Volunteer Story, Keshia M. Pollack, J00

Keshia M. Pollack J00

Since graduating in 2000 with a degree in sociology and a certificate in community health, Keshia Pollack has maintained strong connections to Tufts. Her current work on two Alumni Council committees is bringing bright ideas to student and alumni outreach and engagement. As an assistant professor of health policy and management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, she conducts research, teaches, and works with policy makers on public health issues, especially injury prevention and childhood obesity.

“Some of my most memorable experiences as a Tufts undergraduate were giving back to Tufts. I volunteered with the Caribbean Club, the National Society of Black Engineers, and the Tufts Community Union Judiciary Board. Senior year I was honored with the 2000 Wendell Phillips Award, given to a junior or senior who has demonstrated a high sense of public responsibility. My commencement address was one of the highlights of my time on the Hill, and there was never a doubt in my mind that I would be an active volunteer on behalf of Tufts.

As a senior I was elected a transitional member of the Tufts Alumni Council, the governing body of the alumni association. During my early years on the council, I helped plan Homecoming and Alumni Weekend. Still, I yearned for a local Tufts connection, and ultimately decided to restart an alumni chapter in Baltimore that had been inactive for more than a decade. Today the Baltimore Tufts Alliance is thriving.

Currently I enjoy being a member of two Alumni Council committees. Not many people realize this, but committee work is part of the backbone of TUAA. It develops new programs that strengthen a lifelong connection to Tufts.

I am a member of the Citizenship and Public Service Committee, which fosters opportunities to give back to civic organizations in Medford and around the country. One of our activities is to plan and encourage alumni involvement in the service projects at the annual TUAA meetings. I also chair the Student Issues and Activities Committee. We begin each meeting with an update on student life issues from a representative from the Tufts Community Union Senate. We are exploring ways to be more visible with students on campus, participating in on-campus activities, and reaching out to the underclassmen in addition to upperclassman. My efforts as chair will only be as successful as the work on my committee, and I am fortunate to work with enthusiastic and committed fellow alumni.

No matter where I have lived, I have stayed connected to Tufts. Despite my ever-changing zip codes, I found ways to keep my ties to Tufts strong. I volunteered with the Tufts Alumni Admissions Program, interviewing Tufts applicants in each new city. I also volunteered for the From Backpack to Briefcase panel, which allowed me to share with Tufts seniors my experiences with networking, finding a job, and the transition from school to work.

As I reflect on why these connections are so important to me, and why I choose to be an active volunteer, I realize that it’s in part because I truly enjoyed my time at Tufts. My experiences on the Hill are priceless, and my memories invaluable. But it’s also because I was connected to Tufts alumni from the very first day that I walked on campus. I was the first person to receive the New York Tufts Alumni Scholarship, which gave me the opportunity to attend Tufts. I am grateful for all that Tufts has afforded me professionally and personally. While many of us are inundated with the business of life, I believe that we can give a little bit of our time to volunteer and give back to Tufts, as Tufts has given so much to us.”

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