Throughout the year, HudsonAlpha volunteers donate time and talents to advance the institute's mission. On Friday, February 22, HudsonAlpha executive management and staff gratefully acknowledged the hard work of these individuals at the 2013 volunteer appreciation luncheon.

Last year, HudsonAlpha's generous volunteers donated 275.5 hours to institute initiatives. According to the Independent Sector, a national coalition of nonprofits, foundations and corporate giving programs, the average hourly dollar value applied to volunteers is $21.79. For HudsonAlpha, that's about $6,000 of in-kind assistance to strengthen the institute's mission.

Executive Vice President O'Neal Smitherman and members of the institute's educational outreach and external affairs departments thanked more than 20 volunteers who were able to attend the event.

HudsonAlpha volunteers come from all walks of life, personally and professionally. Scientists and non-scientists alike say they volunteer because they believe in the work HudsonAlpha is accomplishing.

"I volunteer at HudsonAlpha because I believe it's crucial to support biotechnology research initiatives that contribute not just to the worldwide research community, but our local intellectual wealth as well," said Helen Lien, Ph.D. Lien started volunteering for the institute in August 2012.

Lien added, "The educational programs are particularly important to me because they give me a chance to meet the next generation of scientists and share my passion for science with them. I love being able to show high school students who may have thought a science career was beyond their reach that science is, in fact, diverse and has opportunities for people of all talents."

If you are interested in becoming a HudsonAlpha volunteer, please email Karen Petersen for more information.