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Faculty Approve Entrepreneurial Leadership and Innovation Minor

March 06, 2020

Brian Detweiller-Bedell, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Bates Center for Entrepreneu...Brian Detweiller-Bedell, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Bates Center for Entrepreneurship and Leadership, speaking to Winterim participants.The faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences on March 3 unanimously approved the creation of a minor in entrepreneurial leadership and innovation. The strong support for the new program underscores the fact that the liberal arts and entrepreneurship share a common interdisciplinary approach rooted in understanding people, systems, and methods of creating positive change.

Students interested in pursuing a minor in entrepreneurship will need to complete 20 credits of coursework comprised of two introductory courses, two electives, and one internship or pre-professional practicum experience. Introductory courses include Innovation: Systems Thinking and Methods; Idea Lab: Introduction to Design Thinking; and Leadership: Teams and Innovation. Current elective courses include Technologies of the Future; Communicating a Vision: Messaging for Impact; Introduction to Curatorial Affairs in the Visual Arts; and Sustainability and Entrepreneurship. Additional electives are also being developed.

The new minor also recognizes and responds to increased demand for academic programs that contribute to student success post-graduation.

“Taken as a whole, this curriculum will challenge students to work collaboratively with others in complex problem-solving endeavors, employing the methods of entrepreneurship to develop and validate innovative solutions drawn from and integrating a broad range of disciplines,” writes Professor of Psychology Brian Detweiller-Bedell, who leads the Bates Center for Entrepreneurship and Leadership. “Successful entrepreneurs and leaders do not have a special set of personality traits. Instead, they approach complex problems in a specific way.”

The minor in entrepreneurial leadership and innovation builds on years of curricular and cocurricular opportunities to study and engage with entrepreneurship at Lewis & Clark. Thanks to a generous gift by the center’s namesakes, the John E. and Susan S. Bates Center for Entrepreneurship and Leadership was created in 2017.

The Bates Center hosts workshops and events like the Lunch with a Leader series, which facilitates networking and relationship building among students and local business leaders. And it has built the Winterim entrepreneurship program into a can’t-miss experience for undergraduates and local business leaders (who serve as mentors and judges). Another major gift by Trustee Brent Hutchings and Associate Director of the Bates Center Chrys Hutchings will provide both operational resources and scholarships to Oregon high school students interested in studying entrepreneurship at Lewis & Clark.

And continuing the philanthropic momentum, the Bates Center recently announced a generous $100,000 gift from Portland-area business icon Bob Moore, founder of Bob’s Red Mill, during Winterim this past January.

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Bates Center for Entrepreneurship and Leadership

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