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Coleman Fellows extend business beyond Neeley

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The Coleman Foundation builds support for entrepreneurship education in non-business departments and helps build a diverse group of educators across the country, according to the TCU Magazine.

The Neeley Entrepreneurship Center helped develop this program, which is open to professors from all departments. The goal is to help students gain skills that will provide them with the ability to build their own company or work for a nonprofit organization, Michael Sherrod, William M. Dickey Entrepreneur in Residence, said.

“I am particularly proud of this program because it provides a wonderful example of how the business school and the entrepreneurship program can reach out to other disciplines and programs to help students, regardless of their interests, understand the core principles of entrepreneurship and how to think like an entrepreneur,” Sherrod said.

Sherrod said entrepreneurship is not restricted to business majors. In fact, most businesses are not started by business majors, which is why he said he loved the interdisciplinary approach.

The Neeley Entrepreneurship Center provides resources for Fellows to help them incorporate entrepreneurship into their curriculums. In addition, Sherrod said he worked with Brad Hancock, director of the Neeley Entrepreneurship Center and instructor of management, to promote entrepreneurship across campus by speaking to classes.

“We have a reference library, video library, and we are developing a list of entrepreneurs from a variety of disciplines who are available to speak to classes,” Sherrod said.

According to the TCU magazine, the Coleman Foundation provides a grant of up to $15,000 per year to university departments that apply and qualify for the program. The Neeley Entrepreneurship Center matches the grant from the foundation.

“To qualify for a TCU/Coleman Fellows Grant, each professor has to go through an application process in which they describe how they will either modify one of their courses to include entrepreneurship or how they will create a new course that incorporates entrepreneurship within the context of their respective discipline,” Sherrod said.

The Neeley Entrepreneurship Center matches the grant from the foundation. Sherrod said the $30,000 is used to provide grants for university professors outside the business school to teach entrepreneurial thinking and principles in their respective disciplines.

“TCU is leading the effort toward entrepreneurial mindsets with a business plan competition in which 20 percent of the judging is based on incorporating personal values into business,” Hancock said.

This year, the second year of the program, some of the eight TCU Coleman Fellows include Johny Garner, assistant professor of communication studies; Ann Gipson, associate professor of music and director of piano pedagogy; and Suzy Lockwood, assistant professor of nursing and director of TCU oncology education.

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