Westminster, MD
03/15/2016 08:46 AM

McDaniel College has launched The Encompass Distinction, a new academic program in innovation and entrepreneurship that is open to students in any major. The program provides students with the broad-ranging skill sets required for enterprise management.


The Encompass Distinction combines courses, off-campus learning experiences and mentorship for students to gain business and entrepreneurial skills. The program is made possible with the support of 1968 alumnus Dennis Sisco and Alexine Lesko through The Sisco Fund for Enterprise Management.


Bryn Upton, associate professor of history, serves as the director of The Encompass Distinction.


“Students want to be in charge of their own destiny,” according to Julie Routzahn, associate professor of economics and business administration and The Encompass Distinction faculty innovation fellow. “They are leery of a lot of things in the economy, and they need to be able to take their ideas and develop them using innovators’ skills:  associating, questioning, observing, networking and experimenting.”


Routzahn teaches “Innovator’s Compass” for all students interested in The Encompass Distinction. Students create an online portfolio that they can add to and keep active after graduation. She also serves as the faculty advisor for students in the program.


To receive The Encompass Distinction, students must complete a series of courses, including classes in business or entrepreneurship, as well as from other departments, including biology, English, political science and the Honors program.


Jason Stambaugh, a 2007 McDaniel alumnus, has also been named the college’s inaugural Entrepreneur-in-Residence. Stambaugh of Westminster, Md., plans business competitions, including the Carroll Biz Challenge, and is the founder of Wevival, a web development and online marketing firm.


He is helping to organize the first Innovation Challenge Finals competition at McDaniel on Monday, April 11, 6:30 p.m., with students competing for a $10,000 top prize ($5,500 for second place and $2,500 for third place) by presenting their entrepreneurial ideas and products to a panel of experts. More information about the event can be found at


Additionally, a President’s Advisory Council has been instituted by McDaniel President Roger Casey and is made up of entrepreneurial alumni who mentor students, lead workshops and other speaking engagements and help with internships, externships and job opportunities (*see list of alumni below). An Encompass Connections event series and Encompass student workshop series also brings entrepreneurs and experts in the area of creativity and innovation to campus to meet with classes and students.


Students also receive assistance from the college’s Center for Experience and Opportunity (CEO) and can benefit from McDaniel’s partnership with the Carroll Innovation Center at Overton.


Visit for more information about The Encompass Distinction. For more information about McDaniel College, visit


*Alumni comprising the President’s Advisory Council include:

  • Sharon Wensel Bowers of Yorktown, Va., educator-in-residence at the National Institute of Aerospace.
  • Jennifer Hill Bubczyk of Lineboro, Md., president of Hill Development Group, a commercial and residential real estate development company.
  • Joseph Carter, Jr., of Pinehurst, N.C., a retired McDaniel professor who founded the consulting firm Sales & Marketing Effectiveness, Inc., after a career at C&P, American Bell and AT&T.
  • Kevin Culley of Baltimore, senior director of business development and innovation at Under Armour.
  • Mary Lynn Durham of Shaker Heights, Ohio, attorney at Mary Lynn Durham, LPA Company.
  • R. Buck Hartzell of Alexandria, Va., director of investor operations and development at The Motley Fool, a multimedia financial services company.
  • Dirk Hrobsky of New York, executive managing director, Cushman & Wakefield. 
  • Shane Ireland of Severna Park, Md., and Quinn Salamandra of Arnold, Md., founders of Corporate Brokers, LLC, a professional staffing firm.
  • Joseph Menendez of Cockeysville, Md., president of CK Ventures, Inc. He was previously part owner and vice president of operations for Jiffy Lube in eastern Massachusetts.
  • Gregory Merril of Bethesda, Md., CEO of Yost Labs, which makes sensors that enable motion and position tracking.
  • Kent Pearce of Towson, Md., managing director of investments at Merrill Lynch and Co.
  • David Rosenberger of Newport Beach, Calif., a surf industry veteran who is CEO of Asphalt Yacht Club.
  • Deborah Seidel of Westminster, Md., vice president and manager of investment compliance and business risk at T. Rowe Price.
  • Guy Sheetz of Finksburg, Md., executive vice president of supply chain at Medifast.
  • Dennis Sisco of Wellington, Fla., former president and owner of Storm Ridge Capital, partner of Behrman Capital, executive vice president of Dunn and Bradstreet Corporation and vice president at Nielsen Media Research.
  • Keith Swain of Chicago, president of Wells Lamont, LLC, the largest maker of high-quality work, performance and garden gloves.
  • Barbara Thomas of Callawassie Island, S.C., global village team leader for Habitat for Humanity International.
  • William Westervelt, Jr., of Arnold, Md., partner at Ashby Point Capital.


Cheryl Knauer
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