Wilmington University: Online Community College Partnerships
As an undergraduate senior thesis, this research study identified and ranked the community colleges in the United States to determine institutions with the greatest potential to partner with Wilmington University, a private non-profit university in Delaware. Using data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), these institutions were ranked based on a weighted average of the institution’s enrollment potential, program disciplinary alignment, size of online student population, and geographic region. An in-depth examination was conducted of the 10 highest-ranking institutions.
As a Public Administration Fellow at the Institute for Public Administration (IPA) within the University of Delaware, I contributed to a Mobility Management project for the Delaware Transit Corporation. Contributions included: designing outreach strategy for four transportation disadvantaged populations, identifying opportunities for promotion and community partners, and designing external engagement tools and materials.
Recruited and organized a team of eleven interns that provided 700+ hours in the planning and implementation of a conference surrounding topics related to social innovation with local communities in partnership with the Staunton Creative Community Fund and the City of Staunton. Following the role as Intern Coordinator, organized a series of community conversations, including the “Bach n’ Roll Roundtable” around local music and a Maker Camp that incorporated STEM and entrepreneurship education for middle school students.
Model presented at:
“Nurturing the Entrepreneurial Spirit through Creative Culture”, Virginia Economic Developers Association (September 2015).
“Innovate LIVE!: A City-University Partnership” McDonough Leadership Conference at Marietta College (April 2016).
As the Director of Capital at the Staunton Creative Community Fund, I coordinating the local investing network, Invest Local. I supported the program by planning quarterly meet-and-greets for local investors and entrepreneurs, leading a self-directed IRA training, and conducting research on local crowdfunding and investing models.
As part of the 2018 Open Data Challenge, hosted by Open Data Delaware, a working prototype of MobiliDE was pitched as a user-center Paratransit Portal to make Delaware more accessible. The team was made of Randy McNeil, Eli Turkel, and Betsey Suchanic. MobiliDE created an easy to use reservation system and used open data to showcase alternatives transit and mobility options for those who qualify for paratransit. Individual contributions included the front end design, specifically the branding and wireframe mock-up.
MobiliDE received an Ideation award from the Open Data Challenge. Read more about the Open Data Challenge in Technically Delaware.
Business Education Curriculum Development
As the Director of Capital at the Staunton Creative Community Fund, the role included designing and updating the 8-Week Business Planning curriculum. Responsibilities included: developing cash flow and income statement worksheets, target market exercises, and contributing to a sample business plan exemplar. The 8-Week course was also designed in a modular format where instruction type and delivery could vary.
Additional curricula design and teaching:
- Pricing for Art Businesses
- Pricing for Food-Based Businesses
- Starting a Small Business
- Business Plan Basics
- Getting Your Business Funded
- Storytelling Workshop
- Funding Options and the Business Incubator (taught at Blue Ridge Community College)
Created as a theoretical social enterprise model, ReLAUNCH Ventures is a for-profit, employment-focused, social enterprise owned by the ReLAUNCH Center. All profits from ReLAUNCH Ventures are invested in the re-entry mission of the ReLAUNCH Center. ReLAUNCH Ventures consists of three businesses, the Culinary Center, the Agricultural Center, and the Trades and Manufacturing Center. Each of these three businesses employ ReLAUNCH Center clients and provide entrepreneurship education and business incubation to interested clients. Research business models included food hub models, incubator kitchen models, small scale urban farming models, and makerspace models.
Make it Count
The Make it Count campaign is the first student-led initiative of the Biden Institute for Domestic Policy at the University of Delaware. The Make it Count campaign seeks to raise student level of civic engagement within students at the University of Delaware, with a particular focus on voter registration and voter engagement at the state and local level. A partnership with Democracy Works and their TurboVote service allowed students to register with Turbovote and receive notifications for upcoming elections.
As the Public Relations Committee Leader, I designed all visual collateral and led a group of five students in launching a communication campaign to introduce Make it Count to the University of Delaware community. Activities included the creation of an overarching brand, social media content and strategy, print material design, and event promotion. Outcomes for the first three months included 1,000+ turbovote registrations.
As the Director of Capital at the Staunton Creative Community Fund, I managed the Virginia Individual Development Accounts (VIDA) program. This financial stability partnership with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, under the federal Assets for Independence program, provides a match-savings program for low-income individuals. This program provided financial literacy training and business development, home-ownership, and education asset-specific training. and matched savings with grant funding at an 8-to-1 rate. In my role, I provided financial literacy training, business development training, community outreach, and designed a home-ownership match-savings employee benefit program.