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John Carroll magazine story

John Carroll magazine story

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Published by Raven DeVoll

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Published by: Raven DeVoll on Mar 26, 2011
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03/26/2011

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Combining passions John Carroll magazine http://sites.jcu.edu/magazine/2011/03/16/combining-passions/
Young entrepreneur finds success while serving others
By Raven DeVoll 
O
nly a junior at John Carroll, Jeanniece Jackson is well on her way to becoming a thriving busi-nesswoman with a heart of gold. Taking advantage of the many opportunities the Muldoon
Center for Entrepreneurship offers, she’s been able to connect her business
-driven way of thinkingto her social-justice-related way of feeling.Through the Muldoon Center, Jackson had the opportunity to compete in Immersion Week in August2010, a weeklong idea competition that encourages college students to create new business ven-tures.
“Students have good ideas, but what do they do with them?” says Mark Hauserman, director of theMuldoon Center. “Immersion Week is a way for JCU students who are creative to receive a lot of help with their ideas.”
 Immersion Week workshops are taught by experts within theentrepreneurship field, allowing budding entrepreneurs to learnfrom the best of the best. The competition provides practical ex-periential and theoretical education to local students in hopes
they’ll remain in Northeast Ohio creating and building wealth
within the region.The competition is sponsored by the Entrepreneurship Educa-tion Consortium, which consists of entrepreneurship programsfrom Northeast Ohio colleges and universities, including JohnCarroll.Jackson and her group members created Menu 2.0, an elec-tronic menu system using an iPad to process food orders. Thisnew way of ordering dramatically changes the restaurant experi-ence, increases order efficiency, and provides faster service,Jackson says.Menu 2.0 also creates an interactive experience for customersand families, offering games and trivia while they wait for their 
food. Jackson’s group received second place for its project, re-
ceiving $2,000 to be divided among the team.
“I love people like Jeanniece,” Hauserman says. “Just give them guidance and let them run with it.She’s going to be one of our stars.”
 
Jackson’s success didn’t end there. Julie Messing, director of the Kent State University’s entrepre-neurship program, was impressed by the JCU team’s project. She contacted Gary Stiffler, chief ex-
ecutive officer of the Matlet Group, one of the largest menu distributors in the country, to inform himof their innovative menu idea. Stiffler then flew from Rhode Island to discuss future plans with thewinning team members.
Jackson
 
“I was hoping the competition would offer great networking opportunities, but to have people come
talk to us was mind-
blowing,” Jackson says.
 
The Matlet Group is exploring what resources are needed to execute the students’ business idea.
Stiffler plans to revisit campus after the company works out the details and his design team makescertain decisions.Because four seniors and one junior helped create Menu 2.0, Hauserman would love for the stu-dents involved to be hired into the Matlet Group upon graduation.
“You’d be a very impressive person in the company –
 
to see your idea come to fruition,” he says.“These students could live and die trying to get this thing going, but Matlet has the resources and
could make it happen.Ideally, Jackson and her team members would like to help Matlet launch Menu 2.0 and receive apercentage of the profits.
“It’s an awesome experience to see something you worked on come to fruition,” she says.
 
Creating a communal atmosphere
 Among her other creative ventures, Jackson is the founder and president of F.A.C.E.S.
Faith,Action, Culture, Entertainment, Service, a new campus organization focused on creating a cultur-ally inclusive college community that gives back to the city. F.A.C.E.S. offers members a supportsystem and communal atmosphere necessary for students to thrive within the college setting.
Jackson’s new club encompasses a diverse range of activities, allowing students to explore their 
passions. F.A.C.E.S. connects students with organizations and clubs around campus and withinthe Cleveland community that identifies with their interests.
“You can feel like you’re part of a family while finding what else is out there,” Jackson says.
 The organization offers a family dynamic by attending JCU sports games, dinner hours, and activi-ties together a couple times a semester. It also targets commuters by holding its meetings at con-venient times and focuses on engaging the commuter population by exposing them to campus ac-tivities for a more complete college experience.As a commuter, Jackson quickly realized the value of feeling a part of the campus community andhas been able to explore her interests through many University organizations.
Passionate about music, Jackson spends much of her time on campus with JCU’s Gospel Choir.
Since her freshman year, she has served as the vocal director and was elected president her 
sophomore year. As president, she’s helped restructure the organization, determine what types of 
singing engagements the choir will accept, institute a service component, and increase member-ship.
A woman for others
 
Another large portion of Jackson’s time is spent on service
-related activities. Her desire to help
others began at an early age, and she has followed her family’s example. Jackson’s mother 
founded T.E.E.N.S.
Teens Experiencing Excellence Non-Stop, at the Cleveland Public Libraryon East 131 Street in 2003.Jackson volunteered with her mother weekly, serving as a youth facilitator, leading hot-topic reflec-tive discussions, acting as a mentor, and helping teens connect with resources for college accessassistance.

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