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ECU administrative support specialist Betsy Brown gets involved in her community through work with organizations like Habitat for Humanity and the Junior Women's Association of Greenville. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

INSIDE OR OUT
Betsy Brown sets an example of service to others

May 18, 2012

By Judy Currin
ECU News Services


Whether she’s on the rooftop, in a kitchen or sitting at a desk at East Carolina University, administrative support specialist Betsy Brown enjoys serving others.

Her activities in the community and in ECU’s Office of Admissions set an example of the ECU motto, “Servire” (to serve).  

Her community activities have led to unusual locations, including a rooftop in Charleston, S.C., where she installed shingles on a home for Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit organization that brings people together to build homes for people in need.

“My favorite experience with Habitat is working up on the roof installing the shingles,” Brown said. “It is such a great experience to work alongside the home recipients.”

Brown’s connection to Habitat came through the Junior League of Charleston, which she joined in 2007.

The organization, which was founded in 1923, is a group of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is educational and charitable.

A 2003 arts management graduate of the College of Charleston, Brown spent the next four years with the architectural firm LS3P as the resource coordinator for the interior design studio. While she stayed plenty busy, Brown’s volunteer activities added a little more balance to life.

Brown has also spent her fair share of time inside the house puttering around the kitchen. She completed the certificate program in baking and pastry from the Culinary Institute of Charleston in 2010,

“I’m not considered a ‘chef.’ Baking and making pastries is more of a fun hobby for me,” Brown said.

When Brown moved back to Greenville in 2010 to be closer to her family, she eventually found herself sitting behind a desk at East Carolina University. She joined the department of undergraduate admissions in the spring of 2011.

She knew the best way to reconnect with the community where she grew up was to get involved.

The Junior Women’s Association of Greenville, founded in the same year, proved to be the perfect vehicle.

The organization’s mission to promote volunteerism, develop the potential of its members and improve the community mirrored Brown’s experience with the Junior League of Charleston.

“In the beginning, as with any young organization, we were challenged to get the JWA name out there as well as recognition for our work,” Brown said.

The JWA of Greenville works with Habitat for Humanity, the non-profit organization Brown worked with in Charleston.

The JWA also spends at least one day a week with The Ronald McDonald House preparing meals for the families of children who are chronically ill.

“We have a good time in the kitchen,” she said. “The families seem to really appreciate our efforts.”

“Working with the folks at Ronald McDonald House and Habitat gives us (JWA) clearer insights into the needs of the community and more ideas for creative solutions,” said Brown.

Brown sees her service in assisting students with the admissions process at ECU as rewarding as her community outreach.

“We are here to serve the student body who are encouraged to participate in their community just as JWA promotes volunteerism,” Brown said.

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