CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Dec. 3, 2012 – Dr. James Stapleton, executive director of the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and associate professor of entrepreneurship in the Donald L. Harrison College of Business at Southeast Missouri State University, will receive the PRIDE Award during fall commencement exercises Dec. 15 in the Show Me Center.
The Provost’s Research, Instruction and Development for Excellence (PRIDE) Award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated excellence as a teacher, an extraordinary level of scholarship and service and whose overall accomplishments are especially noteworthy. Stapleton was selected for the award by the Council of Deans after nominations were solicited from each of the University’s colleges and schools. The recipient of the award is honored for exemplifying the teacher/scholar model. This is the 17th year Southeast has presented the PRIDE Award.
“I am very pleased to see Dr. Stapleton receive the PRIDE Award,” said Dr. Ron Rosati, Southeast provost. “His contributions to the University and to the people of southeast Missouri have been extraordinary. He played a leadership role in expanding entrepreneurial education at Southeast Missouri State University by developing a minor in entrepreneurship which has been adopted by the faculty in agriculture, fine arts, biology, fashion, health management and industrial technology. He also revised the entrepreneurship minor in the Harrison College of Business.
“Dr. Stapleton demonstrated exemplary leadership through his service contributions in economic development in our region,” Rosati added. “His high degree of competence has been widely recognized through the development of partnerships with the Delta Regional Authority and other public and private partners. Dr. Stapleton’s ability to bring resources to the University through grants and donations has allowed him to expand the reach and scope of his programs, to the benefit of the people of our region. Dr. Stapleton serves as a role model for effective University operations and being selected for the PRIDE Award is one recognition of his exemplary accomplishment.”
In addition to receiving the PRIDE Award, Stapleton will serve as the grand marshal at commencement exercises and will present the address at the Honors Convocation, prior to commencement exercises, also at the Show Me Center.
“It’s quite humbling to be chosen for this award from among the countless outstanding and dedicated faculty members at Southeast,” Stapleton said. “I appreciate the recognition by the Council of Deans of the efforts I have made to enhance opportunities for students across campus to explore and experience entrepreneurism. Awards are often given to individuals for accomplishments achieved by many–such is the case in this instance. I have benefited greatly from collaborations with many faculty, staff and administrators at Southeast. I accept the award on their behalf.”
Stapleton joined the Southeast faculty in 2006 and is currently an associate professor in the Department of Management and Marketing. Since his arrival at Southeast, Stapleton has extensively revised and expanded Harrison College of Business curricular offerings in the area of entrepreneurship. He developed a 15-credit hour minor in entrepreneurship available to any student on campus; an upper-division University Studies course in entrepreneurship; and, in collaboration with other units across campus, focused minors in entrepreneurship in agriculture, the arts, biology, fashion, health management and industrial technology. He also revised the option in entrepreneurship under the management major and established an option in entrepreneurship under the MBA degree program.
He was appointed director in spring 2008 of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, the forerunner to the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). He currently serves as executive director of the CIE, working to advance the teaching, practice and science of entrepreneurship so as to stimulate economic growth and development through new venture formation, technology commercialization and improved competitive performance of entrepreneurial enterprises.
Stapleton’s accomplishments in development and expanding the curriculum in entrepreneurship was recognized with a $1.2 million private gift and the naming of the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in May 2011. At that same time, Greene announced the establishment of the James L. Stapleton Endowed Scholarship to honor Stapleton for his tireless efforts in the development and incubation of the innovation and entrepreneurship programs at Southeast.
The CIE offers a wide array of academic and outreach programs and services, including: innovation development and research; entrepreneurship education, training and mentorship; and business consulting, incubation and development services. The CIE supports Southeast Missouri State University’s strategic priority to accelerate entrepreneurial growth and development that improves the quality of lives, communities and businesses in southeast Missouri and the southeast region.
