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Department of Social Entrepreneurship

Faculty, Staff & Community Partners

Tonia Warnecke, PhD

George D. and Harriet W. Cornell Chair of Social Entrepreneurship, Professor, Director, Social Entrepreneurship

Kathleen W. Rollins Hall, Office 216

T. 407.691.1285

Ph.D., University of Notre Dame
MA, University of Notre Dame
MPIA, University of Pittsburgh
BA, Rollins College

Areas of Specialization: International Development, Economics, Gender, and Social Entrepreneurship

Sample Courses Taught: Global Development Challenges & Opportunities; How to Change the World

Dr. Tonia Warnecke is George D. and Harriet W. Cornell Chair of Social Entrepreneurship, Professor, and Department Director (Social Entrepreneurship) at Rollins College. In Fall 2013, she was the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in International Development Studies at McGill University.

Warnecke is an economist specializing in international development processes and policy. She teaches courses in Global Development, Globalization and Gender, and Social Entrepreneurship. As faculty advisor to the Rollins Microfinance Fund, Warnecke enjoys working with students to put social entrepreneurship into practice. She is also part of the strategic planning group for the Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship Hub at Rollins.

Warnecke's research is interdisciplinary and policy-oriented. Focusing on gender and development issues, including labor, finance, and social policy, she has published widely, collaborated with international policy-making organizations, and been recognized by several research grants and awards. As a development economist, Warnecke also has significant international experience; she studied in Hungary and Spain, worked in Montreal, and has traveled to more than 25 countries on 5 continents.

Latest Publications:
"Social Entrepreneurship in China: Driving Institutional Change"; "Social Innovation, Gender, and Technology: Bridging the Resource Gap""Working conditions of urban vendors in Indonesia: Lessons for labour law enforcement"
 Handbook of Research on Gender and Economic Life

Josie Balzac-Arroyo, J.D., LL.M

Josie Balzac-Arroyo, J.D., LL.M

Assistant Professor of Social Entrepreneurship

Kathleen W. Rollins Hall, Office 212

T. 407.646.2792

LLM, The George Washington University Law School
JD, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University College of Law [Valedictorian]
BA, University of Central Florida

Areas of Specialization: Environmental Law, Law and Ethics, Sustainable Development, Community Engagement, and Climate Change

Sample Courses Taught: Strategies for Changemakers; Law & Ethics of Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Prof. Josephine M. Balzac-Arroyo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Entrepreneurship. Professor Balzac-Arroyo is a licensed attorney admitted to practice in Florida and the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida. While at Rollins she has received two teaching awards, a Student Government Association’s Outstanding Faculty Award and the Walter E. Barden Distinguished Teaching Award. She also received the 2017-2018 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation Faculty Fellowship. In October 2017 Professor Balzac-Arroyo was recognized by U.S. Representative Darren Soto as a community leader as a part of Hispanic Heritage Month.

In 2017, she was appointed to serve on the City of Orlando, Mayor’s Green Works Task Force. She also serves her community as the Vice President of the Board of Directors for IDEAS For Us and the Legal Advisory Board for the Center for Earth Jurisprudence. In May 2017, FAMU College of Law presented her with the Distinguished Alumni Awards in Professional Excellence Award – Solo Practitioner.

While attending GWU Law, she served as a Randolph C. Shaw Research Fellow for the Associate Dean of Environmental Studies and interned at the Environmental Protection Agency.  Her scholarly work focuses on corporate social responsibility, climate justice sustainable development, international trade, human rights, and environmental justice. She is also actively involved in the local community, frequently educating and advocating as an avid speaker on these same issues.  She teaches courses in Law & Ethics of Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Strategies for Changemakers, and Social Entrepreneurship.

Lucas M. Batista, MSc.

Adjunct Professor

MSc, Warwick Business School
BA, Rollins College

Areas of Specialization: Digital Transformation, Business Strategy, and Disruptive Innovation

Sample Courses Taught: Digital Technology and Social Entrepreneurship

Mr. Lucas Batista is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Social Entrepreneurship. Professor Batista specializes in digital transformations, specifically when organizations are faced with a disruptive innovation. He is passionate about understanding the untapped potentials and opportunities offered through the use of digital technologies. He most recently consulted for Australia’s largest commercial bank during the introduction of a new financial economy, Open Banking. Professor Batista received his MSc degree from Warwick Business School in Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation, and his BA degree in Business Management from Rollins College. After living abroad, Professor Batista is excited to be a part of the Rollins College community once again.

