Collaborating across disciplines to solve today’s most pressing social challenges.
Through UB's Social Impact Fellows program, students from the School of Management and School of Social Work spend the summer learning about and creating social innovation in Western New York. Presented in collaboration with the Blackstone LaunchPad at UB, the program pairs action-oriented MBA and Master of Social Work students together for an internship at a local mission-driven organization, where they work together to address pressing social issues and make an impact on our community.
The program has received philanthropic support from the Charles D. and Mary A. Bauer Family Foundation, the School of Management Alumni Association, the UB President’s Circle and several generous alumni and friends of the university.
In 2018, the second year of the program, 22 fellows worked with their partner organizations to help them improve services, enhance business performance and address gaps to better serve and strengthen their communities. New this year, three teams included a graduate student researcher from the UB College of Arts and Sciences, who provided additional context to help ensure their solution was sustainable.
The Social Impact Fellows program prepares students to address societal issues using principles of entrepreneurship and sustainable social innovation.
Across the globe, social innovation is rapidly growing, as companies, nonprofits and governments partner to bring together their skills and perspectives to tackle sweeping challenges. That's the spirit that guides the Social Impact Fellows program — and provides great benefits for each stakeholder.
"The pairing of MSW and MBA students was exactly what we needed to create a plan that was person-centered, fiscally responsible and sustainable."
— Sandra Lauer, Director, Continuum of Care, Erie County Medical Center
“The students created a comprehensive program based on a solid foundation of research that has the potential to help youth aging out of foster care find and afford stable housing, support their educational and financial goals, and help set them up for a self-sufficient future. We were so impressed with their professionalism, initiative and how well they worked as a team, while each bringing their specific strengths to the work."
— Amanda Wilton, Housing and Financial Coach, Belmont Housing Resources for Western New York