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Harris Voorhees Campus Gets Creative

Harris Voorhees massage therapy, dental assisting, and medical assistant program instructorsRecent campus activities encourage students, faculty, and staff to think outside the box

The campus of the Harris School of Business located in Voorhees, NJ, has been busy recently engaging its students as well as faculty and staff in a number of creative activities. From team building to photos documenting various internship destinations, this campus is finding new ways to engage all its members. And we have the photos to prove it!

“Flat Harris” makes the rounds with interns

The Voorhees Career Services team has launched a new photo project to engage students once they complete their coursework on campus and are working onsite at their internship. Based on the Flat Stanley Project, this involves “Flat Harris”—a portable little guy cut out of cardboard, with googly eyes, who’s wearing scrubs and travels with the interns to the various sites where they’re interning. Interns send photos of Flat Harris engaged in various activities, from having his blood pressure taken and receiving an EKG to working with radioactive materials. So far, he has visited Virtua Voorhees Hospital, Comprehensive Cancer and Hematology Specialists, PC, and The Heart House.

The Flat Stanley Project was started in 1995 by Dale Hubert, a schoolteacher in London, Ontario, Canada, to encourage schoolchildren in writing letters to each other documenting where Flat Stanley has accompanied them. Hubert received the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2001 for the Flat Stanley Project.

Team building with the Great Egg Drop

On June 21, the faculty and staff of the Voorhees campus held an event that focused on team building and retention (retaining students once they’re enrolled). Titled “The Great Egg Drop,” the event began with a group discussion about retention, with an emphasis on the importance of all faculty and staff members being actively involved in student attendance. “We also discussed campus morale and how it impacts retention,” said Campus Operations Manager Lori Ann Bilder, “as well as how fragile our students can be—like an egg—and how we must protect them, even during times when we have limited resources.”

Bilder then divided the staff and faculty randomly into four different teams, and each team chose a leader and a team name. (Team names included the Back Action Hoes, Fight or Flight, Glam Girls, and the Shoobies—“Their minds are always at the shore.”) She gave each team 20 plastic straws and an arm’s length of masking tape, and instructed them that—using only these materials—they had 15 minutes to plan and build a contraption that would prevent an egg from breaking when it was dropped from a height of six feet. The exercise required the group to come together to brainstorm, develop consensus on a solution, and then execute it in a short amount of time.

In the end, only one team succeeded in keeping their egg intact after the drop! The winning team was made up of Medical Assisting Instructor Lillian Pursel (“Ms. Lil”), Massage Therapy Instructor Karen Shupp, and Dental Assisting Instructor Deirdre Pearce.

After the exercise, Bilder explained that the point was not to just to protect the egg, but to get everyone to think about what they’d do differently if they faced the same challenge again. What worked for Team 2? What didn’t work for the other teams? Then the discussion broadened to how to apply these same principles of creative thinking and problem solving to supporting the student body. “What can we change about what we do everyday to improve retention?” Bilder asked. “What mistakes are we making and how can we fix them?” The activity concluded once the group had explored these questions.

Bilder reported, “Everyone said the exercise was a lot of fun and very enlightening.  (She also extends a thanks to EKG Instructor Lakisha Dizon (“Ms. Kish”) for cleaning up the eggs that didn’t survive the fall.)

Both of these Voorhees initiatives show a strong sense of community and a lot of enthusiasm, which makes the campus a meaningful and exciting place to study. Learn more about the professional training programs we offer!

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This post is part of the weekly blog of the Harris School of Business. We’re dedicated to supporting all our students in pursuing their career goals. Reach out to us for more information about our number of different career training programs.

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