Gudauskas, Roberts present at national conference for social innovation educators

May 04, 2016

Jeremy Gudauskas ’99, North Central College associate dean of students, and Whitney Roberts ’08/M ’13, assistant director for civic engagement, teamed up to give presentations at the Ashoka U Exchange at Tulane University in New Orleans and at the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce.

At Ashoka U, Gudauskas led a session with panelists from Duke University, Hamilton College, Arizona State University and Ryerson College. Titled “Creative Campus-Wide Initiatives and Stakeholder Engagement,” the session highlighted best practices for creating a campus ecosystem that embodies social innovation.

Gudauskas and Roberts team-taught a Master Class, titled Measuring and Managing Social Impact, at the Exchange. It was based on the North Central graduate class MLD 692 of the same name, which they taught in summer 2015. The Master Class summarized a model that educators, students and practitioners can use to measure social impact by articulating a theory of change, mapping out a logic model, identifying key metrics and creating a measurement and reporting plan.  

The Exchange convenes 800 faculty, staff, students and practitioners from 150 universities in 25 countries to reimagine how colleges and universities can advance long-term social impact. This year’s Exchange explored topics in social innovation and entrepreneurship, including curriculum design, impact measurement, design thinking, community partnerships and public policy.
North Central College is in the beginning stages of being considered a Changemaker Campus by Ashoka U, the educational branch of the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs. This designation is given to colleges and universities that have embedded social innovation as a core value and exemplify it across the entire institution. This achievement would acknowledge both the existing and growing work in social impact and entrepreneurship happening at North Central. If granted, the designation would insert the College into an elite group of 35 institutions recognized for their outstanding efforts in creating a culture of social innovation.  

In addition, Gudauskas and Roberts were invited to speak in February to a group of local nonprofit executives at the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce. They addressed the topic of measuring social impact, the same topic they presented at Tulane and was rooted in their MLD 692 course. In the course, students partnered with a local nonprofit organization or for-profit business to create a measurement plan to improve how they communicate their impact.