Service Learning Persuasive Communication 2014

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At Bowling Green State University, learning about communication theories and skills is not limited to classroom contexts.

This summer, undergraduate students in Dr. Lisa Hanasono’s section of COMM 3030: Persuasion applied their communication skills in a community-based service-learning project. Partnering with the United Way of Wood County, Downtown BG, and the Bowling Green Farmers’ Market, students helped community members get involved in Not in Our Town, a local campaign that aims to promote inclusion and stop hate in Bowling Green, Ohio.

While volunteering at the Farmers’ Market in downtown Bowling Green, the Bowen-Thompson Student Union, and the United Way, students helped community members learn about Not in Our Town and encouraged people to sign anti-hate pledge cards, get their pictures taken with supportive messages, and share their stories at a special video booth. In addition, students used their knowledge of persuasive theories and skills to develop campaign videos that will be featured during the 2014-2015 academic year.

By completing their service-learning activities, students applied course concepts and developed communication skills to promote inclusion and take a collective stand against discrimination. They also enhanced their professional portfolios. Students who wish to pursue careers in campaigning, promotions, media production, or public relations can showcase their campaign videos and persuasive materials to prospective employers. Students who are interested in sales and recruitment can tell interviewers how they successfully used their interpersonal influence skills to encourage community members to get involved in Not in Our Town, and students who are passionate about nonprofit organizations, community-building, and diversity got an opportunity to gain firsthand volunteer experience and build partnerships with local organizations.

“It was an honor to work with these students,” Dr. Hanasono said. “In six short weeks, they learned about the art of persuasion—and applied their newfound knowledge to help our community, raise awareness about Not in Our Town, and develop creative campaign videos.  In doing so, they enhanced their professional portfolios, enriched their résumés, and expanded their communication skills set. I’m very proud of them.”

If you would like to learn more about this service-learning project, or if you would like to get involved, please contact Dr. Hanasono at LisaKH@bgsu.edu.

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