Iona College is a private, four-year Catholic college in New Rochelle, NY. In 1940, it was founded by the Congregation of Christian Brothers and today offers more than 60 bachelor's programs and 40 minors. Iona is comprised of the School of Arts & Science and the LaPenta School of Business. The institution has approximately 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in it.
The Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation was established in 2017 due to a generous $15 million gift to Iona from James Hynes, '69, '01H, and Anne Marie Hynes. The Hynes Institute is an emerging force that strives to prepare the future generation of entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders to move the world. It also ensures that students develop the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to create, lead, and innovate in an ever-changing global economy.
At the Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, their mission is “to create and foster an interdisciplinary community of Iona students who engage in entrepreneurial learning opportunities to develop an entrepreneurial mindset."
Strategic Priorities 2020
Strategy #1: Creating community by increasing interdisciplinary programs and events that incorporate a wider range of knowledge.
Reaching out to OSD and propose a virtual or in-person event when all disciplines are welcome to showcase their field.
Strategy #2: Increase communication between professors and students regarding research opportunities and events
There is a lack of communication regarding professor's outside endeavors and research that could be more beneficial for students and connecting them to other professionals in their field.
Strategy #3: Facilitate all of the information regarding campus organizations and club events into one, simple, easy access hub or app.
Reach out to key stakeholders on campus (James Mustich, Provost Wheeler) and propose the idea for an all-inclusive app that allows clubs to post their events for that week and allow for interaction of students and convenience in seeing all events happening on campus
Strategic Priorities 2019
Strategy #1: Academic Social Media
Develop a platform for Iona students to build relationships with each other and gain mentors through faculty and successful alumni. It will be promoted through acceptance letters/emails, orientation, promotional events and fliers. Students will then sign up to our schools platform to stay connected and receive support on their track towards their diploma. This platform will be using an existing websige implemented by the Hynes Institute called startup tree.
Strategy #2: Introduce “Design Thinking Tasks” at Freshmen Orientations
Orientation leaders would be trained with premade lesson plans facilitated by us. Our lesson plans will be concise and consist of design thinking tasks/challenges. Ideally, the freshmen would work together in groups to figure out creative ways to solve problems through multiple design thinking methods and challenges. This will be used to introduce entrepreneurship and help motivate them to get more involved with entrepreneurship on campus in the future.
Initially, we would train our orientation leaders with what the lesson plans we made consist of along with actually teaching them about entrepreneurship to ensure an authentic reciprocation from the orientation leaders to the incoming freshmen. We would collaborate with the orientation leaders and faculty and explain to them the lesson plan and how it could be incorporated with their activities. Through prior training of the orientation leaders before the actual orientation this would ensure the feasibility of it continuing annually.
Strategy #3: Mix it Up…
The syllabus is arguably the most important part of any course or lecture at any college or university setting. If it is the first thing that is reviewed and/or looked at to get a general idea of the lecture/course structure, why not incorporate entrepreneurship and innovation in some way and tie it into the task at hand. Keeping in contact with faculty as well as the administration would allow the students to produce and think outside the box despite the major. Working along the side of professors to ensure clarity of how we could collaboratively integrate entrepreneurship within their preset topics on their syllabus or how we can incorporate a design thinking method to fit their lesson. This is mixing up the traditional ways of lecturing to a more fun, interactive and creative way to learn.
Strategy #4: Introducing Innovative Games
After overviewing the orientation schedule, we are able to see that innovative games aren’t being introduced to incoming students. Playing innovative games are a fun way to build confidence, be creative, collaborate and find your passions. Some games that can be played include giving students legos or jenga pieces in to spark creative building. Giving students “The Big Creativity Can”, or Play-Doh that can help them prototype ideas they may have already. A Marshmallow Challenge where students work in teams to create the tallest tower with only string, tape, spaghetti and marshmallows. The Wallet Challenge were students team up to design a wallet suitable to the partners needs, These innovative games allow students to be introduced to creative thinking through simple objects.
We can ideate with our stakeholders the mapping of executing a design challenge program at orientation. We can pitch this program glimpse into entrepreneurship during freshman orientation. So that new students on campus are more comfortable by being exposed to entrepreneurship in a fun, creative and challenging way. Also incorporating an activity like this will provide variety to the current schedule on campus where incoming freshmen are simply consuming information. This program will be a hands-on activity that will be effective towards community building and communication.
Strategy #6: Live Questionnaire with...
Orientation at Iona is a 2-day event allowing students to get situated and comfortable with the environment around them. There are 6 sessions that tackle different events on the first and on the second day. This strategic priority would be great as it is very inexpensive and only requires fitting in with the schedule already provided for orientation and sitting in a designated area to engage the freshman. These activities will be taken out strategically and in a way that would engage the freshman’s recollection of their favorite changemakers or entrepreneurs what they liked about the entrepreneurs’ innovative solution to their problem.
This in turn, would create a sense of possibility at the campus with the students constantly being reminded that they have a career ahead of them and should decide to use it wisely. With these questions and activities and activities at the orientation they would be asked what they would have done if they were in the shoes of the entrepreneur being described at hand. Thus, creating more senses of self-empowerment, opportunity and the ability to envision.
Strategy #1: Introduce a campus wide Club Competition
Team Leader: CEO at Iona - The Entrepreneurship Club
Reach out to the Office of Student Development and collaborate with the Hynes Institute to create competition guidelines
Submit a funding proposal to the Office of Student Development and the Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation to secure funding for the prize(s)
Reach out to club presidents and have them organize teams within their club
Strategy #2: Introduce a "Flip It to Win It" Challenge
Team Leader: TBD
Incorporate this challenge into the Columba Cornerstone class, a class all freshmen or first-year students take
Have professors include this challenge into the course in a way that relates to the theme of the Columba Cornerstone class
In one class session, have the professor guide students through an ideation session, teach them how to analyze an environment, and have them identify a problem(s). In another class, have the professor teach students about how to pitch and sell an idea, product, or service.
Strategy #3: Community Sales Initiative for a Sustainable Future
Team Leader: TBD
Residential Hall Directors will be contacted in order to implement this plan on campus; They will then relay the message to their students for at least a week, and then the project will begin.
Post Flyers in all residence halls and buildings, making everyone aware of the campus-wide competition
Residential Hall Directors let tell RA’s to spread awareness at floor meetings
Get list of all competing floors throughout campus
RA’s must bring recyclables from each day to a pickup location in their building
Strategy #4: Giant “Marshmallow Challenge”
Team Leader: CEO at Iona - The Entrepreneurship Club
Students participate in this activity through campus events already in place. Examples include homecoming, spring weekend, and involvement fairs.
Students participate through a specifically organized event for this exercise on campus. This event can take place in during the grand opening ceremony for the new location of the Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
This could be part of a larger exercise which also connects other students on campus such as Greek Life. This activity can serve as a unification process during events typically known as “Greek Week.”