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Friday, July 19, 2013 - OU students go backstage at Jon Bon Jovi concert
By Kathleen Williams, student writer

Jon Bon Jovi. Original photo by Shelly Wall /
Three Oakland University students can add “rock and roll volunteer” to their resumes – in addition to their already stellar community service efforts.

Brittany Hall, Billy Puuri and Scottie Shermetaro were selected to work backstage at Thursday’s Jon Bon Jovi concert as part of the band’s “Because We Can” Community Service College Campaign, which selects student volunteers based on their positive humanitarian spirit. 

In addition to working closely with tour management and production teams behind the scenes at Ford Field, the student volunteers were invited to enjoy the concert, which also featured the J. Giles Band. 

“There is no thrill quite like standing 30 feet away from the stage and rocking out at the Bon Jovi concert you contributed to,” said Hall, a senior majoring in communication. “It’s such an honor to have been selected for this amazing opportunity. It makes me feel really great about my involvement at Oakland.” 

Hall, Puuri and Scharemato primarily worked with the tour’s management team to organize, set up and manage the Fan Club/VIP party backstage. 

“The coolest part of it all was that I was treated like a professional crew member and fans thought I was actually a part of the tour,” Hall said. “This show opened a door to a profession that I have never considered, but might want to try at some point in my life.” 

From left: Scottie Shermetaro, Brittany Hall and Billy Puuri backstage.
For Shermetaro, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering, the experience emphasized a major factor present in all community service efforts – teamwork. 

“Had the team not communicated effectively, efficiently and energetically, we would not have been nearly as successful or enjoyed ourselves as much,” he said. “I definitely have a new sense of appreciation for all the little tasks that make up a final product.” 

Hall, Puuri and Shermetaro were nominated by Jean Ann Miller, director of the Center for Student Activities and Leadership Development, based on their community service and involvement both on and off campus. 

“These students are individuals who are always more than generous with their time,” Miller said. “Their dedication to service, both on campus and within their communities, is exemplary.” 

Hall serves as the Annual Events Director of the Student Program Board, in addition to her role as a housing conference assistant and as the president of the National Residence Hall Honorary. 
Shermetaro serves as an academic peer mentor for housing, vice president of the Golden Key International Honor Society and secretary of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity. He is also a member of the National Residence Hall Honorary and served as last year’s Financial Affairs Director of OUSC. 

Puuri, a senior majoring in general management, is also president of the Student Organic Farmers organization.

Oakland University is a vibrant academic community with nearly 20,000 students and more than 260 degree and certificate programs. To learn more about academics, achievements, and events at OU, visit the news site at and follow the news team on Twitter at @OaklandU_News.