Negotiating Cultural Challenges and Revisioning Academic Entrepreneurship at a Public Regional Comprehensive University in North Carolina

As part of a panel examining challenges for academic entrepreneurship within the humanities at public, comprehensive universities, this talk presents the case study of a recent graduate-level internship experience in which English MA students worked at a faculty-operated professional writing startup to produce documents for commercial and nonprofit client partners. Findings suggest the pedagogical value of employing a community-centered model that foregrounds clients’ needs and engagement (Tirrell and Weber, 2013; Oates & Leavitt, 2003; Ward & Wolf-Wendel, 2000; Carignan, 1998) and the importance of faculty serving as client liaisons to mediate student/client interactions (Tirrell and Weber, 2013; Sapp & Crabtree, 2002; McEachern, 2001; Carignan, 1998). This case also offers productive insights into hybrid classroom experiences by engaging the local community through open instructional sessions and leveraging existing support entities dedicated to bridging the academic/professional divide.