WKU faculty and students won multiple national awards at the 42nd Annual Academic Small Business Institute® Conference in Corpus Christi, Texas, held February 16-17.
Drs. Whitney Peake and LeAnne Coder earned the Small Business Institute® Best Empirical Paper Award.
Dr. Peake was also awarded the national SBI Showcase Award which is given to an SBI Director in recognition of innovative SBI Program development or management.
“It was such an honor for the work of our faculty and students to be recognized at the Small Business Institute® Annual Conference, and to receive validation that the work we’re doing together is among the highest quality in the nation. It’s always exciting to receive an award for doing what you love every day,” says WKU’s Vitale Professor of Entrepreneurship, Dr. Whitney Peake.
The entrepreneurial students were just as successful as our faculty. The student team representing Bowling Green company Millstone Labs earned first place nationally in the Small Business Institute® Project of the Year Competition, within the Undergraduate Specialized Category. Students representing this team were: Eric Thomas, Savannah Daniell, Brianna Anderson, and Jacob Cox.
The student team representing Archangel placed third nationally in the Small Business Institute® Project of the Year Competition, within the Undergraduate Feasibility Analysis Category. Students in this group were: Spencer Hansen, Shelby Higginbotham, Paul Machilaski, Katie Norman, and John Zehnder.
Thomas, from Owensboro; Daniell, from Bowling Green; Higginbotham, from Bowling Green; Norman from Union; and Zehnder, from Louisville, presented at the conference. Both student teams completed their work under the leadership of Dr. Peake.
“I’m particularly excited that our students’ engaged learning in the community for their work with local businesses received recognition,” Dr. Peake said. “Our students in the GFCB are top-notch, and to showcase their skills and abilities in a consulting project context is incredibly rewarding. These projects are a win-win. The students learn about problems or challenges that small businesses in the community truly face and the small businesses receive consulting help related to ways in which they may improve their operations. As an applied College of business, having our students ‘get their hands dirty’ with real world projects gives them an advantage on the job market ad in the workforce,” she said.