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CAS Graduate Study Success Stories

A New Focus

Grimes moved from a career at a high-end interior design magazing to the non-profit sector

When I began the MCM program in 1998, I had over 10 years experience in marketing communications/public relations and was working as the Director of Marketing for a high-end interior design magazine. Although I knew I wanted to pursue something in the non-profit world, I was unsure what the next step in my professional life would be.

My MCM classes provided learning experiences that helped me further explore options, test skills and focus on what interested me. One of my classes was an independent study where I worked with one of Simmons' community partners, Timilty Middle School. I wrote a communications plan for its "Promising Pals" pen pal program. When it came time to do my Applied Learning Project (ALP), I decided I wanted to pursue community service/community partnerships further. My independent study advisor, Dr. Marlene Fine, Director of the MCM program, encouraged me to look further into "service learning" which was a new concept to me.

Around this time, Simmons founded The Scott/Ross Center for Community Service. The Center collaborates with students, staff, faculty, and community agencies to create and manage service experiences that benefit the community while contributing to the education of Simmons College students. The directors of The Center helped me generate ideas for my project and my ALP advisor helped me focus my study of community partners and service learning, challenging me to determine how my ALP would help me accomplish my goals. My ALP was titled "This Is Service Learning - What Community Partners Need to Know about Service Learning and How This Relates to Simmons College."

Research for my ALP led to many good networking opportunities, which in turn resulted in consulting opportunities. My advisor suggested that I submit my ALP to the Eastern Communication Association and I was asked to present it at the annual ECA conference in New York City. My ALP received recognition as Top Paper in the Applied Communications category.

The work I did in the MCM program helped me obtain my current position as Director of Graduate Service Programs at The Scott/Ross Center for Community Service where I have the opportunity to work with graduate students, faculty and staff at Simmons. The contacts and friends I made and continue to make through MCM are important to me and are a wonderful source of support and expertise.