Monthly Updates From the Patricelli Center: An Archive

Each month, I send an email to a group of Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship alumni leaders. I have decided to archive all those emails here for anyone who wants to see them. If you’d like to be on my email list too, just send me a note and I’ll be glad to add you!  

 —Makaela Kingsley ’98, PCSE director & adjunct instructor in CSPL


October 2021

Dear friends,

Each month I write to share news from the Patricelli Center, ask for your help and advice, and loop in additional alumni. (You can read past updates here.) This is part of an ongoing effort to move from a small and static advisory board to an inclusive and nimble alumni leadership group. Also, writing these updates helps me reflect and stay accountable. If you want to be removed from this list, let me know anytime.

New to the email list this month-

The latest from the Patricelli Center-

  • Sixteen Fall 2021 Patricelli Center Fellows are busy studying social and environmental problems, mapping solutions landscapes, and proposing innovations.  
  • Thirteen students from the Fall 2021 Startup Incubator course will pitch online on December 7 at 6PM Eastern Time.
  • A group of volunteers have been meeting bi-weekly to talk about how to engage and connect alumni entrepreneurs. Stay tuned for more on this in the coming months.

New asks / ways you can engage-

With thanks for your ongoing support,
Makaela

P.S. Last month I asked you to mark your calendar for the Patricelli Center’s 10th anniversary celebration on Homecoming Day. We have decided to postpone the celebration until a later date when campus COVID protocols allow for a proper celebration. Hopefully in spring!

 


September 1, 2021

Dear friends,

Each month I write to share news from the Patricelli Center, ask for your help and advice, and loop in additional alumni. (You can read past updates here.) This is part of an ongoing effort to move from a small and static advisory board to an inclusive and nimble alumni leadership group. Also, writing these updates helps me reflect and stay accountable. If you want to be removed from this list, let me know anytime.

New to the email list this month-

The latest from the Patricelli Center-

  • We have a full slate of classes, grants, and advising queued up for 2021/2022 (see attached). New this year: Entrepreneurship Microgrants–$200 for makers, artists, or freelancers to create, test, and commercialize.
  • We are partnering with more student-led groups to build an inclusive entrepreneurship/innovation ecosystem across campus. These include OurCampus, Ujamaa, WesHack, Consulting Pathways, Fray, and more.
  • Of course social impact continues to be central to our work. For example, we are involved in statewide post-pandemic economic recovery efforts as well as hyperlocal collaborations such as the Community Impact Residency.

New asks / ways you can engage-

  • Contact me if you’d consider serving as a mentor or guest speaker for the Fall 2021 Startup Incubator or Patricelli Center Fellowship.
  • Post internships and jobs – now or anytime
  • With a surge of interest in the “creator economy” at Wesleyan and other schools, I’m eager to hear your thoughts on how the Patricelli Center can best support makers and artists of all types. If this interests you, let’s talk!
  • Mark your calendar for the Patricelli Center’s 10th anniversary celebration on Homecoming Day (October 30). Details to follow.

With thanks for your ongoing support,
Makaela


August 1, 2021

Dear friends,

Rather than my usual monthly update from the Patricelli Center, I am sending a quick hello from the Catskill Mountains where I am enjoying some time away with family. (You know it’s a good trip when my kids are both smiling, even in the car 🙂

I hope you are also finding time to rest and recharge this summer!

You’ll hear from me again on September 1. In the meantime, you can read past updates here and – as always – just let me know if you want to be removed from this list.

With thanks for your ongoing support,

Makaela


July 1, 2021

Dear friends,

Each month I write to share news from the Patricelli Center, ask for your help and advice, and loop in additional alumni. (You can read past updates here.) This is part of an ongoing effort to move from a small and static advisory board to an inclusive and nimble alumni leadership group. Also, writing these updates helps me reflect and stay accountable. If you want to be removed from this list, let me know anytime.

New to the email list this month-

The latest from the Patricelli Center-

  • Hot off the presses- 2020/2021 PCSE Year-in-Review!
  • The 2020 Patricelli Center Seed Grant recipients submitted their first reports. Newark Water Association is piloting reverse osmosis systems in daycare centers; Infinitely launched a new website and is currently taking pre-orders for their Aurora Blouse; and Long Lane Farm is looking forward to welcoming community members back to the farm in person now that campus pandemic protocols allow.
  • Our nonprofit boards class is re-launching this fall as the Community Impact Residency. It will bring together Wesleyan students with local leaders, resident-led groups, nonprofits, and municipal government. We are currently seeking project applications from local organizations (due 7/22).

