Engaging the Culture of Kosovo

by Xander Eliopulos, Public Relations Writer

This month, faculty from the International Center for Creativity (ICC) and Cedarville University’s Industrial and Innovative Design program will partner with the Kosovo Leadership Academy to provide an educational forum for the local business and entrepreneur community in Mitrovica, Kosovo. 

The ICC, located in Columbus, Ohio, is a working professional design firm that partners with Cedarville University to provide opportunities for students in Cedarville’s Industrial and Innovative Design program. The ICC designs, develops and delivers innovative curriculum; provides professional training; and works with universities, entrepreneurs, artists and corporations on design and creativity consultation. 

The ICC’s partnership with Cedarville University provides undergraduates with a unique opportunity to spend time both on campus and at the ICC headquarters, where they can apply the knowledge learned in class. Students spend the first two years of their education at Cedarville, experiencing everything the main campus has to offer. During the last two years of study, students live and work on-site at the ICC where they are immersed in their major in a professional setting.

Jim Orr, CEO of the ICC, President Jim Stevenson and CFO Tom Baillett will spend eight days (October 10-18) surveying the economic climate of Mitrovica to determine the needs of the community. They will also provide an educational forum with students and faculty to help inject more creativity into the classroom at the Kosovo Leadership Academy.

Both Orr and Stevenson serve on the faculty at Cedarville as instructors of industrial and innovative design. Stevenson noted that there is the potential to establish a permanent branch of the ICC in Mitrovica through the Kosovo Leadership Academy. 

“The ICC has been blessed by God since day one. It’s gone places we never imagined. It’s grown bigger than we’ve ever imagined,” said Stevenson. “This next chapter is never something we intended, but we know it’s been brought to us by God. It’s humbling to do service and do the journey. This opportunity is definitely a surprise to us, but that’s what makes it exciting.”

The Kosovo Leadership Academy was founded in 2009 by 1987 Cedarville graduate Nadine Hennesey, who originally went to Kosovo in 2001 to run a center for orphans of the war-torn nation. The Kosovo Leadership Academy grew out of her desire to offer an education to young people. The academy currently serves students in grades six through nine, but hopes to expand its operations to serve grades one through 12. 

“I’ve visited the ICC headquarters twice, but this is the first time the team has been able to visit us in Mitrovica,” remarked Hennesey. “I’d love to see them help build an innovation curriculum here. Creativity in Kosovo is lacking because of economic climate. Opening a university branch could help young entrepreneurs in the country.”

Hennesey became a widow at a young age, and has traveled the world teaching in Peru and Albania before working in Kosovo. For more information, read our previous article on Hennesey’s life story and her work.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,711 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings.