Professional Communication Students Organize Memorable Visit to Retirement Community

Professional Communication Instructor Suzanne McDonald gave her Professional Communication students a unique assignment that not only improves their communication styles, but also benefits an organization in the community. The assignment set out to teach students how to communicate effectively in the professional arena, but they also learned that communication pathways are sometimes bumpy. “Not all students receive return calls or answers,” shared Suzanne.

Magi, of Compassionate Canines, enjoying his visit.

Suzanne shared that the goal of the assignment was to use multiple forms of communication including email, mail, and phone calls to suggest a beneficial idea to a local community organization. The students then needed to organize a project with the community group, while using various forms of communication along the way.

Veterinary technology students Carol Trego, Bailley Lemmers and Julie Hopp found great success in their methods of communication as they set up a project with Evergreen Retirement Community in Oshkosh. They wanted to set up a very special visit for the residents at Evergreen, so they reached out to Compassionate Canines to arrange for one of their volunteer therapy dogs and his owner to spend time with the residents.

This project took quite a lot of coordination. Bailley Lemmers admitted she had her doubts about the project’s success at first. “I thought the back and forth communication would get lost and fall through. But, it finally all came through.”

The project was a hit!

Between all of the emails and phone calls, the students were able to coordinate the special visit at Evergreen. Magi and his owner, Shari Routh, from Compassionate Canines met the students at the retirement community and had a wonderful time visiting with the residents.

“I enjoyed this experience. It was incredible to hear the memories and witness the impact that Magi had on the residents. My favorite part was spending time with Magi and hearing stories from the residents. We brought joy to people through the use of our furry friend,” Julie shared.

Pam Rohde of Evergreen; students Julie Hopp, Carol Trego, and Bailley Lemmers; and Shari Routh and Magi of Compassionate Canines.

Student Carol Trego also shared, “To see the smiles on the residents’ faces was worth every email and phone call.”

The students’ instructor Suzanne, said, “It was a unique idea and made a lot of people, including these students, happy.”

The final portion of the applied learning project was to present their methods of communication in front of their classmates. Well done, students and Magi!