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BLUFFTON STUDENTS HEAR MEDA MESSAGE
Eleven Bluffton University students heard the call for a Christian business response to global poverty at the annual Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) conference this month in Lancaster, Pa.
Technology, including social media, was also among the topics that resonated with the Bluffton students, who were among roughly 600 attendees, including about 50 students from Mennonite campuses and many owners of small and medium-sized businesses.
Dr. George Lehman, the Howard Raid professor of business at Bluffton, said the conference addressed two major issues. "One was helping participants understand MEDAs program of economic development around the world, and the other was for providing resources for the participants in managing their business in a way that is consistent with Christian values," said Lehman, who led the Bluffton contingent along with Dr. Jonathan Andreas, an assistant professor of economics.
Jake Moran, a Bluffton junior from Rushsylvania, Ohio, said the trip was meaningful to him. "The MEDA conference made me more confident about what I am doing with my education," Moran noted. "I really want to use my knowledge of business to help the less fortunate around the world."
Jonathan Cunningham, meanwhile, said he enjoyed learning about how technology is impacting the business world. "Some of my favorite seminars had to deal with the expansion of branchless banking and how social media and millennials (people born from 1980-2000) are influencing the workplace," said Cunningham, a senior from Negley, Ohio.
Diedra Kandel, a senior from Dalton, Ohio, was challenged by the same "millennials" seminar, saying she realized that ability to use technology in business depends on individuals strengths and weaknesses with technology, not their ages. "When it comes to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., the older generation is slowly adapting, and the younger generation can help," she said.
MEDAs primary goal is inventing and collaborating on business solutions to end global poverty. The organization, says its website, "has been designing and implementing innovative and effective market-driven economic development programs that improve the livelihoods of millions of people living in poverty around the world."
Ariel Shuey, public relations office, 11/22/11