Volunteers of NANPA: Shirley Nuhn
Shirley Nuhn is a lifetime member of NANPA. Lifetime memberships are bestowed on recipients of Photographer of the Year and Lifetime Achievement awards as well as on past presidents and their spouses (if members during the presidency). Shirley was the first chairperson of NANPA’s History Committee and instrumental in its structure and development.
What is your “day” job?
I am an adjunct professor at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), where I specialize in English as a second language studies, especially oral communications and reading. I am a podcaster, maintaining three program series on NOVA’s iTunes U. Since 2007, I have won five grants from the college—for technology, professional development and creation of curriculum. I’ve also worked as a tutor for the business branch of the English Language Institute at George Mason University (alma mater for my master’s degree).
Plus, I continue to work as a freelance writer and editor. Subjects are mainly technical (including engineering) for specialized journals and government proposals.
Oh, yes. Now and then I find a piano to play at the hotel where NANPA holds our Summit.
What committees have you served on, when, and what positions have you assumed?
In 1996, Jane Kinne invited me to join in the newly formed History Committee—that is, she wanted me to serve as its first chair. I agreed, holding the position until 2007. My oral history interviews for NANPA began in 1998. Today, I continue to serve on the History Committee as an interviewer and transcriber.
For several years, I participated on the Awards Committee and currently serve on the Fine Art Exhibit Committee. I’ve gladly worked alongside fellow NANPA members, because the chairs of those committees personally invited me to join. That type of gesture counts a lot. Personal contact shows a welcoming spirit by volunteers, and I knew I’d enjoy the adventure. In fact, my being interviewed for this newsletter is the latest instance.
I’ve been privileged to serve the NANPA Foundation, too. During the 2007–2008 fiscal year, I was the Foundation’s freelance proposal writer—winning a grant at the initial venture. For several years, I promoted the silent auction through audio announcements on NANPA’s website, and I’ve worked onsite at NANPA Summits on behalf of the auction.
What were your greatest accomplishments or the highlights thus far of what you have done?
My major accomplishment for NANPA and the discipline of nature photography was to officially initiate June 15 as Nature Photography Day. To do that, I applied for inclusion in Chase’s Calendar of Events, McGraw-Hill’s annual publication—a gold mine of information and tie-ins for publicists and event planners. The first observance of Nature Photography Day was in 2006. My spearheading the day and creating wide-ranging promotions stem from the type of work I’ve done professionally for many years, in public relations, community service and publications. My public service announcements for the June 15, 2006, observance marked the first use of audio on NANPA’s website.
How long have you been a NANPA member?
My experience with NANPA began at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, New York, during the gathering of nature photography professionals in October 1993. I became a dues-paying member in early 1995.
Editor’s Note: NANPA would be nothing without its unsung heroes, our committed volunteers. Many have been associated with NANPA for years and have worked for the organization in a variety of ways. This column focuses on a NANPA volunteer in each issue. If you know someone who should be included or wish to be included yourself, please email Sharon Cohen-Powers at firstname.lastname@example.org.