Loyola names William Romani, Ph.D., as first entrepreneur in residence
| By Stephanie Weaver
Loyola University Maryland named William Romani, Ph.D., the inaugural entrepreneur in residence of the University’s new Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CI&E). He begins in the role on Nov. 19, 2018.
Romani brings several years of experience as a nonprofit executive and university professor who has helped start and develop companies and nonprofit organizations that have a clear focus on social justice. Romani most recently served as the branch director for the AARP Foundation Experience Corps, an intergenerational volunteer-based tutoring program with 280 older adult volunteers who teach over 6,000 kindergarten through 3rd grade students in Baltimore City. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Temple University’s Klein School of Communication in the department of social influence.
The CI&E is funded by generous gifts from Nick Simon, MBA, ’84, and the Frank family to expand entrepreneurship programs at the University. The gifts total more than $1.46 million.
As entrepreneur in residence, Romani will manage the innovation and entrepreneurship curriculum at Loyola, including curricular and co-curricular programming.
“We want to establish a curriculum that will give students in every discipline the tools to help them make an economic and social impact at work and in their communities. Students need practice developing teams and taking risks if they are going to be successful starting their own ventures,” Romani said. “The workforce demands employees who can think outside the box. These employees not only need to come up with the ideas for their own companies, but also be able to implement them to make an existing company better.”
The founder of the MammoJam Music Festival, which has raised more than $150,000 for breast cancer screening and treatment for low-income women in Baltimore, Romani is also a founding board member and former president of One House at a Time, a nonprofit organization that auctions abandoned houses to improve city housing in transitional and distressed neighborhoods.
“With his background as a social entrepreneur in multiple fields and as an academic, Dr. Romani will bring an important perspective to the Loyola community and help enhance conversations that will grow the footprint and impact of the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship,” said Kathleen A. Getz, Ph.D., dean of the Sellinger School. “This is an exciting time at Loyola, as we create more opportunities to integrate innovation and entrepreneurship into the curriculum and the University culture, and we look forward to seeing the work Dr. Romani will do to bring that to life.”
Loyola’s Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship is designed to elevate and enhance the existing innovation ecosystem at Loyola. It supports student innovators and other internal constituents and also builds bridges externally, opening up Loyola’s network and other resources to local Baltimore community members to start, scale, and grow their own businesses and social ventures.
“I believe the Center will be an amazing opportunity not only for Loyola and our students, but also for Baltimore City,” said Romani, who grew up in Ithaca, N.Y. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, a Master’s in Health Policy Administration from Cornell University, and a Bachelor’s in Physical Therapy from University of Delaware.