Research Article & Applied Project Prospectus

I’ve narrowed down my Research Project to focus on the Key Differences between Profit and Non Profit Organizations.  I look forward to interviewing  Catherine Crooker,  Cathy is a part-time Sandwich resident, with a lifetime connection.  Her mom was one of the founders of the Over the Hill Hikers, which is where my Applied Project will come in to play.  Cathy lives full-time in Oregon, and is the founder of Crooker Consulting  a company which helps connect donors to Non Profits.  In addition to talking to Cathy, I will make use of library resources, the internet, and talking with people who work (or have worked) within the Non Profit fields.

The Research Project and Applied Project tie together my 26 year career in the military to my post retirement life of volunteerism.  My activities in the community currently include the Sandwich Conservation Commission, the Sandwich Fair, our Community Church, and of course, the Over the Hill Hikers, where I now fill the shoes of Cathy’s late mother, Lib Bates, the original Den Mother and organizer.  Both the Research Project and Applied Project show the practical application of my major, Organizational Administration, and bring together multiple disciplines including Business, Sociology, Administration, and Communication.

A great book about the history of this hiking club that’s been going since 1979.

For my Applied Project, I plan to serve as a key organizer for the Over the Hill Hikers.  I will do this by maintaining a 100+ distribution list for all levels of hikers.  I will communicate planning meetings to organize weekly hikes for the season, and establish a leader for each hike.  I will send out weekly updates for these hikes to include information on the difficulty of the hike, the estimated duration (both time and mileage), the established carpool and meeting times, and assist the leader in tracking RSVP’s which are used to coordinate further updates such as weather, etc.  I will also serve as the website manager, updating the Over the Hill Hikers blog (check out their site at: http://overthehillhikers.blogspot.com/)  with photos, schedules and other key information.

A few of the Over the Hill Hikers taking in the view at the top. Photo taken by fellow hiker, Susan Allen.

This role as key organizer, aka “Den Mother” is a role I have naturally fell into since moving to Sandwich.  Be it fate, coincidence, or my leadership that  makes it so, I’m happy to fill the shoes of Lib Bates the best that I can while bringing together so many people in Sandwich and the surrounding areas.  It may be fate, as my husband and I bought the home in which Lib lived, but what ever the circumstances that made it so, I am so happy to offer my Organizational skills, along with my passion for hiking and a joy of volunteering to the Over the Hill Hikers.

Brainstorming my Research Project & Applied Project

We’ve been in class for a few weeks now, and there’s a lot of discussion on our upcoming Research Project, and our Applied Project.  These two projects, which are the Capstone for Interdisciplinary Studies, are to be connected to our field of study, mine being “Organizational Administration”.

In class we’ve had an opportunity to brainstorm with our peers and individually.  I’ve collected a few thoughts that I think I could bite in too, that are relevant in today’s world,  and are connected to my program.   I’m also thinking multiple disciplines are represented in each idea from Humanities, Sociology, Psychology, Ethics, Business, and Economics, which collectively highlights the benefits of thinking and working in a multiple discipline and Interdisciplinary world.    The ideas that I am considering for my Research Project include:

photo taken at the Women’s Rally in Concord, NH on January 20, 2018
  • Key Differences between Profit and Non-Profit Organizations,
  • Sexual Harassment, has it increased, or has just the coverage and awareness?
  • Racial Equality Is the movement “Black lives Matter” making a difference?
  • DACA policies & Immigration policies.  Has the current Administration’s policies and travel bans impacted the workforce?
  • Unemployment rates is it an accurate representation of our economy?

As you can imagine my head is going a million miles a minute thinking of where the above topics could take me.  Can I gather enough information using good sources and present my topic thoroughly.   Who will I interview?  I think I’m leaning towards one choice in-particular, but I do think each topic is one that is impacting many lives, our workforce and our society as a whole.  Each topic has great merit and would be a worthy research article.  What do you think?  Does one grab you more than the others?

I continue my brainstorming to the Applied Project.  I don’t know why, but this seems a bit easier to me.  Maybe it’s the hands on part of it, the “doing” versus the writing about it that I found appealing.  In any case, my ideas for an Applied Project, relevant to my Organizational Administration field are:

  • My work with the Over the Hill Hikers.  I organize a season worth of hikes in all abilities ranging from easy to difficult.  I coordinate leaders for the weekly hikes, establish carpool times and locations, follow the weather, lead the hike / or others, and share the experience (and photos) via the Over the Hill Hikers Blogspot.  I also am the coordinator for two annual gatherings, and organize participation in the Sandwich Fair Parade.  In addition, I maintain the checkbook of funds that have been collected for sweatshirts and prize money.  I recently coordinated a meeting with NHPR’s Virginia Prescott to interview the group which has been established since 1977!

    Over the Hill Hikers gathering to march in the Sandwich Fair Parade
  • Trail Stewardship and maintenance along the Bearcamp River Trail, a 17 mile trail that passes through both White Mountain National Forest and private land owners property from the Summit of Mt. Israel to the border of Tamworth.   Trail stewardship includes organizing a trail clean up day, of pruning, dealing with trees that have blown down or fallen, and re-blazing the trail marks.  Public outreach is coordinated with permission of the landowners.
  • Increasing participation in the Sandwich Fair Flower Exhibit.  I would contact past participants to generate interest early, and possibly arrange a flower demonstration by one of the local gardeners to share tips on arrangements and displays during the summer months.

Again, I could see myself doing each of these for my Applied Project.  I’m passionate about each already.   Volunteerism is my second career, and what I will be doing in this chapter of my life.  I may have taken the long route to completing my degree, but it’s a rewarding path none the less.   I’m so grateful I’ve had the opportunity to go back to school to apply a long military career’s worth of experience and a collection of college along the way to round out my Interdisciplinary Studies major.  It’s a collection of disciplines, and a indirect route, but I’m almost there.

Flower exhibit at the Sandwich Fair