New asks / ways you can engage-

  • Contact me if you’d consider serving as a mentor or guest speaker for the Fall 2021 Startup Incubator or Patricelli Center Fellowship.
  • Post internships and jobs – now or anytime!
  • I am looking to talk to researchers or innovators at the intersection of indoor farming, ag tech, and community engagement. If you know anyone who might fit that bill, can you introduce us?

With thanks for your ongoing support,

Makaela


June 1, 2021

Dear friends,

Each month I write to share news from the Patricelli Center, ask for your help and advice, and loop in additional alumni. (You can read past updates here.) This is part of an ongoing effort to move from a small and static advisory board to an inclusive and nimble alumni leadership group. Also, writing these updates helps me reflect and stay accountable. If you want to be removed from this list, let me know anytime.

New to the email list this month-

The latest from the Patricelli Center-

  • Last month, the Spring 2021 Startup Incubator students pitched their ventures, and the Spring 2021 Patricelli Center Fellows pitched their social innovations.  
  • The work of the Integrative & Applied Learning Task Force continues. You can read a draft of our report here.
  • Planning for 2021/2022 is underway. We will once again offer the Patricelli Center Fellowship, the Startup Incubator, Engaged Projects, Map The System, Clinton Global Initiative University, Seed Grants, Internship Grants, the Davis Projects for Peace Grant, advising, mentorship, and workspace. We will also bring back the Nonprofit Board Residency (offered through the Jewett Center for Community Partnerships) and launch a new microgrant fund for student makers and entrepreneurs like these.

New asks / ways you can engage-

  • Post internships and jobs – now or anytime!
  • Contact me if you’d consider serving as a mentor or guest speaker for the Patricelli Center in 2021/2022
  • Donate to Wesleyan before June 30. Most Patricelli Center students rely on financial aid to make their education possible.

With thanks for your ongoing support,

Makaela


May 1, 2021

Dear friends,

Each month I write to share news from the Patricelli Center, ask for your help and advice, and loop in additional alumni. (You can read past updates here.) This is part of an ongoing effort to move from a small and static advisory board to an inclusive and nimble alumni leadership group. Also, writing these updates helps me reflect and stay accountable. If you want to be removed from this list, let me know anytime.

New to the email list this month-

  • Oladoyin Oladapo ’14, founder of Window (beta launched yesterday!)
  • Ben Sax ’07, multi-media arts scientist, inventor, creative director, and social entrepreneur
  • Michael Leung ‘15, product manager at WeSpire

The latest from the Patricelli Center-

  • The 2021 Patricelli Center Seed Grant recipients were announced on April 6:
    • Infinitely (Nimra Karamat ’23 and Ashley Cardenas ’23) – increasing demand for and access to sustainable clothing  
    • Long Lane Farm (Elam Grekin ’22 and Franny Lin ‘21) – catalyzing sustainable community partnerships and promoting food sovereignty
    • Newark Water Association (Vincent Henrich ‘23) – providing access to clean and safe water during Newark’s lead water crisis
  • Two students were selected for the CT Collegiate Business Plan Competition’s elevator pitch finals: Alissa Dobrinsky ’21, founder of the dating app LOL, and Sophie Scobell ’22, co-founder of Traid University
  • This year’s CSPL480 Engaged Projects pilot – “learning beyond the university” – will continue next year. This gallery of past projects showcases student work.

New asks / ways you can engage-

With thanks for your ongoing support,

Makaela


April 1, 2021

Dear friends,

Each month I write to share news from the Patricelli Center, ask for your help and advice, and loop in additional alumni. (You can read past updates here.) This is part of an ongoing effort to move from a small and static advisory board to an inclusive and nimble alumni leadership group. Also, writing these updates helps me reflect and stay accountable. If you want to be removed from this list, let me know anytime.

New to the email list this month-

  • Kehan Zhou ’15 and Julian Compagni-Portis ’15, co-founders of Terrascope; 2015 PCSE Seed Grant finalists
  • Alison Patricelli ’90, Board-Certified Veterinary Surgeon; founder and CEO of multiple small businesses in the Agricultural and Education sectors

The latest from the Patricelli Center-

  • The 2021 PCSE Seed Grant Finals are tomorrow (so is my 45th birthday, but I am honestly more excited about the seed grant pitches). Thanks to the people on this list that are serving as mentors, coaches, and judges!
  • The Spring 2021 Patricelli Center Fellows are working to understand social and environmental problems then pitch innovative solutions. You can read their latest batch of updates here (h/t to Ajay Rajani ’08 for developing this update framework which pushes students to reflect on their work and deepen their learning)
  • Back in December, I mentioned the Integrative & Applied Learning Task Force. If you are the kind of person who likes to see the sausage being made, I invite you to look at our process/progress to date.
  • On April 7, we are hosting a WesFest panel for admitted students (and anyone else who would like to attend)

New asks / ways you can engage-

With thanks for your ongoing support,

Makaela


March 1, 2021

Dear friends,

Welcome to issue 8 of my monthly update email. Each month I’ll share news from the Patricelli Center, ask for your help and advice, and loop in additional alumni. This is part of an ongoing effort to move from a small and static advisory board to an inclusive and nimble alumni leadership group. Also, writing these updates will help me reflect and stay accountable. If you want to be removed from this list, let me know anytime.

