Tony Mendes, director of the Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of North Texas, is an acclaimed entrepreneurial educator who formerly served as executive director of the Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership (AEL) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
In his role with the Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership, Dr. Mendes was responsible for the integration of entrepreneurship curriculum in all academic units of the university. During his tenure at Illinois, the university achieved national status for entrepreneurship education by the Princeton Review & Entrepreneur Magazine and Fortune Magazine. In 2007, the entrepreneurship program was ranked 16th in undergraduate programs and 21st in graduate entrepreneurship by the Princeton Review. In 2008, the Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership was recognized by the National Consortium for Entrepreneurship Centers for “Exceptional Activities in Entrepreneurship Across Disciplines”.
Prior experience includes serving as the director of college initiatives at the Kauffman Foundation, Kansas City, Mo. There he managed a program grant portfolio with more than 200 colleges and universities. He also was the grant officer for numerous entrepreneurship organizations including the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization and The Academy of Management.
Dr. Mendes holds a PhD in psychology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and an MBA from Rockhurst University. Prior to joining the Kauffman Foundation, Mendes was founder and president of Mendes and Associates, a private consulting company, located in Kansas City. He also spent 13 years with AT&T as manager of training and development where he was successful in securing resources needed to build and implement nationally recognized initiatives. His teaching experience includes courses at Rockhurst University, Kansas City; Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ; Polytechnic University, Brooklyn, NY and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Ill.