University of St. Thomas Changemaker Campus

St. Thomas seeks to become the school of choice for undergraduate and graduate students desiring to develop the knowledge, skills, dispositions, experience, and relationships to make change for the common good. By empowering all members of the university community to be changemakers, we are fulfilling our mission to educate “students to be morally responsible leaders who think critically, act wisely, and work skillfully to advance the common good”. We are building upon our long history of Catholic social teaching and service to create an educational environment in which all can collaborate to create a more equitable and sustainable world. Our urban setting, rich in optimism and passion for progressive action but hindered by one of the country’s widest opportunity gaps, provides an ideal proving ground for the power of changemaking in higher education. We are using the language and concepts of changemaking to help our campus members develop and apply their empathy and understanding to form vibrant partnerships for addressing social challenges. We are focusing on action, where curricular and co-curricular programs work with communities to bring about positive change both locally and globally. More broadly, we are providing leadership in higher education by illustrating how social innovation can draw from and contribute to our commitments to diverse interdisciplinary collaborations, interfaith dialogue, mindfulness, meaningful work, and the blending of inclusion programs with leadership training. These efforts are providing reciprocal benefits, enriching the educational experience for our students while simultaneously advancing the common good.

Cynthia Sarver Assistant Director, Social Innovation Collaboratory

Dr. Sarver helps direct the University of St. Thomas's Social Innovation Collaboratory, which supports and facilitates Social Entrepreneurship and Changemaking for the Common Good through curricular and co-curricular programs across the university's campuses. Prior to her work in Social Innovation, Dr. Sarver worked as a faculty member in teacher education where she focused on helping educators develop technology-enhanced, project-based learning experiences for their students.

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Camille George Associate Dean, School of Engineering

Camille George has a broad background in applied industrial research that includes examining magneto-mechanical pumps, modeling aircraft engine failures, and predicting performance in twin-screw compressors. Camille has collaborated on scientific studies with Stanford, University of Minnesota and the University of Limoges in France. Her particular field of expertise is in the coupling of electro-magnetic fields with ionized gases. Applications range from welding and surface coatings, to odor and waste destruction. She is a member of ASME, SWE and ASEE.

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Laura Dunham Associate Dean, Schulze School of Entrepreneurship

Laura Dunham is an associate professor and chair of the Entrepreneurship Department within the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship. She joined St. Thomas in 2003 from the University of Virginia, where she earned her Ph.D and M.B.A. from the Darden Graduate School of Business. She teaches undergraduate, graduate and executive programs on innovation and entrepreneurial strategy. Her research focuses on the managerial and ethical challenges involved in innovation and new business start-up and development. Before her doctoral studies, Dunham worked as a management consultant in the strategy division of Renaissance Worldwide, helping clients such as Oracle, IBM, Lucent and GTE identify, evaluate and develop new growth initiatives.

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Changemaker Campus

Launched in 2008, Ashoka offers the Changemaker Campus designation to leading institutions in social innovation education. These institutions share the vision for higher education to become the next global driver of social change by transforming the educational experience into a world-changing experience.