Villanova School of Business Students Partner with Catholic Relief Services in Central America

VILLANOVA, PA, 2 March 2007—Nine undergraduate students from the Villanova School of Business will spend spring break on a service trip in Nicaragua. Partnering with Catholic Relief Services, students in the school’s Global Corporate Responsibility course will travel to Central America to experience the ideals of corporate social responsibility in a live setting.

“Thanks to a two year partnership between Villanova University and CRS, this service trip will give students the first hand opportunity to experience the work of CRS and its partners and to see how our agency implements its mission to ensure social justice for all of humankind,” says Maureen McCullough, Northeast US Regional Director for Catholic Relief Services. “The mission of Catholic Relief Services appropriately supplements the curriculum of the Global Corporate Responsibility course.”

“The course curriculum involves transforming students’ thinking about their responsibilities as global citizens,” says Jonathan Doh, Associate Professor of Management and instructor of the Global Corporate Responsibility Course states. “The course and this trip are designed to help students appreciate the potential role of business and organizations in addressing pressing social problems.”

Students will participate in community-based activities as a way to personalize their understanding of and interactions with marginalized small producers such as Cecocafen, a coffee cooperative representing 1,900 small scale coffee farmers in northern Nicaragua. Activities will include engagement in agricultural activities and assisting in community events. Students will also tour nearby ecotourist attractions and visit the Free Trade Zone to get a firsthand perspective of the Nicaraguan component of the American/Nicaraguan free trade partnership. All activities are designed to allow the group to identify with the Nicaraguan communities. Similarly, students will relate their Nicaraguan experiences to a macro level approach to international markets and business ethics.

Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency provides assistance to people in 99 countries and territories based on need, regardless of race, nationality or creed. For more information, visit Catholic Relief Services is a member of Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of 162 Catholic relief, development and social service organizations operating in over 200 countries and territories worldwide. Caritas Internationalis is the official humanitarian agency of the global Catholic Church.

The Villanova School of Business (VSB) has been at the forefront of business education since it was founded in 1922. Today, VSB is ranked among the top business schools in the nation, serving nearly 2,000 students in 7 business fields.

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