Sheltered Work group, Southeastern marketing class benefit from partnership

Students in Dr. Debra Haley’s make presentations as part of their assistance to Sheltered Work Opportunities.

DURANT, Okla. – C.J. Washington, Executive Director of Sheltered Work Opportunities (SWO), was invited to observe the completed student powerpoint presentations in Dr. Debra Haley’s promotional strategies class at Southeastern Oklahoma State University recently and found the results to be “amazing.”

“Our goal,” Washington said, “is to increase public awareness and develop a good marketing plan to develop relationships and partnerships in the community.”

Washington is new to her position at SWO and is nearing her one-year anniversary.

“I quickly realized I didn’t know enough about this,” Washington said. “Southeastern has experts in this field. I sent an e-mail to the John Massey School of Business and Dr. Haley was ready to go. Things just progressed from that point.”

Haley said, “We have four teams working on a promotional strategies project for Sheltered Work Opportunities of Bryan County. This is a win-win situation for everybody. Our students get hands-on experience and Sheltered Work Opportunities gets a helping hand for its program.

“But mostly, our students gain by building a sense of competence, confidence and in giving back to the community. This enriches our students as well as the organization they are helping.”

Washington said, “I’m truly grateful for this partnership with Southeastern. It’s exciting to bring ideas to young, energetic, brilliant minds. A non-profit organization doesn’t have a lot of opportunities to plug into this area.

“With Dr. Haley’s expertise, I feel I’m getting a million dollars’ worth of information and help. I think we can grow out of this start, involve Southeastern’s Art Department, maybe develop a new logo or even a new name that would give us more visibility.”

Haley, Associate Professor of Marketing and Management at Southeastern’s John Massey School of Business, is in her 14th year with the University.

Haley and co-author Dr. Dennis Clayson of the University of Northern Iowa, were recently presented the Best Paper Award for 2011 from the Marketing Education Review journal. The award-winning paper was titled Are Students Telling Us The Truth? A Critical Look at the Student Evaluation of Teaching.”