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PHCC wins $15,000 grant award

PHCC Grant Award
Patrick Henry Community College is one of 10 recipients of a $15,000 Coleman Foundation grant. Pictured at the awards ceremony in Phoenix are (from left) Coleman Foundation President and CEO Mike Hennessy, PHCC President Angeline Godwin, NACCE Executive Director Heather Van Sickle, and PHCC Community Development Programs Coordinator Kimberly Buck. (Photo courtesy of Gregory Bullock)

Patrick Henry Community College is the recipient of a $15,000 grant following this year’s NACCE (National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship) conference from Oct. 12-15 in Phoenix, Ariz. 

PHCC President Angeline Godwin and Kim Buck, coordinator of community development programs, attended the conference with Rhonda Hodges, vice president of the Division of Workforce, Economic and Community Development. Also attending were Allyson Rothrock with the Harvest Foundation and Mark Heath of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation. 

After submitting a written proposal in September, PHCC was selected from about 50 applicants as one of 10 national finalists in NACCE’s Entrepreneurial College in Action Competition, funded by the Coleman Foundation. Finalists were then invited to give a 10-minute “pitch” to a panel of judges during the conference and answer questions about their projects. The 10 finalist colleges each were awarded a $15,000 grant, which according to Buck, PHCC will use to fund professional development opportunities and expert speakers to lead sessions in effectuation and entrepreneurship for faculty, staff, students and the community. 

“The Coleman Foundation grant will leverage us to take advantage of other opportunities that will enable us to build our portfolios for additional grant activity. It puts us in a great position,” Godwin said.

Funding will also be used to repeat and expand the Student Entrepreneurship Jump Start weekend, business competition, and Mini Maker Faire that were piloted in May 2014. The positive response from attendees shows that “there is a need and a hunger for this kind of event in our community,” Buck said. The second annual Jump Start workshop is scheduled for March 27-28, 2015, and the Mini Maker Faire, which is a free, family-friendly festival of innovation and creativity, will be held Saturday, April 18 in uptown Martinsville. Jump Start is open to students of PHCC, NCI, and local high schools. Students who complete the workshop will be eligible to compete for seed money in a business competition. 

“We want to empower and inspire local students start their own businesses and create jobs,” Buck said, but that is not the only goal of the grant program. “What we’re after is a lasting mindset change on campus and in the community. Teaching people how to use this effectuation model not only is about starting a business, but it’s how to think entrepreneurially about social issues and problems you want to solve. It’s a thought process you can use to make your community a better place.” 

During the conference, the group of PHCC, Harvest Foundation and EDC representatives gave a presentation titled “Harvesting a Community’s Entrepreneurial DNA Through Effectuation,” which outlined the work of PHCC and community partners to help revitalize the local economy. Effectuation is a science of creating successful businesses based on research by Dr. Saras Sarasvathy, a professor at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. Hodges spoke about PHCC’s HOPE (High-Demand Occupational Programs for Employment) program, and Rothrock and Heath applied effectuation methods to the creation of the Harvest Foundation and the Commonwealth Crossing project. Buck spoke about the 2014 Jump Start Weekend and Mini Maker Faire. 

Godwin also was invited to speak on a panel during the conference about PHCC’s entrepreneurial focus.

PHCC’s partnership with NACCE grew from the organization selecting PHCC as a pilot for a case study in the use of entrepreneurial thinking at the college and throughout the community to cultivate positive change. Representatives from NACCE visited PHCC in March and May of this year to introduce the principles of effectuation to faculty, staff and local business leaders.

Award Presentation
Dr. Angeline Godwin, PHCC president, leads a breakout session on “Harvesting a Community’s DNA Through Effectuation” on Oct. 12 at the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship) conference in Phoenix, Ariz. Fellow presenters included (from left) Allyson Rothrock of the Harvest Foundation; Mark Heath of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp.; Rhonda Hodges, vice president of Workforce, Economic and Community Development; and Kimberly Buck (not pictured), community development coordinator.