Jovanna Heavener, M.B.A.

Adjunct Professor

T. 407.694.4410

Executive MBA, University of Florida
BS, University of Central Florida

Areas of Specialization:  Finance, Social Entrepreneurship, Impact Investing and Nonprofit Development/Management

Sample Courses Taught: Financing Social Entrepreneurship

Mrs. Jovanna Heavener serves as CEO/Advisor of The Sayan Company, a for-hire CFO consulting company located in Winter Park, FL. Her company works with small to mid-sized businesses specializing in areas related to financial strategy, risk mitigation, and human resources. She also serves as Executive Director to The Heavener Foundation and The Heavener Family Foundation, both non-profit organizations which conduct educational research and provide grants to benefit higher education domestically and internationally.  She received her B.S.B.A. in Finance from the University of Central Florida and her Executive MBA from the University of Florida. Her service to the community includes serving as a FL state certified Domestic Violence Advocate, Valencia Promise student mentor, and yoga instructor for Harbor House’s shelter residents.

Cecilia McInnis, PhD

Cecilia McInnis, PhD


Kathleen W. Rollins Hall, Office 214

T. 407.975.6447

Post Doc, University of Alabama
Ph.D., Southern Illinois University
MS, University of Florida
BS, Florida State University

Areas of Specialization: Marketing, Entrepreneurial Thinking

Sample Courses Taught: Social Entrepreneurship Marketing; Designing & Planning for Social Entrepreneurship

Dr. Cecilia McInnis is Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at Rollins College. Prior to teaching at Rollins College, McInnis was the E.B. Stephens (EBSCO) Chair of Marketing and former dean-partner for the Division of Business and Graduate Programs at Birmingham-Southern College.

At Rollins, McInnis currently teaches courses in Entrepreneurial Marketing, Social Entrepreneurship, and Business, Innovation, & Entrepreneurial Thinking; she is also the director of the SE Costa Rica Program/INB Costa Rica Program, which includes international field study, classes, and internships. As the faculty advisor to the undergraduate Rollins' NetImpact National Chapter, McInnis enjoys supporting students’ passions to change the world by using business as a force for good.

Her most recent scholarly work includes research on social entrepreneurship business models, indigenous entrepreneurship, and using reflective thinking to enhance business decision skills, cultural sensitivity, and teamwork.  Additionally, her work has focused on blending liberal arts/liberal education with business, program assessment, teaching and curricular design in management education.  Prior to her career in academe, she held executive positions in a Fortune 500 company, in major nonprofits, and served in the public sector.

Yasmin Mesbah, M.B.A

Adjunct Professor

T. 407.646.2462

MBA, Crummer Graduate School of Business
B.A., Rollins College

Areas of Specialization: International Business, Social Entrepreneurship, Marketing

Sample Courses Taught: Social Entrepreneurship: Leading Change

Prof. Yasmin Mesbah is the Program Manager for the Global Links Program, a partnership among Rollins College, Tupperware Brands, and the U.S. Secretary of State's Office of Global Women's Issues that encourages aspiring female entrepreneurs’ success in developing countries. In her position, Mesbah oversees strategy development and scaling opportunities and serves as project planning lead by facilitating operations and communications for the program and its founding partners. Mesbah earned her MBA from the Crummer Graduate School of Business and her B.A. in International Business and Political Science from Rollins College.

Throughout her academic and professional journey, Mesbah worked and studied in a number of countries including Egypt, Kuwait, Italy, India, and China, allowing her to develop a unique international perspective. Mesbah was also selected as the 2018 SunTrust Distinguished Leader of Merit; Crummer Graduate School’s highest leadership honor, awarded to an individual who exemplifies and practices ethical, responsible, and thoughtful leadership. Past work experience includes positions at Tupperware Brands Global Headquarters and the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait. As a result of her background and experience, Mesbah has substantial knowledge in the fields of social entrepreneurship and international business.

