Learning Ally's Inland Empire Studio in Southern California is enjoying a boost of brainpower, energy, and commitment that volunteer graduate students provide. The students from the Drucker School have formed a collaboration that benefits our members and enriches their own lives through hands-on audiobook production experience.
View The Drucker Experience Volume 17 on Vimeo.
This project was ignited by RFB&D-Southern California board member and national board member Steve Siegel, a 1989 graduate of the Drucker School at Claremont Graduate University. Steve, who is actively involved as a Drucker alumnus, gave a talk about RFB&D to students at the graduate school. He subsequently arranged a tour of RFB&D’s Inland Empire studio with Maureen Ahrens, Production Director of the studio located in Upland, California, just a few blocks from the Claremont campus. The Drucker School then launched a community service partnership with RFB&D.
The elite Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management
at CGU has a strong belief in service and community. The School's purpose statement is: “We make a difference in the lives of those with whom we learn and the institutions we serve.” World-renowned management consultant Peter F. Drucker
, after whom the school is named, authored 39 books before his passing in 2005. His books have been translated into more than 30 languages.
The Drucker School and RFB&D became perfect partners. As explained by Melinda Moers Harriman, Director of Student Life at Drucker, “RFB&D's mission is to bring 'reading to life' through the recording of audiobooks to assist individuals with print disabilities. We have the privilege of being able to record college and graduate level textbooks. We're helping others achieve what you and I have already more easily been able to do!”
Along with graduate student Ekpeju Ed E-Nunu, Melinda challenged Drucker alumni and present students to join in and volunteer to directly help students with disabilities, by recording audio textbooks at the Inland Empire studio.
Ekpeju, in his capacity as Community Services Coordinator for the Drucker School of Management, became the liaison between the school and RFB&D. But his role quickly changed when he also became one of RFB&D’s regular volunteers
. “I came out one Wednesday for training and fell in love with it, and I’ve been doing it ever since. It's such a rewarding experience to know that you're contributing to somebody who's struggling with their academics."
Ekpeju had the honor of recording The Drucker Lectures
, and has since also recorded science textbooks, history books, and others. Like many of RFB&D’s volunteers, he finds that recording the books becomes a mini self-taught course every week. “It’s like you’re learning different classes and different courses on your own while taking courses at CGU…so it’s been fun.” Ekpeju has now finished his course work at CGU and is preparing his thesis, and continues to volunteer weekly at the Inland Empire studio.
A dozen Drucker School graduates have signed up to devote at least 20 hours of volunteer time over the course of a few months. One hopes that they become like Ekpeju, who has made RFB&D part of his regular, weekly activity, and whose passion serves as a role model for volunteers.
The Drucker School documented its relationship with RFB&D in their own compelling videomagazine, posted at the top of this blog. –Diane Kelber