University Economic Development Association membership selects 2018 leading best practices in university-based economic development

University Economic Development Association membership selects 2018 leading best practices in university-based economic development

Finalists in Awards of Excellence Program Exemplify the Top Higher Education-Led Initiatives in Regional Economic Transformation

Milwaukee, Wisconsin  – November 6, 2018 – The University Economic Development Association(UEDA) announced winners of its annual Awards of Excellence program during their Annual Summit in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Leading initiatives from across North America competed in a six-month process, including application, peer review, live presentations, and, ultimately, selection by attendees of the UEDA Annual Summit as category leaders. The Awards of Excellence Program recognizes organizations who are transforming their campuses into engines of economic prosperity through leading edge initiatives in six categories: 1) Innovation; 2) Innovation + Talent; 3) Talent 4) Talent + Place; 5) Place; and 6) Place + Innovation. This year, in conjunction with the reveal of their new brand, UEDA added the Editor’s Choice Award. The Editor’s Choice Award is given to a recipient of each of the categories. What makes this award so special, though, is that it is not selected from the finalist of the category, but the winner is chosen from all those who sent in proposals.

“As always, the Awards of Excellence finalists have pushed the boundaries of Economic Development in new extraordinary ways,” said Tim Hindes, UEDA Executive Director. Throughout the Awards of Excellence process, nominations are judged on the sustainability, replicability, originality, and impact of the program or initiative. Those receiving the top marks in these criteria advance through the process, culminating in recognition as the category leader by peers in attendance at the Annual Summit.

The 2018 Awards of Excellence category winners are:

Innovation Category
Winner:  Marquette University Explorer ChallengeThe Explorer Challenge is the brainchild of Marquette’s president, Dr. Michael Lovell, who observed upon his arrival at Marquette that the University community had great untapped potential.

Marquette’s Explorer Challenge is an annual competition that is integral toward promoting a campus-wide culture of innovation, fueled by entrepreneurial thinking, cross-campus participation, interdisciplinary collaboration, and external partnerships. 

In its three years of existence, the Explorer Challenge has already returned slightly more income (via grants and other entrepreneurial revenues) than funding dollars expended. 

Editor’s Choice: Marquette University Explorer Challenge

Innovation + Talent Category
Winner: CSUN Summer AcceleratorCSUN’s Innovation ecosystem is based on taking students of diverse backgrounds and interests and uniting them to apply technologies to sustainably resolve commercial and social problems.  The hallmarks of the system are: inclusion, irrespective of scholastic major all are encouraged to participate; diversity, we encourage, and support development of inter-disciplinary teams as multiple perspectives are likely to produce better solutions; curiosity, students are encouraged to consider how various tools might address the needs of a problem, design experiments and generate data to prove hypotheses.

The CSUN summer accelerator was designed to afford students the opportunity to work on either commercial or social ventures developed in I-Corps, Clinton Global Initiative, Bull-Ring, or student/faculty technology showcase events over ten weeks of summer.  

Editor’s Choice: California State University Northridge (CSUN): Peer Mentorship Program to Promote Diversity within the Nutrition and Dietetics Profession

Talent Category
Winner: Northeast Wisconsin Educational Resource Alliance {New Era} Internship Draft Day  Internship Draft Day is an innovative college talent program focused on recruiting and hiring of student interns. This unique event, now in its fourth year, connects college students to hundreds of internship opportunities with businesses in northeast Wisconsin. The program is based on a strategic partnership between the Northeast Wisconsin Educational Resource Alliance and the Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance 

New Era, is an alliance of publicly supported higher education institutions. New MA is an alliance of over 190 manufacturers working with educators, workforce development, and state organizations to promote manufacturing. 

Students compete through interviews and networking for internships to earn points, and the students who earn the most throughout the event are awarded scholarships. 

Editor’s Choice: California State University, Fresno: The Valley Industry Partnership for Cooperative Education (VIP) Program

Talent + Place Category
Winner: MOSS- McCall Outdoor Science SchoolUniversity of Idaho – MOSS – The McCall Outdoor Science School serves as a cornerstone of the University of Idaho land-grant mission. 

This school is operated by the University of Idaho’s College of Natural Resources.  The mission of the McCall Outdoor Science School is to facilitate place-based, collaborative science inquiry within the context of Idaho’s land, water and communities. We provide experiential learning opportunities among students, educators, scientists, and citizens to foster the critical thinking skills necessary to address complex issues.

Our program has been successful in short-term outcomes and long-term impacts including: increases in scientific literacy, participation in STEM careers and positive attitudes toward science in Idaho. 