Fiona Robinson

Fiona Robinson

Visiting Assistant Professor of Social Entrepreneurship

Kathleen W. Rollins Hall, Office 210

T. 407.646.1809

ABD, Royal Roads University
Master in Environmental Design, University of Calgary
BSc in Environmental Planning, University of Northern British Colombia

Areas of Specialization: Social Entrepreneurship, Effectuation, Creative Entrepreneurship, Small Business, and Startups

Sample Courses Taught: Financing Social Entrepreneurship; Planning & Implementation for Social Entrepreneurship; Ethical Sourcing; Sales & Negotiations for SE

Ms. Fiona Robinson is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Entrepreneurship from Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada). Prof. Robinson has a strong entrepreneurial background that includes running her own design and marketing agency, corporate consulting and providing coaching and mentoring support to small business entrepreneurs and not-for-profit leaders. With an empowerment mantra, she believes in a grassroots approach to solving problems and coming up with creative solutions.

Prof. Robinson received her Masters in Environmental Design from the University of Calgary and is completing her Doctorate in Social Sciences at Royal Roads University with a focus on creative entrepreneurship and self-sufficiency. Prior to this, she studied environmental and social justice issues while completing a BSc in Environmental Planning at the University of Northern British Columbia. Her research interests focus on the intersection between effectuation (entrepreneurial decision making) and social entrepreneurship, particularly as it relates to achieving new models of self-sufficiency for organizations and individuals.

At Rollins, Prof. Robinson is currently teaching Finance for Social Entrepreneurship, Design & Planning for Social Entrepreneurship, Sales & Negotiation for Social Entrepreneurship and Ethical Sourcing. Previously, she taught Entrepreneurship at Royal Roads University, including the fourth year Capstone course for the Bachelors of Commerce Program. 

Vanessa Zabala, MSc.

Adjunct Professor

T. 305.922.8121

MSc, London School of Economics and Political Science
BS, University of Central Florida

Areas of Specialization:  Social entrepreneurship, international development, innovation strategies, program development.

Sample Courses Taught: Social Entrepreneurship and Technological Entrepreneurship

Ms. Vanessa Zabala serves as the Director of Impact Development for the Orlando Economic Partnership, leading the organization’s internal intrapreneurship initiatives and deploying innovation capacity programs to external stakeholders. As an active member in the community, she is on the board of Rebuild Globally, the West Lakes Partnership and the international Chair of conferences for the Organization of Women in International Trade.

Ms. Zabala’s consulting experience includes strategic planning, business revenue stream validation, customer development, channel distribution analyses and more for clients such as Boeing, Publix, Orange Seal, FL Humanities Council, and more. Previously, Vanessa focused on strategic alliances with national and international actors to complement the works of Florida Angel Nexus, which facilitates access to capital from angel investors to Florida companies. Having worked in the commercialization of intellectual property through the University of Central Florida’s I-Corps program, Ms. Zabala is a nationally certified Lean LaunchPad® Educator. She has also served as the Partner Development Manager for GrowFL, helping second-stage companies to scale, and working on a mentor network for the University of Central Florida (UCF) Venture Accelerator.

Kim Eiland

Administrative Assistant

Kathleen W. Rollins Hall, desk in SE office corridor

T. 407.646.1588

Sofia Murgueitio '22

Social Media & Marketing student worker


Community Collaborators

Ron Ben-Zeev

Ron Ben-Zeev

Founder and CEO, World Housing Solution

Chris Castro

Chris Castro

Director of Sustainability, City of Orlando
Board President, IDEAS for Us, Inc.

Julie Colombino

Julie Colombino

Founder and CEO, REBUILD Globally

Clayton Ferrara

Clayton Ferrara

Executive Director, IDEAS for Us, Inc.

Nicole Higgins

Nicole Higgins

Executive Director, Orlando Together [Downtown CREDO]

Ben Hoyer

Ben Hoyer

Co-Owner and Director, Downtown CREDO

Kyle Johnson

Kyle Johnson

Vice President, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Lighthouse Central Florida

Corwin P. Littell, PhD

Corwin P. Littell, PhD

CEO and Chairman, ReadyMade Inc.