“This initiative is to allow students to apply their academic studies in business ethics to community service,” said Margot Palermo, a professor at the COB who helped put the program together. “The main objective of the COB Leadership Community Service Program is to promote social responsibility, accountability, and the value of work experience among COB students in the Honors Ethics Business Program, and to contribute to the community.”
The affiliation between the Career Center and the COB allows two integral departments to lay a foundation for students and faculty to reach across departments and build cooperative projects. “The Career Center has not only organized the eight contributing nonprofit organizations [and] made contact with them, but [they have] also created the receptivity for the COB students to establish a win-win relationship with these organizations in the community for the upcoming fall semester,” said Palermo.
Students in the Honors Ethics Business Program (BUS 447) are partnered with one of eight Long Island nonprofit organizations. “Students will be matched in groups of four or five with an organization. Each organization has its own partnership proposal detailing the work that the students and nonprofit will do together over a course of a semester,” said Palermo.
One team, for example, will work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Suffolk County; they will engage in grant research and develop a professional networking event with local businesses in the area. Another group will team up with The Nassau-Suffolk Coalition for the Homeless as it endeavors to change its name to Long Island Coalition for the Homeless. Students will assist by developing a new logo, designing a Web site, and developing a marketing plan to raise awareness about the new name.
Approximately 35 students have been chosen for the program, all seniors with a minimum 3.5 GPA. Along with BUS 447, students will take Writing 301, which will assist them in writing a thesis on ethical leadership. The thesis allows students to do research in an area of specialization: management, accounting, finance, or marketing. This will provide a real-world aspect to the students’ educational experience.
“The community service component is necessary to the application and practice of good ethical leadership,” said Palermo, elaborating on the vital connection between theory and practice. “Students will bring these values to the workplace when they graduate from our program, influencing corporate culture to support managers to make the right choices and lead with ethical integrity.”