scenes, engages with children at community outreach events, mentors youth in the police explorer program, and covers much-needed patrol shifts over the holidays. Despite the risks associated with the work, Hogge is passionate about the impact he makes in the community. Because of his commitment, Hogge was awarded the Critical Incident Service Award by the Bel Air Police Department.

“Volunteering with the police department has given me a chance to serve with purpose in a role that can truly make a difference in the community,” shares Hogge. In addition to his service at the police department, Hogge is a Cub Scout assistant den leader.

At UMGC, Hogge was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and the National Society of Leadership and Success. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Management Studies in 2018 and is working on his master’s degree in Management with a specialization in Homeland Security Management.

 

September 2023: Jordan Derby ’22

After observing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the elderly community, Jordan Derby and his wife started an organization called Our Futures Past. Founded in memory of his grandmother, Our Futures Past works with families and youth organizations to coordinate events to support the senior community in and around Anne Arundel County, Maryland. In July, the organization held a “retro movie” night for a senior center, and they are currently planning another event at an assisted living facility, at which volunteers and residents will pair up to create paintings on canvas.

Derby hopes that the organization will not only help the elderly but build a bridge between youth and seniors so that both communities can benefit, each gaining wisdom and understanding from the other. His next focus for the organization is developing a two-tiered junior support volunteer commitment program, called OFP Role Models, which would enable 15- to 18-year-olds to engage with the senior community and gain experience in areas such as event-planning, graphic design, nonprofit management, and other career paths.

“I volunteer because I believe the best way to make the world better is by serving those in your local community,” shares Derby. In addition to running the organization, Derby is a father to three, a Navy veteran, and a graduate of UMGC’s Master of Science in Cybersecurity Technology program.

 

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