Engaged Learning for Every Business Student

The Cornell SC Johnson College of Business has intensified its commitment to immersive, community-engaged learning with a broad range of partners, to become an engaged college at Cornell University.

Our goal is to have every student complete a community-engaged learning business experience where the goals and impacts of a hands-on project are critically assessed for its opportunity to build a better world. To see community-engaged learning in action, visit our college video series, Experiential & Engaged.

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Engaged College News & Highlights


Accelerator Scholars to Graduate

This year’s inaugural cohort of Accelerator Scholars celebrated with an end-of-year dinner in April. This pipeline of first-gen-undergrad-to-professional mentoring is already reaching far.

Apply Now to be a 2024-2025 Accelerator Scholar Mentor!
For juniors and seniors. Deadline: 6/9/24.

Apply Now to be a 2024-2025 Accelerator Scholar!
For first-years, sophomores, and transfer students. Deadline: 9/7/24.


SMART 2024 Project Symposium

The 2024 SMART cohort featured teams of grad and undergrad students working together with community partners on a variety of agribusiness and health care business challenges in Africa. Read more about this year’s projects here. 

Learn about a summer 2024 internship here: Deadline is May 3!

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Grad Students Receive CELT Certification

Eleven SC Johnson College graduate students participated in a workshop developing their community-engaged learning teaching assistant skills. All enhanced their credentials and their mastery of teaching critical reflection, a bedrock goal of the SC Johnson College. Faculty interested in engaging TAs with this expertise can write to externalrelations@cornell.edu.

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SC Johnson College and UN PRME Global Forum

The Cornell SC Johnson College of Business is proud to be an institutional sponsor of the 2024 UN PRME Global Forum, June 18, 2024.

(The College was also sponsor of the 2023 UN PRME Global Forum.)

Learn more about PRME and its relationship between the UN and responsible business education here.


MBAs and Undergrads Collaborate

Poets and Quants published this story detailing the collaboration between MBA grad students and Dyson undergrads, addressing Grand Challenges. The Cornell Chronicle offered this feature as well.

How Cornell MBA Students Coach Undergrads Through ‘Grand Challenges’

20240205 Freedom of Expression Spanish Debate

Spanish-Language Debate

On February 5, the SC Johnson College of Business and the ILR School  co-hosted the Cornell Spanish Debate Society event on freedom of expression in the workplace. Watch the debate here.


SFBI Students Share Italy Experience

When Kevin Juin MBA ’23 and Matthew Unger MBA ’23 joined the annual Smith Family Business Initiative trek to Italy, they found themselves adopted into a new family, and resolved to share the experience with generations of students to come. Read more here.

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SMART Annual Project Presentation

In April, students from this year’s SMART teams shared posters and stories detailing their work with independently-owned African businesses. Here, Dr. Fridah Mubichi-Kut poses with a group who mapped apiculture information networks in Kayonza, Rwanda.

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Grand Challenges project page launched

Dyson students are globally aware and community-engaged. Learn more about the work of undergraduate teams and how to submit a project proposal here.


The Student Voices & Experiential Learning video series has been launched. This page will feature a growing collection of stories about SC Johnson College students’ engagement with community and industry partners around the world. Know of a student engagement story you’d like to share? Send a tip to ml295@cornell.edu.


Engaged College Mini Grants Announced

The Engaged College Initiative announced its first round of student project mini-grants this month. Faculty members Rob Bloomfield and Anke Wessels will use their awards to support student projects in Managerial Accounting and Anabel’s Grocery classes.


SC Johnson College and RRBM

The Cornell SC Johnson College of Business is a proud institutional sponsor of Responsible Research in Business and Management, a network of leaders in the new paradigm for business higher education.

Learn more here.


Dyson’s annual Better Business Week 2023 showcased student engagement and innovation, and featured the Grand Challenges pitch competition, in which student teams working with community partners from Ithaca to Africa competed. Read more here. The winning Canoe Team applied their prize to the community-wide Ithaca Canoe Fest held on May 7 at Cass Park in Ithaca.


The Cornell-VinUni Vietnam ACE Pathfinders Teams of Cornell and VinUniversity undergraduates, guided by the Einhorn Center for Community Engagement, VinUniversity faculty, and NGO staff, addressed a research gap on the causes, intervention, and prevention of adverse childhood experiences in Vietnam. The project continued in-person during summer 2022. Read more here.

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Cornell students and VinUni professors reflect on their collaboration. For the past year, Cornell students have worked with counterparts at VinUniversity on a research project for a Hanoi NGO, working in Vietnam this summer. TIn September, their Vietnamese professors came to Cornell, and the group shared reflections at Banfi’s.


The written critical reflection is an essential component to community engaged learning. In his Experiential & Engaged video, Nolan student Karl Lam explains this important tool.


In April 2022, Cornell students joined the 7th International CIBA Forum, funded by the Soft Landing experiential learning grant. This project will match student teams with international green tech businesses to bring industry and high-paying jobs to central New York State.


Our Engaged College Ambassadors joined the Cornell Business Forum conversation with David M. Einhorn and SC Johnson College dean Andrew Karolyi about the value of community engagement to all involved. Listen to the full forum.

Our Engaged College Initiative is an embodiment of Cornell’s land grant mission and university-wide ethos of public service to enhance the lives and livelihoods of students, New Yorkers, and people around the world.  It also reflects the values and furthers the mission and vision of the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, which seeks to address the greatest challenges of our times by developing principled, responsible, people-centered business leaders who create sustainable, shared prosperity.

“Business can be the single greatest force to build a better world—but only if business leaders have a better world in mind.”

