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Athens State Business Course Assists United Way

April 25, 2013

ATHENS, Ala. - Students in Athens State University’s System Design Management course have partnered with the United Way of Athens-Limestone County to produce a database system to support volunteer management during crisis situations.

“I feel this interesting class project has the potential to be a great asset to the community in times of emergency,” states Dr. Lisa Rich, professor of the systems class. “We divided the class into four teams so we had four different programs to present to the United Way. They chose the one that they felt best fit their needs.”

The student teams developed a system of tracking, placing and organizing volunteers who would report to a Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) in the event of a disaster. The VRC would then mobilize the volunteers to areas where they are needed throughout the county.

Rich continued, “This was great training for the students to have hands-on interaction with a client. It is invaluable to learn how to listen to customer needs and then create programs that fit them.”

The Disaster Volunteer Management program was funded by a grant from Boeing. This allowed for the placement of Susie Brookshire as the project coordinator. She evaluated each of the four programs and was available to the students during the creation process for guidance or to answer any questions.

The United Way has been actively involved with disaster management efforts in the past and has been tasked to continue with the planning and preparedness efforts for the future. The database created by students will serve as an invaluable tool during times of crisis.


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