SBC business program featured in Habitat World magazine

An article in Habitat World, a publication of Habitat for Humanity, features Sweet Briar College’s business management lab. More specifically, the story focuses on the lab’s springtime efforts on behalf of Amherst County Habitat for Humanity.

The story, “Home Work for Habitat: Universities and Colleges Make Creative Classrooms out of Habitat for Humanity Construction Sites and Awareness-Building Projects,” was published in the September 2007 issue.

Circulation for the quarterly publication is estimated at 1,296,545.

Last spring, students from Sweet Briar’s business management lab organized three events in support of Habitat: Battle of the Bands, the “Princess Palace” and “Be Homeless for Habitat,” a campout aimed at increasing awareness for homelessness.

The objective of the lab was to model real-world businesses by having students raise both funds and awareness for Habitat’s mission. Students raised $1,500, more than twice what the lab collected the previous year.

This summer, those efforts got the attention of someone at Habitat headquarters.

“We set up a conference call with them over the summer through Craig Cassell [executive director of] Amherst County Habitat for Humanity,” Michelle Raymond, CEO of the 2007 lab, said. “Craig told me that Habitat World contacted him asking about Sweet Briar’s involvement, and we set up the conference call from there.”

Raymond, a senior business management major, and business management faculty Tom Loftus and Melody Gotwalt were quoted in the article. In addition, a photo of Raymond and classmates Jenny Walkiewicz, Ruthanne Ratliff, Kirsten Miller and Megan Manubay ran with the story.

“I am very pleased to see Sweet Briar highlighted in Habitat World,” Raymond said. “This is a very exciting time for the students and faculty who actively participate with Amherst County Habitat for Humanity.”

Loftus was equally pleased. “I was delighted to see our business students receive recognition in Habitat World for their hard work last year,” he said, adding that students were already hard at work planning this year’s events.

In addition to organizing the third annual Battle of the Bands, new educational and fund-raising projects are in the works. Loftus also would like to see the students expand their involvement with Amherst Habitat, perhaps by serving on committees or working with the board of directors.

“I think such opportunities will offer not only our business students, but SBC Habitat Club members and other SBC students, an excellent chance to gain insight into the challenges faced by our local non-profit organizations,” he said.

“It will be a much different kind of experience than working on a build or fund-raising event can provide.”

This fall, Amherst Habitat also will collaborate with Sweet Briar on their third annual Habitat 5K Walk/Run. The race will begin in the Sweet Briar Quad at 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 10. Also, several campus organizations — the Habitat Club, Sweet Spirits and the Student Athletics Advisory Council, among others — will help construct a Habitat house.

“I am excited to see what new ideas and events the students in the upcoming business lab will produce,” Raymond said. “Working with Habitat for Humanity has been very rewarding for both students and staff. By participating in Habitat for Humanity, we are giving back to our community and enriching the lives of those around us.”