WMU business students invite public to help clean up the beach

What can a business management student learn from cleaning litter off a beach? They can find out just what kind of leader they are.

"One of the key goals of the class is to help students examine their personal leadership styles," says Derrick McIver, assistant professor of management. "This community project provides students that opportunity.”

Students are given autonomy over their team, task, time, and technique and they are instructed that their project must have an impact. 

“If done effectively, students learn about community leadership, teamwork, collaboration and leading with a purpose--all while having an impact.,” McIver says.

Students from Western Michigan University’s Master of Business Administration program are partnering with the Alliance for the Great Lakes to host a beach cleanup and fundraiser from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 24, at Holland State Park. The project is part of a long history of such projects in the WMU MBA program.

The 15 students in the Leading People and Organizations management class are organizing the event. Community members are invited to help with the cleanup and learn more about keeping beaches and water clean.

More than 5,000 metric tons of plastic entered Lake Michigan in 2016, according to the Rochester Institute of Technology. And an estimated 10,000 metric tons of plastic pollution from the United States and Canada enter all of the Great Lakes each year.

Funds raised through the event will go directly to the Alliance for the Great Lakes to continue making the Great Lakes healthy and safe for all. 

Previous impact projects hosted by WMU include an ALS fundraising mission that garnered more than $13,000 and events for the Make-a-Wish Foundation and the Michigan city of Watervliet.

Source: Western Michigan University
Photo by Rklawton Creative Commons license from Wikimedia Commons

Read more articles by Kathy Jennings.

Kathy Jennings is the managing editor of Southwest Michigan's Second Wave. She is a freelance writer and editor.