Carrie Heilman / Commerce
This proposes my “Dream Idea” for the Jack Lindgren Mead Endowment Award. I currently run the Advertising and Promotions Program in the McIntire School of Commerce. This nine-credit program spans the entire academic year (fall and spring) and is open to students in the Commerce School and in the College. The program is very competitive as students must apply and interview before being admitted. Although the Program involves some traditional classroom lectures, the experience is anything but traditional. The approximately 28 student enrolled each year spend the entire year preparing for the AAF’s (American Advertising Federation) National Student Advertising Competition (http://www.aaf.org/default.asp?id=123). The students spend countless hours outside of the classroom meeting with me and their classmates in preparation for the competition. By the end of the school year I get to know the students extremely well and they form life-long friendships with their classmates, many of whom they did not know before enrolling in the Program. The experience is unlike any at the McIntire School and the University and I am honored and fortunate to run it.
One component of the program is an optional two day/three night trip to New York City during the J-Term during which time the students and I visit approximately ten advertising and media agencies. The trip provides a tremendous learning experience for the students. However, because they must cover their own expenses, most students stay with friends, in youth hostels, or in other budget locations, spread out all over the New York City area. Even more disappointing, some students are unable to attend because the trip is cost prohibitive. Because the students don’t all know each other at this point in the year (the students are in two class sections in the fall, but come together as one section in the spring), their feedback each year indicates they would prefer to stay in one location so they could get to know all of their classmates better before the intense spring semester begins.
In light of the above, my “Dream Idea” is to be able to pay for the students’ (approximately 28 students) two nights in a hotel in New York City (7 double rooms for two nights @ ~$175 per room = ~$2,450) and to treat them to dinner on the first night of the trip (~$500). This would likely ensure that all students could attend the trip. Furthermore, the ability to stay in one location would afford me the opportunity to hold a meeting at the hotel every evening to discuss what we learned that day. The dinner on the first night would provide the same benefit. Finally, the ability for all of us to retire to and depart from the same location each day would simply expedite the important bonding that doesn’t really take place until early in the spring when the students come together in one section, but that is critical to the success of the class.
Finally, it would be fitting for my “Dream Idea” to get funded by the Jack Lindgren Mead Award as Jack was the founder of this Advertising and Promotions Program. He led the program for over thirty years with great success and turned it over to me last year when he retired. Jack’s dedication to his students was a model for all faculty members in the McIntire School and it would be extremely fitting for his former class (now mine) to be supported by an award bearing his name.