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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Oct. 31, 2014

Psychology students learn group dynamics, plan community projects

By Alexandra Mortallaro, media relations assistant

(Updated Nov. 3, 2014)

Students enrolled in Cris Jacobson’s psychology of groups and teams course at Northwest Missouri State University are taking what they’ve learned in the classroom to make a lasting impact on the lives of people in surrounding communities.

Students were tasked with developing projects in conjunction with course material, providing them with hands-on experience in carrying out group dynamics while completing projects together as teams.

“The goal is to give students a realistic experience that is both meaningful and applicable to future professional endeavors,” Jacobson, an instructor of psychology, said.

They came up with projects they could apply to surrounding communities, including supply drives, social activities and educational programs, all of which are open for residents of Maryville and surrounding communities to contribute.

“Often times we get so focused on our own life stress we forget that others are experiencing stressors as well,” said Marley Stein, a sophomore psychology major from St. Peters, Mo., whose group organized a project aimed at boosting others' happiness. “'Pay it Forward' encourages you to do small, nice things for others in hopes that it will make their day a little bit better. If Northwest students all adopted a 'Pay it Forward' attitude we could create a happier school environment.”

More details about each group project are provided below.


Pay It Forward Project

The Pay it Forward Project promotes the attitude that by giving to others, one can bring happiness into their own life. The project consists of three small events leading up to a larger-scale event. The group is selling Boo-Grams in the J.W. Jones Student Union and delivering them to residence halls.

For its second event, the group will distribute coupons from Sonic and Hardees. Members of the group will hang motivational flyers around campus as their third event.

The group’s big event will take place Monday, Nov. 17 on campus, and details will remain secret until an announcement can be made.

Money raised from Boo-Grams along with donations from random acts of kindness will be used to continue the chain of paying it forward on campus.


Paws for the Cause

Paws for the Cause is a fundraiser to collect money and supplies such as leashes, toys and food for the Humane Society. The public can drop off items from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Nov. 5, in the Student Union Living Room. The Humane Society runs solely on donations, and the cost to keep its doors open is high each month, especially with the amount of animals they rescue.

To encourage people to participate, the group will have animals that anyone may play with for a small donation. The animals will also be available for adoption. A non-monetary goal for the event is to encourage people to give support and aide to the Humane Society.


Noyes Home Collections

The Noyes Home in St. Joseph, Mo., provides a temporary home for children going through a family crisis. It facilitates a positive and safe environment for children from newborns to 17 years old. Project organizers are collecting items the home needs most at this time of year.

Items will be collected until Friday, Nov. 21, in the high-rise dorms, Colden Hall and the Maryville Dance Academy. They will be delivered to the Noyes Home Thursday, Dec. 4.

Preferred items include coats, hoodies, scarves, gloves, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner. 


Soles for Soldiers

Students are collecting items to put in care packages to send overseas to soldiers. The collection will take place until Friday, Nov. 7. Boxes and posters are located in Hudson-Perrin Hall, Millikan Hall, Dieterich Hall, Roberta Hall, Franken Hall, the Student Union, Administration Building, The Station and the First Christian Church on East Third Street.

Preferred donations include socks, foot powder, “mole skin” blister protection, lip balm, sun screen, baby wipes, athlete’s foot ointment, lotion, toothpaste and toothbrushes.


Crafts with the Nodaway County Association of Group Homes

Students will work with individuals with special needs Nov. 7 at the Nodaway County Association of Group Homes and provide the group home with a creative experience by doing crafts with the residents.

The group’s final goal is making the experience a positive atmosphere for all individuals and to give residents of the group home a holiday season they will remember.


Partnering with International Students

Students will connect and build better relationships with international students on campus. As part of their project, the group meets with international friends every other week to carry out planned activities and get to know each other better.

As a result, the group wants to better understand different cultures and learn how the students are adjusting to American culture.


“Gourmet” Cookbook for a College Budget

The goal of the cookbook is to show how residence hall cooking can be inexpensive and healthy. Some of the recipes in the cookbook are themed around specific ingredients or utensils.

For example, the group will make ramen noodle sandwiches as one of their recipes. Once the cookbook is completed, the group plans to sell copies as a fundraiser for Northwest’s Emergency Disaster Management Club.


Northwest Breast Cancer Awareness Day

A Northwest Breast Cancer Awareness Day was created to encourage the Northwest community to wear pink in order to unite the various breast cancer awareness efforts on campus. Northwest students and employees were encouraged to wear pink on Friday, Oct. 24.


Aramark Employee Appreciation

Aramark Employee Appreciation was created by students to ensure that Campus Dining employees are recognized for the hard work they put into providing services on campus.

The group is giving students the opportunity to show their appreciation by offering custom cards for Campus Dining divisions. The group also will deliver baked goods to Campus Dining for employees to enjoy. The activities are taking place through Friday, Nov. 7.



Sexpardy aims to inform students of safe sex practices and assist students with being more comfortable with talking about sex and testing for sexually transmitted diseases.

The group will host a jeopardy-style event at 7 p.m. Nov. 17 in the Student Union Boardroom. The game will focus on sex education and include five categories: sexually transmitted diseases, consent, protection, influences and transmissions. The winners of the game will receive prizes and candy.

Sex education pamphlets and contraceptives will be provided by Wellness Services.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468