About Us

Creating a Better World Through Business

Business has long been a driver of social value. Whether developing and disseminating new advances in healthcare, keeping homes warm and food cool, or providing technology to connect people on opposite sides of the globe, business has done a lot of good. We think it has the potential to do even more.

The Center for Social Value Creation (CSVC) embodies a passionate mission: educate, engage and empower Smith students to create a better world through business. We imagine a future where companies, communities, society and the natural world collectively thrive. Social value creation is about using the tools of business to help us get there. Through courses, programs, and industry collaborations we prepare students to be business leaders able to advance economic, social and environmental prosperity. Our work is rooted in five principles for better business.

And, we’re not in this alone. The business and higher-education landscape have evolved, demonstrating the world is ready for a new way of thinking. Today, 75% of CEOs invest in sustainable products and services, and 71% of businesses are planning how to engage with the U.N. sustainable development goals. On the higher education side, more than 80% of the top 30 ranked business schools host social value or sustainability-oriented centers and research. By many measures, the importance of sustainability and social value creation is on the rise.

Leadership & Staff

Nima Farshchi

Nima Farshchi

Nima Farshchi is the director of the Center for Social Value Creation at Maryland Smith. Farshchi oversees the strategic direction of the center, focused on educating, engaging, and empowering Smith students to make a better world through business. Full bio »

John Chickering

John Chickering
Executive Advisor

John Chickering, MBA ’85, advises boards and senior executives on strategy, technology and operations. As a graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, he began his career as a licensed engineer running engine rooms in tankers. Full bio »

Kristin Fallon

Kristin Fallon
Executive Advisor

Kristin Fallon is the global head of content and storytelling for GE Healthcare, a $20B medical technology company, where she is responsible for the company’s brand narrative, storytelling, and content marketing.
Full bio »

Joanna IhmJoanna Ihm
Research & Development Intern

Joanna Ihm is a sophomore undergraduate student pursuing a dual degree in information science and operations management & business analytics (OMBA). She is excited by the intersection of emerging technologies and businesses, involving artificial intelligence and business/music data analytics. Her vision for CSVC is to promote the value of research in the Smith community on how businesses can create a positive societal impact. Her favorite pastimes include snowboarding, reading at cafes, designing shoes, and thrifting sustainably with friends.

Anjali KalraAnjali Kalra
Research Intern

Anjali Kalra is a junior undergraduate student double majoring in marketing and finance. She was recently inspired to switch her major from biology and join the Smith community after spending the summer interning at Abbott Pharmaceuticals and learning more about their marketing and advertising efforts. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors hammocking, skiing, traveling, and hiking.

Soda LoSoda Lo
New Projects Development Intern

Soda Lo is a sophomore undergraduate student studying international business and operations management business analytics (OMBA) with a minor in global poverty. Her dream would be to work for an international organization providing infrastructural and developmental aid to impoverished West African countries. She immediately felt drawn to the CSVC’s mission statement of “creating a better world through business”, and is excited to coordinate programs that merge business, sustainability, and impact! In her free time, Lo loves to travel, catch up on reading, or hang out with her friends and family.

Lee-Ellen MylesLee-Ellen Myles
Graduate Assistant

Lee-Ellen Myles is a first-year dual Master of Business Administration and Master of Public Policy student. Prior to graduate school, Myles supported the University of Maryland's sustainability initiatives, primarily within the Office of Sustainability and Department of Dining Services. She is passionate about environmental justice, food sustainability and climate change mitigation. Myles enjoys traveling, hiking, visiting farmers markets as well as spending time with her friends, family and pets.

Peterson NjamungePeterson Njamunge
Graduate Assistant

Peterson Njamunge is a first-year MBA student. Prior to joining Smith, he worked in operations and program management, helping nonprofits leverage technology to improve internal processes and program outcomes. In his free time, Njamunge likes to watch EPL soccer and college basketball.

Crystal PinckneyCrystal Pinckney
Events Manager Intern

Crystal Pinckney is a junior information systems and marketing double major at the Robert H. Smith School of Business. Her passions include entrepreneurship, sustainability, and climate change. She feels most connected with the United Nations sustainable development goal “life below water” as she thinks it is important to preserve marine life. Pinckney would love to work closely with the United Nations and hopes to also own her own company one day. Her interests include traveling, trying new foods and touring new museums.

