Volunteer Opportunities

For most retired people, having more time for leisure activities is also coupled with exploring new ways to continue with meaningful work. Many find that the flexibility and personal rewards of doing volunteer work complement their other pursuits to create just the right balance. Those who have retired from IU Indianapolis can find volunteer possibilities both within and outside the university through the Senior Academy.

The Senior Academy asked administrators in both academic and service units at IU Indianapolis to list ways in which retired faculty and staff might continue to be involved productively in the work of the university. The answers ranged widely from short-term, low-effort jobs such as scanning a website for an academic unit or assisting with registration for an event to more sustained and intensive activities such as serving on departmental, unit, or campus committees or mentoring students, faculty, or staff.

Below is a list of current opportunities.


Volunteer Opportunity: The School routinely hosts visitors from around the world ranging from university delegations, fellowship participants and visiting scholars.  Visitors come with a variety of interests including higher education administration, the environment, gender, social justice, philanthropic foundations and international development, among others. While their time will largely be spent engaged with our colleagues at the school, we recognize the benefits of also providing the visitors a welcome that broadens their experience and which can make the trip more memorable.

Hosting is intended to be simple and the time commitments limited. Examples may include:

  • Hosting a lunch or dinner
  • Campus or city tour
  • Cultural activity (museum, park symphony, sports event)
  • Airport welcome and transportation to hotel

Note: costs would be reimbursed by the school.

Contact: Cathie Carrigan, International Programs, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy | ude[dot]ui[at]girracmc


Volunteer Opportunity: Counsel potential graduate students on career choice and strategies for applying to graduate school. If you have academic or professional expertise aligned with graduate degree programs, you can participate in the “Chat with Faculty” that is part of the Graduate School Admissions Boot Camp (held annually during the fall semester) organized by the IU Indianapolis Graduate Office.

Volunteer Opportunity: Critique written personal statements of students who are applying to graduate programs, specifically in preparation for Boot Camp. This opportunity is open to individuals with knowledge of graduate admissions and with the elements of successful personal statements in a graduate application.

Volunteer Opportunity: Serve as a mentor to participants in the Preparing Future Faculty and Professionals (PFFP) program, specifically for those interested in pursuing careers in academia.

Volunteer Opportunity: Participate in Preparing Future Faculty and Professionals (PFFP) program workshops by presenting on CVs and/or reviewing CVs as the need arises for those participants pursuing careers in academia and offering mock interviews to participants.

Contact: Jennifer Mahoney, communications and recruitment manager | ude[dot]ui[at]2yenoham

Studies show that seniors who volunteer and give of themselves are happier and healthier. Hundreds of community volunteer opportunities exist that will match your available time and talents with needs of many worthy organizations.

Below are some sites that offer volunteer opportunities:

Many Senior Academy members continue to support IU Indianapolis and our community through volunteer work. We share a few examples below.

  • Sherry Queener, retired director of the IU Indianapolis Graduate Office and associate dean of the IU Graduate School, serves as the membership and events chair for the Northern Estates Homeowners Association, which supports services and activities for 522 families on the near northwest side.​
  • Steve Kirchhoff, former director of the School of Medicine service-learning office, has mentored two second-graders for one hour weekly for the MSD Wayne Township HOSTS (Help One Student to Succeed) literacy program.   
  • Trish Severns, retired craniofacial program coordinator with the School of Medicine, serves on the board of the Assistance League® of Indianapolis​, an organization that serves and supports the most vulnerable members of our community through its four philanthropic programs.
  • Gabrielle Bovenzi, retired assistant vice chancellor of the Division of Finance and Administration, volunteers at Second Helpings. Second Helpings focuses on hunger relief, food rescue and culinary training. Volunteer opportunities range from working in the kitchen preparing food/meals to clerical assistance in the office.
  • Marianne S. Wokeck, Chancellor’s Professor Emerita of History, serves on two boards that reflect some of her interests. The Indiana Chapter of the Palatines to America is an organization for Hoosiers with an interest in genealogy and history with a focus on those of their ancestors who emigrated from the territories bordering the Rhine, especially the Palatinate. The Ensemble Music Society of Indianapolis was founded during World War II and has been dedicated to bringing differently configured small groups of outstanding musicians to perform pieces from all periods of the chamber music repertoire. She also serves as a Marion County election board volunteer for local, state, and federal elections.