June 22, 2024

Students Accept Social Entrepreneurship Challenge

Social entrepreneurship
Dylan Hazelwood, left, and Dr. Davinder K. Anand of the Center for Engineering Concepts Development in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maryland join College of Southern Maryland students Pam Toye, Gail Perry, AnnaBelle Sanders, and Paige King along with CSM instructor Dr. Mary Beth Klinger at the Southern Maryland Social Entrepreneurship Challenge during the 2016 spring semester. The spring 2017 Social Entrepreneurship course will begin Jan. 25, 2017.

Students at the College of Southern Maryland went far beyond their classrooms and into the community during Dr. Mary Beth Klinger’s Principles of Management course last spring. The students took on the Southern Maryland Social Entrepreneurship Challenge, spending a semester forming teams to pinpoint the region’s problems and innovating their potential solutions.

“The teams competed and what resulted was a fantastic opportunity for students to experience real-world learning with a focus on being entrepreneurial and socially minded in developing creative solutions to solve experiential problems, all while integrating management functions and business principles,” Dr. Klinger said.

The same opportunity will be offered during the spring 2017 semester. The Social Entrepreneurship course will be offered through the CSM Entrepreneur and Innovation Institute and will be taught by Thomas Luginbill, director of the EII. Students who wish to apply for the Business and Technology Division’s 2017 BAD-2130 Social Entrepreneurship course can visit CSM’s website.

“The goal of the class is to train our students in collaborative teamwork, problem-solving, critical thinking and communication skills while addressing challenges at the intersection of business, the environment and society,” Mr. Luginbill said. “Through the course, students also will build marketable business skills by applying what they learn in the classroom with hands-on learning, all the while making a substantial difference in their community.”

The course, which begins Jan. 25, will provide CSM students a chance to again partner with local social impact organizations. The students will be placed on teams, work throughout the semester with an assigned project, present their work at the end of the semester in front of a panel of judges and compete for prize money that will be dedicated to the organization with which they were chosen to work.

A grant received through the Center for Engineering Concepts Development in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maryland made it possible for the previous Southern Maryland Social Entrepreneurship Challenge to be taken on by Dr. Klinger’s management class. The grant paid for 24 CSM students to spend a semester identifying needs, and in a methodical, entrepreneurial spirit, innovate toward solutions. The CECD will again partner in the course starting in January. Students accepted to participate will receive a full scholarship for tuition, fees and textbooks used in the course. The CECD has provided the scholarships to support participation in the course.

The end-of-semester spring projects were presented to a panel of judges where the winning team was awarded $1,500 and the second-place team was awarded $500, provided by the Neilom Foundation.

The winning team of AnnaBelle Sanders of Lexington Park, Gail Perry of Waldorf, Paige King of California and Pam Toye of Hollywood developed a “Life Planning Curriculum” project as a solution to positively impact the youth within St. Mary’s County. The curriculum, developed for students in Grades 8-12, focuses on four integrated components: social and emotional learning skills; individualized education and career exploration; financial planning; and development of a Life Plan for implementation following high school graduation. Piloted with the Great Mills High School football team to much success, this project shows promise for integration within the St. Mary’s County public school system for its ability to positively impact today’s youth and their future, Klinger said.

The second-place team of Rachel Dorsey of California, Erica Martin of Patuxent River, Melana Krivitsky of Chesapeake Beach, Erik Eaton of California and Lisa Dixson of Lusby chose “Planting Hope” as a solution to help solve hunger among children and the elderly. The team’s research noted one of every eight people is hungry in Southern Maryland. The team contacted individuals and businesses in the community who were unaware of the problem. Working with Brenda DiCarlo of the Southern Maryland Food Bank, the team found a plot of land where a garden could be planted and food harvested could supplement the diets of more than 100 people. Collaborating with CSM instructors to create service-learning projects, the team sees students in hospitality and environmental courses picking up care, and possibly expansion, of the garden well into the future. The team used the $250 seed money to purchase plants and supplies to get the garden started and donated money to the food bank.

All teams were commended for their work with several planning to continue working toward solutions for the problems that they identified.

The team of Atorria Moore, Jarett Loeffler, Katie Weber, Nathan Hurry and Zeidi Chleuh chose “Sparking a Change in Our Community – The Mission.”

The team of Alex Looman, Gilbert McCoy, Shubham Malik and Justin Thomas chose “Students Rising Above – Higher Heights Foundation.”

The team of Aidan Dollins, Mark Ledvinka, Sam Kuss, Cala Collins and Justin Brown chose “Save the Bay! (Oysters).”

Dr. Klinger, course instructor, said she is indebted to Dr. Davinder K. Anand and Dylan Hazelwood of the CECD at UMD. “We couldn’t have offered the challenge without their generous support,” she said.

To view photos from the 2016 Southern Maryland Social Entrepreneurship Challenge, visit CSM’s photo website.

For more about the College of Southern Maryland, visit its Leader member page.

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