Supporting entrepreneurship in the arts and sciences

Entrepreneurship and economic development are integral to our success as a University. They directly express our aspiration to make the world ever better.

The School of Arts & Sciences plays an important role in this University-wide effort. Entrepreneurship in the arts and sciences can manifest itself as innovative thinking and the interdisciplinary cultivation of ideas and creativity. Numerous departments offer courses with an entrepreneurship component.

Our Digital Media Studies (DMS) students, for example, complete a senior capstone project in which they plan, design, and deliver a digital media solution, such as custom-built applications, in collaboration with Rochester-area businesses or clients. Our data science students, meanwhile, apply their advanced learning in computer science and statistics to the business domains of finance, marketing, and economics, thereby harnessing the power of data to transform local and global markets.

Other arts and sciences coursework with an entrepreneurial, interdisciplinary, and innovative components include:

  • Anthropology: Social Network Theory and Entrepreneurship—Students analyze cutting-edge research and network modeling techniques, with many new and interesting interdisciplinary implications, especially for entrepreneurship.
  • Art History: Art New York—In this semester-long program, students enhance their knowledge of the world of contemporary art and culture with first-hand experience working and studying in New York City.
  • Biology: Ecosystem Conservation and Human Society—Students study approaches to conservation biology and how such approaches influence economic and political policy at local, national, and international levels.
  • Political Science: Nature of Entrepreneurship—Using theory, data, and case studies, students investigate what it means to be an entrepreneur and what characterizes the entrepreneurial society.

Leading by example

Our professors in the School of Arts & Sciences lead by example. Their research, discoveries, activism, and creativity are routinely applied beyond academia to commercially or socially minded ventures.

Professor of Biology David Goldfarb’s research focuses on the molecular pathways that regulate the aging process within cells. Breakthroughs in his work led to the formation of Calorics Pharmaceuticals, technology that is developing novel ways to treat a range of age-related diseases. Assistant

Professor of Music Jennifer Kyker’s entrepreneurial efforts have her working with Zimbabwean musicians and artists. However, her undergraduate Fulbright Fellowship experience in 2003 led her to co-found Tariro, a grassroots, non-profit organization working in Zimbabwe to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS by educating young women and girls.

Campus partnerships to promote entrepreneurship

We partner with the Center for Entrepreneurship to provide arts and sciences students at Rochester with the chance to participate in workshops, competitions, projects, and other opportunities to create value—both economic and social—in our communities.

The Kauffman Entrepreneurial Year (KEY) Program also offers selected students a fifth, tuition-free year of college to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors.

Some current and past projects include:

  • ArtAwake, a music and arts festival held in an underused urban space
  • inspireDance Festival, a collaborative project that connects student dancers on campus with each other, with the Program of Dance and Movement, and with the larger dance community in the Greater Rochester area
  • UR Consulting Group, a student-run organization providing pro bono business services for startups and local not-for-profits
  • UR Microfarm, where students and community members cultivated vegetables, fruits, and herbs to be sold to UR Dining Services

The Center for Community Engagement is another on-campus resource that helps students develop their leadership potential and skills through courses, workshops, events, and more. These student leaders then go on to shape and direct their communities, locally and globally.