Earlier this year in spring, undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) created a  project prototypes and marketing materials that the Re.Use.Full team has started using to strengthen their work in Kansas City. Using their writing skills learned from Dr. Antonio Byrd’s technical communication course, students created a redesign for the Re.Use.Full website, wrote a successful grant proposal, and created a marketing plan for the summer as a model for year-round promotion.

The University of Missouri System has a strong commitment to community engagement and outreach throughout the entire state for the betterment of all people. As the only urban public research university on the western side of Missouri, UMKC has been an important resource to support projects that benefit the residents of the Kansas City Metro Area. That includes helping students learn real-world skills through collaborations with community organizations, so UMKC students partnering with Re.Use.Full for real-world experiences and additional help for the team made sense. 

One team of graduate and undergraduate students tested how people navigated the Re.Use.Full website. Based on interviews and further research, they created an awesome redesign that emphasized reorganizing the layout and bringing in more color contrast. The donation feature would allow donors to enter the location and learn how many miles a charity partner was from them. The usability team noticed Re.Use.Full could shift its focus from just being Tinder for donors and charity partners to also being a resource for sustainability education.

Another graduate student worked closely with founder Leslie Scott to write a letter of inquiry to three local organizations that offered grants. From that experience, the student created a great resource guide and templates for writing future grants. This graduate student’s effort paid off tremendously! Re.Use.Full received a small grant from the MARC Solid Waste Management District Small Project Grant Program that will support our second Un-Dumpster Day, on Saturday, October 29!

Finally, if you’ve been following us for a while, you’ll notice our blogs have a different feel and voice. That’s thanks to a graduate student in creative writing. Using her professional work in marketing and blogging, the student created a guide for SEO blogging, a calendar for publishing blogs, and even a few drafts that we’ve been publishing throughout the summer. As we build up our team of volunteers, her advice will be useful for future Re.Use.Full bloggers.

If you’re inspired by the work UMKC students have done for Re.Use.Full, we’re always looking for volunteers with marketing skills, writing skills, and technical skills! Join us for our weekly Hack Nights as part of Code for KC or email leslie@reusefull.org to learn more about how you can help with our social media or outreach efforts. 

And if you’re a college student looking to apply your knowledge for real-world problems, you don’t have to wait until Dr. Byrd’s class is available this coming spring: Reach out now!