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Members of SOBAT volunteering at the QC Festival of Trees event.
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WIU-QC Business Club Focus is Western's Core Values

April 29, 2009

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MOLINE, IL – When Western Illinois University-Quad Cities associate professor of management Susan Stewart began the WIU-QC Society of Business and Technology (SOBAT) student organization, she brought her research interest in integrating core values into the work setting with her.

"I've done research on how to incorporate core organizational values into employee work life, so I brought the idea of developing activities that center around Western's four core values to the students. By doing so, we demonstrate and enact this organization's values," Stewart explained.

As a result of Stewart's suggestion, the group formed four committees – one for each of Western's four core values: social responsibility, educational opportunity, personal growth, and academic excellence – and each committee is dedicated to planning projects and events that focus on its particular value.

The social responsibility committee, chaired by Taylor Lutz, a junior management major from East Moline, organized club members to volunteer at the Festival of Trees.

"SOBAT provides students with the opportunity to make a difference in the community," Lutz said.

The educational opportunity committee, led by Julie Davis, a senior management major from Princeton, has organized a collection drive of canned good, paper products and nonperishable items for the River Bend Food Pantry.

The personal growth committee, chaired by Eric Skelton, a senior management major from Geneseo, and Emma Augustine, a junior marketing major from Davenport, IA, is developing a student coupon book to use at participating Quad Cities-area businesses, and the academic excellence committee, led by Kyle VanVoltenburg, a senior management major from East Moline, is designing the SOBAT website.

"SOBAT is a fun group of students from all areas of academic study willing to work together in the community and to learn together about business and technology opportunities," added SOBAT Treasurer Kathy Miller, a senior Board of Trustees/Bachelor of Arts major from Moline (IL).

Stewart credits the hard work of the student committees as well as the founding officers, President Valerie Paxton, a graduate business administration major from Kewanee (IL); Vice President Justin Landwehr, a graduate business administration major from Sheffield (IL); Secretary Nicole Stevens, a graduate business administration major from Davenport, IA, and Miller for the success of the group.

"We are using WIU's core values as the foundation for our activities and this reinforces their importance to the students, staff, faculty and community," Stewart said. "We have fostered the integration of WIU's mission and values into all of our lives, namely into this new club's membership."

SOBAT recently received Western's Most Improved Student Organization Award, while Stewart received the Outstanding Student Organization Adviser Award.

Posted By: Darcie Shinberger (
Office of University Communications & Marketing