New to the email list this month-

The latest from the Patricelli Center-

  • We have a small but mighty pool of applicants for the 2021 Patricelli Center Seed Grants. Finalists will be announced next week.
  • The Center is offering four classes this semester: Startup Incubator, Engaged Projects, Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship, and System Mapping for Social and Environmental Change.
  • I am part of a new Project Based Teaching Community group with six other faculty from across the University. I continue to explore ways to collaborate with other departments and embed entrepreneurial thinking into the overall Wesleyan student experience.

New asks / ways you can engage-

  • Coach the many student ventures that are preparing to pitch in various settings later this spring. We’ll match-make based on student need and alumni expertise.
  • Mentor a Patricelli Center Fellow. They’re still honing their topics, but here’s the list as it currently stands:
    • the disparities and inequalities in the legal marijuana industry
    • barriers to success for people with only a high school diploma or less
    • access to and quality of urban green space
    • abortion access in the Midwestern US
    • education inequality in Vietnam
    • opportunities for Syrian refugees in Turkey
    • ineffective public math education in the US and its implications
    • the role of corporations in climate change
    • barriers to upward mobility for adult Haitian immigrants in Boston
    • academic inequality
    • factory farming
    • maternal and infant health in Ivory Coast
    • the digital race gap
  • Personally invite other Wesleyan alumni to get involved

Looking forward to your replies!

Makaela


February 1, 2021

Dear friends,

Welcome to issue 7 of my monthly update email. Each month I’ll share news from the Patricelli Center, ask for your help and advice, and loop in additional alumni. This is part of an ongoing effort to move from a small and static advisory board to an inclusive and nimble alumni leadership group. Also, writing these updates will help me reflect and stay accountable. If you want to be removed from this list, let me know anytime.

New to the email list this month-

The latest from the Patricelli Center-

New asks / ways you can engage-

  • Mentor — or just have a conversation with — a spring 2021 Patricelli Center student. We’ll match-make based on student need and alumni expertise.
  • Share your ideas for growing the campus-wide entrepreneurship ecosystem
  • Personally invite other Wesleyan alumni to get involved

Looking forward to your replies!

Makaela


January 1, 2021

I promised I’d reach out every month, but this time I will spare you the business and simply say *happy new year*   

Last year was the pits, but my work constantly reminds me that there are unstoppable change agents and innovators all around, and they keep me optimistic for the future. Thank you for your endless support of these people – and for being these people! I wish you health and hope in 2021.

Until next month,

Makaela


December 1, 2020

Dear friends,

Welcome to issue #5 of my monthly update email (scroll down for the first 4). Each month I’ll share news from the Patricelli Center, ask for your help and advice, and loop in additional alumni. This is part of an ongoing effort to move from a small and static advisory board to an inclusive and nimble alumni leadership group. Also, writing these updates will help me reflect and stay accountable. If you want to be removed from this list, let me know anytime.

New to the email list this month-

The latest from the Patricelli Center-

  • Posse Scholar Gabriel Mirelez ’23 won $2,000 in the Connecticut Collegiate Business Plan Competition for his startup, Vethos Technologies, which develops technological solutions for the emergency response sector that are rugged, configurable, and affordable.
  • PCSE alumna Ani Acopian ’16 won a 2018 Young Guns award, which recognizes the vanguard of creative professionals 30 years of age and under. She shouts out the Wesleyan entrepreneurship ecosystem in this interview.
  • I have been invited to chair a committee of faculty, staff, and students to consider ways that Wesleyan can better integrate co-curricular learning into the academic core of the University. This syncs with the mission of the Patricelli Center, and I will be sure to share updates and seek your input along the way.

New asks / ways you can engage-

Looking forward to your replies!

Makaela


November 1, 2020

Dear friends,

This is the fourth issue of my monthly update email (scroll down for the first three). Each month I’ll share news from the Patricelli Center, ask for your help and advice, and loop in additional alumni. This is part of an ongoing effort to move from a small and static advisory board to an inclusive and nimble alumni leadership group. Also, writing these updates will help me reflect and stay accountable. If you want to be removed from this list, let me know anytime.

