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Basic Information

Full Name: Sarah Stoner
UC Email:
College: Lindner College of Business
Major: Industrial Management
Title of Project: The Big Event
Thematic Area (choose only one): Community Engagement
Expected Project Start Date: January 2015
Expected Project End Date: March 2015
Project Information
1. Provide a detailed abstract of your proposed honors experiential learning project.
As a member of the First Year Leadership Program, I volunteered to help bring about The Big
Event. I am working with eleven other students in the First Year Leadership Program to organize and
execute this big event. The Big Event is intended to be a large scale community service event. Our
objective for The Big Event is to gather at least thirty different organizations for students to volunteer
to help. Our goal is to have at least 3000 students attend the event and offer their service. We will be
reaching out to all University of Cincinnati students and possibly some high school students. Many
students look for opportunities to complete service in the community, so we are helping to bring the
opportunities to them. There will be plenty opportunity for service needed both on campus and off
campus around the city. Taking place in the spring, people will need help recovering from the harsh
winter and preparing for the spring.
Along with the general planning of the event, I am part of the marketing committee along with
three other people. Our work will involve developing, promoting, and advertising for our event. This
role is vital because in order for people to show up, they must know that the event is happening. We
will be using various forms and media in order to help share out event of community service
The itinerary for the day of The Big Event will vary depending upon the community service
chosen; however, as a general outline, we are looking to have it all take place from 8 am to 2 pm on a
Saturday in March (as of right now, we are hoping for March 27).. The time table of the organization
of the event is also a little tentative. We are hoping to have a large list of organizations prepared to
ask by December. Then we will contact each organization and finalize the logistical parts of the
event. Once we have costs verified, we will start calling businesses asking for donations and possible
sponsors for our community service event. In February, I will be advertising for The Big Event all
around campus. The rest of the time leading up to the event will be spent finalizing details and
preparing for the community service.
This project is important to me because I believe it is important to help others. Through
community service, I can help to make an area or place better. I can also help to make someone’s
world a little brighter. I believe doing community service helps to bring a community together and
improve everyone involved. Alone, I can help but it does not have a large influence. Together, a mass
of people completing service in a community can create a large-scale, positive effect in a community.
Bringing together a large number of people to help serve a community also tends to have long lasting
effects, whether it is just that the specific area of the community is improved or that the community
as a whole now feels closer together. The Big Event is my opportunity to organize a large horde of
people to serve and have a large influence within the community for a positive change.

Clearly and thoroughly address how each of the following elements will be exhibited in your
2. Connection to Learning Outcomes within the Honors Thematic Area (identified above)
a. Possesses awareness of purpose of service, including need for reciprocity,
understanding of social issues, and ability to see those issues from multiple
After participating in “Into the Streets,” I saw what effect I could
have on a community simply by offering to serve in a small area. Now, by
organizing thousands of students to go and serve, I hope to see and learn of
the larger effect service can have on a community. My goal is to organize The
Big Event in such a way that it can be repeated in years to come in order for
others to continue to take part in such a large, influential service experience;
on the other hand, I hope participants, including myself, find a deeper
gratitude for community service and will strive to continue to help their
community. Cincinnati is a diverse city ravaged by hardship and dangerous
areas, this is my opinion as a foreigner to Cincinnati. I want to learn more
about the social issues that plague the city and want to let The Big Event be a
step to improving the community. With a goal of so many different
organizations, I hope to get a personal understanding of the different
perspectives and areas of social issues. I hope that this increased
understanding of the community will help me in the future.
b. Relates, communicates, and works effectively with others towards sustainable social
The Big Event will require me to work with numerous, various
people. I will be forced to communicate and work well with others. Leading
up to the event, I will be working with my team to organize this large scale
community service project. Working with this team will teach me new ways
to work with people because we are all perceived as leaders so we all want to
control the project to a certain extent but we still all need to work together.
Working with this team will also help me to learn how to better relate with
others and to improve my communication skills. Much of planning this
project is communication because we need to communicate with
organizations in order to find service opportunities as well as communicating
amongst ourselves in order to organize the event. As a part of the marketing
committee, it will be vital to learn to properly communicate with and relate to
our targeted audience. The day of The Big Event will also require learning
how to properly relate to, communicate with, and work with others in order to
help everyone and properly complete the intended service.
3. Connection to Goals and Academic Theories (include reference list, as appropriate)
Planning the Big Event aligns with both my personal and professional goals.
One of my personal goals is to be involved in my community and form a connection.
By gathering a large number of people to serve the community, I am helping to
improve and connect the community, which aids my goal of connection with my

