Abby Glenn, a 2013 graduate of Drury’ s M.A. in Communication program, used her time in graduate school to sharpen her knowledge of nonprofit communication. Her efforts paid off with an invitation to present the results of her graduate research at the 2013 Missouri CASA Conference on Nov. 8-9.
Abby’s project, “Being a Child’s Voice: Emotion Management of CASA Volunteers,” explores the expectations and challenges of Court Appointed Special Advocates. She is particularly interested in how CASA volunteers manage their emotions while performing their volunteer duties.
Interviews of 15 CASA volunteers revealed two key insights. First, the challenges CASA volunteers experience are attributed to a strong sense of attachment the volunteer experiences with his or her CASA child. The challenges focused on impartiality, emotional exhaustion, and the anticipation of emotions. Second, the majority of research participants cope with the emotional challenges of their volunteer duty by communicating with three specific groups: the CASA supervisor, other CASA volunteers, and family.
Abby would like to use her research to develop training materials that will aid in the development and retention of CASA volunteers. She is exploring the opportunity of presenting this research at the national CASA conference in July 2014.
After earning her master’s degree, Abby became the Community Recreation Specialist – Special Events Coordinator at Springfield-Greene County Park Board in Springfield. One of her key responsibilities is to plan the annual 5k Turkey Trot.
The way I was introduced to my current job was through connections I had made as a volunteer and as an intern. Building connections is the biggest resource you have, and Drury University does a great job at providing a platform for you to build connections.