Teknovation.biz: UT Starting Interdisciplinary Entrepreneurship Minor for Undergraduates

There’s another building block that has been added to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Knoxville/Oak Ridge region.

Starting this fall, undergraduate students at the University of Tennessee can earn a minor in entrepreneurship regardless of the college in which they are enrolled.

The interdisciplinary opportunity comes as the result of strong collaboration among six colleges with each contributing courses to the mix of required classes and electives.

“When we first started this journey, we asked each college to bring what you have to the table,” said Lynn Youngs, Executive Director of the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Haslam College of Business.

Youngs stressed that, while the Anderson Center took the lead in coordinating the activities, the program that resulted would not have been possible without commitment and cooperation across the university. He first mentioned the idea in a teknovation.biz article in August 2013. Final approval came February 2 from the Faculty Senate.

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PART 6: Richardson describes Girl Scouts project as “particularly spectacular”

[From Teknovation.biz]

By Tom Ballard, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Initiatives, Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C.

For the University of Tennessee’s “P&G” duo, the spring MBA student project for the Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians, Inc. worked just the way it was designed.

“This was particularly spectacular in what we try to achieve,” Pat Richardson said in praising all of the participants.

“Booth (Kammann) did the best at being an active participant in the students’ learning,” he said of the President and Chief Executive Officer of the non-profit client.

“Kevin (Frazier) really dealt well with the client and students,” Richardson added in describing the local businessman turned volunteer teacher/mentor for the first time. “He was totally engaged.”

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PART 5: Kammann says tension key to creativity and innovation

[From Teknovation.biz}

By Tom Ballard, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Initiatives, Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C.

“You don’t have true creativity and innovation without tension,” Booth Kammann says in describing a pivotal day for the University of Tennessee (UT) MBA project team that was working with the Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians, Inc. earlier this year.

It was the trial run when the team presented its draft set of recommendations to Kammann before the students formally gave it to the Council’s Board of Directors.

“This was the tension point in the project,” the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Council recalled. She describes herself as a leader who likes to challenge thinking.

“If everyone agrees, you are not getting anywhere,” Kammann believes. “Tension creates breakthroughs.”

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PART 4: Kendra Wills gained so much personally from the project

[From Teknovation.biz]

By Tom Ballard, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Initiatives, Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C.

“There was so much I personally gained,” Kendra Wills said of her experience leading a team of MBA students from the University of Tennessee (UT) that worked during Spring Semester on a project for the Girl Scouts of the Council of the Southern Appalachians.

Describing it as a “consulting like experience,” the soon-to-graduate MBA student added that she did not expect to be selected for the leadership role.

“We had a great team,” Wills says. “We got along really well.”

The other members of her group were Mona Ahlhauser, Jessie Chou, Rachel McGill, and David Parham.

Their task was to help the Girl Scouts Council of the Southern Appalachians develop a plan to increase its number of adult volunteers.

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PART 3: Frazier describes the project as “a life-giving experience”

[From Teknovation.biz]

By Tom Ballard, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Initiatives, Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C.

“It was really a life-giving experience for me,” Kevin Frazier said in describing his work as a volunteer teacher and mentor for a team of MBA students from the University of Tennessee (UT) who worked during Spring Semester on a project for the Girl Scouts Council of the Southern Appalachians.

The owner of Frazier’s Carpet One in Knoxville says he comes to teaching naturally. He’s the father of three daughters, which is clearly a teaching and mentoring role, and he has been a long-time Sunday School teacher.

“I love to teach; it’s the closest to a hobby I have,” Frazier says, noting, “My wife’s father was Otis Stephens,” the long-time and well-respected UT faculty member.

The UT business graduate says he met Pat Richardson and Glenn Swift, the duo behind the MBA team initiative, last fall during a networking event and was asked a little bit later to accept the mentor/teaching role.

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PART 2: Booth Kammann outlines the Girl Scouts’ project need

[From Teknovation.biz]

By Tom Ballard, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Initiatives, Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C.

“We saw there were projects or solutions we needed to make that we could not do in our incremental process,” Booth Kammann told us in describing the impetus that led the organization that serves young women in 46 counties to engage with the University of Tennessee’s (UT) MBA student team.

The President and Chief Executive Officer of the Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians, Inc. has been in her position for about five years. Early in that period, three separate groups – Chattanooga, Knoxville and Northeast Tennessee – joined together to form the current organization that serves nearly one-half of Tennessee’s 95 counties.

“We are at our core a leadership development organization,” Kammann says. The national organization was established 102 years ago, and the Knoxville-based affiliate was chartered in 1926.

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PART 1: UT MBA students engage in non-profit projects each spring

[From Teknovation.biz]

By Tom Ballard, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Initiatives, Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C.

Earlier this year, we published a two-part series on Pat Richardson and Glenn Swift, two Instructors in the MBA program at the University of Tennessee (UT), and their efforts to promote critical thinking as colleagues in the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

The duo, commonly referred to as “P&G,” described an initiative Swift launched in 2004 targeted to students with a concentration in entrepreneurship. It has grown into a capstone program for all full-time MBA students at the end of their first year. The students are divided into teams to work on one or more critical problems facing local nonprofit organizations.

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