Vegas Seven: “Pact With an Angel”

Rebecca Tekula, PhD, Executive Director of Pace’s Helene & Grant Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship, on whether one of the most recession-damaged cities in the nation can benefit from community stewardship.

Ward 5 in downtown Las Vegas, has been hit hard by foreclosures and has many abandoned homes — the kind of problems that can tear down an entire community.

To kick-start community change, The Partnerships for Community Health (PACT) has given grants to grassroots Vegas groups like Power of One, co-founded by Earnest James (pictured), which mentors at-risk kids in West Las Vegas.  The model is called community stewardship, and both the promise and risk of it is that the impact of the funding will ultimately depend on the grassroots organizations themselves.

“You want to make sure your stakeholders have some say in how you’re spending the money,” says Rebecca Tekula, PhD, executive director for the Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship, which researches and advises nonprofits. “Eventually the full governance will belong to the community,” she told Vegas Seven writer Heidi Kyser.

In other words, whether PACT succeeds in the long run will be up to people such as Earnest James.

NEWS RELEASE: “Pace University and Hitachi America, Ltd. Encourage Educators To Take A Technological “Leap” Forward on February 29, 2012”

On Leap Day 2012, The Helene & Grant Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Pace University and Hitachi America, Ltd. are teaming up to offer a free program to encourage educators to “leap” into the technological future and explore innovations such as the use of avatars in the classroom.

Pace University and Hitachi America, Ltd. Encourage Educators To Take

A Technological “Leap” Forward on February 29, 2012

– -Hosting Free Program on the Role of Technology in Education–

(Tarrytown, NY) February 24, 2012 – Hitachi America, Ltd., a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT/TSE: 6501) located in Tarrytown, NY, and Pace University’s Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship are co-sponsoring a free, full-morning education program for nonprofit and education organizations focused on the role of technology in education and helping students reach their full potential.

This year’s program is entitled “Inspired Education: Learning, Teaching and Technology.” The program will explore the impact of technology on education, how it has altered the way we teach and the way the students learn. The use of avatars in the role of virtual students is just one technological innovation that will be discussed. Pace University is one of only 10 universities nationwide to use the TeachLivE avatar lab technology, which immerses future teachers in a simulated classroom where they practice making real-time decisions in response to the dynamic features of classroom learning.  Similar to the way pilots use simulators to hone their skills, the avatars help future teachers practice managing a classroom and students with various personalities and challenges before being in a live classroom. The forum will also explore how technology has both narrowed and widened the gap between affluent and low income students and how it is being employed to help some students with special needs. Panelists include a professor from Pace who is actively involved in the TeachLivE avatar lab, a curriculum consultant, the administrator for a school that works specifically with dyslexic children and the executive director of an education non-profit organization in Yonkers.

 The program will take place at Pace University’s Graduate Center located in downtown White Plains, NY and will run from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm on Wednesday, February 29, 2012. The campus is located at 1 Martine Avenue. Registration and a light breakfast will begin at 9:00 am and the panel discussion will begin at 10:00 am. Media admission by press pass.

Panelists include:

The program is free, but advance registration is required due to limited seating. Attendance is limited to members of nonprofit organizations. Participants can register online at:

Pace University/Hitachi America, Ltd. Nonprofit Forum Registration

This is the fourth year that Hitachi America, Ltd. has spearheaded this program and the third year that Pace University’s Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship has served as a co-sponsor.

The Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship was created in 2005 to serve the nonprofit community and Pace University. The Center provides scholarly research, academic programs, advisory services and roundtable discussions to encourage excellence and enhance managerial leadership skills of professionals within the nonprofit sector.

“Educational programs that encourage thoughtful exploration of issues surrounding nonprofit effectiveness and efficiency are at the core of our mission at the Wilson Center,” said Rebecca Tekula, PhD, the Center’s Executive Director. “We are proud to once again work with Hitachi America, Ltd. on what promises to be an enlightening discussion for the nonprofit, education and student communities.”

“We are excited to be sponsoring this educational program that will engage participants in a discussion about the role of technology in education,” said Lauren Raguzin, Director of Community Relations for Hitachi America, Ltd. “I am appreciative of our continued partnership with The Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Pace University in putting this program together.”