community. My professional goals involve earning a position or career in
management. Planning an event of this magnitude requires large amounts of
managing people, logistical details, communication, and other areas in order to
successfully organize and execute the event. This experience will help me understand
managing people and working with others; therefore, this experience will help me
improve upon my professional goals.
a. In preparation for this experience, I found an article and a book related to my goals
within the project.
i. “Helping, Fixing or Serving?” By Rachel Naomi Remen
This article should help to elaborate upon various means of service within
a community. The article will help me to understand different perspectives,
purposes, and outcomes of different attempts at service. This is applicable
because we need a variety of service opportunities for The Big Event and
therefore need to understand the different effects.
Remen, By Rachel Naomi, "fixing And Helping Create A Distance Between People,
But We Cannot Serve At A Distance. We, Canonly Serve That To Which We
Are Profoundly Connected.", and Helping, Fixing And Serving Represent
Three Different Ways Of Seeing Life. When You Help, You See. Helping,
Fixing or Serving? (n.d.): n. pag. Web
ii. Community : the Structure of Belonging by Peter Block
I intend to reference this book because it seems to help describe some
issues within society and how we can bring a fragmented society back
together. This book will be applicable because it will help describe different
perspectives of society and what a good ways of involvement to improve a
community and bring it closer together.
Block, Peter. Community : the structure of belonging / Peter Block. San Francisco,
Calif. : Berrett-Koehler, c2009. 4 November 2014. Print.
4. Initiative, Independence, and/or Creativity
As a group, we are bringing The Big Event to Cincinnati. The idea of The Big Event takes place
at a number of other colleges and universities including Texas A & M University and Virginia Tech.
We want to bring The Big Event to Cincinnati as a means of helping students to serve their
community and show gratitude towards the community. I am hoping to get creative in the ways that
people can serve the community through different projects. This will require research and calling
organizations but using creativity to create a varied selection of service should help to create a fun
and enjoyable environment. I also hope to show initiative and creativity through the marketing
committee. I intend to take a larger leadership role within the committee and organize a vast amount
of effective advertising and promotion. I intend to start social media pages and use my creativity (and
the creativity of others) to help our social media promotions to stand out. We also need to create
different ways to physically advertise for the event as well. Many students are “flyer blind” and
therefore will not see usual posters and flyers posted around campus to promote the event. This

means that we will need to think creatively with our ways of advertising in order to attract attention
to The Big Event as well as figuring out a way to target every student in order to motivate everyone
to participate.
5. Reflection
I am hoping to use this opportunity to learn from and experience the process of organizing a
large event involving hordes of people and various stages of contact. The group will be
documenting progress and steps toward our finished project so I will be able to follow the
development of the project for reflection. The hardest part of this method is that there is a
possibility that some minor details or steps will not be documented, or old pieces of information
will be lost before I can fully reflect on them. I will attempt to prevent these occurrences by
keeping my own personal journal and personally recording every detail. I also hope to focus a
large portion of my reflection on The Big Event itself. I will be unable to keep a constant journal
throughout the day, but right after the adjournment of the event, and once we have finished
cleaning and closing everything up, I will record everything still fresh in my memory. In order to
focus my thoughts, I will ask myself the following questions:

How did The Big Event help the community?
Did it convey a sense of gratitude towards the community?
Did everyone hoping to serve the community have an opportunity to do so?
How far did The Big Event reach into the community with service?

I hope to gather first hand feedback from participants and benefitted organizations in order to
better reflect on the overall outcome of the service in the community. I want to learn how we helped
people helped to connect the city of Cincinnati with its university students as well as how we helped
the students feel a part of their community. I hope to reflect upon the overall service done as well as
the service groups throughout The Big Event.
I will ask participants the following questions:
 What task did you perform to serve the community?
 Did you feel that you helped to benefit the community?
 Do you feel more connected to the community after helping to serve?
I will ask the organizations the following questions for feedback:
 What was the requested task of your organization?
 Do you feel that the participants benefitted your organization and appropriately served?
 Would you ask for students to return to service in the following year(s)?
I will finish my reflection with thoughts on how to further improve upon service and engagement
in the community, on a large scale and smaller, more individual service.
6. Dissemination
I intend to make a PowerPoint documenting our progress through the planning process of The
Big Event and all logistics and organizational tasks leading up to the day. I will also include the
results of the day and all of the different organizations and sponsors. I hope to receive feedback from
participants in order to be able to share personal experiences with the community service and how
students felt they personally served their community. I also hope to receive feedback from those that

were aided through this massive community service project so that future students can better
understand the effect a massive body of students serving the community can have on those who are
helped. I will then present the completed PowerPoint to future freshmen in the First Year Leadership
Program for them to learn about the importance of community service and to learn the power and
impact a large group can have on a community.
7. Project Advisor(s)
Kathy Brown
Director of Center for Community Engagement
As the Director of the Center for Community Engagement at the University of
Cincinnati, Ms. Brown has experience in gathering opportunities and communicating service
opportunities to students.
Fran Larkin
Program Coordinator of Center for Community Engagement
As the Program Coordinator of the Center for Community Engagement at the
University of Cincinnati, Mr. Larkin has experience in organizing and coordinating large
community service events and effectively communicating with students.
8. Budget (if applicable)
We are hoping to gather sponsors but we are looking at a preliminary estimated budget of at least
$2000. This money would cover transportation, supplies, shirts for directors of the event to wear, and
other expenses of the day.