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.

Adam Kay Director of Social Innovation and Associate Professor of Biology

Adam Kay is Director of Social Innovation and Associate Professor of Biology at the University of St. Thomas. His research is on “Stewardship Science,“ which combines environmental science experiments with community service. Most of this work involves urban agriculture and urban ecology. Adam is the co-founder and director of BrightSide, a sustainable business for delivering fresh produce to urban corner stores, and the UST Stewardship Garden, a community garden that integrates biological research with a food donation program.

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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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Brian Abraham Associate Dean, Schulze School of Entrepreneurship

Brian Abraham, spent the last 12 years building programs, lecturing and teaching in three highly rated entrepreneurship and business programs. Simultaneously, as an entrepreneur, he built and led management teams for more than two dozen start-up firms, an IPO, several acquisitions, a large not-for-profit research institute focused on new venture creation, and served as president and CEO of several firms. Brian holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Tufts University and an M.B.A. from Babson College. He comes to St. Thomas most recently from Michigan State University, where he spent the last two years as the executive director of Spartan Innovations, creating new ventures from the university’s intellectual property. Before that, he taught for several years at Babson, perennially the top-ranked American program for entrepreneurship, and The Ohio State University.

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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.