Andrew Karolyi, Charles Field Knight Dean, Cornell SC Johnson College of Business

How This Works

The components of Community-Engaged Learning at the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business: Criteria and Frameworks

One College, Three Engaged Schools

Our college’s three schools are connected by a shared ethos of engagement.

Dyson undergraduate students

The Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

“Our business is a better world.”

JCB 20191114 EMBA Class

The Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management

“Leadership that turns ambition into impact.”

SHA students in a classroom

The Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration

“Life is service – making a difference in others’ lives.”

Engaged College Advisory Committee

The Engaged College Advisory Committee (ECAC) is comprised of faculty and staff who span our college’s three schools and academic areas, along with colleagues from across the university and the David M. Einhorn Center for Community Engagement.

The committee’s purpose is to:

  • provide insight and advice on the opportunities and challenges for community-engaged learning (CEL) expansion across our college,
  • socialize proposed action steps with colleagues,
  • help devise and drive any specific changes to curricula and faculty practices,
  • support fundraising strategic planning and solicitation, as appropriate, and
  • be the key channel through which processes are drafted for re-distribution of block grant funds for specific college CEL activities

Engaged College Advisory Council Members

In Our Curricula

Our coursework provides many engagement opportunities. Here are several examples:

SMART program


“The Student Multidisciplinary Applied Research Teams (SMART) Program provided me with an opportunity to explore new cultures through consulting and research engagements, which has been extremely valuable to me as I consider how I can best use my business skillset to make a positive impact in emerging markets.”

–Alethia Chan, Dyson ‘22

Students for Sustainable Global Enterprise


The Sustainable Global Enterprise (SGE) Immersion was one of my most impactful and formative experiences at Johnson. Not only did it build a foundation for innovation, sustainability, and business, it also greatly advanced my teamwork and problem-solving skills.”

– Austin Blais, MBA ’20

Nonprofit Social Enterprise and Food Justice students


“The Nonprofit Social Enterprise and Food Justice course was an eye-opening experience. We learned how to leverage technology to bolster food access. It was a great way for hotel students to learn more about the nonprofit food industry and food social justice industry.”

– Kenny Chung, Nolan ‘23

In Our Co-Curricular Activities

SC Johnson College students gain experience in many ways outside the classroom.

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“We worked with Visions Federal Credit Union, who partnered with Zogo, a financial education app, that rewards users as they crunch through short modules about wealth management and other [educational] topics…This made me feel like I was someone critical, which I never thought I would get to feel coming in as a college freshman.

– Jennifer Wu Wu, AEM ’24



Founded in 2010, the MBA Women in Investing Conference is designed to educate MBA students about the rewarding career opportunities available to women in investment management, a field in which women are vastly underrepresented.



Hotel Ezra Cornell is Nolan’s annual student run expo. HEC 98, held April 20-23, 2023, will embrace the theme Expo – Envisioning a Sustainable and Equitable Future Through Global Hospitality. 

“The industry is at a crucial turning point, and we are responsible for ensuring a sustainable future,” commented Amanda O’Leary ’24.  Ellie Scherping ’24 added, “We want all of the students, guests, and speakers to leave HEC 98 with a newly inspired vision for the future of the hospitality industry and lessons on how to incorporate sustainable and equitable elements into their work.”

Learn more at Hotel Ezra Cornell’s website.

Engaged Student Ambassadors

Yuchan Wang, MBA ’24

Yuchan’s community-engaged learning started during her career as an architect, combining design with humanistic care and social sustainability. During the pandemic, she taught sustainable architecture and urban planning. She has also worked on urban financing endeavors with UN-Habitat in Nairobi, which empower disadvantaged communities and strive for a better life for all.

Marc Scocca, Nolan ’25

Nolan junior Marc Scocca joined the Engaged College Initiative team in Fall 2022 as an Engaged College Ambassador. He has been expanding his knowledge of community engaged learning through a course offered by the Einhorn Center and has been applying that knowledge as a course assistant for HADM 1199.

Omor Khan, Dyson ’25

Omor joined the Engaged College Initiative team in Fall 2023. His community-engaged learning experiences include AEM 2810, The Economics of Vice and Corruption, and his time as Cornell University Impact Manager for Bumble.

Keylin Saldana, Dyson ’25

Keylin joined the Engaged College Initiative team in Fall 2023 as an Engaged College Assistant. She strives to encourage community learning and building through her extracurricular activities and everyday work at Dyson.

In 2020, the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business became the first college in the university to receive an engaged college grant award from the David M. Einhorn Center for Community Engagement, to coordinate, elevate, and accelerate community-engaged learning at the college level. Watch our dean Andrew Karolyi in discussion with David M. Einhorn and three Engaged Ambassador students.

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The David M. Einhorn Center for Community Engagement at Cornell

The David M. Einhorn Center for Community Engagement at Cornell is supported by the Einhorn Collaborative. Working with a wide range of cultural influencers, researchers, community leaders and funders, the foundation helps Americans build stronger relationships, embrace our differences and rediscover our shared humanity — so we can solve our most urgent challenges, together.


Engaged College Initiative Leadership

Male faculty w/male student

Andrew Karolyi

Charles Field Knight Dean

Cornell SC Johnson College of Business


Linda Barrington

Associate Dean of Strategy and Societal Impact, Cornell SC Johnson College of Business

Executive Director, Institute of Compensation Studies


Candace Maxian

Associate Director of Public Engagement and Experiential Learning,

Cornell SC Johnson College of Business

Learn More!

Contact Candace Maxian, Engaged College Lead, for information or to get involved.