New to the email list this month-

The latest from the Patricelli Center-

New asks / ways you can engage-

  • Attend the next two Wesleyan Entrepreneurs Meetups (Nov 18 and Dec 17 at noon) and personally invite other entrepreneurial alumni to attend – ly/wes-meetups-fall2020.
  • Attend the Startup Incubator pitch night (Dec 1 at 6PM) com/wesleyan-university-startup-incubator-pitch-night-12-2020/
  • I’d love to hear from you with feedback about PCSE programs, ideas for the future, or any other topics on your mind. Don’t ever hesitate to reach out.

In solidarity for whatever this week will bring,

Makaela


October 1, 2020

Hello from week 5 of fall semester, where we miraculously have 0 active covid cases as of today, despite having ~2400 students in congregate living and employees who travel to and from campus every day. Everyone who said “college campuses are like docked cruise ships” and predicted that we’d have to shut down by October sure was wrong about Wesleyan!

This is the third issue of my monthly update email (scroll down for the first two). Each month I’ll share news from the Patricelli Center, ask for your help and advice, and loop in additional alumni leaders. This is part of the effort to move from a small and static advisory board to an inclusive and nimble alumni leadership group. Also, writing these updates will help me reflect and stay accountable. If you want to be removed from this list, let me know anytime.

New to the email list this month-

  • Jason Jacobs ’98, climate organizer and investor
  • Pritha Mittal ’96, senior management consultant at the Robin Hood Foundation and member of the Wesleyan Board of Trustees

News from the Patricelli Center community-

New asks / ways you can engage-

Warm wishes,

Makaela


September 2020, 2020

Dear friends,

Here is the second issue of my monthly update email (scroll down for the August issue). Each month I’ll share news from the Patricelli Center, ask for your help and advice, and loop in additional alumni leaders. This is part of the effort to move from a small and static advisory board to an inclusive and nimble alumni leadership group. Also, writing these updates will help me reflect and stay accountable.

New to the email list this month-

  • Rosemary Ostfeld ’10, founder of Healthy PlanEat  
  • Betsy Schmidt ’89, CEO and founder of Mesh Ed

The latest from the Patricelli Center-

  • I went back to the office last week for the first time since March, fall semester started yesterday, students are taking covid safety so seriously, and (unlike my less-optimistic peers) I’m betting we’ll remain on campus until Thanksgiving as planned. I think that if any school can do it, it’s Wesleyan.
  • CSPL480 Engaged Projects launched with 19 students enrolled so far. Topics include: Developing Successful Campaigns that Reach All Voters, Mitigating the Social-Emotional Effects of Racial Dynamics in Private Schools, The Magic of Telomere Biology, The Impact of COVID-19 on Demand for Statewide and Municipal Public Services in CT, and Sustainable Fashion Lab Course Development (@Betsey- thank you for being a Sponsor for this one!).
  • The Patricelli Center Fellowship relaunched as a 1-semester course rather than a full year (@Sarah- thank you for the encouragement!). Below is a screen shot from our first session which took place earlier today. (@Matt- thanks for the icebreaker idea!)
  • With continued support from Newman’s Own Foundation (Thank you @Bob!), the fourth Wesleyan Startup Incubator kicked off today with 13 student entrepreneurs. (@Rosemary- so happy to have you back to teach this again!)

New asks / ways you can engage-

Thanks for reading this far, and I hope to see you at the next alumni meetup on September 21!

Warm wishes,

Makaela


August 1, 2020 

Dear friends,

As Andy mentioned, my intention is to send an update on the first day of each month. I’ll share news from the Patricelli Center, ask for your help and advice, and loop in additional alumni leaders. This is part of the effort to move from a small and static advisory board to an inclusive and nimble alumni leadership group. Also, writing these updates will help me reflect and stay accountable.

So here goes.

New to the email list this month-

  • Irma Gonzalez ’78 P’09, founding PCSE Advisory Board member, Wesleyan Trustee Emerita, Zoen Resources
  • Kwaku Akoi ’14, 2014 PCSE grantee, PCSE Meetup co-organizer, New Path Housing
  • Matt Sorkin ’15, PCSE Meetup series co-organizer, WhatIf Innovation
  • Katja Kolcio, Allbritton Director and Associate Professor of Dance

The latest from the Patricelli Center-

Asks / Ways you can engage-

Ok, I think that’s enough for today. I hope you’re all staying afloat during this strange time, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Warm and healthy wishes,

Makaela