Institute for Science Entrepreneurship Announces 2014-2015 Speaker Series

Emily Chudzik, News Editor

Millikin University’s Institute for Science Entrepreneurship has recently announced the schedule for the Speaker Series during the 2014-2015 academic year.

The Institute was formed back in December of 2012 by Dr. George Bennett, a professor of chemistry, Dr. David Horn, an associate professor of biology, and Dr. Casey Watson, an associate professor of physics and astronomy.

Connecting students to opportunities within their chosen scientific field is one of the goals of the Institute.

“It ties in with Millikin’s performance learning approach, because it is engagement with actual professionals, and real outcomes can be associated with it. It’s not just a hypothesized situation or a class activity,” Bennett stated.

Scientific entrepreneurship is a field dominated by self-employed people who own their own companies or practices.

“Students majoring in the natural sciences and health sciences may ultimately be creating their own jobs. This provides opportunities and experience with what it’s going to be like to be self-employed in their chosen field,” Horn said.

The opportunity to take classes in science entrepreneurship can provide students with a competitive edge once they graduate and enter the real world.

The Institute also provides students with hands on experience; they have the potential to work on different projects with companies outside of the classroom.

“Millikin does an excellent job at preparing students for professional success, and the Institute is providing additional opportunities for them to be ready for their careers when they graduate,” Horn said.

In addition to the curricular and hands on experiences, the Institute hosts a Speaker Series. About once a month, a guest speaker is invited to Millikin to talk about a specific topic having to do with science, entrepreneurship, or both. They will be held in LRTUC and are free and open to students, faculty and even the public.

“The Speaker Series is an invaluable way for Millikin students to connect with potential employers in their field while they are still students,” Horn said.

It is great for networking, and it allows students to meet individuals who are currently in a career they are interested in.

“Students get a firsthand account of what it means to own and operate a science venture and be self-employed,” Horn stated.

The Institute wants to reach as broad of an audience as possible. This year, the topics range anywhere from international business to the emerging issue of big data. One will even be about how entrepreneurship can help people achieve their American Dream.

Horn said, “If we think of it as a catalyst for change, it provides an opportunity to explore how we can create positive transformation in the sciences. Ultimately, it allows our students to explore their possibilities, and that is very exciting.”

Here is the lineup for the Fall 2014 Speaker Series:

Thursday, September 18 @ 7:30pm: Rick Moore, Facility Manager, Caterpillar Inc. Decatur

Thursday, October 2 @ 7:30pm: Al Naqvi, Executive Vice President & CEO, Illinois Health and Science

Thursday, October 23 @7:30pm: Mark Rank, Herbert S. Hadley Professor of Social Welfare, Washington University

Thursday, November 20 @ 7:30pm: Bill O’Grady, Chief Market Strategist, Confluence Investment Management