Asee peer logo

Service Learning as a Philanthropy Effort of a Student Organization

Download Paper |


2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Learning Through Service

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1367.1 - 26.1367.9



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Malini Natarajarathinam Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Dr. Malini Natarajarathinam is an Associate professor with Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution. She teaches classes on strategic relationships for industrial distribution, distribution information systems and new directions in Industrial Distribution. She is also the founding faculty and advisor for the Society of Women in Industrial Distribution (SWID). She works on many service learning projects with her students where they work with many local community agencies.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Service learning as a philanthropy effort of a student organizationStudents graduating with a degree in Industrial Distribution (ID) from the College ofEngineering get jobs in professional industrial sales or in supply chain management(SCM). About 20% of the student population is female. Though the graduates are wellsought out by the industry, the professional sales career is not a typical choice for afemale student. The networking, travel, pay structure are very unique to a sales career andat the outset, sound very daunting to many female students. The female students in IDneed support and education on how they can balance work and life, interact withsuccessful practitioners and develop confidence in making successful careers. The otherstudent organizations and women organizations on campus do not cater to this specificneed. Hence, the Society of Women in Industrial Distribution (SWID) was created inFebruary 2013 to focus on personal and professional development of women majoring inID. One of the most successful initiatives of SWID is the mentoring program. Throughthe mentoring program, undergraduate students are paired with current and formerexecutive Masters students to provide one-on-one coaching. When SWID wanted toexpand its philanthropy arm, they decided to work on consulting projects for local non-profit, government or other community agencies. These projects will be focused onbusiness process improvement and optimization. SWID members work in small groupsunder the supervision of the faculty advisor. This initiative engages the female studentsbetter with their field of study. This also inculcates the idea of giving back to the localcommunity while they are already in school. This paper discusses the challenges insetting up an initiative such as this. The action plan used to carry out this initiative and tomake sure it is beneficial both to the community agency and the student will also bepresented.

Natarajarathinam, M. (2015, June), Service Learning as a Philanthropy Effort of a Student Organization Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24704

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015