Applebaum Family Philanthropy and Guests Guide +Impact Studio Founders and Applebaum Design Fellows During Special Visit

On Friday, December 9, 2022, representatives from Applebaum Family Philanthropy, Applebaum Ventures, and three expert advisors came to the +Impact Studio to provide feedback and advice to UM students in the +Impact Studio Founders and Applebaum Impact Design Fellows programs. Applebaum Family Philanthropy was represented by Pamela Applebaum (CEO & President of Applebaum Ventures and Applebaum Family Philanthropy), Andrew Echt (Chief Operating Officer of Applebaum Ventures and Director of Applebaum Family Philanthropy), Gabe Scharg (Director of Investments for Applebaum Ventures), and Julia Bleznak (Director of Applebaum Fellows and Community Development for Applebaum Family Philanthropy). Their guests included Veronika Scott (Founder and CEO of the Empowerment Plan), Kiana Wenzell (Co-Executive Director of Design Core Detroit), and Josh Sklar (Senior Product Manager at StockX).

Students Jarrad Henderson and Alex Perez-Garcia share ideas with Kiana Wenzell and Pamela Applebaum.

Students and professionals, and Business+Impact staffers began the day at 10 am with a hearty breakfast and mingling. This was followed by welcoming remarks from Business+Impact Faculty Director Jerry Davis, Managing Director Cat Johnson, and +Impact Studio Program Manager Loren Townes Jr., who facilitated introductions and descriptions of the student-led venture teams. Then student teams  met with Applebaum Family Philanthropy reps and guests in a round-robin series of breakouts. Students described where their ventures are, where they hope to go, and the challenges/goals through which they are working. Applebaum Family Philanthropy reps and their guests offered guidance, experience, and support. The event concluded around noon with final remarks and info-sharing.

This was all part of a special Community Coworking Friday called “Idea Day.”  These Coworking Fridays are designed to incubate and nurture innovative ideas and projects related to social impact — from taking ideas from concept to prototype to scale. Each week, student founders meet in the +Impact Studio to work on their ventures; collaborate on ideas; consult with Applebaum Impact Design fellows, faculty, staff, and special guests; and support one another. These Community Coworking Friday sessions have been extremely beneficial to the +Impact Studio entrepreneurial teams, positively impacting their social venture journey and even helping them unlock new insights.  Many students also say the sessions have assisted them in overcoming the unique challenges that solo entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial teams can face.

Current student ventures include:

Pop Up Docs aims to democratize visual storytelling by centering and educating diverse creators while building a capable community of talented, experienced, and influential storytellers. Founder: Jarrad Henderson (2023 Knight Wallace Fellow); Applebaum Impact Design Fellow: Alex Perez-Garcia (MBA/MPP 2024)

PILs Ventures seeks to cultivate generational health-and-wealth for one million people in the Black, Latinx, and other historically overlooked communities across STEM fields by 2033. Founder: George Okpamen (MBA 2023);  Applebaum Impact Design Fellow: Grace Sanders (BBA 2023)

Bubble! Learn Science looks to improve the scientific  literacy skills of low-resource high school students and empower them to succeed in STEM careers. Founder: Rafee Mirza (LSA 2025); Applebaum Impact Design Fellow: Kelsey Hewett (MBA 2023)

Lifeboat is currently facilitating easier, safer, and more affordable gender-affirming medical procedures in the U.S. and abroad. Lifeboat believes that by building the infrastructure needed to facilitate domestic medical tourism, providers across the U.S. will be forced into cost competition, leading to better, higher quality, more affordable medical care for all Americans. Founder: Sasha Kolodkin (MSI/MBA 2024); Applebaum Impact Design Fellow: Carly Fink (MBA 2023)

Students George Okpamen and Grace Sanders share their plans with Gabe Scharg and Josh Sklar.

La Onda looks to create and foster community for Latinx individuals and reduce barriers to accessing mental health resources. Founder: Christian Ilarraza Colón (MBA/MPP 2023); Applebaum Impact Design Fellow: Alejandra Fuentes (MPP 2023)

G2G: Grow Together eases the financial and emotional burden of individuals experiencing major life hardships (divorce, infertility, caregiving, life-threatening ailment) by offering an app-based platform with 1:1 financial coaching, financial education modules that uses story-telling & behavior change principles, and a community support forum.  Founder: Yasmin Abdulhadi (MBA 2023) Applebaum Impact Design Fellow: Bridgit Jung (IS 2025)

CliMates goal is to have ten million people invested into climate action through time, energy and money by 2030. Co-Founders: Akhila Kosaraju (M.Des 2023), Isha Goel (MS Corporate Sustainability 2022) & Chris Okumura (BS, Electronics 2022);  Applebaum Impact Design Fellow: Grace Sanders (BBA 2023)



Meet the +Impact Studio’s Newest Founders & Applebaum Impact Design Fellows!

The +Impact Studio kicks off an exciting academic year and welcomes its newest cohort of Founders and Applebaum Impact Design Fellows! Having selected eight tremendous Applebaum Impact Design Fellows to support eight unique student-led ventures (Founders), we are excited to see the fresh faces in addition to our one returning Founder. Hailing from eight different degree programs across campus, this dynamic group of social innovators is the largest, with the broadest range of skills, backgrounds, and experiences to come! While the Studio seeks to advance all facets of impact, this year’s efforts prioritize advancing ideas that address climate action and/or diversity, equity, inclusion & racial justice (DEIRJ).

Read the full story on Medium

Equity-Centered Prototyping

Prototyping is a tool that can be used throughout the design process: to generate ideas, validate concepts, or explore technologies. There is a need to develop and test ideas without causing harm to others, while the possibilities have evolved exponentially — new prototyping tools and approaches are introduced every year. This workshop will help you understand what, how, and when to prototype, and to transform good ideas into interactive, emotional experiences with an equity lens.

This event is part of Innovation Week programming and is hosted in partnership with Design+Business at Michigan Ross.



This session will be run by Keesa V Johnson (MDes), an award-winning creative systems designer and design strategist who uses African and indigenous principles throughout the design thinking process.  Keesa works in different dimensions of the Michigan Food system working to build a more equitable future through community-engaged design and research using equity as a lens for social innovation. She currently has her own design firm called the Equity and Access group which works on systems change projects in the food system.  She is also the Racial Equity Chair of the Washtenaw Food Policy Council, the project leader for the Washtenaw County Black Farmers Fund, and has been a design leader within academia, government, and technology companies.  She can be reached at or thru her LinkedIn profile.

September 2022 Newsletter

The Business Impact showcase

Meet with 30+ U-M Impact Groups at the B+I Showcase

Thurs, Sept. 8 @ Noon – 2 pm
Tauber Colloquium
Ross School of Business

Welcome new and returning students! We hope your summer was invigorating, because we have a lot of opportunities coming up for you. As part of our mission to make students aware of impact opportunities across campus, we welcome all U-M students to our fifth annual Business+Impact Showcase on Thurs, Sept. 8 from Noon – 2 pm at Ross’s sixth floor Tauber Colloquium. Students will have a chance to meet with over 30 organizations and map out their U-M impact journeys. The event will also feature a “Mission & Mocktails Room,” a raffle, and lunchtime food.


Nonprofit Board Fellowship Info Sessions and Application

Business+Impact’s Nonprofit Board Fellowship Program develops cross-sector leadership skills by placing graduate students as ex officio members on boards at Southeast Michigan nonprofits.

The 2022-23 Student Application for the program is now available, along with student instructions, and is due Fri, Sept. 9 at noon.

If you haven’t yet, you must attend the info session below in order to participate in the program for 2022-23:

BF Info Session
Wed. Sept 7 @ 4 pm
Room 3240, Weill Hall

If you are unable to attend due to an academic or religious conflict, please email us to schedule an alternate time.


+Impact Studio Founders and Applebaum Impact Design Fellows Application

If you’re a current U-M student from any degree program who has a strong entrepreneurial spirit, and enthusiasm for interdisciplinary collaboration, we want you!  If you have a commitment to impact, and willingness to help take ideas from concept to prototype to scale, we want you!

The +Impact Studio Founders Program helps impact-driven creators and innovators bring impactful ideas to life that build a sustainable and just world for all! Using business knowledge, design tools, and research expertise, our experienced and interdisciplinary coaches and fellows roll up their sleeves and work alongside founders to accomplish great things.

Applebaum Impact Design Fellows are part of an interdisciplinary cohort working to support the +Impact Studio Founders Program & prototype studio concepts.




Ross Event Highlights:

Ross Admissions: Women’s Forte Forum
Thurs, Sept. 8 @ 11 am ET

CPO: What Inclusive Leaders Do Differently
Wed, Sept. 14 @ 2 pm ET

Photo of various ages and races of women facing the camera, wearing pastel colors.

Ross Admissions: Ross Women’s Weekend
Thurs-Sat, Oct 6-8
Ross School of Business

Crowd of diverse students with a Ross flag.

