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Photo Courtesy of The Federal Reserve


It’s Your World I

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Meet the 2014 Innovo Scholars

Several Innovo supporters participated in the discussion. They discussed their experiences with the students and shared why programs such as Innovo are critical in developing future business leaders. “I was just in awe of the opportunity, just to be connected with so many people that could open these doors for you,” said junior Dineo Seakamela. In September, Innovo hosted “It’s Your World” to recruit new scholars and discuss global trade with local business leaders. Both programs gave students exposure to the world of networking and broadened their view of industry beyond local entrepreneurship. Innovo is focusing

Continued It’s Your World on page 2

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Undergraduate research students enjoy publishing success

Photo Courtesy of Dr. Alexa Rosypal

nnovo Scholars are gaining valuable lessons from local and national business leaders on how to become successful entrepreneurs. In November, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker spoke to a group of scholars during a roundtable discussion.

Photo by: Wendy Yang

L-R Dineo Seakamela discusses her decision to be part of Innovo Laboratory as Jeffrey Lacker, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President and Ron Stodghill, Director of Innovo Laboratory listen to her thoughts.

Photo Courtesy of The Charlotte Observer

L-R Keisha Talbot Johnson, co-founder of Innovo and Scholars Louisa Taylor, Dineo Seakamela pose with Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank and Scholars Daniel Rocha Herrera, and Michelle Campbell with Ron Stodghill, Director of Innovo.

It’s Your World From Page 1 on how the students can develop their ideas in a way that will allow them to eventually conduct business, particularly in such growing economies as Brazil, Russia, India and China. “It’s about preparing them for the next steps in life, learning how to interact with others in a setting that might not be officially professional,” said Innovo co-founder Keisha Talbot Johnson “They can start to build relationships with people they might wind up inter-

Photo Courtesy of The Charlotte Observer


acting with in the professional world.” “They get the opportunity to refine their speech and to feel comfortable in a professional setting,” said director of Innovo Ron Stodghill. Most entrepreneurship training happens through competitions, from pitching ideas to showcasing business plans. “It’s about developing a sense of confidence and identity,” he said. “The only way to do it is to see folks that inspire you and then you kind of take on some of their values and characteristics and their language. You start to walk the walk because you’ve seen someone walk it.” Communications major Seakamela

Photo Courtesy of The Charlotte Observer

said the “It’s Your World” panel discussion taught her the importance of knowing what you want to do and how to articulate it. Seakemela hails from South Africa, and is one of the international students helping to provide Innovo with a distinctly global view. Innovo has scholars from South Africa, Rwanda, Haiti, and Jamaica. Seakamela, who joined Innovo last fall, isn’t just learning from the program. She’s hoping to contribute. She wants to take what she learns so she can, “help my brothers and sisters move forward and to grow.”

Photo Courtesy of The Charlotte Observer


Research Leads To Journal Publication ndergraduate students are gaining career-advancing experience through their study of parasites. They are conducting research under Dr. Alexa Rosypal's mentorship. Nine of her students have been published in seven journals since 2010.


Many undergraduates never get the opportunity to conduct research, and the fact that Dr. Rosypal's students have been published in academic journals is a rarity. Their published research studies topics such as parasites that infect wild dogs and antibodies found in gray and red foxes in North Caroina and Virginia. Getting the students published strengthens their application for graduate school and increases the university’s profile in academia. “It makes me very proud of them because they work hard,” Rosypal said.

Photo Courtesy of Dr. Alexa Rosypal

JCSU Undergraduate students Andrew Alexander & Darrica Byrd

“That’s going to set them apart because it shows they’ve been very productive in their undergraduate years. That’s something that will start building their resume.” Junior Darrica Byrd, a biology major, is a student researching under Rosypal’s tutelage.

“It looks really good to be published,” she said. “It was a good experience.” She was excited to work with Rosypal, and to participate in a research project. Working on the parasite research taught her how to work with a lab partner. She had to learn how to depend on someone else in order to accomplish a goal.

