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UBCO Students Propose Healthy Changes for Okanagan Communities

It is not the type of project business students would be expected to take on.

Business students at UBC Okanagan (UBCO) will be putting together a marketing project of a different kind, thanks to a professor who recognizes the importance of community engagement.

UBCO Assistant Professor Eric Li’s third year Introduction to Marketing course includes a “healthy communities” component, aimed to get students to examine the overall livability and health of Okanagan communities.

<who> Photo Credit: UBC Okanagan </who> UBC Okanagan students get together after their formal presentation about proposed plans to make Penticton a healthier community.

Li and his students set out to work with community organizations and municipalities around the region, looking for social factors that can affect health. The students then create plans to repair the issue, hoping their ideas will make for a healthier communities.

“This year we have 30 student teams working with 12 partner organizations to develop plans to promote food security, sense of community, social enterprise, active transportation, healthy eating, and a smoke-free workplace,” said Li. “Our students work closely with the partner organizations through the term. The purpose of the healthy living project is to expose management students to challenges to promote health in our region.”

One of the specific projects students worked on looked at the development of a BMX park in Penticton. The students marketing plans addressed concerns over the land currently being Agricultural Land Reserve, and presented their ideas as a great way to get kids outside and active.

While the project is meant as an exercise for the third-year students, some of the data prepared by the students will be presented to community groups in Penticton, in an effort to bring the project forward.

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