Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer for the Young Alumni Advisory Committee

Are you a young alumnus looking to stay connected to the University?

The Office of Alumni Relations is looking fo members to join the Young Alumni Advisory Committee. This committee advocates for recent alumni while fostering a relationship between the Alumni Relations Office.  The committee also advises the Alumni Relations Office and assists with providing perspective on programs and communications tailored to their peers.

About the role

The USask Young Alumni Advisory Committee is open to all alumni from any USask college or program. Young alumni is defined as any alumni who graduated within the past ten years and are thirty-five years or younger in age.

Time commitment and schedule

A time commitment of four meetings per year is required. Each meeting will be scheduled on Tuesday evenings from 5 pm to 6:30 pm.

Young Alumni Advisory Committee Terms of Reference

About the START Advisory Committee

As a member of the START Advisory Committee, you will have the opportunity to provide feedback and input on the Alumni Relations Office activities and initiatives that relate to and impact students. By volunteering your time, you are given the opportunity to acquire and sharpen leadership and communication skills while making professional and personal contacts. Current undergraduate students or graduate students are eligible to apply.

Time commitment and schedule

A time commitment of attending four meetings within the 2019-2020 academic year is required. Each meeting will be scheduled on Tuesday afternoons from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm. Meetings are tentatively set for the following dates:

    • September 24, 2019
    • November 5, 2019
    • January 21, 2020
    • March 10, 2020

START Advisory Committee Incentives:

  • Leadership Skills - We help you develop skills to add value to your post-secondary experience that you can take with you into your chosen career.
  • References -  Letters of reference will be written for any START member that requests a reference from the Program Specialist, Student and Young Alumni. Please note that you must sit on the committee for a minimum of one term before requesting a reference or reference letter.
  • Professional Development - Professional Development opportunities will be provided throughout the year. These include: headshots, resume help, volunteer workshops and more. There will also be an opportunity to build relationships with university leaders, staff, alumni and friends of the U of S while providing student insight. 
  • Co-Curricular Record (CCR) - members will recieve the official U of S document that demonstrates your involvement in this leadership role as a START advisory committee member.


More than 100,000 USask alumni live outside of Saskatoon, making up a powerful group of people connected by a shared USask experience.

Most importantly, it’s fun! Network volunteers will lead different alumni activities and experiences in their respective communities. The sky is the limit to what you can do in your region. We suggest events that focus on community, attending Huskies games, networking or professional development events and organizing alumni group outings.

Volunteers needed!

On top of leading regional activities, volunteers will lead regional activities and provide valuable feedback on how USask can better serve their local alumni community. USask will support these volunteer-led networks with resources to guide the activities.

Volunteering is in our alumni’s DNA - they are an essential part of everything we do and we are so grateful of the time, talent and treasure that many of our alumni give back to the University of Saskatchewan.

For more information, please contact:


Networking Opportunity for Engineering Alumni and Friends

As friend of the College of Engineering, you have valuable life and career advice to share. With 85 per cent of jobs being filled via networking and 2.4 million jobs available over the next four years, it is key for students to receive support and advice from those in industry. The top skills companies are looking for across ALL industries are active listening, speaking, critical thinking and social perceptiveness. Everyone can improve these skills by connecting with others, sharing your story and asking thoughtful questions.

Powered by Ten Thousand Coffees, the USask College of Engineering Cafe is an exclusive networking and mentoring platform that introduces you to recent grads and students based on specific career interests and goals. You can schedule and set up a coffee chat in-person or online.

By joining this network you will:

  • Help shape the careers of students and young alumni by sharing your career advice and experience
  • Develop your networking and mentoring skills through real-world practice
  • Build your network of engineering contacts based on your industry and interest

How It Works

  1. Sign up 
  2. Set your interests
  3. Connect with students/new alumni online or in-person
  • You’ll receive monthly introductions to a student or recent alumni based on your similar career interests and goals
  • Suggest a time to chat, in-person at a coffee shop or online from the comfort of your home, to share your advice and experience
  • Receive an official LinkedIn certification to recognize your commitment to continuous learning and career advancement
  • Once you join, all introductions are sent directly to your preferred email address
  • Connect with students and alumni from around the globe
  • Join today by clicking here!