SMITH IN NW CORRIDOR JCSU’s Kinship Care Project Helps Modern Families JCSU study is helping the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services help non-traditional families support their school-age children.


In homes throughout the city, aunts raise nieces and nephews, grandmothers raise grandchildren, and numerous relatives raise their kin. It’s called kinship care. A JCSU study estimates there are about 1,500 kinship care families in the county. JCSU’s Center of Excellence in Minority Health and Family Wellness and the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services conducted a study of 360 kinship care families in the North-

west Corridor. The study found that other things these families need include technology training, financial assistance and help with the adoption process. The study confirmed the families weren’t getting the same amount of help as other families in the county’s Work First Family Assistance program, said Susie Parrott, senior manager of Work First. DSS hired two temporary social workers to work with the families. The social workers helped the families find resources and acted as advocates for the students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

“We’re doing everything we can to work with the caregiver and the children so we can address the problems early-on,” Parrott said. “If we don’t provide the support they need, we could easily lose them in the system and continue the generational poverty.” Addressing poverty and the challenges facing the Northwest Corridor is a priority at Smith. “JCSU is intrinsically a part of the community,” said Dr. Helen Caldwell, dean of College of Professional Studies. “We cannot be truly successful comprehensively, without the success of the community where we thrive.”

The contents of this Smith Institute for Applied Research publication were developed under a Title III student aid and fiscal responsibility act (SAFRA), award number PO31B100094, from the Department of Education. However, the contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.




enior Horane Holgate will present his research “Does Mathematics Anxiety and MetacogHorane Holgate nition Predict Achievement and Perceived Scholastic Competence” at the annual Southeastern Psychological Association Conference in Nashville in March. This is the second time the psychology major has participated in a research presentation. “I am grateful for the opportunity to share my work with others,” he said. “I am really looking forward to the presentation because it will be my first time presenting a research project on which I am the first author.”

Upcoming Items

- Join us for Mayfest - May 31, 2014 at Reid Park Academy!

Photo by: Wendy Yang

Congratulations Horane Holgate

L-R Keisha Talbot Johnson, Daniel Rocha Herrera, Radijah Hudson, Dineo Seakamela, Stephen Graddick, Louisa Taylor, Austin Jacques, Alfred Ntiamoah, Michelle Campbell, Umuhire “Liliane” Ntabana, Randale Watson, Alana Seldon, Ron Stodghill



Innovo Embraces The Arts


sculpture, a ballet and an orchestra don’t sound like elements of an entrepreneurship, but they are for Innovo scholars. In the past year, Innovo scholars and Innovo supporters enjoyed the Bechtler Museum of Modern art and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5.

Repor Along with seeing a performcommissioned research on engage- ance, programming includes a culment in Charlotte Mecklenburg turally relevant restaurant and a Schools. featured speaker. The fine arts experiences are part of the Innovo How Charlotte’s Historic West founders’ efforts to expose the End is Shaping a New South” is scholars to the global economy and Smith Institute’s anthology on the appeal to their supporters. Northwest Corridor of Charlotte. “What we try to do is create pro-

President and CEO John Boyer discusses Pferd, a sculpture by Marino Marini, and part of the Bechlter family's personal collection.

gramming that entrepreneurs themselves are interested in and can grow from,” said Innovo cofounder Ron Stodghill. Stodghill said the scholars also interact with Innovo supporters in their work environments rather than on campus. He wants to the students to see them at work, when they are having a bad day and facing challenges. “It’s not enough for them to come on the campus and be charitable,” he said. “We want the relationship to be a whole relationship.”

The contents of this Smith Institute for Applied Research publication were developed under a Title III student aid and fiscal responsibility act (SAFRA), award number PO31B100094, from the Department of Education. However, the contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. 4




Smith Institute News Spring 2014  

This issue of Smith Institute News highlights the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond's visit to Johnson C. Smith University t...

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