Simpson’s Gilbert Assists Local Nonprofit with Event Planning

Nicole Gilbert, a senior from Waterloo, Iowa, majoring in integrated marketing communication and Spanish,  is interning at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is a nonprofit organization that focuses to support the development of new drugs to fight the disease, improve the quality of life for those with Cystic Fibrosis, and ultimately find a cure. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation team consists of research pioneers, fund-raisers, advocates, stewards, caregivers, and information and resources helpers.

When Nicole started her internship at the beginning of the semester, she had no idea what cystic fibrosis was. Through her internship, she is now able to give a basic explanation of the disease without the use of medical terms. She has become more aware of the impact the disease has on children and adults today.

Through Nicole’s internship, she has learned skills in event planning, logistics of a nonprofit organization, and behind the scenes efforts that go into an organization. Her primary duties with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation are focused on event planning. She plans fundraiser events to help raise awareness and funds for the donor-supported organization. She is also in charge of collecting auction items for the events.

Nicole has used many skills learned through Simpson College’s marketing and communications courses. Communications courses such as Intro to Communication Studies and Media Law and Ethics require students to use social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter, to interact with the class. In many internships today, these skills come in handy and can take the client to the next level in the digital age. Her marketing courses have given her skills in event planning and she has been able to apply the lessons taught in class into her work at her internship. Finally, Nicole’s Intro to Integrated Marketing Communication course taught her the process used to develop a marketing plan. These skills combined with marketing courses have given her the necessary tools to lead a successful career.

Want to know more? Contact one of our faculty members.

Iowa History Center Master’s Thesis Award 2012

ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest

On November 3, 2012 Simpson students participated in the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC), organized by ACM. ICPC is held at two stages: regional and world finals. Iowa falls in the North Central North America region (NCNA). The NCNA region includes Minnesota, Wisconsin, Western Ontario, Manitoba, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and the UP of Michigan. 235 teams in the region competed at 17 local sites. Simpson students competed at Grand View College. The team of Adam Smith (senior), Linsey Williams (junior) and Jaris Van Maanen (junior) ranked 4-th among the 20 teams at the Grand View College local site. They rank in the 68 percentile (placed 91 out of 235 teams) among all teams in the NCNA region.

Flipped Classroom Experiment

By Paul V Craven

A “flipped classroom” is one where students watch lectures at home and do their homework in class. The Kahn Academy has done wonders in helping instructors with flipped classes. I decided to try it with my class that introduces computer programming.

My hypothesis: I could get more students to post excellent grades with this method than the traditional method.

Over the summer I worked on this website. I put the lectures on-line. A total of 55 videos, over 6 hours of run time. Most videos are short. I used a graphics tablet to mark up the screen during the video. I got a good microphone and edited the videos to remove annoying sounds, mistakes, or other distractions.

The full text of the book is on-line. There are code examples and JavaScript animations that animate the code to visualize what is happening.

I created a multiple-choice quiz engine to test the students on-line. That helps make sure they actually went through the material.

The website got a lot of positive feedback from the community-at-large, I was helping more students learn programming on-line than I was in the classroom.

It seemed like everything ready for a full test of a “flipped” class this semester. The first real results would be from Test 1.

I started getting worried when there were students doing worksheets in class that had clearly not watched the lectures or gone over the material first. Plus my “draw a picture” lab had fewer images that really showed off the creativity of what students were able to do.

The results of Test 1 confirmed my worries. It showed a noticeable down-tick in grades compared to prior years. Was it terrible? No, there were still a lot of “A” grades. However there were more students on the C-F range than what I normally get. It seemed like a “flipped” class was allowing more students to slip through the cracks than before.

My conclusion, the data did not support my hypothesis.

