The iCenter in Marshall University’s Lewis College of Business is among 25 business school programs highlighted in the Innovations That Inspire member spotlight program of AASCB International — the world’s largest business education alliance.
This annual program recognizes institutions worldwide that champion change in the business education landscape. In 2023, it focused on efforts to innovate the business school in ways that enhance value for all stakeholders, including students, businesses, and society. Schools were recognized for defining new realities for the future of learning, leading and connecting, re-energizing the value proposition for business education.
“New demands from stakeholders require reimagined business school initiatives, and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (iCenter) in the Lewis College of Business demonstrates a fresh way forward for business education,” said Caryn Beck-Dudley, AACSB president and CEO. “By leveraging innovation for knowledge co-creation, new methods of learning and expanded educational access, business schools are meeting market expectations and increasing value for businesses, learners, and society.”
Dr. Ben Eng, associate professor of marketing, assistant provost for innovation and executive director of the Lewis College of Business iCenter, submitted the entry that received the award and attended the AACSB’s International Conference and annual meeting in Chicago, where the iCenter was recognized for its Innovation That Inspires. He discussed the iCenter and its role in using innovation, business development and human capital to power West Virginia forward.
“Our mission at the iCenter is to inspire innovation across the college of business, campus of Marshall, and community of West Virginia by diffusing cutting-edge best practices in innovation through education and training,” Eng said. “It’s an honor and privilege to be recognized by the AACSB as an Innovation That Inspires.”
Within the Lewis College of Business, the iCenter spreads the Design for Delight (D4D) in classrooms to grow student entrepreneurs through two primary initiatives: The Brad D. Smith Student Incubator and BUSN 100 – Intro to Business course. The iCenter is currently applying D4D to redesign the business core curriculum in the Lewis College of Business.
At Marshall University, the iCenter teaches D4D in the First Year Seminar honors section and provides D4D workshops and consulting to help various administrative and academic departments innovate solutions to their largest challenges. For example, the iCenter helped the dining department innovate a new student meal plan structure and selection system.
And in the community of West Virginia, the iCenter is part of a grant-funded program for the West Virginia Department of Education, the Simulated Workplace Entrepreneurship Education Program (SWEEP). Through SWEEP, the iCenter has helped develop a D4D-based entrepreneurship curriculum for West Virginia high school students who are in Career and Technical Education.
“Our college is proud to be chosen as among the most innovative business schools worldwide,” said Dr. Nancy Lankton, associate dean of the Lewis College of Business. “The work the iCenter does, under the direction of Dr. Eng, has impact throughout the region and truly contributes to the state’s economic development. Through our efforts, we hope to inspire others to solve problems, think outside of the box and be the best they can be.”
The Innovations That Inspire initiative is in its eighth year and has highlighted 214 business school efforts that exemplify forward-looking approaches to education, research, community engagement, entrepreneurship, leadership, and diversity and inclusion. To read more about Innovation That Inspire, visit https://www.aacsb.edu/innovations-that-inspire.
To learn more about Marshall’s Lewis College of Business, visit www.marshall.edu/lcob.