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May 20 – Log #2 – Athens' Own Internships
Jun 262016

6/26/16 Feedback

  • To: Halley Davidson (HD) regarding her Intern Log Entry #2
    • Constantine Faller (CF): AO IC – Operations Chief, (Basic Needs – Education), Internship Program Coordinator
  • From: K. Jacobson (kj): BWH IC/AO Liaison/Mentor

The italicized excerpts are from Halley’s May 20th log #2 log.

(6/27/16 Telephone voice meeting with Halley.  She reports that the bulleted feedback format is acceptable and clear to her.  I was in the process of adding the  italicized excerpts and adding softer narrative to the reviews already completed; but given her feedback will just post my bulleted format for the reviews already completed.  I will pick up with a hybridized version as I proceed through her log entries.  This post is half and half.)

HD: I began my day Friday by having a discussion with Kathy on the reflection I posted about my FEMA training test. I received my certification, and we were discussing the ways I applied it both to my life and to working with Athens’ Own. We talked about how you can look at the incident response guide not only as a way to handle chaos, but also how things should be universally managed. For example, if a larger business was set up this way, there wouldn’t be information lost between a CFO and CEO, and there would simply be one direct command that moved down from Incident Commander to the Section Chiefs. This would also make it easier for corporations to communicate amongst each other.

kj:  Halley is referring to her first “May 18th and FEMA Reflections” post.   Much of my feedback to that post applies here as well, especially in terms of a standardized business memo format, target audience, specific input, writing skills, etc.  Here is an article titled “Five tips to Writing Effective Email” by Christy Melby, an intern with the CommuniquePR firm; it contains some pertinent tips.

I created the following bulleted lists while reviewing the log the first time the other day.  I do not have the time to expand on everything with softer narrative but will do my best to clarify; please contact me if you have questions.
(See above for feedback loop adjustments per telephone consult with Halley.

