"As an instructor in the Center for Nonprofit Studies and Philanthropy, I enjoy teaching students from across academic disciplines," says Professor Casey Cooper. "There is no typical student in the minor, so they learn from each other's varied backgrounds and interests."
Read on to hear about some these students!
Lauren Becker—2011, Psychology Major
When asked about her background, Lauren replies simply, “I grew up going on missions’ trips with my church and that certainly shaped my appreciation for the things I have and made me sensitive to the needs in the world. Nonprofits are playing a big part in filling that need.”
An avid runner, Lauren became involved with Team World Vision through experience in training for marathons. This further sparked her interest and after taking the Intro to Nonprofits class and really enjoying it, Lauren decided to declare the minor. Through her experiences within the Nonprofit minor, Lauren was able to gain valuable internship experience.
In her own words Lauren says, "I’ve learned that it’s very hard for nonprofits not to focus on the money and stay completely focused on the mission. Especially smaller nonprofits, many people are wearing different ‘hats’ but without money being raised, the nonprofit couldn’t exist." These issues, along with how best to serve the needs of the world, are experiences Lauren has learned through the minor, and will carry with her for the rest of her life.
Christine Dixon—2011, Sociology Major
In a small village in India, Christine Dixon discovered her heart for nonprofit organizations. During her time there, she saw that dedicated local nonprofit organizations can be an effective agent of change within the community they serve. From this trip, Christine realized that nonprofits can serve the needs of a community in a way that no other institution can. To her, a nonprofit can be a hub of social cohesion and transformation. Upon her return from India, Christine enrolled in the Nonprofit Management and Social Entrepreneurship Minor at Gordon College to gain a holistic understanding of how nonprofits function.
Christine has her eyes set on starting a career in a local, high impact NPO in the New England area. She has gained valuable hands-on experience through her internship at Cape Ann Art Haven, a nonprofit organization that provides art education and a community art space in Gloucester, MA. Christine is heading up the organization’s first annual marketing campaign. Her efforts are helping this small nonprofit build a firm financial foundation, and become more sustainable for long-term growth. Through this minor, Christine has been able to harness her passion for community development, hone her natural abilities, and gain the resources and education to make an impact in the future.
Jordan Frank—2012, Business Administration Major
Jordan came to Gordon with an unusual background: he had already started a nonprofit organization while in high school. When he began looking for a college, the Nonprofit Minor was part of what drew him to Gordon, especially as he saw the balance between classroom and practical hands-on training. This training, he felt, was essential to doing well in the nonprofit world. When asked why he wanted this minor when he had already started a nonprofit, he said that for most people in nonprofit work, their “biggest asset is doggedness, when savviness should be part of the equation too.”
Sarah Monroe—2011, English Language and Literature Major
By her sophomore year, Sarah realized that she didn’t want a job solely to pay her bills, but to benefit others as well. In the classroom, she has learned both financial basics and broad inspirational concepts about how to incorporate service and compassion in to her life-not just her career. Sarah says that, “by combining classes in economics, business, and finances with the specifically nonprofit classes, I was exposed to every relevant area that I would need to know the basics of, in order to enter the world of nonprofits.”
She has been able to apply her classroom experiences her internship with the American Red Cross and vice versa. Sarah says, “What I learn in the classroom is directly relevant to what I’m observing and working on in the office.” She found the practical knowledge, learning the basics of how a nonprofit organization runs, important; but more significant for life after Gordon, she says the minor has “given me practical ways to implement my broad passions and desires to impact the lives of others in positive and meaningful ways.”