Business students in the Critical Thinking and Decision Making Class, taught by Dr. Margaret Lucero, worked with local non-profits to help resolve a current problem in the organization. This type of project is designed to improve the students’ interactions and civic engagement within the community.
“I wanted the students to have hands-on experience with real problems, as opposed to a case or other exercise,” said Lucero, Professor of Management. “I also hope that the students will realize that they have important skills that can be used to benefit the community, as well as skills and knowledge to apply to their jobs.”
Each group conducted additional research using the Mary and Jeff Bell Library’s databases, applied knowledge through previous coursework, observation of the chosen non-profit in their workspace, and individual interviews most vital to the organization.
The assignment required both a written paper and visual presentation, outlining the problem and a recommended solution. Once the projects were submitted, guest evaluators from the campus community and representatives of the selected non-profits engaged with the students and evaluated them based on criteria listed in the syllabus.
Lucero, who has been with the Island University for 12 years, says that she added the element of competition and community interaction to encourage the students to do their best work and to give them the opportunity to explain their work to others. Based on the evaluations, the winning team was Christopher Aboud, Mariela Hernandez, Stella Rodriguez and Laren Tipps, who partnered with the Gulf Coast Humane Society for their project titled, “Stop Straying Away from Adoption.”