Successful Fall Semester at Nichols


As the fall semester comes to an end and another year wraps up, we take time to reflect on 2016. We can laugh about memories made with our friends, and be grateful that exams are finally over. Not only can we take the time to look back on our own personal achievements, but also on the accomplishments we have made together as a student body.

“Set your goals high and don’t stop ‘til you get there.”

As said by Bo Jackson (a former professional baseball and football player), that is exactly what the Nichols College football team has done this year. Winning six games (four consecutive), the team has earned a well-deserved record this past season. The team as a whole has immensely improved—and even 10 of our own Nichols Bison football players were honored by the Worcester Area Football Association.

The women’s tennis team represented the Lady Bison well this season. The women beat Endicott (5-0) and took the championship title in their division. With a record of 14-3 this season, the Nichols community is looking forward to women’s tennis landing another division win in the coming year.

Over the past few months, Nichols College students and faculty have done numerous things to help residents, families, and children of the local community. Food services provider Sodexo has been a huge support in helping to make sure that the Nichols community gives back. From the Bison Bites program, to food drives, and even cooking and serving food at St. Andrew Bobola Church on West Main Street in Dudley every other week, smiles were brought to many faces. Just within the past couple of months, Nichols has made a huge difference in the lives of many people who are in need.

Before Thanksgiving, about a dozen students in the Nichols Emerging Leaders Program participated in raising money for a Thanksgiving food drive to aid the Dudley-Webster Food Share. The students raised $370. Dave Hebert of Sodexo and members of the Men’s Hockey Team shopped for the food and delivered it to Food Share. In total, 1,500 pounds of food—which included 25 turkeys, 25 cans of cranberry sauce, 25 cans of yams, 25 boxes of stuffing, 25 jars of gravy, 50 cans of corn, and 25 cakes for dessert—was purchased with the $370, which was able to feed 25 local families in need.

“Students in the Nichols Emerging Leaders Program see it as an important responsibility to give back to those in our community, and it was a rewarding experience to know we were able to impact 25 families with our efforts,” said Professor Luanne Westerling, Nichols College’s associate dean for business.

Nichols College Public Safety collected toys in December in place of a Nichols-issued parking ticket. All toys were donated to the Dudley Police Department for distribution to children in need.

Fels Student Center managers partnered with the Webster-Dudley Boys & Girls Club to do a Giving Tree. The club gave Nichols the names of 16 local children to place on the tree. Nichols community members were invited to take a name of a child and get a gift for them. Nichols Psychology Club members wrapped the donated gifts and also bought a few. In addition, Nichols staff and students held a rummage sale, whose proceeds will go to the Boys & Girls Club to help families during the holiday season.

Throughout December, students had the option of attending all different types of holiday activities. From ginger bread house decorating, to stocking making, and the annual Moonlight Breakfast put on by faculty and staff—holiday cheer was in the air!

Before next semester starts, take the time to enjoy days spent with family and friends, and appreciate everything around you. Each and every single one of us are so lucky to be able to call Nichols College home, and the people we have met here family.

Jenna McAssey is a Nichols College sophomore majoring in criminal justice and psychology. She interns for the Nichols Office of Marketing and Communications.

#CrocsCampusChallenge Initiative Sparks Social Media Success at Nichols


DUDLEY, Mass.—Dec. 16, 2016—Nichols College students took to social media during the week of Dec. 5, 2016, to support their peers and a charitable movement: the #CrocsCampusChallenge.

An honors Principles of Marketing course taught by Professor Jean Beaupré joined a collaborative effort with Crocs Inc., in which the company offered to donate 200 pairs of their popular shoes to children in Haiti in exchange for a social media campaign run by Nichols students.

It started as a joke among the classmates: When the first class session of the semester was held in September, Professor Beaupré asked the students what their interests were. When it came to sophomore Brooke Downey’s turn, she enthusiastically replied, “I really like Crocs.”

In October, the class decided to send a humorous video to the Crocs marketing team, portraying Downey as having an obsessive need for Crocs—a need that resulted in her owning 103 pairs of the shoes. Several other students participated in the filming as Downey’s concerned friends staged an mock intervention for her “addiction.”

