February 3, 2018

The Quad [Feb. 3-10]: Four things to know from Holy Cross, WPI, Becker and Clark

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Courtesy College of the Holy Cross

J.D. Power on his last visit to Holy Cross, in 2013.

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HC receives $3M gift for J.D. Power Center for Liberal Arts in the World

The College of the Holy Cross has received a $3 million gift from the family of alumnus J.D. Power III ’53 — a pioneer in consumer research and information — to support the college’s Center for Liberal Arts in the World. In recognition, it will be renamed the J.D. Power Center for Liberal Arts in the World.

Established in 2016 by Provost Margaret Freije and led by Director Daniel Klinghard, the center is the hub for Holy Cross’ experiential learning programs, including internships, student research, community- and project-based learning.

The $3 million gift from the Power family’s foundation, the Kenrose Kitchen Table Foundation, will enable Holy Cross to enhance and significantly expand experiential learning opportunities that enable students to integrate their academic experiences with opportunities to apply their learning in real-world contexts beyond the classroom.

While approximately 60 percent of Holy Cross students already participate in experiential learning, the Power family’s gift will accelerate the college’s efforts to increase available opportunities and engage all Holy Cross students in some form of experiential learning. This gift will be invested in four initiatives.

Expanding opportunities for students. Among these opportunities are The Ignite Fund, which helps underwrite project-based learning fellowships; Research Associateships, which pair students with faculty projects; Summer Internships and funded Summer Student Research positions; Mock Trial and Moot Court programs; the Donelan Office for Community-Based Learning, connects academic learning with community engagement; and Semester Away, the college’s popular program which enables students to study in New York or Washington, D.C.

Reducing barriers to participation. The gift will allow the J.D. Power Center to expand programs—including an alumni speaker series and alumni site visit series, as well as internship tutorials— aimed explicitly at recruiting low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students who might not otherwise have access to or be aware of such experiences.

Focusing on Worcester. Power is a proud native of Worcester, and this gift will be used to expand research and experiential learning opportunities in the city of Worcester to allow students to engage more deeply with local agencies and organizations.

Developing appropriate technology. The gift will also be used to further develop and acquire appropriate technology designed to connect students with experiential learning opportunities.

“Dave Power is a visionary, both as a businessman and a philanthropist, and we are grateful for his generous support of Holy Cross and the Center that now bears his name,” said Freije. “At Holy Cross, we expect our students to learn from a variety of experiences that take place in and outside the classroom. This gift recognizes the value of a liberal arts education in preparing students to fully realize their potential in their careers and lives.”

“As an alum, I am extraordinarily proud of the impact College of the Holy Cross graduates have had on the world, and my family and I are thrilled to be in the position to support the college’s mission to develop men and women for others,” Power said. “I always felt that my Holy Cross education broadened my perspective, and helped me understand the importance of seeking truth and questioning the status quo. I’m proud to help the J.D. Power Center for Liberal Arts in the World extend that same opportunity to future generations of Holy Cross graduates.”

Power, a Worcester native and founder of the global marketing information firm J.D. Power and Associates, is a 1953 graduate of the college. Power’s father, uncle, brother, daughter, and grandson are Holy Cross graduates. His daughter Susan Power Curtin ’93 is a member of the College’s board of trustees. He and his family are longtime supporters of the college, having previously established the Power Family Scholarship to provide assistance to Holy Cross students from Worcester County, and the J.D. Power Worcester-Based Internships Fund to help fund paid internships for Holy Cross students at Worcester-area organizations.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute opens WPI Seaport

A long list of dignitaries helped Worcester Polytechnic Institute President Laurie Leshin officially open the school’s 6,400-square foot space in Boston’s rapidly developing Seaport District on Wednesday.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, acting Senate President Harriette L. Chandler of Worcester, Worcester Mayor Joseph M. Petty and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh were on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony.

The multipurpose space at 303 Congress St. aims to further WPI’s role in the state’s innovation economy, positioning the university among some of the nation’s top innovators and technology companies — especially those who are focused in such areas as digital health, robotics, cybersecurity, the data sciences, and financial technology — in order to better facilitate strategic relationships in the region.

“WPI is playing an increasingly important role in the state’s innovation economy,” Leshin said. “We already share so many common interests and areas of expertise with some of the most innovative companies and professionals working in the Commonwealth. Our presence in this neighborhood will allow us to build new partnerships and strengthen existing collaborations. Colleges and universities are critical sources of talent and new business ideas for companies that are hungry to grow. WPI Seaport will connect major companies with similar interests and areas of focus to our high-caliber faculty, researchers, students, and graduates.”

Polito celebrated the opening of WPI Seaport, calling WPI a conduit for education and innovation between the state’s two largest cities.

“Academic institutions like WPI and the highly skilled students they train are key reasons why Massachusetts leads the country in innovation,” said Polito. “WPI Seaport will provide students and the university unique access to other institutions, great companies, and leading innovators.”

“WPI has long been one of Worcester’s strongest allies in both education and innovation,” Petty said. “We know that the relationships the university builds here will benefit so many of our partners in the heart of the commonwealth. We are a city with so much to offer, and we’re grateful that WPI is representing us here in the capital city.”

Becker to host session for refugees interested in started a business

The Yunus Social Business Centre @ Becker College will host an information session Feb. 5 for newcomers who have a great idea and want to start a business in Worcester.

Attendees will meet local refugee entrepreneurs and hear about their successes and challenges. Becker business professors and business students will be on hand to offer advice and assist with business development ideas. Planning for a refugee entrepreneurship networking group will also take place.

Foreign-born entrepreneurs account for more than 37 percent of all business owners in the city, double the statewide rate, according to research by UMass Donahue Institute and UMass Public Policy Center.

The info session will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5 (snow date Feb. 28) at Becker’s Colleen C. Barrett Center for Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 80 William St., 1st Floor. Light fare will be served, featuring foods from local refugee businesses in attendance.  Space is limited.

To register or for more information, contact Debra Pallatto-Fontaine, Ph.D., executive director for Global Initiatives and Becker’s Yunus Social Business Centre, via email at Debra.Pallatto-Fontaine@becker.edu.

Record number of Clark undergrads get federal Gilman scholarships to study abroad

Thirty percent of Clark University undergraduates study abroad, compared with only 2 percent of college students nationwide. And now there’s even more good news to report: Clark has a record number of students – nine – who received the U.S. State Department’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study or intern abroad this spring.

“This year, we worked even harder to promote funding opportunities and access in study abroad for underrepresented students, and we’re really proud of this number,” said Alissa Kramer, director of study abroad at Clark. “In the last five years, we’ve had 37 students receive the award, including nine this fall. Having nine recipients at a small, liberal arts university like Clark means our students are supported in choosing diverse and non-traditional study abroad experiences.”

On average, only 28 percent of U.S. college students who apply for Gilman awards receive them; at Clark, 70 percent of the students did, according to Kramer.

For the 2017-18 academic year, nearly 1,000 American undergraduate students from 386 colleges and universities received awards. Gilman Scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply toward their study abroad or internship program costs, with additional funding available for the study of a critical language overseas.

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