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Showing posts from April, 2013

Using Existing Capacities within Nonprofits to Generate Income

by Ann Abbott

In today's "Spanish & Entrepreneurship" class, I focused on using a nonprofit organization's existing capacities to generate income.

We started with some examples:


Homegirl Cafe has built a job-training program around working in and running a food service business. So, they run a food service business and make money off the sales of their food and drinks. It's what they do, and do very well, every day. The Refugee Center is built around the variety of services that their multilingual staff offers. For their clients, they translate and act as interpreters for free or a nominal fee. For lawyers, hospitals, schools and businesses, they can provide the same services but at a higher cost.Idealistas.org has an online system for matching nonprofits that need volunteers with volunteers looking for nonprofits to work in. That exact same system can be used by for-profit companies, but for a fee.Students then analyzed the gifts that Radio Ambulante offered du…

3 Key Insights about Entrepreneurship Education

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by Ann Abbott

At Illinois' Entrepreneurship Forum last Friday, I spoke on the social entrepreneurship panel. We had three minutes each to introduce ourselves and provide some "key insights."

A person in the front row held an iPad with a count-down timer, so you could not go over your allotted time. The pressure! (Actually, I like it when we are forced to be succinct and share the time with others.)

Here are the three key insights I shared.

You must know your target market. This is old news, of course. But in my "Spanish & Entrepreneurship" course, my students have spent two semesters doing community service learning work with Spanish-speaking community members, two hours each week. Yet at this point they still have a very superficial knowledge of the target market's lived reality and perspectives. This isn't their fault, of course; they know much more about this target market than anyone else on our campus! But the point is that if you are going to o…

What I Love about Spanish Community Service Learning

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by Ann Abbott

I was honored to receive one of the 2013 Chancellor's Academic Professional Excellence Awards. All the awardees do wonderful work, and I was pleased to be in the company of Cheelan Bo-Linn--a long-time friend of mine who taught me everything I know about using student teams in my teaching--and William P. Kruidenier--the father-in-law of one of my most special former students, Jill Kruidenier.

I am especially grateful to Dr. Sharon Irish who nominated me. (For just a hint of the wonderful thinking and writing that Sharon does, watch this video about her book Suzanne Lacy: Spaces Between.) I am also very thankful to those who wrote letters of support for my nomination: Prof. Silvina Montrul, the Head of my department; Dr. Darcy Lear, my colleague, co-author and co-conspirator; and Dr. Deb Hlavna, my community partner and co-Director of the Refugee Center.

But when I gave my acceptance speech, I didn't thank anyone. We were told we had one to two minutes to speak. I to…

Student Reflection

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by Susannah Koch
El poder de la paciencia
I cannot believe how quickly this semester is coming to a close. Everywhere I turn there are reminders about cap and gown orders, graduation tickets, final projects, exams, and job opportunities. This year has been much more than just a year at UofI, it has been a year of figuring out what I will become when I am no longer a student here. The best way to describe it is as the year of being patient. It is a scary thought, graduating, and has been weighing on my shoulders since I got back from Spain last year. This idea of finding a new title, what the “occupation” line will be filled with in the next few months- Unemployed? Part-time? Student?
I just recently received a job offer from The Fund for the Public Interest. It was an opportunity I actually found through the emails from Beth Chasco and then through the career center. I was excited to hear more about what the organization does and even more excited when I heard it was a non-profit help…

13 Things I Learned at the 2013 CIBER Business Languages Conference

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by Ann Abbott

I just returned from the 2013 CIBER Business Languages Conference at Indiana University. Here are some things I learned.

1. T. Bruce Fryer's (U of South Carolina-Beaufort) presentation of a "minicaso" on "La logística de la piratería" changed the way I think about contemporary piracy because I had never considered its effects on Latin American businesses. He focused on Chile, which has "a high level of piracy... because of the extended coastline." The economic losses are huge, and in Chile alone, "62% of software running is illegal."

2. "Tiburón, de villano a víctima," presented by Dr. Michael Scott Doyle (U of North Carolina at Charlotte), made me think about shark finning (el aleteo) as something very important for our planet. I never imagined how bad the problem actually is: around 100,000,000 sharks are killed each year. They cut off their fins then throw them back into the water alive, where they drown because t…

Student Reflection

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by Susannah Koch
Public Engagement Symposium: A Unique Opportunity to Network
The month of February was a very busy one for me as I was starting to really dive into the job search for after graduation and the Public Engagement Symposium was February 28th with my group in Spanish 332. One of the main components of the class is an ongoing group project focused on a community event or organization. My group was originally just Taylor Eighmy and I, but we happily gained Marlee Stein after a few weeks. We decided to choose the symposium presentations project for the semester and have really enjoyed the process so far. The project consists of two presentations at two different symposiums at the beginning and end of the semester on the Spanish Community Service Learning Classes Spanish 232 and 332. The first of the two presentations, the Public Engagement Symposium, took place in the Illini Union and there was collection of organizations, classes, and projects that have a community outreach …