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Release Date:
6/1/2012 9:13 AM
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Business vision scores four-year scholarship totaling $120,000

by Katie Fainer, Admissions Counselor

This winter, students accepted to the College of Business were tasked with a unique objective by their Executive Dean, Larry Flanagan: think of a business that you would like to create someday, tell us about it, and show it on Facebook. The motivation to participate in this challenge: four full-tuition scholarships to the University of New Haven. 

University of New Haven's Executive Dean Lawrence Flanagan and John-Paul DiTommaso

UNH College of Business Executive Dean Lawrence Flanagan
and John-Paul DiTommaso

Students across the country who are told by parents and teachers alike on a daily, if not hourly, basis to get off Facebook could now use the social networking site to help pay their way through college.  The concept is exciting not only because it utilizes a medium that students know and understand, but also because it breaks away from the traditional scholarship-essay mold. By using such a unique format, the College of Business hoped to unearth creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit in its accepted students—qualities that will be cultivated and enhanced throughout their four years of study.

Students entering the Dean’s Scholarship Challenge had the freedom to create any type of business or company imaginable with no limitations on budget or global reach. Once students had their idea ready, they were asked to create a Facebook business page to promote their company. Submissions ranged from sport management firms and high-end food delivery services to wedding event planners and alternative-energy research facilities. 

Regardless of the type or size of the business, certain criteria were required on each Facebook business page in order for the competition to be judged fairly. These criteria included descriptions of what the business is and does, what makes the business unique, how the business would be financially viable, why there is a need for the business, and most important, why the student is the right person to lead the business. Each student had the chance to make their pitch for a huge payoff: a scholarship totaling $120,000 over four years. 

A panel of highly qualified judges convened in late March to meticulously review the more than 75 entries received and grant the four scholarship recipients the opportunity of a lifetime. The panel included Executive Dean Flanagan and several of our esteemed faculty and industry professionals.  

After much deliberation, Frank Dipadua from Spencer, MA, John-Paul DiTommaso from Farmington, CT, Daniel Kiley from Ansonia, CT, and Jacob Stevenson from Waldoboro, ME, were each awarded Dean’s Challenge scholarships. All the entries were extremely well thought out and well executed, making the judging a challenge in itself! Secondary and tertiary awards were also presented to runners-up.