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Organizational Excellence

Lending Helping Hands

Poole faculty and staff lend their time outside of Nelson Hall to various organizations on- and off-campus that have ties to their own research and personal passions.


Joe Brazel, professor of accounting

For 7 of the 19 years Joe Brazel has been with Poole College, he has hosted a radio show for the North Carolina Reading Service. Brazel’s show reads the day’s USA Today report to the blind and print impaired.

Tayah Butler serving as a call bank operator for voter registration

Tayah Butler, assistant dean of diversity, equity and inclusion

Since the 2020 elections, Tayah Butler has been volunteering with the voter call bank for voter registration and turnout. In this role, Butler trains other call bank callers on how to use the dialing platform and how to manage the conversations.

Butler finds most of her volunteer opportunities through social media, web postings and local news outlets.

Tom Byrnes, senior lecturer in marketing

Tom Byrnes has volunteered at his local church’s, St Francis, Stephen Ministry for the last 10 years coordinating the training for the new leaders and support continuing education. 

In his role, Byrnes assists individuals going through a rough time in their lives like divorce, loss of a loved one, loss of a job, etc.

Rob Handfield, professor of operations and supply chain management

Since the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rob Handfield has dedicated his time to the supply chain management of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers and communities in need. He currently serves on the board for Project N95, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing PPE information.

Over the two years Handfield has volunteered with the organization, he has helped provide the U.S. with sage approved PPE and helped serve diverse minority communities that do not have access to healthcare.

Chris Hitch, adjunct lecturer in management, innovation and entrepreneurship 

For most of his time at Poole College, Chris Hitch has worked with Triangle Fly Fishers Veterans Fishing Program which works to further their conservation and education initiatives and support other groups and programs. 

Additionally, Hitch has spent three years with Taproot Pro Bono Consulting, ​​a national nonprofit that connects nonprofits and social change organizations with passionate business professionals who share their expertise pro bono.

Peter Janca working with donated technology at Chatham PTA Thrift Store

Peter Janca, lecturer in management 

Peter Janca lends his time outside of the Poole classroom to the Chatham PTA Thrift Store where he evaluates, tests and prices donated electronics products. This is fulfilling for three reasons: 

  1. It gives many devices a second life and keeps them out of a landfill.
  2. It provides those on a small budget access to working products at a price lower than the closest alternative.
  3. It gives Janca the opportunity to use experience and skills to convert the working devices into real money that is distributed to schools.

“I have found that volunteer work has great benefit to the person doing it,” said Janca. “It provides rapid feedback about the positive value received. Our day jobs sometimes lack such rapid feedback and often have a long lead time to learn how the contribution was received.”

Srinivasan Krishnamurthy, associate professor of finance

From July 2021 to June 2022, Srini Krishnamurthy has served as the treasurer for the Mills Park Middle School Parent Student Teacher Association (PTSA). In this role, he established a financial literacy program for high school students and their parents covering topics like finance tools, budgeting, assessing how your chosen career impacts payback time and the importance of wellness on your college experience and financial situation. 

Recently, Krishnamurthy helped organize a two-day program at Wakefield High School and is doing another program with Wake County Libraries.

Bill Rand with the boys cross-country team
The Cathedral School girls cross-country team

Bill Rand, associate professor of marketing

When Bill Rand and his family moved to the Triangle six years ago, he began volunteering at his daughter’s school, Cathedral School. Rand’s role has now evolved to coach of the cross-country team, this fall marking two years.

A kitten up for adoption at the Safe Haven for Cats
The perfect time for a cat nap

Stephanie Reiley, academic advisor

Stephanie Reiley has spent the last five months outside of Poole College lending her time to Safe Haven for Cats in North Raleigh. This organization offers adoption and a clinic for safe spay and neuter for cats. 

Eileen Taylor delivering flowers through The Flower Shuttle

Eileen Taylor, professor of accounting

Eileen Taylor has served as The Flower Shuttle president since 2019. The Flower Shuttle recycles flowers to people living with sickness, terminal illness, poverty and disability who don’t normally get flowers. 

In addition, Taylor works with Dress for Success which empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

Brian Thomas (left) helping with the Oaks and Spokes canned food drive

Brian Thomas, director of research development and administration

For the past four years, Brian Thomas has volunteered with Oaks and Spokes, an advocacy organization on a mission to build safer streets, more transportation options and accelerating Raleigh towards a sustainable future. Additionally, Thomas was nominated and appointed by the Raleigh City Council for the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission (BPAC) and has served for the past year.

The BPAC is an advisory commission for the city on issues related to bicycle and pedestrian safety and transportation. 

Mark Walker and his wife, Whitney, transporting beagles from Envigo
An Envigo facility mom and her pups
Recently rescued dogs being sorted into their foster homes

Mark Walker, professor of finance

For 17 years, Mark Walker has volunteered with the Triangle Beagle Rescue (TBR) to find beagles loving, life-long homes around North Carolina. This non-profit offers adoption and foster services with a shop where proceeds go towards the organization. 

Recently, Walker helped with the rescue of beagles from the Envigo facility in Virginia. In total, TBR has rescued 129 beagles from Envigo.

Andrea Young’s dog, Cooper, at an event on campus

Andrea Young, associate director of marketing for Jenkins Graduate Programs

Since this past April, Andrea Young and her dog, Cooper, have been working with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs, a national therapy dog organization providing certification, registration, support and insurance for members. This past year, Young and Cooper attended an event for the College of Engineering.

“I was looking for a volunteer opportunity to make a difference and have an impact and after experiencing The Alliance of Therapy Dogs event at Poole, I knew this was for Cooper and me,” said Young. “We are now volunteering at an assisted living facility for memory care and it is the highlight of my month to see the smiles he makes happen. He also has the time of his life!”