SUNY Canton Management Major Presents on Senior Project as Business Venture


Other colleges can learn from SUNY Canton’s approach to applied entrepreneurial learning. 

A SUNY Canton online Management major was able to apply his senior project coursework directly to his family reselling business.

Brent Whipple, who recently relocated from Cazenovia to Salt Lake City, Utah, is now championing his upper-level educational experience for other college students looking to expand their established businesses. He recently presented at a virtual Academy of Business Research conference session encouraging colleges to help students become entrepreneurs while they are still taking classes.

Shannon and Brent Whipple
Pictured (l to r) are Shannon and Brent Whipple, owners of a successful online reselling business formerly located in Cazenovia. Brent is a SUNY Canton Management major enrolled in the BSAD 410 Senior Project course that allowed him to directly use what he was learning to his entrepreneurial ventures.

“The SUNY Canton Senior Project class can provide an invaluable opportunity for students that are interested in pursuing a personal venture while earning class credits,” Whipple said. “These hands-on experiences allow students to not only learn about business functions outside of the classroom, but also make money on their own accord.”

Whipple and his wife run a successful online resale business, which he used as a starting point to propel his studies. He suggests that other colleges could benefit from, and future students should consider, entrepreneurial options as part of their education. He suggested investigating opportunities that do not require substantial startup costs, including reselling, social media and video sponsorships, property care services, or photography. 

“More colleges should promote and offer these senior projects,” he said. “They can empower students to pursue their entrepreneurial goals by offering a course or project that requires them to develop a comprehensive and realistic small business plan.”

Professor Charles R. Fenner, Ph.D., who is the lead faculty member in SUNY Canton’s Management program, oversees the BSAD 410 Senior Project course specifically designed for entrepreneurs. Where it differs from traditional business courses is that the companies or enterprises are real rather than merely simulations.

“We have students run simulated businesses and make operational decisions in Management classes,” Fenner said. “In the senior project class, their motivation is no longer attached to just a grade. It’s about making a profit.”

The Management Professor said the course emphasizes enterprise resource planning, including time accounting and calculating contribution margins. As Whipple explained, the practices helped motivate him to see his business succeed and grow.

“Personally, I’m considering this reselling business as a career for my future but I will always at least have a side hustle to help pay the bills,” he said.

About the Academy of Business Research

The Academy of Business Research is an international society of scholars and practitioners who exchange ideas and collaborate in a conference setting. In the last decade, it has had participants from all 50 states and 49 different countries. Fenner and several other SUNY Canton Faculty members have presented at or submitted research to the organization in the past.


About SUNY Canton

Discover SUNY Canton, where innovation meets opportunity. The college’s career-focused educational programs emphasize hands-on and applied learning opportunities in digital design, engineering technology, health, information technology, management, public service, and veterinary technology. Faculty members bring real-world experience and exceptional academic expertise to the classroom. As a leader in online education, SUNY Canton offers unmatched flexibility with hundreds of courses and 23 comprehensive degree programs offered completely online. The SUNY Canton Kangaroos compete at the NCAA Division III level and will be transitioning to the SUNYAC in Fall 2024. In addition to its 15 traditional teams, SUNY Canton offers coed varsity esports and cheerleading.