Marriott School professor Paul Godfrey recently received the Civic Engagement Award for Brigham Young University from the Utah Campus Compact. Godfrey, an associate professor of strategy, was honored for his work designing and implementing financial literacy programs for elementary, junior high and high schools.
For the last two years, Godfrey has worked with first- and second-year MBA students in developing financial literacy programs for local students. Twenty-seven first-year MBA teams taught public school students financial concepts such as budgeting, saving, interest rates and defining needs vs. wants. Godfrey estimates MBA students spent between 1,000 to 1,500 hours serving the community.
The goal of BYU's service-learning project is to lower Utah's surprisingly high personal-bankruptcy rates by raising awareness and increasing financial literacy among Utah school children and youth. Godfrey's 130 MBA students (in 25 teams) discovered excellent content and curriculum but no effective distribution system to teach these financial concepts.
His students design and test financial literacy modules and experiment with distribution modes to help Utah school students learn basic financial skills. The MBA students are using their newly learned professional skills to benefit the community. In addition, they are building an administrative infrastructure to plan, direct and continue the project in the future.
"The MBA practicum provides Marriott School students an excellent way to use their emerging professional skills to better the community," Godfrey says. "Our hope is that our students leave with a richer understanding of the ways in which they can contribute to the communities where they live and work."
One faculty member and student were recognized from each of the 13 universities in Utah in a ceremony at the 2004 Utah Conference on Service at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City.
Utah Campus Compact is a coalition of college and university presidents and their campuses. The compact is committed to foster in students the values and skills of citizenship through active involvement in academically based and co-curricular civic and community service.
Writer: Lauren Funk