Isabella RoccograndiIsabella Roccograndi
Digital Media & Marketing Intern

Isabella Roccograndi is a senior undergraduate student majoring in marketing with a minor in leadership studies. Her passion for marketing stemmed from her fascination with food packaging, and how the differences in branding can affect a company’s success. She has a passion for social media, graphic design, and living a healthy lifestyle. In her free time, Roccograndi loves to workout, spend time with friends, and go on walks on the B&A trail with her family.

Apratim SatheApratim Sathe
Graduate Assistant

Apratim Sathe is a second-year MBA student. Before pursuing his MBA, he worked at Optum, operating in all roles within the software development life cycle (SDLC). He is pursuing an MBA at Smith to refine his big picture skills on strategy, operations, and marketing. He hopes to work in a digital product ownership role upon entering the workforce. In his free time, Sathe likes to travel, workout and spend time with friends. 

Faculty Affiliates

Faculty affiliates include adjunct and research faculty at the Robert H. Smith School of Business who integrate content, teach courses or conduct research in the realm of social value creation.

Nicole Coomber, Assistant Dean of the Full-Time MBA Program 

David Kirsch, Associate Professor

David Kirsch is the faculty champion of Social Innovation Fellows (SIF) — an undergraduate program that immerses students in the role of entrepreneurship — and intrapraneurship — in driving positive social and environmental change through business. Kirsch's research interests include industry emergence, electric vehicles, technological choice, technological failure, and the role of entrepreneurship in the emergence of new industries.

Paulo Prochno, Assistant Dean, Part-Time MBA, and Online Programs

Paulo Prochno has written articles in the areas of knowledge management, organizational routines, cross-border management, and manufacturing strategy. Through his consulting and executive education engagements, he has helped major companies in Brazil to shape and disseminate their strategies and to foster innovation. His primary research areas include knowledge transfer, organizational routines, and innovation management.

James Sanders, Lecturer

Jim Sanders has taught social entrepreneurship and international entrepreneurship since 1995. His areas of applied research and practice are social impact evaluation, impact investing, and business incubation.

Robert M. Sheehan, Jr., Lecturer & Academic Director of the EMBA Program

Rob Sheehan's research and academic publications are focused on leadership, strategy and organizational effectiveness. Sheehan teaches "BUSI 758N: Strategic Management for Nonprofit & Public Organizations" and "PLCY 689Y: Nonprofit Fundraising."

Sandy Boyson, Research Professor

Sandor Boyson serves as a research professor at the Robert H. Smith School of Business. He holds an affiliate faculty appointment at the Institute of Systems Research, A. James Clark School of Engineering. His research is focused on supply chain and has also taught graduate courses in technology management, supply chain management and risk management for 25 years.

Rachelle Sampson, Associate Professor

Rachelle Sampson’s current research exposes rising short-termism in US firms and capital markets, outlining implications for firm productivity and growth, the changing nature of R&D within firms, as well as environmental impact. Sampson has a particular interest in the impact of sustainability practices on employee engagement and productivity as well as how this translates into long-term performance. She teaches sustainability economics and strategy and has worked to expand the sustainability curriculum at the University of Maryland as a faculty mentor for the Sustainability Teaching Fellows.

Bennet A. Zelner, Associate Professor

Bennet Zelner studies the strategies that firms use to manage the diverse political, social and economic institutions they encounter when doing business abroad. His research focuses on infrastructure industries recently subject to market-oriented reform—such as privatization, deregulation and liberalization—and the challenges that such environments pose for private investors. Social value related research includes, "The Effect of "Green" Energy Policies on Innovation."

Rosellina Ferraro, Associate Professor & Associate Chair of Marketing

Rosellina Ferraro's research focuses on consumer behavior, and specifically, the effects of social influence on choice and preference and the effects of external threats on consumption behavior. Ferraro's social value research focuses on the sharing economy and cause-related marketing.

Mary Beth Furst, Assistant Clinical Professor 

Amna Kirmani, Ralph J. Tyser Professorship in Marketing

Amna Kirmani's research interests include morality, persuasion knowledge, online communication, and branding. Social value research includes, "Doing Well vs. Doing Good: The Differential Effect of Underdog Positioning on Moral and Competent Service Providers," Journal of Marketing.

