UE Graduate Peter May Speaks at Congressional Briefing

Posted: Wednesday, January 20, 2016

University of Evansville graduate Peter May was one of a panel of students and recent alumni from New American Colleges and Universities (NAC&U) schools who gave a briefing on integrative learning on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, January 19.

"Peter represented the University of Evansville and our commitment to learning outside the traditional classroom -- beautifully demonstrated by our GAP program, in which he participated - in a compelling way," said UE president Thomas A. Kazee. "Folks on Capitol Hill were deeply impressed."

The students shared their experiences of how their integrative education, including undergraduate research, business consulting, and multidisciplinary team projects improved the quality of their college experiences and prepared them with real-world skills.

During his remarks at the briefing, May described how beneficial his education at the University of Evansville has been for him.

“The value of a liberal arts education is that you are taught how to become passionate through your own curiosity,” May said.

As an example of integrative education, May detailed his experience in UE’s GAP Program. GAP is an innovative, experiential program that bridges the gap between the classroom and the real world. In this program, multidisciplinary teams of students work side-by-side with leading organizations on real-world issues. Guided by faculty coaches and outside experts, participants produce practical outcomes for their clients.

In the GAP Program, May worked with a team of students from archaeology, sports communication, visual communication design, accounting, political science and business on a project for Fortune 500 manufacturer Berry Plastics, Inc., one of the world’s largest producers of plastics packaging. Their assignment was to analyze the Indonesian consumer packaged goods market and provide the company with recommendations on the attractiveness of this market in comparison with other emerging markets.

In the briefing, May explained that it wasn’t until the completion of this project that he “realized how different my college experience had been from all of my buddies that attended larger state schools. This project was a culmination of every aspect of the liberal arts experience put into one.”

May majored in political science and business administration at UE, while also competing as a Division I soccer player. He was a recipient of the University of Evansville Dean’s Scholarship, and was nominated to participate in the University of Evansville GAP Program. He assisted in the implementation of marketing projects for Gilda’s Club of Evansville.

NAC&U is hosting several events in Washington, D.C., from January 19-21 that spotlight its members’ collective mission and approach to teaching and learning.

With the Higher Education Act reauthorization before Congress, this discussion gives insight to how the programs in that bill might better support programs that are in demand from industry.

 

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