Department Stories 2008-09
Supported by the President's Fund for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, Experiential Learning Director Ellen Hill attended a five-day "Beyond Welfare" immersion training with JSC student Deborah Nevil and community partner Carol Plante (Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition and Restorative Justice). They were joined by 20 people from throughout Vermont to learn about the NeighborKeepers (Hal Colston) model and assess its potential replication in the Lamoille Valley (and Franklin and Brattleboro). She also attended a technical assistance grant writing training at the Vermont Children's Trust Fund.
Norman McElvany supervised student teams working for two local businesses in Lamoille County this semester. His Advertising class worked with the Vermont Soy Milk Company, based in Hardwick, to develop advertising campaigns for the company. One of their projects included demonstrating the product through sample tastings at retailers in Montpelier, Morristown Corners, Burlington and South Burlington.
Students in his Marketing Research course conducted several survey research projects for the Vermont Natural Coatings Company, also based in Hardwick. Paint and coatings resellers in Vermont and Florida were surveyed to identify their preferred methods of hearing about new products and purchasing patterns for new products. Both companies were pleased with the results
from the classes. Continuing discussions aim to determine the best way to use JSC students on project-based assignments and internships at the two companies, thus continuing the relationship.
Todd Comen collaborated with the director of CEPIA, a Costa Rican NGO that works with at risk youth, to organize participatory experiences for JSC students on a popular May study tour to the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica. JSC students were introduced to the issues and challenges facing Costa Rica in the wake of tourism development. In addition, the students spent several days with elementary school children from a small village near their hotel, participating in a number of activities, including reading from
books the students delivered to CEPIA from Vermont and painting signs with environmental messages in English and Spanish.
Jim Black, Henrique Cezar, and Paula Ennis (Fine and Performing Arts) took a group of Johnson State College Business and Hospitality students to Manaus, Brazil in the summer. The two-week trip introduced the students to Brazilian culture and life in the Amazon. In addition, Johnson State College and UniLins University in Manaus have begun to explore the viability of an
exchange program for the students of the two institutions.
Students in this semester's Principles of Management class, taught by Jim Black, assembled and distributed care packages for students during final exam week. Besides purchasing one of three care packages for their student — "Good Luck," "Health and Fitness," or "Energy" — parents and others were able to include a personalized note. Proceeds from this project are to be donated to Camp Ta-Kum-Ta, a camp that provides challenging, extraordinary experiences in a safe and loving environment for children who have or have had cancer.
Students in a Food and Beverage Management course this semester are planning, organizing, and will execute a four-course dinner at Applecheek Farm in Hyde Park. Teams of students are in place to address marketing, concept and ambience, menu development, food preparation, and service. This meal will be in honor of Sarah Lizotte. Any proceeds from the dinner will be shared between the Sarah Lizotte Memorial Scholarship Fund and a fund for next year's food and beverage management class. The class is taught by Todd Comen and has support from a Freeman grant.
HTM students also helped organize and manage a benefit concert/dance for James Mabior's non-profit, Werkok Youth Development Assocation (WYDA), that is focused on bringing clean water and youth leadership development to his village in Southern Sudan. The benefit was held at Club Metronome in Burlington.
In November Norman McElvany attended a Capsim® User's
Seminar at DePaul University sponsored by Management Simulations, Inc., the creator of Capstone Business Simulation® and Comp-XM® The Business Competency Exam. He incorporates both Capstone® and Comp-XM® into his capstone course, required of all seniors pursuing a degree in Business Management. Norm reports that this seminar provided him with significant tools to enhance his teaching. His department has incorporated Comp-XM® as one of its assessment tools in measuring student outcomes.
Ellen Hill has taken a seat on the People in Partnership (PIP) standing Steering Committee. She and her colleagues are
charged with providing clarity about the vision, mission and organization of PIP, reviewing its budget, and assisting the PIP coordinator in prioritizing needed tasks. Ellen has also been asked to join the local Workforce Investment Board (WIB). Funded by a grant from the VSC, Ellen and colleagues at the college and in the community have created and delivered a series of trainings intended for entry-level professionals in area nonprofit agencies. Two nonprofit trainings have been held, two more are planned for early 2008, and a Workforce Development Web site now appears on the JSC site.
Five students in the Non-Profit Management certificate program — Justin Halvorsen, Molly Norcross, Kris Connelly, Annie Pitts and Megen Bulley — are leading a fundraising campaign to benefit a new initiative that aims to engage and support Johnson elementary and middle school students in alternative after-school activities. Club Johnson will work to keep students between grades 5 and 8 off the streets and productively engaged during after-school hours. Besides fundraising, JSC students will also serve as individual mentors.
Department Chair Jim Black is co-hosting True North Radio every other Thursday on WDEV AM 550.