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MC Names Entrepreneurship Fellow To Coordinate, Promote New Direction

posted Feb 21, 2011 in ACADEMICS

The concept of entrepreneurship has given McPherson College a renewed focus, and now a new staff position will focus on entrepreneurship.

McPherson College has hired Dr. Betsy Gatewood of Wake Forest University as its first Entrepreneurship Fellow, starting on March 1, 2011.

Dr. Gatewood is one of the foremost experts on entrepreneurship in post-secondary education, as the Director of the Wake Forest University National Science Foundation Partners for Innovation Program and Co-director of the Center for Enterprise Research and Education.

Dr. Gatewood said she was excited to work with McPherson College students, faculty and administration to enhance the college’s liberal arts education with an entrepreneurial mindset.

“Today’s students are interested in making a real difference in the world,” Dr. Gatewood said. “They are internationally focused and technology-savvy. We want to equip them with entrepreneurial skills for tackling the complex problems they will face at home and abroad.”


Updated March 8, 2011
Starting in the fall semester of 2010, McPherson College began an initiative to start weaving the concept of entrepreneurship throughout the liberal arts curriculum and student life. Aspects of the program so far have included the Horizon Fund, which has awarded micro-grants of up to $500 to 30 great student ideas; and the Global Enterprise Challenge, during Global Entrepreneurship Week in November. In 10 days, six teams of five students each at McPherson College came up with a plan for a self-sustaining social venture in Haiti. The college is sending one team to travel to Haiti to make their idea a reality.

As Entrepreneurship Fellow, Dr. Gatewood will assist the faculty in building upon these programs and give strategic direction to weave entrepreneurial education throughout the student experience – making it a way of life and thinking. The idea is to give students the “Freedom to Jump” – to explore their ideas, to learn through doing and to make a difference in the world.

Specific responsibilities of the Entrepreneurship Fellow include working with Provost Dr. Kent Eaton on curriculum, coordinating faculty development, leading networking and fundraising for entrepreneurship, and supporting student recruiting.

“Dr. Gatewood is key to the success of entrepreneurship in education at McPherson College,” said President Michael Schneider. “Bringing her knowledge to campus will help create an incredible student experience.”

Dr. Gatewood has spent more than three decades promoting entrepreneurship at colleges and universities, including Director of the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Indiana University and Director of the Office of Entrepreneurship and Liberal Arts at Wake Forest University.

Dr. Gatewood also helped found and direct a new Center for Business and Economic Studies at the University of Georgia – where she received her PhD in strategy and an MBA in finance– and administered a small-business assistance network serving 32 counties in Southeast Texas. She was one of the founders of the Diana Project – a multi-institutional research project designed to identify the factors important to the start-up and growth of women-owned businesses.

Recognitions and awards have followed Dr. Gatewood throughout her career. “Entrepreneur” Magazine named Dr. Gatewood one of the top ten best entrepreneurship center directors in the United States, and the US Small Business Administration named her the “Texas Women in Business Advocate of the Year.” In 2007, she and four research partners received the FSF-NUTEK Award, a prestigious international award to recognize outstanding entrepreneurship and small business research. She has served on the National Advisory Board for Entrepreneurship Education of the Kauffman Foundation. In 2010, the United State Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship named Wake Forest – under Dr. Gatewood’s leadership – the “National Model Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Program.”

Perhaps most importantly, Dr. Gatewood brings her substantial network of contacts throughout education, businesses and non-profits as she works to enhance the entrepreneurial spirit at the college.

“Dr. Gatewood helped advise us as we were starting down the entrepreneurship road,” said Dr. Kent Eaton. “We’re excited to welcome her as part of the McPherson College community.”

Ken Yohn, associate professor of history, said it was during one of those early advisory meetings with Dr. Gatewood that the idea of entrepreneurship “clicked”, as any activity that adds value to society – artistic, economic, philanthropic.

“That’s where the real meat and bones came for this,” he said. “Before it was neat, but now I view it as essential.”


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