UNF Marketing Students Learn Importance of Second Chances

Above image - Project by Amelie Stelzer, Amin Kisrane & Brandon Peralta

Marketing students from the University of North Florida (UNF) prove they believe Second Chances Matter during a recent class project supporting Operation New Hope. Dr. Courtney Azzari, Assistant Professor of Marketing from the Coggin College of Business at UNF, developed the partnership as a unique way to challenge students to think beyond just marketing for paying consumers, as social services present a unique case in marketing. For the semester-long group project – Understanding Market Segments of Social Service Consumers: Operation New Hope, Dr. Azzari asks her students to develop marketing campaigns for our organization. The assignment is to design marketing collateral to our target audiences – potential clients, employment partners, and donors. The assignment is great opportunity to educate college students about the important reentry services we provide to the community and a creative challenge for them to think about marketing in a different context.

“Diversity and inclusion are core values of the UNF culture,” stated Dr. Azzari, “and we place a great deal of emphasis on incorporating these into all aspects of the UNF experience. When the opportunity to partner with Operation New Hope for a class project presented itself, I knew it was the perfect way for students to simultaneously hone their marketing skills and grapple with issues of diversity and inclusion. It is well-documented that the criminal justice system disproportionately impacts people of color, and Operation New Hope looks to provide support and resources for these individuals in order to reduce that impact. This collaboration allowed our students to see the world from the eyes of consumers who may differ from them, as they considered how to make a genuine connection between Operation New Hope’s mission and its target user groups, through marketing efforts.”

 

This is the third semester that Dr. Azzari’s classes have partnered with Operation New Hope, and the results were fantastic. Students were wonderfully creative as they proposed clever new approaches to attract our various target markets. Some groups designed elaborate bus wraps and billboards to grab the attention of prospective clients as they ride around town. Others thought big by imaging Operation New Hope’s messaging on the jumbotron at the Jaguars’ Stadium. All did a professional job at researching and understanding the various internal and external motivations of each segment.

Above image - Project by Amelie Stelzer, Amin Kisrane & Brandon Peralta

“The benefits of this project are extensive,” added Dr. Azzari. “Our students are afforded marketing experience with a real-world organization that allows them to feel like they are making a real difference here in the state of Florida, which is home for many of them. It is incredible to see how invested they become in this project. Beyond the learning experience, Operation New Hope gets exposure to fresh ideas and creative student content. Finally, this project perfectly aligns with the emphasis on transformational learning opportunities and societal impact here at UNF and in the Coggin College of Business. Hands-on learning that also has the potential for a positive impact—everyone wins.”

We are so thankful to Dr. Azzari, her wonderful group of marketing students, and the University of North Florida. Dr. Azzari’s commitment to community and academic advancement is exceptional. We appreciate the support of our mission to build stronger communities by helping people return to work and stop the cycle of incarceration and poverty. 

Above images - Project by Amelie Stelzer, Amin Kisrane & Brandon Peralta

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