Engaged Learning for Every Business Student

The Cornell SC Johnson College of Business has renewed its commitment to immersive, community-engaged learning and impactful research 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.

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.

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.

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From Our Dean

“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, 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 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 SHA ‘23

In Our Co-Curricular Activities

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

students talking in the hall


“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.



“Last year’s conference theme for Hotel Ezra Cornell 96, Together, focused on the spirit of people and service to others. We highlighted DC Central Kitchen,  a non-profit that embodies our theme by combating food insecurity and unemployment using innovative and inspiring methods that bridge the gap between hospitality and social responsibility.”

–Kenny Chung, SHA ‘23

Engaged Student Ambassadors

Candice Mahadeo

Candice Mahadeo, Dyson ‘22

Engaged College Assistant

“Being able to speak to someone from the OEI truly helped all the students better assess CEL in the syllabi for the College of Business. We also had ambassadors from different schools apply their own firsthand knowledge of courses to the inventory… All of this allows me to see the different ways in which CEL is interpreted by people with different backgrounds and experiences.”

Alethia Chan, Dyson ’22

Engaged College Ambassador for Dyson

“As an Engaged Ambassador for Dyson, I learned more about the college’s efforts in increasing CEL within the classroom and beyond. I learned how difficult it is to define CEL, given the many components of the term and the complexity of what is considered social impact.”

Srinidhi Ranganathan

Srinidhi Ranganathan, MBA ‘22

Engaged College Ambassador for Johnson

“One of my biggest takeaways has been the realization of how socially aware Cornell University is. The role has also provided me an opportunity to engage with other schools in a way which wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. “

Jonathan Le Headshot

Jonathan Le, SHA ‘22

Engaged College Ambassador for the School of Hotel Administration

“We are in a privileged place to receive an amazing education and thus it is important to give back. I plan to heavily adopt CEL/ESG principles during my internships and full time employment. After a few years upon graduation, I hope to be in an influential position where I can shape the firm’s ESG strategies.”

two people talking

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.


Learn More!

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