About Ten Thousand Coffees

Ten Thousand Coffees helps employees build the internal networks they need to succeed. They have partnered with RBC Future Launch to help bring their platform to universities across North America.  

Why Engineering Alumni?

The College of Engineering is the first college to sign on with Ten Thousand Coffees. They are running a pilot project and our hope is to have more colleges come on board in the future.

If you’re from another college and interested in giving back or networking opportunities, let us know by emailing alumni.volunteer@usask.ca

Resources and Tools

We are committed to supporting our Alumni Volunteers with the resources, recruitment tools and information necessary to successfully carry out your role.

Volunteer opportunities within universities, not‐for‐profit organizations and/or foundations are roles that do not replace the role of a paid staff member. These roles provide support to programs and services. 

Volunteer engagement practices are guided by the Canadian Code of Volunteer Involvement, a set of 14 standards developed to support and enhance engagement within organizations while also protecting volunteers and the organization during the volunteer’s term of involvement.

Volunteering is a two-way relationship—it provides you with the opportunity to contribute to addressing an identified need while gaining valuable skills and exploring various interests, but also assists in delivering programs.

Volunteer management, or effective volunteer involvement, are the volunteer coordination strategies proven to work in a myriad of settings. The best practices integrate volunteers into the fulfillment of your mission and support your volunteers so they can give their best towards supporting your work and having an impact on your organization’s vision and mission.

For decades volunteers have been taken for granted. Millions of volunteers have been the backbone of community and organizational programs for the delivery of services. They have built the community life we have come to enjoy. But things have changed and continue to change quickly. These societal changes require new structures and new methods of involving and working with volunteers. Research and trends confirm that things need to be done differently. Changes in demographics, technology, work, leisure, values and mobility, plus expectations and motivations of volunteers all contribute to why we need to rethink our methods of involvement. There are also changes that have increased standards, accountability and liability associated with volunteers. Consequently, we must attend more carefully to the roles and responsibilities of volunteers and how we involve them.

We have compiled some of the essential resources of volunteer management wisdom, practice and theory. There is a quickly growing body of literature on volunteer program management available both online and in hard copy, making more detailed information easily accessible. We have included links to some of these materials as well.

Why volunteer?

Our alumni volunteers are the unsung heroes of many events at the University of Saskatchewan and beyond.  Volunteering is in Saskatchewan's DNA, as 58 per cent of adults aged 15 and over volunteered their time in 2013. Thanks to our alumni who are continuously generous with their time and energy, this essential part of our DNA was on full display in 2017 at the Volunteer Summit, Alumni Weekend, Graduation Powwow and Orientation. The spirit of our volunteers help to make events at the U of S even more memorable and fun!

Volunteers build resilient communities. More than half of Canada’s 161,000 non-profit and charitable organizations have no paid staff and rely solely on volunteers. 12.7 million volunteers contribute close to 2 billion hours annually. Imagine how different your community would be without the support of volunteers. The important efforts of these volunteers improve quality of life for others. They also gain valuable experience and develop new skills. Additionally, studies show that involved Canadians enjoy an improved overall health. It's also a great way to meet new people and reconnect with your alma mater.

Alumni Volunteer Stories

Candice Grant (BA'05, LLB'08) is a Saskatoon lawyer who is committed to giving back to her community. She is the past chair of the board of trustees for the Saskatoon Public Library and past chair of the board of directors for CHEP Good Food Inc. She also influenced programs such as community gardens and the collective kitchen program in Saskatoon. She has been a big sister with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Saskatoon, is a former chair of the school community council at Dundonald School and was appointed to the Meewasin Valley appeal board.

What specifically attracted you to volunteering?

I initially started volunteering shortly after I moved to Saskatoon to start my education with USask as a way to meet new people in the community. As I started getting involved, I was proud to see the difference that I could make with my time and effort. I gained skills and experience that I could put to use in my daily life and my career.

