The Millikin University Center for Entrepreneurship received the Global Award for “Exceptional Activities in Entrepreneurship Across Disciplines” at the 2012 Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers (GCEC) International Conference held Oct. 5 at Georgetown University.
The GCEC Award for “Exceptional Activities in Entrepreneurship Across Disciplines” featured the most nominations of any GCEC award with 10, including Millikin University. Nominees were selected on the basis of dedication to creating, advancing, and enabling entrepreneurship education opportunities to broad or multiple audiences across campus. Opportunities include academic programs, partnerships, collaborations, research, and outreach.
The GCEC judge’s panel remarked, “Millikin’s program takes curriculum development from a cross-campus perspective that is integrative and blended seriously. Its focus was liberal arts and it was borrowing business topics to structure the cross-campus activity.”
Previous recipients of the GCEC award include Wichita State University, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Georgia Tech University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Wake Forest University.
“This award speaks highly of the collaborative environment that we have at Millikin University,” remarked Sharon Alpi, Director of the Millikin University Center for Entrepreneurship. “It also speaks to the innovation and creativity of the faculty who have developed courses and laboratories of practice for students in various disciplines. It validates our commitment to creating an environment that supports students who want to create their own ventures.”
Millikin’s Center for Entrepreneurship was established in 1998 with a $25,000 grant from The Coleman Foundation. The Center for Entrepreneurship is a “living laboratory” that promotes the value of entrepreneurship to students, fosters faculty entrepreneurship development, and assists emerging enterprises.
“In the last six years, our staff has really worked hard in creating purposeful course content,” remarked Alpi. “We absolutely believe in the practice of entrepreneurship which is the reason why we have five student-run ventures and two business incubators where students are performing and competing as early and often as they can in order to build confidence to succeed.”
Millikin’s student-run ventures include Blue Connection, Pipe Dreams Studio Theatre, First Step Records, Carriage House Press, and Blue Satellite.
“We are committed to helping our students understand the economy and how they can find opportunities to develop their talents and be self-sustainable,” remarked Alpi. “I am always amazed by the creativity and talent of the Millikin faculty, and within their own disciplines they want to help students understand the fundamental concepts of opportunity recognition. This award is a culmination of moving forward and building the program.”
The GCEC was established in 1997 for the purpose of becoming the key junction for university-based entrepreneurship centers across the U.S. to collaborate, communicate, and jointly advance excellence in entrepreneurship through the unique role and position of the centers in the academic and business communities. The GCEC stands as the premier leadership organization addressing the emerging topics of importance to the nation’s university-based centers for entrepreneurship.
“To win is a tribute to Millikin's program,” remarked Barry Pearson, Millikin Vice President for Academic Affairs. “But to win in the most competitive category as one of the smallest schools to ever win is to set our Entrepreneurship program aside as one of the premier programs in the United States.”