The Class of 2007 Public Interest Loan Forgiveness Program
Fellow: Melissa Hamann
Client: Ann Richards, Johnson at Cornell University
This program was created to meet a need among Johnson graduates who seek positions in the lower paying nonprofit and public sectors. It relieves the burden of student loan debt, allowing Johnson graduates to transition earlier to positions of civic leadership. In addition, it helps Johnson to attract top candidates seeking careers in the public and nonprofit sectors by creating a program similar to those at other top MBA institutions. Currently, the program will award up to $5,000 annually to eligible applicants by the Office of Financial Aid with guidance from an Advisory Board of staff, faculty, and students. Priority for the award will be determined based on financial need. With the support of Johnson administration, the Department of Alumni Affairs, and the generous class gift contributions from the members of the Class of 2007, this fundraising campaign is currently underway. Future plans include increasing the amount of the award to be more competitive with peer institutions.
The Lehman Alternative School and Ithaca Youth Bureau Outdoor Adventure Program
Fellows: Christy Bensen, Alexia Burnett, Justin Charise, Steve Headrick, and Mary Packman
Clients: Joe Greenberg, LACS; Kim Olsen, IYB
This project worked in partnership with the Lehman Alternative Community School (LACS) and the Ithaca Youth Bureau (IYB) to develop a program to educate, empower, and impart healthy lifestyle education to young adults by establishing a sustainable alternative outdoor education and other hands-on physical program activities. Initial planning for this Park Project began in 2006 with a previous project that laid the groundwork and funding for the program including donations from the Community Impact Charity Auction. The nine-week course took place on Thursday mornings during the fall and included activities such as a low and a high ropes course, rock climbing, swimming, canoeing, tennis, and dragon boating. The course culminated in a two day camping trip. Students developed teambuilding, problem solving, and self awareness while encouraging physical and mental fitness/wellness. The Ithaca Youth Bureau is continuing this program with LACS.
The Cornell Solar Decathlon
Fellow: Dan Zook
Client: Matt Ulinski, Cornell University
The Cornell University Solar Decathlon (CUSD) project is comprised of a team of 80 Cornell students who are competing to design and construct a solar powered house that will be transported to Washington DC in the fall of 2007 for a national competition. The competition is sponsored by the United States Department of Energy. This project served the Business subteam, which was charged with raising the necessary financing and maintaining critical relationships for the team. With a project budget of approximately $500,000, fundraising is a key component of the overall strategy. The project focused on laying the groundwork and relationships necessary for successful fundraising. To date, fundraising efforts are on target.
The Ithaca Free Clinic Strategic Plan
Fellows: Lauren Fusfeld, Rachelle Galant, and Peter Kellogg
Clients: Scott Marsland, Justine Waldman, and Beth Harrington of the IFC
The mission of the Ithaca Free Clinic (IFC) is to provide access to health care based on need, and not on ability to pay. Through the talent and generosity of the health care community, the IFC provides mainstream medical services, complementary alternative medicine, and social advocacy to establish health care as a human right and not a privilege. This project provided the clinic with analysis and planning around three main areas: 1) determining the feasibility and approach for measuring the net benefit to community of a free health clinic, 2) assisting in development of a long-term sustainability strategy for the clinic, and 3) assisting in the development of a state association of free clinics for New York state.
The Lehman Alternative School Leadership Education and Development Program (LEAD)
Fellows: Adrienne Melendez, Jennifer Ortiz
Client: Joe Greenberg, LACS
The LEAD curriculum targeted middle school and high school students at the Lehman Alternative School to improve self-awareness and develop personal and inter-personal skills. The "training sessions" were conducted both on-site at LACS and off-site at Cornell University. This is the second year LEAD had been successfully taught at LACS. The project provided LACS students with eight weeks of one-on-one coaching, access to Leadership Assessment tools, the opportunity to learn from eminent Johnson faculty, and the chance to practice effective communication and negotiation skills.
The Cornell Automotive X-Prize
Fellows: Phil Bell, Kyle Rasmussen
Client: Al George, Cornell Engineering School
The Cornell Automotive X-Prize Project's vision is to design a 100 mpg-equivalent automobile that will reduce global non-renewable energy consumption and harmful emissions. The team's goal is to win the $25 million Automotive X-Prize (www.auto.xprize.org) by demonstrating a successful business plan for the vehicle in 2008 and by winning a series of stage races to be held in 2009. This will be a student-led effort with technical and financial sponsorship from General Electric, media sponsorship from Popular Mechanics Magazine, and design and manufacturing support from a to-be-identified vehicle manufacturer.
The Johnson Dialogos Retreat
Fellows: John Renehan, Michelle Wonsley
Client: Deniqua Crichlow, Johnson at Cornell University
The Dialogos Project was a 3 day residential retreat conducted in early February with 24 Johnson students. The primary purpose of the retreat was to promote appreciation of diversity and create an environment where participants got to know one another beyond the context of their professional aspirations and achievements. The retreat focused on developing effective communication, appreciation for diversity, and greater personal efficacy through story telling, exercises, and individual goal-setting. The program proved very successful and the School is now interested in scaling up the activity next year to reach more participants.
The Johnson Future Stars Program
Fellows: Jack Ferrer, Halis Santana
The Future Stars Partnership was born out of Matt Cohen's (Founder & Johnson at Cornell University alumnus) participation in The Bear Stearns Partners in Education Mentoring Program that pairs professional mentors from Bear Stearns with students from Theodore Roosevelt High School (renamed Fordham Leadership Academy for Business and Technology) in Bronx, NY. The mentorship program is designed to expose inner city children to the corporate world in effort to inspire them to stay in school and ultimately attend college. The primary program of The Future Stars Partnership is the Future Stars Summer Camp, a 3-day college immersion program where students visit Cornell University's Ithaca campus. The Future Stars Partnership Summer Program links Johnson and Cornell University with workplace mentoring programs already in place at prominent New York City businesses. The program served 20 students (10 students in 2005 & 2006) from Fordham Leadership Academy (Bronx, NY).
The Finger Lakes Wineries and Grape Growers Project
Fellows: Greg McGee, Kate McGinnis, James Moses, and Colm O'Mara
Other Students: Daniel Desmond
Clients: Read McNamara, Rural Opportunities Inc.; Arthur Hunt, Hunt Country Vineyards; Bob Madill, Sheldrake Point Winery
The team worked with Rural Opportunities Inc. (ROI), a private, nonprofit regional community development and human service organization providing services to farm workers, low-income families and economically depressed communities throughout New York. The project served to aid Finger Lakes wineries and grape-growers to gain greater access to credit and capital. In concert with ROI and the Roy H. Park Fellows, local wineries formed a Winery Credit and Capital Access Board (WCCAB) to better understand the recent challenges in obtaining loans from banks and develop new solutions. In coordination with the WCCAB, the team also facilitated increased communication between the banking and winery industries and is developing a series of workshops to be held this summer for winery owners, family, and key staff to help them better understand bank loan standard requirements, accounting, and other key business topics. This project is currently seeking approval for a grant as part of the U.S. Department of Labor's Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) Initiative. The grant will ensure a 6-week series of follow-on classes offered in January and February of 2008 which will provide winery owners with a better understanding of business concepts and elaborate on topics discussed in the summer workshops.
The Tompkins County Community Action After School Program
Fellows: John Carr, Michael Seitz
Client: Melissa Elwell, Dewitt Middle School
This project developed an interactive business education program for Dewitt Middle School's after-school program. The after-school program, sponsored by Tompkins Community Action, acts as an educational safe haven for middle-schoolers during the vulnerable late-afternoon hours -- a time when many of its participants would otherwise be subject to the risks of abuse, negative peer pressure, drugs, etc. The project focused on developing a business curriculum for the middle school and creating a greater relationship between the Cornell Community and the local middle school programs. The Cornell team visited the school weekly to teach over 25 children the principles of business in a team-based, fun environment. The curriculum was based on the BizWorld Foundation's published business education program, but with significant modifications. The semester of visits culminated with the students creating their own t-shirt businesses and a competition between teams to become the most profitable enterprise.
IDEA (Innovation Development & Economic Applications) Center
Fellows: Zach Rogers, Bart Gabler, Adam Liebhoff, Jack Ferrer
The IDEA Center is intended to be a physical business incubator providing research and office space, as well as a host of other business services, to early stage or start-up companies with Cornell technologies in order to reduce entry barriers into the business world. The mission of the IDEA Center is to serve as a catalyst for the development and transfer of Cornell-based technologies or development of new companies formed from Cornell Technologies.