By Gavin Colton
NKU Marketing + Communications intern
After the break-in and theft at FUEL NKU’s food pantry in February, professor David Raska’s MKT 480 and MKT 394 classes began raising money to replenish the pantry.
“It was a spontaneous reaction,” Raska says. “When I learned about the ransacking, I posted an ‘emergency call’ on our social media. Whenever I can, I engage students in fundraising and always relate it to what they are learning in the classroom. We have done this couple times before for Fuel NKU as well as another local non-profit, Mentoring Plus.”
Last Thursday, President Mearns dropped by Raska’s class to offer his personal thanks for the students’ efforts on behalf of Fuel NKU.
“Some people think my job is a thankless job,” Mearns said to the MKT 480 and MKT 394 students. “In fact, it’s just the opposite. I wish there were more opportunities for me to express my appreciation and pride for what our students and outstanding faculty and staff do.
“This is a great example of how you don’t have to wait until you graduate to have a lasting impact. You can have a lasting impact on others while you’re right here.”
Mearns relayed ideas of transparency to the two classes. He expressed its importance in cultivating a mindful student, faculty, and staff population on campus.
“People are aware that our students have challenges,” Mearns said. “We should be proud of the fact that we’re recognizing it. People come to our campus come with different perspectives and challenges, and we’re going to be open and honest. It’s not anything to be embarrassed about.”
At this halfway mark in the semester, Raska’s classes have already completed their client-based projects for two different companies. One of which is “Hot God,” a food vendor in Prague, Czech Republic.
“I love seeing what a single classroom can achieve,” says Raska.
Back when Raska posted the emergency call for FUEL NKU, he offered his students an added incentive: Raska told them he would match every donation to the pantry made by his students.
He wasn’t surprised with the response.
“I know our students are compassionate, have great hearts and minds, and love making the world a better place,” says Raska. “This is especially true about our type of students as they come have been exposed to poverty or less fortunate lives either personally or indirectly. Their empathy is evident in their behavior.”
Robin Crail: It feels great that we were able to raise that much to donate in such a short amount of time. It always feels good to give back but seeing how much it really means to Fuel NKU and President Mearns makes it so much more rewarding!
Austin Eibel: It was awesome to feel recognized for our efforts, especially by such a prominent figure at NKU.
Lydia Epping: It made me feel like I was not just one in a sea of faces at NKU. I was so proud of our class for coming together when others were in need.
Jamie Kohls: It honeslty made me feel pretty good. Normally, good deeds like that go unnoticed by most. For the president to thank us personally is a huge honor. I’m proud to be among these superheroes.
Mary Durbin: It was nice knowing a small group of individuals could come together and make such a big impact on campus!