Since early September, students from the Institute for Advanced Media’s Project Management Skills for Life Seminar have been planning “Helping Heroes”, an event that promotes the health and well-being of members of the United States Armed Forces members, veterans and their families.
Taking place on November 11th– Veteran’s Day – from 11 AM – 2 PM, “Helping Heroes” is a free event that focuses on helping veterans and their families receive information on how to lead a balanced life physically, emotionally, and nutritionally.
Students from the Project Management Skills for Life seminar, who are also members of the U.S. Armed Forces, created the event to bring attention to the needs of their peers and offer a fun, positive, and family-friendly day that will include free yoga classes, Reiki massage sessions, knowledgeable speakers, free food samples, and a food truck with fruit smoothies and Hawaiian pulled pork sandwiches available for purchase.
“Helping Heroes” has been the main focus of the IAM Project Management Skills for Life Seminar for the past few weeks. Each Thursday night from 6 to 8 PM, students gather in a classroom at the CPBN Learning Lab while enjoying refreshments as they meticulously take notes and discuss progress on their project.
The volunteer instructors are Ann Marie Burke and Kevin Riley. Anne Marie Burke is a PMP Application Development Manager, Corporate IT from The Hartford, and Kevin Riley is Senior Manager, IT Portfolio Lead from Stanley Black & Decker.
They lead the students through the assigned readings and review chapter tests. Prior to group discussions, students analyze in-depth the various elements of project management – from delegating resources in a budget to effectively communicating with team members to the art of time management.
“I think a lot of these veterans already do a lot of project management on their own, so we’re just giving them the opportunity to sit for the certification exam so that they may have that on their resume,” remarked Burke, who started co-teaching the seminar this fall for the first time. “But I think all of them have the competency in them and so it’s just a matter of teaching them the vocabulary and processes. It’ll help them get jobs – which is ultimately our goal.”
One former student remarked on how the course has helped her do exactly that. “The IAM project management class gave me the correct terminology for planning and executing my projects and assisted me with better communication with civilian contractors,” said Jeannie Daigneau. “I know I have a great foundation the military has provided me but this course closed the gap between civilian and military understanding of project management to give me the confidence to apply for my dream job.”
In addition to gaining critical skills in project management, students enrolled in this course prepare to take exams for one of two Project Management Institute credentials – the Certified Associate Project Management (CAPM) or Project Management Professional (PMP).
These credentials help recipients to stand out in the project management industry, allowing them to seek out influential management job opportunities within their communities. Two IAM Project Management Skills for Life students have received CAPM credential, and three have passed the PMP exam.
After Burke and Riley conclude the last of their PowerPoint slides, they turn control of the class over to the students. The group discusses what needs to be planned and arranged for “Helping Heroes”. In a roundtable of desks, group leader Dave DiPietro mediates a debate over the merits of hiring a food truck for the day or allocating the resources elsewhere. After the discussion over subsides, and food trucks are ultimately approved, group members move on to voting on poster designs for the event.
The posters were created just hours before – in the same classroom – by students from the Journalism & Media Academy (JMA) as part of their Special Assignments Digital Arts class. The group chose a poster created by Arielle Beaudry, a senior at JMA.
This collaboration is one of the many ways CPBN Education incorporates real- world assignments into their educational community. By day the Learning Lab is the satellite campus for Hartford’s Journalism & Media Academy and at night, it is home to the Institute for Advanced Media.
The Institute for Advanced Media also offers the Veterans Vocational Training Program, an initiative focused on providing veterans with advanced training from industry experts teaching 21st-Century media skills. The program provides hands-on career training to veterans as well as their spouses and caregivers, helping them to transfer skills they’ve developed while serving in a the military to their careers in the civilian world.
The Project Management course is offered for free and is taught entirely by volunteers, and reaches up to 30 veterans, spouses, and caregivers a year. In addition to providing media education and workforce development, the IAM’s VVTP provides life coaching and personal support that addresses the whole person, and helps students navigate and connect with state agencies and partners that can help ease their transition.
The Veterans Vocational Training Program is supported in part by the Newman’s Own Foundation, The Stanley D. and Hinda N. Fisher Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, The Hartford, State Farm, Lincoln Financial Foundation, Farmington Bank Community Foundation, Bank of America, and the People’s United Community Foundation.
For more information about “Helping Heroes” at CPBN, please visit:
If you are interested in learning more about the Veterans Vocational Training Program, please visit:
Questions? Contact Donna Sodipo, Senior Vice President of Education at:
To learn more about the Institute for Advanced Media, please contact:
IAM Program Administrator