A team of students taking the MG 305: Nonprofit Organization Management course fall semester won first place in the Service Learning category at the 2017 Fall Research Expo for their project on Greater Birmingham Alliance to Stop Pollution (GASP), a nonprofit initiative to test and advocate for cleaner air for Birmingham.

Students Jonathan Warner, Joe Carter, Jake Massingill and Tim Holder partnered with GASP to work on the AirKeeper Project, an upcoming program that collects pollution data using air quality monitors. As volunteers, the team worked with GASP to enable the Birmingham community to be advocates for environmental change through comprehensive air quality data analysis.

Led by Collat adjunct professor Annetta Dolowitz, the MG 305 course provides students an opportunity to work as a team to solve crises and offer solutions to real-life problems that Birmingham nonprofits face. Student teams are each given a nonprofit to audit and study throughout the semester. At the end, each team meets with the nonprofit to present their solutions in person and get feedback.

The AirKeeper Project will be further developed in Dolowitz’s public health course in the spring and will be applied by the students who take part in the Thailand study abroad trip this summer.

“I’m beyond thrilled for my students who won. Knowing that what they’re doing is impactful and has real benefit to the community means the world to me,” said Dolowitz.

This win marks Dolowitz’s fourth team to be recognized for their service-learning efforts out of six semesters participating in the student expo.