CSU Communication Students Learn While Helping Local Nonprofits

A class of 34 students at Columbus State University recently used their communication skills to help local nonprofits. The class, Group Communication, taught by Dr. Danna Gibson, challenges students to work together in groups to sharpen a variety of skills including group decision making, leadership, and conflict management.

"This has been a very rewarding experience for the entire group," said Sydney Collier, a student in the class.

Collier was one of several students who chose to help Animal Ark Rescue for their group projects. Collier's group created marketing videos to help show off some of the dogs available for adoption. At least one of the group's videos directly led to the adoption of a dog who had been at the shelter for more than a year.

"The service project has helped me develop an even deeper appreciation for animal rescue centers," said Collier. "The process of producing the videos also reassured me that I definitely want to pursue film editing as a career."

Another group focused on Animal Ark Rescue helped to plan a Rent-a-Pup event on CSU's campus, in which students make a $5 donation for the opportunity to spend time with shelter dogs. The event raised enough money to feed all shelter dogs for a week.

"Working with these students has been an absolute joy!" said Miranda Morrison of Animal Ark Rescue. "This student volunteer group has been one of the most professional, organized, and efficient groups that I have had the pleasure of working with."

Other nonprofits served by the class were Love Like Lexi, Damascus Way, Twin Cedars Red Shoe Event, and Easter Seals.

"I now know how to work in groups with people I have never met before and how to go about getting to know them and forming a strong team to get the project done," said Anna Carroll, whose group hosted a "Love Like Lexi" 5k race to raise awareness about suicide. "I also learned how to go about reaching out and getting donations, sponsorships, and support."