"We are thrilled that Qbase is investing in the Springfield community, and I am personally excited about the company's investment in our Community Partners Program," said Mark H. Erickson, Wittenberg president. "Qbase is the first local entity, among what I hope will be several, to invest in this program at the leadership level. In so doing, Qbase is investing in Wittenberg faculty and student research projects that address community priorities, including education and neighborhood revitalization."
The brainchild of communication majors Amy Holden of Youngstown, Ohio, and Ashley Petersen of Cincinnati, Ohio, both class of 2007, the newly created university-sponsored Community Partners Program will capitalize on the institution's urban setting and provide a win-win situation for students and the greater Springfield area.
"Springfield provides a wonderful laboratory for students to explore some of the most pressing social issues facing urban communities across the nation and on a global scale," Petersen said.
Initially fueled by Wittenberg's new strategic plan, specifically Goal F of the plan: Extend and Cultivate the Wittenberg Community, the project quickly came together following extensive research by Holden and Petersen, who are working with Lin Erickson, director of government, corporate and community relations at Wittenberg. The program will be the first formalized investment-oriented collaboration between an Ohio college or university and an urban community.
Wittenberg has a long tradition of community engagement with students and faculty sharing their light in service as volunteers, philanthropists, teachers, leaders and project managers. Holden and Petersen's program would provide an opportunity for their expertise to be utilized more fully to affect social change.
"Our vision is to become the leading model for university-community collaboration in the nation," Holden said.
Among the possible partnering projects being considered for 2008 are urban revitalization, both in the downtown area and along Wittenberg's eastern edge, a landscape curriculum project at Springfield's new high school, community internships and professional development workshops.
"As a community entrepreneur, Qbase will not only realize the benefit of its business investment, but the company, and all of us, will ultimately realize the benefit of their investment in Wittenberg and the quality of life in Springfield," Erickson said.
In addition to bringing more than 100 jobs to Springfield during the next three years with compensation packages expected to total more than $90,000, according to Pardue, Qbase's Springfield expansion will also include a comprehensive program for internships in technology, marketing, sales and other business and scientific disciplines. Institutions joining Wittenberg in the program are Central State University, Cedarville University, Clark State Community College, the University of Dayton and Wright State University.
"One of the most exciting aspects of this program will be our ability to leverage this region's expertise to build the curriculum of the future," Erickson said.
Formed in North America in 2005 by former executives and technologists with LexisNexis, a global giant information provider, Qbase delivers leading solutions in data management, data analysis and strategic consulting. Qbase currently delivers advanced data solutions in five markets: government, healthcare, nonprofit organizations, higher education, and media and publishing. It also develops data-driven solutions and markets them in collaboration with Qbase Data Services, Ltd., of Warrington, England.
Written By: Karen Gerboth
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