The Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management (APPAM) annually sponsors six doctoral students across the country who study entrepreneurship and policy

The association selected Parker Van Hart (BFA Ceramics ’04, MSENT ’15), who is a Ph.D. fellow in educational policy and leadership, as one of six fellows for this year’s cohort. 

The fellowship offers students classes that explore the relationship between public policy and the entrepreneurial environment. Fellows also receive honoraria to support entrepreneurial research, travel and lodging to attend the APPAM Annual Fall Research Conference.

Van Hart is currently an adjunct instructor for creativity and innovation at the UF Innovation Academy. He also has worked as the program director of incubation, outreach and entrepreneurship at the academy and as the director of the master’s in entrepreneurship programs.

Van Hart did not take a typical path at UF. He received his bachelor’s degree in fine arts, which he believes taught him how to be a good business person. He received his master’s degree in entrepreneurship, which taught him how to be a good educator, he said. 

“I have no idea where a doctorate in education will lead me, but I’m having an amazing time finding out,” Van Hart said. 

Van Hart believes making education a priority is not always an easy thing to accomplish and what works today won’t necessarily work tomorrow.

Americans want immediate returns on their investments, but educational success happens generationally. This is where entrepreneurship comes in, Van Hart said. 

“Entrepreneurs learn how to efficiently and effectively make use of limited resources and time constraints and we can use more entrepreneurial mindsets in education,” he said.

We need principals who are empowered and skilled in seeking quick solutions to a myriad of problems and teachers who instill students with problem-solving skills and experiences, Van Hart said.

“Entrepreneurship in education isn’t about teaching a new generation how to start businesses, even though that will be a result, more importantly, due to uncertain times, hyper-fast changing new technologies, civil and social unrest, and impending ecological doom, we need a new kind of education,” Van Hart said. “After 100 plus years of the same tactics, it’s time to find the new solutions only an entrepreneurial mind can see.”

Parker Van Hart