Freshman summer reading book tied to entrepreneurial course

Christina Bucciere

A group of excited freshmen gathered Wednesday in the Kiva to hear a presentation about their entrepreneurial futures at Kent State and beyond.

Based on their summer reading book “Who Owns the Ice House?: Eight Life Lessons from an Unlikely Entreprenuer”, the group of incoming students were encouraged to enroll in the corresponding three-credit hour course brought to Kent State last year in partnership with the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program.

Kent State is the first four-year university to offer the Ice House Entrepreneurship Programcourse, said Craig Zamary, entrepreneurship lecturer and course professor.

“Who Owns the Ice House?”, published in 2010 and co-authored by Pulitzer Nominee Clifton Taulbert and entrepreneurial thought leader Gary Schoeniger, tells the story of Taulbert’s rise above his circumstances to provide himself with a better life, and the mindset he adopted that helped him succeed.

Course Offerings

Summer III:

The Ice House Entrepreneurship Program (BUS 10195-030)

  • 100 percent online
  • July 15, 2013 – August 17, 2013
  • 3.00 credits
  • CRN: 15975
  • Instructor: Craig Zamary
  • Fall 2013:

    The Ice House Entrepreneurship Program (22990- BUS -10195-001)

  • 100 percent online
  • 3.00 credits
  • August 26, 2013 – December 8, 2013
  • lecture
  • Instructor: Craig Zamary
  • The Ice House Entrepreneurship Program (22991- BUS-10195-002)

  • 100 percent online
  • 3.00 credits
  • November 4, 2013 – December 8, 2013
  • Lecture
  • Instructor: Craig Zamary
  • The Ice House Entrepreneurship Program (22992-BUS-10195-003)

  • Kent Campus
  • 3.00 credits
  • MW 2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Lecture
  • Instructor: Craig Zamary

Taulbert chronicles his journey from life in the Mississippi Delta during the height of legal segregation to founding the Building Community Institute, a consulting company focused on organizational effectiveness.

The course seeks to integrate the eight guiding principles discussed in the book, Zamary said.

“The class received a 100 percent satisfaction rate last year,” Zamary said. “Students were describing it as a life-changing course.”

Although the class was offered last year, this is the first year “Who Owns the Ice House?” was chosen as the freshmen summer reading book. Zamary said it is possible the corresponding course will become integrated as a mandatory class for all incoming freshmen for the 2014-2015 school year.

“Even though we’re pitching this course to freshmen, all class levels and majors are encouraged to enroll,” Zamary said. “It empowers students to network with other entrepreneurs and create their own paths.”

Schoeniger also made an appearance at the presentation Wednesday to further discuss the purpose of the book and corresponding course.

“The book is designed to help people understand entrepreneurship at an authentic level,” Schoeniger said. “It’s not about world-changing technology, it’s not that complicated. The idea is essentially to encourage students to find the intersection between what they know how to do, what they care about, and what the world needs.”

Schoeniger is the co-founder and CEO of the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative (ELI), an organization headquartered in Mentor, Ohio, that seeks to offer entrepreneurial education to organizations around the world and partner of the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program.

“We saw that entrepreneurship education is not well understood,” Schoeniger said. “It’s important that we support emerging entrepreneurship at all levels in society, and the current understanding of entrepreneurship limits our ability to do that. Most people think it’s about venture capitalism or Silicon Valley, but it’s much more than that. This conversation is largely absent from traditional education.”

Recently, Thom Ruhe, vice president of the Kauffman Foundation, a leading entrepreneurial organization and partner of the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program, spoke to the United Nations General Assembly about the importance of the goals and principles discussed in the book and course that could help emerging entrepreneurial activity.

“The message from the course is simple: no matter who you are, no matter where you start, no matter what your interest is, or how much money you have, you can empower yourself by solving problems for other people. That’s the core of what entrepreneurs do,” Schoeniger said.

Chris Woods, senior multimedia news major, said he plans on enrolling in the course to develop a stronger sense of leadership and to gain tools beyond those he has acquired in his major that will propel him forward in his career.

Adam Barnard, an incoming freshmen business administration major, said that the presentations “piqued his interest.”

“I think the course could definitely help me step out of my comfort zone,” Barnard said, “and take opportunities when they present themselves.”

Contact Christina Bucciere at [email protected].