April 13, 2020

WCU Supports our Business and Community Partners

To our business and community partners,

West Chester University’s mission is to be a “community of educators that develops graduates to succeed personally and professionally and contribute to the common good.” Focusing on the common good is more important now than ever.  As West Chester University remains committed to serving as a resource for its business and community partners, especially during this unprecedented time, we’d like to share the following resources with you, our partners



WCU Support for Businesses

  • The Cottrell Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership has posted a number of helpful links to resources for small businesses and startups in search of financial assistance during this time, including links to access emergency federal and state loan programs, information about the CARES Act, guidance for employers, information about unemployment compensation, and a list of local economic development partners.  Access Covid-19 Resources.
  • West Chester University’s School of Business is offering FREE marketing support from senior marketing majors for businesses impacted by the global health crisis.  For the remainder of the school year WCU Marketing students will be paired with businesses to help with branding messaging, social media website design, communications and content creation.   Apply by emailing Tom Elmer at telmer@wcupa.edu.
  •  FREE Virtual Interns for Summer for Startups and Small Businesses:  The Cottrell Entrepreneurial Leadership Center is developing an internship program for the summer and potentially for the fall to match student interns with small businesses that have the ability to provide virtual positions.  The program would include financial support by providing a stipend for the student so that the business would not have to incur the salary cost.  The Center is particularly focused on working with startup and small businesses as part of their mission to support entrepreneurship in Chester County. Interested businesses can email the cottrellcenter@wcupa.edu for more information.
  • The Twardowski Career Development Center remains committed to facilitating connections between employers and students for professional development and job and internship recruiting. If your organization does not have current hiring needs, the Career Development Center will continue to support your brand presence within the WCU community through opportunities like virtual mock interviews, virtual resume reviews, and general information sessions. If your organization has current job or internship recruiting needs, the first step is to make sure those postings are active on Handshake. In addition to marketing job and internship opportunities, the Career Development Center will promote any employer-hosted virtual engagements in the events section on Handshake. The Center is also looking into smaller scale recruiting events in late spring/early summer. To discuss your branding or recruiting options, please contact Phyllis Schoen at pschoen@wcupa.edu.
  • The WCU Department of Geography & Planning is creating an online "map" of businesses called West Chester Open For Business. This site will be updated to include information on businesses that have temporarily closed, are operating online, and/or are providing take out/curb service/delivery with links to their websites. Geography and Planning GIS and Location Analytics students are creating GIS applications and web-based maps of Chester County businesses and resources. During this time, students are looking for projects to support the business community with market analysis and location analytics. To request assistance for your business or community, contact Dr. Gary Coutu at gcoutu@wcupa.edu
  • Geography & Planning GIS and Location Analytics students are creating GIS applications and web-based maps of Chester County businesses and resources and are seeking projects to support the business community with market analysis and location analytics. To request assistance for your business, contact Dr. Gary Coutu at gcoutu@wcupa.edu.  
  • Continuing Professional Education, at WCU provides training to businesses and individuals with an array of topical seminars and courses. By offering education online to professionals by professionals, the university is a resource that reaches beyond its geographical boundaries. An upcoming course (May 6-24) in Project Management Foundations+ includes preparing for the Project Management Professional exam options.  Companies that are eligible for WEDNetPA will receive $600 toward the cost of the course. For more information about this and other courses offered by WCU and to inquire about eligibility for this state training subsidy, contact Eileen Jenkins at ejenkins@wcupa.edu or go to wcupa.edu/cpe.
  • The WCU Department of Athletics posted a list of restaurants for its 15,000 followers; this list highlights those restaurants that are currently open for business and offering takeout in the Borough of West Chester. Every Friday, they will spotlight different corporate partners on social media thanking them for their support.
  • The Center for Community Solutions is continuing its support for small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and local government by virtually connecting them with students and University resources—there are currently more than a dozen active projects underway. Check out the Center’s website for a list of partner organizations and list of services provided by the Center. To inquire about how the Center can support you during this crisis and beyond, contact Susan Argentieri at sargentieri@wcupa.edu

