Education faculty member named Fulbright Specialist in entrepreneurship

March 26, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Betsy Campbell, assistant professor in Penn State’s College of Education, has been named to the roster of Fulbright Specialists by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and World Learning.

Campbell’s research draws on practice theories and the traditions of ethnomethodology to understand teams at the forefront of technological innovation and new venture creation. Increasingly, her work is focused on analyzing the practices that influence diversity, inclusion and belonging across the innovative entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

In 2020, Campbell received a National Science Foundation grant to develop a research agenda on matters of diversity in accelerators and other contexts for informal entrepreneurship education. The grant has enabled her to build an international network of 50 scholars who share her interest in understanding the pervasive lack of diversity in innovative entrepreneurship. 

Campbell also won the 2020 Innovation in Entrepreneurship Pedagogy award from the Academy of Management for an anti-racist entrepreneurship course she developed at Penn State.

Her research, courses and other projects are all part of The Cape at Penn State, a national initiative that she founded in 2019 to address matters of diversity, inclusion and belonging in entrepreneurship. All members of the Penn State community are welcome to get involved in the work of The Cape.

Campbell joins a select group of U.S. citizens who share their expertise with host institutions abroad through the Fulbright Specialist Program. Fulbright Specialists are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, demonstrated leadership in their field, and their potential to foster long-term cooperation between institutions in the U.S. and abroad.

She believes her previous experiences as the founder of several ventures, including the nonprofit organization Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs, may have helped her stand out from other candidates. Her growing set of published articles and chapters as well as her two books —"Practice Theory in Action: Empirical Studies of Interaction in Innovation and Entrepreneurship” and “The Innovator's Discussion: The Conversational Skills of Entrepreneurial Teams” — also may have set her apart from others.

“I look forward to engaging with universities and other organizations around the world as they revise the ways that entrepreneurship education is done in order to make entrepreneurship more inclusive and pluralistic,” Campbell said.

“The opportunity to apply insights from research in ways that transform practice is exciting. The Fulbright experiences also will allow me to gather insights about the democratization of innovative entrepreneurship around the world that I can share with colleagues at Penn State.”

Campbell is at the start of a four-year tenure as a Fulbright Specialist. Because the pandemic continues to limit global travel, the incoming cohort has been given an extra year to accomplish their projects. The Fulbright Specialist Program currently is reviewing the impact of the pandemic on countries around the world. Overseas assignments are expected to resume on a country-by-country basis. 

All Fulbright Specialist projects must be completed within six weeks. The relatively short grant lengths enable specialists to blend their international work with their scholarly commitments in the U.S. The short grant lengths also enable specialists to accept multiple Fulbright project assignments.

Until travel for projects overseas becomes possible, Campbell will be collaborating with her NSF working group, organizing a national program based on her Accelerator Rap course, revising some articles for publication and giving several conference presentations, including a keynote on ethnomethodology at this year’s Entrepreneurship-as-Practice (EAP6) Research Conference.

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Last Updated April 15, 2021