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ServiceMaster Endows Anthropology Fellowship with University of Memphis College of Arts & Sciences

Jamie Smith, CIO of ServiceMaster, and leaders from his Customer Experience team, present the first of two anthropology scholarship grants to Tom Nenon, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Memphis. (Photo: Business Wire) Multimedia Gallery URL


ServiceMaster isn’t just looking for master-level students—it’s seeking ServiceMaster-level.

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Today executives from ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc. (SERV), a leading provider of residential and commercial services, visited the University of Memphis to endow the ServiceMaster Design and Innovation Ethnography Fellowship, a multi-year grant totaling $42,000. The funds will benefit one student per school year at the College of Arts & Sciences’ Department of Anthropology. Ethnography is the study of human customs and cultures, a field ServiceMaster believes is imperative to the service industry.

“With more than 50 million customer interactions each year, we know how important it is to understand how human behavior affects our ability to connect with customers,” said Jamie Smith, ServiceMaster’s senior vice president and chief information officer. “From choosing a service provider to interacting with a website or mobile app, studying anthropology helps us understand why consumers make certain decisions. We’re excited to partner with the University of Memphis on this project and, potentially, integrate scientific, behavior-based solutions into service improvements that will benefit our customers.”

The fellowship, which will award one master-level student $21,000 per school year, includes tuition plus a stipend. Recipients will also be working closely with Kevin Newton, ServiceMaster’s on-staff anthropologist and a University of Memphis alumnus, deepening the relationship between the study and its practical application in the service industry.

"Businesses are beginning to embrace ethnography to better understand and serve their clients,” said Tom Nenon, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. “It's an emerging field nationwide and very exciting that businesses are turning to the University of Memphis as partners in investing in this new field. We're very lucky to have companies like ServiceMaster who support the community and the students at the University of Memphis."

The fellowship will begin in the 2017-18 school year. For more information on the fellowship and the department of anthropology at the University of Memphis, visit www.memphis.edu/anthropology.

About ServiceMaster

ServiceMaster (NYSE: SERV) solves the homeowner's dilemma. Every day, we visit more than 75,000 homes and businesses through our extensive service network of expert professionals. Technology powers our trusted experts to engage with customers so they can order, buy and receive services when, where and how they want them. Our well-recognized brands include American Home Shield (home warranties), AmeriSpec (home inspections), Furniture Medic (furniture repair), Merry Maids (residential cleaning), ServiceMaster Clean (janitorial and residential floor cleaning), ServiceMaster Restore (disaster restoration) and Terminix (termite and pest control). Like, follow or visit us at facebook.com/ServiceMasterlinkedin.com/ServiceMastertwitter.com/ServiceMaster, or servicemaster.com.

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