The first-year Foundations of Nonprofit Sector students presented their group research at the second annual Nonprofit Poster presentation in the atrium of the Allen Building at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. The event was open to students and faculty and gave students a chance to showcase a summary of the scholarly literature, research methodology, key findings and results, and implications of the topics they studied. The posters displayed a strong understanding of the nonprofit sector and the practical use of nonprofit data to explore questions that are of critical importance to community leaders and policymakers. This research project helps prepare students for the intensive, research-heavy capstone project that is required of all second-year Bush School students.
The Public Service and Administration nonprofit professors for Foundations of the Nonprofit Sector, Dr. Hilderbrand, Dr. Paarlberg, and Dr. Qu, supported the nineteen groups in identifying topics and guided students in presenting their findings. A team of five independent judges evaluated the groups in three primary focus areas: research question, use of graphs and charts, and student engagement in presenting the material. The top three winning teams’ research included an analysis of access to LGBTQ nonprofit services across the United States, an analysis of federal spending and veterans’ affairs nonprofits, and an analysis of the evolution of nonprofit general hospitals.
Hailey Duncun, a first-year policy analysis student with an environmental policy concentration, stated, “I think that having to do such a lengthy and in-depth project in a group was a great experience. It helped teach me about working with diverse people and working in stressful situations. Ultimately, I think every group member was very passionate about the LGBTQ community, which helped us push through adversity and turn out a meaningful project that we are proud of.”