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Five questions with humanitarian Alli Glensor

Soon after transferring to Towson, Alli Glensor attended a Habitat for Humanity meeting on campus and was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of the students involved. She had participated in volunteer efforts through the national organization before, as well as overseas trips to help build schools and other facilities in South America through her church. Drawn to service leadership, she joined the organization and earned a spot on its executive board. Now the group’s president, Alli organizes trips to build sites and other service efforts through Habitat for Humanity.

How did you get involved with Habitat for Humanity?
Alli Gensor builds a house
“I went on a Habitat work trip to Jacksonville, Fla., in the winter of 2010 and then again on another trip over Spring Break and I loved it. When I transferred to Towson, I knew I had to get involved. While you’re on these sites, you sometimes get to meet the families and they are so appreciative of the work you’re doing. When you hear their stories, you know what you’re doing is worthwhile.”

Had you ever built anything before, much less helped build a house?

“I had never picked up power tools in my life. Growing up, it was always my father and brothers who did that kind of work. The tools we use at Habitat worksites are powerful, and it’s really nerve wracking the first time you use them. On one site, I ended up working a jackhammer. It was terrifying at first, and then it was awesome. You can’t believe the things you say sometimes: ‘Yeah, I’ll take that drill. Sure, I’ll use a jackhammer.’”

Do you volunteer with other organizations?

“I volunteer with Pickersgill Retirement Community and did a program with AmeriCorps that required me to complete 300 service hours in a year. I’ve always done volunteer work through my church, too. It’s just so rewarding when you see the reaction on people’s faces when you’re able to provide them with a gift.”

How have you grown as a leader since coming to Towson?

“There are a lot of really great outreach opportunities here. The Office of Student Activities provides a number of ways to get involved and so many leadership opportunities. I’m an outgoing person, so being with people comes naturally to me. Since getting involved at Towson, I’ve met a lot of different types of people and that has made me more well rounded in how I relate to everyone.”

How have you gained leadership experience through your major?

“As part of my communication studies major, I take a course called Conference and Meeting Management taught by Carol Norton. Right now in class we’re planning an event and my group is organizing a panel discussion with five experts. We have to handle the logistics for getting the panelists, and planning what will be discussed and how it all runs. Each group in the class is responsible for a different part of the event, so we all need to pull together to make it happen.”

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