This fall, Assistant Professor of Business Gehan Dhameeth recognized a unique teaching opportunity when he met Dale Mangan, a local resident hoping to revive her inherited King Ferry farmland.
"Ever since I graduated from my doctoral education," says Professor Dhameeth, "I felt that there was something I had to do to give back to society." Following this drive, he is a certified business mentor through SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives), a non-profit organization designed to help small business owners develop their enterprises. Professor Dhameeth realized that he could use this connection to benefit both Wells and the community: his business students could develop a lasting business plan as case study for their course work—while providing a tangible community service.
He called on two students in the business program, Ryan Hood '15 (Ohio) and Cassandra Smyth '15 (New York), who walked their new client through the analysis of her prospective business and helped clarify the objectives she was trying to establish. Both are pursuing individualized majors in business and entrepreneurship; Ryan is adding a sport management minor and Cassandra has minors in management and criminal justice. Their process included an analysis of prospective market, market size, potential competitors and suppliers and possible product pricing. They assisted Dale through the process of starting and registering her business; receiving gain and tax components; completing a cost analysis and calculating the break-even point, selling prices and margins based upon cost structure.
The students stayed with the project through the actual cultivating and seeding for crops. The students, Professor Dhameeth and his family, and the Mangan family all pitched in to sow the garlic seeds and establish a garlic patch that will be ready for harvest by this summer. In the meantime, Ryan and Casandra will continue to work through sales management strategies with Dale while the garlic cultivates.
Working across the curriculum, on a project that aligns with their values, and involving themselves in the surrounding community has been a "growth" experience for the students and our neighbors in King Ferry have a brand-new, promising organic garlic farm.