Updates | July 21, 2011 | Comments Off
McPherson College has hired Dr. Kori Gregg as its first Executive Director of Entrepreneurship to oversee the college’s innovative entrepreneurship initiative.
“McPherson College is already way ahead of a lot of colleges that have been doing entrepreneurship education for a while,” Dr. Gregg said. “We have some great things going, and we will continue to build on them.”
In September 2010, McPherson College embarked on a new idea to incorporate entrepreneurship education across the curriculum, regardless of a student’s area of study. The concept, called Freedom to Jump, received a $1.2 million anonymous donation in April. That gift provided the funding for Dr. Gregg’s position, along with support for new program development and faculty training related to entrepreneurship.
Since 2004, Dr. Gregg has been the senior executive director of economic development and corporate services as well as special assistant to the president at Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kan. Her work both on and off campus has centered on entrepreneurial education.
In her time at Butler Community College, she established the Mid-America Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame – to honor outstanding entrepreneurs from around the region – and the Entrepreneurial Institute – a resource center for entrepreneurs at the college and within the community. She forged partnerships with Youth Entrepreneurs Kansas, helping give high school students the opportunity to receive college credit in entrepreneurship.
Heading up Butler’s strategic priority to “expand resources through entrepreneurial endeavors”, Dr. Gregg led the Butler campus in a shift to an entrepreneurial mindset. Initiatives included “My Butler Idea”, an online forum in which faculty, staff and students could put forward and discuss entrepreneurial ideas for the college.
McPherson College’s entrepreneurship initiative has included the Horizon Fund, which provides micro-grants of up to $500 to any McPherson College student with an entrepreneurial idea; and the Global Enterprise Challenge, in which students came up with sustainable ventures to help in Haiti. And this fall, students can minor in Transformative Entrepreneurship for the first time.
As Executive Director of Entrepreneurship, Dr. Gregg will be responsible for overseeing these initiatives and building upon that foundation to improve and expand the scope of the concept. She will help faculty, staff and students in their entrepreneurial ventures and curriculum development, as well as forging relationships with the community to provide opportunities for students in the wider world. Another aspect of her work will include developing opportunities for experiential and service learning.
“I think that the college’s focus on service is huge,” Dr. Gregg said. “The connection between service to others and entrepreneurship is important – when you put those two things together you can change the world.”
President Michael Schneider said that Dr. Gregg was just the kind of person that they were looking to fill the role of leading the college’s entrepreneurship initiative.
“Kori has the mindset and the passion that we need to take this entrepreneurship initiative to the next level,” Schneider said. “There’s no telling where we can go from here.”
McPherson College’s program is unique, Dr. Gregg said, because it defines entrepreneurship in the context of a liberal arts education – developing the kind of innovative, creative, critical thinkers that employers are now seeking.
“I think this entrepreneurship initiative is not only going to change the lives of the students, I think it’s going to change lives around the world,” she said. “It’s going to send out students who are totally equipped. They’ll be able to make a difference.”