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ACU Home > Major Events > News > 2003 News Archive > Web sites for non-profits

ACU students use Web site project to help Abilene non-profits

For immediate release,
May 5, 2003

Students in Abilene Christian University's Advanced Digital Media class are putting their Web design skills to work for the Abilene community. 

Split into two groups, the class was assigned a project to create a website for two businesses or organizations in Abilene, said Susan Lewis, instructor of journalism and mass communication. At the completion of the websites, the finished products will be presented to representatives of the chosen organizations Tuesday, May 6, at noon in the Don Morris building, room 302.

While the students were given the option to choose any business or organization in Abilene, both groups of students chose non-profits.

"One group even turned down a for-profit because they wanted their work and expertise to benefit someone who couldn't afford to pay for it," said Lewis.

The two organizations chosen were Harmony Family Services and the Non-Profit Management Center.  Harmony Family Services provides counseling, child placement and centers for troubled youth in the Big Country while the Non-Profit Management Center offers resources for non-profits in the Big Country.

Using advanced digital software such as Dreamweaver and Flash, the students focused on communication theory through the World Wide Web and increased their understanding of information architecture and interface design, Lewis said.  However, their learning was impacted from outside the classroom as well.

Noah Brown, senior integrated marketing communication major from Tuscaloosa, Ala., said, "It kind of puts 'skin' on the project to know that a business is really going to use what we create; it makes you want to work harder."

Due to ethical views on the part of the students and faculty, no one received payment for the building of the websites.  However, when the course is finished and the websites have been put into use by the organizations, the students will have a chance to accept a paid position to maintain the websites.

"In the journalism and mass communication department, we consistently emphasize to our students the importance of volunteering to use their expertise in the church and the community," said Lewis.  "I am proud of how our students choose to serve the community while learning their specific discipline."

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If you are a member of the media who would like more information about this release, please contact Wendy Kilmer, media relations coordinator.

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Last Update: December 17, 2007
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