What keeps you motivated to continue to volunteer?

I’ve been very fortunate to have the time to dedicate to my volunteer efforts and to work at a great law firm that really values and supports volunteers. It motivates me to see and hear about the excellent work that the organizations that I have been fortunate enough to be involved with have done in the community.

What types of relationships and learning experiences have you taken away from volunteering?

Volunteering has been a great way to make connections with others who share my interests and values, and also to learn from those who have differing perspectives. I am so appreciative of the friendships and professional relationships that I have gained over the course of my volunteer work. I have had a number of incredible learning opportunities during my volunteer work. I can recall, for instance, taking a deep dive into food security issues with CHEP Good Food Inc., and learning about the shifting dynamics of library users with the Saskatoon Public Library. In each of my volunteer positions, I have had the opportunity to learn about topics and to gain knowledge from others that I never would have encountered in my daily life.

How do you aim to inspire others to get involved?

I believe in leading by example. I hope that others are inspired to find a cause that is meaningful to them and to find a way to contribute.

Ken Ready (LLB’76) has had a fulfilling career as one of the top lawyers in Canada over the past several decades. He has been recognized with many awards and accolades, including the Best Lawyer in Canada awards in Health Care Law and Medical Negligence.

Along with his impressive accolades in the legal community, Ready is a dedicated volunteer. He has been a part of many boards and organizations including the Saskatchewan Baseball Association, several theatre companies in Regina, the Arthritis Society and the Lakeview United Church.

What specifically attracted you to volunteering?

I was raised in a large family where volunteering was important. As a parent, there is always an expectation to participate and to support whatever organization your children are involved in. My wife and I raised five children, each of whom were actively involved in a variety of activities; particularly sports, music, and theatre. We would dutifully volunteer. Occasionally we had to take a course or training to be a certified coach.

In almost everything that we have volunteered in, the child would move on, but either my wife Judy or I would be left behind and would continue as a volunteer. Sometimes years past the family connection. For example, I have been the commissioner for baseball for the Saskatchewan Baseball Association for about 20 years, almost all of which have been after my last child played the sport. My grandchildren are now involved. So I guess the clock has reset.

I have also been an active volunteer in other organizations because the cause or the purpose was interesting to me, personally. Like the Arthritis Society, or the Queen City Marathon or the church board that I chair. Not because I had to do these things, but because I wanted to and I enjoyed being a volunteer.

What keeps you motivated to continue to volunteer?

I think that as a volunteer you need to enjoy a sense of purpose. It helps if the cause is fun or interesting work. Preferably both.

You want the organization to be successful. You want your role or contribution to be valued and to be relevant. I served on the national board of the Arthritis Society for a number of years, including acting as the national board chair. As much as I may have contributed to the success of that organization, I also found a sense of personal fulfillment. Not a measureable factor. Just the idea that maybe I had something worthwhile to offer and that the effort was appreciated.

What types of relationships and learning experiences have you taken away from volunteering?

There are some basic skills that come with almost everything you take on. I think that over time you learn a lot about the human condition—how do people think, what motivates them, how do you accomplish something cooperatively. I think that a good volunteer is a good person. Like-minded people tend to be drawn to similar interests. You usually get to work with people who are interesting, and sometimes pretty passionate about whatever the cause is. I can’t easily think of anyone that I have worked with as a volunteer that I would describe as fundamentally selfish.

How do you aim to inspire others to get involved?

I think most people will volunteer if asked. I am always a bit surprised when someone presents themselves and asks if they can help. I was never that selfconfident. The challenge is probably in understanding if there is a good match of person and purpose. I suppose in my own circumstances, I hoped that the person who asked me to volunteer had already identified that I might be a good fit.

Although this is not news to anyone who grew up on the prairies, there is definitely a common willingness to help each other. Whether this is a cultural thing, or this is because we share miserable weather for a good part of the year and occasionally need someone to help push our car out of the snow, we seem by default to think in terms of “how can I help”.

At the end of the day, I think you can very well get more out of volunteering than you put into it. That seems like a pretty good deal.

