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Volunteer Spotlight: Jawann Pollard

Updated: Jul 20, 2018

Meet Jawann Pollard (BA ’09): The president of the Chicago Mizzou Alumni chapter, national academic excellence co-chair of Mizzou Black Alumni Network (MBAN) and coordinator for Chicago MBAN events.

When it comes to Tigers who help Make Mizzou Stronger, Jawann is certainly one.

Why did you choose to get involved with MAA?

Jawann: I had an amazing experience at Mizzou and met a lot of great people.  MAA gives us an opportunity to stay connected as alums no matter where life takes us. I wanted to contribute to maintaining that connection for our Chicago alums.

When I moved back to Chicago, one thing I noticed is that our programs and events weren’t as far reaching and inclusive to as many alums as they could be.  This motivated me to get even more involved with the Chicago chapter to be a voice at the table to make sure we were planning events (even in terms of location) that were more accessible and inclusive to a wider range of alumni.

Favorite experience as a volunteer?

Jawann: I would say my favorite experience was organizing an entire summer series of events here in Chicago for Mizzou Black Alumni Network. We had an amazing committee comprised of different eras of Mizzou coming together to create and execute five different events in the summer of 2016.

These events hit on at least one of the areas we decided to focus on: service, social, developmental, and cultural. (We even commissioned a local Mizzou alum to develop the flyer for the summer series!) Overall, the events were a success and had a great turnout at each event. I still have the flyer for it hanging up in my home office!

Favorite Mizzou tradition? 

Jawann: I would say my favorite Mizzou tradition is Tap Day.  As a member of QEBH Secret Honor Society (a 2007 tap), I always enjoy seeing students and faculty being rewarded for their incredible service to the University.  It also always makes me reminiscent to my own experience of being revealed as a member of QEBH.  Whenever there is a live stream of tap day, I try my best to watch at least a little bit of the ceremony.

If you had $1,000,000 to give to support Mizzou, what would you accomplish with it?

Jawann: I would make sure a portion of the money goes to the social justice centers on campus (Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center, Multicultural Center, Women’s Center, LGBTQ Resource Center, RSVP Center).  I think it’s very important to provide support to departments that provide validation, community, and resources to underrepresented groups on campus.

I would also donate some of the money to scholarships.  As a former Mizzou admissions representative, I know that there is always a need for more merit-based scholarships to help students make Mizzou a financially feasible option for them.

Lastly, I would give money to student organizations.  Getting involved in student organizations really helped me develop as a person.  I think providing more money to them will help these organizations elevate to new heights.


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