During the COVID-19 pandemic, when so much has changed, one thing has remained the same: The commitment of ComArtSci students to help their communities.
While the format has been modified and meetings may no longer be in person, ComArtSci Street Teams is forging ahead, helping six new agencies in Greater Lansing.
Street Teams is part of Media Sandbox that comprises “interdisciplinary groups of students who partner with nonprofit organizations and assist them with media projects.”
“During the pandemic, Street Teams has adapted to reflect the changes happening in workplaces all over the world,” said Jeana-Dee Allen, Street Teams project manager. “We've gone from weekly meetings in person to meeting over zoom, drawing on whiteboards to creating digital prototypes in Google Docs.
“We've also implemented a virtual project management system and created more fluid systems for sharing and editing files. Each team is like its own creative agency. They learn, grow and adapt with each other. The skills Street Teams members are using now directly translate to the workplace and any collaborative effort.”
This year’s nonprofit partners are: R.E. Olds Transportation Museum, Lansing Art Gallery and Education Center, Allen Neighborhood Center, Small Talk, Mikey 23 Foundation and the Greater Lansing Food Bank.
“Our partnerships this year range from essential services to recreation to mental health support,” Allen, an academic specialist in experiential learning, said. “They reflect the wide range of support Greater Lansing is able to offer. They also highlight our collective need for socialization and self-care.”
Kaumudi Mahajan, first-year Linked master's student studying communication and student coordinator of Street Teams, has been part of Street Teams for four years.
In addition to helping the community, Mahajan points to the skills learned and the camaraderie formed among Streat Teams.
“I think it's important to emphasize the relationships that are formed from Street Teams,” Mahajan said. “Working so closely in teams of 5-6 likeminded creatives is an incredible way to learn skills that you otherwise wouldn't have.
“I learned so much from my teams and I can't think of another situation that I could've gotten access to pick all their minds.”
MSU Federal Credit Union is a sponsor of Street Teams. In addition to monetary support, MSUFCU provides participation and guidance in the students’ final deliverables.
“Their level of commitment to students and our nonprofit partners is stunning,” Allen said.
To learn more about Street Teams, visit comartsci.msu.edu/StreetTeam.
By Jennifer Trenkamp