World Class Faculty & Research / February 24, 2015

Beckman Named Center for Social Value Creation Academic Director

College Park, Md. – February 24, 2015 – The University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business has appointed Christine Beckman as the first academic director of the Center for Social Value Creation. 

Beckman, an associate professor of management and organization, will support the center in its mission to create a better world through business. The center offers students hands-on learning opportunities, supports research and collaborates across sectors with the goal is to equip students to apply business principles in creative and entrepreneurial ways that co-create economic prosperity and social and environmental well-being. 

“The Center for Social Value Creation is an integral part of who we are a school, and Christine is perfect to lead the center in this role,” said Alex Triantis, dean of the Smith School. “Her expertise and enthusiasm will energize CSVC as it heads into its next chapter.” 

As academic director, Beckman’s focus is on coordinating the curricular offerings and bringing more attention to cutting-edge research on social innovation and social change to the workings at the center. Her own research focuses on how organizations learn from one another, in particular how entrepreneurial teams and organizations develop over time given the past experiences of founders and early managers. 

"The Center for Social Value Creation is a place where students, faculty and the community can come together to address and solve important social problems of our time,” said Beckman.  “CSVC is at an exciting place -- we have built up over the past five years to develop innovative classes and programs for our students, and we are thinking about what we want to add to the portfolio in the next five years. I'm excited to be part of those conversations.” 

Beckman takes the reigns as the center is gearing up to co-host the fifth Ashoka U Exchange, the world’s largest convening for social innovation in higher education, Feb. 26-28, in Washington, DC. The conference brings together 650 university faculty, staff and administrators from 150 institutions to share ideas on teaching and learning social innovation. The Ashoka U Exchange coincides with CSVC’s seventh annual Social Enterprise Symposium on Feb. 27, which will be the featured student event during the Exchange. The daylong student event explores social, environmental, and economic change from a variety of lenses through sessions and workshops. Dr. Shira Shafir, director of Social Impact at TOM’s Shoes, will deliver the event’s keynote speech. 

The center is also gearing up to run the second cohort of the Community Wealth Building Practicum; co-host the 4th Annual Do Good Challenge, UMD’s largest service learning and social entrepreneurship competition; and expand the newly-launched UMD Living Lab Portal, a campus-wide platform that connects students with experiential learning projects focused on improving our campus community. 

Beckman is already hard at work with the CSVC team, exploring curricular offerings at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The Nonprofit Consulting Program, MBA Social Venture Consulting Practicum, and the Maryland Social Entrepreneur Corps, continue to grow and advance.

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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