Social Impact at Smith

Social Impact at Smith is a dean’s initiative advancing the values of businesses to serve a social purpose. We achieve this by equipping students and the greater University of Maryland community with the skills and resources needed to both maximize shareholder value and positively impact society and the planet. This initiative aims to create the next generation of business leaders ready to tackle the grand challenges of our time.

The Smith faculty possess a breadth of talent in Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”); sustainability; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (“DEI”); Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”); inclusive leadership; and corporate social responsibility, and these fields have long been a core competency of our experts.

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“We envision a world in which organizations and their leaders have the tools and insights to build a just and sustainable future for all.”

Prabhudev Konana

Dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business

Thought Leadership

With groundbreaking research and the exploration of its practical applications, the Smith School’s faculty and students have dedicated themselves to the study of social impact in its many forms. At the forefront of thought leadership, our team’s prolific, in-depth content is a must-read for all sustainability professionals navigating these new concerns.

“Social Impact has progressed quantitatively over the past 5 years, to a point where shareholders and stakeholders alike are taking notice.”

Nima Farshchi

Executive Director, Social Impact at Smith

Experiential Learning

Experiential learning connects students with real-world opportunities and industry contacts. Social and environmental impact sits at the forefront of these particular projects.

Social Innovation is a year-long experiential learning course that has immersed 400+ students in driving positive change through business. Evan Lutz, ’14, founded Hungry Harvest, a produce delivery service fighting food waste, when he was a student in this program.

In the Sustainability Analytics course, master’s students use data and visualizations to study sustainability and tackle global challenges. For their final project, students conduct data-driven analyses and present impactful findings on sustainability topics like beef consumption, renewable energy, water utilization, biodiversity, and plastic usage.

The Value Creation Challenge course is a partnership between Greek Life and the business school that embeds social impact in the curriculum. Students collaborate with peers across campus on consulting projects for purpose-minded organizations. Students then showcase their projects in the Impact Competition, representing Smith in the annual case competition.

Business Master’s programs integrate social impact tracks that bring in faculty from colleges across campus. For example, the Master of Finance and Master of Quantitative Finance programs have a climate finance track. The Master of Supply Chain Management has a sustainability track.

Co-Curricular Activities

Students participate in consulting projects, case competitions, and conferences outside of the classroom to help mission-driven organizations with real business problems.

The Impact Consulting Fellowship (ICF) is one of CSVC’s most esteemed programs and has been running for over 10 iterations now. This unique program gives students of all levels at the University of Maryland the opportunity to provide hands-on, pro-bono consulting work within a team for B-Corporations, non-profit organizations, and for-profit impact-driven organizations in various industries.

12+ annual case competitions sponsored by leading corporate partners.

Smith’s Annual ESG Conference convenes hundreds of students, alumni, and corporate attendees with leading industry presenters and speakers. Alumni speaker highlights include Corinne Dougherty ’03, partner at KPMG and part of the leadership team for KPMG IMPACT, and Apoorva Gandhi ’91, vice president for multicultural affairs for Marriott International.

Faculty Affiliates

Our Faculty Affiliates play an integral role in bringing impact into every department at Smith.

Suresh Acharya

Professor of Practice

G. “Anand” Anandalingam

Ralph J. Tyser Professor of Management Science

Michael O. Ball

Professor Emeritus

John Bono

Associate Clinical Professor of Information Systems

Smith Centers of Excellence

Centers of Excellence sit at the intersection of scholarship and the marketplace, producing breakthrough research at the service of students and companies. Each of these centers help immerse students into different areas of social impact and give students hands-on experiences in creating sustainable businesses.

Center for Social Value Creation

The Center for Social Value Creation embodies a passionate mission: to educate, engage and empower the Smith community and the world through thought-provoking dialogue, thought leadership, and hands-on experience.

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Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship

At the Dingman Center, we create an inclusive environment where we educate, empower and equip students with the business skills needed to be an entrepreneur and the resources necessary to make their business ideas a reality.

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Center for Global Business

The Center for Global Business (CGB) is the driver of internationalization and global mindset education at the Smith School and a preferred partner for international commerce in the state of Maryland, specifically in regard to training and supporting students, companies, and current and future business leaders to engage successfully in global business.

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Ed Snider Center for Enterprise and Markets

The guiding principle for the Ed Snider Center is that social progress is born of free and creative individuals who, driven by self-motivation, passion, and a positive approach to trading value for value, make the world a better place. 

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Center for Financial Policy

The Center for Financial Policy leverages the Smith School’s world-renowned faculty, leading research, and proximity to Washington, D.C. to promote a collaborative exchange of ideas on the key issues that affect financial markets.

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Get Connected!

Are you an alum, corporate partner, or a prospective student interested in learning more about how you can become involved in Social Impact at Smith? Leave your information below and we will get in touch with you to find ways to collaborate.

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