Lavin Entrepreneurship Center
at San Diego State University was honored for “Exceptional Activities in Entrepreneurship Across Disciplines” by the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers (GCEC) at its annual conference held Sept. 29 to Oct. 1.
More than 400 attendees, including directors, staff members and faculty from entrepreneurship centers at academic institutions, participated in the conference, hosted by the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology.
SDSU was one of 14 institutions selected from a record-high 92 award applications received. GCEC awards are designed to showcase the best of university entrepreneurship.
The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center was recognized for the work it has done to introduce entrepreneurship across campus.
“Our focus is cross-disciplinary,” said Alex DeNoble
, professor of management and executive director of the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center. “When we applied for this award, we felt that we would be strong because of the cross-campus reach of initiatives we already have underway.”
One of the initiatives highlighted in the award application was the cross-campus undergraduate entrepreneurship minor
established in 2012. Previously, entrepreneurship had been a specialization in the College of Business Administration
undergraduate program and a concentration in the graduate program.
The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center, working in conjunction with the Department of Management, designed and launched a cross-campus minor in entrepreneurship for students in any major.
Also mentioned was the Lavin Entrepreneur Program
, an intensive two-year “honors” program with four courses that undergraduate students apply and interview for. As part of the program, students are matched with local business leaders
who serve as mentors. Established in 2008, it is open to all students at SDSU.
The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center is working with the Division of Undergraduate Studies to add entrepreneurship classes to the general education program. The center also organizes faculty-led study abroad trips, and co-hosts Entrepreneur Day, which brings together SDSU alumni and students from across the campus to showcase and sell products they have developed.
“This is truly meaningful for us because we were evaluated by peers, by other center directors that know entrepreneurship and recognize the interdisciplinary importance,” DeNoble said. “The benefit of having that kind of peer recognition is it gives you credibility. It attracts top-quality students that become aware of your work and want to be part of it. We’re in the business of preparing the next generation of entrepreneurs.”