Two Olivet Nazarene University students and one faculty member were invited to Laura Lubben’s fourth-grade class at Manteno Elementary School on Tuesday, September 12.
Lubben invited her student’s parents to visit the classroom for thirty minutes to describe how they use math in their careers. Kerns responded as a parent of one of Lubben’s fourth-graders.
Liz Kerns, Assistant Professor of Communication, said, “Sharing how I use math in my role as a college professor can be explained in one easy word: grading. I asked Ms. Lubben if I could share with the class how public relations and strategic communication professionals use math in their careers and have a few student leaders join me to share how they have used math in PR campaigns they have run in class.”
Two students joined Kerns at Manteno Elementary School. Kate Cox is a senior Public Relations and Strategic Communication major and Agency Director of Inspired Strategies Agency, Olivet’s student-run, strategic communication agency. Jessie Kilbride is a junior Public Relations and Strategic Communication major, Junior Account Executive for Inspired Strategies Agency, and Club President of Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Olivet Chapter.
“Today, we were lucky to have Mrs. Kerns and two college students from Olivet, come in and speak to my class in regard to public relations and how they use math and numbers in their field,” Lubben said. “They each explained what public relations entails and brainstormed with one of their client projects on budgets and statics. The students were able to work together, thinking about how they would use numbers to create a public relations campaign.”
During an exercise to demonstrate PR, the fourth-grade class collectively came up for ways to increase awareness and attendance of Manteno families to The Exploration Station… A Children’s Museum in Bourbonnais, Ill. After thinking about traditional advertising methods such as billboard, newspaper ad, or television commercial, Kerns asked the young students if they could name one local business they remember seeing publish an ad.
“The students struggled to identify local companies using traditional promotional methods,” Kerns said. “Once we identified the target audience as families in Manteno, I asked them where they go during the evening or weekends with their families. We were able to identify local sporting leagues, the library, Dairy Queen, and one student’s grandma’s house as common locations on the weekends. The students began brainstorming immediately how they could creatively promote the museum at these venues.”
The admissions office generously provided an Olivet pen for each of the fourth-grade students. Lubben stated, “The first thing a student said was, ‘Look the pen is a little billboard’.”
Kerns said, “We might have a surge of spectacular Manteno graduates join our Tiger family in the Fall 2026! I look forward to having any of them in class after I watched their arms go up with excitement in order to share their ideas.”