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Posts Tagged ‘Elizabethtown College’

Crowdfunding is new at Elizabethtown College

Posted December 19th, 2013 by admin

Crowdfunding is new at Elizabethtown College

It is a brave new world and it is time to crawl into it. Crowdfunding is new, so new that my spell checker doesn’t recognize the word yet. Elizabethtown College Office of Sponsored Research and Programs has launched crowdfunding as an innovative means to support undergraduate research projects. This is a new program and the first application is targeted to support Recharging The Gambia, a project where undergraduate students from the departments of Engineering and Business are working together to help local Gambians to establish a business that will manufacture and sell cell phone solar chargers in The Gambia.

Dr. Rick Basom leads the innovation to bring crowdfunding to Elizabethtown College. At a recent Innovation Café event sponsored by Penn State Hershey’s Office of Technology Development, Rick was networking to learn about crowdfunding websites. After diligent research and evaluation, Rick selected a website that fits the goals of the program. It creates a webpage that is branded with the Elizabethtown College logo. That is an important feature because students will be using social media to promote funding their projects. The College brand is essential when you’re telling everyone you know to tell everyone they know to participate. While the initial projects that will employ crowdfunding are not for profit, there is a potential to apply it to future commercial endeavors at Elizabethtown College.

Crowdfunding can become a student driven program. Todays’ students embrace social media in their daily routines to communicate and network. Social media can be used to advertise their crowdfunded projects. Starting in the Spring 2014 term, some of the projects in the Summer SCARP program,, will be developing crowdfunding campaigns to provide the funds needed in their research projects. Down the road, a goal may be to make this part of the undergraduate research program as means for students to acquire 21st century skills in creating funding sources. It may also be means to create real world learning teams that include students in business, marketing, graphic arts and technologies. All of these disciplines are important in creating and monitoring a crowdfunding effort to attract contributors whether it be in “real world learning” or the real world!

What’s Happening at Elizabethtown College!

Posted November 12th, 2013 by admin

What’s happening at Elizabethtown College?

I travel among 15 Innovation Transfer Network member schools in Central PA learning what our faculty are excited about and write this blog to share the latest happenings at our schools. Elizabethtown College has programs and projects that they are proud to share. One is an undergraduate summer program called SCARP. I didn’t know that E-town College has a Peacemaker-in-Residence, did you? Dr. Sara Atwood is achieving national recognition for helping women advance in Engineering and Dr. Kurt DeGoede is building a collaborative with the University of The Gambia including both business and engineering students.

Let me start with undergraduate student summer research. I attended the presentations from the SCARP program in July. SCARP is an acronym for the Scholarship, Creative Arts and Research Projects. It is a non-credit experiential learning program for undergraduate students. Students work with faculty researchers and scholars gaining experience in a personalized mentoring environment. For participating in the program, students also receive a training stipend and room and board for the duration (from 3 to 10 weeks) of their projects. Twenty two students completed projects in Psychology, Math, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Computer Science and Social Work this summer. While some students are entering their senior year, one was a first year student. Enthusiasm was the underlying theme in all of the work. Want to learn more about SCARP? Follow this link

At Elizabethtown College, Jon Rudy is Peacemaker-in -Residence. As Jon says, “I have more than twenty five years of learning from my mistakes in more than 30 countries in Asia and Africa.” Jon is a faculty at the Center for Global Understanding and Peacemaking (CGUP) at Elizabethtown College, which was started in 2004. Jon has worked in places like Somaliland where they have enjoyed 10-12 years of stability in a peaceful separation from Somalia. For the past 12 years, Jon has been facilitating courses at the Mindanao Peace building Institute, MPI, in the Philippines. Being a middle child with a theological bent toward inner peace, Jon finds common ground in peoples seeking outer peace. Jon says, “The human heart is more capable than we think it is, and openheartedness is the starting point in the restorative processes of peace building”. He is seeking support from the US Institute of Peace for his work in Somaliland, where he returns this December. His schedule includes Laos in January and the Philippines in May, 2014. Meanwhile, back on campus, Jon teaches courses in the Peace and Conflict studies minor and promotes restorative practices on campus. Jon Rudy’s web pages may be accessed by clicking on these links and .

Helping women to advance in Engineering is one thing that Dr. Sara Atwood is passionate about. She was the national awardee for the Apprentice Educator Grant award from the Women In Engineering Division of the American Society for Engineering Education, 2011. Only one award is given each year. Dr. Atwood also advised an award winning woman undergraduate researcher which resulted in a publication in a top biomedical journal. The student researcher was able to travel to Puerto Rico and present at a well-recognized international conference, where she earned second place for the research. While Dr. Atwood’s formal training is in biomedical engineering, she has discovered a passion for applying scholarly inquiry to pedagogy, which directly enhances the student experience. Sara’s areas of interest include: issues of persistence for women engineering students and faculty, first year student pedagogy, retention, and motivation, K-12 programs and outreach, particularly those led by undergraduates, and creativity as a factor in the recruitment and retention of engineers. Dr. Atwood participates in OASIS as part of the STEM-UP grant funded program. She identifies with women in STEM and recalls being the only woman in her classes. A goal is to increase the percentage of women engineering students at Elizabethtown to 30%-40%, as this is considered a critical mass where women assimilate more easily.

