Baylor represents at Super Bowl festivities

Visitors to the Super Bowl LIVE and NFL Experience festivities held at Discovery Green and the George R. Brown Convention Center during the week of the big game may have had the opportunity to interact with one of many volunteers from Baylor College of Medicine. Several Baylor employees volunteered during the Super Bowl – for reasons ranging from love of the sport to the chance to be involved in a rare event in our city.

Employees who volunteered at the Super Bowl were able to make use of the College’s new volunteer time off policy, which allows benefits-eligible employees to take one paid day off of work annually to volunteer in the community. Read more below about your colleagues’ volunteer work at the Super Bowl.

In addition to employees who volunteered, Baylor College of Medicine was represented at the Texas Medical Center’s display at Super Bowl LIVE. The virtual reality exhibit featured innovations from Baylor and other TMC institutions, with Baylor’s highlighting the emergency smart pod that can be rapidly deployed for medical response to public health outbreaks or natural disasters. Visitors to the exhibit were able to don VR goggles to experience the pod being deployed.

Smart Pod virtual reality exhibit

Dr. Richa Shukla, assistant professor of medicine – gastroenterology, watches the Smart Pod virtual reality experience at Super Bowl LIVE.

Keira Miller

Finance office

NFL Experience

What were your volunteer duties? Over the course of three days, my responsibilities were to support and manage the Virtual Reality Experience, the NFL Play 60 Zone and the Scouting Combine with the 40-yard dash.

What was the experience like? The experience was like an indoor theme park. There were several interactive activities, displays of all the Super Bowl rings and the Lombardi Trophy, autograph sessions and more. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Although it was physically demanding with a lot of walking and throwing footballs, it was definitely worth it.

What kind of feedback did you hear about the event and about Houston? I had the opportunity to volunteer with a gentleman who travels and volunteers at Super Bowl events every year. During the week he spent in Houston he told me he enjoyed the hospitality, food and the atmosphere of Houston more than any other Super Bowl city.

What made you want to get involved? I love sports and especially football. I felt it would be a great opportunity not only to volunteer, but to be a part of the week leading up to one of the biggest sporting events. I would like to thank Baylor College of Medicine for the opportunity to allow employees to contribute to the community by providing volunteer time off.

Mae Reyes

Office of the Provost

NFL Experience

What were your volunteer duties? I engaged both kids and adults to participate in the games and challenges. I was throwing and catching lots of footballs all while trying not to get hit by one!

What was the experience like? The experience was incredible! I had so much fun being a part of history made in Houston and in the NFL. The experience for me was unreal!

What made you want to get involved? I am such a football girl, and I love the sport. I immediately jumped at the opportunity to participate in the Super Bowl. Go Texans!

Monica Garcia

Department of Medicine

NFL Experience

What were your volunteer duties? I greeted people as they entered. We offered to take their picture with their phone – the excitement and smiles on all the faces was worth a million dollars!  I also helped fans take pictures at a photo-op booth and passed out Play 60 shirts. Play 60 is the National Football League’s campaign to encourage kids to be active for 60 minutes per day.

What was the experience like? The experience was awesome. I was so glad to be picked for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. I was a big kid in a candy store!

What kind of feedback did you hear about the event and about Houston? I heard a lot of people say that Houston is great and very friendly.

What made you want to get involved?  I love football – the Dallas Cowboys is my favorite team! Thank you Baylor College of Medicine for offering a volunteer day off.  It was a fantastic way to help our community.

Magdalena Esparza

Department of Pediatrics – Pathology

NFL Experience

What were your volunteer duties? I was an ambassador for our city so my responsibilities were to make sure that each visitor had a great time! I worked in three different activities – the Super Bowl ticket photo booth, Kid Zone and Play Football Quick Slant.

What was the experience like? It was an incredible opportunity to have fun and help the community. I learned a lot about football and had the opportunity to talk to people from all over the U.S.

What kind of feedback did you hear about the event and about Houston? All the comments that I received were very good, like “Houston is awesome”, “the people are so kind” and “hospitality is great”! And the one that I share the most is that many people commented on the diversity in Houston!

What made you want to get involved? I wanted to know more about football and enjoy being a part of the big event that we were hosting in our city. I encourage everybody to participate as a volunteer in different events in our beautiful city because it is a great experience, and you will have the chance to learn new things and get out of your comfort zone.

Terrance Johnson

Graphic communications office

NFL Experience

What were you volunteer duties? As an NFL Experience captain my responsibility was to make sure all the floor volunteers had what they needed and their uniforms were NFL compliant.

What was the experience like? The process started April 2016 with interviews. Once the volunteers were selected they brought us all together at the Toyota Center to celebrate the chosen “Super Star volunteers.” Later we all received our assignments and uniforms, which included credentials, a hat, polo shirt, fleece shirt and a hooded jacket. It was a great experience. I had credentials to go in areas most fans couldn’t access. We were rewarded gifts each night after we finished our shift. Overall it was amazing to see all the locals and visitors having a good time in my home city.

What kind of feedback did you hear about the event and about Houston? I didn’t interact with the public much because most of my services were done away from the fans but I have heard sports personalities from other cities raving about how well everything was put together.

What made you want to get involved? I’m a big football fan, and I wanted to be around the events even if I couldn’t go to the actual game.

Melodie Allison

Department of Pediatrics

Super Bowl LIVE and the Downtown Experience

What were your volunteer duties? We greeted people and answered questions regarding the layout.  The most popular question was “Where are the bathrooms?” My second shift was really great as I was at the corner of Lamar and La Branch near the Verizon exhibit. That is where I was privileged to see JJ Watt!

What was the experience like? The Houston Host Committee treated us great! We were fed every day, offered as many snacks as we wanted and given free parking. Our credentials got us into NFL Experience for free ($35 ticket) when we were not assigned a shift. We could go as many times as we wanted. I am really glad I got to experience this and the Puppy Bowl! We were given small tokens of appreciation every day. I met really nice people and had a very good experience overall. I would definitely volunteer again!

What kind of feedback did you hear about the event and about Houston? Everyone I came across thanked us and told us what a great job we were doing. Several people commented on how nice everyone was.

What made you want to get involved? Houston has been great to me. I moved here in 1980.  I wanted to give back to the city that adopted me. Plus it was likely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.