CSI Student Service Learning Marketing Research Projects Provide Valuable Insights to Local Organizations

CSI students recently presented their marketing research results in an effort to help local non-profit organizations.

Four teams of former Student Service Learning marketing research students recently presented the results of last semester’s marketing research projects to Historic Richmondtown, the New York Center for Interpersonal Development (NYCID), the Staten Island Children’s Museum, and the Staten Island Mental Health Association (thrift shops) at the Center for the Arts. The presentations were postponed from last semester because of schedule changes due to the fall hurricane.

Innovative Research Specialists members Anibal Soto, Francesca Ojeh, and Laura Stancarone answered questions on their video presentation from Dr. Kenneth Popler, President and CEO, and Ms. Fran Hogan-Meyers, Director of Community Relations and Volunteer Services, of the Staten Island Mental Health Society. Student Researchers from The Prestige Initiative, John Giampiccolo and Marie DiTrapani, answered questions on their video presentation from Marjorie Waxman, Director of External Affairs for the Staten Island Children’s Museum and filled in for student researchers Joseph Pirulli and Michelle Grigoli. Sarah Moddel, Development and Marketing Specialist for Historic Richmondtown, reviewed the video presentation on the project completed by now alumni Jena Luppowitz, Samantha Scardino, John Prestigiacomo, and Bridgette Johnston of the JBS Research Group. Mr. Dominick Brancato, Executive Director of the New York Center for Interpersonal Development (NYCID), reviewed the video research presentation by alumni Philly Mok, John Figuly, and Gianluca Ingravallo. It appeared that all learned something from the other research projects in this close-knit and collaborative community.

The Student Service Learning presentations were executive summaries of information gleaned from their market research projects. Each team met with their client to determine the areas for research; define the research objectives, constructs, and measurements; and develop a questionnaire. The questionnaires were completed electronically to a convenience sample of both organization supporters as well as Staten Island Chamber of Commerce members who agreed to participate via Facebook. The students then analyzed their data via a statistical software application, and  crafted a final report and PowerPoint presentation. Each team was able to present useful insights to each organization, to confirm the direction toward which that organization was working, and provide suggestions for future “next steps.”

“Thanks for the presentation,” said Waxman. “I am even more grateful for the project itself. The students we worked with were great: bright and collegial. I would do it again. Without knowing the conclusions of the project, we were moving in the direction that the data points to, so I’m glad that our gut instinct was confirmed by solid research.”

Professor Thomas Tellefsen, Chairperson of the Business Department at CSI acknowledged, “The feedback has been great. It’s particularly gratifying when real managers speak well of our students.”

Bill Dubovsky, Adjunct Lecturer in Business, welcomed the audience with a brief presentation on how market research has been used by local non-profit organizations to build capacity or help confirm or dispute the direction in which the organization is going. “Our community client-sponsors all came away with useful information and learned from each other’s presentations. It’s gratifying to see students excited about doing real research and then see their results put to practical use by real organizations,” stated Dubovsky, who thanked all for their time and support of the students.

Each attending client-sponsor received a CD containing the research report, the raw survey data, the PowerPoint presentation, and a DVD of the actual video presentation, as well as a PDF copy of “Non-Profit Marketing – Capacity Building Workshop Participant Workbook” to act as a guide in developing marketing strategy from the data.

Past Student Service Learning marketing research projects from CSI students have included a study for a St. John’s University continuing education program, and for SCORE, Staten Island branch; The American Cancer Society, Staten Island Division; the Council on the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island; Sundog Theatre; Richmond County Orchestra; Riverside Opera Company, and the Little Cupcake Bake Shop. A number of on-campus projects have also been completed on new products and services for the expanding number and diversity of CSI students.

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