By Kayla Lutes, Features Editor

The group communications class is taking hands-on learning to a new level by using one of their class projects to lend a hand to Asbury’s surrounding community. The professor of the class, Todd Wold, described the class as “activity-based,” saying, “It’s kind of a two-fold thing. One is to do something that’s helpful for the community, but at the same token they are responsible for some analysis of their group process around that.”

While this is Wold’s first year at Asbury, this is not a new project to the group communications class. Wold said of the volunteer project, “I thought it was a good idea to keep doing.”

“Our group hopes to provide a tangible food donation to the Jessamine County Food Pantry; we also want to raise awareness on campus that the organization even exists,”

The students share Wold’s enthusiasm for the project. “I love this class!” Natalia Berkey, a sophomore, said. “It is a very interactive class, and I am a big believer in learning through action.”

There are four groups doing different service projects of their choice. One group is doing a food-shelf food drive working with Asbury and Kroger. Another is raising funds for the primate rescue shelter in Wilmore. There is also a ministry-oriented project and a group working with the humane society.

These projects help to raise awareness on campus of organizations that are close to Asbury’s community. Wold highlighted this aspect by saying of the projects “selfishly, I get to learn about my new home town.”

Rebecca Hurshman, sophomore, is a member of the Can-doers group. She said of her group’s project, “We are working on establishing a connection with the Kroger in Nicholasville. Our plan is to encourage students to come out and donate to the food pantry along with their regular grocery shopping. It’s as easy as picking up a couple of extra cans on your way to the checkout.” One of Hurshman’s goals for the project is to get the word out about the organization with which her group is partnering. “Our group hopes to provide a tangible food donation to the Jessamine County Food Pantry; we also want to raise awareness on campus that the organization even exists,” she said.

Berkey is part of Monkey Business, the group hoping to raise money and purchase toys for the monkeys that live in the primate center in Wilmore. To raise the funds, Berkey’s group is putting on a bake sale. “The bake sale will be monkey themed, so monkey bread, banana bread,” Berkey said. Look for those yummy treats on campus sometime in the first half of the semester before volunteer projects culminate in October.

Wold summarized the all-around benefits of these volunteer projects by saying “the real way to experience it (the communications process) is to do a group project. The great thing about doing a project for the community is you can come up with ideas where the outcome is beneficial and serves versus it just being a generic task to help illustrate the material. I think that’s really cool.”