Monday, September 30, 2013

Volunteer of the Month: Michael O'Neill

Every month our Volunteer Office sorts through piles of nominations from supervisors and honors one of our volunteers for their truly stupendous efforts. Meet our latest Volunteers of the Month!

In the fall, the Volunteer Office is busy doing a lot of things, one of which is recruiting interns at career fairs. We were just at Tufts, and a lot of students were interested in what happens to interns after their internship ends. Well, September’s Volunteer of the Month is a great example of that.

The Rescue and Rehab department would like to nominate Michael O'Neill for volunteer of the month. 
Volunteer Mike O'Neill works with sea turtles in the Rescue and Rehab department
There is no other way to describe working with Mike other than a delight. Mike's passion and enthusiasm is contagious and so constant that he always brings a smile to people's faces. He started as an intern in the rescue department a couple of summers ago, and we were lucky enough to get him back as a volunteer after he graduated college.  
His enthusiasm to learn as much as possible is fantastic, and he also is great at teaching everyone else, whether it be training new volunteers or providing a show and tell of his fossil collection during a lunch break. No wonder he is a staff member in visitor education as well! Mike is full of interesting stories, songs about marine life and provides much needed laughter in a stressful environment. He is truly a Jack of all trades, as he can outfit our kennels for easier transportation, create best methods for skeleton re-articulation, conduct his own research on the crab population in Quincy Bay or provide entertainment while juggling fire torches on stilts. And this is on top of being excellent at animal handling and husbandry!  
Mike does whatever is asked of him without complaint and always excels at it even with minimal supervision. Not many other volunteers would design and construct methods to carry kennels, and get in the kennel to test the strength of his contraption (or let me take photos of it). His dedication is also evident as he goes out of his way to get transportation to the Quincy facility every week. Mike is an asset to the Thursday crew, one of my absolute go-to volunteers, and I think I speak for the rest of the staff and volunteers by saying he deserves recognition for his service to the Aquarium and the Rescue department in particular. 

If you are interested in joining us in an intern or volunteer capacity, consider checking out the requirements and applying today!

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