IU East to collaborate with area businesses for internships, entrepreneurial projects

May 13th, 2009

Indiana University East is initiating a five-year plan to establish greater opportunities for collaboration with area businesses and organizations through the Business Development Opportunities Program. The initiative has been made possible by a $140,000 grant from Lilly Endowment , Inc., which is being matched by IU East.

The program will provide valuable opportunities for students by providing internships with businesses in the community and other experiential learning projects and workshops.

David Frantz, dean of the IU East School of Business and Economics, recently announced the hiring of Patricia Crawford to coordinate the program. “We are fortunate to have a person of Patty’s talents to get this program off the ground. Patty will be instrumental in working with students and area organizations, particularly in the formation of internships and the creation of entrepreneurial opportunities for students,” Frantz said.

Crawford has been an instructor in business at IU East since January 2009. Previously, she was the account manager for the children’s division of Stride Rite Corporation in Richmond. Crawford earned her M.B.A. from Anderson University and her B. A. in Strategic Communication from the Ohio State University.

“It is an exciting opportunity to be a part of this new endeavor to create opportunities for both Indiana University East students and area organizations,” Crawford said. “Internships are critical elements to professional growth and development which also nurtures partnership. This program will be a powerful tool that will prove to be beneficial for the university and community.”

The program will work closely with the IU East Center for Entrepreneurship. The center’s director, Tim Scales, said through the program the university will create special arrangements with potential business sponsors, work with students to collaborate with community businesses and other organizations on entrepreneurial projects, and assist in the acquisition and administration of grants aimed at business development in east central Indiana.

The grant is part of the $2.75 million Indiana University received in November 2008. The grant is designed to support initiatives that provide internships and job placement, promote economic development and encourage a culture of entrepreneurship. The five-year Initiative to Promote Opportunities through Educational Collaborations will fund new and continued activities at seven IU campuses aimed at reversing the “brain drain” and increasing the number of college graduates who stay and work in Indiana. For more information about the project, contact Patricia Crawford at (765) 973-8625 or by e-mail at pajames@indiana.edu.

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