Changing the Community One Class at a Time in MGMT4640 — Managing Projects and Organizations
written by Joseph Nigro, FDU Silberman student
Changing the Community
The Managing Projects and Organizations (MGMT 4640) course presents students with the opportunity to make a change in their community. The course is structured with a hands-on approach that integrates leadership, management, and teamwork-building skills with the purpose of serving others within an organization or charity (called service learning). This past Spring 2023 semester, the course project focused on raising money and awareness for the Fightstrong Foundation. Joseph Nigro (a student in the class) and his family started the nonprofit organization which is dedicated to helping improve the quality of life for those who are currently battling or have battled, any form of cancer. Within less than a year, this organization established itself by raising well over $20,000 to help multiple families in need. When Joseph learned of this class project, he proposed the foundation to his classmates, and they all agreed that it would be a great idea. The project not only fulfilled an assignment requirement, but it gave the class purpose and satisfaction knowing the fundraising was going to a worthy cause.
Dr. Gerard Farias, the instructor of the class, was quite impressed and often praised the class for their progress, passion, and commitment to the project. Having the class structured in a hybrid format, with students on Florham and Metro, Dr. Farias held his students accountable but provided flexibility for the students to become a well-functioning team. The class held two events. The first was a tennis scrimmage between the Metro and Florham campuses and the second, which was their primary fundraiser, was a 5k fundraiser run and walk held on the Florham campus. The class sought to bring the two campuses together to recognize cancer while keeping in line with the Fightstrong Foundation’s goal of helping those in need.
At the end of the semester, the class successfully raised over $9,000 for the Fightstrong Foundation. The 5k was Fightstrong’s first-ever event with a total of 110 participants. With these funds, the foundation was able to help more families, including donating a complete drum set to a local Madison high school freshman, who is an aspiring musician struggling with cancer.
In the course, Dr. Farias teaches students the importance of teamwork, the impact sustainability can have locally within a community and globally, and how to fundraise within a small period. Students in the class would highly recommend others to take MGMT 4640, as it provides a worthwhile and memorable experience learning in and out of the classroom and as a business.