The Business Council of Westchester Selects Iona College as Innovation Partner for the City of Mount Vernon

Students empowered to “Learn Outside the Lines” as they develop an action plan in partnership with city leadership and constituents

Entrepreneurship, Iona Students Learn Outside The Lines

Iona College has been selected to partner with the City of Mount Vernon to help identify innovative changes that the municipality could make to deliver economic activity, cost savings and improvements in the day-to-day lives of its residents. The effort is part of the Business Council of Westchester’s newly formed Westchester Innovation Network (WIN), a program aimed at driving economic development, innovation and growth within the county.

Through Iona’s Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, a class of students will have a unique opportunity to actuate real-world change within the city, delivering an action plan by June. Hynes clinical lecturer Jonathan Williams will be leading the class as part of the College’s commitment to empowering students to “Learn Outside the Lines.” Last year, U.S. News & World Report ranked Iona College as one of the most innovative schools in the Northeast.

“Our students are excited to participate in a design thinking project and co-create alongside the citizens and civic leaders of the City of Mount Vernon,” Williams said.

Dr. Christoph Winkler, endowed professor and founding program director of the Hynes Institute, added: “Iona College is honored to partner with the Business Council of Westchester and engage our student innovators in this important work.”

Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard said: “Convening innovation thought leaders from the BCW and Iona College in Mount Vernon is a unique opportunity to refine our practices to better serve residents. We are eager to receive fresh ideas on how we can promote economic activity while reducing our operational costs.”

Dr. Marsha Gordon, president and CEO of the Business Council of Westchester, said: “At the BCW, we know that to build and sustain strong and vibrant communities, we must convene thought leaders and futurists to design a county of the future. These building blocks include creating opportunities to showcase Westchester as a place to build, grow, test, and explore innovation in all forms.”

Read more about the WIN initiative here.

Founded in 1940, Iona University is a master's-granting private, Catholic, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers. Iona's 45-acre New Rochelle campus and 28-acre Bronxville campus are just 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. With a total enrollment of nearly 4,000 students and an alumni base of more than 50,000 around the world, Iona is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona is highly accredited, offering undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs. Iona students enjoy small class sizes, engaged professors and a wide array of academic programs across the School of Arts & Science; LaPenta School of Business; NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences; and Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Iona is widely recognized in prestigious rankings, including The Princeton Review’s 2024 national list of “The Best 389 Colleges” and The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse’s “2024 Best Colleges in America,” which ranked Iona at #66 in the nation overall and #8 in the nation among Catholic schools. Iona’s LaPenta School of Business is also accredited by AACSB International, a recognition awarded to just six percent of business schools worldwide. In addition, The Princeton Review recognized Iona’s on-campus MBA program as a “Best Business School for 2023.” Iona also offers a fully online MBA program for even greater flexibility. In July 2021, Iona announced the establishment of the NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences, which is now principally located on Iona’s Bronxville campus in collaboration with NewYork-Presbyterian. Connecting to its Irish heritage, the University also recently announced it is expanding abroad with a new campus in County Mayo, Ireland. A school on the rise, Iona officially changed its status from College to University on July 1, 2022, reflecting the growth of its academic programs and the prestige of an Iona education.