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Wilson Center Names Faculty Fellows

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Each year the Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship funds four fellowships for Pace University faculty to grow our diverse portfolio of research projects with a focus on the identification and analysis of issues facing nonprofits and social enterprises. Here are this year's fellows.

The Helene and Grant Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship is pleased to announce the 2015–2016 Wilson Faculty Fellows. Each fellow will receive a $5,000 stipend to work on approved projects, case studies, and/or academic research that support the Center's mission and goals. The 2015–2016 Wilson Center Faculty Fellows are:

  • >> Casey Frid, Assistant Professor of Management, Lubin School of Business
  • >> Lijun He, Assistant Professor of Public Administration, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences
  • >> Carol Roye, Associate Dean for Faculty Scholarship and Professor, College of Health Professions  
  • >> Jason Whitesel, Assistant Professor of Women and Gender Studies, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences

Professor Frid’s case study will explore the emergence of a collective identity among individuals in a rural area in Brazil, known as the Reserva do Ibitipoca. Through field observations, tracking local news, interviewing local entrepreneurs, residents, and other relevant stakeholders, Professor Frid will gather insights into the socio-cultural, environmental, and economic challenges this community is confronting as a result of the exponential growth of tourism in the region. Professor Frid will work with an undergraduate student who will help with coding the collected data. He plans to allow students in his Honors section to use some of the data collected through this research to write their own case studies as part of their coursework.

Professor He’s study seeks to contribute to the scholarly research on impact investing through two main objectives: to identify the involved actors; and to analyze the sequence of changes a foundation experiences as they make a strategic shift from traditional grant making to impact investing. To assist with her study, Professor He will collaborate with a Pace University graduate student interested in learning and researching impact investment and nonprofit strategies. The study will focus on two US-based grant-making foundations (one public and one private) that have shifted to impact investing. Interviews, organizational reports, files, press releases, and documents will be collected and analyzed to observe the differences in their governance systems and managerial structure as a result of this shift. The results of the study will provide a better understanding of the strategic change processes, which will broaden the theory related to strategic change. The outcome of this research will help accelerate the implementation process for foundations that intend to adopt impact investing as a new strategy.

Professor Roye’s research will investigate how a small nonprofit organization, Promoting Health in Haiti (PHH), founded by a group of nurse faculty, established partnerships with key entities in Haiti and created a sea change in nursing education after the catastrophic Haitian earthquake of 2010. The proposed case study will examine and report on the steps taken by PHH to collaborate and produce desperately needed changes in nursing education. Through interviews with key stakeholders in the US and in Haiti, Professor Roye will gain insights into the work of the facilitators and will better understand the barriers to establishing effective working partnerships. Two Pace University nursing students will assist in the analysis and will also provide additional insight into issues relevant to working in Haiti or other developing countries.

Professor Whitesel’s research will focus on a global nonprofit, the Prime Timers. With chapters throughout the United States and abroad, this organization’s mission is to support a disenfranchised group within gay society–older gay men–many of whom may live in social isolation. Currently, it is unclear whether Prime Timers is effectively impacting its target population; little research exists to suggest ways to increase the organization’s impact and to identify and analyze the immediate problems facing this nonprofit. Professor Whitesel’s research aims to investigate the mismatch between members’ expectations and the organization’s mission. Qualitative content analysis of a) the organization’s online materials and publications and b) interviews with local organization members and with key stakeholders will yield information about structural or leadership issues and the future growth or decline of the organization. Professor Whitesel will engage “Introduction to Queer Studies” students in the data collection and analysis process. The project will connect the queer studies minors with the nonprofit studies minors in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at Pace. By involving students in the operations of a nonprofit organization, this study will also connect students to the Pace Path program through their civic engagement and experiential learning.