Pearson Builds Stronger Connection with Nation's College Students

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Pearson's Student Advisory Board works directly with company executives to share feedback, perspectives.

Instead of a line where the students get reached at the end, the students are integral to what is actually going on in Pearson's day-to-day life.

More than 18 million students are attending colleges and universities across the U.S. and enrollment is expected to increase in the coming years, according to the federal government. With so many students working towards goals of professional success, it begs the question: What do today's students really want and need to succeed?

For Pearson, the answer lies in a unique strategy: working directly with students to gain their feedback and perspectives about what really works. Pearson's Student Advisory Board, now in its second year, is giving college students a voice to address the issues most important to them and their peers. Students provide guidance to company leaders about existing and future products and services they feel will help students succeed. Each student is paired with a Pearson executive, who provides mentoring and support.

"The Student Advisory Board is helping us to forge a better connection with our college student customers," said Will Ethridge, CEO of Pearson's North American education businesses. "The inaugural Student Advisory Board inspired all of us at Pearson with their valuable insight about the work that we do to impact student achievement, whether it's technology, content or future learning models.

"Everything we do at Pearson is focused on helping students be successful," Ethridge said. "And by working directly with students, we know that we're on the right track."

The 2008-09 Pearson Student Advisory Board is made up of 10 students representing a range of talents and backgrounds. Candidates were recruited through college and university presidents, deans of students, honors program directors and student leadership organizations. A complete list of Pearson Student Advisory Board members follows at the end of this release.

"Pearson is very devoted to student learning," said Lauren Wright, a senior biology major at Nazareth College of Rochester and a member of last year's Advisory Board. "Every editor, every sales representative, and every executive that I've met with really cares about what students are doing, how they are learning: 'What do students need? What do they want? How can Pearson model their products to best meet their goals of student achievement?'"

The 2008-09 Student Advisory Board is working on environmental issues and an image archiving initiative, which gives students the opportunity to contribute their photographs and artwork to be used in Pearson products. The image archive initiative is an outcome of last year's advisory board, along with the Pearson Student Activity Fund to support campus groups and activities. This year's Student Activity Fund is sponsoring activities that are environmentally friendly and focus on ways to improve the environment.

"Pearson wants to connect the publishing world not only with the professors, but with the students," said board member Alexis Fabrizio, a junior majoring in English and religion at the University of Florida. "Instead of a line where the students get reached at the end, the students are integral to what is actually going on in Pearson's day-to-day life."

"I feel that this is a really great way to make an impact on my peers across the nation," said Dianna He, a senior economics major at the University of Pennsylvania.

More information about the Pearson Student Advisory Board and the Pearson Student Activity Fund is available at or at the group's Facebook page at

The 2008-2009 Pearson Student Advisory Board members are:

  • Rachel Brickner, Pittsburgh, Penn., a senior at the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in English writing and literature
  • Alexis Fabrizio, Gainesville, Fla., a junior in the Honors College at the University of Florida, majoring in English and religion
  • Dustin Farivar, Boulder, Colo., a senior at the University of Colorado, majoring in political science and sociology
  • Chris Gast, Tempe, Ariz., a junior at Arizona State University, majoring in political science and communications
  • Dianna He, Philadelphia, Penn., a senior at the University of Pennsylvania, majoring in economics
  • Jason Hustedt, Lincoln, Neb., a junior at the University of Nebraska, majoring in biochemistry and forensic biology
  • Laura Morel, Miami, Fla., a sophomore in The Honors College at Miami Dade College, majoring in mass communications/journalism
  • Meghana Reddy, Los Angeles, Calif., a junior at the University of California, Los Angeles, majoring in electrical engineering and applied mathematics
  • Drew Rudebusch, Seattle, Wash., a senior at the University of Washington, majoring in business administration
  • Evan Skinner, Oklahoma City, Okla., a senior at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, majoring in nursing

About Pearson - Pearson (NYSE:PSO), the global leader in education and education technology, reaches and engages today's digital natives with effective and personalized learning, as well as dedicated professional development for their teachers. This commitment is demonstrated in the company's investment in innovative print and digital education materials for preK through college, student information systems and learning management systems, teacher professional development, career certification programs, and testing and assessment products that set the standard for the industry. The company's respected brands include Scott Foresman, Prentice Hall, Addison Wesley, Benjamin Cummings, PEMSolutions, Stanford 10, SuccessNet, MyLabs, PowerSchool, SuccessMaker, and many others. Pearson's comprehensive offerings help inform targeted instruction and intervention so that success is within reach of every student at every level of education. Pearson's commitment to education for all is supported by the global philanthropic initiatives of the Pearson Foundation. Pearson's other primary businesses include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group. For more information, go to

Susan Aspey
Susan.aspey @
(724) 222-0531 or (347) 421-2473


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