CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University students in a project management course raised nearly $4,000 for earthquake victims in Haiti.

Students in the course, taught by Erik Larson in the College of Business, gathered the funds in less than two weeks by soliciting donations and organizing two social events at the OSU Memorial Union bowling alley and Impulse Bar and Grill, a local eatery.

The funds will benefit American Red Cross and the Yvenson Bernard Foundation, an organization started by Yvenson Bernard, a former OSU running back and native of Haiti. Larson said the students exceeded their $2,000 fundraising target.

"I thought they did remarkably well given the short-time frame," he said. "I used this exercise to demonstrate the difference between a 'blitz project' and normal projects. With blitz projects, you have to be much more adaptable and make important decisions relatively quickly with limited information."

Jake Denton, a senior majoring in management, helped organize the social event at Impulse Bar and Grill. He and fellow students used online sites such as Facebook to reach out to students and to promote the event.

Although the entire class contributed to the fundraising effort, several students played key leadership roles. As the overall project coordinator, Austin Krol, a senior in management, said the community's generosity was the key to success.

"We helped out the local businesses and it reflects nothing but positive citizenship from the students at Oregon State," he said. "We (adapted) our curriculum for about two weeks due to our impromptu decision to raise the funds, but the cause was important."


Thuy Tran, 541-737-6020

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