Dan Lawrence retirement headshot
CLS Instructor Dan Lawrence Retires
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drugs and society cool class
CLS Class Highlight – Drugs and Society
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Volunteers Making a Difference in the Lives of Seniors

Marilyn Popkess as a volunteer

CLS student Marilyn Popkess is dedicated to making a difference in her community. As a volunteer for Broken Arrow Seniors, Inc. (BASI), she has been serving as the personnel chairperson on the Board of Directors since January of this year.

Popkess demonstrated her interest in helping seniors while attending CLS. She wrote a compelling Capstone paper on Alzheimer’s disease as a student in the Administrative Leadership program before putting what she learned to use at BASI.

“The activity center is so important in the prevention of the disease by keeping the minds and bodies active,” she said. “I have always wanted to do volunteer work and the situation fit me personally.”

She learned of the opportunity to get involved from her neighbor, Paul Treat.

“Paul is a police officer who serves on the board,” she said. “He knew I had an HR background and recommended me. The board tries to keep the backgrounds of the board members diversified.”

Popkess was not expecting the impact volunteering would have on her personally, however.

“It was inspiring to see how vital this nonprofit is to the community and surrounding area,” she explained. “They offer physical and mental activities, as well as nutrition, social interactions, helpful information and seminars that benefit our seniors.”

CLS first heard of her efforts early this summer when several students responded to a simple question posed in the Virtual Student Union: What volunteer activities are you engaged in and how have they impacted you?

CLS students are known for their passion for helping others and improving the communities in which they live. Part of the mission of the College of Liberal Studies is to promote active citizenship, and volunteering is just one aspect of that mission.

Popkess offered words of advice to fellow classmates interested in getting involved.

“Everyone can spare some time to volunteer even if it is just an hour or two a month,” she said. “The time you give does not compare to the value you will take away.”

Broken Arrow Seniors, Inc. (BASI) is one of the largest nonprofit senior activity centers in the state of Oklahoma. For information about how you can volunteer or contribute to their cause, contact June Ross, director, at (918) 259-8377 or visit the website at BASeniors.org.

Mary Wuestewald
Mary Wuestewald specializes in digital and content marketing at OU Outreach. In 2015, she earned a master's degree in Strategic Communication from OU’s College of Journalism and Mass Communication. She currently contributes to Insight magazine, the CLS blog and CLS social media efforts.

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