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D'Souza with Award

December 8, 2017- Northern Kentucky University’s Fifth Third Bank Endowed Professor of Entrepreneurship, Dr. Rodney D’Souza, was one of seven educators from schools throughout the United States presented with the 40th Annual Leavey Awards for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education from Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge during a reception as part of the 97th Annual National Council for the Social Studies Conference in San Francisco, CA on November 17, 2017. 

The Leavey Awards, were established by the co-founder of the Farmers Insurance Group, the late Thomas Leavey and his philanthropic wife Dorothy, in partnership with Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.  The Leavey Awards is among the nation’s top honors bestowed upon outstanding teachers, at every educational level, who create and conduct programs in entrepreneurship.

Professor Rodney D’Souza is being honor for his work with the INKUBATOR, part of the Haile/US Bank College of Business’ Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The INKUBATOR an internationally ranked 12-week business accelerator program designed to increase the competitive advantage and spark private enterprise creation for all NKU students. Created in 2012, the INKUBATOR provides students with education, mentoring, seed funding, facilities and other related resources necessary for a successful entrepreneurial startup. The INKUBATOR focuses on being the catalyst for students who have business ideas and are looking to have an impact in their communities. The program facilitates economic development in the community through launching new ventures, creating part-time and full-time jobs, and raising funds to launch and grow businesses. The program is unique because it is based around creating cross-campus engagement through the development of multidisciplinary teams, while facilitating entrepreneurial learning and building connections by fostering mentoring from members of the business community as well as alums of the program. To date, INKUBATOR graduates have raised $7 million in outside investments and created 62 jobs.

 “More than ever, our Nation and its economy need entrepreneurs, small business owners and business visionaries.  These leaders are coming from the classrooms of Leavey Award Recipients like Rodney D’Souza,” said Jason Raia, Executive Vice President, Freedoms Foundation. “People are now realizing what Thomas and Dorothy Leavey knew 40 years ago - teaching future generations to develop an appreciation, knowledge and enthusiasm for the American Free Enterprise System is essential to ensuring our nation’s continued success.”  

This is the 40th Year of the Leavey Awards.  During this time the Leavey Foundation’s longstanding commitment to educators and the private enterprise system has had a far reaching impact. Over 600 teachers have been recognized with the Leavey Award and over $3.9 million granted to those teachers.  The ripple effect of this award on the lives of the teachers, their careers and their students is immeasurable and still felt today.

About Freedoms Foundation: Freedoms Foundation is a non-profit organization located in Valley Forge, PA.  Its mission is to educate about American rights and responsibilities, honor acts of civic virtue, and challenge all to reject apathy and get involved.  It has chapter all over the United States that support this mission through local programs and fund raising efforts.  To learn more about Freedoms Foundation, visit