The Ad/PR Program is committed to new public service initiatives through the College’s Colin Powell Center. As a result, service learning and community outreach is increasingly incorporated into our curriculum. For example, in Spring 2007, students in the PR Writing class (MCA362), worked with the not-for profit organization, Friends of the Children, to develop a press kit and media materials. As Colin Powell Fellows, faculty attend ongoing workshops in order to enrich their coursework with service learning opportunities. Specially selected Student Advocates act as liaisons between the department and the center to help cultivate viable community partnerships.
In one notable service learning project, CCNY Public Relations Writing students presented a comprehensive array of press kits, community outreach vehicles, brochures and website/social media enhancements to the Frederick Douglass Academy (FDA), Harlem’s premiere public school and leadership institute for young African American and Latino scholars that boasts a 98%graduation success rate. Offering congratulations for a job well done, Dr. Gregory Hodge, FDA principal, told CCNY PR Writing students that this was “smart work” that captured and communicated FDA’s leadership position in urban education as part of this Service-Learning and Civic Engagement initiative.
Professor Nancy R. Tag and Distinguished Lecturer Lynne Scott Jackson have documented the Ad/PR Program’s success in service learning in 2010 in their presentation, “Transforming Semester-long Projects into Sustainable Relationships” at the Annual Symposium for Strengthening Service-Learning Connections Across New York City, sponsored by New York Metro Area Partnership for Service-Learning (NYMAPS) and New York Campus Compact at Barnard College.
Faculty in the program have also received numerous awards and citations from the Colin Powell Center for their Commitment to Exemplary Service-Learning.
Colin Powell makes a surprise visit.
As part of Ad/PR’s ongoing service-learning commitment, Lynne Scott Jackson’s PR Writing class developed a wide range of press materials, including brochures, flyers and promotional pieces, for West Harlem Group Assitance, an organization that offers social services and financial support to Harlem residents. Students were also visited by General Colin Powell (‘58) himself. He generously offered the following advice: “Develop a simple message and in military terms—attack the situation violently.” Taking his comments to heart, students delivered a campaign that WHGA Executive Director Donald Notice said was “on par with what we’ve paid Madison Avenue consultants over the years.