Class NotesSpring 2012

GREAThounds give back

This year, we’re celebrating UIndy’s young alumni and the countless ways they give back to their communities. And that’s a lot of alumni: because of UIndy’s recent growth spurt, about 30 percent of our alumni are 34 or under. During our “GREAT hounds Give Back” campaign, we’re asking young alumni to help us continue our legacy of “Education for Service” by giving back to the University. The impact of each gift—large or small—is multiplied as graduates go out and make a difference in the world.

Meet three young alumni who already are making a difference in their community and in the lives of UIndy students:

Jeffrey Dalstrom ’09, Director, Warren Performing Arts Center, Indianapolis

“We give back by providing artistic presentations to the community and creating unique community outreach opportunities for students to help keep the arts alive in Indianapolis. “I feel it’s my duty to give back to the community. It’s really important to me to help the schools. It is so hard for some schools right now to keep their arts programs alive, and I work hard to give back to the departments that need it. It’s all about the students. I truly valued the Theatre and Education departments at UIndy. They were able to give me great contacts professionally and personally, and I was also able to experience professionals in the field teaching my classes. I received great advice from them then and still do. Thanks to them, I was able to get my dream job right out of college.”

Jamie Laakmann ’07, Registered Nurse, Lee Memorial Health System at Health Park Hospital, Fort Myers, Florida

“I’ve been involved in helping reward volunteers at a local school, putting together a yearly volunteers’ luncheon the past three years. I’ve helped the Drug Free Southwest Florida organization at its annual convention. I’m also in the process of becoming a certified guardian ad litem for local children under the care of Child Protective Services. I believe with all my heart that you get out of life what you choose to put into it. I get a lot of joy from helping others. Many say they don’t have the time to give back to their community, but I have found that when I do not have something productive and rewarding to do with my time, I usually end up doing a whole lot of nothing. No one really knows what is around the corner, so I try to remember that someday I may be reaching out for help from people in my community, too. The University really shaped who I am today. I developed such strong leadership skills and a strong work ethic, and I really discovered who I was during my time at UIndy. Although my degree was in Marketing, my time at UIndy is one of the reasons I became a nurse. My country, community, and alma mater are all very important to me because they all own a piece of my heart. Nursing as a profession is very challenging, heartbreaking, and rewarding, and UIndy taught me how to balance classes, homework, being president of two organizations, social life, God, and giving back. Thanks to UIndy, I am a competent, successful, happy and organized nurse and member of society.”

Megan Shurn ’03, Production Chemical Engineer, BP America, Hempstead, Texas

“Since graduation, I’ve been able to give donations to several charities in my community. I’m involved in an animal rescue group rehabilitating dogs that are left abandoned. I work with the local volunteer fire department as well. Through my company I’ve helped in many community-building activities such as cleaning beaches, helping with Habitat for Humanity, and donating to charitable causes. I feel it’s important to give back because the community can only grow from what others are willing to put into it. I’m lucky enough to have a good job that provides me with enough income to live comfortably, so I feel it’s important to share with my community what I can so that it is a good place to live. I feel that UIndy provides a solid foundation for future development of life skills through great education and through activities in community development. I’ll never forget the friendships and wonderful memories that I made at the University.”

Marty
the authorMarty