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SMCC Took Home the Honors at National Entrepreneurship Conference

National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship recognizes the President and three students

Dr. Shari Olson

[Phoenix, AZ October 17, 2014]— SMCC President, Dr. Shari Olson, has been named the 2014 Entrepreneurial President by the National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE).

Since arriving at SMCC in 2011, Dr. Olson has made it a priority to focus on entrepreneurship by implementing a strengths-based model that has created a culture where staff, faculty, and students are continually encouraged to find innovative ways to employ their strengths and deeply engage in their work.

“Research has shown that up to 50 percent of jobs will be consultant or freelance by the year 2020. I am committed to providing programs where students can recognize their talents and abilities in order to succeed in an entrepreneurial society,” said Dr. Olson. “It is imperative that we create opportunities for students to learn more about taking control of their path to success and to supporting an entrepreneurial culture across the campus. I’m honored to be recognized by NACCE for my efforts in fostering the principles of entrepreneurship at South Mountain.”

NACCE also recognized student entrepreneurs Diana Monell, Lovelyn Omari and Gus Barnes, who each received a cash prize for their demonstrated innovation and creative accomplishments in businesses they are operating while attending college. All three students were enrolled in SMCC’s Small Business Entrepreneurship classes where they acquired the skills, tools and knowledge needed to succeed in a profit-based business.

“My experience at SMCC afforded me the opportunity to develop my business by cultivating connections with like-minded professionals and students and provided me with the tools and mentor-ship needed to ultimately reach my professional goals,” said Diana Monell. “If becoming your own boss is your passion and is your ultimate goal, I recommend SMCC’s Entrepreneurship program! It will empower you to pursue your dream while giving you the flexibility to further your education.”

The three students won a total of $3,000 in cash made possible by donations from the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) and the C. Lowell Harriss Scholarship Fund.

South Mountain Community College offers transfer-ready academic courses and job-specific occupational training. The main campus is located on Baseline Rd. and 24th St. in Phoenix. There are two satellite campuses, SMCC’s Guadalupe Center and SMCC’s Laveen Center. South Mountain Community College is part of the Maricopa County Community College District, one of the largest community college districts in the nation.

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