Each semester, Department of Communication students participate in a number of service learning projects as part of their classroom curriculum.
The students’ efforts benefit many local non-profit and service organizations in Arlington and throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area while offering the students an opportunity to interact with community leaders and turn classroom knowledge into tangible results.
During the Fall semester, students completed several service leaning projects.
Students in Dr. Shelley Wigley’s PR Campaigns class (PREL 4316) worked with River Legacy Living Science Center in Arlington. The students developed public relations campaign plans for the organization and implementing a variety of events and projects on the organization’s behalf.
Students enrolled in Communication Lecturer Suzy Nead’s COMS 2304 Group Communication class worked with several organizations during the Fall semester. The students participated in a food drive benefitting Mission Arlington and the North Texas Food Bank and collected clothing, food and school supplies for SafeHaven of Tarrant County.
A team of students also worked on an anti-bullying program for The Boys and Girls Club, and planned movie nights for children at Mission Arlington and Hearts and Hands. The students collected supplies that were sent to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan through Package Brigade in Fort Worth, and solicited donations of school supplies and gifts for children at the All Church Home.
Several of the students in the Group Communication Principles class are also cadets in UTA's ROTC program. The cadets were instrumental in encouraging the Military Science department to serve as Secret Santas for students at The Pythian Home in Weatherford.
Students enrolled in Dr. Thomas Christie’s Fall PREL 4316 Campaigns class worked with the Youth Education Town, a nonprofit after-school activities center supported by the National Football League and Salvation Army. Arlington’s YET opened in the fall of 2013 with activities including sports, computer training, career development and tutoring. affiliated with the Salvation Army. The students developed a Public Relations campaign for the organization and volunteered at the Salvation Army facility.
"Our students developed comprehensive campaign plans to help the Arlington YET integrate into the community and to develop sustainable funding," Dr. Christie explained.
"Four student teams conducted original research including focus groups, interviews, and surveys. Teams developed dozens of communication tools for the center including news releases, public service announcements, fact sheets, posters, brochures, flyers, and t-shirt designs," Dr. Christie added. "Teams also participated in on-site tours and other activities designed to increase awareness of the services of the new center."
Dr. Erika Pribanic-Smith’s Digital Storytelling students wrote blog posts for Downtown Arlington Management Association (downtownarlington.org).
“The partnership allowed my students to put the online journalism skills they were learning toward a project that provides exposure to small businesses and nonprofit groups in the Downtown Arlington area,” Dr. Pribanic-Smith explained.