BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (December 1, 2021) – The SEC sponsors Community Service Teams for all 21 league sponsored sports. The Community Service Team looks to highlight an athlete from each school who gives back to their community in superior service efforts. The 19th annual women’s volleyball Community Service Team follows:
Katie Shook, Junior, Defensive Specialist, Alabama
Shook was part of Alabama Volleyball’s volunteer efforts with a number of local organizations in the Tuscaloosa area. She volunteered with Alberta Head Start’s supply drive, which saw record-breaking numbers this year with over 1,300 school and health supply items donated along with over $1,000 in monetary donations. Shook also helped with Halloween Extravaganza, an opportunity for local youth to play games and interact with Alabama student-athletes. She wrote thank you notes front line workers at DCH and VA hospitals. Shook also participated in UA School of Social Work’s Working on Women program, helping local at-risk adolescents develop positive coping and wellness behaviors.
Lauren Evans, Senior, Defensive Specialist, Arkansas
Evans has been a staple of Arkansas’ community service outreach since she arrived on campus in 2018. She regularly volunteers with youth events in the Northwest Arkansas community such as the Special Olympics Youth Games, visiting the NWA Children’s Hospital, and with the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Day in Fayetteville. Evans also participates in the Book Hogs and Healthy Hogs programs at Arkansas, which utilize student-athlete visits and engagement to encourage students at local elementary schools to read and get active and live healthy lifestyles. Beyond her contributions with the youth of Northwest Arkansas, she has also written letters to the Mountain Home Nursing Home, has participated in the Razorback Canned Food Drive, and has volunteered with the Salvation Army. Evans is the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) at Arkansas and has helped to organize events like Gratitude Week, the Razorback Trunk or Treat event and NCAA Inclusion Week all in the thick of her senior volleyball season.
Lauren Dooley, Senior, Middle Blocker, Florida
Dooley has been involved in numerous activities to help the Gainesville community during her time as a Gator. She participated in visits to UF Shands, where member of different Florida athletic teams visit with children that are patients in the hospital. She has also participated in Habitat for Humanity, assisting specifically during the Alachua Women Build group, which allows women to take an active role in meeting the need for good, affordable housing in the Gainesville community. Dooley helped lead the Pep Rally at a local elementary school, where student-athletes lead cheers and give tips to the students on how to stay focused and do their best on upcoming state exams. She has been a member of both the Gators Mentor and Positive Behaviors programs, assisting local elementary students in the community. Sage Naves, Senior, Middle Blocker, Georgia Naves serves the University of Georgia and Athens communities in a number of ways. She volunteers her time with iServe Ministries, distributing groceries to families in needs in Clarke County. Once a month, iServe brings an 18-wheeler full of food and the iServe team loads upwards of 300 cars for families most in need. Naves also volunteers her time with the Boys and Girls Club of Athens and Special Olympics at UGA through the annual Hometown Rivals baseball game. In 2017, she joined a mission trip to Uganda. Naves is one of the volleyball team representatives on UGA SAAC and was a 2019 inductee to the University of Georgia Leadership Education and Development (L.E.A.D.) program. She is a member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll and Dean’s List.
Alli Stumler, Senior, Outside Hitter, Kentucky
Stumler has recorded over 50 hours of community service in Lexington. She has volunteered with God’s Pantry, Picadome Elementary School, the Lexington Hope Center, Breckenridge Elementary Schools, the Special Olympics of Kentucky, and the Salvation Army. Stumler has also participated with the Active Women’s Health Initiative, High Street Neighborhood Center, Kentucky Children’s Hospital, Sayre Christian School, Kentucky Blood Center, and the Immanuel Baptist Church.
Anita Anwusi, Junior, Middle Blocker, LSU
Anwusi has participated in a number of community service projects during her junior season. She assisted in the BHM Read & Greet and the TopGolf – Mentor/Mentee Meet Up. Anwusi also helped over 3,000 students at the Women’s Basketball Field Trip Game.
