What’s new in innovation and entrepreneurship at Loyola?

Meet two of the individuals behind the CI&E

With the launch of Loyola’s Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CI&E), the University is expanding the innovation that has already been underway on campus.

“We want to give students the tools and practice to become change agents. Innovation is a strategy to solve problems in order to better the lives of people across the city, creating greater wealth and more jobs. The Center will make it possible for Loyola to play a greater role in that transformation in Baltimore,” said Wendy Bolger, inaugural director of the CI&E.

Bolger, who joined Loyola in July 2018, brings 20 years of experience launching new initiatives and new teams. Previously, she worked as the director of corporate and individual relations for Mercy Corps, the global humanitarian organization, and as the director of program innovation strategy for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign.

Loyola officially launched the CI&E on the Evergreen campus on Nov. 12-16, 2018. Launch Week featured pop-up interactive innovation exercises, discussions, speakers, activities, and events involving more than 500 participants from the Loyola and Baltimore communities.

The CI&E’s mission is to engage Loyola in innovation and entrepreneurship, and to cultivate ties with Baltimore’s entrepreneurship community. The Center, which is student-centered and student-driven, supports students, faculty, and underserved community entrepreneurs to start, scale, and grow their own businesses and social ventures.

The Launch Week offered a way to introduce the Center to the community, to spark our creativity to think about how we can build a more innovative culture, and above all, to make it fun,” Bolger said.

In November 2018, Bill Romani, Ph.D., was named the CI&E’s entrepreneur in residence. In this role, he will manage the interdisciplinary innovation and entrepreneurship curriculum at Loyola, including curricular and co-curricular programming.

Prior to Loyola, Romani founded nonprofits and was the branch director for the AARP Foundation Experience Corps, an inter-generational volunteer-based tutoring program that serves high-need elementary schools.

“What initially attracted me to Loyola was the opportunity to join the CI&E’s unique commitment to partnering with the surrounding community to find solutions to Baltimore’s most important social challenges,” he said.

His community-minded background, coupled with Bolger’s innovation expertise, will help Loyola students actualize positive social change in the CI&E’s inaugural year and beyond.

Photos courtesy of Wendy Bolger; by Brittani Borden, ’19, and Chris Singlemann, ’17.