Huntsman Post

Management Students Give Back to Community Through Special Projects

Jeff Gunnel, right, demonstrates a
self-defense technique with Sara Anderson.

By Rob Goates

Fists were blocked, kicks were deflected, and people were twisting around on the floor to escape being pinned down.

And nobody seemed to mind.

On March 30, Utah State University students and members of the Cache Valley community came and participated in a self-defense class to raise awareness of abuse and how to prevent it. The event was put on by a team of students from a management class at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business.

“We felt like this is an issue that exists in any community,” said team member Katie Duncan. “We wanted to assist in educating those who may not have had any self-defense training to come and learn how to protect themselves and, perhaps, their loved ones by disabling a violent individual. If only one person came away feeling more empowered about herself, we felt it was a great success.”

Attended by 62 people, the event was held in partnership with the Community Abuse Prevention Services Agency (CAPSA), Cache Valley's local non-profit, rape crisis center and domestic violence shelter, with all proceeds benefiting them.

While the management course, which is taught by Ron Welker and Dave Herrmann, normally focuses on raising money for the Small Enterprise Education and Development program (SEED), the instructors said they shifted the emphasis this semester to give students an opportunity to get involved in the community and serve.

“Dave Herrmann and I are very pleased to see what our students have come up with and how they are making an impact,” said Ron Welker. “We wanted to take a break from the SEED program this semester and to reach out and serve the community that has been so supportive.”

Each team had the opportunity to choose what service they would like to do. For example, one team of management students hosted an afterschool mentoring program for children, and another raised awareness about the dangers of texting while driving.