Here are more hypotheses I have:

  • Students who don’t want to do work outside of class still don’t. They gain more from having the traditional lecture in-class and not doing the homework. In a flipped class they skip watching the lecture and just copy worksheets resulting in even less comprehension.
  • Fewer students will become inspired by the material and want to explore a career in that area. Students that aren’t willing to ask questions about worksheets have little interaction with the instructor. Those students are less likely to be inspired by the instructor because they don’t get to regularly see how excited he/she is about the material.
  • A flipped class will work well in an evening class. Evening classes with working adults have a high drop-out rate for an introductory computer science course. I think that teaching in a ‘flipped’ manner will result in higher scores for these students even if they result in lower scores for day students. Meeting four times a day, is better than a flipped class, which itself is better than meeting one time a week.
  • The ‘flipped’ class scales well. It will still perform ‘well’ with an average instructor and will involve little work on the instructor’s part if the material is already created. e.g., a teacher that doesn’t understand calculus well can still do a good job teaching calculus with help from the Kahn academy. Or a teacher can have more students in a class and still teach them. But neither can match a great teacher in a small class.

At some point I’ll do a survey and see if I can’t get more information from the class. I’m going back to my traditional methods for now.

I am still reaching a lot of students who have never set foot at Simpson. So I don’t think the effort spend on the website is a waste. But I’m not improving the scores of my class doing this.

Communication Students to Participate in AAF Student Event

Event for American Advertising Federation This Friday, several communication students will be heading up to Des Moines to participate in the American Advertising Federation‘s GRiT Student Event. This event will include a panel of top Des Moines area advertising professionals, agency tours, and case studies. The event will take place at Meredith Corporation, home to Better Home and Garden magazines,, and Family Circle. Students are able to choose their area of interest including account management, creative, public relations, and marketing.

See below for a schedule of events for the day:

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. Registration

8:30 – 8:45 a.m. Introduction

8:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Case Study: Learn what it’s like to work in an agency and develop a campaign for a real client

Case Study Presented by Greater Des Moines Partnership

12:00 – 12:15 p.m. Break

12:15 – 1:00 p.m. Lunch and Speaker Panel: Learn how recent graduates landed their current jobs and what one should (and shouldn’t) do when seeking employment.

1:00 – 1:15 Break

1:15 – 4:30 Company Tours: See the inner-workings of Des Moines’ agencies and companies.

Meredith Corporation
Two Rivers Marketing
Other Companies To Be Announced

4:45 Closing remarks and wrap-up

5:00 – 7:00 p.m. (Optional) After-Event Networking: Don’t miss an opportunity to mingle with Des Moines professionals in a relaxed and fun environment.

Want to know more? Contact one of our faculty members.

Simpson’s Young Does Anything but the Ordinary with Dwolla

Mariah Young, a sophomore from West Burlington, Iowa, has made many connections in the Des Moines community starting from her first semester at Simpson College. Mariah is an integrated marketing communications major with a creative concentration and a minor in marketing. She is currently the Mariah Young handing out t-shirtscommunications intern at Dwolla, a web-based funds transfer service in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. Mariah started at Dwolla in the middle of her first semester freshman year, then after a solid semester and a half summer came. She ventured to Wisconsin to work as the marketing intern at American Players Theatre, a world renowned outdoor theatre in the woods of Wisconsin. When she headed back to Simpson at the beginning of her sophomore year, she also returned to Dwolla.

She doesn’t have the ordinary job duties. She has found herself planning events in the middle of the Locust St. Bridge, escorts Ashton Kutcher up an elevator, and folding a large number of Dwolla t-shirts. Day to day she maintains the press section of Dwolla’s website, engages in media-related research, and takes care of various tasks to keep the office in order.

The Simpson College communications department has given her skills to be organized and confident, which she applies to every aspect of life.

Want to know more? Contact one of our faculty members.

Staff at Dwolla

Assistant/Associate Professor of Business Management

Simpson College, a private, nationally recognized regional college grounded in the liberal arts tradition and affiliated with the United Methodist Church invites nominations and applications for the position of Assistant or Associate Professor of Business Management. The successful candidate will have an advanced degree in management, give evidence of scholarly potential and demonstrate a commitment to excellence in undergraduate teaching.  Ph.D. preferred; individuals at the ABD stage will be considered.  Relevant business experience will also be considered. Teaching responsibilities will include: introduction to management, human resources, insurance; experience with healthcare administration is preferred.  Full-time teaching load requires six courses. 

 Simpson College encourages innovative teaching and seeks colleagues who will help its students of all ages develop critical intellectual skills, nurture values which foster personal worth and individuality for the purpose of living lives of leadership within a creative, diverse, and just community. The main campus in Indianola is located just 12 minutes from the capital city of Des Moines, Iowa.

The position will begin on or around August 20, 2013.  Candidates for the position must demonstrate potential for excellence in teaching and a willingness to engage students in scholarship, research and/or creative work. Faculty members at Simpson College are expected to participate in faculty governance, student advising, new student recruitment and in other ways to demonstrate support for the mission of the institution. For more specific information about the position, please consult the Simpson College website at:

 The search committee will begin reviewing applications on December 17, 2012. Submit application letter, curriculum vita, transcripts, and three letters of recommendation to:

Mark W. Juffernbruch, Chair
Department of Business Administration and Economics
Simpson College
701 North C Street
Indianola, IA 50125

It is the policy and practice of Simpson College to provide equal educational and employment opportunities for all. We specifically encourage applicants from women, minorities, and persons with disabilities.

Posting Date: 11/2/12

Simpson’s Winegard Gets PR Experience with LS2Group

Chelsea Winegard, a senior from Muscatine, IA, majors in creative integrated marketing communication with minors in human resources and sociology. She is currently the public relations intern with LS2group. LS2group develops and implements comprehensive public relations strategies that advance issues or products among opinion, specialty, industry, online and mainstream media.This organization specializes in social media, crisis communications, and media relations.

At LS2group, Chelsea write letters to congressmen and the editor of the Des Moines Register. She is also in charge of updating spreadsheets, phone calls, and making sure that the office runs smoothly.

Chelsea has been able to use her activities within the communications department as well as courses taken. The Simpsonian newspaper has given her great experience in writing. The course, writing for integrated marketing communication, has allowed her to become familiar with pieces such as news releases and memos. An editing and design course helped her foundations of writing with sentence structure and subject-verb agreement.

Want to know more? Contact one of our faculty members.

Communication Majors to Attend Media Convention in Chicago

Networking, a key skill for every college student, will be taking the Midwest by storm this weekend. Approximately twenty communication majors, along with Professor Brian Steffen, will be attending GO12, a fall college media convention, in Chicago, Illinois from October 31 to November 3.

The 91st Annual ACP/CMA National College Media Convention is presented by Associated Collegiate Press and College Media Association. This convention will allow students with great networking opportunities in various industries such as advertising, new media, broadcast, and many others. Students have the opportunity to attend ten sessions each day ranging from topics including design doctor, advertising 101, speed interviewing, and these are just a few of the hundreds of sessions available.

Senior Kelsey Hagelberg, a creative integrated marketing communication major, has high hopes for this convention. Kelsey, who is also the marketing director for the Simpsonian, KSTM radio, and ID magazine, says “I hope to learn new things for my advertisers, gain more experience for the working world, and network with professionals from all over the country.”

Other special events occurring at the convention include: Bill Elsen, an Editor in Residence, who will be offering free career advice, critiques for student newspapers, radio stations, and magazines, as well as media of places such as the Chicago Tribune, NPR Chicago, and the Onion.

For more information on Go12, Fall College Media Convention, check out their website. Logo for Media Convention

Want to know more? Contact one of our faculty members.

Project Management Student Prepare For Cub Scouts

The CIS 300 Project Management class have spent several days this semester (Fall 2012) working together to plan a cub scout meeting on orienteering. They are applying their project management skills learned in class to select a project, document what they are doing, break down the work, assign the work, create schedules, track the progress, and assure a great meeting for the cub scouts.

Prior years have seen project management teach kids about Lego Mindstorms, and programming 3D characters using the Alice environment.