YSU Nonprofit students take on consultant role at Mattress Factory Museum

Presentation Team
Presentation Team (left to right): Reid Pancoe, Rachel Jones, Jenna Roesch, & Tabitha Richmond

Students from the Center for Nonprofit Leadership at Youngstown State University, housed in the Williamson College of Business Administration, participated in a Regional Case Study Event at the Mattress Factory Museum in Pittsburgh, Pa.

A group of 11 students seeking the Nonprofit Leadership Minor and/or Certificate, with a variety of majors, participated in this consulting project. Students worked together to identify solutions to organizational challenges related to increasing attendance and revenue at a variety of museum events including: educational events (artist talks or workshops, Family and Community Days, teen events, and after-school programming); exhibition-specific events (art opening or closing receptions, artist performances, curator walk-throughs); fundraising (Urban Garden Party & Sunday Brunches); member-exclusive events; and museum rentals.

“We plan these Regional Case Study Events for our students studying Nonprofit Leadership because it gives them the opportunity to work as consultants, and collaborate with each other to provide solutions to real world challenges at a large, established nonprofit organization, outside the Mahoning Valley,” said Laura Dewberry, director, Center for Nonprofit Leadership.

The day consisted of a behind-the-scenes tour of the Mattress Factory, Q&A with key staff, brainstorming solutions to the challenge questions and a presentation to Mattress Factory staff members.

Participating in the project were: Adam De Raud, Youngstown, Ohio; Jennifer Horn, Petersburg, Ohio; Rachel Jones, Austintown, Ohio; Brooke Lissy, Windham, Ohio; Stephanie Marsico, Girard, Ohio; Reid Pancoe, Youngstown; Amanda Paynter, Youngstown; Angelica Phelps, Campbell, Ohio; Tara Reid, Youngstown; Tabitha Richmond, Austintown; and Jenna Roesch, Erie, Pa. The presentation team was comprised of Jones, Pancoe, Richmond and Roesch.

Karen Forney, Education Programs Manager at the Mattress Factory, said this about working with our students, “I enjoyed the experience and appreciated how interested the students were in our museum and the thoughtful questions they asked about our inner workings. It was great to see them thinking hard about real-world challenges in the nonprofit world.”

The Mattress Factory, founded in 1977 in the Central Northside neighborhood of Pittsburgh, is “a contemporary art museum and experimental lab featuring site-specific installations created by artists in residence from around the world.”

Nonprofit Leadership students at YSU have also participated in Regional Case Study Events at the following organizations: Akron Zoo (Akron), University Circle, Inc. (Cleveland), Pittsburgh Cultural Trust (Pittsburgh), Carnegie Science Center (Pittsburgh), Center for Science and Industry (Columbus), the Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland), Catholic Community Foundation (Cleveland) and the Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh).

For more information on these Regional Case Study Events or Youngstown State University’s Center for Nonprofit Leadership, contact Laura Dewberry at 330-941-1870 or LJDewberry@ysu.edu