In the third President’s Studio episode of the Edison Sound Stage podcast, TESU President Merodie A. Hancock joins students, staff and alumni who share the University’s strong commitment to the community in recognition of National Volunteer Week.
Watch or listen below as Jennifer Hutchinson, Gabriela Mendoza, DJ Weltch and Melody Ward discuss the importance of volunteerism and giving back to their communities in their professional and personal lives.
About the Panelists:
Jennifer Hutchinson, TESU Student Trustee, Board of Trustees
Jennifer serves as the chair of the local Burlington and Camden Board of Directors for the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. With a 100-year legacy of driving change, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey plays a unique role in breaking down barriers as they work together to end poverty and expand opportunities throughout our community.
Gabriela Mendoza, TESU Community Engagement Coordinator
Gabby has been actively engaged in her community both personally and professionally over the years, giving her time to numerous organizations, volunteering with her alma mater and now serving in the role of Community Engagement Coordinator at TESU. In her current role, she helps build connections between the University and the surrounding community by creating opportunities to give back and get involved.
Melody Ward, AAHS ’18, BSHS ’20
Melody works at the Center for Family Services which operates more than 70 programs, among them, the Services Empowering the Rights of Victims (SERV) program. She and fellow SERV members routinely provide crisis intervention counseling, connection to resources and professional support to victims of sexual violence, domestic abuse and human trafficking through the program’s 24-hour hotline, virtual support groups and emergency shelters.
DJ Weltch, BA ’16
DJ grew up in Trenton and served as a social worker helping the youth in the city. He remains involved today, joining in the initiative dedicated to restoring the historic Locust Hill Cemetery, the largest African American burial ground in Trenton. DJ now works as operations manager at the Amazon site in Florence, where he is also a community liaison and a leader in Amazon’s Black Employee Network.
Written by Thomas Edison State University