Photo: Online experiential learning with The Patterson Foundation

The Future of the Philanthropic Sector Spring Course: Reflections from Madison Johnson

Posted on March 26, 2020 by Madison Johnson, experiential learning with The Patterson Foundation

Editor's Note: The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy (IUPUI) and The Patterson Foundation are partnering on "The Future of the Philanthropic Sector," a special topics course for the school's students during the spring 2020 semester. The course has connected students to The Patterson Foundation's innovative approach to philanthropy and nonprofits in the Sarasota area engaged in the Foundation's initiatives through interactive online experiences.

Madison JohnsonThis week has been quite the turn of events! With the cancellation of face-to-face classes, domestic/international travel, and large events, IUPUI has had to drastically change plans for spring break. These changes have given students the opportunity to focus on their health and well-being while also being able to continue their education through online coursework. I believe that is an extremely well-thought-out decision, and I appreciate Indiana University making that decision. However, this has obviously caused quite the issue for our study-away class in terms of traveling to Sarasota to work with The Patterson Foundation for the week. While our class is not sure what the upcoming week will look like, our professors, along with our colleagues at The Patterson Foundation, are working tirelessly to create a connection between us for the next week. While everything is still up in the air, I can still talk in-depth about the steps we took in order to prepare ourselves for the upcoming week, when we still had plans to go to Sarasota.

Our class worked extensively on the topic of team-building. Our instructional team worked vigorously, putting together projects, assignments, and guest lecturers, and gathered all available tools in order for our class to gain a complete understanding of how teamwork will benefit us during our week in Sarasota and our professional careers. Teamwork is a crucial responsibility of our role as students when traveling to work with The Patterson Foundation because the duties expressed to us would all be done poorly if our class was not a well-oiled machine.

Another item our class worked on was taking notes over the webinars provided that had information regarding the different initiatives we can choose from while in Sarasota. The webinars were very informative and e the week that we were going to spend in Sarasota very exciting and full of tasks that would allow us to further our knowledge in the field of philanthropy!

Overall, class meetings have e our team more than prepared to take on this generous opportunity. I know I can speak for all of the students in this course when I say I have learned how to be a better leader in my own work and a better teammate in all settings. I know our class will be able to work well as a team, as the expertise and knowledge that we each bring to the table is so diverse and that will be more than helpful when we get to work online with The Patterson Foundation and their partners! The skills we have gained so far (and will continue to gain when our week of activities begins) will carry on with us through graduation and into our professional careers. Again, I know I can speak for the class when I say that this opportunity to work with The Patterson Foundation is not taken lightly, and we will work to complete our projects with knowledge, care, and professionalism.


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