Staff, faculty and students could pick from volunteer sites where they could offer time and effort to participating nonprofit organizations.
Tayla Heavican, president of the Graduate Student Association, organized a group of graduate students who worked with Habitat for Humanity, both at a construction site and at the organization's ReStore location. (Other participating nonprofits included City Sprouts and the Ronald McDonald House.)
"UNMC and Nebraska Medicine are a huge part of the Omaha community, and it's important for students to also represent that," Heavican said. "I think people can forget just how large and diverse our student community is, and this event is a great way to have a small impact on our community for a day while interacting with students from different colleges."
Heavican said approximately 75 members of the UNMC/Nebraska Medicine community volunteered.
"Personally, I find it very rewarding," she said. "UNMC and Omaha have both offered me great opportunities, and it's important to give back when I can."
The event also provides interdisciplinary opportunities.
"Being in Graduate Studies, I see mainly just graduate students every day," Heavican said. "I worked with College of Medicine, physical therapy and allied health students -- it was a good opportunity to interact with each other."
Another of Heavican's Habitat for Humanity colleagues was Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dele Davies, M.D., who also is dean of graduate studies.
"We have very service-oriented and caring graduate students at UNMC," said Dr. Davies. "When I heard they were going to spend part of their Saturday volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, I decided to join them. It was a wonderful experience and a great opportunity to also meet like-minded students from other colleges."