WORCESTER, Mass. – Frank Hoy, an internationally known authority on entrepreneurship, has joined the faculty of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) as the inaugural Paul R. Beswick Professor of Entrepreneurship in the university's Department of Management. Hoy, who was most recently director of the Centers for Entrepreneurial Development, Advancement, Research and Support at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), will also serve as director of the Collaborative for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (CEI), WPI's nationally ranked entrepreneurship center.
McRae C. Banks, head of WPI's Department of Management and founding director of CEI, said that as the Beswick Professor and CEI director, Hoy will play a critical role in expanding the scope and national reputation of all of WPI's entrepreneurship offerings. “WPI's entrepreneurship program is well established; we have received national recognition, and we have generated significant interest from our faculty members, students, and the business community," Banks said. "As an academician who has gained national and international visibility for his research, teaching, program building, and work with entrepreneurs, Frank Hoy has the credibility that WPI needs to take our program to the next level."
The Beswick Professorship was established through the generosity of Paul R. Beswick, Class of 1957, founder, president and CEO of Beswick Engineering Inc., an engineering consulting firm in Greenland, N.H., and his wife, Siang Kiang. The gift was intended to enable WPI to recruit and recognize a world-class scholar and educator who could help the university make entrepreneurship an integral element of its mission and help instill the spirit of innovation necessary for students to succeed in today's technology-driven world.
Professor Hoy holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from UTEP, an MBA from the University of North Texas, and a PhD in management from Texas A&M University. He spent 10 years as a faculty member in the Department of Management at the University of Georgia, where he founded and directed the Center for Business and Economic Studies, coordinated the entrepreneurship curriculum, and served as director of the Georgia Small Business Development Center (SBDC), one of the first SBDCs in the nation to be certified by the Association of Small Business Development Centers.
He was named the inaugural Zwerner Professor at Georgia State in 1988, and in 1991 returned to his hometown of El Paso, Texas, to join the faculty of UTEP as a professor of management and entrepreneurship and dean of the College of Business Administration. Additionally, Hoy spent five years as chair of the Central European Small Business Enterprise Development Commission, created by Congress to work with the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland to establish networks of small business assistance centers.
The author or co-editor of seven books, more than 40 scholarly articles, and more than 90 conference papers, Hoy is past editor of Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, past Latin America editor for the Journal of World Business, and honorary editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business. His research and educational activities have been funded by more than $15 million in awards and contracts from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Education, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and the Mott and Kauffman foundations, among other agencies and organizations. He is past chair of the Entrepreneurship Division of the Academy of Management and former senior vice president of the International Council of Small Businesses.
WPI's Collaborative for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is a university-wide center established to capitalize upon the synergy between WPI's many entrepreneurship and innovation initiatives. Its serves WPI students, faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as the external business community, through a wide range of programs that nurture a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation on WPI's campus and accelerate knowledge and action in the transfer of technology. In a typical year, CEI works with over 3,400 students, faculty members, and business people interested in entrepreneurship and innovation in its more than 40 programs, workshops, and competitions.
Current programs include undergraduate and graduate courses in entrepreneurship and innovation, an undergraduate minor in entrepreneurship, the WPI Dinner with Entrepreneurs Series, the CEI@WPI ALL-OUT Business Plan Challenge, the Robert H. Grant Invention Awards, the Strage Innovation Awards, the Kalenian Award for Technology Commercialization, and the WPI Venture Forum. It is also the sponsor of a new student-created organization, Genius! In 2005, WPI placed among the nation's top 10 entrepreneurship programs in a ranking by Entrepreneur.com.
About Paul R. Beswick '57
After receiving a B.S. in mechanical engineering from WPI, Paul Beswick worked for several years in the aerospace industry before founding Beswick Engineering Inc. in 1963. Headquartered in Greenland, N.H., the company, which makes miniature pneumatic devices, has developed more than 50 products based on proprietary designs and earned more than a dozen patents. Recognized as a leader in the miniature fluid power industry, the company received Product Design & Development magazine's Engineering Silver Award and was a runner up in Design News magazine's Golden Mousetrap Awards. Beswick is as a trustee and member of the executive committee of Berwick Academy, an independent school in South Berwick, Maine. Since 1997, he has been a member of the advisory board for WPI's Collaborative for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) and has served as a guest entrepreneur for a number of CEI programs.