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Otterbein Public Relations Class Works in the Classroom to Beat Malaria on the Race Course

March 30, 2015

WESTERVILLE, OHIO — Students in Otterbein University's Public Relations for Non-Profit Organizations course are putting their skills to the test in planning the Skeeter Stomp 5K Run and 1 Mile Walk on April 26 to help eradicate malaria.

Nearly half of the students’ grade will depend on how well their organizational and communication skills attract runners to sign up for the Skeeter Stomp. This community event was completely foreign to them just two months ago when they walked into class on their first day of spring semester.

“I believe strongly in Otterbein's initiative regarding experiential learning whereby students learn by experience,” Public Relations for Non-Profit Organizations professor Dan Steinberg said. “My assigning a portion of each student's grade based on the number of Skeeter Stomp registrants is a professional-world extension of evaluation.”

Otterbein, Church of the Master and Church of the Messiah United Methodist Churches will host the Skeeter Stomp at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 26, at the Otterbein University Cross Country Course, 350 N. Cleveland Ave.

Held just one day after World Malaria Day, the race will benefit Imagine No Malaria, an initiative dedicated to the prevention and treatment of malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria continues to kill one person in Sub-Saharan Africa every 60 seconds even though it is 100 percent preventable.

“Not only is [the class’s] involvement bringing more awareness to the Imagine No Malaria cause, but it's also great real-world experience,” Skeeter Stomp steering committee leader Megan Ford ‘10 said.

This class, ranging from freshman to seniors, is working collaboratively to not only get an A in their class but to help stomp out a deadly disease.

Adam Piccin, president of Otterbein University’s Chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America, is taking the course and said having his grade depend on the outcome of the event is stressful, but it also has its benefits.

"It provides us as students a lot of autonomy in gaining real world experience and insight into planning and executing an event from start to finish," Piccin said. “This assignment definitely motivates our class to utilize our professional skills, and it is great preparation for upcoming internships and jobs that a textbook cannot compete with.”

This unique, off-road race will take place on Otterbein’s cross country course. To register or learn more about the Skeeter Stomp, visit runsignup.com/Race/OH/Westerville/imaginenomalaria. Donations to Imagine No Malaria are also welcome through this link. 100 percent of the donations collected through this event will support Imagine No Malaria.

You can also keep up with Skeeter Stomp news on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the keyword “SkeeterStomp”.

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