To mark its fifth anniversary, the Ed Snider Center for Enterprise and Markets at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business is taking stock of its mission-aligned research and outreach.
Anchored by a gift from The Snider Foundation (then led by the late alumnus Ed Snider), the center launched in late 2014 as an innovative think-tank. Its mission is to engage in world-class, interdisciplinary research on the conditions that support human enterprise and well-functioning markets, and to promote understanding of how individuals and organizations thrive in a rapidly changing world.
In its five years, the center has established a robust group of 34 Ed Snider Center Faculty Affiliates, spanning 14 academic departments. These scholars bring multi-disciplinary research findings into academic, media and policy conversations highlighting critical issues impacting economic productivity and human potential.
The newest members of the group are Dewen Zhang, PhD, a visiting assistant professor whose research focuses on the evolution of women's entrepreneurship in China, and Erin Mosely, PhD, an historian who is examining the 1994 Rwandan genocide and how historical narratives on race and violence changed pre- and post-genocide.
Through a variety of its programs, the Ed Snider Center engages future scholars and leaders. One example is a residential summer program, Snider Enterprise and Leadership Fellows (SELF), which teaches leadership and business innovation to high school juniors and seniors. Also, the annual Ed Snider Center Leadership Award is now accepting applications from students who demonstrate innovation, enterprise, resilience and a desire to make a contribution to society. The deadline to apply for the 2020 award is March 31st.
In addition, high school teachers participate in the center’s Enterprise Through Literature Program. ETL is designed to intellectually stimulate and empower English teachers to develop curricula that highlights the principles of enterprise and the role of the individual. This is facilitated through a summer workshop and through an on-line course approved for continuing education credit by the University of Maryland.
At the university level, the Snider Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) provides an opportunity for University of Maryland College Park students to have an individualized research experience guided by a faculty mentor.
Further supporting students, the center sponsors the Snider Professional Development Society – a student club for fostering personal growth in terms of leadership skills, developing collaborative relationships, and engaging in reasoned and respectful discourse. The latter was reflected in fall 2019 as the Ed Snider Center hosted a Capitalism vs. Socialism debate, featuring Yaron Brook, author of "Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand's Ideas Can End Big Government," and Bhaskar Sunkara, author of "The Socialist Manifesto: A Case for Radical Politics in an Era of Extreme Inequality." The discussion was moderated by The Wall Street Journal’s Jillian Melchoir. The debate dovetails with the center', which draws leading experts to discuss key trends and issues surrounding enterprise, markets and the world of business more broadly.
Similarly, in April 2019 the center hosted more than 45 scholars from around the world for Maryland Smith’s 15th Annual Smith Entrepreneurship Research Conference. And a few months earlier, hosted a Colloquium “Public and Private Entrepreneurship” for 15 Frederic Bastiat Fellows at the Mercatus Center.
When not hosting, the center is represented at other timely and weighty events on campus. Center director Rajshree Agarwal joined a 2019 Social Justice Day panel discussion on Open vs. Closed Borders, and she presented “Rising and Thriving as a Woman Leader” as part of the Women in Science and Medicine educational lecture series at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Agarwal also writes a bi-weekly column for Forbes where she provides insights and strategies towards leading a purposeful life.
In further media outreach, the Ed Snider Center podcast, The Inc. Tank, provides insights into the effects of converging technologies on business and society through interviews with business leaders, policymakers and experts.
You can connect with the Ed Snider Center here: