Entrepreneurship for the Public Good

Participants 2010

Stacci Byle

Internship: NOSW, BC, UAC, MFSJ

Stacci Blye is a junior from Cincinnati. Her directed field experience builds upon the collaboration of the New Opportunity School for Women (NOSW), Berea College (BC), the Urban Appalachian Council (UAC) and Mercy Franciscan at St. John (MFSJ). Stacci’s objective is to assist and encourage inter-agency collaboration. NOSW’s mission is to improve the conditions of middle aged women in Appalachia. One NOSW requirement is that the prospective women have a high school diploma, GED, or clients actively pursue a GED. UAC promotes adult education within Appalachia with a focus on African American women aged 35 years old and up. UAC has a well established GED program for adults and a most impressive success rate. The MFSJ mission is to help stabilize the lives of families and individuals in crisis. When Stacci was admitted to Berea College in the fall 2007 as a mature adult she had some fears and issues that adult students experience entering college. Stacci envisions a three agency collaboration that can provide a legacy of ‘opened doors’ enhancing the motivation of reluctant adults to pursue higher education. Stacci has created a mentoring group which includes Mrs. Barbara Power, Head of Berea College Circulation and Reserve and NOSW current board member, Chuck Morgan, Associate Director of Admission, Dr. Janice Blythe, Professor of Child and Family Studies, Dr. Bobby Starnes, Associate Professor of Education, Dr. Althea Webb, Education Faculty, Lisa P. Rosenbarker, Administrative Assistant Education Department, and Sean Clark, Assistant Professor of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Maureen Sullivan, UAC director will serve as the internship supervisor.

Clifford Sakutukwa

Internship: Dr. Virginia Wilcox-Gok (Northern Illinois University) and Dr. Craig Schroeder (Rural Policy Research Institute)

Cliford Sakutukwa is a junior from Zimbabwe majoring in Economics and Mathematics. His aspiration is to be a rural economics researcher focusing on issues of labor migration. To fulfill his passion, he has crafted a summer directed field experience with two nationally recognized scholars so that he can gain the research expertise to advance his graduate school career. Dr. Virginia Wilcox-Gok (Northern Illinois University) and Dr. Craig Schroeder (Rural Policy Research Institute) will serve as his mentors and site supervisors. Cliff has several research topics and summer assignments planned during his directed field experience. With Dr. Wilcox-Gok, Cliff envisions developing a paper on child health from a larger data set from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study data. Professor Hackbert and Cliff are designing a research project within eight eastern Kentucky counties replicating Dr. Schroeder’s survey that explores high school students’ future plans with a focus on home communities and entrepreneurship. The research questions are: Would Eastern Kentucky youth want to stay in their hometown communities? And if so, what interventions can be created to increase the attractiveness of returning home in the future? Dr. Scott Steele will supervise Cliff’s internship for credit in the Economics and Business Department.

Sean Ware

Internship: Truly Bluegrass in Versailles, Kentucky

Sean Ware, from Lexington, Kentucky is currently a sophomore majoring in Studio Art. His interest lies in the relationship between the artist and rural communities. To study art as a business, Sean’s DFE (internship) will consist of working with Truly Bluegrass, a shop in Versailles, Kentucky that offers art, crafts, and other products made locally in the Bluegrass area. As his mentor Wendy Batman, The Truly Bluegrass owner, will direct Sean’s duties such as running the shop, selling merchandise, assisting with marketing and advertising and researching local artists. In addition to this, Sean intends to collaborate with local artists and merchants to organize an event centered on local art works and products.

The Su Moe

Internship: Metta Development Foundation in Myanmar

The Su Moe is a junior from Myanmar majoring in Economics. Her passion is rural community development and how rural economies can be developed by both bottom-up community level development projects through the non-government sector and macroeconomic policy reform from the government. To fulfill her passion, she will work with Metta Development Foundation, a well-known local non-governmental organization in Myanmar observing the entrepreneurial role for rural economies, supervised by Ms. Morine Po. Meanwhile, The Su will be doing a directed field experience (internship) researching the pigeon pea market and agricultural economic policies with Dr. Maung Aung, a local economist who is a Senior Researcher for Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and a Consultant for United Nations Development Programme, serving as her directed field experience sponsor.

Alexandra Solomatova

Internship: Threeview

Alexandra Solomatova, is from Kyrgyzstan, a Business Administration major and rising senior. Sasha will be doing her EPG directed field experience with “Threeview,” an organization that promotes their ideas in society by organizing workshops, press conferences, events and many other strategies. Sasha’s passion is social and business entrepreneurship and she would like to strengthen her entrepreneurial leadership skills by exploring German values and business models, and by developing strategies and methods on how to adapt and shape an innovative idea for the community. Further, Sasha plans to explore the German culture and enhance her German Language by working directly with communities in Germany. This experience will enable her to improve her German fluency in the context of social entrepreneurship.

