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Foundation honors Faculty Entrepreneurship

Coleman FoundationThe Coleman Foundation has named Stetson University as one of 19 colleges and universities across the United States as a participant in its Faculty Entrepreneurship Fellows Program. The Program creates awareness and builds support for entrepreneurial education in interdisciplinary departments across the campuses of participating institutions. A one-year grant of $20,000 was presented to Gary Oliphant, Ph.D., associate professor and program coordinator of the Prince Entrepreneurship Program in the School of Business Administration. The funds will support entrepreneurial and self-employment education as the School of Music and the College of Arts and Sciences collaborate with the School of Business Administration.

Oliphant will serve as Project Director for Stetson’s program and four of his colleagues will serve as Fellows: Eric Kurlander, Ph.D., professor of history; Daniel Plante, Ph.D., associate professor of computer science; Patrece Robinson, adjunct professor of music; and Nathan Wolek. Ph.D., associate professor of digital arts and music technology. The four Fellows will work closely with Oliphant during the fall semester in creating an entrepreneurship course or significantly modifying an existing one that infuses self-employment concepts, mentorship opportunities, experiential activities and entrepreneurship-specific learning objectives into their curriculum. The courses will be offered in the spring and/or fall of 2015. An important anticipated outcome from this interdisciplinary program is that more students will be exposed to entrepreneurial tools and concepts that will better enable them to follow their passion.

Of the program Oliphant noted, “The Coleman Fellows Program will enable the Prince Entrepreneurship Program to provide the focus and building blocks of establishing cross-disciplinary work between the Schools of Business and Music and the College of Arts and Sciences. This focus closely follows Stetson University’s Strategic Plan of interdisciplinary constellations of academic excellence. Stetson’s constellations represent interdisciplinary strengths and expertise to be focused, built and executed across disciplinary, methodological and social boundaries, thereby promoting collaboration across all disciplines.” (Pictured, left to right: Dan Plante, computer science; graduate assistant Brent Pafford; Nathan Wolek, digital arts and music technology; Patrece Robinson, Gary Oliphant, program coordinator of Prince Entrepreneurship Program; and Eric Kurlander, history.)

In launching the program at Stetson, Oliphant, Kurlander, Robinson, Plante and Wolek joined over 110 college and university educators in Lisle, Ill., for the third annual Fellows Summit on Aug. 15-16. Summit attendees consisted of more than 60 Fellows new to the program and almost 30 who had previously received a fellowship. Additionally, Project Directors from each institution (normally the leading entrepreneurship scholar on their campus) and assisting co-directors rounded out the community of practice. The event was led by Joseph Roberts, Program Director of the Coleman Fellows Program with assistance by the staff of the Coleman Foundation. To prepare Fellows for the academic year, workshops were conducted by project directors from the program on topics such as Opportunity Recognition, Developing Feasibility Plans and Arts Entrepreneurship. Small group roundtable discussions addressed topics such as Entrepreneurship Finance, Law and Marketing. Veteran Fellows led discussions on how to incorporate applied and experiential learning methods and shared best practices for cross-disciplinary entrepreneurship teaching.

The Coleman Foundation is a private, independent grant-making foundation established in Illinois in 1951. The Foundation supports educational institutions offering entrepreneurship education, organizations providing cancer treatment, education and support, and agencies providing services for individuals with developmental disabilities. In the area of entrepreneurship, the Foundation has supported awareness and promotion of self-employment through entrepreneurship education programsthat help create a new generation of business owners.

Founded in 1883, Stetson University in Central Florida is an independent university that provides a transforming education in the liberal arts tradition. Stetson stresses academic excellence and community-engaged learning, and consistently earns high national rankings. In 1982, Stetson was awarded a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honorary society. The College of Arts & Sciences, School of Business Administration and School of Music are located at the historic campus in DeLand. The College of Law is in Gulfport/St. Petersburg. The university also has two satellite centers: the Tampa Law Center and the Stetson University Center at Celebration near Orlando. More information: University Marketing, 386-822-8920. Stay Connected with Stetson on social media.