UMUC Alumni Association President Shares Why She Gives Back
Fran Volel-Stech '89 will never forget her experience at UMUC. Inspired by her fond memories as a student while serving in the U.S. Army, she generously donates her time and resources to support the
university in helping current students reach their educational goals.
instruction I received and the connections I've made are invaluable,"
said Volel-Stech. "UMUC helped me to grow in my career and I want to
return the favor by helping someone else."
As newly appointed
president of the Alumni Association, Volel-Stech hopes to not only
increase association membership, but also to increase alumni
contributions to the university. She frequently travels around the
country to attend Alumni Association meetings and fundraising events,
and to motivate other UMUC alumni to get involved. Volel-Stech also regularly interacts with current students. She has served as a mentor and been a speaker at job
fairs, open houses and other UMUC student events.
"It's great to
see the faces of those you’ve helped through giving back. It gives you a
sense of purpose because none of us achieve success totally on our
own," she said.
Volel-Stech earned a BS in Business from UMUC more than 20
years ago while raising a family and serving in the U.S. Army.
Stationed in Seoul, Korea, when she began taking classes, she
understands the challenges working adults face trying to balance family,
careers and academics.
"Many times there are naysayers out there
will always tell you that you can’t do this or you can't do that," she
recalled. "But UMUC was wonderful, and they were flexible. They really
worked with military students to make sure you completed your work and
Volel-Stech added that she is extremely grateful for UMUC's commitment to working with military students like her. She has a long history of giving to the university, particularly to support its military
programs. After speaking with a university volunteer during a "thank-a-thon," Volel-Stech
decided she wanted to do more. She was appointed to the Alumni Association Board in 2004 and has held six leadership positions,
including vice president of philanthropy.
In 2007, Volel-Stech
teamed up with members of UMUC's Information Technology department to
establish an endowed scholarship fund for IT and project management
students. Three students have received awards through this scholarship. In 2010, Volel-Stech was awarded the Edward A. Parnell Outstanding
Alumna Service Award for all her efforts.
Volel-Stech hopes her commitment to UMUC will motivate others to give back.
that I've done for the Alumni Association, for the university, for the
students is because I really believe in it and I want to help," she