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BHSU students participate in experiential learning project with Rapid City Regional Airport


Black Hills State University marketing students recently participated in an experiential learning project with the Rapid City Regional Airport (RCRA) to help improve customer satisfaction.  Hayli Johnson (left), business administration major from McIntosh and Heather Theis (right), business administration major from Rapid City, were presented with first place certificates by Cameron Humphres, executive director of the Rapid City Regional Airport for their first place work on the project. 

Black Hills State University marketing students recently participated in an en experiential learning project with the Rapid City Regional Airport (RCRA).


Dr. Wei Song’s marketing class was divided into nine teams, where each team studied five national or international airports which were well rated in customer service.  The goal of the project was to research how highly-rated airports improved their quality of service and enhanced airport customer satisfaction. Students used their research to make suggestions to RCRA on how to possibly improve customer experiences at the airport. 


The project gave the marketing students the opportunity to be engaged in learning while blending theory and coursework with practical, applied experience.  When the assignment was given to the class, Song expressed the value of experiential learning opportunities by quoting Confucius in her assignment: “Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” 


Cameron Humphres, executive director of RCRA, visited the classroom to express his appreciation to the class for the research they completed.  He also spoke of the importance of customer service at the airport and how he hoped their research would help customer satisfaction at RCRA. 


The project was also made into a competition where certificates of recognition were presented to the first, second, and third place winners.  The criterion of the work was judged on the relevance of the research conducted and the quality of the suggestions made for RCRA. The first place team included Hayli Johnson, business administration major from McIntosh, and Heather Theis, business administration major from Rapid City.   The second place team included Brandi Holmes, business administration major from Cody, Wyo., and Katherine Malin, business administration major from Sheridan, Wyo. There was a tie for third place including the teams of Markus Heinrich, business administration major from Whitewood, and Todd Tysdal business administration major from Sturgis; and Kimberly Powell, corporate communication major from Buffalo, and Martie Haines, business administration major from Faith. 


Rapid City Regional Airport will continue its customer satisfaction project research this summer, working with Ginny Nelson-Wood of Rapid City to conduct focus groups involving actual RCRA travelers.

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