Alumni Spotlight: Sarah (Hughes) Taflinger 83' and VU Work-Study Students

Alumni Spotlight: Sarah (Hughes) Taflinger 83' and VU Work-Study Students

Sarah (Hughes) Tafflinger and her husband Tim, both graduates of VU in 1983.

July 31, 2023

What advice do you have for students?

Time spent at Vincennes University is a great time to develop your future.  Don’t party too much or focus on growing up too fast.  VU is a great opportunity for students from a small school to develop a solid foundation while being in a comfortable community.  I graduated from a class of 100 students and came to VU to major in Broadcasting.  My high school did not have the resources to have a full recording studio like those that some of my fellow classmates attended.  That was okay.  You might not have all of tools where you started, but that is what makes VU great. It helps you to catch up and eventually excel.  Our Broadcasting program was top notch.  I went from Vincennes University to Indiana State, and I was so prepared for the transition.  When I got there, I felt like I had learned so much during my time at VU.  Many of the students in my classes were just becoming familiar with the studio.  I was working at stations in my free time because I had already gained the exposure through my work at Vincennes.

How did you become a work study, and how did it aid you as a student?

My mom helped me find local scholarships to offset the cost of my education.  I had more free time than I had anticipated and was looking for something productive that I could do within the campus.  Brenda Thompson shared that there was an opening in the Student Activities Office.  Brenda and Donna Clinkenbeard were amazing, and work study was a great opportunity as a student.  You made a great income, and you were able to become really involved and connected.  It allowed me to connect with so many people, and most importantly to have fun.  I was able to work on projects like concerts or the Miss VU Competition.  It felt really good to see the school activities come together and to be able to say that you were a real part of making it happen.

Work Study prepared us to get out into the world!

One of my favorite projects was being a part of coordinating the Miss VU competition.  Brenda was so organized and made the projects fun for the students.  It was held in the P.E. Complex, and we carried radios.  She would call us and direct us to the area that we were most needed.  We were able to see how the competition functioned from behind the curtains.  There were so many people involved.  She really allowed us to take the competition as far as we were able to go with our talents.  She supported us and empowered us to make our own mark.  Being a work study was a huge part of the VU experience.  As a work study, you had more fun, met more people, and it prepared you to get out into the work world.

Current VU Foundation work study, Morgan Miller, shares similar feelings of involvement and connection.

I heard about the VU Foundation from Elaina Boston who was returning for her second year as a work study.  I did not realize until I began my work how many events the VU Foundation holds and the scale to which it is able to help students.  Having a job on campus really helped ease my financial path, and I was able to work around my classes, and be more involved on campus.  I had a lot of fun!   The environment was remarkable, and I loved the VU Foundation staff.  It was a great way to be involved at VU as I was able to attend fun events while learning new ways that I, as a student, could help to advance the goals of the university.

I am building skills to help my future!

I am really looking forward to my second year as a student worker.  I learned that everyone in the office has a different role (alumni, development, finance, advancement) and I was able to get an inside view of how they all come together to help the office move forward as a team.  I've become so much more comfortable talking to a variety of people as the Foundation works with students, alumni and donors.  As an Education major, I plan to continue to study Early Childhood Development.  It is going to be important for me to not only be able to communicate with the students, but also parents and guardians from different backgrounds and walks of life.  I worked with students for two years in high school, but the foundation has broadened my ability to quickly adjust as it has exposed me to so many more people than a regular office position.  I believe my experiences will benefit me as an educator as I will have more flexibility and be more comfortable in the ways that I work with families.

Would you like to make a difference?

The VU Foundation & Alumni office offers many ways, both as a volunteer and as a student worker to make a difference in the VU Community.  If you, or a current student, are interested in work-study or volunteering with the VU Foundation you may fill out our volunteer form here or call our alumni staff at 812-888-4354.  There are endless opportunities to have fun, develop tangible skills, make a difference in the community, all while supporting Vincennes University.