Volunteer Experience

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While the professional work we do is important to not only our own well-being but also to our own survival—i.e., paying the bills; we're largely in a capitalist society after all—we have other ways to contribute our skills or need for helping others through the process of volunteering. Admittedly, not everyone has the capacity to volunteer in professional, hobbyist, or non-profit support communities. But when we can, the volunteer and recipients can all benefit.

For more than 10 years, I've been practicing this belief in a variety of ways off and on. That includes:

  • Duckout! Magazine, Editor (2013–2017): I volunteered my time to Duckout!, acting as the editor for the English version of this Spain-based digital publication. I was responsible for grammatical and spelling corrections as well as fact-checking. I also provided clearer, more engaging translation suggestions when the existing translation from the original Spanish didn't flow well.
  • ASTM International SST-2 and -6 Co-lead, Overall Editor (2017–2018): I was invited to contribute to the efforts of the ASTM E1578 Revision Task Group and ASTM WK59235, an ASTM work item meant to ultimately revise the E1578 - 13 Standard Guide for Laboratory Informatics. I quickly became the co-lead for the combined SST-2 and -6 subgroup and was tasked with developing a majority of the written content for that subgroup, taking into account additional contributions from elsewhere. I also volunteered to help with the overall editing of the complete document, integrating the changes and new content from all groups and editing the document for consistency for ASTM's editing and approval team.
  • Missouri Botanical Garden, Library Conservation Intern (2018–Present): I volunteer approximately four hours a week in the Garden's conservation and preservation laboratory, located within the Peter H. Raven Library. I work with lead conservator Susan Cobbledick on the various processes of repairing and treating objects (paper, brochures, books, original research, etc.) for their prolonged use in global research.
  • Guild of Book Workers, Assistant Editor (2020): I provided volunteer edits for the semimonthly Guild of Book Workers Newsletter. This essentially meant providing proofreading and more substantive editing to articles, commentary, and key elements of the newsletter of the organization, of which I'm a member of.