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Volunteer in blue

Three DU Good Day leaders step up to serve

Drake’s National Alumni Association has slated October 22, 2011, as DU Good Day, a national day of service. Event coordinators are currently seeking site leaders for projects across the country. Meet three alumnae who are leading the cause and register to participate in your hometown DU Good Day event.

Marisa Gift


Marisa Gift, AS’02

City: Omaha, Neb.

DU Good Day site: Open Door Mission (tentative)

Why I was inspired to take part in DU Good Day:

I am a member of Drake’s National Alumni Board of Directors, and I’m really interested in growing the alumni spirit here in Omaha. What better way to get people excited about Drake than to tackle a project together that benefits our hometown? It will give us a chance to show Omaha, home of Creighton, what the Bulldogs are all about!

How Drake exposed me to the value of service:

My lifelong friends who I met at Drake continue to inspire me to this day. One friend is currently working for the Foreign Service in India and another is working in Kyrgyzstan after serving in the Peace Corps. They remind me that this world really is a small place, and we need to take care of each other.

To me, community service means: Not turning a blind eye to the problems that surround us and remembering that even one person can make a difference.


Rachel Manuel


Rachel Manuel, JO’08, AS’08, GR’10

City: Milwaukee, Wis.

DU Good Day site: TBA

Why I was inspired to take part in DU Good Day:

I recently relocated to Milwaukee, and I was excited about the opportunity to network with Drake alumni in the area and learn more about the Milwaukee community.

How Drake exposed me to the value of service:

Service was an integral part of my experience at Drake and provided me with the opportunity to not only learn by doing and develop unique skills, but also to gain a deeper understanding the type of role I wanted to have in my community personally and professionally.

How I give back:

For the past two years I have served as a big sister for Big Brothers and Big Sisters and as a commissioner for America’s Service Commissions. For three years, I went on alternative spring break trips to Biloxi, Mis., to do Hurricane Katrina service.

Kim Pfannebecker


Kim Pfannebecker, JO’08, GR’12

City: Des Moines

DU Good Day site: The Food Bank of Iowa

How Drake exposed me to the value of service:

I was able to volunteer through Alpha Kappa Psi, a business fraternity. We volunteered in ways that allowed us to immediately see our impact on the community, such as serving dinner at a local food back or picking up trash in the Drake neighborhood. Most of my friends from Drake volunteered through the Greek system (social and professional) or through other organizations on campus.

To me, community service means:

I have to steal some of this from Tim Johnson, one of my professors in the MBA program at Drake: Community service is doing something that changes the world. That can be a big “W” or a small “w,” meaning you don’t have to feed the world or find a cure for a global disease. It’s doing something for the greater good without the expectation of receiving anything in return — aside from the satisfaction of knowing you made some kind of a difference.

What’s special about volunteering with other Drake alumni and friends:

You meet some pretty amazing people. I didn’t know most of the folks on the Central Iowa Alumni advisory board before I joined, so it’s great to meet new people who have similar interests. Everyone in the group has a desire to stay actively involved with Drake University and create programs and events that allow other alums to connect and give back. We wouldn’t be working so hard if we didn’t have rewarding experiences as undergraduate and graduate students at Drake.