Thomas Paczkowski, the Fred L. Emerson Endowed Chair in Enterprise and Innovation at Cayuga Community College, earned a 2013 Leavey Award for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education from Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge for his work on entrepreneurship at the College.
Paczkowski’s project “Cayuga Community College Entrepreneurial Infusion” was one of only eight projects selected nationally to receive this award. He will receive a cash prize and commemorative plaque. He will also have an all-expense paid trip to the three-day Leavey Educational Summit in April in Philadelphia, where he has been invited to present his project to fellow award recipients and other educators.
“Tom has helped transform our college into a nationally recognized leader in community college entrepreneurship,” said College President Daniel P. Larson. “The prestige afforded to Cayuga Community College through Tom’s Leavey Award is the next significant step in our work to ignite the spirit of freedom and entrepreneurship at community colleges across the land. This is a well-deserved honor and I’m proud of the work that Tom spearheaded at the College six years ago and which continues to thrive today.”
Paczkowski was nominated for the award by Cayuga Community College, and his nomination packet included letters of support from peers, fellow educators, community collaborators, and regional and national entrepreneurship organizations. In those letters of support, Paczkowski is described as having changed the campus culture at Cayuga, having had a national impact on community college entrepreneurship education, having a commitment to students and the community that is unsurpassed.
Under Paczkowski’s leadership, Cayuga has:
- created the nation’s first endowed chair at a community college in entrepreneurship,
- initiated award-winning student run enterprises (Cayuga Records and C3Video,
- promoted social entrepreneurship generating thousands of dollars for charity (Prom Dress Project),
- developed a Wines Studies Program capitalizing on the Finger Lakes prominence in the wine industry,
- launched a regional Business Idea Competition among SUNY colleges ,
- infused entrepreneurial principles into the classroom and across the discipline (art, early childhood education, telecommunications, English, liberal arts and humanities, economics and business) involving more than 20 percent of the student body (1,200 students),
- sponsored a business plan competition in the Public School (Cayuga – Onondaga BOCES), and
- founded the SUNY ENGINE (Educational Network to Grow Innovation and Entrepreneurship).
Paczkowski, a certified financial planner, has served 35 years as a business professor at Cayuga. Throughout his many years of service, he took an active role in College committees, directed the Business and Industry Center and occupational education, and presented nationally.
Most notably, he served as the first endowed chair in entrepreneurship at a community college, developed the infusion model that brings entrepreneurial concepts to students across the curriculum, and administered more than $300,000 to dozens of entrepreneurial projects at Cayuga through a Kauffman Foundation grant.
He is the author of 13 study guides to accompany Principles of Marketing(Prentice Hall) and written numerous articles for Community College Entrepreneurshipmagazine. Among his many honors, he has received the ACC/CCC Distinguished Alumni Award, Cayuga Community College Excellence Award, and the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence.
He holds an associate’s degree in accounting from Cayuga, bachelor’s degree in management science at SUNY Geneseo, an MBA in marketing management from Syracuse University, certificate of advanced study in educational administration from SUNY Oswego, and a certificate in financial planning from Colorado College for Financial Planning.