UB’s 2017 Social Impact Fellows Program

UB’s 2017 Social Impact Fellows Program

UB Social Impact Fellows [Paul Tesluk, Dean and Professor, UB School of Management] Social Innovation is coming up with new creative approaches to address societal challenges that we have. [Nancy Smyth, Dean and Professor, UB School of Social Work] One of the things we know about innovation is that when you bring, uh, diverse perspectives together you’re more likely to get innovation. [Kristen Kozlowski, student, JD, MBA program at UB] The project that Nicole and I have been working
on is a large-scale initiative to address gender inequity in Western New York. [Nicole Jones, MSW student at UB] I kind of went into this fellowship with a
narrow view of business students and she’s really opened my mind to the idea that businesses and social work can work together for the greater good. [Hadar Borden, Blackstone Launchpad at UB] Students, the younger generations, they’re looking at problems that we encounter and they look at them with an open mind and they look to solve those problems. [Tesluk] The Social Impact Fellows program is an internship-based type program that we pair students from School of Management and School of Social Work, working on a mission-driven project. [Smyth] What we’ve found is that social work schools are doing this in places and business schools are doing it in many places and we have not yet found anybody who is doing it together. [Kristen Luppino-Gholston, Western New York Women’s Foundation] Kristen and Nicole were incredible to have
on our team. They were really able to tag team and build on each other’s strengths and each other’s interests in order to, um, achieve the goals that we wanted. [Tesluk] In addition to working with the faculty, they also do deep dive excursions in understanding, um, social innovation areas that are happening here in the community. It might be around health, it might be around the environment, it might be around education. [Daniel Auflick, Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human Services Center of WNY] At this agency we’re very steeped in social work direct practice. So we’re good at that. We’re not so much good at the business side of things. [Colleen Kristich, Student, UB MSW program] We are creating a social enterprise where
formerly homeless clients can have a transitional job. So they’re going to be printing t-shirts
that they can then sell in the community that will sustain the program. [Juwan Thompson, student, UB MBA program] I’m a very logical person, I normally just understand numbers and logic, whereas Colleen helped me understand that there are things
to take into consideration such as trauma, such as mental illnesses, such as addictions
and things like that which is not something I would have normally considered. [Auflick] I think there’s kind of a stigma attached to the business world and there’s a stigma attached to the social work world and I think there is where they kind of collide and meet reality and then understand one another. [Smyth] The final event for the Social Impact Fellows was this, what we call “pitch for a cause.” They’re making a case for why people should invest the prize money, which was $2000, in a particular project. We thought it would be a really great teaching tool and exercise for students to do and then the agencies could benefit when the prize
money is awarded. This program has inspired me a lot to maybe
start a social enterprise of my own. Start businesses that help vulnerable populations. [Thompson] As college students I think it’s important for us to understand and become socially conscious because in a way the world is gonna
be ours, in a sense. [Kozlowski] For me the most meaningful part was that the work that I was doing will actually contribute to bettering our community. [Jones] This was a really good experience for me and I think I really needed it. [The Social Impact Fellows Program is a collaboration between UB School of Social Work, School of Management and Blackstone Launchpad] [University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, buffalo.edu, #ubuffalo]

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