Towson Spark: May 4, 2011 – Rodney L. Stump: Service Projects That Extend Over Two Courses

>>Okay. These are some
tough acts to follow. [Laughter] Okay. What I’m going to talk about is
something that I’m experimenting with this year in terms of
linking two service projects across two different
classes with that. So what I hope to
accomplish is to briefly talk about the courses that
they’re embedded in, how I’ve linked them and then
also give a brief profile of our non-profit partners
and results to date. Experience 1 is something
that a lot of us are using, and certainly, we recognize
the educational benefits of being able to apply
concepts and skills. But what I feel very
strongly about, is to take it to the next level and
to link it in terms of making it a service project
so that we not only give that experience to the students and enhance their
educational experience, but we also benefit
non-profits as well. The two courses in which,
that I’ve embedded that, are courses that I’ve
taught on a regular basis. The first is our
Marketing 441 course. It’s a marketing
research course. It’s a required course
that we offer year round and this is really designed
to get students to appreciate of using research to
guide decision making. In my course, one of the things that I’ve used quite a long
time is a semester long project where they work with a
sponsor to learn a problem that they’re addressing, and then they design
a research project to production actionable
information. These are some of the recent
sponsors that we’ve used. I’m sure you recognize
a lot of them as being prominent non-profits
here in Central Maryland. The second course that I teach
is our Marketing 361 course, Non-Profit Marketing. That’s only available
in the spring. And in this case, what
we’ve done is to work with these different non-profits
to develop marketing campaigns to address a specific issue
that they’re wrestling with and the focus here is to have
something that actionable, that can actually be
implemented later on. So these courses have
typically been independent. I’ve gotten different groups of
non-profits involved with that and this year, I probably,
in a fit of insanity decided to link the two together. And so what I’ve done is
to run concurrent projects. The marketing research course
I taught both in the summer and also in the fall and then
having three concurrent projects this semester with that. And so what we’re using
then is the research to guide the development of marketing campaigns
in the second course. One of our sponsors is WYPR,
the local NPR affiliate, and I hope a lot of you
are members of that, since I am the co-chair of the
friends group, I’ll hit you up to become [Laughter]
volunteers later on. But what we’ve done
in the research was to profile their listeners
in terms of their attitudes and behaviors, their
listening preferences, and particularly how
YPR stacked up in terms of volunteering and donating. And so the project this semester
is focusing on member retention and also volunteer development. We’re also supporting
the center for Adults with Autism, here on the campus. Autism is very prevalent
in our society, but the support networks largely
disappear once the kids turn 18. And so our focus on the
research side was to look, to try to gauge the
awareness of the center and its different
efforts and then use that to develop a campaign to
heighten awareness as well. Our third sponsor is the William
E. Proudford Sickle Cell Fund. This is a family foundation run
by one of my former colleagues when I taught at Morgan. They have a very local focus
and on the research side, we both profiled their
non-profit competitors but also developed a profile
of recent attendees at some of their fund raising efforts
which becomes the feedback to help to guide the marketing
campaign to heighten awareness and to generate additional
donations for them. Lessons learned. The semester’s not over yet, but one of the things I’ve
learned is you really need to manage the relationships
with the non-profits. You need to have the students
stay in constant contact and have face to
face time with them. What we’re hoping to do is
take it to the next level, that these campaigns
actually can be implemented and we have some vehicles
within our curriculum that they could actually
use this as an internship within each of those
organizations. Since I only have five
minutes, and I only have about 12 seconds remaining, it has to be a yes
or no question, so… [Laughter] [Applause]

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