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The 9th Annual Red Paperclip Challenge

The Business Ethics course at Dickinson State University, led by Dr. Debora Dragseth, is undertaking its ninth annual Red Paperclip Challenge. This inventive project, according to Dragseth, is designed to impart communication skills through a series of trades.

The task given to students is straightforward: start with a red paperclip and trade up to an item of greater size or value, repeating this at least six times. The Red Paperclip Challenge is based on a children's game called “Bigger and Better.”

Dr. Dragseth underscores the educational importance of this challenge: "The Red Paperclip Challenge is more than just a class activity; it represents a journey in communication, negotiation, and incremental progress towards the larger objective of helping a local charity.

Students who have previously participated in the challenge speak highly of its impact on their personal and professional development. One former student recalled, "Engaging in the Red Paperclip project was a life-changing experience, teaching me the importance of persistence, negotiation skills, and creativity."

This year's edition of the challenge also includes a charitable component. The items obtained through student trades will be sold in an online auction, with all proceeds supporting Furever Full, a local charity aiding families in need of pet food. Dawn Kadrmas, founder of Furever Full, expressed her appreciation: "We're excited to be a part of this year's Red Paperclip Challenge. The contributions will significantly bolster our efforts to keep pets with their families, even in times of financial difficulty."

The auction is scheduled for Tuesday, April 16, from 12:00 PM to 5:30 PM at the DSU Heritage Foundation Alumni House. Grab bags, an auction favorite will also be available to purchase onsite. For those interested in donating items or funds, please contact Dr. Debora Dragseth at

Through such innovative initiatives, Dickinson State University not only enhances educational experiences but also emphasizes the value of community engagement and ethical practices in business.

Stay informed by following the Dickinson State Red Paper Clip page on Facebook. An online auction link will also be available soon.

By: Dr. Debora Dragseth Baker Boy Professor of Leadership | School of Business and Entrepreneurship

Dickinson State University

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