Alumni mentors, faculty, and industry contacts help give students a professional edge


PEC-Service-Promotion-62Dedicated to helping students make the leap from academic theory to real-world practice, in 2013 UIndy announced the creation of the Professional Edge Center, an initiative that connects students to mentors and to professionals working in their intended fields. Through these relationships, and beginning in the freshman year, students have opportunities to gain practical experience, communication and social skills, confidence, and industry-specific abilities while learning firsthand about trends and developments in their chosen fields.

The Professional Edge Center is built around eight career sectors: public service and nonprofit management; communications and law; the arts; financial services;
manufacturing and logistics; education and social services; science and health; and entrepreneurship. The teams created for each of those professional arenas include faculty, University alumni, and other professionals who can provide mentoring, networking, special programming, and career experiences. Associate Vice President Corey Wilson (left), who leads the center, said these experiences will help give UIndy students a decided “edge” in the job market. “My elevator speech, if you will, is that the Professional Edge Center enhances students so they are more marketable upon graduation,” Wilson said.

In addition, the program gives the University a direct conduit to the marketplace, helping it make sure its curriculum and programs are in step with industry needs and trends. Wilson had served since 2005 with the Indianapolis Airport Authority, most recently in a dual role as director of supplier diversity and director of IND AeroVision, where he led economic development efforts in the area surrounding Indianapolis International Airport. His previous posts have included constituent relations director for Indiana’s lieutenant governor and program manager for the Marion County Health Department.

Recognized among the Indianapolis Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 for 2013, Wilson received the state’s Sagamore of the Wabash award and is a graduate of the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series. He serves as vice chair of the Eskenazi Health Center Board of Directors and is a board member with IndyHub and 100 Black Men of Indianapolis. Wilson also serves on the Steering Committee for the 2014 Spirit and Place Festival and is past chair of the Indiana Black Expo Elected and Appointed Officials Reception. Elizabeth Knott joined the UIndy staff June 2 as Director of Career and Community Integration for the Professional Edge Center. She comes to the post with extensive experience in higher education and career development. Her background includes posts at Kenyon College, Augustana College, and most recently Wabash College, where she served as Director of Business Immersion and Leadership Programs.