School:Hollins University

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Hollins is an independent liberal arts university dedicated to academic excellence and humane values. Hollins University offers undergraduate liberal arts education for women, selected graduate programs for men and women, and community outreach initiatives. The Hollins curriculum and cocurricular programs prepare students for lives of active learning, fulfilling work, personal growth, achievement, and service to society. Hollins nurtures civility, integrity, and concern for others, encourages and values diversity and social justice, and affirms the equal worth of women and men. Hollins ranks #8 in the nation for its Theatre Program, #5 Best Alumni Network (Private Schools) and is #12 among the Best Schools for Internships (Private Schools) by the Princeton Review. It is also home to several national and international creative writers, authors and poets: Pulitzer Prize winners - Annie Dillard and Henry Taylor, U.S Poet Laureate - Natasha Trethewey. The university motto, Levavi Oculos, calls us to leadership and service in accord with the Hollins values and traditions.

Promoting student innovation and entrepreneurship

Currently Hollins University offers a minor and concentration in Entrepreneurship under the Business track. The Entrepreneurial Learning Institute at Hollins was founded in was established in 2019/ The institute combines the hallmarks of a liberal arts education—critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, and leadership—with the entrepreneurial spirit and mindset that are driving opportunity and business growth in the 21st century. Hollins University’s Entrepreneurial Learning Institute takes a deeper approach to entrepreneurship that goes beyond venture-based businesses, and benefits students from all majors through collaboration across the curriculum. Students have access to:

Encouraging faculty innovation and entrepreneurship

The Hollins University faculty embrace and implement innovative thinking and entrepreneurial opportunities across all disciplines. From first year students being able to engage in innovation thinking with the help of the faculty members in the Hollins First Year Seminar Program, to juniors and seniors taking 300-level classes on Sustainable Architecture that combine the challenges and promises of sustainability to a whole new field. Faculty are encouraged to structure classes that allow for innovation to become the central focus of student learning. With the ESP (Experience, Skills & Perspective) curriculum that Hollins follows, the faculty are trained to design classes so that students are able to see the connection between various topics and concepts that further foster innovation and creativity.

Facilitating university-industry collaboration

Hollins is located in the city of Roanoke that is a rising hub for a lot of startups and new ventures in the region. Hollins University collaborates with Virginia Tech's Apex Center to facilitate collaborations with small businesses and non-profits in the Blacksburg region as well. To further help qualified students pursue advanced degrees and meaningful careers in high-demand fields, Hollins University has finalized admission agreements with Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences at Mary Baldwin University (MDCHS) and the Virginia Tech College of Engineering. Moreover, Hollins has a strong presence in the Roanoke community through a lot of leadership and community service oriented services. The January Term at Hollins further fosters such collaborations by placing students to be able to engage in experiential learning opportunities.

Engaging with regional and local economic development efforts

Hollins connects its entrepreneurial ecosystem with the larger local and international community through applied Entrepreneurship and other joint courses taught by Hollins faculty and the principals of prehype, an entrepreneurial and innovative firm with offices in New York, London, Copenhagen, and Rio de Janeiro. Among a variety of opportunities, students gain hands-on experience at prehype’s New York office as part of a January Short Term internship. Work with the Roanoke Valley’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, including: The Advancement Foundation, Valleys Innovation Council, Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce, RAMP (Regional Accelerator and Mentoring Program), Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council, and Roanoke Regional Small Business Development Center Hollins resources and programs including the acclaimed Batten Leadership Institute, life skills and career development, study abroad opportunities, and a passionate network of successful alumnae and business leaders.

Hollins Landscape Canvas

Landscape Canvas