Beeta Ansari

Beeta is Ashoka U’s Exchange Director, the world’s largest global convening for social entrepreneurship education.

Faculty Hero: Franklin G. McCune

Franklin G. McCune, Student Life Director At Wolfson Campus, Miami Dade College, talks about the excitement of taking credit and pride in the social entrepreneurship work his university already does, as they prepare to become a Changemaker Campus.

Franklin G. McCune is featured as a part of Ashoka U’s new blog series, “Faculty Hero,” that tells stories of outstanding faculty members, leading changemaking initiatives at their colleges and universities around the world. Check back for a story of a new Faculty Hero on the Ashoka U Blog!

1. Describe the changemaking class, program, or project do you lead. How is it distinctive in higher education?
Our main project is our application to become an Ashoka U Chamgermaker Campus. This project was very enlightening for me, especially as a new professional at the College. It allowed me to sit with and hear from other experts from the College speak about all the things we already do in the field of social entrepreneurship and social innovation.

Miami Dade College is distinctive in higher education because we do not turn anyone away and we are the largest institution of higher education in the county with over 175,000 students. I am a member of the committee that was formed by the College to compile the information about the existing state of social entrepreneurship on campus and submit our application.

2. Did you face any challenges/obstacles along the way? If so, how did you overcome them?
As we began to compile the information about what we do in the field of social entrepreneurship and social innovation college-wide, we quickly realized just how big a project this was. We immediately had to increase the size of the committee to get more people at the table. We brought in more experts who knew of events, programs, classes and academics that would and should be a part of this compilation. The sheer amount of information we had to compile was staggering. We overcame this challenge by splitting our forces internally on the committee by focusing on a different portion of the application each and connecting with our local campus experts more.

3. How does being on a college campus amplify or affect your work (in a way that might be different if you worked elsewhere)?
My experience has been amplified, because becoming an Ashoka U campus is what we all want, and I dare say, it is the “right” thing for us to do. If I worked somewhere else, not in an institution of higher education, the opportunities and willingness may not have been the same, ideas may not have been as easily accepted and encouraged. Knowledge, thoughts and ideas are the core of what we do and that stimulation is what college is all about.

4. Tell us about a result that you’re most proud of (including social impact and/or impact on students).
The result I am most proud of is the compilation of resources, programs and academic offerings at Miami Dade College – a living document that tells of all the good work we already do.

5. What’s one piece of advice you’d give to other faculty or staff thinking about getting involved in social innovation?
The best piece of advice I can give is to try to create a working and unified definition of social innovation that is widely accepted and understood by the company or college you represent.

6. How do you see your work evolving and growing in the future?
My work at the College continues to evolve and change. I like that; it is challenging and always new. This work with Ashoka U will hopefully continue to open more doors for me and for my students. As a self-proclaimed lifelong learner I find that this only continues to stimulate my interest for academic growth.

More information about Franklin will be featured on social media this week, so make sure to like Ashoka U on Twitter and Facebook! Check out Ashoka U’s blog each week to see new stories of phenomenal faculty heroes making a difference in their institutions and the world.