  • Timeliness theme:
    • The internship log instructions includes “How to Write a Log” with a section on timeliness.  As a reviewer, I therefore feel responsible to include it in my assessment evaluation toward collaborative learning and improvement, including celebration when the system is rocking and the intern is excelling with various assignments.
    • Constantine has informed me that an intern may submit a post on one day but it may take him a little while to publish it on the website.   So, how would I know when an activity took place, when it was written about and when it was submitted?  There are cues here and there, I can surmise but I’m busy and prefer not to have to go looking for stuff.  I therefore believe we need to make it as easy as possible for collaborative business partners to see all the info they need in a clearly formatted communique.
      • I would appreciate it if the logs could start out with a standard memo format with all the needed info, including:
        • date of activity with the learning objectives, assignment in SMART format (including the identified measures) etc.
        • date of submission
  • I would also appreciate a more professional presentation given the highly diverse target audience and marketing strategies in mind.
    • Who is Kathy?
    • What FEMA training test?
      • I would appreciate specific long entries for such activities, titles with hotlinks and a focused presentation with your feedback.
      • The news of your completion and certification, perhaps with a picture could be added to your profile log entry as well.
        • Congratulations!
    • Communication with Collaborative Partner: Kathy
      • FEMA training test
        • confirmed receipt of certification
          • no reference to which training
            • no linkage with broader outreach
        • nice reference to conversation about applications in personal life/Athens’ Own
          • no linkage with describing such applications for other people
        • feedback related to the conversation
          • additional information is needed in log and exploration may be needed:
            • incident response guide
            • handling chaos
            • universal management
          • linkage to other business
            • additional exploration may be needed:
              • larger business reference
                • value of and within small, decentralized business network?
              • management system that can function horizontally
                • not just a top down, command and control system
                • no linkage with number of projects, responsibilities, etc.
                  • no mention of ‘span of control’ basic principle: 5-7 hats
              • Information loss is always a potential risk
                • back-up systems needed
              • nice linkage with value within communication systems
                • focused on corporations
                  • what about small business, committees, groups, event planning?
                • no reference to Unified Command System
                  • Liaison docking points
  • Con entered our conversation and mentioned to Kathy that I had been given the Sustainability RA job for the coming year, and so we talked a bit about the kind of work I would be able to do with that. We drifted to the topic of how history is important when you start any new project. For example, as a sustainability RA, it would be beneficial to think about the past actions the university has taken to achieve sustainability, and the ways I can use these programs to my advantage. I also can look for weak links in the programs and try to find ways to make these better.The Eco House, a great program started by the university, has a weak link of having low visibility. For example, if marketed well, this house could gain popularity and possibly lead to a second one being built, something that over time could provide a really great off campus sustainable living area that could have a positive long term influence on the students who participate. Now seeing this weak link, I know that if I am able to market my attempts as a sustainability RA well, I could enhance the program and potentially grow it.This idea, of looking for the weakest links, especially in the history of a program, is applicable to the project I proposed in February. The idea is creating a food source that is provided by the University to both prevent food waste, and to help families in need. First looking at the history, I was able to asses that a past weak link was that people were attempting for the food to be donated, which can cause issues of freshness. The school wouldn’t want to do this because they could be liable for food poisoning or other occurrences with donating already cooked perishable food.That’s why I tried to think a way around it; to try to create a program that kept the university from being held liable, but also wouldn’t cost them a great deal extra to put in place. So trying to kill two birds with one stone, I thought about all of the left over meal swipes there must be at the end of the week, and also needing to keep the food in the dining hall. I decided that providing a swipe system where community members could use these swipes would be the most effective.Now Kathy brought up an interesting point. How would these community members reach the campus? Some people can live as far as 40 minutes away from campus, and there isn’t public transit from that far. Is the cost of gas really worth it for these family members? She also brought up a term I hadn’t heard before. The “Town-Gown” Gap is a gap that represents the lack of understanding between campus members and with the community they live in. This is something I know I have talked with Con about as well, about how students are either oblivious of the problems in the community they live in, or even that if they do know, they attempt to “fix” it, which just alienates them from their community even more.An example of this is that if we were to set up a type of “soup kitchen” form of food service, community members may be unlikely to attend because they see it as us handing down food scraps. For my proposal to work, I need to close this town-gown gap and find a way these two groups can work together as one community. This is why I think using Kathy’s mantra of “Inform; Empower; Mobilize” will be the most effective way to get progress in this areas.In the few weeks I have worked with Con and Kathy, I feel like I have learned a great deal. We have talked on so many different levels, about Athens’ Own, about the Athens community, and about the big picture of how to start teaching out so that everyone has an opportunity to learn in this hands-on and passionate way. I am so grateful that they have been so kind and generous to me, making my first summer away from home a learning opportunity and not just another summer consumed by part time employment.I am excited to start using some of the knowledge that has been passed down to me to start working on this program to my best ability. In situations like this, I turn to my favorite wisdom quote. “There is no try. There is simply do or do not.” And yes, it’s quoted from Yoda.
    • Communication with IC/Internship Chief – Constantine
      • OU Sustainability RA job, exploration of work potential
        • no links, no information
