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Stark News Details

Canton SBDC Awards $2,000 Scholarship

Posted Aug. 28, 2014

The Canton Small Business Development Center’s (SBDC) mission is focused on fostering the region’s economic development through valuable programs, services and events that benefit small business owners and entrepreneurs. Utilizing net proceeds from Entrepreneur Experience events, the nonprofit organization has provided a number of scholarships to deserving students pursuing business, finance or economics degrees at the accredited universities and college in Stark County.

For the 2014-15 academic year, the SBDC awarded a $2,000 scholarship, administered by the Stark Community Foundation, to assist the academic goals of Michaela Muckelrath, a Kent State University at Stark business management major.

When her family relocated to North Canton from Texas nine years ago, Muckelrath already was looking ahead toward college. At 12 years old, she earned her first college scholarship by winning an art contest sponsored by Red Vines candy. This achievement contributed to her goal to earn a higher education degree with as little debt as possible.

She was enrolled in online high school courses before entering Hartville’s Lake Center Christian School as a sophomore. Muckelrath started earning college credits early by attending Malone University as a post-secondary student while still in high school.

When she enrolled at Kent State Stark, she chose entrepreneurship as her major and anticipated an eventual transition to the Kent Campus. Muckelrath’s positive experience on the Stark Campus translated into changing her major to business management – one of the 18 bachelor’s degrees that can be earned entirely at Kent State Stark. “My business major covers the same principals of entrepreneurship and now, I can graduate without leaving here,” she says. Referring to the small, supportive campus atmosphere, Muckelrath says she “likes getting to know her professors by name.”

Proving that no matter her major, she can still be an entrepreneur, her career goal is to own and operate an art gallery. She is currently honing her artistic talents as the illustrator of a children’s mystery series that her friend is writing. She will gain additional real-world experience in the fall when she begins working in a small jewelry shop. “I’ll do some graphic design for the owner and I’ll learn how to market a business from working for her,” says Muckelrath.

She plans on staying in this area after her 2016 graduation date. Until then, she continues to stay busy with classes and a summer job as a counselor at the Salvation Army’s Camp NEOSA in Carrollton. Her advice to other college students is, “Apply for a lot of scholarships and work summer jobs if you don’t want to pay college loans for years after you graduate.”

For more information on the Canton Small Business Development Center, visit Applications for SBDC’s 2015-16 Scholarships are currently being accepted through May 1, 2015. Visit the Stark Community Foundation’s website at for an application.