The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business has partnered with the Precious Prints Project in the College of Nursing to launch a new business course focused on philanthropy. Nursing student leaders are collaborating with students in the course, BUAD 102 Service–Learning Seminar, to benefit the project, which presents families that have lost a child with a charm made from their child’s fingerprint.
Riley Willingham, a sophomore in supply chain management from Maryville, Tennessee, chose to take the course because of its potential to help people and for a more personal reason: his mother struggled with pregnancies.
“Precious Prints Project gives me the greatest opportunity to make an impact on others,” Willingham said. “In addition to the impact I hope to have, I know this process was difficult for my mom, so I can begin to understand the effect losing a child can have on a mother and a family. I cherish the opportunity to help others with their grief.”
According to the instructor, academic advisor Marg Basehart, the course provides a framework for participation in service to the community to increase the connection between campus and the local community, to educate students for citizenship and public service, and to highlight the positive role that business leaders play in the community.
“By collaborating with the College of Nursing Precious Prints Project, we hope our students will learn the complexities of a nonprofit organization and see the immense value this organization provides to the Knoxville community and beyond,” Basehart said. “This course has compelling purpose: to enhance and enrich student learning by intertwining academic material with relevant and important community service. I have no doubt this collaboration will do just that and be a meaningful experience for everyone involved.”
Eva Huff, a senior nursing student serving as philanthropy chair for Precious Prints, hopes the class demonstrates to students how a community mindset can enhance their personal careers.
“As a nursing student, this project taught me that I can play a part in impacting others rather than just pursuing my own career aspirations,” Huff said. “I hope that we can inspire business students to use their unique gifts to impact our community as well.”
The Precious Prints Project originated after a nurse witnessed a young mother leaving the hospital alone after the death of her child, without anything tangible to validate her experience. The College of Nursing Student Nurses Association formed a partnership with a Knoxville vendor, Precious Metal Prints, to create a bereavement program for families experiencing loss. Through the creation of a tangible keepsake provided at no cost to the family, the life of a child is remembered and honored.
The Precious Prints Project was launched in 2012 at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital and has since expanded to nine hospitals and two additional university nursing programs. To date, more than 1,200 personalized charms have been provided free of charge to families experiencing child loss.
“The College of Nursing’s mission statement is ‘Leading care. Creating partnerships. Improving health.’ This collaboration with the Haslam College of Business provides all three,” said Lynne Miller, director of the Precious Prints Project.
Nursing students involved with Precious Prints will teach two classes, develop and lead two community events related to the project in collaboration with students in the course, and represent the College of Nursing and the profession.
“Service–learning is not exclusive to one discipline. By sharing ideas through the lens of two separate disciplines, there can be benefits for both. Collaboration is a strong component of any profession, and by working together students will learn to provide outcomes that will directly impact the success of the project,” said Miller.
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