December 03, 2018

Brian Detweiler-Bedell to Lead Bates Center for Entrepreneurship and Leadership

Professor of Psychology Brian Detweiler-Bedell assumes the role of director on February 1, 2019. 

Professor of Psychology Brian Detweiler-Bedell will return to leadership of Lewis & Clark’s John E. and Susan S. Bates Center for Entrepreneurship and Leadership when he assumes the role of director on February 1, 2019. He was previously academic director of the center from 2012 to 2015.

“I’m delighted to announce that Brian will again lead the Bates Center. His focus has always been mentoring and collaborating with students as well as business and community partners. He is uniquely qualified to help students develop the creative and critical thinking needed in any entrepreneurial endeavor,” said Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Bruce Suttmeier.

Detweiler-Bedell, who holds a PhD in social psychology from Yale University, received the Outstanding Mentor Award in Psychology from the Council on Undergraduate Research in 2014. He began teaching at Lewis & Clark in 2001.

He will take over for current director Samir Parikh, who is the Kenneth H. Pierce Faculty Fellow and professor of law. Parikh recently received a Fulbright-Schuman Grant that will allow him to spend six months of an upcoming sabbatical at various institutions throughout Europe.

In 2012, the then-dean of the College of Arts and Sciences convened a faculty committee to explore the idea of launching an entrepreneurship initiative. She recruited faculty from departments across campus and named Detweiler-Bedell as academic director. That initiative evolved into today’s Bates Center.

A liberal arts education—which emphasizes creativity, problem solving, and good writing—provides ideal preparation for future entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship at Lewis & Clark encompasses more than just the act of starting new companies and nonprofits. It includes bringing innovation to each and every workplace, collaborating, and jumpstarting new ideas into action.

Using a mix of classroom and field learning, the center offers courses in entrepreneurship and innovation, and electives in design thinking and leadership. Past electives have forayed into industries including screenwriting, art curation, technology, and brewing.

Bridging the classroom and the real world is the center’s annual Winterim experience. For one week in January, a group of 20 students are taught by industry experts and mentored to develop a business plan that addresses a problem in the current market. The week culminates in a pitch challenge judged by business leaders and angel investors. The 2019 Winterim will run from January 13 to 18 and features Daniela Papi-Thornton, an acclaimed educator whose work focuses on system-led social interventions, as the keynote speaker.