With so many students entering in extracurricular activities and other fields, most wouldn’t think of doing service during their academic career. For at least a few dedicated students, sharing the mindset of service, innovation, education and collaboration is on the forefront of their lives.

Like-minded collaboration 

Students at the Collaboratory for Strategic Partnership and Applied Research on Messiah College’s campus know just how service and innovation, along with education collide. Although closely fused with the Engineering department, having been integrated in the curriculum, students from all major are accepted. With this collaboration of various majors tends to give the opportunity for learning how to work with those who may not think like you. For instance, an engineer may be thinking more about the process and the product; whereas a business-minded individual would think more about the customer and the follow-up, making sure that contact is not only satisfied with the product but figuring out exactly how they can be served. The cool thing is that one person doesn’t have to do it all!

Shared Leadership

It’s exactly what is sounds like. Not necessarily shared in the sense that students are sharing roles, but that professionals advise students in their roles as managers. This structure is enforced all the way from the top down. From the Collaboratory’s director role, to project managers, there are professionals mentoring students through their leadership role. Take the Student Director role for example. All logistics are done through both the Director and Student Director, bringing full transparency to how the organization is run. This gives students the opportunity to grow leadership skills much quicker than in the classroom. It is with this aspect tied with a service-oriented mindset that the Collaboratory strives to ensure.

Service-oriented

Not only are the students working on projects for either academic credit or pure experience, they are also doing this as service. As Christians we are called to work in the kingdom of God—many feel that this is one way of doing exactly that. With projects like the Zambia Business Training Project, students formulate, create, and implement a business plan to help community members in Zambia learn how to save their earnings. Once implemented over site-team trip, they analyze feedback from community members to see how well their plan has taken up roots. This is an example of just one project. If you would like to learn more, click the imbedded link.

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