One of the hallmarks of a Clayton State University education is the opportunity for students to learn outside of the classroom.
Not uncommonly, these experiential learning occasions also end up benefiting the community as well.
One such “win-win” synergy occurred recently between Assistant Professor of English Dr. Sipai Klein’s Writing for Nonprofits course and Atlanta Pet Partners (APP). During the fall 2012 semester, Klein’s Writing for Nonprofits students were divided into three teams with each team assigned to work with a different nonprofit organization for the purpose of preparing business proposals for that organization.
“Team APP,” consisting of students Christen Greene, Willie Mayers, Jr., Diana Peters, and Shonteria Wilson, prepared three proposals for APP Founder/President Dan Barnhill as their final exam. These proposals consisted of ideas for fundraising/community awareness events, event coordinator/internship job descriptions, and possible logo designs and tag lines.
Peters, who is now a Clayton State graduate working for the University’s Center for Academic Success, picks up the story six months after Team APP “turned in” their final exam.
“This past weekend I volunteered with APP and discovered they had officially adopted Team APP’s proposed logo/tagline for business use,” she reports. “APP CEO Dan Barnhill was also in attendance and bragged about the quality of work the students produced and how APP was in the process of putting into place several of the proposed ideas Team APP had included in their business proposal.
“The proposal packet was treated as our final exam, so the team did not have any follow-up with APP. It was a very pleasant surprise to find out APP was actually using the logo and tag line.”
Team APP’s proposals in detail included providing five suggested events for promoting APP and raising funds for the organization including school programs and pet store informational tables. They also provided a detailed checklist of steps needed for each event, including costs of materials/supplies, ideal locations and timelines.
The students also assisted APP in creating detailed job descriptions for each position for future use; identified sources for “free” advertising for client, including the Clayton State Office of Career Services.
The most visible manifestation of TEAM APP’s work can be seen on the Atlanta Pet Partners website, http://atlantapetpartners.org/
, in that the students created several logo designs and tag lines and asked APP to choose two of each for survey purposes. The students also attended Boxerfest 2012 with APP to survey public opinion of best logo/tag line and presented APP with results of survey and a suggested T-shirt design using the “second place” logo/tag line.
The mission of Atlanta Pet Partner is to provide registered Pet Partners® teams at no-cost to hospitals, assisted-living facilities, hospice, physical and occupational therapy centers, schools, libraries, certified therapist-rehab programs, mental health programs, physiologist, retirement homes, community health centers, rehab programs, catastrophic community events and crimes, disaster relief and bereavement services to bring peace and hope, joy, comfort, education and inspiration to those in need. If indeed Team APP helped further that mission, then Klein’s students have been a part of a dream made real.