Sam McGraw is only 18 years old, but she’s already making an impact on the media communication world. This fall, she coordinated with over 70 Mount Ida students to produce a powerful anti-bullying YouTube video that spread quickly around the internet, garnering over one thousand views within a week of its release.  In addition, last year, she was crowned Miss Greater Worcester, and used her platform to raise awareness for the Massachusetts Wheelchair Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to improving wheelchair access, ultimately increasing the Massachusetts Senate Budget for the foundation by $600,000.

Now a member of the Mount Ida College cross country team, it’s difficult to believe that Sam McGraw was once confined to a wheelchair, but she was, and the experience is part of what drives her to raise awareness for the Massachusetts Wheelchair Foundation and anti-bullying causes. In 2008, she was diagnosed with a medical condition called Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis. She endured multiple surgeries and grueling physical therapy, but eventually regained the ability to walk, run, and dance again. No longer in need of a wheelchair, McGraw donated hers to the Wheelchair Foundation. She maintained a relationship with the foundation and selected them as her platform when she began competing in pageants.

Today, McGraw is a straight-A student, a member of the CONNECT Program, and an aspiring onsite reporter. In her free moments she can be found practicing with her acapella group Harmonix and preparing to enter the 2016 Miss Boston competition.

Students from the School of Social Science and Humanities and the School of Business showcased their work in Capstone presentations held on December 9 and 10.

Camera Company Simulations Come into Focus

Six teams from the School of Business stepped on stage to present their results from a simulation in which they ran a global digital camera company.  The student simulations placed them at the helm of a company over 10 years, making decisions to position their companies for success.

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The simulations, done through GLO-BUS, are performed online and benchmarks team results against not only their classmates, but against 1500 classes in colleges and universities around the globe.  “The presentations are a culmination, not so much of the success of the team’s company, but a way to showcase how much our students have learned,” says Scott Burke, Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies
and Associate Professor in the School of Business.

Six teams were tasked to develop an identity and brand, a strategic vision, marketing and financing plans and performance targets.  Their presentations included an in-depth look at the decisions each company made along the way, as they looked at their competition, made adjustments to their vision, changed strategy, assessed outcomes and ultimately what they had learned.

“The simulations challenge the teams to think on a very strategic level,” says Burke.  “For example, a team may have started out with the intent of producing a very high-end camera and paying high wages and bonuses, then realized, a lower-price consumer-based product would be better and salaries needed to be lowered.  At each step, they had to assess their strategy and consider their corporate social responsibility and citizenship.  It is very real.”

Mount Ida students are a competitive lot. “I am pleased to report that once again, our students placed in the top 100 in the world,” says Burke.

The School of Social Sciences and Humanities Capstones covered a wide range of subjects, under the watchful eyes of professors Michelle Barretto-Wilson, Suzanne St. Germain and Donna Ross.

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Bullying Front and Center

A Psychology student led off the presentations with a proposal positing that bullying in childhood and adolescence can affect a person’s confidence in young adulthood. Her proposal asserted that bullying affects young adult’s confidence in how they make important decisions and hypothesized that the effects of bullying can vary depending on the type of support the victim receives and what age the person receives the support.

Research on Education Presented

One student from Professional Studies in Education spoke on her research into the need to provide developmentally appropriate activities for children aged three and four, for optimal learning to take place, while another’s research addressed the needs of children with English- language learning challenges and the implementation of classroom management in early childhood educational settings.

Criminal Justice Presentations Cover a Broad Range

One student demonstrated the significance of fingerprinting for investigative purposes, and the role of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation – Waltham Police Department, in using prints to solve crime, while another presentation highlighted the difference between effective and ineffective community policing and the effects of both.

The employment outlook and hiring trends in selected careers in the field of Criminal Justice followed and another capstone explored the history of fraud, along with an explanation of different types of fraud and the importance and strategies for prevention.

The Criminal Justice sessions concluded with a look at elder abuse and how law enforcement officers and their departments play an important role in investigating and addressing concerns.

 

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Growing up a mere four miles from Foxboro Stadium, Christine Chace would dream of working for the New England Patriots and the Kraft family.

That dream came into focus this past summer as a member of the marketing operations team for the Kraft Group, an internship she’s arranged as a student in the Master of Science in Management (MSM) degree program at Mount Ida College.

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Christine completed her undergraduate work at Gettysburg College, studying organization and management with a liberal arts theme.  Although she had no desire to pursue an advanced degree, that all changed after she took a post-graduation job at a small athletic footwear company in Southborough, Massachusetts.

“I told myself I wasn’t going to get a master’s degree, then found myself enjoying the work I was doing in marketing, especially with the CrossFit community, of which I am a proud member.”  When Christine realized there really wasn’t, however, a good career path at the company, she began searching for a way to stand out from the pack and pursue her ultimate goals of working in the sport industry.

“I did a lot of research and once I saw the Mount Ida Sport Leadership master’s program and the courses that were offered, I knew I had to apply.”  Christine says it is her professors that make the most difference.  “Every single one of them tells us, “stop looking at the book.  This is what you need to know for the real world, take it all in.”

Obviously, she learned well, now spending her time assisting at the New England Patriots Fantasy Camp, in which participants come to the stadium, spend a day with the team, tour the weight room, locker and media rooms, get to attend practice and sit in the video screening room.  In addition she gets to work with the sponsors of the New England Revolution, attending to their needs, meeting, greeting and making sure they are properly escorted to their prime-location seats.

“I’ve discovered that I like it, and I’m good at it.”

Not only did her internship with the Kraft Group benefit her, it also prepared her for another great internship with PUMA as the Sports Marketing Intern where she supports Co-op Marketing, Team Sport Marketing (soccer) and the Run/Train marketing.

“It’s a challenging internship but through the amazing support my advisor and Mount Ida has given me, it has become such a growing experience, personally and for my career. The internship program at Mount Ida is definitely a perk to the Master’s Program.”

Christine’s long-range goals are to work in sponsorships, creating the all-important relationships within the sports industry.
“Either way I want to be involved in non-profit work, giving back to the community.”  With her MSM degree in hand in May 2016, she will be positioned to do just that.