Work by Cox Institute Graduate Assistants Presented at Leadership Conference

Work by Cox Institute Graduate Assistants Presented at Leadership Conference

July 12, 2022

Work by two graduate assistants of the James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership was presented at a June national leadership conference.

Kate Hester and Keith Herndon present at the 2020 ALE Conference. Ev Andrews, also a co-author of the paper, could not attend the conference.

Kate Hester, a current graduate assistant, and Ev Andrews, a former graduate assistant, were co-authors along with Dr. Keith Herndon, executive director of the Cox Institute, on a peer-reviewed innovative practice paper. The paper was presented at the Association of Leadership Educators (ALE) annual conference held in Kansas City, Missouri, June 26-29.

The paper entitled “Shrimp Tank: Preparing Entrepreneurial Leaders Using a Pitch Competition” explained how a class business plan competition loosely modeled on the popular TV show Shark Tank became an educational tool to teach concepts essential to entrepreneurial leadership.

The paper discusses the rise in entrepreneurship as a career path and how the exercise uses the perceived attributes of innovation as a framework to teach emerging entrepreneurial leaders how to communicate their ideas in markets facing relentless change and disruption. Using a business plan competition called Shrimp Tank, this innovative practice asks young leaders to create and own a business idea and challenges them to effectively persuade their peers about its benefits in a competitive forum.

“The foundation of the paper was based on my experiences of running this exercise in a classroom setting for 10 semesters,” Herndon said. “But the success of having the paper accepted for this presentation stems from the excellent work of Hester and Andrews in documenting the literature review and explaining the underlying leadership pedagogy so thoroughly.”

Andrews completed a Master of Arts in Emerging Media in May 2021 and is now working as an associate producer, newsletters, at CNN. Hester will be entering the second year of her Master of Arts in Journalism program this fall and will return as a graduate assistant with the Cox Institute.