WCU Support for the Community

Nursing Donations made

Nursing Donations made

  • The Department of Nutrition donated healthy snacks to the Chester County Hospital staff to keep them fueled and emerged as well as unused food from its Nutrition Fueling Stations aimed at student athletes to the St. Agnes Day Room.
  • In the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Center for Contemplative Studies iis offering free daily practices, both live and recorded, via Zoom. The Center’s Director leads a 30-miniute meditation and dialogue Monday through Thursday at 9 AM. There are sessions featuring yoga, mindful movement, and dialogue, as well as shared reading and discussion. While most of these and other daytime sessions have always been free and open to the public, they are now available in real time to a wider audience.
  • Community Mental Health Services (CMHS) of West Chester University remains committed to supporting the community by continuing to provide high quality mental health services remotely throughout this difficult time.  Everyone needs support for their emotional health now, more than ever!  In the next few weeks CMHS will be set up to accept new clients for Teletherapy services.  For now, we are providing teletherapy to our existing clients.  When an intake process in place, we will update the CMHS website to include information about the process and forms needed to start services, so please check the website. For more information about CMHS of WCU and our Teletherapy program, contact cmhs@wcupa.edu.
  • The Office of Service-Learning and Volunteer Programs has held multiple Zoom meetings with community partners (non-profit organizations and agencies) to identify immediate needs and ways that WCU students, faculty, and staff can support them through indirect modalities during this time.  For a list of organizations in need to help, check out How You Can Help While Social Distancing. If you are a group seeking assistance in organizing virtual fundraising and donation campaigns for one of these organizations, please contact Shannon Gillespie at sgillespie@wcupa.edu. If you are an agency or organization that would like to be included in the list below, please contact Seth Jacobson at sjacobson2@wcupa.edu.
  • WCU Kinesiology students are offering virtual l Adapted Physical Education to children with disabilities in the community.  Done remotely by way of their cell phones every Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. via FaceTime or Google Hangouts, 30 WCU students teach and modify physical education on an individual basis for 30 children in the community who have disabilities. Three additional WCU students go “on” with their families between 4 and 6 p.m., as well. Guided by lesson plans and professional instruction from Professor of Kinesiology Monica Lepore, the 33 WCU students have been engaging their “students” on a one-on-one basis since February in in all types of physical activities that have been specifically adapted for those who have disabilities (i.e., basketball, jumping rope, fitness, etc.). With social distancing being practiced throughout the Commonwealth, the WCU students quickly transformed their face to face lessons to virtual instruction with much success.

WCU Partners with Business Community to Help Students

West Chester University is working closely with its business partners to help lessen the burden of the short and long-term impacts of this pandemic on students in the following ways: 

  • Student Emergency Aid Fund – Upon hearing the financial challenges that students and their families continue to experience due to the COVID-19 outbreak, numerous donors and sponsors of events that were cancelled due to the pandemic have made the decision to redirect their gifts to a Student Emergency Aid Fund that has been explicitly established to help students who have been impacted directly by the global health crisis. To date, nearly $120,000 has been raised to support WCU students who are:
    • facing technology gaps that were previously filled through existing on-campus resources,
    • confronting unanticipated expenses due to reduced work hours,
    • experiencing financial aid and tuition payment difficulties, and
    • working through the new challenge of completing the semester remotely. 

We thank those businesses who have contributed to this fund already. To see a list of companies who have donated, visit WCFoundation.org/Gala. Should you wish to support students impacted by COVID-19, visit the Student Emergency Aid Fund donation page.

  • Technology Support: WCU and the Foundation are working with donors and our technology vendors to get much-needed donations of laptops into the hands of students who lack the technology needed to continue their courses online. We are proud to recognize Lenovo for donating 26 laptops to WCU students in the Promise Program, a program that supports homeless and foster youth.  To support students’ technology needs, go to the Student Emergency Aid Fund and enter “Technology” in the box that says “My gift is in response to”.
  • Musical InstrumentsInstruments ready for delivery: Through connections with two local music supply stores, School of Music faculty was able to rent a total of 16 keyboard percussion instruments at very favorable rates from Dove Drum Rental (Baltimore, MD), and the United States Marine Band (Washington, DC). The instruments were delivered to Swope Music Building and then distributed for student use at home through the end of the semester.
  • Basic Needs (Food, Housing): Nearly 80 students are still living on campus and another 100 are living off-campus. The University’s dining services vendor, Aramark, provided meals for those students in the short-term until refunds were disbursed and GrubHub is offering a $500 credit to access meals from participating vendors in the West Chester area.  In addition, the WCU Resource Pantry is preparing Emergency Care Packages of food for students to pick up at designated times. Make a financial donation to the Resource Pantry.

For WCU Alumni

More than ever, our students need to learn from our alumni. If you are an alum, please join Ram Nation, an online alumni to student flash mentoring platform!  Through Ram Nation, alumni have a direct impact on student success by offering advice (one-on-one or in a group setting), job shadows and mock interviews. As a mentor in Ram Nation, you control how often you would like to be contacted, and which experiences and topics you feel comfortable offering.  Register today! www.wcualumni.org/mentoring

As a critical anchor institution in the region that contributes more than $500 million in economic impact and with a community of students and faculty that approaches 20,000 people, WCU is here for you to be a resource as you navigate the uncharted waters ahead.  

Over the next few months, we will continue to update these and other resources on the WCU website at https://www.wcupa.edu/businessPartners. Also, be sure to check out the Corporate & Foundation Relations webpage on WCU Foundation’s website for links to access WCU departments and programs that support the business community.  For more information or questions of how to partner with WCU, please contact Helen Hammerschmidt at hhammerschmidt@wcufoundation.org.

All of us at the WCU Foundation hope you stay safe and well—we will get through this, together.


Christopher Mominey                                                               Helen Hammerschmidt

Chief Executive Officer                                                             Director, Corporate & Foundation Relations

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