Dr. Atwood recently has been named Principal Investigator for an NSF S-STEM award for $531,885 to fund a scholarship program with an engineering education research component titled: Engineering Practices with Impact Cohort (EPIC) Scholarship for High Achieving Women in Engineering at Elizabethtown College. This grant will provide tuition and support funding for four women students each year for 4 years. The Engineering Department at Elizabethtown wants to increase the number of women entering engineering and retain them by enhancing their experience. Dr. Atwood and Elizabethtown College are committed to making this happen. To learn more about this energized researcher and her scholarship program please click on these links to the following web pages

After spending a year as a visiting professor at the University of The Gambia (UTG) in 2010-11, Dr. Kurt DeGoede is working to build a student based collaborative between Elizabethtown College and the University of The Gambia. One aspect of this project is the design and assembly of low cost, ($10 US), solar chargers for cell phones. Cell phones are one of the most important advances to help lift people out of poverty and over 65% of Gambian households have one. Commercially available chargers sell for about $60 US in the Gambia, but few are able to afford one. Today, the team is assembling prototype phone charges for long term field testing in The Gambia.
Two new courses have been introduced to UTG in parallel with similar courses at E-town, Engineering Design and Solar Engineering. Dr. DeGoede enjoys learning with the students and the “Let’s figure this out together” approach. It extends to working side by side with the University of The Gambia faculty and students to find and develop solutions to problems together. Gambian students have independently applied their knowledge and confidence in the design and assembly of a solar charging system for a mosque, under the guidance of UTG faculty. They are also starting work on a project where women will assemble solar panels from damaged cells (a waste product of commercial manufacturing).
But the collaboration extends well beyond Engineering. A team of International Business and Political Science students are developing a business plan to assemble, distribute and sell the phone chargers in The Gambia. This business will most likely start as a Community Based Organization which is a not for profit recognized by the Gambian government. The sustainable business model reflects the Elizabethtown Motto “Educate for Service”. It works to move aid away from a charity model, with an economically sustainable solution that is self-propagating and fosters the development of the skills that empower local solutions. “We have achieved our goal whenever solutions develop organically, and while our involvement is culturally enriching for all participants it is not required to solve the problem.”
This link will take you to Dr. DeGoede’s web page:

Investors Tap into Faculty Expertise

Posted August 8th, 2011 by admin

ITN hosted its first session to introduce a select group of investors to faculty members working on interesting engineering projects ripe for commercialization. The networking event was not meant as a funding pitch, it was meant to put smart people in a room together and see what magic happens.

This was a great first cut at connecting area angel investors with the expertise that resides on local campuses. The idea behind it being that investors can learn to tap into this expertise for things like due dillegence with potential portfolio companies, and that valuable real-world exchanges can take place. In this session, faculty from network members Messiah College and Elizabethtown College presented new developments in small scale biofuels (view video), assistive technology (view video), and dielectric spectrometry (view video). Several follow-up meetings between camps have already taken place.

A few hints on making this mix work are 1) Invite investors who are open to developing relationships and engaging expertise over the long haul. Ones who get the long-term community benefits, not just a pure investment mindset. 2) Pick faculty open to a presentation review and critique. It will be edited and shortened. 3) If possible, have faculty bring along company execs who are using the product, or working closely in the development. They add a different perspective to the presentation, especially during Q&A. 4) Make it casual and offer easy networking at the end - which probably means food and beverages.

We’re scheduling the next meeting for the end of September, this time focused on IT and software development. It’s a work in progress, but we’re excited to see where it leads.

Meet the Media Lounge Guests

Posted October 12th, 2010 by admin

Adding to the excitement of the upcoming Seconds vs Semesters featured speaker, Mr. Jerry McGuire, is our line up of CEO’s, entrepreneurs and faculty who will be participating in the media lounge interviews on October 25, 2010.

It’s a high caliber networking opportunity - a chance to meet faculty who are involved in interesting company projects, students with an eye on innovation, and CEO’s who support community engagement with local college and university talent to move business forward.  

Take a peek at the business leaders joining ITN in the media lounge and get registered today!

Mr. Richard Dennis - President of Die-Tech Inc. in York Haven, Pa. Mr. Dennis is responsible for the vision, culture, and alignment of the company.

Mr. Larry Dittman- President of Elabyrinth Solutions, and serial entrepreneur. Mr. Dittman is involved in the development of a new organization focused on assisting and mentoring second stage entrepreneurs.

Ms Cathy von Birgelen- Director, eMarketing Learning Center. Ms von Birgelen has been tapped to lead this new program which celebrates its launch during the ITN event. The Center is part of the Ben Franklin Venture Investment Forum network of services.

