Franklin College was presented a 2021 Business Resilience Award from Aspire Johnson County on Thursday, May 20, during the organization’s “Celebrate Aspire” event in Greenwood, Ind.
Aspire is Johnson County’s economic development organization and chamber of commerce. It created the awards to recognize employers’ ability to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly those that discovered innovative ways to adapt, forge a new path of resiliency and survive the pandemic. For-profit and nonprofit organizations doing business in Johnson County and southern Indianapolis were eligible for nomination. Finalists were announced the week of May 3 and placed in five different employer-size categories.
The college won in the category “Large Nonprofits,” with 50+ employees, in recognition of its swift and successful transition to fully online instruction last spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent efforts to empower students, faculty and staff with digital fluency. Other finalists in the category included Clark-Pleasant Community School Corporation, Johnson County Public Library and Otterbein Franklin.
“I am tremendously proud of what our campus community has accomplished for our students, and I applaud the hard work and dedication required from our faculty and staff. Everyone at Franklin College certainly rose to meet the challenge,” said Franklin College President Kerry N. Prather. “For an institution that has historically relied primarily on high-touch, in-person instruction for all of its history, we had to transition quickly into the virtual space. Success in doing so resulted in an uninterrupted delivery of the curriculum for our students, which was an impressive and important achievement.”
This is the second significant recognition the college has earned in the last month related to how it adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was recently selected as a finalist and earned an Honorable Mention at the 2021 TechPoint Mira Awards in the category of “Pandemic Pivot of the Year,” competing against other finalists such as Lilly, Genesys and Republic Airways.
The college has been ramping up its efforts in digital fluency to better prepare students for opportunities after graduation. During the last year, the college has established the Center for Tech Innovation; launched a competitive esports program on campus; and created a digital fluency program that serves as the capstone to the already transformative education at Franklin. The college recently appointed Andrew Rosner as its inaugural director of digital fluency. Additionally, the college received a $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., through its initiative, Charting the Future for Indiana’s Colleges and Universities. Part of the initiative’s phase two round of funding made in 2020, the grant is helping the college strengthen technology integration and expand learning opportunities.
Aspire’s mission is to drive economic development and business success in Johnson County and southern Indianapolis. As the local economic development organization for Johnson County, Aspire works to attract, retain, and expand businesses in the county. As a chamber of commerce, Aspire leads the area’s business community by advancing pro-growth policy, leveraging community development opportunities, and providing comprehensive member services to entrepreneurs, small businesses, and large corporations. For more information, please visit AspireJohnsonCounty.com.
POSTED May 21, 2021