Ripon College Launches New Center for Social Responsibility, Academic Programming

Honey Zaw at Ethical Leadership Certificate Ceremony

Ripon College has announced the creation of a new Center for Social Responsibility to provide innovative space for students, faculty, staff and the community to examine and experience service, ethics, leadership and social innovation and entrepreneurship..

The Center combines the best of existing programming, and formalizes the curricular role of community engagement, service learning, social entrepreneurship and interdisciplinary studies in the development of ethical, sustainable and socially responsible leaders at Ripon College. In addition, the faculty of Ripon College have approved an innovative new minor in socially responsible leadership. This minor comes with two emphases: social entrepreneurship and innovation, and community engagement and service learning.

“Our college has a long tradition of providing meaningful opportunities with which to gain educational and personal enrichment both on-campus and beyond,” said Zach Messitte, president of Ripon College. “We believe these opportunities, whether volunteering with Service Corps, conducting research for local businesses, interning at a nonprofit or exercising one’s civic rights, help to further connect our community with the world and serve as catalysts for positive change.”

The new Center and associated academic programming will benefit from resources made available through the Pieper Chair of Servant Leadership thanks to generous gifts from the Suzanne & Richard Pieper Family Foundation of Milwaukee, Wis., and will harness existing resources and expertise formerly connected with Ripon’s Office of Community Engagement and the Creative Enterprise Center.

Lindsay Blumer, current director of the Office of Community Engagement, will serve as the Center’s executive director. In this role, she will provide instructional support for the minor in socially responsible leadership, and continue to oversee faculty and student development grants and alternative breaks, coach/advise the nationally ranked Ethics Bowl and Enactus (formerly Students in Free Enterprise, or SIFE) student teams, and supervise service and ethics consultants, among other duties.

David W. Scott, Pieper Chair of Servant Leadership, and Associate Professor Mary Avery will serve as fellows of the Center and will teach courses offered as part of the minor in socially responsible leadership. In addition, David will serve as academic advisor to students enrolled in the minor, and will be responsible for coordinating leadership and service learning training for faculty and student groups, and assist in the supervision of service and ethics consultants. Mary will continue to supervise the Creative Enterprise Consultants (CEC) who work with nonprofits and other businesses, and serve as a mentor to faculty, alumni and community members interested in innovation and entrepreneurship.

The new Center will open this summer.

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