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SXU students raise funds during senior capstone projects


Saint Xavier University (SXU) coursework has provided students with the skills necessary to jump-start their careers! By providing students with the tools they will need for success, they are able to easily transition into post-graduation professions.

Senior communication students have taken the skills they have learned at SXU to the next level by transforming them into senior capstone projects. With the mentorship of Brad Mello, Ph.D., students were able to pitch, plan and execute events for clients with one common theme: fundraising.

"Many of our students are very social justice motivated and wanted to do something to give back to their community for their senior seminar project, and I definitely wanted to support that," said Mello.

While fundraising was not a requirement for the project, many students felt close connections to the groups they wanted to serve. All in all, students raised over $5,000 through their capstone projects, and all of the money went to deserving organizations including: Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, Saint Richard School and Lindop Elementary School.

"I am a strong believer that giving back not only instills important values like kindness, but fundraising can bring a community together," offered Taylor Porter, whose project, titled McTeacher's Night, raised funds for student activities at her local elementary school.

Although these projects were not easy to complete, students feel that the outcomes could not have been better. They gained invaluable experience and completed yearlong projects, all while giving back to those in the greater community. Each student now has a newfound familiarity with planning events, developing contracts, seeing events through to the end and most of all experiencing what it is really like to work in an event planning profession.

"I want my students to experience the 'real thing,'" said Mello. "They must troubleshoot as issues arise and solve the inevitable problems that planning and executing an event entails."

Completing the senior capstone project offers students experience that they cannot gain anywhere else. Through taking the skills they have been accruing the last four years and applying them in a setting where there is risk involved, students can see first-hand how much time, energy and planning goes into making any event possible.

"I learned a lot from doing this product I learned that you could have everything perfectly plan on paper but life does happen and you need to remember to have a back-up plan," noted Samantha Shipyor, whose craft fair project, Samantha's Lemonade Stand raised funds for children battling cancer.

Alyssa Panek, who raised money for her parish in her project, St. Richard School Dueling Pianos Fall Fundraiser, noted "I have learned many different things from this project such as speaking on a more professional level, how to interact with potential clients and/or attendees, and how to budget my time and money well."

The takeaways from completing these projects are instrumental in forming the individuals who will go out into the world and represent the SXU community in their future endeavors. It is important to remember that although a project might have some twists and turns, there is always a way to recover and still offer a great end result.

Thank you to all who participated in senior capstone projects this year!