The Town of Amherst will be highlighting some of our amazing volunteers in the new Volunteer Spotlight series. Our first spotlight features Amherst Personnel Board volunteer, Rebecca Woodland. Rebecca is an associate professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and lives in South Amherst with her family.
You can find her interview and video at the Volunteer Spotlight webpage or continue reading below.
Rebecca Woodland, Amherst Personnel Board Volunteer:
- How long have you lived in Amherst? I lived in Amherst back in the early 90s when I was an undergraduate at UMass. I fell in love with the town then and thought, “Hey this would be a great place to live, work and raise children - I should come back here someday.” That someday was 2006 when I accepted a faculty position at UMass Amherst. My husband and I have felt so fortunate and grateful to be able to live and raise our family here.
- I volunteer for Amherst because... It feels good to be able to engage in civic activities that tap into and extend my expertise and personal interests for the benefit of our community. Equally important, I get to spend time with really smart, fun, and talented people who all want to help make Amherst a wonderful place to live.
- Where is your favorite place in Amherst?
- My neighborhood in South Amherst that encompasses the streets all around Brookfield Farm and Elf Meadow. It is a great mix of young and old, families, couples and singles. Very cool dogs. We have a Facebook page just for our neighborhood, we alert each other when a black bear is about, to get eggs or flour for a recipe, or to coordinate meeting up in the field to go cross country skiing on a snow day.
- The view of the Valley from the north facing side of Rattlesnake Nob. It is just short hike up behind our home toward Mt. Norwottuck.
- The Hampshire Athletic Club, where I teach Zumba 2x/week and get to experience great joy dancing with amazing women
- What made you want to get involved? A school district administrator who knew of my work/leadership at UMass and in the ARPS suggested to Deb Radway, our terrific former Director of Human Resources, that I may be a good person for the Personnel Board. Deb reached out to me and we met at the Black Sheep. She introduced me to roles and responsibilities of the Personnel Board, and I was intrigued. Also, my husband Michael has been active on the Amherst Shade Tree Committee and he speaks very enthusiastically about volunteering for the town.
- How can we get more people interested in volunteering? Building and accessing personal relationships and connections. Those of us who do volunteer should/could put the word out about volunteer opportunities and the value and benefits of volunteering through our networks. Maybe I should post to the Facebook Neighbors page? =-)
- Last thing you watched or book you have read? Just binged Russian Dolls with Natasha Lyonne on Netflix. And just finished re-reading The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.