6 Lessons Learned from Day 2 | NACCE 2021

Posted By: Josh Zaslow NACCE Blog,

Day two of NACCE 2021 continued the wave of accomplished and powerful presenters, this time with an emphasis on innovation and turning adversity into opportunity.

Below are six lessons I learned from day two of our annual conference:
  1. “This mindset is really not a business thing; it’s about student success.” President of North Iowa Area Community College and NACCE Board Member Steve Schulz hits the nail on the head when describing why his school embeds entrepreneurship into all of its CTE classes, STEM camps, Student Success classes, and even its Common Read.
  2. Do well by doing good. Chief Brand Officer of Deluxe, Amanda Brinkman, shared with us how she took an innovative approach to marketing the Deluxe check printing brand to small businesses not by pitching to them, but by celebrating them in her Emmy-nominated reality series Small Business Revolution
  3. The Five Knows. Dr. Christine Mollenkopf-Pigsley, Assistant Professor and Program Director at Minnsota State University Mankato, shared these life lessons from her mentor Dr. Ron Thomas: 1. Understand human behavior 2. Know you 3. Know problems - “Don’t put them under the carpet, make them loud and proud so that you can get that groupthink to change things.” 4. Have a plan 5. Always practice and learn.
  4. The Sky's The Limit! Dr. Betty Young, President of Hocking College, shared her amazing story of turning a failing community college into a thriving center for sports, business, and diversity in a small Ohio Appalachian town.
  5. Intellectual property laws can level the playing field if we use them. Dr. Gary Michelson, Founder of the Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property, shared that Americans born into the top one percent of family income are ten times more likely to patent than families in the lower 50%. Black and Hispanic people are half as likely to apply for and get a patent than their White counterparts and the US Patent Office does not collect demographic data. Much growth is needed in this area!
  6. “All education is career education.” Sheneui Weber, Vice Chancellor of Workforce & Economic Development for California Community Colleges, eloquently described why many students attend post-secondary schools in the first place. Sheneui has led the very successful Invention and Inclusive Innovation (I3) initiative in her state’s community college system.