June 25, 2024

Impact Consulting Fellows Receive Recognition at PALS Spring 2024 Showcase

Impact Consulting Fellowship students shine in sustainability projects at the PALS spring showcase.

Students at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business know they don’t have to wait to graduate to translate classroom lessons into real-world impact.

On May 8, 2024, a team of Impact Consulting Fellowship students from the school’s Center for Social Value Creation (CSVC) participated in the Partnership for Action Learning in Sustainability (PALS) spring project showcase.

Peter Cassell, Ashish Salunkhe, Tanvi Murumkar, Dimitri Sfakiyanudis, Harshil Patel, Alexandra Doncheva, Mohnish Mahajan, Julia Huang, Kim Lek and Rutwik Patil received Outstanding Student Award honors for their collaboration with Community Forklift, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit reuse center for home improvement supplies.

“Strategic thinking and business acumen can lead to an incredible impact on our community. This project allowed Smith students to spend a semester working on a phenomenal experiential learning opportunity for all,” says Nima Farshchi, Executive Director of the Smith School’s Office of Experiential Learning and CSVC Director.

PALS is a campus-wide program that sees UMD students and faculty work toward tackling specific, sustainability-related issues impacting communities across the state. The program helps provide high-quality, low-cost assistance to local governments while affording students an opportunity to take part in real-world learning experiences.

During this year’s event, student teams worked with Maryland Department of Planning staff on projects for 21 clients, which included developing business plans for nonprofits in Prince George’s County, providing economic development recommendations for towns in Cecil County and addressing rural affordable housing in Brunswick, Frederick County.

Teams were comprised of students from various academic disciplines, including business, public policy, information studies, architecture, landscape architecture, community planning, public health, applied agriculture and geology.

At the drop-in event, teams displayed their work via presentation boards in a gallery-walk setting. A panel of judges recognized students, faculty and clients who “went above and beyond expectations” with various awards. A networking event was held following the awards ceremony.

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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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