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Creating Futures Through Digital Marketing

Universities have a unique opportunity, and responsibility, to develop and improve local ecosystems while preparing their students to improve the world.

At John Carroll University, Dr. Doan Winkel, the John J. Kahl Sr. Chair in Entrepreneurship & Director of the Muldoon Center for Entrepreneurship, and the Muldoon Center staff are experimenting to build these ecosystems while creating meaningful experiences for students, including a special focus on young women.

The first experiment is a digital marketing agency, run with a small group of John Carroll University female students and a small group of Saint Martin de Porres High School female students.

“We want John Carroll to be THE place for any young woman, anywhere in the world, who is interested in creating their own future to accomplish it here,” says Dr. Winkel.

This pillar isn’t exclusive to young women who currently attend John Carroll. During this past school year, a small group of students from Saint Martin de Porres High School (SMDPHS) trekked to John Carroll’s campus every other week.

The group practiced the basics of digital marketing by learning tools in content creation, graphic design, and SEO. The students honed their skills by applying them to the 2019 Dare to Dream Retreat.

Every other week when not on John Carroll’s campus, the group heard from a female professional marketer from the Cleveland community at the SMDPHS campus. The speakers came from diverse backgrounds and had a wide range of expertise within digital marketing. Speakers discussed marketing strategies, movements in the industry, and engaged them in discussions about career paths, related skills, mentoring, and other related topics.

The first year of this experiment, while involving a small group of young women, had a significant impact on all participants.

Dr. Winkel states, “The impact is in collisions that create relationships.” He continues, saying, “These relationships change career paths, change confidence levels, and change lives.”
“The students loved the experience because it exposed them to new career paths and opened them up to different possibilities and tools that they can use in their school work and in life,”

says SMDPHS teacher Janessa Brickman. “Several of our students said they didn’t realize these type of careers existed before this program,” she continues.

Asked about the impact the program has had on their students so far, Janessa shares that the program “broadens them to the professional careers they can have that may spark their interests.”

This first step in the development of JCU’s Digital Marketing Agency is complete — Dr. Winkel and his team learned a ton from this experiment, so the next experiment will impact young women more deeply. Dr. Winkel and JCU have plans to expand the program as it develops, and engage thousands of young women in the Cleveland area in skills ranging from digital marketing to data analytics.

Learn more about what’s going on in the John Carroll University entrepreneurship program and the Digital Marketing Agency by contacting Dr. Doan Winkel at

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