By: Kerigan McNamara '17, Otterbein PRSSA Member
Stacy Rosenberger '16
When the students of the 8 a.m. Public Relations for Non-profit Organizations course walked into their first class of Spring semester, they got a real eye-opener when they were told that nearly half of their course grade would depend on how well their organizational and communication skills attracted runners to sign up for the Skeeter Stomp 5k Run & 1 Mile Walk, a community event they knew nothing about. This early morning revelation was just as effective as a double latte!
“I believe strongly in Otterbein's initiative regarding experiential learning whereby students learn by experience,” PRSSA Faculty Adviser Dan Steinberg, APR said, who teaches the course. “My assigning a portion of each student's grade based on the number of Skeeter Stomp registrants is a professional-world extension of evaluation.”
Otterbein University, Church of the Master and Church of the Messiah United Methodist are partnering to host the race at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 26. This race will benefit Imagine No Malaria, an initiative dedicated to the prevention and treatment of malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa. The goal is to raise $5,000 and have 250 participants.
Although malaria is 100 percent preventable, it continues to kill one person in Sub-Saharan Africa every 60 seconds. Just one day after World Malaria Day on April 25, the Skeeter Stomp will offer Westerville and central Ohio community members, as well as past and present Otterbein students, the chance to help Imagine No Malaria as it strives to beat malaria once and for all.
“Not only is [the class’s] involvement bringing more awareness to the Imagine No Malaria cause, but it's also great real-world experience,” said alumna Megan Ford ’10, leader of the Skeeter Stomp steering committee.
The public relations students have been planning for the event since January, and they will continue to work on it until race day.
Adam Piccin, president of Otterbein University’s Chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America, is taking the course and said having his grade depend on the outcome of the event is stressful, but it also has its benefits.
“It provides us as students a lot of autonomy in gaining real-world experience and insight into planning and executing an event from start to finish,” Piccin said. “This assignment definitely motivates our class to utilize our professional skills, and it is great preparation for upcoming internships and jobs that a textbook cannot compete with.”
“Otterbein alumni have the opportunity to support a great cause and help make a successful event,” Ford said. “We hope to see many alumni come out to the event with their friends and family to raise money for Imagine No Malaria and help the students get an A for the project.”
This unique, off-road race will take place on Otterbein’s cross country course. Alumni are needed to help reach the goal, to register or learn more about the Skeeter Stomp, click here.
Monetary donations for the cause are also appreciated. Check can be written to Church of the Master, Skeeter Stomp in memo line and mailed to Church of the Master, Attn: Megan Ford, missions, 24 N. Grove St., Westerville, OH, 43081.
You can also keep up with with Skeeter Stomp news by following the Skeeter Stomp on social media: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @SkeeterStomp.