        • ways the programs could be used to ‘my’ advantage
          • no linkage with broader collaborative efforts toward shared goals
        • nice linkage with Holistic Management assessment, weak links, improvement process potential
          • no reference or link to Holistic Management info
      • Education provided about AO/BWH involvement in OU Sustainability Program growth
        • encouragement to do homework, research about the history as it links both
          • but no indication of grasping that concept
      • Eco House topic
        • no descriptive info, links, etc.
          • One can’t assume the target audience knows anything about anything
        • Eco House not started by the university
          • a collaborative town-gown effort, including with AO/BWH
            • group process introduced: natural capital and Holistic Management
        • Weak link: low visibility
          • no background info, rationale
        • Great brainstorming vision – self-centered language
          • great linkage between Sustainability RA and Eco-house overlap
          • still seems inclined to growth paradigm
            • no linkage with value of historical reference research
              • directly associated with Athens’ Own, notes/minutes are probably available in binders
          • no linkage with Athens’ Own marketing internship, sustainability RA, Eco-house investigations
        • Appears addition investigation and exploration may be needed
          • homework, history, the Holistic Management Whole, community dynamics, stakeholders
          • win-win, mutually beneficial collaboration
          • no linkage with possible project proposal & development
      • February project – proposal
        • overview info provided: food source provided by University to both prevent food waste & help families in need
          • what food source provided by university?
          • would have been nice to see additional info and/or link to proposal document/info
        • Very nice linkages with
          • weak links concept
            • no linkage with Holistic Management (HM)
              • seems focused on growth and weak links
                • looking for weak links in the history of the program
        • what about assessing the history for the very strong links and the flow of process?
          • solid connections, collaboration, stakeholders who could help provide info about the strengths
          • the elders, the history, the fact that such things are in movement here; not new ideas
        • identified weak link related to donated food
          • less freshness
            • how does freshness relate to food poisoning?
          • school wouldn’t want to be liable for illness
            • no link with safe public health principles, resilience
          • no reference rationale to back-up claimed weak link
        • no reference to linkage with Athens’ Own, history and food security specialty, basic need food sector
          • no reference to marketing internship
        • no up-date on status of proposal, plan, strategies, tactics
        • nice linkage with overlapping, cascading effects
          • focused on university liability weak link and need to reduce costs
            • left over meal swipes at end of week
            • food storage in the dining haul
            • community members provided with left over swipes
          • collaborative brainstorming:
            • She describes it as Kathy bringing up interesting point, how would community members reach campus
              • but did not appear to link with concepts
                • access, isolation, community building, travel, fuel costs, greenhouse gases
                • cost of gas worth it?
                  • community members in need of food, do not usually have the luxury of a decision-making process related to whether the cost is worth it…they simply do not have the money to cover the cost
            • It appears the conversation was dropped, no additional info, plans, follow-up
      • Town-Gown Gap topic
        • interpreted as a lack of understanding between campus members and community
          • may have missed the concept of developing the collaborative conduits to increase reciprocal flow of resources while helping to address educational needs, overlap between academic studies and situational business internship program and system
          • also came off as a rather judgmental, negative synopsis of students
          • no linkage with how Athens’ Own is and has been actively working to developing networking pipelines
      • Back to a food proposal brain storm
        • soup kitchen
          • handing down food scraps
            • people unlikely to attend
              • people are very hungry, there are some who may not want to accept assistance but again people without basic resources don’t usually have the option to look down their nose at the prospect of assistance
            • however, the marketing terminology would probably not want to include the term “food scraps” as that carries with it a vision of compost, with related challenges.
              • you really wouldn’t want to be taking food scraps out of a compost to feed people
            • another term you may not be familiar with is ‘dumpster diving’
              • many people are highly proficient at dumpster diving, regulations are improving
              • many stores are developing ways to divert food to feed people
      • back to town-gown gap and an unclear description of a proposal, swipe giveaway, soup kitchen?
      • Reference to “inform, empower, mobilize” phrase as “using” Kathy’s mantra as the most effective way to proceed
        • In addition, my supposed mantra is “inform, inspire, empower, mobilize”
          • inspire is the biggest challenge, related to strategies associated with motivation
        • no linkages with collaborative efforts
        • seem to keep picking up a ‘me’, ‘my’, ‘I’, ‘them’, negative judgements flavor
      • again, may need additional introspection, investigation and exploration of the “we” collaborative paradigm
  • Reflection on educational internship processes
    • learned a great deal
    • talked on different levels
      • Athens’ Own
      • Athens Community
      • Mentions Big picture in terms of informing people about the hands-on, passionate learning opportunity
        • but no direct linkages with marketing, internship, collaboration, shared goals, resilience
  • Expression of appreciation for kindness, generosity, providing a learning opportunity during her first summer away from home.
  • Expression of excitement about using knowledge and beginning work on this program to the best of my ability
    • nice linkage with excitement, learning, applications, to the best of ability
    • no info about what program, unclear
      • proposals mentioned above?
      • internship program in general?
  • Nice linkage
  • with life-long learning adventure concepts, be present, etc.,
    • Nice quote – Yoda: “There is no try. There is simply do or do not.”
      • may be a good one for the FAQ, marketing materials, etc.
  • Very nice to see Constantine’s participatory feedback on the page!
    • I will also include a comment with a link to this feedback page.

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