Lauren Thompson, Senior, Outside Hitter, Ole Miss
Thompson participated in Reading with the Rebels, where she visited elementary schools throughout the LOU community to read books to students. She also worked with the Oxford Park Commissions volleyball clinic teaching volleyball skills to children in throughout Oxford. Thompson assisted in the collection of books and bears as a part of an annual service project donating to the UM Books and Bears Christmas program. She spent time working with the Feed The Sip annual service project with the collection of food items to donate to elementary schools in the surrounding areas to help fight hunger in Mississippi. Thompson also helped collected and donate Thanksgiving baskets to families in need throughout the LOU community to the Adopt-A-Basket service project. She has also participated in the annual A Night to Shine event to celebrate guests with special needs during an unforgettable prom night experience. Thompson was named to the 2020 Fall SEC Academic Honor Roll.
Rebecca Walk, Sophomore, Middle Blocker, Mississippi State
Walk has been involved in numerous community service projects. She worked the Stronger Together Water Drive, the TK Martin Fun Run and Pumpkin Palooza. Walk participated in the Bag Em’ Up Challenge, an opportunity for student-athletes to aid in the efforts to address issues stemmed from homelessness. Plarn (or plastic bag yarn) is an easy to clean lightweight approach to making bed mats, bags and many other things. Walk was a President’s Scholar in Spring 2021.
Leandra Mangual-Duran, Junior, Outside Hitter, Missouri
A three-year member of the Missouri Volleyball team, Mangual-Duran has volunteered in various areas of community service in the Columbia area.
Courtney Weber, Senior, Setter, South Carolina
Weber spearheads the team’s community outreach efforts and has participated in multiple reading events over the years, including “Spring into Reading with the Gamecocks” at Meadowfield elementary and working with Cocky’s Reading Express at Jackson Creek Elementary. She has also spent time playing Bingo with local seniors, both this year and in previous years. Weber has also volunteered with both Ronald McDonald house making meals for families, and at the local Prisma Health hospital visiting and playing with patients in the family room. She participated in our Gamecock Games with the Special Olympics, playing sports with children. Weber was a junior officer in Student-Athlete Advisory Committee last year and is currently the SAAC president and the chair of the special events committee. As SAAC President, serves as the liaison to the South Carolina athletics administration and the SEC SAAC.
Giana Pellizzon, Senior, Defensive Specialist, Tennessee
During her four seasons on Rocky Top, Pellizzon has made giving back and spending time in the Knoxville community a top priority. She has helped organize Tennessee’s annual Voloween, which brings children and their families from around Knoxville into UT’s athletic facilities for a night of fun and games and trick-or-treating in a safe environment. In addition to organizing Voloween, Pellizzon has been active with the Knoxville Area Rescue Mission, Eagleton Clinic, VolsHELP, Night to Shine, a variety of SAAC projects as well as helping with UT’s Sports Fest. During the summer of 2021, she and members of Tennessee’s VOLeaders program traveled to Belize to use sport as a way to promote social change. While in Belize, the group worked with the YMCA of Belize, the University of Belmopan, Hearts of Christ Children’s Ministry and the National Football Association. Pellizzon is a three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll and was a part of the 2020-21 Volleyball SEC Community Service Team.
Allison Fields, Senior, Defensive Specialist/Libero, Texas A&M
Fields has led the charge on several community service projects in her time as an Aggie. Most notably, she has used her love and dedication to the sport of volleyball by serving as a volleyball mentor at Still Creek Christian Academy. Most recently, Fields joined forces with other student-athlete in the REVved up to Read program at a local elementary school. In addition to community service, she has been a representative on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) for two consecutive years. Fields also served as a peer mentor in the summer of 2021 for the CSTAT First-Year Experience 101 course at Texas A&M. In this role, she served as a resource and leader to a group of first-year student-athletes, by mentoring and helping her peers become acclimated to college while welcoming them into the Aggie family.