Photo: Students with instructors Pamela Clark and Marilyn Kuhn on their first day of class.

Experiential Learning in New Study Away Course

Posted on February 05, 2020 by Abby Rolland, TPF Fellow 2020/21

This spring, undergraduate and graduate students will travel to Sarasota, Florida to connect with The Patterson Foundation through a hands-on learning experience. This for-credit class will help engage students with a private foundation and the various organizations that The Patterson Foundation works with.

What encouraged these 10 students to apply for this experiential learning experience? Find out!

Why were you interested in study away?

Madison Johnson“I was interested in being a part of the study away course because of the real-life opportunity this program gives students. I am a hands-on learner and find no better way of learning than to jump right in and get involved!” – Madison Johnson

Connor LaGrange

“I think this will be a fabulous opportunity to see some real-world applications of the things we are learning in class. How does grant making and writing actually work, how does sustainable community relations take place? I think this trip has the opportunity to answer those questions.” – Connor LaGrange

McKayla Cox“Experiential learning opportunities, like the study away course, have always been an interest to me. It’s a win-win scenario, there are practical applications for the skills I already have, but I’m also learning new things through these experiences.” – McKayla Cox


What are you looking forward to about the program?

Rachel Ploss“As someone interested in fundraising, I am really looking forward to seeing how the Giving Challenge works up close.” – Rachel Ploss 

Kellie Alexander“I’m looking forward to adding skills to my tool bank for future use in my philanthropic career. I am incredibly excited to learn in a fast-paced and immersive setting with talented and passionate individuals. I feel as though something in me will spark to help guide me on my future academic and career path. In addition, I am also very excited to visit another community and explore their culture because I believe every place, no matter how big or small, has its own values and culture.” – Kellie Alexander

Traycee Lane“I’m most looking forward to working with and learning from the local organizations in Sarasota. Every community has different challenges and puts its own unique spin on philanthropy. I’m eager to see if there are lessons out there that we can bring back to help our community here.” – Traycee Lane


How do you think study away will contribute to your experiences and education at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy?

Tanika Scott“I think this opportunity will open my eyes to a side of philanthropy that I have not worked in before, including how an innovative foundation works. My philanthropy career primarily consists of experience in alumni relations, volunteer management, fundraising, and donor engagement. I want to diversify my knowledge base and gain as much experience as I can so that I can have a well-rounded perspective of the sector and be prepared to work in any philanthropic environment.” – Tanika Scott

Haley Bryant“I think this study away course will give me a new understanding of philanthropy and I will be able to see it work through an established foundation. It will give me an experience like I have never had before. I am grateful to the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and The Patterson Foundation for giving this opportunity to students to learn and work. - Haley Bryant

David Johnson“There are a lot of foundations that work with the school, so I want to understand better how they work and how they add value to the sector. How do they think about their partners? I want to get into their brains and see how that industry operates within the other ones. That’s something I’m interested in seeing because once you know the players, it’s better for you to maneuver in the field.” – David Johnson

Lucy Hauser“This study away program is going to teach me a lot about how nonprofits work specifically to their communities. I have spent all of my life working with organizations in Indianapolis and dealing with issues specific to our community, so I am very interested in seeing how different nonprofits operate in their communities.” – Lucy Hauser



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