The project kept gaining momentum in Allred’s spring 2017 Experiential Marketing course with the efforts of Krannert students Katie Gao and Zhirui Guo. While continuing to coordinate with Brown, they built on the work completed by the previous team to finish a 4P (product, promotion, place and price) analysis for each of four different business models. Their ideas ranged from a small, independent bakery to one that would supply national supermarkets with specialized bakery products.

“The only word to describe Katie and Zhirui’s work is ‘exemplary,’” Brown says. “They took our direction and ideas, then applied research and critical thinking to come up with solid business insights. They told me ‘no’ on three of the bakery ideas, but their plan to supply specialized bakery products to a national market is going to be impactful.”

Fulton IndianaThe city also benefited from a Purdue Honors College course taught by Ilana Stonebraker, an assistant professor of library science who was recently named a 2017 “Mover and Shaker” by Library Journal.

She acts as the liaison to the School of Management through the Roland G. Parrish Library of Management and Economics. In addition to her Honors College course, Making Greater Lafayette Greater, Stonebraker teaches information strategy at the Krannert School and is affiliated with the Jane Brock-Wilson Center for Women in Management.

Krannert MBA student Krisli Vasili served as Stonebraker’s graduate assistant for the honors course, which includes the Purdue Women Lifting Communities initiative among its key components.

With support from Brown, Vasili and former Women in Management director Joy Dietz, Stonebraker organized a March “listening event” in Fulton that brought her students together with community members to hear their ideas about improving the town.

“The goal of the event was to understand Fulton’s strengths, community spirit and the challenges it faces,” Stonebraker says. “Ultimately, we wanted to gauge how Purdue could be a resource to promote economic and community development in Fulton.”

Brown says, “I was excited by her students’ contribution to our larger goal, especially their focus on engaging more women. I have seen in my life that the health, leadership and stability of women is essential to a community — and that the lack of it is a symptom of much greater problems.”

Brown is confident in his belief that the project will succeed and hopes Krannert and the University can remain engaged and involved as the project moves forward.

“I can’t wait for next semester,” he says. “Ultimately, I would love for the signs on the edge of town to read, ‘Welcome to Fulton, Indiana. A living laboratory for Purdue University.’ That would be a dream come true.”

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