Messersmith webinar

University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business Instructor Amber Messersmith shared information about the student grant-making program she coordinates during WIN’s first webinar May 21.

More than 20 WIN members joined the webinar via Zoom. A video of the program is available to WIN members in the video on this page.

Messersmith teaches a management course called Leading People and Projects (Management 411), which utilizes funding from philanthropist and WIN member Rhonda Seacrest and the Learning by Giving Foundation. During the semester, the class of around 50 students learns about grant-making and local nonprofit groups following a letter of inquiry and site visit program similar to WIN’s.

Messersmith, who holds a Ph.D. in management, said the students learn about the needs that nonprofit organizations address in the community, as well as the privilege the students enjoy. Even though they have varied backgrounds and economic situations, Messersmith said simply by being in the class as students, they are in a position of privilege. The class also incorporates a three-hour service project and in some semesters a fundraising project, showing students they can promote positive changes in their communities and empower other people. 

Messersmith said that while every group of students is memorable for her, this year’s experience was unique because of the need to move classes and site visits to the Zoom format.

She has taught the class since 2015. It was added to the UNL offerings by now-retired faculty member Colleen Jones, Ph.D., who is a WIN member.

To learn more about the students’ 2020 grants to Food Fort and the Belmont Community Center, check out the class blog page.

WIN is looking at other options to present webinars of interest to members. Send your suggestions to