Editor’s Choice: Southern University and A&M College: Creating Neighborhood Developers: An Entrepreneurial Approach

Place Category
UGA Archway Partnership Addresses Health Care Needs in Rural GeorgiaTaylor Regional Hospital in Pulaski County, GA, was once on the precipice of closure. Hospital leadership credits the strong community bonds created through the community’s participation in the UGA Archway Partnership program as a key factor in the hospital’s ability to not only stay open, but to expand services at a time when similar hospitals are shutting their doors.

Through the community’s involvement in the Archway Partnership, faculty and students from the College of Public Health evaluated health data, conducted surveys and hosted focus groups to conduct a mandated Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) on behalf of the hospital. Feedback received through the CHNA process led to the establishment of an urgent care clinic.  The clinic, known as Taylor Express Care, has been key to the hospital’s ability to survive.  

Editor’s Choice: UGA Archway Partnership Addresses Health Care Needs in Rural Georgia

Place + Innovation Category
Winner: Pittsburg State University Block 22Block22 is a unique, mix-use living, learning community in Downtown Pittsburg that features residential, commercial, dining, and entertainment spaces. It will combine nearly 100 units of Pittsburg State student housing with more than 16,000 square feet of innovation space for students to explore their own entrepreneurial ventures, while also contributing to the success of local entrepreneurs.

Located at 4th and Broadway, Block22 is made up of four historic buildings that are being both renovated and restored. 

Block22 is funded through a public-private partnership between Pittsburg State University, the City of Pittsburg and the Vecino Group, a development/housing specialist based in Springfield, Mo.

Editor’s Choice: University of Central Florida: Economic Diversity and Inclusivity

Judges’ Award Winner:
Southern University and A&M College: Creating Neighborhood Developers: An Entrepreneurial ApproachThe University Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Development at Southern University developed on December 5, 2015 and launched on February 11, 2017 and March 10, 2018 “Creating Neighborhood Developers’ program.” 

The unique feature of this ten-week program is that its emphasis is placed on the entrepreneurship aspect of neighborhood developments. The program curriculum consists integral parts of business such as: understanding the impact of business cycles, financial market conditions, funding, and project management to name a few.

Over the past two years, the program has generated 1,610 attendances. 40 jobs were created, generating $6,023,000 in income. Fifty-three properties were developed, 36 houses were bought, and seven indirect projects were completed and valued at $28,513,200. 

In addition to the Awards of Excellence recognition, UEDA members elected a full slate to its Board of Directors, including incoming President Meridith Jaeger, who is the Dean for Corporate Training and Economic Development at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. Ms. Jaeger is joined by five first-time board members for 2019, including Rena Cotsones from Northern Illinois University; Margo Fliss from the University of Alaska Center for Economic Development; Dominique Halaby from Georgia Southern University; Sean McMillan from the University of Georgia; and Russell Mills from Bowling Green State University.

Those elected to continue serving on the Board are J. Douglas Barrett from the University of North Alabama; Mridul Gautam from the University of Nevada, Reno; and Beth Phillips from the University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services. The Executive Committee serving with President Jaeger include President-Elect Julia Potter of California State University, Northridge; Vice President John Provo of Virginia Tech; Treasurer Rebecca Robinson of Kansas State University; Secretary Michael Ebinger from Washington State University; and Past President Dan Ripke from California State University, Monterey Bay.

How the Awards Process Works
University project teams applied for the UEDA Awards of Excellence Program. Projects were reviewed and scored by an executive award committee and three or four project finalists were selected for each category. Project finalists presented their projects to attendees of the UEDA Annual Summit, where the audience of peers voted for projects that best exemplified the criteria for their category. Throughout the process, projects were judged on scalability, sustainability, impact originality, and the ability to be replicated. Awards were presented at the awards banquet at the 2018 Annual Summit held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The 2018 Annual Summit was generously sponsored by Elsevier, California State University Northridge, University of Wisconsin – Madison, The Lemelson Foundation, and others. The 2019 UEDA Summit will be held in Reno-Tahoe, Nevada in September-October.

About UEDA
Established in 1976, UEDA is North America’s membership organization that brings together public and private higher education; private sector; public agencies; and community economic development stakeholders in economic development. UEDA’s members work to expand economic opportunity and prosperity in our communities and regions by leveraging education / talent development; research and technology development; and community-building and place-making strategies. UEDA’s mission is to serve its members by advancing knowledge and practice in economic engagement by institutions of higher education.



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