Gonzaga endeavors to advance entrepreneurship > Spokane Journal of Enterprise


With more than two decades of leadership development experience through the Hogan Entrepreneurial Leadership Program, Gonzaga University is preparing to prepare innovators in business, engineering, and science by investing $ 49.7 million in an integrated science facility and technology, which will open later this year.

The facility heralds a new era of expansion in STEM-related educational and interdisciplinary collaboration, promoting innovation, teaching, and undergraduate research so that faculties and students can do important theoretical and applied work.

Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh says ISE will enable Gonzaga to do his “best work possible to prepare our students to be competitive, innovative and creative in the collaborative fields of science and technology, engineering and math, but also in related areas where interdisciplinary studies are possible. “

In a visual declaration of interdisciplinarity, Skybridges connect ISE with Gonzaga’s Paccar Center for Applied Science and the chemistry and biology departments of the College of Arts and Sciences at Hughes Hall. The Paccar Center is connected to the Herak Center for Engineering via a skybridge.

“Together, ISE benefactors and the Gonzaga Faculty, officers and students bring intellectual commitments to serve our educational mission and prepare our graduates for lives of leadership and service to the common good,” said Deena J. González, Provost and Senior Vice President.

The facility will enable Gonzaga to better serve its growing student body in the STEM areas, make students more competitive worldwide, and equip them with the research skills and experience needed to find solutions to real-world problems.

Karlene Hoo, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences, explains, “The ISE facility provides the space to implement a modern multidisciplinary curriculum that can address the myriad of global challenges arising from the relationship between water, food, energy and Surrender to planets. ”

Engineering students are currently gaining innovation and entrepreneurship skills through team-based senior design projects. Innovative designs and prototypes are developed in cooperation with a faculty advisor and an external sponsor.

Both Hoo and Annmarie Caño, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, note that the ISE facility provides critical space for existing projects, expanding the scope of projects for students, and untapped areas of bioengineering programs with components for innovation and entrepreneurship will promote.

A plethora of innovations promote science education in Gonzaga while serving the community and global needs. For example, the University of Washington School of Medicine and Gonzaga University’s health partnership announced a new center for medical education, health sciences and innovation last fall.

Gonzaga’s success in interdisciplinary collaboration is evidenced by several initiatives and achievements, including a recent National Science Foundation scholarship of $ 267,000 to purchase a state-of-the-art atomic force microscope used by students and faculties at the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the College of Will provide arts and science with a tool for collaborative transformative nanoscience research.

The Center for Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry, launched by Gonzaga College of Arts and Sciences in 2016, enables educational experiences through collaboration between students and faculties. Under the direction of chemistry professor Matt Cremeens, the center promotes multi-institutional collaboration through the Cremeens scientific research laboratory, including work relevant to the pharmaceutical industry.

Gonzaga’s growth in innovation and entrepreneurship dates back to 2000, when a gift from entrepreneurs Ed and Lynn Hogan funded the Hogan Entrepreneurial Leadership Program. The program, a three-year undergraduate minor, is open to students from all academic disciplines, including business, engineering, computer science, science, math, education, and the humanities.

Dan Stewart, professor of entrepreneurship and director of the Hogan program, explains that it aims to make students more entrepreneurial.

“We want our students to understand the innovation process and guide others through the process of starting new businesses in all types of organizations, regardless of their chosen calling,” says Stewart. “So the focus is not on joining a startup company or setting up a startup, but rather on becoming a change leader in the area the student wants to pursue.”

In 2001, with support from the Johnson Scholarship Foundation, Gonzaga created the MBA in American Indian Entrepreneurship program, through which its graduates have made huge differences in their communities.

In 2002, Gonzaga founded the three-year Comprehensive Leadership Program, a minor open to all majors designed to develop the knowledge and skills needed to lead. Nine years later, Gonzaga launched a focus on entrepreneurship and innovation for business students, followed by a minor in entrepreneurship and innovation open to all non-business majors.

Todd Finkle, Pigott Professor of Entrepreneurship at Gonzaga and founder and director of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program, emphasizes the many experiential aspects of entrepreneurship programs that are critical to their success.

“In my opinion, the best way to learn entrepreneurship is to do it. My philosophy is to focus on the students and their needs, to find out in advance what their needs are and try to make them available to them, ”says Finkle, who is part of the Gonzaga team, the 37th . was ranked best undergraduate entrepreneurship program in the 2020 US News & World Report Ranking.

One of Finkle’s students, Richard Kennedy, a senior, founded the real estate company ModRE in 2019. That year, Kennedy worked on the modular apartment business in one of Finkle’s courses.

“He raised $ 1.8 million, bought land, and is awaiting approval from the city of Spokane,” says Finkle. “He has already raised money for the next house and is looking for land.”

Ken Anderson, Dean of the School of Business Administration, says, “Entrepreneurship and innovation are central to what we do as a business school. Our values ​​of excellence, commitment and inspiration directly and indirectly promote our commitment in these areas. “

Peter Tormey is the associate director of public relations at Gonzaga University.