SFU Beedie lecturer Kamal Masri brings community engagement into the classroom

  • By Team #C2UExpo
  • 01 Sep, 2016

SFU Beedie School of Business lecturer Kamal Masri has never been afraid to take chances.

According to Masri, his first foray into using real world projects in order to engage his students was an experiment – one that he was unsure as to whether it would be a success.

Yet several years later, Masri’s dedication to both teaching and to community has benefited not only his students, but also cancer research.

Masri is the founder of the 25toLife project , which for the past three years has tasked students in his Project Management class with running a series of diverse, innovative events to raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Society.

Working as both one large group and within smaller teams, the students have raised over $80,000 in just three years through events such as a sponsored climb up the 35 flights of stairs at Vancouver’s Harbour Center, sponsored obstacle courses, corporate speed networking, and pub nights.

For his part, Masri was awarded the Canadian Cancer Society’s (CCS) Community Champion Award , in recognition of his remarkable fundraising efforts for the Society.

As a firm believer in the merits of using experiential learning as a teaching tool, Masri believes that the program is an ideal way to engage his students.

“I wanted to do something in my class that had more meaning and was challenging for the students,” he says.

“When I first started with this project I had no idea what I was getting myself or the students into – and I told them that – but it has worked out better than I could have hoped for. They are not only challenged, but they make a difference in people’s lives.”

Masri inspires such dedication to the project from his students that when calculating the final donation at the end of the 2015 class presentations, they became despondent in realizing that they had missed their target by just over $400.

Determined not to fail to hit their goal by such a small amount, the students reached into their pockets and began passing ten and twenty dollar bills to the front of the class – an unprompted gesture that ultimately enabled them to write a cheque to the CCS for $30,043.

“It was truly humbling to be a part of such a dedicated team of students intent on raising funds for cancer research to support individuals affected by the disease,” says Beedie School of Business undergraduate Jordan Binotto. For more information visit the Beedie Newsroom .

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