How do you serve your community? Volunteer and community service groups in the Richmond area offer a variety of meaningful ways to get involved and help make a difference. But you may not know that many of your fellow Reynolds employees are involved in these noteworthy volunteer efforts. In an effort to encourage more Reynolds employees to get involved in volunteering and to highlight some of the valuable community service efforts that our employees are already engaged in, the Reynolds LEADS team has interviewed several Reynolds employees about their experience as volunteers in the local community. Over the next four Reynolds Wrap-Up publications we hope that hearing the stories of these colleagues and the tremendous joy each one gets from their volunteer efforts will inspire others to get involved in one of the many community service opportunities in Richmond!
You may know other Reynolds employees who are involved in noteworthy volunteer projects! Consider nominating a deserving Reynolds team member for the Community Impact award. Nominations are due by March 4th.
Reynolds Volunteer Spotlight: An Interview with Karen Layou, Professor of Geology
Q: Describe your volunteer efforts. What groups do you serve and what are their missions?
KL: I sit on the WCVE Community Idea Stations Science Matters Leadership Team. The mission of this group is to use the communication tools of Central Virginia’s PBS and NPR stations to inspire viewers and listeners to value science. I am part of the Leadership Team, along with WCVE representatives, math and science college professors, K-12 educators, and other science professionals from the region. We offer perspectives and opinions on how best to reach our diverse audience, and provide suggestions for general Science Matters content.
I am also the Pack Secretary for my sons’ Cub Scout group, and my duties include taking minutes for monthly meetings, completing administrative paperwork for new scouts, and writing letters and thank you notes. There are 70 scouts in this pack!
Q: How did you get involved in volunteering?
KL: I was first approached by the Science Matters Project Manager in 2014 to participate in the Science Matters Explore the Outdoors program. This is a one-day event held in the spring during which over 40 local vendors and organizations set up exhibits on the WCVE campus to encourage families to get outside and see what our region has to offer. I loved the idea of it and created an exhibit of the Geology of Virginia, with a display of rocks, fossils, and maps from around the state. Attendance at the event topped 4000 individuals in the last year.
Scouting is a family activity—my husband is Den Leader and my two sons are scouts; everybody participates. We enjoy fun activities like museum sleep-overs.
Q: How long have you been involved? How much time do you devote to volunteering?
KL: I represented Reynolds at the Explore the Outdoors event in spring of 2014, and soon after I was invited to join the Science Matters Leadership Team. We [filmed] a video piece for fossil hunting in Virginia in summer of 2015, [which also showed up on] PBS kids cartoons and on NPR! The audience for this video was families with children, so my boys were involved too. The time involved is variable…the bi-annual meetings are about 2 hours, the Explore the Outdoors day is a full-day commitment, but otherwise, it’s not too much time.
Q: Do your volunteer efforts impact your job at Reynolds?
KL: Participation in the Explore the Outdoors day has allowed me to make contacts in the Marketing Department here at Reynolds. I have also gotten lots of great feedback—“hey, I heard you on the radio/saw you on TV!”—which I hope has been helping to advertise the geology program at Reynolds.
Q: Do you have any tips for others who want to get involved?
KL: I could always use a hand on Explore the Outdoors event—if anyone is interested in setting up other outdoor/science related exhibits at the Reynolds table with me - that would be great! The Science Matters program also has a Science Calendar of Events, on their website, so you can simply get involved by attending and supporting Science Matters events and general science-related activities around town. Science Matters website: http://ideastations.org/sciencematters