Project Management Students Give Back to the Community

Giving back to the community was not what they planned to do when they enrolled in LSC-Kingwood's project management class, but through a class project that's just what they did.

Larry Hartley, professor for Information and Project Management, says the class objective was to learn and apply current Project Management techniques and methodologies.

Students, divided into groups, are given the task of developing a project for an outside customer, preferably a non-profit community group.  They must research their client, develop a plan, make a proposal, come up with budgets and schedules and then complete their project and give a presentation to the class and their customers.

Professor Hartley says he was impressed by each team's initiative, planning and work ethic.  "They all did a really good job."

One team chose Volunteers for Animal Protection (VAP) after hearing about the damage the agency received from Hurricane Ike.   VAP's mission is to rescue and find forever homes for abandoned, abused, and neglected animals in Kingwood and its surrounding areas.

Team members, Angel Medina, Jorge Cerda and Anastasia Bakhvalova helped to rebuild fences, clean up and spend time with the animals.  In addition to their labors, they raised $150 dollars to donate to the shelter.  The team says it felt good to do something for someone else.

Medina says, "This class was very goal oriented.  It was a very useful class and we learned things to use in everyday life, as well as business."

Professor Hartley says he was particularly impressed by the team members who helped out the animal shelter.  "They contributed a lot of manual labor.  The kids pitched in and cleaned up, built fences and brought in a lot of supplies for the pets."

The next two teams both chose to help Family Time Crisis and Counseling Center.  Family Time's mission is to provide an outreach program and accessible services to families and individuals in crisis through counseling, crisis intervention, information and referral, and shelter.

Amy Dodel, Michael Zotti, Tonya Staruska and Bruce Fisk worked to collect new pajamas and new and used books for the children housed at Family Time's The Door, an emergency shelter for battered women and their children.  Donations came from friends, colleagues, other students and neighbors.

"It felt really good giving to these kids.  It was an awesome feeling to know that they would have a book to read at bedtime that night," says Dodel.

Staruska says, "I think it showed them that someone cares."

The next team included Brett Abdelnoor, Lindsey McClosky and Shelley Peterson.  They collected clothing for children and women and books.  They set up a table in front of the library on campus every Tuesday and Thursday and spread the word about Family Time and their project to help. 

The team says they chose Family Time because current events in the media, specifically the Rihana and Chris Brown incident, brought the mission to mind and one team member had volunteered for Family Time in the past.

"This was a really good group.  We worked well together and had a lot of fun," says Abdelnoor.

Family Time's executive director, Judy Cox was unable to attend the student's presentations, but did arrive in time to spend time visiting with students.  She thanked the students for their efforts and shared stories of the mission and the ongoing crisis of domestic abuse in Houston. 

The students all agreed this class taught them many important business principals, such as planning, time management, budget control, customer service, and teamwork.  But they also say it was an important life lesson.   They left the class with a greater sense of community, volunteerism and activism.

Register today for May Mini-term (May 11-29), Summer Term I (June 1-July 7), Summer Term II (July 9-Aug. 13) and Fall (Aug. 24-Dec. 13) credit classes. Students can register in one of three ways: phone, online or on campus.  Classes are offered days, evenings, or weekends in traditional, Internet, video, TV and independent study formats. Current students can register by telephone at 281-519-6625. Former and current students can register online at Kingwood.LoneStar.edu/registration.

For general information about Lone Star College-Kingwood, call 281-312-1600 or visit our Web site at Kingwood.LoneStar.edu.

Lone Star College System consists of five colleges, including Cy-Fair, Kingwood, Montgomery, North Harris, and Tomball, six centers and the Lone Star College-University Center. With over 50,000 students, it is the largest college system in the Houston area, and third largest community college district in Texas.