Warnecke Receives McKean Grant

Professor Tonia Warnecke ’99 receives a $15,000 research award.

While it’s been 43 years since Hugh McKean was president of Rollins, in many ways his spirit lives on at the College today.

Well known for his intellectual curiosity and generous spirit, McKean envisioned the grant as an amazing opportunity whereby a faculty member could strategize and undertake a project from start to finish, a project not typically feasible with normal Rollins resources, such as research and professional development funds.

Over the years, this annual $15,000 research award has permitted winning faculty members to undertake research projects, artistic works, and teaching related projects that have contributed to the mission of Rollins College. 

Faculty members have previously submitted proposals to study topics as varied as climate change, slavery, and the history of Jai-Alai. Selected by a jury of Rollins alumni in higher education, Assistant Professor of International Business Tonia Warnecke received the 2013 McKean grant for her proposal titled Gender and Entrepreneurship: Equalizing Opportunity.

“Although many leaders are currently emphasizing female entrepreneurship, increasing it will not necessarily imply improvement in women’s living standards,” says Warnecke. “The key is whether or not programs facilitate women’s ability to engage in opportunity-based entrepreneurship.  My research will investigate a variety of programs in Asia (business incubator projects, training, education, credit, and other financial programs implemented by governments, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector), with two aims: Assessing which types and structures of programs are more likely to promote upward mobility, and formulating criteria enabling organizations to more effectively tailor program structures to their specific goals.”

The McKean grant will enable Warnecke to travel to China, Indonesia, and India to meet with members and leaders of organizations, foundations, and governmental ministries aiming to improve women’s entrepreneurial opportunities.

A Rollins faculty member since 2008, Warnecke holds a Rollins B.A. in political science, master’s degrees from Pittsburgh and Notre Dame, and a Ph.D. in economics from Notre Dame.