Dr. Charles Simpson (MD’71) is a Saskatoon-based obstetrician and gynecologist. Retired from clinical practice, he continues to teach as a clinical professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the College of Medicine. Dr. Simpson has served as a member of the college’s Alumni Association and as a volunteer consultant for the annual Highlights in Medicine alumni reunion conference. He’s also served as a mock interview facilitator to prepare medical students for their Canadian Residency Matching Service (CaRMS) interviews. Additionally, he devotes his time to volunteering with the University of Saskatchewan Library and Persephone Theatre.

 What specifically attracted you to volunteering?

Now that I’ve stopped doing clinical practice, I’m mostly retired. Volunteering is another way of both filling in my time and contributing back to the college. As I grow older—and in my phase of life—we start to think about how valuable it was that we got through our careers. I think it’s the general idea of giving back when I have the time to do so.

 What keeps you motivated to continue to volunteer?

Mostly the satisfaction of meeting people, and especially younger people—when I’m dealing with students—to feel like I’ve added something to my own life.

What types of relationships and learning experiences have you taken away from volunteering?

Meeting and interacting with people, especially younger people, rather than just dealing with the seniors, was one of the reasons for volunteering.

How do you aim to inspire others to get involved?

I try to be an example of what to do. In the community, I sometimes mention it to people that volunteering is something I’ve done and enjoyed. I don’t go around and try strongly to get people to do things. Only if it comes up in casual conversation.


Jamie Neufeld (BSc’13) graduated from the College of Arts & Science and is continuing studies at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. Jamie’s volunteer experience includes spending summer 2016 in Uganda with Veterinarians Without Borders. She also volunteers locally with the Global Gathering Place in Saskatoon.

What specifically attracted you to volunteering?

When I was younger, I volunteered more out of a sense of obligation.  Now it’s about reciprocating the experiences others have given me, and paying it forward into projects that I am passionate about.

What was your first volunteer experience? What keeps you motivated to continue to volunteer?

I participated in a program with the Saskatoon Pony Club that taught inner-city children how to handle and ride horses.  Working with kids who were thrilled just to touch a horse, let alone ride a horse, awoke me to my privilege as a young person. While we fussed about which classes to enter in the upcoming horseshow, many program attendees had shoes that were too small and were caretakers for younger siblings.  It was a reality check at a young age, and I am thankful that my coach, the late Elaine Partington, was passionate about providing this opportunity for all involved.

What types of relationships and learning experience have you taken away from volunteering?

I have made friendships with people who continue to inspire and teach me.  In Africa, for example, I connected with the local people – Frazia, a woman raising four children of her own and three more who’d been abandoned; Vivian, translator with a heart of gold and so much love to give; Ronald, a ten-year-old who dreamed of attending public school and eventually becoming a schoolteacher–all passionate and positive, without judgement or pretense.

What is your proudest moment/accomplishment from your volunteering experience?

I had the opportunity to intern with Veterinarians Without Borders and spent the summer of 2016 working on the goat pass-on project in Uganda. The project was established in 2006, so we conducted a ten-year anniversary household impact survey to analyze project strengths and shortcomings. I interviewed over fifty women and was thanked for being part of a project that improved familial childhood; children could go to school, families could eat more than one meal a day, girls could afford menstrual products and have the same opportunities as boys, and communities were able to purchase water tanks and taps and a better standard of living had been achieved by many. Experiencing the impact that a collective of individuals has made over the last ten years was an outstanding part of any of my volunteer experiences.

What is your vision for the future of volunteering? How do you aim to inspire others to get involved?

In our connected world, any and all information is available at our fingertips; we don’t have many excuses to remain ill-informed or blissfully ignorant.  However, it’s easy to remain disconnected from matters that we don’t see or directly affect us.  Volunteering and involvement should be self-motivated, but sharing my experiences and encouraging others to pursue an interest or passion of their own might be the first step.

Sharla Daviduik (BSc’95) is the manager of the administrative support group in the College of Arts & Science at the U of S. Sharla volunteers with the Saskatoon Open Door Society and Girl Guides of Canada as a leader of the 58th Saskatoon Brownie unit. 

What specifically attracted you to volunteering?

I was looking for an “extracurricular” activity and for ways to become more involved in my community.  Girl Guides of Canada had a table on campus at the U of S during National Volunteer Week in 2002 and I put my name down on a whim. They called me back and now I’m still involved in the organization 15 years later.

What keeps you motivated to continue to volunteer?

Volunteering is a way to put my values into action.  I now see the role I have with Girl Guides as a way to provide a space for girls to build up their confidence and to realize how capable they are. Secondly, I find volunteering to be incredibly rewarding -- it’s an opportunity for me to make a positive impact in the community and to improve my own skills.  Finally, I have a lot of fun with my Brownies and I have learned so much about different cultures from the people who attend the Conversation Circles at the Saskatoon Open Door Society.

What types of relationships and learning experience have you taken away from volunteering?

I have made some of my best friends through Girl Guides. I’ve learned a lot about leadership. I think I learned more about leadership from Girl Guides than anywhere else and I am using these leadership skills in my current job.  Volunteering at the Open Door Society has allowed me to learn about other cultures and countries, and has really made me think hard about how to explain the idiosyncrasies of the English language.

What is your vision for the future of volunteering?

I think that volunteering is going to become even more important than it is now, given some of the trends we are seeing in the world.  I became involved with the Open Door Society because I wanted to help refugees from Syria who were coming to Saskatoon.  If people are looking for a way to help, volunteering is a very positive way to do so.

How do you aim to inspire others to get involved?

I think all volunteers can do to get others involved is to lead by example, and to be welcoming and inclusive when others want to be involved.  For example, if we only need four parents to help us at Brownies, and eight volunteer, they are all welcome.  

Michael Negraeff (MD’92) is a pain medicine specialist living in Vancouver, BC. He is the founder of the Pain BC society, a non-for-profit organization that serves people living with pain and the healthcare professionals that treat them. He recently stepped down as Pain BC’s chair of the board of directors, a role he held for six years.

What specifically attracted you to volunteering?

At the time, I wasn’t thinking “what can I volunteer for?”  I was thinking, “we need much better pain management services in BC.” After I finished my training (I was in an accident during my training and have a spinal cord injury), I decided that working in the operating room was going to be a bit too challenging from a wheelchair and did a fellowship in pain medicine in Sydney, Australia.  When I came back to Vancouver I started working in Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) taking care of complex pain problems in the hospital and it eventually led to outpatient work.  But we had no capacity in the pain clinics. 

So, I didn’t seek out volunteering; volunteering found me as the best vehicle to achieve our purposes. It was important because as a society, and as volunteers, we were free to say what we wanted and felt was right to send the message.

What keeps you motivated to continue volunteering?

What I really like about it is that you are free to get as engaged as you want. You are free to work in the direction you want. You are not beholden to anyone other than the mission of the organization, which you are really happy to push forward.

The other thing I really like is all the other people you meet. Volunteering changed me, because I began to see through other peoples’ lenses.

I was also very inspired by the others that were volunteering. They had severe pain, and had nothing else much to give besides their time and energy.  Why?  Our message and mission resonated with them.  Volunteering is contagious. When you look at the others that are volunteering, and for nothing to gain but to feel a part of something, it is very inspiring and urges you to keep on going.

What’s your proudest moment/accomplishment from your volunteering experience?

The single proudest I have felt of the organization was when we successfully got the first grant from the Ministry of Health in 2013.  Things were very dire for us financially.  Morale was low, but nobody quit. We tightened the belt and pressed on with various funding source options.  Right when things were darkest, we successfully landed the grant. It changed everything. All kinds of initiatives got off the ground after that and momentum has continued to build. I was really proud of the team that kept coming up with ideas.

Joan Wilson (BEd’97) has been a resident of Saltcoats, SK for 37 years. A former teacher, she has volunteered with several organizations such as the Godfrey Dean Gallery in Yorkton, the Yellowhead Flyway Birding Trail Association, the Town of Saltcoats and the Saltcoats Curling Club. Joan was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal and a Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal in 2013.