Dr. Sairam Rudrabhatia- Penn State Harrisburg, Department of Environmental Engineering. Dr. Sairam, as he is known, is connected with the venture investment community, has licensed his technology to mulitple corporate partners, holds several patents, and has attracted significant grant dollars to his biodiesel and molecular pharming initiatives.

Mr. Kyle Ashe - International Business Major with a concentration in Marketing and a Minor in Spanish. Mr. Ashe is actively involved in the Student Senate, the Peer Review Board under the Dean, and has studied abroad in Ecuador. He is a Senior at Elizabethtown College.

Here’s One Way to Keep Good Ideas Brewing!

Posted September 29th, 2010 by admin

The arrival of Mr. Jerry McGuire to speak at Seconds vs. Semesters is just one of the ways ITN plans to keep good ideas brewing throughout the region! Before Mr. McGuire takes the stage to share his experience in corporate (as the former head of international marketing and licensing at Westinghouse) and his current leadership role at UNCG, you’ll have the opportunity to stimulate conversation at the coffee bar (or the soda bar for the non-coffee drinkers) and visit us at the media lounge.

Beginning at 5:30pm on October 25th, join us as we intermingle smart professionals with caffeine and do our part to percolate innovation and learn from one of North Carolina’s most progressive thought leaders. Both the coffee bar and our interactive media lounge (more on that in a coming blog) will be vibrant hubs of activity at our event, held at the Elizabethtown College KAV, inside the Brossman Commons.

If you haven’t claimed your seat at the event yet, get the details and REGISTER.

UNC-G Innovation Leader Speaks to the Power of Collaboration & How to Harness It!

Posted September 9th, 2010 by admin

Using descriptors like “academentia” as part of his spirited economic development presentations, Jerry McGuire dares to challenge traditional thinking in business and academia. Sitting at the eye of a thriving east coast mega-region, Mr. McGuire is experienced in helping colleges and universities create significant value, and bottom-line results, in a fast-paced business environment.

As the Associate Vice-Chancellor for Economic Development at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Mr. McGuire is slated to deliver an energetic and thought-provoking presentation, Seconds vs. Semesters, speaking to corporate CEO’s, faculty and students at Elizabethtown College on Monday, October 25, 2010.  The Innovation Transfer Network (ITN), South Central PA’s bridge between the private sector and a network of academic institutions, is pleased to host Mr. McGuire and provide a platform for him to share examples of what works and what doesn’t in kick-starting an economic transformation.

Over the coming weeks, ITN will release snippets outlining other cool interactive elements of the event which will take place at the KAV, at Elizabethtown College. The opportunity to host such a lively guest means ITN is planning a unique mix of media, networking and content meant to fuel an ongoing discussion! Visit this blog weekly to keep up and register for this event.

Campus Collaborations Grab the Spotlight

Posted July 28th, 2009 by jjh27

The effort to launch our local online community (September) for faculty and business seems to be arriving at the right time as the whole collaboration concept appears to be picking up steam in the national media. Maybe small business is realizing the ivory towers of research and the halls of academia aren’t so bad after all? Or maybe a new generation of faculty are realizing how valuable it is to their teaching, students, and personal growth to engage the corporate sector? Probably a little of both. Either way, the good news is the business sector is coming back around for another look at how to engage campus talent to accelerate their product development and spark innovation.  The more outgoing and entrepreneurial (not to mention smart) faculty seem to be getting their due.

On the media front, The New York Times’ Sunday Entrepreneurial Edge, highlighted an example of collaboration taking place in nanotech.  Quotes like, “The universities have been essential in this development process” and “Being able to use the core facilities of the university couldn’t help but accelerate our progress”  underscore the benefits of a group hug between small business and academia. It’s not without challenges in coordinating business objectives and deadlines with course work and existing faculty projects, however, it can be worth the effort.  

Here at ITN, we’ve seen a steady increase from both small and mid-sized businesses looking for assistance with market research, software and IT development, as well as the need for very specific product development expertise. The fact that our unique approach combines 13 colleges and universities together to act as a “front door” to access faculty, makes it easier for regional business owners to identify expertise.

In other media coverage, the Times published a recent article aptly named, The Tour d’ Admission, featuring high school counselors who arrived at Franklin & Marshall College and Elizabethtown College during what has become their annual summer bike tour.  Mediabistro, an online media outlet, experienced a flurry of activity on Twitter last week when they attracted comments from students and faculty on the use - or lack of - of social media across campuses.

In this economic crunch a great deal of homework is being done on how to impact the bottom line, attract affordable expertise, and reach out to campuses for a combination of both. The media, both social and traditional, is taking notes.

(Side note - We decided to launch this blog prior to the new ITN site launch because there is so much activity taking place. Once the site does launch, we’ll post the new url on this blog so you can bookmark the blog’s permanent page and stay in the loop with us.)