Thanks to donors Karyn and Tom Dingledine, a new learning center is available to students studying abroad in Nicaragua. The facility, dedicated in February, supports learning opportunities for students from all areas of the University who have a desire to provide services within the fields of healthcare, business, science, society, law and cross-cultural exchanges. The story of the Nicaragua Nexus, from aspiration to realization, follows.
Casa Dingledine Timeline
- Chris Yuko MBA (’09) and several colleagues conceive of an idea to teach basic business practices to entrepreneurs in Nicaragua as an expression of the Wake Forest’s pro humanitate spirit.
- A four-member team meets with Roberto Espinoza, the director of Business Professional Network, who is dedicated to improving business practices in his country, to identify businesses in Nicaragua that could benefit from working with MBA students.
- MBA students spend spring break in Managua training entrepreneurs in basic, sustainable business practices. The trip begins a series of programs during winter, spring and summer breaks.
- Recognizing student aspirations, donors Tom and Karyn Dingledine look for ways to support efforts towards experiential learning opportunities in Nicaragua—a yet untapped area of global involvement for the University.
- A strategic plan for a “Nicaragua Nexus” is developed and the feasibility of a learning center in Managua is assessed.
- A location for the learning center is found. Situated on five acres of land with a view of Lake Managua, a 6,600 square-foot unfinished home has all the elements necessary to be transformed into an ideal training facility.
- Tom and Karyn Dingledine provide the donation that enables Wake Forest to purchase the property.
- Renovations underway to transform the home into a conference center which includes two classrooms with translational booths, a reception hall, dining room, breakfast porch, library, seminar room, and terrace.
- The acquisition of the facility inspires new ideas for collaboration between professional schools and the College.
- In the spring semester students from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences study with their undergraduate counterparts on a course offered by the biology department focusing on tropical conservation.
- School of Law conducts webinars on import/export law for the INCAE Business School in Managua.
- The Center for Enterprise Research and Education, an interdisciplinary group of faculty members from business, anthropology, and religion begin research with a variety of Nicaraguan businesses to access needs and determine how entrepreneurial education can improve the long-term welfare of Nicaraguan communities.
- Provost’s Office for Global Affairs launches a week-long summer program called LENS (Learning, Experiencing, Navigating, Solving) designed to prepare Nicaraguan high school students for leadership roles in business and society.
- On Feb. 23-26, a Wake Forest delegation travels to Managua, Nicaragua, for the Casa Dingledine dedication. The delegation included representation from across the Wake Forest academic disciplines and schools.
- The Schools of Divinity, Law and Medicine collaborate on a professional development course over spring break that includes seminars, field work and service opportunities
- Over 150 business owners have attended an entrepreneurship seminar and over 200 jobs have been created by participating businesses.