Welcome Student Board Members

August 24, 2010

The American Red Cross Northern California Blood Services Region is pleased to announce the latest additions to its Board of Directors.  They are students Olivia Lam, UC Berkeley; Hanna Malak, Menlo College; and Patrick Turner, Holy Names University.

Lam, from Daly City, is a senior majoring in molecular and cell biology with an emphasis on neurobiology.  She is the blood services co-coordinator of the campus Red Cross club called ARC@CAL.  She has helped at more than 20 campus blood drives during the last two years – publicizing the drives, registering blood donors, helping donors at the refreshment area following their donations and organizing volunteers for the blood drives.

“I believe that everyone has a responsibility to give back to their community.  The Red Cross embodied what I wanted in an organization – international and local efforts,” Lam said.  “Many times, people look to volunteering with organizations to help those internationally, but I believe that it is also important to look around locally and care about those who at any moment may need blood transfusions.”

“ARC@CAL supports all Red Cross lines of service - blood, health and safety, disaster, international and youth services,” Northern California Blood Services Region CEO Jay Winkenbach said.  “Thanks to the ARC@CAL blood services committee, students, staff and faculty at UC Berkeley contribute more blood donations than any other college or university we visit.”

Malak and Turner were selected to participate in a collegiate leadership program sponsored by the National American Red Cross and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).  They join the Board of Directors following a unique opportunity.  The students spent two weeks acquiring first-hand coaching, mentoring and professional leadership training, which was presented by senior leadership at Red Cross National Headquarters in Washington, DC.

Malak and Turner, along with 13 other student-athletes from across the country, are prepared to be Red Cross ambassadors on their college campuses.  During the academic school year, these students will sponsor blood drives and recruit blood donors on their college campuses.  As members of the region’s Board of Directors, they will provide another perspective to issues and items brought to the Board’s attention.

“Athletics play such an important role in creating a sense of community on college campuses.  We are privileged to have two college student-athletes from our region this year,” Winkenbach said.  “A rival blood drive is already in the works with their schools.  We look forward to increasing donors at our college drives as we learn from our student board members.”

Previous Red Cross/NAIA participants helped to increase blood collections by a combined 65 percent on college and university campuses, and more than 4,900 first-time blood donors have come to these drives.

Malak, from San Mateo, is a wrestler at Menlo College in Menlo Park. Last year, he served as the Student Body President.  Malak, a junior, said his goal is to promote both the Red Cross and the NAIA within his local and regional communities, and to increase interest in volunteer services among his peers.  While cultivating professional and personal development, he will make a positive impact by helping others experience the benefits of responsible service.

Turner, from Fort Bragg, plays on the Holy Names University (Oakland) basketball team and majors in marketing and business management.  Like Lam, he is a member of his campus’ Red Cross Club.

Growing up in a small community of only 7,000 people, Turner learned to do what he can to help someone in need.  He grew up with this basic principle instilled in him and feels his responsibility to be accountable to his family, his community, and himself because he represents his hometown and how he was raised.

“My mom always said my blood was needed,” Turner said.  “She made me aware of the need.”

Lam, Malak and Turner join an already diverse and well-respected group of people on the Red Cross’ Board of Directors, which comprises eighteen leaders in business, medicine and education in the Bay Area and governs the Northern California Blood Services Region.  Among other duties, members of the Board are responsible for serving as advocates for the Region and its mission and services; recruiting volunteers, donors and other board members; and assisting the Region with increasing blood donations.