We’re told a picture is worth a thousand words, and for St. Thomas students enrolled in BUSN 200, the right picture might mean not having to present their final project.
This board displays the Top 15 pictures from fall semester of students who were exempt from having to present their final project. (Kristopher Jobe/TommieMedia)
Starting this school year, students can post a picture on the BUSN 200 Facebook page to reflect on what they have learned while completing the required 40 hours of community service for their major.
All students in the course are required to present at the end of the semester highlighting their experiences, but the top 15 photos, as voted on by teachers and student advisers, are exempt from having to prepare a presentation for the final project.
Much consideration and thought is given to the selection of those photos, including which photos best represent the diversity of involvements undertaken by BUSN200 students, which best demonstrate students actively engaged in their service, the quality of the photo –- especially since these photos will be enlarged and displayed in the BUSN200 Center, which photos cause viewers to pause and consider the role of service in their own development and character maturation and which convey the mission of St. Thomas, the Opus College of Business and BUSN200.
Emily Seitz, BUSN 200 student facilitator, said the final project is an opportunity for students to be proud of what they accomplished and bring everything together they work on over the semester.
“I think some people think BUSN 200 is this mysterious service requirement you have to complete at some point if you are a business major or minor,” Seitz said. “But this kind of puts a face to it and shows, ‘Oh, you can do all these cool things, and here’s all the experiences people are having.’”
Senior Jenny Mammen has been volunteering at an elementary school as part of her project, and said she feels that posting the pictures on Facebook comes down to a popularity contest.
“What we’re doing in a community is so much more than ‘likes’ of a picture,” Mammen said. “I could go into a classroom and say, ‘Make a funny face’ and get a great picture, but no one would actually know what I’m doing in the classroom, nor would I have gotten the benefits of being out in the real world helping others.”
Mammen said she is not worried about how many people like her photo and is content with giving a presentation about her experience if she is not chosen.
Senior Tierney Singer said that posting the pictures on Facebook is not as much a popularity contest as it is a chance to see all of the different experiences students had.
“I think that all the service that is done is meaningful, even if it’s not exciting to the general public,” Singer said.
Even if a student lands in the top 15, they still have the option to give a presentation, which BUSN 200 Student Coordinator Justin Lind said happens a lot.
“It’s not just another incentive because a lot of students like the project,” Lind said. “Part of the reason we do the project is we want to give them some kind of way to reflect on it, and we want to let them use the creative side of their brain.”
All students are eligible to gather “likes” for their photo, and the student with the most is awarded a Target Gift Card.
Kristopher Jobe can be reached at email@example.com.