The Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship at the Isenberg School of Management has named four faculty members to receive Coleman Fellowship grants for the 2015-16 academic year. The fellows are Scott M. Auerbach, chemistry, Craig R. Nicolson, sustainability science, B.J. Roche, journalism, and Elizabeth M. Schmidt, public policy.
Funded by a $20,000 grant from the Chicago-based Coleman Foundation, the Coleman Fellows Program will support the four faculty members in non-business departments in integrating an entrepreneurial approach into their courses. The university joins 18 other schools across the country in promoting cross-campus entrepreneurialism.
The Coleman Fellowship is designed to advance teaching, mentoring and exposure to entrepreneurial thinking. William Wooldridge, director of the Berthiaume Center, says, “The Berthiaume Center was created to work with innovators across campus and the Coleman program allows us to jump start that effort. The program is designed to support non-business school faculty interested in adding an entrepreneurship element to their courses. This perfectly aligns with our mission to develop a truly multi-disciplinary approach to entrepreneurship at UMass Amherst. I’m personally very excited to be working with our inaugural class of Coleman Fellows.”
He notes that in addition to having access to the resources of the Berthiaume Center, the Coleman Fellows meet monthly on campus and virtually with other fellows across the country.
The Coleman Foundation tends to award grants to Midwestern colleges and universities, says Birton J. Cowden, associate director of the Berthiaume Center. As a large university in New England, UMass Amherst was not a likely winner of the fellowships. But the center’s focus on interdisciplinary collaboration across the whole campus was a key to success. “Entrepreneurial thinking is needed in every discipline,” Cowden says. “Great ventures need cross-disciplinary thinking. We have a proven dedication to creating entrepreneurial opportunities for students from all parts of the campus.”
The Coleman Foundation is a private, independent grant-maker. Beginning in 1981, the foundation established core programs in three main areas: cancer care, developmental disabilities and entrepreneurship education. The Coleman Fellows Program is a nationwide program designed to catalyze cross-campus entrepreneurship on college campuses by building support for entrepreneurship education in non-business academic departments. Over the seven years of the program's existence, the Coleman Foundation has committed over $2.6 million to fellowships and campus support grants and an additional amount exceeding $800,000 for related program support.