Photo courtesy of: The Patton College of EducationHuman and Consumer Sciences Lecturer Lisa Williams was named Entrepreneurial Faculty Fellow for the Center for Entrepreneurship and the Alden Library CoLab
Human and Consumer Sciences Lecturer Lisa Williams was named Entrepreneurial Faculty Fellow for the Center for Entrepreneurship and the Alden Library CoLab. The fellowship will last three years.
“My role as a Faculty Fellow is to promote the CoLab and events that occur there, promote the Entrepreneurship Certificate, and make sure that advisors and faculty in The Patton College know about these opportunities for their students,” said Williams, Retail Merchandising and Fashion Product Development instructor. “I will also be incorporating more entrepreneurial information into my classes and inviting representatives from the Center for Entrepreneurship to present information to my students.”
The Center for Entrepreneurship seeks to contribute to Ohio University’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by enhancing entrepreneurial education, university-based entrepreneurial activity, and regionally focused venture development in Southeast Ohio. Students from any college, discipline, or major, are eligible to earn a Certificate in Entrepreneurship by taking a combination of courses offered by the Center through The Patton College, The College of Business, The Russ College, and The Voinovich School, among other participating colleges.
The Center and its partners host a wide variety of programs and events encouraging entrepreneurial development on campus and beyond. Last fall, for example, Williams collaborated with College of Business Lecturer Paul Benedict to host an event for students interested in fashion entrepreneurship. Since then, Williams has worked with students interested in creating their own fashion lines, either as undergraduates or after graduation.
“These students come from a wide variety of majors, but all have the dream of creating their own product line,” she said. “I’ve made sure these students are connected to the CoLab so that they can get advice on entering the entrepreneurial world and to apply for financial-assistance opportunities offered through the CoLab.”
CoLab’s mission is to enable and empower students to live and grow through creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. It was founded in 2015 by alumni Alex Kneier and Lori Bentz, who had just completed their training as Stanford University Innovation Fellows (UIF). The UIF program trains students to bring people together regionally, nationally, and globally through innovation and entrepreneurship. CoLab aims to do exactly that on OHIO’s campus.
“I’m working with representatives at the CoLab to identify potential sewing machines to purchase for a makerspace,” said Williams. “My hope is that this becomes a space where students can creatively explore ideas and have the necessary tools for that exploration.”
Williams has incorporated entrepreneurial themes––and guest speakers––in her CONS 2500 Families as Consumers in Global Communities and RFPD 3830 Product Development, Evaluation, and Distribution courses, among others. She has also kept students apprised of the Bobcat Seed Fund, which provides grants up to $3,000 to support promising ideas and ventures proposed by OHIO student entrepreneurs.
“I’m honored to have been asked to serve in this capacity and am excited to see where it goes from here,” said Williams. “The connections that have been made through this experience have proven invaluable to me and the students.”