Ashley Charsha

Internship: Pathfinders in Hazard, Kentucky

Ashley Charsha is a junior Psychology major from Mountain City, Tennessee who is interested in finding and promoting new health practices in the Appalachian region. The focus of her directed field experience will be interning with Pathfinders in Hazard, Kentucky under the supervision of Dr. Cynthia Cole. Pathfinders is an organization that promotes walking and biking trails in order to encourage wellness in Appalachia. A possible project will be a walking path that would connect two community gardens. In reviewing Ashley’s proposal Dr. Cole wrote, “I particularly appreciate your interest in studying physical activity in a systematic way. Several students (CREEK and Physical Therapy students) have surveyed different groups about their interest in physical activity over the past few years and you would be more than welcome to use their materials as a starting point if you thought that would be helpful.”

Omowunmi Soremi

Internship: Community Venture Corporation in Frankfort, Kentucky

Omowunmi Soremi, is a rising junior Psychology major from Nigeria graduating in 2012. Omo will be executing her internship in Frankfort, Kentucky with the small business financing department at Community Venture Corporation with James Cole, Executive Vice President as her site supervisor. CVC has been successful in its efforts to increase resources for small businesses in 71 counties in Kentucky. Omo will endeavor to understand the bottom-up process of funding small business via implementation of related government policies. Omo expects that while policy implementation may involve some paperwork, the actual financing process (from studying the feasibility of business plans to reviewing start-up or expansion budgets) will afford her the opportunity to gain practical knowledge and technical-know-how especially in recognizing opportunities and mobilizing resources for small business development and growth. Working in this area will help Omo strengthen her skills as an entrepreneurial leader while improving her analytical thinking and decision-making skills.

Naji J. Kasem

Internship: Aerosol & Air Quality Research Laboratory of Washington University in St. Louis

Naji J. Kasem is a senior from Palestine majoring in Applied Science and Mathematics. Appalachians’ romantic relationship with the land connected with Naji’s own life story. His aspiration is to use his strengths in sciences and engineering to help foster a better life for oppressed and occupied people around the globe. To fulfill such a passion, he shaped his directed field experience in a research group at the Aerosol & Air Quality Research Laboratory of Washington University in St. Louis. Naji expects to contribute to the ongoing research of aerosol science and technology and nanoparticle technology to design environmentally benign energy production methodologies. The research relies on gas phase synthesis methodologies to produce novel materials to harvest solar energy. Naji intends to employ both his entrepreneurial leadership abilities acquired through the EPG experience and the scientific knowledge and research experience to help the Appalachian community in the future. Naji is a strong believer in the need to care for our natural resources since it is connected with all human rights and development.

Martina Jackson

Internship: Clean and Healthy Homes

Martina Jackson-Haynes, from Oakridge, Tennessee is a rising senior majoring in Peace and Social Justice. Martina will be acting as project assistant for Clean and Healthy Homes and assisting executive director Elizabeth Crowe, and her colleagues at the Kentucky Environmental Foundation. Her objective is to educate people in central and eastern Kentucky about the toxic chemicals that affects their community and region. She will focus on outreach for KEF’s new “Clean and Healthy Homes” project. She will participate in conversations and conferences about women’s health and toxic exposures and will attempt to translate these concerns into state policy goals. Additionally, Martina plans to assist in building the toxics and health coalition to support policy change in national environmental justice campaigns on toxic chemical contamination. She will be working with Safe Chemicals Healthy Families national campaign and lobbying for toxic chemical reform.

Joseph Kersey

Internship: ERA Real Estate in Richmond, Kentucky

Joseph Kersey, from Rockcastle County, Kentucky has designed a DFE (internship) with ERA Real Estate in Richmond, Kentucky. During the development of the DFE Joe was mentored by Dianna Ackerman, the principal broker/owner to explore the real estate industry including rural Appalachian housing. Joe will develop his skills and knowledge of property analysis, financing options, and contractual relations making the connections necessary to prepare him for low income housing projects in the Madison County area. Much of his time in Richmond will be spent exploring and promoting the real estate market for providing renters/buyers with low cost housing options through investment real estate. By doing so, Joe will obtain the education necessary to advocate for affordable housing and assist people in acquiring their housing dreams during this internship. Dr. Ed McCormick is supervising Joe’s internship for credit in the Economics and Business Department.

Tia Davis

Internship: Ailey Dance Theater and Axam Dance Experience, Atlanta Georgia.

Tia Davis is a senior student from Atlanta, GA majoring in Theatre with a minor in Business Administration. Her passion is to have and direct her own theater company in the not so distant future. She hopes to help community youth express themselves through the arts by helping them creating and performing original theatrical performances. To fulfill her passion, she will work with the Ailey Camp, a nationally acclaimed youth program conceived by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She will be observing and interacting with the youth of Atlanta in a theatrical context, supervised by Diane Sales and Theresa Davis. She will also serve as advisor to the coordinator of the camp so that she may have a complete view of the work it takes to operate a successful theatrical experience. For the second half of the internship she will be personal advisor to Dawn Axam, who is the founder and director of the Axam Dance Experience. Being Mrs. Dawn’s assistant will allow her to experience firsthand what it takes to operate a theatrical company.

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