Roxanne Lefkoff, Clinical Professor and Associate Chair, Marketing Department

Roxanne Lefkoff holds a PhD in marketing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a clinical full professor in the marketing department at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland and serves as the associate chair of the marketing department. Lefkoff currently teaches Marketing Principles, Marketing Strategy, and Consumer Behavior. For her outstanding teaching, she has received two Krowe Awards from the Smith School, five awards from the University of Maryland’s Center for Teaching Excellence, and is a Campus Lilly Teaching Fellow. Lefkoff was a founding member of the Business, Society, and the Economy Program of College Park Scholars, serving as associate director and then director. Lefkoff's areas of expertise are marketing strategy and consumer behavior. She was recognized as a finalist for the Ferber Award sponsored by the Journal of Consumer Research for best article published based on a dissertation. She has published in the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Advertising, and Advances in Consumer Research. Lefkoff holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from West Virginia University. Prior to her work in academia, she worked for Exxon in Baytown, Texas.

Rebecca Ratner, Dean's Professor of Marketing

Rebecca Ratner is the Dean's professor of marketing. Ratner's research explores factors underlying suboptimal consumer decision making and focuses on variety seeking, motivation and the influence of social norms. She teaches the MBA course "Marketing for Social Value."

Samuel Handwerger, Lecturer

Sam Handwerger, CPA, is a full-time lecturer in the accounting department and is a University of Maryland undergraduate accounting alumnus. Handwerger teaches "BUAC 758A: Accounting for Social Value in Corporate America" at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, Baltimore campus.

Anand Anandalingam, Ralph J. Tyser Professor of Management Science

Professor G. 'Anand' Anandalingam is the Ralph J. Tyser Professor of Management Science at the Smith School of Business. He was dean of the Smith School from 2007 to 2013, and under his direction, the Center for Social Value Creation was formed. Anandalingam was dean of Imperial College Business School from August 2013 to July 2016. He has published more than 100 papers and 4 books. He currently conducts research on Universal Basic Income and works with a social innovation fund to help rehabilitate the war-torn area of Jaffna in northern Sri Lanka.

Wedad J. Elmaghraby, Professor of Management Science & Operations Management

Wedad Elmaghraby's current research interests include the design of competitive procurement auctions in business-to-business markets and pricing in markets where buyers behave strategically. Current areas of application are e-commerce, logistics, supply chain management in the electronics industry, and energy markets.

Anand Gopal, Associate Professor

Anand Gopal's research interests are broadly in technology platforms, contracts and entrepreneurship. Social value research includes "On the Use of the Mobile Device Ecosystem in Charitable Giving", "The Use of Entrepreneurial Accelerators in Early-stage Venture Survival: a Study of Startup Chile", and "The Structure and Performance of Public-Private Alliances: The Case of Global Development Alliances within USAID."

Shreevardhan Lele, Clinical Professor

Shreevardhan Lele teaches in the MBA and executive MBA programs in three distinct areas: (a) ethical leadership and the role of managers in society, (b) the economics of incentives and strategic coordination using game theory, and (c) business analytics using statistics and management science.

Siva Viswanathan, Dean's Professor of Information Systems and Digital Innovation & Co-Director of DIGITS

Siva Viswanathan's research focuses on the role of digital market micro-structures and their implications for user behaviors and outcomes in a variety of online sharing platforms and markets. Social value research includes "Lending to the Bottom of the Pyramid: Investor Incentive and Peer-to-Peer Micro Lending to Entrepreneurs in Developing Countries".

Sun Young Lee, Assistant Professor

Sun Lee’s research interests focus on corporate social responsibility (CSR), and specifically on businesses’ creation of social value and generation of positive social impacts. Her research interests include communication strategies to attenuate consumer skepticism, visual strategies in CSR messages, the co-creation of social value through CSR activities, and the effects of CSR practices in a crisis context. She also teaches a course on public relations and corporate social responsibility.


Center for Social Value Creation
3440 Van Munching Hall
Robert H. Smith School of Business
College Park, MD 20742

Email: csvc@umd.edu
Phone: 301-405-9454

Facebook Twitter Instagram

Robert H. Smith School of Business
Map of Robert H. Smith School of Business
University of Maryland
Robert H. Smith School of Business
Van Munching Hall
College Park MD 20742