Week of Service: Encouraging Community Generosity

A successful event generates over 620 pounds of food and more than 60 hours of completed community service!

Photo: (front) Brian Lukasavitz, Interim Dean Praveen Aggarwal, Rajiv Vaidyanathan, and  Joe Artim sporting pied faces; (back) Ariuna Taivan, Kenny Nadeau

LSBE held a Week of Service that started March 20 to provide service to community organizations and help UMD students in need of food. But actually, the overall service and generosity event took two weeks, culminating in several faculty and staff getting a pie-in-the face.

"It was a great opportunity for everyone at LSBE to get involved and make a positive impact in our community," said Monica Haynes, chair of LSBE's Outreach Committee, the group that organized the event.

Several service activities were coordinated during the first week in which LSBE students, staff, and faculty could participate. These included preparing and serving food at the Damiano Center, packing boxes of food for donation at Second Harvest Food Bank, and sorting and archiving Camp Miller materials at Duluth’s YMCA. In total, more than 60 hours of community service were completed, and more than 500 meals for seniors and families in need were prepared!

LSBE staff stand in front of four carts of donated food.
LSBE staff Monica Haynes, Georgina Spears, Cindy Beaudin, and Gina Grensing with the four carts of food donated to Champs Cupboard.

The second week, students and staff tabled in the LSBE atrium, encouraging everyone to bring in non-perishable food items during the week. These items were donated to Champ's Cupboard, a food pantry that serves students in need. LSBE’s contribution? A whopping 620 pounds of food! The UMD Student Life office officially weighed the food and determined that LSBE’s donation is also the largest from any of UMD colleges/schools.

Additionally, as part of a Health Care leadership independent study, LSBE student Julia Lee, a junior Health Care Management major, organized a Medication Take-Back event to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible way of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating students about the potential dangers that household medications may lead to if not properly discarded. In conjunction with the UMD police department, Lee collected more than 63 pounds of medications.

“The Week of Service builds community within LSBE by offering students, staff, and faculty the opportunity to connect with one another in a meaningful way outside of the classroom. It also connects the LSBE community with service organizations outside of UMD. But mostly, it's just a lot of fun!” said Haynes.

Kenny Nadeau, a senior majoring in Economics and Management, was one of the many students who volunteered his time during the week, helping to pack food boxes at Second Harvest.

“I loved being able to work alongside faculty, staff, and the dean toward a common goal. As students, we seldom get to experience what it is like to work directly with our professors on the same level, so that was cool to experience. I think it helped create a stronger professor-student community with those present.”

Emma Schroeder, LSBE IT coordinator, also donated her time to packing food boxes at Second Harvest as well as to serving food at the Damiano Center.

“I enjoyed being able to spend time with my fellow LSBE employees outside of the University,” she said. “I also enjoy volunteer opportunities where you actually get to meet the people you’re helping.”

The number of hours spent volunteering or the number of food items a person had allowed them the opportunity to cast votes for the eight selected faculty and staff members to be pied at the final event. Nadeau cast his votes for Brian Lukasavitz.

“Professor Lukasavitz is loved by many students who have taken one of his courses,” said Nadeau.  “Given this popularity, I think getting Professor Lukasavitz pied may spur more attention to the event so that people will participate in the service opportunities next year.”

The people who were voted to be pied were Interim Dean Praveen Aggarwal, Associate Dean Jannifer David, Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior Jonathan Lee, Assistant Professor of Economics Yufei Ren, Director of the Financial Markets Program and Instructor of Finance Joe Artim, Professor of Marketing and Marketing Department Head Rajiv Vaidyanathan, Assistant Professor of Business Law Brian Lukasavitz, and Bureau of Business and Economic Research Director and Adjunct Professor of Economics Monica Haynes.

Also participating but not earning enough votes to be pied were Assistant Professor of Marketing Matthew Lunde, Director of MBA Programs and Associate Professor of Economics Ariuna Taivan, Communications Specialist Mat Gilderman, Marketing Department Executive Administrative Specialist Georgina Spears, LSBE Development Director Suzanne Anderson, and Instructor of Economics Protik Nandy.

Daniel Blacker, a sophomore with a double major in Marketing and Professional Sales, was selected by his professional business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi, to pie one of the eight. The fraternity was the club that donated the most food items.

“It’s great to offer opportunities like this because many people may want to do community service but do not exactly know where to start,” said Blacker. “LSBE offering these opportunities was a great way to open the door. I thought the pie in the face was a super fun incentive for participating in the Week of Service!”

“I hope that the ‘pie-stravaganza’ helped remind those of us getting pied that we are part of a fragile ecosystem in LSBE, where it is important for students to see teachers/management tear down the walls and show that we are people too,” said Lukasavitz. “I also hope the event helped students recognize that we, as teachers/management, don’t take ourselves too seriously (all of the time).”

Lukasavitz explained how this week of service benefited LSBE in more ways than just donating and volunteering within the Duluth community.

“I believe that this event was important to build community throughout all of LSBE. It was exciting to see LSBE people—those I hadn’t seen in person or hadn’t seen in a long time—participating and observing. It was great to see so many students having fun watching us make fools of ourselves for the benefit of others.”

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