The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s entrepreneurship program just took home top honors in the nationwide Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education Awards, a yearly awards program hosted by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE). We spoke with Patrick Murphy, director of the program, for all the details. Here’s what we learned.
What the award is + who awarded it to UAB Entrepreneurship
UAB’s award is one of four top national honors.
- UAB’s award: Model Emerging Program—Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education Awards
- Awarding body: United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE)
- What it is: honors colleges and universities with comprehensive, high-quality educational programs that successfully train future generations of entrepreneurs.
“USASBE gives two overall program awards each year, the Model Entrepreneurship Program and the Model Emerging Entrepreneurship Program. These winners must reflect strong growth indicators, impact on the field and the very highest academic standards. The emerging program award is for programs less than three years old.”Patrick J. Murphy, Director, Professor and Goodrich Chair of Entrepreneurship, UAB Collat School of Business
- Virginia Tech: Model Program Award
- Southern Methodist University, Meadows School of the Arts: Excellence in Pedagogical Innovation Award
- Northwestern University: Excellence in Co-Curricular Innovation Award
“This year’s competition was as inspiring for our reviewers and judges as it was challenging for them to pick just one recipient in each category. The process was rigorous and transparent, and our finalists are doing incredible things within their respective programs. Finalists in all four categories deserve commendation, but in the end, only one can be named the best in each category,” said Judi Eyles, program awards chair for USASBE 2022.”Julienne Shields, CEO, USASBE
What the award means to UAB Entrepreneurship
“Every career academician in my field dreams of having an endowed chair and the opportunity to build a world-class entrepreneurship program with supportive colleagues. It is a dream, but that has been my reality over the past three years here in Birmingham, Alabama.
We are fortunate at UAB and we owe everyone in our local ecosystem the very best we can offer in terms of service and impact. We have all worked hard over the past three years to that end.
However, receiving this competitive honor from our peers around the world changes things. It is a powerful and unimpeachable validation that we are not only excellent at acting locally, but we are also excellent at thinking globally.
Every serious entrepreneurship program in the world watches these awards, and it has put UAB Entrepreneurship in esteemed company.”Patrick J. Murphy, Professor and Goodrich Chair of Entrepreneurship, UAB Collat School of Business
Why UAB Entrepreneurship
Murphy acknowledged that every program is different because it is tailored to the local ecosystem, culture and opportunities. That said, he believes UAB’s curriculum made them stand out.
“Our courses are designed for entrepreneurial relevance, and they do not follow the same boundaries that one finds in more traditional business settings. We combine functions that are usually separated, and we also offer a world class social and community enterprise seminar. We have a strong mix of ecosystem and extracurricular programming to complement our pure academic offerings.”Patrick J. Murphy, Professor and Goodrich Chair of Entrepreneurship, UAB Collat School of Business
The road to the award
The path to the award was long and rigorous, with two awards commissions and a four-month judging process that included the following:
- Written application
- Video to capture the spirit of the program (UAB’s was produced by Dreamheim Studios)
- Private Q&A session with the finalist judging panel
- Open panel discussion with the finalists at the USASBE conference at NC State in Raleigh, North Carolina
“I am sure it was a hard choice, but I personally believe they chose UAB because of the excellent quality and innovativeness of our course offerings, enrollment growth, fundraising performance and ecosystem-serving programs.”Patrick J. Murphy, Professor and Goodrich Chair of Entrepreneurship, UAB Collat School of Business
What’s next for UAB Entrepreneurship?
According to Murphy, UAB Entrepreneurship has ambitious goals, including:
- Growing enrollment
- Fundraising aggressively to provide
- generous scholarships
- world-class programming for students + local entrepreneurs
- Hiring more professors to build out the team
“We will continue to make bold moves that serve our local ecosystem and advance the field of entrepreneurship education. UAB and Birmingham have a lot to offer the world of entrepreneurship and we are just getting started.”Patrick J. Murphy, Professor and Goodrich Chair of Entrepreneurship, UAB Collat School of Business
To learn more about UAB Entrepreneurship, visit their website or follow UAB Collat School of Business on Facebook or Instagram.