What’s Going on at Penn? How the University is Embracing Social Impact Throughout the Curriculum

By Judy Weightman | Posted on Monday, April 1st, 2013

Today’s college students have a lot going on — in addition to their studies, most are juggling internships as well as part-or full-time work. They’re also socially and politically aware, and looking for ways to make both their schoolwork and their other obligations count for something.

Many students at the University of Pennsylvania show this passionate awareness. “We know our students are really engaged, that they really want to be making good things happen, whether that’s through [volunteer] involvement with nonprofits or their internships,” said Sherryl Kuhlman, managing director of the Wharton Social Impact Initiative (WSII), based at the Wharton School of Business. At Penn, “we feel the role of the university is to make those efforts happen, and to provide a more structured, more organized framework” to enable them. “Otherwise students spend more time getting connected and replicating the efforts of others, rather than getting things done,” she said. “We want to help with multi-year, multi-faceted partnerships.”

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