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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Social Entrepreneurial Symposium Highlights ODU's Public Service Week

As part of Old Dominion University's fifth annual Public Service Week, students with a passion for thinking like an entrepreneur, and working for causes bigger than themselves, have a chance to demonstrate that commitment.

This year, for the first time, Public Service Week events will include a social entrepreneurial symposium and non-profit pitch competition on Friday, Sept. 18, from 3 to 6:30 p.m. at Old Dominion's Strome Entrepreneurial Center.

Six experts from local companies and nonprofits will conduct workshops at the event, followed by an opportunity for groups to pitch solutions based on three social problems affecting Hampton Roads - sea level rise, generational homelessness and the hunger gap (individuals who don't qualify for benefits but struggle with hunger at the end of every month).

"This event represents, to us, a great next step in Public Service Week at Old Dominion," said John Morris, professor and chair of the School of Public Service in the Strome College of Business. "Charitable, nonprofit and governmental organizations need to become more entrepreneurial in their approach, in order to maximize their opportunities to make an impact on their communities."

Public Service Week, launched in response to the "call to service" issued by President Barak Obama during his inaugural address, runs from Sept. 14-18 this year.

In addition to the social entrepreneurial symposium, co-hosted by the Strome Center and Enactus, Old Dominion's social entrepreneurial club, Public Service Week offers an array of diverse programming, including the annual Public Service Festival, Sept. 15 on Kaufman Mall. It is designed to expose Old Dominion students to careers in public service and provide information about the University's minor in Public Service, which is available to students in any academic college.

Other events scheduled as part of Public Service Week include:

  • Monday, Sept. 14, the Women in Public Service panel, 3-5 p.m., Hampton/Newport News Rooms, Webb University Center. Featuring Kristen Pine, deputy director of the YWCA of South Hampton Roads; Donna Patterson, general registrar for the City of Virginia Beach; Wanda Barnard Bailey, deputy city manager for the City of Chesapeake; Connie Merriman, assistant dean of the Strome College of Business; and Emily Eddins, assistant director of service learning at Old Dominion. (Sponsored by the Masters of Public Administration Association, the Public Administration and Urban Policy Ph.D. Student Association, and the ODU Women's Center)
  • Tuesday, Sept. 15, the Public Service Festival, 12:30-1:20 p.m., Kaufman Mall. Faculty, staff and students are invited to a picnic to learn more about the minor in public service and about ODU organizations' community service projects. The first 100 attendees will receive a t-shirt and participants will have a chance to win an iPad. Student organizations who would like a table at the Public Service Festival can sign up through Monarch Link or contact Meg Jones at mmjones@odu.edu.
  • A blood drive will be hosted on Kaufman Mall on Wednesday, Sept. 16. Throughout the day the American Red Cross Bloodmobile will be parked on Kaufman Mall. The event is sponsored by the American Red Cross, ODU Red Cross Club, Kappa Alpha Psi and Kappa Delta Rho.
  • Also Wednesday, Sept. 16, Camilla Stivers, nationally renowned scholar and professional in the field of public service will deliver the Public Service Week Academic Address from 7-8 p.m. in the River Rooms of Webb Center. Stivers, Distinguished Professor of Public Administration at Levin College, is a former Albert A. Levin Professor of Urban Studies and Public Service at Levin College, and the associate editor of Public Administration Review. The event is sponsored by the Public Administration and Urban Policy Ph.D. Student Association.
  • Friday, Sept. 18, Engaged Students: Adapting to Future Sea Level, 2-4 p.m., Potomac/York River Rooms, Webb Center. This event will ask Old Dominion University students to help set the course for the region and inform our leadership about the priorities and aspirations of young adult residents, especially in the face of flooding. During the event, students are invited to engage, respond and be a part of creating a vision of a future where we are living with water. Register HERE. The event is sponsored by Old Dominion's Department of Ocean, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences and Virginia Sea Grant
  • Also Friday, Sept. 18, the Social Entrepreneurship Symposium and Non-Profit Pitch Competition will be held from 3-6:30 p.m. Subject matter experts in areas such as marketing and public relations; fund-raising; legal considerations; and strategic planning will provide guidance and insight to prospective social entrepreneurs. The three (pre-selected) finalist entries in the non-profit pitch competition will make presentations to judges, with the winning entry receiving a cash prize to support their endeavor. Detailed information about the Non-Profit Pitch Competition, including instructions for submitting an entry, is available here. Refreshments will be provided. The social entrepreneurship symposium is free, however, pre-registration is required. REGISTER NOW. The event is sponsored by the ODU Enactus team, Strome Entrepreneurial Center

For more information about Public Service Week at Old Dominion University, see the Public Service Week Website.