Open House May 25 will showcase GSBF-supported student action research projects
SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 24, 2016 — Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University has launched a $10 million endowment fund for its five-year-old Global Social Benefit Fellowship (GSBF) program. The GSBF fully funds travel, classes, and post-trip coursework for up to 20 students a year to conduct hands-on research at social enterprises that have been through Miller Center’s programs worldwide. This field-based, action research helps the enterprises benefit exponentially more people, and the fellowship program already has helped three students earn Fulbright scholarships.
On May 25, 2016, the GSBF program will hold its annual “Research with a Mission” Open House, where current and last year’s fellowship students will present the research field projects they will conduct as part of their yearlong fellowship program. This year’s projects include interviewing rural African women about the uses of solar energy products; evaluating clean water technologies and supportive business models in Central America; assessing the health and social impact of artisan social enterprises on women and children; and documenting and analyzing theories of positive social change for women and girls in Africa who are selling locally produced women’s sanitary pads.
“I see Miller Center as one of the crown jewels of Santa Clara University, and the GSBF as a crown jewel of Miller Center,” said Tim Haley, member of the Santa Clara University board of trustees and provider, along with his wife, Ethna McGourty, of the initial GSBF endowment donation. “The GSBF puts into action Santa Clara University’s mission of educating the whole person within the Jesuit, Catholic tradition. GSB Fellows enter the work force well-equipped to contribute to any field of endeavor, having gained a global perspective and a sense of contributing to social good.”
“The GSBF expresses the Miller Center and Santa Clara University philosophy of integrating practical action to serve the poor and protect the planet with the formation of future leaders,” said Thane Kreiner, Ph.D., executive director, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship. “The $10 million endowment, initiated with the generous $1 million initial gift, will ensure that the GSBF program can continue in perpetuity to provide transformative social justice learning experiences for future SCU students and the social enterprises they serve.”
GSBF Unites Education and Social Benefit Goals
The Global Social Benefit Fellowship provides SCU college juniors and seniors with a comprehensive program of mentored, field-based study and action research within Miller Center’s Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI®) worldwide network of social entrepreneurs. The fellowship combines a fully funded eight-week summer international field experience with social enterprises in the developing world with two quarters of coursework.
The GSBF is a program of practical social justice in the Jesuit educational tradition. Unlike community-based service learning projects or internships, the GSBF’s work with social enterprises is a dynamic process that takes full advantage of two of the most important assets universities have to offer: research and critical thinking.
“I learned that social entrepreneurs often succeed where other businesses cannot, not only because of their innovative business models and passionate teams, but also because of their understanding of local cultures,” said Alex Cabral, a recent GSBF action research fellow. “The fellowship enabled me to demonstrate to future employers that I not only have a wide variety of skills, but that I am passionate about topics that fall outside the Silicon Valley ‘bubble.’”
About Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship
Founded in 1997, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship is one of three Centers of Distinction at Santa Clara University. Miller Center accelerates global, innovation-based entrepreneurship in service to humanity. Its strategic focus is on poverty eradication through its three areas of work: The Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI), Impact Capital, and Education and Action Research. To learn more about the Center or any of its social entrepreneurship programs, visit www.scu.edu/MillerCenter.
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