Profile picture and text: 50 FOR 50 STORIES: Story #43: Rob ShumerStory #43: Rob Shumer

For our next story, you’ll hear directly from one of JEP’s participants. Below is the story of Rob Shumer in his own words.

I first learned of JEP when I was a doctoral student at UCLA. I was working with Jane Permaul (Director of Field Studies at UCLA) at the time. She introduced me to Dick Cone and JEP because of my dissertation area…developing a Medical Magnet High School with the King Drew Medical Center. We worked with Dick to try to involve some USC students in the program. He was helpful and a few students got involved.

In 1986 I joined the Field Studies program as Assistant Director and in 1987 Jane, Dick, and I would meet each month at the Hamburger Hamlet near the Mt. Sinai Medical Center to have lunch and talk about our mutual programs and involvement in a national program, National Society for Internships and Experiential Education. Jane had been the president in the 1980s and I joined the Board in 1986. We talked about how to connect and develop programs in the LA area. We also discussed program activities and how to involve staff in programs. We worked with Tammy Anderson, who was on staff at JEP, in developing a city-wide collaborative, where we would have students focus on community organizations near their campuses (to help avoid the horrors of traffic in LA).

When I was on the NSIEE Board I noted that we had no diversity in the Board members, and said I would resign so we could select someone to replace me who might bring a diverse representation. I resigned and the Board selected Tammy Anderson to become a member of the Board and provide new, diverse leadership. She served and did a great job. Her leadership helped to make the Board a little more diverse and provided more opportunities for members of the organization.

I continued to work with Jane and Dick and Tammy over the next few years until Jane became a Vice Chancellor and I became Director of Field Studies. I left in 1992 to work in Minnesota. I remember working with Dick, Jane, and Tammy to help develop an NSIEE conference in Albuquerque, NM. Dick and Tammy always provided great ideas and efforts to make the conference a great success.

I remained friends with Dick throughout the 1990s and would occasionally call and talk about our mutual efforts in service-learning. He was always a great source of ideas and he did much to further the Campus Compact program in California in the 1990s.

I will always remember talking to Dick about his family and his history of service-learning. He was a model of what a caring human being could be. It was sad to learn of his passing in 2020….and I will cherish the time we spent together.

I also will remember the great times I had working with Tammy on projects in LA and in following her incredible professional journey as a leader at USC. While Dick mentored her, she had great skill and energy to help improve the lives of people all over the world.

I was very lucky to have met Dick and Tammy and be involved with JEP. It is a tremendous program and a great model of what a university and bright, talented staff can do to help improve the quality of life for people in a community.