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Carroll School of Management Graduate Programs

Carroll School Students Bring Color to the Community

Graduate students presenting projects

April 3, 2012

By Tara Bagge, Devon McKenna, and Lorenzo Posadas

The students of the Carroll School of Management’s MB812 Negotiating class were tasked with an unconventional final project: negotiate an activity for the twenty-student group to participate in on the last evening of class.  The project included multiple layers of negotiations in that an activity had to be arranged, but then also agreed upon by the rest of the class whom were also in competition.  This presented the opportunity to put the many theories studied throughout the semester into practice.  Moreover, one team found a way to not only complete the assignment but to also make an impact in the community in keeping with Boston College’s Jesuit tradition.

The Project

In order to provide the group with a unique opportunity, a team of students determined that partaking in a community service activity would be a great way to network with peers while also giving back to a local organization.  The students were excited to learn about an opportunity to host a “PaintFest” where the class would paint a pre-drawn mural to donate to a local hospital. As part of the negotiation, the students worked with the Carroll School Dean’s office to secure the funding required for the mural kit; the Dean’s office was quick to support the project.  The team also had to convince classmates to choose this activity over other alternatives that they had developed.  While there was a broad array of options available, in the end the community-minded Carroll School students realized the value in this project and agreed to paint the mural.

The mural kit was ordered through the Foundation for Hospital Art which was created in 1984 with the mission of “giving comfort and hope to those who suffer in hospitals by providing artwork at no cost to hospitals.” Over 500,000 volunteers have created 35,000 paintings for 2,000 hospitals in 194 countries through the organization.  Once the team had the kit ordered, the next challenge was to find a recipient for the artwork.  The students cold-called multiple area hospitals and were thrilled when the Carney Hospital in Dorchester agreed to accept the donation.

The PaintFest

On the evening of the “PaintFest,” most members of the class came in early, on their own time, in order to complete the four-by-five foot aquarium scene selected by the hospital. Although many students claimed not to be artists, the mural was easy to paint and the end result even impressed them.  The Foundation for Hospital Art provided everything from the pre-drawn canvas, paints and brushes to the drop cloths to keep the classroom clean. The students all enjoyed networking with each other at the end of the busy fall semester in a relaxed environment.  The most rewarding aspect to the students however was contributing to a project that would bring smiles to the faces of patients and staff at the Carney Hospital.

Delivering the Mural

The Carney Hospital, located in Dorchester, is the largest fully integrated community care organization in New England.  It is a teaching hospital with the values of compassion, accountability, respect, and excellence.  The three students who organized the project were excited to deliver the mural in person in January of this year.  They met with the Directors of both marketing and community relations of the Carney Hospital who were extremely grateful for the donation.  The students also discovered that the hospital has actually made recent steps to introduce a therapeutic art program for patients, making the timing of the donation that much more appreciated.  The mural has since been hung in a main hallway of the hospital that was previously just bare white walls.  The Carroll School received a sincere thank you letter from Sue Kelliher of the hospital’s marketing department which said “The mural was hung today in the hallway on a blank wall.  We have already started to receive positive comments about the mural and how it’s brightened up the place. Thank you so much for choosing us to be the recipient of your class project. Please extend my thanks to all of the students that participated in this project.  It is truly appreciated.”