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Service-Learning and Civic Engagement

Faculty Project Examples

Recent Service-Learning Project Descriptions

Bryan Snyder EC 341: Urban and Regional Economics

Project ECOCIS is an embedded Service-Learning project of EC 341: Urban and Regional Economics that explores the use of “Bid-Rent Functions” in the analysis of local agriculture. The class worked with approximately 21 towns and cities in the Greater Boston Area to gather empirical research on existing local agriculture to a.) confirm or deny the veracity of the Bid-Rent Function, b.) analyze the potential for local agriculture in Massachusetts, and c.) provide the Agricultural community with academic research that will help future and existing farmers, agencies, etc. assess the variables affecting rent prices and provide insight as how to value these plots of land. The primary community partner was Waltham Fields.

Barry Camson MG 341: Introduction to Management Consulting Skill

Students in MG 341 worked in teams to address the business-based needs of their assigned non-profit client. Examples of organizations and projects included Lowell Transitional Living Center to create innovative ways to build lasting corporate relationships; Lovelane Special needs Horseback Riding where students researched the best types of information and data points to use in order to encourage donations and new donors; Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance where students looked into company structures, research program design elements that lead to better outcomes, and reviewed the organization’s website; and Understanding Our Differences where students looked at pricing policies for materials based on survey results of competitors.

Charlie Hadlock MA 227: Math Modeling/Environmental Management

MA 227 is an applied mathematics course that focuses on how mathematical modeling is used to better understand environmental issues. The three main topics are groundwater contamination, air pollution, and hazardous materials management. In fall 2012 we offered a 4th-credit Service-Learning option in conjunction with this course in order to help the Waltham Fire Department assess the risks associated with a recent change in the rules governing hazardous materials transportation in Massachusetts. In particular, the students conducted fieldwork along Route 128 to identify by placard number the types and quantities of hazardous materials being transported along that roadway, and for the major chemicals they then developed mathematical models to show the extent of either the flammable or toxic risk from such materials if a major accident were to occur that resulted in a spill.

David Milton FI 340: Introduction to Professional Financial Planning

Students in FI 340 worked as classroom aides and coaches for individuals enrolled in a Personal Financial Planning course offered by the Charles River Public Internet Center Bentley students were partnered with the individuals in the class and worked on increasing their basic financial planning, budgeting and credit knowledge through a number of focused coaching sessions.

Virginia Egan PS 305: Environmental Psychology

Students in PS 305, working in four teams with the Bentley University Office of Sustainability, evaluated the Bentley recycling program through eight focused research questions. Each team designed and executed a data collection instrument, identified and analyzed findings and developed a project report with a list of recommendations to inform and improve the recycling program and procedures at Bentley.

Jane Fedorowicz AC 730: Business Processes and Systems Assessment

Students in AC 730 worked with Lovelane Therapeutic Horseback Riding to examine the organization’s data collection process. Students were able to document the process, analyze the controls for the process and information and recommend additional controls and changes to the process to improve data collection and analysis for managerial and organizational decision making.

Rob DeLeo GLS 105 United States and Local Government

The elections project asked students in GLS 105 to implement a voter registration and outreach drive in fall 2012 on the Bentley University campus. Students were required to research voter registration procedures by state and compile this information in a comprehensive document to be used to inform potential voters. Students also were required to staff a voter registration and information table on campus where they provided their peers with relevant voter registration information as well as voter registration forms.

Randy Nichols COM 328: Writing and Design for Multimedia

Students in COM 328 were assigned to work with the Legal Advocacy and Resource Center (LARC), a nonprofit organization in eastern Massachusetts providing a free legal hotline and legal advice for low-income residents. Students assessed and provided redesign and content recommendations for LARC’s website in order to help better target and meet the needs of site users and potential donors.

Rick Oches NASE 364: Science of Sustainability

Students in the Science of Sustainability course were involved in a research-based project with the Waltham West Suburban Chamber of Commerce and Green Enterprise Training Institute exploring sustainability planning and practices within small businesses in Waltham. The researchers wanted to learn three things about local businesses: 1) did they lack information, knowledge or even interest in sustainability planning: 2) were they planning or implementing sustainable initiatives: 3) were they interested to learn more about sustainable initiatives and state and federal support for implementation.& Data gathered was compiled as written reports and presented to the Executive Board of the Chamber of Commerce.

Simon Moore XD 250: Public Relations Theory and Practice

Students worked with Chapel Hill Chauncey Hall School in Waltham to design events for a new community cultural center that Chapel Hill Chauncey Hall School in Waltham is opening. Students designed itinerary ideas for events, public relations follow-up, and pre-event publicity.

Terry Sketlon HF 710: Managing a User-Centered Design Team

Two teams in HF 710: Managing a User-Centered Design Team worked with the Museum Institute for Teaching Science (MITS) from Quincy, MA, on two projects designed to increase the participation of science educators in the programs and activities that MITS delivers for the improvement of science teaching: to first increase donations and sponsorship: and second to continue the relationship building with science educators that begins in the workshops MITS provides. The first project utilized human factors tools, techniques and best practices to analyze potential community-building solutions, and the second used an information asset grid to re-define the site’s information architecture and, produce clearer and more appealing content, which led to improved web-site models for MITS to consider.

Skip Hachey AF 450: Performance Management and Evaluation

This ongoing project with the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance (MHSA) began in Fall 2011 when students in AF 450 engaged in a field based learning project examining nonprofit social service agency cost structures. In fall 2012, students worked with the MHSA partner organization, South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC), to develop Time Driven Activity Based Costing estimates of the costs of their programs and processes. SMOC is widely regarded as offering the most comprehensive and effective array of services for the homeless along with a continuum of supportive housing opportunities.

Linda McJannet LIT 352: Shakespeare on Film

Students in this project sought to provide an arts and performance based experience for children in afterschool programs in the Waltham community. Bentley students performed age-appropriate scenes from the plays of Shakespeare in the original language and modern English slang (Yo! Peter Quince! Whatsup?). Students then facilitated a discussion of the components of the scene with the audience and broke them into groups to perform a skit on a random topic in order to give the participants an on stage performance experience.

Elizabeth LeDoux MC 341 Creative Industries and Production Cultures

Students from MC 341 engaged the business side of The Museum of Printing by researching new and developing cost-effective ways the museum could expand its membership and better its market research, increase community outreach, announce events and build on its social media presence.