Entrepreneurship at the intersection of diversity and inequality


Jennifer Nazareno, a post-doctoral research fellow at the Brown School of Public Health, and Danny Warshay, executive director of the Jonathan M. Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship.
Maxwell Simeon, Class of 2017

The Jonathan M. Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship convened a one-day conference on Monday, Dec. 5, on the simultaneity of agency and inequity of power and privilege in entrepreneurial endeavors.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — With the launch of the Jonathan M. Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship this semester and the early 2016 release of the Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion action, both entrepreneurship and diversity and inclusion are major strategic priorities at Brown University.

On Monday, Dec. 5, the entrepreneurship center immersed students, faculty, staff from Brown with local community members and scholars from higher education institutions across the country in both of those priorities for a one-day conference titled Entrepreneurship at the Intersection of Diversity and Inequality.

The conference provided perspectives on how entrepreneurship has served as a potential pathway toward inclusion and socioeconomic mobility, particularly in times of exclusion and marginalization.

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Brown musician, composer finds inspiration in unexpected spaces

For Assistant Professor of Music Eric Nathan, November brought the premiere of a new composition by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and a Copland House residency award announcement.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] —For three weeks in January 2017, Eric Nathan will live and work in the home that legendary composer Aaron Copland called “my hideaway, my solitude” in Cortlandt Manor, N.Y. One of nine composers to win a 2016 Copland House residency award, the assistant professor of music at Brown University said he is looking forward to the opportunity to focus on writing without distraction in the former home of “the dean of American music.”

Other composers have described Copland House as a place where one can “sense the spirit of someone who has created so much and has been so influential to American music,” Nathan said. That makes the residency particularly promising for Nathan, for whom specific places have served as a creative spur and compositional tool.

This month, the Boston Symphony Orchestra premiered Nathan’s commissioned work, “the space of a door,” a composition inspired by his emotional experience upon first visiting the Providence Athenaeum, an independent library and cultural center dating to the 1830s, last December. A recent review of the performance described “the space of a door” as music that is “clean and shot through with rhythmic vitality” that “conjures images of a physical space” and “is filled with resonant harmonies that are left to hang in space.”

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Treating cholera in Haiti after Hurricane Matthew

In a pair of tents on the grounds of a health center in a tiny town, Dr. Adam Levine is managing a cholera treatment unit where the staff still sees 10 to 15 new cases a day, more than a month after Hurricane Matthew.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] —Since Dr. Adam Levine arrived in Haiti in late October, he’s been managing a cholera treatment unit for International Medical Corps. Hurricane Matthew devastated the area on Oct. 4, creating conditions that foment the spread of the disease. The unit is still running near its 30-bed capacity.

The unit is a pair of tents on the grounds of a local health center in Les Anglais, said Levine, an associate professor of emergency medicine at Brown University and a physician at Rhode Island Hospital. The town sits almost at Haiti’s western tip on the southwest shore of its southern peninsula.

Levine, who directs the new Humanitarian Innovation Initiative at Brown’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, answered questions about his work providing life-saving rehydration and medicine to people who make a difficult trek to the center from surrounding villages.

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School environment key to retaining teachers, promoting student achievement, study finds

New research identifies four organizational and administrative factors that can decrease teacher turnover and lift student test scores in math. 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] —A school is more likely to retain effective teachers, a new study reports, if it is led by a principal who promotes professional development for teachers, is characterized by collaborative relationships among teachers, has a safe and orderly learning environment and sets high expectations for academic achievement among students, a new study reports.

The study, which focused on middle schools in New York City and used data from the Department of Education’s School Survey, broadens the context in which teacher effectiveness and student achievement is considered, its authors said.

“In recent years, researchers and policymakers have focused much of their attention on measuring and improving teacher effectiveness,” said Matthew A. Kraft, assistant professor of education and economics at Brown University and lead author. “However, teachers do not work in a vacuum; their school’s climate can either enhance or undermine their ability to succeed with students.”

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