Through Stapleton’s leadership, the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Southeast Missouri State University has grown into one of the most comprehensive entrepreneurship-focused university centers in the Midwest, including development of an extensive cross-campus co-curricular program that is transforming the entrepreneurial potential of the University by providing students and faculty the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities, events and competitions.
Stapleton has provided important mentoring to students interested in entrepreneurship and has led annual Global Entrepreneurship Week activities in the fall and National Entrepreneurship Week events in the spring. In 2009, Southeast programming during Global Entrepreneurship Week was rated fourth nationally. In 2011, Missouri was ranked third nationally for programming during Global Entrepreneurship Week, and Southeast was ranked number one among participating Missouri colleges and universities.
He also has been integrally involved in the development of Operation Jump-Start, a nationally recognized microenterprise development program that has trained more than 750 aspiring entrepreneurs who led to the launch of over 350 businesses in southeast Missouri. In 2011, JumpStart was selected for integration into a project to increase entrepreneurial capacity in the 252 counties and parishes of the eight-state federally designated Delta Regional Authority. The Delta network is projected to train over 1,000 aspiring entrepreneurs who will start 300 new businesses in 2012. Because of the expansion of Operation Jump-Start into this area, the CIE was chosen as the top program in Missouri and recognized in May by the Southern Growth Policies Board with a 2012 Innovator Award.
Last year, the CIE partnered with ACCION Texas, Inc., to develop ACCION Delta, which is providing microlending services to the 252 counties and parishes of the federally designated Delta Regional Authority. ACCION Delta’s regional office is located in the CIE at Southeast.
“Because of Dr. Stapleton’s demonstrated success, Southeast Missouri State University is developing a national reputation in the area of rural entrepreneurship and rural microenterprise development,” said Dr. Gerald McDougall, associate provost of Extended and Online Learning and dean of the Donald L. Harrison College of Business at Southeast.
One example that comes with this growing reputation, McDougall says, is the relationship Stapleton developed with ACCION-Texas. Satellite offices have now been established on Southeast’s southern campuses to better the region.
Stapleton also has been successful in attracting more than $2.4 million in competitive grants to support entrepreneurial outreach, focusing on birthing and growth microenterprises in rural areas. Because of this success, the Kauffman Foundation, located in Kansas City, assigned the distribution rights to the Operation Jump-Start materials to the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Through a competitive grant from the Mississippi Delta Regional Authority, the Center has extended its outreach impact to the eight states in the Mississippi Delta Region.
Stapleton received his bachelor of science degree in organizational leadership and management from Friends University and then earned his master’s degrees in business administration and business education from Southern New Hampshire University. He holds a doctoral degree in workforce education and development from Southern Illinois University.
He has 10 years of entrepreneurial and business development experience in a variety of market sectors, including retail, light manufacturing, and telecommunications and information technology services. His academic career includes more than 10 years of secondary and postsecondary teaching experience.
Stapleton’s research interests include business establishment dynamics impact on job creation, microenterprise development, rural innovation and entrepreneurial development, group dynamics, entrepreneurship teaching and capacity building, and online learning. Stapleton has authored several articles for various publications including the “Delta Pi Epsilon Journal,” “National Association of Business Teacher Educator’s Journal,” and the “Human Systems Management Journal.” He also received the Best Research Paper award twice at the National Business Education Research Conference.
He received the University’s 2012 Faculty Merit Award in October and was named the 2010 University Educator of the Year by the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce. He has been appointed to the Mississippi Delta Grassroots Caucus Executive Advisory Committee and elected to the University Economic Development Association (UEDA) Board of Directors and the Association for Enterprise Opportunity Board of Directors. He has served MAGNET, the local economic and business development agency, and he has made presentations to the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.
Stapleton seeks to make a difference by sharing his knowledge, experience, and passion for entrepreneurship and teaching others about business. He said he believes strongly that entrepreneurism as a way of life and entrepreneurship as a process are keys to personal and social competitiveness in the 21st century. This broad-based view of entrepreneurial behavior can lead individuals, organizations and communities to success, he said.