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Shaw Joins NCSU for First Time at Biannual Volunteer Fair

January 26, 2015 – NC State's Volunteer Fair sponsored by the Department of Social Work collaborated with Shaw University for the first time at the biannual event in the Talley Student Union Ballroom.

This year's Volunteer Fair was the first time NC State has collaborated with another college for the event, according to Barbara Zelter, a senior lecturer of social work and an organizer of the event. More than 60 students from both NC State and Shaw University visited 32 vendors pitching their volunteer opportunities to attendees.

During the last semester of the social work major, students are required to volunteer four days per week in place of typical classes, Zelter said. This event was a way to help students connect with companies where they can complete these requirements.

"This event is a great way to network and find a position as a volunteer, intern or even more," said Ashley Shaw, an event organizer as well as a graduate student and teacher's assistant in the Department of Social Work.

Zelter said the event's goal was to help students find opportunities to gain real field experience, which is the best way to help students obtain jobs.

"While they're in school this is the best way we can prepare them for the actual jobs they will have in the future," Zelter said. "Here at NC State, we call it 'high-impact learning.'"

NC State and Shaw University plan to work with one another to offer volunteer opportunities in the future. Meredith College was invited to also plan the event this year because it also has a prominent social work department, but declined.

Both representatives from Easter Seals United Cerebral Palsy and Capital Area Teen Court said they had a good turnout with multiple students from both NC State and Shaw University showing interest.

Shaw University student Davis Nyaboga, a senior studying social work, said the event was an opportunity for students in the Department of Social Work to see how their lives may look after graduation.

"These are the agencies we will be working with in the future," Nyaboga said.

Shaw University also hopes to unite the Phi Alpha fraternities of both campuses. Phi Alpha is a co-ed fraternity focused on social work, according to Bryan Speight, a senior studying social work at Shaw University who helped plan the fair.

"The collaboration of today was a success, and we hope to collaborate more and keep branching out in our Raleigh community," Speight said.

Cambrea Borders, a senior studying social work at Shaw University who also helped plan the event, said it will "better our community" for the universities to continue to work together.

Speight and Borders are the president and vice president of the Student Social Work Association at Shaw University. When NC State reached out to Shaw University, Speight and Borders said they were happy a chance came along to work more with their community and one of their neighboring universities.

Shaw University's Student Social Work Association has conducted a number of volunteer projects lately, such as feeding homeless people on Thanksgiving, coordinating food drives for charity and donating career-development clothing.

Crystal Faison, a senior studying social work at NC State, said the organization of the event was better this year due to the location change to the Talley Ballroom.

"[The Volunteer Fair] worked better to help set up student networks and get involved in their community," Faison said.

This story was written by Casey Oldham and originally appeared on www.technicianonline on January 22, 2015.