What specifically attracted you to volunteering?

As a young girl, my mother helped in our small community of Madison, SK. I realized that if something needed to be done, the best way was to get involved and help make it happen.  When my husband and I settled in Saltcoats, I took on roles in various organizations and soon I was involved in numerous things from town council, to home care to the art gallery, and more.

What keeps you motivated to continue to volunteer?    

There are ongoing activities that I am involved with that continue to need support.  In a small town, whoever does a job gets to keep it until they really can’t do it anymore!  I am motivated because I still care about the things I am involved with.  These include our curling club and our great little town.

What types of relationships and learning experience have you taken away from volunteering?   

There are bonds formed with the people in the organizations you work with, you get to know different people through volunteering, and I am inspired by other volunteers in our community.  I want to support other volunteers and our town.  The volunteer experience has given me leadership and organizational skills, supported by my other life as a woman and a former teacher! 

What is your proudest moment/accomplishment from your volunteering experience?

 I am proud that many of our students have become part of the Yorkton Regional High School curling teams because they have been part of our junior curling program, and I like to think I helped bring that about, including (professional curler) Steve Laycock (BComm’07), but he has his own special talent!   I am proud that we have conserved a small bit of native prairie in our regional park. This is especially important to me as any little vestige of prairie needs to be protected as it can so easily and thoughtlessly be destroyed.   

How do you aim to inspire others to get involved? 

Create a buzz around a new project and hopefully generate interest so volunteers will come out to help, keep things fun, give encouragement and show appreciation for help received, and give acknowledgement to volunteers.  Personal contact, asking someone to help by calling them, or messaging them is helpful.  Give a clear picture of what is expected or needed so volunteers have a better idea of what they are getting themselves into.  Brainstorm for ideas and to create an” investment” in the next project.  Through involvement, hopefully others will be inspired to become involved.

Nicole Sarauer (JD'09) is the MLA for Regina Douglas Park. She has served as a volunteer with the Regina Sexual Assault Centre; a board member for Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers; a board member of Regina’s chapter of Amnesty International; and a volunteer and board member with the YWCA Big Sisters program.

What specifically attracted you to volunteering?

First, to give back and get more involved in my community.  I strongly believe that a life of service to others is a life worth living.  A life spent serving yourself can get dull quite quickly.  Second, to meet new people.  I have had the opportunity, through volunteering, of getting to know some of the most inspiring and incredible people.  They have been both mentors and friends to me.

What was your first volunteer experience?

My volunteering really took shape at the beginning of university; it started with the 24-hour sexual assault hotline through what is now called the Regina Sexual Assault Centre.  That was an eye-opening and humbling experience for me.  I learned about the structural barriers that many face in our society, as well as problems with accessing the justice system.

What keeps you motivated to continue volunteering?

I keep motivated to volunteer through the feeling of helping others and being a positive contact in someone’s life, even if I can’t solve all of their problems. I know it’s trite to say that I feel some days that I get more out of volunteering than I give, but the statement rings true.

What types of relationships and learning experiences have you taken away from volunteering?

I’ve met incredibly passionate people, all of whom I look up to and many of whom I call friends.

I’ve learned about the barriers and injustice that exist in our own community, many of which people often overlook or are invisible to those who are more fortunate.  I’ve learned that you can never tell what the person next to you is dealing with in their lives.  I’ve learned that the most rewarding experiences in life come from helping to make positive changes, however small, in the lives of others.

What is your proudest moment/accomplishment from your volunteering experience?

Whether it was on the 24-hour sexual assault line or, more recently, working at the Free Legal Clinic through Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan, I am honoured that people give me the opportunity to be let into their lives.  I think that is very difficult to do when you have felt rejected or ignored by society.

What is your vision for the future of volunteering? How do you aim to inspire others to get involved?

My hope is that others learn about the issues of inequality in their own neighbourhoods and realize that anyone can make an impact.

Contact us

Alumni and Friends: Interested in volunteering? Let us know!