About Hitachi America

Hitachi America, Ltd., headquartered in Tarrytown, New York, a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., and its subsidiary companies, offers a broad range of electronics, power and industrial equipment and services, automotive products and consumer electronics with operations throughout the Americas. For more information, visit For information on other Hitachi Group companies in the United States, please visit

Hitachi, Ltd., (NYSE: HIT / TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 360,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2010 (ended March 31, 2011) consolidated revenues totaled 9,315 billion yen ($112.2 billion). Hitachi will focus more than ever on the Social Innovation Business, which includes information and telecommunication systems, power systems, environmental, industrial and transportation systems, and social and urban systems, as well as the sophisticated materials and key devices that support them. For more information on Hitachi, please visit Hitachi’s website at  

About the Wilson Center
The Helene and Grant Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship is an institute of Pace University aiming to serve students and nonprofit organizations by encouraging more effective and efficient nonprofit management practices through research, colloquia and continuing education programs. The Center was launched with a $5 million gift from Helene and Grant Wilson, entrepreneurs and philanthropists whose involvement with nonprofits has convinced them that entrepreneurial management can help these organizations increase their impact.

About Pace University

For 104 years Pace University has produced thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Lienhard School of Nursing, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems.

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Lauren Raguzin
Hitachi America, Ltd. 

Associated Press: “New Miami Art Museum renamed after big donation”

The new Miami Art Museum is being renamed as a result of a major donation. In an interview with the Associated Press, Rebecca Tekula, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Helene and Grant Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Pace University, spoke on what the impact of this might be and whether a name can make or break a new museum. Tekula has taught cultural and arts management at the graduate level in Switzerland and also has background in fundraising in the U.S.

When the new Miami Art Museum opens in 2013, it will also have a different name: The Jorge M. Perez Art Museum of Miami-Dade County.

Perez, chairman and CEO of the Related Group, whose condominium developments have helped reshape the Miami skyline, has pledged $35 million to the museum, including $20 million in cash and $15 million in art from his personal collection.

So what impact, if any, will the renaming of the museum have?

The Miami Art Museum won’t be the first to carry the name of an important benefactor, though it does appear to be one of the largest public art museums to carry a donor’s name. Naming after donors tends to be more common at university galleries. Usually when an art museum takes the name of a donor, it’s because nearly all of the permanent collection belongs to the donor, said Rebecca Tekula, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Helene and Grant Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Pace University, in an Associated Press interview.

Tekula said the donation is encouraging at a time when the arts have been hard hit by the economic downturn, though she and others cautioned that artwork valued at $15 million today may not be worth that in the future.

“$15 million doesn’t always get you that far,” Tekula said. “6 ways to make giving to charity work for you”

Your mother always taught you to share with others. Yet, it’s often difficult to choose a charity and to know when to give, how much to give and when to move on to another cause. Pace’s Dr. Rebecca Tekula advises why it is important to “do your research” before giving back., a Bankrate website which claims a readership of 500,000 monthly, helps consumers make smart decisions about almost every aspect of their financial lives, including donating to a cause they care about.

Rebecca Tekula, executive director of the Helene and Grant Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Pace University in New York, advocates using online resources to determine which charities really deserve your money.

Tip 5. Do your research.

Tekula suggests that people look at their philanthropic investments in the same way they’d view other investments.

You’re not only investing your funds, you also need to consider long-term expectations.

In addition to investigating a cause’s website, Tekula shares some of her favorite online resources for researching charities:

Guidestar — This is a great starting-off point and fundamental resource for analyzing facts, including tax returns and salaries.
Charity Navigator — This website uses a star system based on evolving and sophisticated fundamentals of the organizations. A great resource for the financially savvy reader that looks at the charities the way you look at a business, based on return on philanthropic investment, return on social investment.
GiveWell — The next step in evaluating a charity, according to Tekula, the top-rated charities it recommends are proven, cost effective, underfunded and outstanding.

To read all “6 ways to make giving to charity work for you” – click here