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Real World Experience That Makes a Real Difference

Team members Stacie Coleman (left) and Gabrielle Gentilella present their plan to promote awareness of campus tobacco policy.
Team members Stacie Coleman (left) and Gabrielle Gentilella present their plan to promote awareness of campus tobacco policy.

Two dozen students in Assistant Professor of Communication Jamie Landau's Health Communication and Public Culture class got some valuable experience when they created ad campaigns for local non-profit organizations. In the process, they learned some important lessons in public health, advocacy, and forging partnerships with community organizations. Three organizations, Cheshire Coalition for Tobacco Free Communities, KSC's Center for Health and Wellness, and Joy's Network, all considered the fresh new ideas offered by Dr. Landau’s class.

This winter, students and their community partners gathered review the campaigns. "While I had general guidelines for the campaigns, I didn’t prescribe these projects for my students. I wanted the partners to tell me what they needed, and then have students present their ideas to the partners," explained Dr. Landau.

The response was overwhelmingly positive. "Working with college students on service-learning projects is essentially the only way a volunteer organization like Joy's Network has access to this kind of input and creativity," said Kimberley Diemond. "We don't have an advertising or marketing budget, and the input the students provided is invaluable to us. On the flip side, how great is it that a student can work hard on a project, gain class credit, and also potentially see their work implemented throughout the community for the benefit of others? It's a win-win all around!"


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