How is it September? Temperatures are still warm (too warm, for some), flowers are still blooming, patios are still open... my calendar has to be wrong. But seasonal reminders, like back-to-school frenzy, leaves changing color – and NSGC’s Annual Call for Volunteers – remind me that fall has arrived. NSGC’s Call for Volunteers opened September 1 (today!) and closes September 22, so I hope you’ll keep reading to learn more.
Each year, NSGC puts out a call for members to volunteer for various opportunities. And each year, you answer that call. Since 2018, an average of 10% of NSGC’s members have volunteered in some way, such as with Special Interest Groups (SIGs), Committees, Task Forces or the Board of Directors. That’s impressive and doesn’t go unnoticed, especially with a rapidly growing membership! Volunteering takes time and energy, and we don’t necessarily have it to give. Thank you to everyone who has been able to do this.
I first caught the volunteering bug with NSGC in 2008 when I applied to join the Perspectives in Genetic Counseling team. I wanted to learn more about writing, publishing and building connections with other NSGC members. This led to more volunteering, which still offers me professional and personal benefits. NSGC is a community of relationships that I count on, particularly as a person who works remotely on a team of one in my day job. I mean, I get tired of talking to myself…
This year’s Call for Volunteers includes applications to join Committees (and Subcommittees, as applicable). Prior NSGC volunteering isn’t required to apply for these roles. As in past years, Committee leadership teams will select new committee members and notify them by the end of December. And a quick note: If you’re continuing your term with a Committee, there’s no need to apply through the Call for Volunteers… you’re good to go!
This year’s Call also includes applications for leadership roles, such as Committee Vice-Chairs (and eventually Chairs). Prior NSGC volunteering isn’t required to apply for these roles, and they are great ways to gain leadership experience. As in past years, NSGC’s President-Elect – Colleen Campbell, this year! – will lead the selection of Committee Vice-Chairs. This process has shifted in recent years to uplift equity and inclusion. It will again include a small group of NSGC members of varied backgrounds and roles to aid Colleen in Vice-Chair selections. The goal is to notify 2024 Vice-Chairs by November 1.
There are also new and different aspects to this year’s Call for Volunteers, such as:
- Streamlined Committee descriptions, thanks to their leadership teams. Based on past feedback, this aims to make the application process simpler and focused on information that helps you make decisions about applying.
- A shortened application, also based on past feedback.
- The Disciplinary Procedures Committee, Perspectives editorial team, and Expert Media Panel are all seeking new members to join their groups. Details about these are found within the Call for Volunteers.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention SIG volunteering opportunities. SIG member recruitment occurs around this time of year, separate from the Call for Volunteers, and exact timing varies. You can start by visiting the SIG webpage to learn more about NSGC’s SIGs and if one sounds interesting to you.
In the end, it comes down to knowing your “why” for volunteering with NSGC. I mentioned mine above, but don’t take my word for it. Here are examples from fellow NSGC volunteers, Kanchi Barfiwala (past Awards Committee Chair) and Kathleen Swenson (Professional Status Survey Committee Chair):
I hope this all piques your interest and that you’ll consider applying to volunteer.
Ready to learn more? Here are next steps:
- Call for Volunteers: Visit the Call for Volunteers webpage (member login required) to access all volunteer opportunities and application materials. Apply by Friday, September 22.
- SIGs: Visit the SIG webpage to learn about SIG opportunities
- Click the individual SIG links to dive deeper and contact their leadership teams to get more specifics
Last but not least, thank you to Sydney Von Holten and Madeline Stanke. Both are NSGC staff partners who make sure the Call for Volunteers and SIG opportunities run smoothly for all of us.