To the surprise of Professor Beaupré and her students, the Crocs marketing team enthusiastically responded to their submission and shared the company’s marketing strategy for the upcoming spring season. Crocs also proposed to partner with the Nichols students in an effort to spread awareness about the company and their products on campus. In exchange, Crocs would donate their shoes to children in Haiti.

The class had a short timeline to organize the widespread movement, with final plans for the week-long event drawing to a close in mid-November. The class reached out to college officials to help participate as influencers for the project, including Dean of Students PJ Boggio.

“This has been an incredible way to teach the students to capitalize on their opportunities,” said Professor Beaupré. She reported that Nichols College is the first college campus to participate in this collaboration with Crocs.

Image for Crocs Story

“The students have been part of a real-life project that is not only making a difference, but it’s also giving them hands-on social media marketing experience,” she added. “Experiential education at Nichols College is a great way for students to learn marketing concepts and put them into play.”

Students from the class divided into teams to focus on the project’s specific aspects, including managing and monitoring social media posts and engagement as well as organizing events. Throughout the week of Dec. 5, all Nichols students were encouraged to attend events such as “Crocs and Cookies,” “Chuck a Croc,” and a campus-wide scavenger hunt for “Crocs Cards.”

The involved students spearheaded the initiative with a strong social media presence, using the trending hashtags #CrocsCampusChallenge and #CrocsForHaiti on Twitter and Instagram to prompt interest from other Nichols students.

Working on the social media team to stay on top of the activity, sophomore Greg Giglio described how they faced the challenge of maintaining the success of the campaign along with their other personal duties, such as attending class.

“We had to learn how to balance this project with everything else we had going on as individuals,” he said. “Keeping active with the Twitter account was important, so it was up to us to learn how to incorporate these responsibilities into our daily lives.”

The Twitter account, under the handle “NicholsCrocs” produced 553 posts and retweets in less than a week of operations, and nearly 300 uses of the #CrocsCampusChallenge hashtag.

Sophomore Janina Messerlian donated her time to working the “Cookies and Crocs” event on Thursday, Dec. 8. She described the opportunity as “an integral part of my experiential education” and said: “Crocs and Professor Beaupré really let us take the reins on this project, and let us figure out how to make this go viral and get people involved. It was all about what we, the students, could do with the resources we were given.”

The appreciation for the opportunity is felt by members of the class. Lauren Bennett, a women’s ice hockey player in the class, expressed her thanks for everyone involved in the project.

“There are 23 students in the class, and we all contributed so much of our time and effort, as did Professor Beaupré and the Crocs team,” she said. “We had huge attendance at all of our events, and it’s amazing that all of our time and effort paid off and is going to a great cause.”

The donated Crocs will be sent to Jérémie, Haiti, through the Haitian Health Foundation, based in Norwich, Conn.

“I really want to thank all of the people who helped us,” said Giglio. “Professor Beaupré, the team at Crocs, the students in the class, and all other faculty, staff, and students who helped us accomplish this incredible achievement: Thank you.”

Megan Fields ’17 is a Nichols senior marketing major and psychology minor and interns for the College’s Office of Marketing and Communications.


Movement Will Always be More Powerful than Words

By: Jenna McAssey ‘19

Dance is an art and activity that has grown over the centuries and captivates audiences all over the world.

It is a hidden language of the soul and art of the eye. Many grow up seeing the dance studio as another world—an escape from reality and a place with no problems or worries. Some see the studio as a place to dance and tell a story with few words, while moving with emotion.

On Dec. 7, 2016, the Nichols College Dance Team performed its first winter showcase in Daniels Auditorium. The show included songs representing many genres, as well as dance styles of all types including tap, jazz, contemporary, and ballet.

The 10 women on the team have worked all semester to produce a show in which they were also able to incorporate giving back to our local community: To receive admission to the show, one canned food item had to be donated to help less-fortunate families during the holiday season. The dancers will donate all items received to the Webster-Dudley food share and bring smiles to many faces.

The Nichols Dance Team is a great example of showing the student body that, especially during the holiday season, it is important we take the time to give back to those in need. Many children and families are left without meals every day, and around the holidays it is even harder for them.

Please take time to see what you could donate and do to help someone in the local community around you.

Jenna McAssey is a Nichols College sophomore majoring in criminal justice and psychology. She interns for the Nichols Office of Marketing and Communications.

Produced by the Bison for the Nichols College Community