a.s.f. graduate school

a.s.f. graduate school

Crossing Cultures
JWU Graduate Program alumna, Kathleen McCommbs

Teaching Job Offers Cultural Discovery

Kathleen McCoombs ’08 M.A.T. got her first graduate job offer on Aug. 1, 2008 and by Aug. 15, she and her family were living in Austria. After earning her master’s degree in education, McCoombs found an opening at the Vienna International School (VIS) for a learning support teacher. “It was THE school of schools. It was the one we wanted the most,” says McCoombs. VIS students represent more than 90 nationalities, speaking close to 70 languages, and most are children of diplomats to the United Nations. The curriculum is based on the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, with a global perspective and “encourages open-mindedness, risk-taking and inquiry — a very hands-on approach to teaching and learning,” said McCoombs. Her students explored who they are, where they are in place and time and how to share the planet. They learned about international cultural identities and skills, including a second language, necessary in the global workplace. The immersion became a family affair. McCoombs’ husband, Gary, was hired to head the Primary School Physical Education Department and daughter Kayla, 15, and son Ben, 13, attended VIS at no cost.

“I am so glad my kids had that experience early in life. The global doors of opportunity are open for them, and they will not be so hesitant of the unknown because they’ve made that leap before,” McCoombs says. “They can do whatever they want wherever they want if they remember to respect the beliefs and values of others while they’re out there.”

Image: Kathleen McCoombs ’08 M.AT. (right) with daughter, Kayla and son, Ben, in Morschach, Switzerland during school break in April 2009.

Email > fleen14@msn.com

JWU Graduate Program alumni, Jill Lazar ’07, ’09 M.B.A. and Allie Crowder-Schaefer ’09 M.B.A.Alumni, Students Collaborate for a Cause
When Jill Lazar ’07, ’09 M.B.A. and Allie Crowder-Schaefer ’09 M.B.A., received $3,500 worth of ad space in trade from the Providence Phoenix, they put it to good use. The two owners of Providence, R.I.- based Everything Events donated the space to four nonprofits: Rhode Islanders Sponsoring Education (RISE), Ronald McDonald House of Providence, the Rhode Island Community Food Bank and the March of Dimes Rhode Island Chapter. The two, who met in a graduate class, also decided to get their alma mater involved in the project. “We wanted to give the opportunity to students to create the ads,” said Lazar. “We have such a high esteem for Johnson & Wales.”

So they contacted Thomas Rossi, one of their former professors, and during the spring 2009 term he assigned the task to the students in his Advertising and Promotional Strategies graduate course. The students created three ad concepts for each of the nonprofits and then pitched them to the clients and to Everything Events.

For students and clients, the project was a big deal. “This was the first time the class assignment of designing original advertising copy was for real clients — the nonprofits — with the ads actually running in real publications,” said Lazar.

“It was definitely a positive experience for Jill and me,” agreed Crowder- Schaefer. “We both had professor Rossi in graduate school and it was a great opportunity to work with him as a peer.”

A Strategic Communications class taught by Lisa Cisco, Ph.D. tackled a similar challenge for the JWU Players. The campus’ theater company sought PR help from student experts. The class researched possible marketing venues, created a strategic plan and developed marketing materials.

“This kind of a project was a win-win,” says Cisco. “The JWU Players organization benefited and the students benefited by gaining realworld experience in building a communication plan for their client.”

Email > alliecrowder@gmail.com
(Jill Lazar) jel729@gmail.com

quick take:graduate program

In fall 2009 the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program alumni, students and faculty presented nine scholarly papers at conferences for the Northeastern Educational Research Association and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.