The Initiative To Educate Afghan Women and The University of Rhode Island Harrington School of Communication and Media Students Join Forces to Create New Website Content
Providence, Rhode Island — Students from The University of Rhode Island Harrington School of Communication and Media, as part of The University of Rhode Island’s UnClassroom experiential learning program, will see the fruits of their labor in practice (and not just theory) when a new website for The Initiative To Educate Afghan Women is launched as the first phase of an ongoing partnership between the two institutions. The UnClassroom concept is an innovative model of teaching and learning which brings students at The University of Rhode Island into local organizations to study and provide real solutions for the challenges they face.
Students enrolled in COM 310: Special Topics – Real World Partnerships became part of a simulated communications consultancy designed using the UnClassroom model by Professor Daphne Wales and Christian Wistehuff, Executive Director of The Initiative. Through this collaboration, class learning outcomes and client solutions combined to drive a curriculum which asked students to organize themselves into four departments and assume specific responsibilities in a fictitious communications consultancy. Their ultimate goal – to learn all aspects of new website design, production and content development in order to assist the Initiative in comprehensive content development for its new website.
“The COM 310 students commitment and enthusiasm for taking The Initiative To Educate Afghan Woman as their first client for web copy not only exceeded my expectations, but reaffirmed my belief that education becomes stronger when we give students authentic challenges with the empowerment to address them,” said Christian Wistehuff . “I know both organizations will reap more benefits as we continue to cultivate our partnership.”
To further enhance the exercise students were given access to experienced marketing and strategic communications experts. Christopher Johnson, CEO of Whitehorn Group, Kathleen Van Gorden Morse, Founder of KVG Communications, and Marti Boone, Senior Vice President of the Energy and Technology Practices at Griffin Communications shared their insights on building and ensuring the success of a communications practice and provided commentary on individual student projects. Students also had opportunities to learn about and interview several young women from Afghanistan currently in The Initiative To Educate Afghan Women program.
Student projects were presented on May 6, 2014 during an event called The Voices of Afghanistan.