Graduate Partners for Southeastern
The Southeastern Guide Dogs Graduate Partners for Southeastern (GPS) consists of nine members and one alternate. Each member serves for a three-year term. After completing a three-year term, the member must wait one year before applying for another opportunity to serve on the Graduate Partners for Southeastern. The alternate serves for a one-year term unless he/she is appointed to serve out the remainder of a term of a member who had to leave the Graduate Partners for Southeastern. The terms of Graduate Partners for Southeastern members are staggered so that every year three members finish a term and three members begin a term.
The application process is open to any Southeastern Guide Dogs graduate who is:
1. A graduate of our school who is currently working with one of our guide dogs or who is scheduled to return to our school for a successor guide dog
2. An impartial team player with strong listening and communication skills
3. An advocate and supporter of Southeastern Guide Dogs
4. Accessible by email or phone to other graduates, members of the council and school staff
A committee consisting of two Southeastern Guide Dogs staff members and two Graduate Partners for Southeastern members annually nominate new members to the GPS for formal election.
It is an honor and privilege to serve on the Graduate Partners for Southeastern. Although the role of the Graduate Partners for Southeastern is strictly a supportive one, the impact that the body has on the programs and policies of the school and on the lives of the students and graduates who reach out to it is significant.
Graduate Partners for Southeastern members are expected to use their expertise as guide dog users to serve as a resource to school staff, students and graduates. Responsibilities include:
- Provide support, encouragement and insight in the use of a guide dog to applicants who have been accepted into the Southeastern Guide Dogs program
- Provide support to graduates who would like to speak with an experienced guide dog user
- Bring forward guide dog issues involving the blind community to the attention of the school
- Provide input and feedback to the Chief Executive Officer and staff regarding graduate programs and services
- Represent the school with a positive attitude; supporting the school by educating the public about the school’s mission, needs, and ways to support
- Abide by the school’s Code of Ethics and Conflict of Interest policies
- Meet several times per year by phone or in person to discuss and debate topics of interest to graduates and staff
The Graduate Partners for Southeastern meets via teleconference four (4) times a year in order to carry out its mission.
Communication is a primary key to success of the short term and long range goals of Southeastern Guide Dogs. Frequent communication between the school and the GPS will enable members of the GPS to help the school to “speak with one voice” with graduates and other constituents. The staff member responsible for providing GPS members with ongoing updates regarding the school’s programs and policies will be the Director of Admissions and Graduate Services.
2011-2013 Graduate Partners for Southeastern
Dulce Weisenborn, Chair, (1)
Miami, Florida and Portland, Oregon
Bob Smallwood, Vice Chair (2)
Key West, FL
Dolores Myers, Secretary (1)
Port Orange, Florida
Kathy Champion (2)
Shirley Tracy (2)
Sun City Center, FL
Janet Deluca (2)
North Fort Myers, Fl
Mary Tyson (3)
Holly Hill, FL
Tim Barrett (3)
Crystal French (2)