Entrepreneurial Studies


Since its founding in 2008, the Centennial Center for Leadership (CCL) has been a crucial part of the Colleges’ learning-centered environment. Developing global, community and entrepreneurial leaders who are grounded in the Colleges’ core values of equity and service, the CCL fosters leaders and innovators in business and social justice, the non-profit sector and residential communities. Complementing the learning goals and curriculum of the Entrepreneurial Studies minor, the programs offered through the CCL deepen students’ perspectives of what it means to lead in the 21st Century.


The Pitch Competition
The Pitch is an entrepreneurial contest that helps one student each academic year bring his or her big idea to life. Students who participate in The Pitch are supported at every stage of the entrepreneurial process, from idea generation to implementation. If selected as a semi-finalist, each student is paired with a mentor with entrepreneurial experience to help strengthen his or her proposal. After a round of revision, semi-finalists are narrowed to five finalists who participate in The Pitch for a chance to win up to $10,000 toward transforming their idea into reality.

The IdeaLab
The HWS IdeaLab is designed to bring student ideas to reality and to cultivate entrepreneurial leadership on campus. Under the leadership of a student steering committee, in coordination with the CCL, the IdeaLab is a six-week accelerator program that provides a creative environment, peer feedback, mentoring resources, structured workshops and funding support for students to bring their business proposals to fruition. The IdeaLab has assembled an array of faculty and staff to instruct workshops in topics such as idea creation, product development, cost structure and strategic planning. At the end of the six weeks, participants resubmit their proposals for a chance at start up funding from a pool of $3000.


Leadership Certificate Program
The HWS Leads Leadership Certificate Program is designed to purposefully guide students in the study of leadership while they develop as leaders through academic enrichment and applied learning. Throughout the program, students will reflect upon themselves as leaders (Leading Self), the complexities of leading a group of diverse others (Leading Others) and the effects of situational, organizational and cultural contexts (Leadership in Action). This program provides the foundation for students to embark upon, or continue, their journey of developing into ethical, inclusive and value-based leaders.

Each year, the Centennial Center for Leadership offers financial support to innovative student leaders in the form of fellowships. With awards for the Centennial Fellowship for up to $5000, the Global Fellowship for up to $3,000 (new in 2014) and the Cohen Fellowship for up to $1,500, the CCL invites proposals from current HWS students who can craft thoughtful projects that allow them to develop their leadership identity and engage in practical experiences with significant implications. Given the nature of funds, project proposals should be substantial, focused, thoughtfully developed, and illustrate an intention for leading lives of consequence. Awards are available for the summer or fall of each calendar year.

Leadership Institute
Designed for student leaders from all levels of experience, the Leadership Institute (LI) brings participants together for a two-and-a-half day professional conference. LI looks to develop young leaders who are globally aware, community centric and capable of leadership with significant implications.

Leadership Discovery
The Leadership Discovery Series encompasses three new programs -- Leadership Lab, Explorations and Foundations -- open to all HWS students. Each program focuses on examining leadership through the interactive exploration and practice of related skills, tools, competencies and strategies.


Youth Leadership College
The HWS Youth Leadership College (YLC) is a curriculum originally designed by Caroline Dosky ’12, MAT’13 for the second grade Student Council at West Street School in Geneva, N.Y. The curriculum follows the Centennial Center's signature model of Leading Self, Leading Others, and Leadership in Action. The goal of the curriculum is to redefine how students think about the field of leadership. As part of this overarching goal, it is critical for students to understand that they can be leaders too.

Geneva 2020
Geneva 2020 is an important effort to advance the Geneva schools and build a stronger community. By harnessing the resources of the entire Geneva community -- non-profit organizations, businesses and individuals -- we can provide assistance in three key areas identified by the Geneva City School District as being critical to the future of Geneva’s children:

  • graduation rate
  • career and college readiness
  • literacy


Entrepreneurial Studies
Tom Drennen, Chair
Geneva, NY 14456
P: (315) 781-3419


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.