Mission Partners establishes inaugural Social Impact Fellows Program at Loyola
Loyola is partnering with a Bethesda-based consulting agency to launch a Social Impact Fellows Program, which will offer students the opportunity to understand and work to solve problems related to inequities in the community.
Loyola Trustee Carrie Fox, ’01, founder and CEO of Mission Partners, a consulting agency based in Bethesda, Md., decided to start the Social Impact Fellows Program because she was inspired by the work of Loyola’s innovation task force.
“I saw an opportunity for students to use design thinking as a practical approach to solve problems in the community through a racial equity lens,” said Fox, who will mentor the fellows. “The point of the fellowship is for Loyola students to take the skills they learn into a work setting. This will allow us as people—and Loyola students—to enter into a very complex world and be able to build more equitable communities.”
Mission Partners selected 12 Loyola students—Jarek Azim, ’22, Ryan Brooks, ’22, Sydnie Edwards, ’22, Christina Kingsley, ’19, Shane McHugh, ’22, Brendan O’Connell, ’21, Katie Quigley, ’21, Andrea Ramirez Centeno, ’21, Andrya Robinson, ’21, Trevor Tormann, ’22, Colin Ward, ’21, Kelsey Wyatt, ’19 —as the inaugural cohort in the Social Impact Fellows Program.
Wendy Bolger, director of the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, said the goals of the fellowship—including racial justice and inclusion, align with the priorities of the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship.
“It’s great for Loyola to have the support of the Board of Trustees in imprinting innovation deeper into the University culture and offering this kind of experiential learning to students,” said Bolger. “Through this fellowship, the students have an unprecedented opportunity to learn from successful practitioners committed to social change, and they will be called on to make the University and Baltimore a more equitable place.”
Fellows will be exposed to a curriculum which explores race and identity issues. Through the program, the selected students will attend a retreat in January and participate in monthly meetings and bi-weekly phone check ins. The students will collectively identify an inequity in their community and use design thinking to help solve this problem. In the social justice realm, the design thinking process includes empathizing with communities, defining and categorizing problems, developing solution prototypes, continually conducting research within the communities, and developing a statement on how students can work to fix the problem. Each Social Impact Fellow receives a $1,000 stipend.