Friday, March 11, 2011

Recent Graduate Works to Help Create Local Jobs, Enhance K-12 Education and Foster an Entrepreneurial Environment

Fresh out of labs and study sessions, Sallie Smyth '08, '10M who received her MPA from UNCW last May, is putting her knowledge to good use for our region. As program coordinator for Cape Fear Future, Sallie describes it as a natural fit, "Cape Fear Future is about job creation, business and employee retention, K-12 education enhancement, quality of life, and fostering an entrepreneurial environment. I collaborate with local, state, and federal government, the private sector, the community, tri-county school systems and other nonprofits. My education integrated these different sectors into our studies because when it comes to policy, management, and economic development, all these components come together and play a part."

Sallie came to UNCW to study political science. By the second week of classes she had attended her first City Council meeting and made plans to buy a home in Wilmington. Working on campus and also interning with the City of Wilmington, she admittedly developed a, "lifetime commitment to a community I have fallen in love with".

Sallie deems networking as one of the things she learned at UNCW that has most benefitted the start of her career. She continues to grow her networks at events hosted by UNCW's Entrepreneurship Center. "The director, Jonathan Rowe Ph.D, hosts multiple events for young entrepreneurs and business students. It’s great to get out there and see their youthfulness, enthusiasm and hard work rolled into a professional business model." Another way she enjoys staying connected to UNCW is by, "going back  to Leutze Hall and visiting with my professors—they really helped shape me as a person and have continued to reach out during my post-graduate career. I cannot thank them enough for their ongoing support and guidance."

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