Santa Clara University recently welcomed close to 2000 new students, and Miller Center is ready to introduce them to the field of social entrepreneurship. Staying true to our strategic initiative, The Road to 500: Miller Center’s Campus Engagement Strategy, we are committed to connecting with 500 students this year and engaging them in the global social enterprise movement. These connections might be informational when students participate in coursework, formational when they engage in a Miller Center internship, or transformational when students take part in our award-winning Miller Center Fellowship program.
Miller Center’s work is vital. And, we believe that Santa Clara University is uniquely positioned to become a destination university for students interested in social entrepreneurship — combining our location in Silicon Valley, the most innovative and entrepreneurial place on earth, with our Jesuit heritage of social justice, community engagement, and global impact. As Miller Center’s new Senior Director of Academics, my team will be responsible for overseeing all of the great engagement opportunities available to students:
- Student Research Opportunities. Students can take advantage of research assistant positions for select faculty projects supported by Miller Center. Given how rare applied research opportunities are at the undergraduate level, these positions provide valuable practical experience.
- Paid Student Internships. Aligning with student interests and studies, internships will focus on areas such as Women’s Economic Empowerment and Climate Resilience. Miller Center Interns develop the expertise, skills, and experience employers covet while helping promising social enterprises succeed — evaluating business models, creating communication and marketing plans, analyzing investments, and gaining direct work experience as a business consultant. Listen to Marissa Boylan’s experience as a Miller Center Intern during her senior year at SCU.
- Co-curricular Opportunities. Miller Center provides training and guidance to other co-curricular learning and leadership development activities on campus, such as several student clubs and outreach to Residential Learning Communities.
- Student Fellowship. The Miller Center Lewis Family Fellowship provides transformational opportunities for students to learn and work with social entrepreneurs on the front lines of poverty eradication around the world. Students work directly with social entrepreneurs and their communities, often inspired to continue advancing social justice in their future vocations. Learn more about Maggie Menendez’s and Cate Ralph’s journeys from Fellowship to Fulbright.
The SCU faculty are a vital resource for students interested in social enterprise. During the summer, Miller Center hosted its second annual four-day faculty workshop. We hosted professors from a wide range of academic disciplines, including Business, Engineering, Communication, Modern Languages, Sociology, Public Health, Religious Studies, Studio Art, Art History, Ethnic Studies, LEAD Scholars Program, Theater & Dance, and Women and Gender Studies. Faculty expose students to new ideas, theory, and research while bringing unique skills and dispositions to our campus community.
SCU’s Associate Professor of Communication, Chan Thai, was impressed by our goal to connect more students with social entrepreneurs. “In my own experience as a student, I learned about so many abstract theories, which, at the time I did not see value in. But now that I know they apply to the world around us, I wish my professors would’ve made this connection for me. Miller Center’s work with social entrepreneurs presents the ideal opportunity to spur student curiosity by providing case studies to introduce in the classroom and ignite the creative problem-solving process.” Aldo Billingslea, Professor of Theatre Arts shared, “The collaboration with Miller Center has inspired me to create a theatre class that teaches our students how to better promote themselves as artists by creatively showcasing the work of social entrepreneurs.”
Through the Miller Center Scholars program, our team highlights the professors who work with Miller Center to specifically advance education and research in social entrepreneurship. We recognize professors who develop courses in social entrepreneurship, research topics related to Miller Center’s mission, provide direct mentoring for SCU students enrolled in our fellowship and internship programs, and/or consult with Miller Center’s global network of social entrepreneurs. Interested faculty are encouraged to apply for our 2022 Call for Research Proposals. Miller Center’s partnership with faculty helps us reach our goal to connect with 500 students this year, and we are grateful for this collaboration.
So, as the new school year begins, a hearty welcome to all incoming freshmen, transfer, and graduate students. We invite you to chart your path to global citizenship with Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship! Our faculty partners are primed to teach you about social entrepreneurship, our social enterprise alumni are excited to share their mission with you, and Miller Center is pleased to share all of these inspiring opportunities with you.
- Madi McCreesh, SCU ‘23, was one of several graphic design interns hired by Miller Center to work with visiting social entrepreneurs during our April 2022 In-Residence. Madi consulted with ANTHILL Fabric Gallery co-founder Anya Lim (left).
- 2021 Fellows Ángel Macías, Nat Gilmore, and Hannah Miller with SCU Communication professor Chan Thai. The fellows spent their summer in Baltimore working with Innovation Works to research and develop a communication plan and resources including a short documentary.