Ross Admissions: UpClose Diversity Weekend
Fri-Sun , Oct 7-9
Ross School of Business

MBA2 Gordon Impact Scholarship Application Due in September

Application due:
Mon, Sept. 26 @ Noon

Are you an MBA2 committed to addressing complex social challenges? This year the Skip and Carrie Gordon Scholarship Fund will award four $7,500 scholarships to MBA2s who demonstrate a dedication to impact. Applications are open now, and winners will be announced in late September.

J’Taime Lyons (MBA/MPP ’22), Nathan Alston (MBA ’22), and Elizabeth Wallace (MBA/MS ’22) were each chosen to receive Gordon Scholarships in 2021-22.


A Summer of Impact: Insights from B+I Summer Interns

This year, Business+ Impact’s Summer Fund financially supported the summer impact internships of 29 University of Michigan students. MBA funding came from the Give-A-Day Fund, a student-led MBA pay-it-forward fund, and from General Motors. Additionally, the Gordon Impact Entrepreneurship Fund provided support for BBA and MBA student internships with ventures or funders seeking to create societal impact. Students from Ross and Ford created impact through virtual or onsite internships, where they developed skills in business and policy that expanded their horizons exponentially and created value for numerous impact organizations. Read their stories below, and see photos from their experiences.


Impact News & Notes

OVPR anti-racism grants awarded to eight research teams

U-M students put skills to work through summer internship program, helping Detroit communities

New Research Explains What Triggers Corporate Action on Social Issues – featuring CPO’s Stephanie Creary

Facebook bans hate speech but still makes money from white supremacy ads – featuring Libby Hemphill

U-M study: Local renewable energy employment can fully replace U.S. coal jobs nationwide

Business schools get a bad rap – but a closer look shows they’re often a force for goodCollective Experimentation and Acts of Urbanism in Banglatown, Detroit

Compromises in Democrats’ climate bill will hit communities facing most pollution hardest, critics say – featuring Kyle Whyte

Helping youth harness the power of communication

A win-win: working together to increase the impact

Stakes are high for Detroit renters living in foreclosed homes

Poverty Solutions collaborates on Detroit Land Contract Buyer Guide

Rabe: Landmark U.S. climate bill addresses methane

U-M study finds discussing carbon dioxide removal does not limit climate policy support

Poverty Solutions: Washtenaw County should consider long-term impact, implementation of ARPA allocations


Bob Chapman in a suit.Bob Chapman (MBA ’68)

Bob Chapman (MBA ‘68) was recently named the #3 CEO in the world by Inc. and a Top Social Capital CEO by the International Business Times.  As Chairman and CEO of $3.5 billion global capital equipment and consulting firm Barry-Wehmiller, Chapman is showing what’s possible at the intersection of great business strategy and profound care for people.  It’s the message of his 2015 Wall Street Journal bestseller Everybody Matters, his “Truly Human Leadership” TEDxTalk and a Harvard Business School case study that is used by 70 universities around the world. We caught up with Bob around the end of August 2022 and asked him questions, not only about leadership, but navigating through tough times.



Image of Impact Gateway homepage.

A Searchable Platform for All Things Impact at Ross and Across Campus

The Business+Impact Gateway provides you with a single location for all things impact. Here you’ll find all of the activities, people and key partners working to use their learning to make a real impact in the world. 


At the University:


Climate Justice for Whom?

Fri, Sept. 9 @ 10 – 11 am
1040 Dana Building

What are the types of injustices associated with low-carbon transitions? Relatedly, in what ways do low-carbon transitions worsen social risks or vulnerabilities? Lastly, what policies might be deployed to make these transitions more just? Join SEAS and STPP for a talk with Dr. Benjamin K. Sovacool.

More Info


Entering, Engaging, and Exiting Communities

Wed, Sept. 14 @ Noon – 1:30 pm

Thurs, Sept 22 @ 4:30 – 6 pm

All students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to attend this community kick-off to the fall semester. Join the SEAS/PitE community and welcome both old and new faces to the start of the school year. Socialize, have fun and enjoy a bite to eat.

Register for 9/14    Register for 9/22


Social Change in Action: How to Be a Change Agent

Lecture: Wed, Sept. 14 @ 12:30 – 2 pm
Reception: @ 2 – 3 pm
Rogel Ballroom, Michigan Union

The Social Justice Changemaker Lecture series was established by a generous gift from Neil and Annmarie Hawkins. The second annual lecture features Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation. He will be joined by Dean Beth Angell as they explore ways to become a social justice change agent during challenging times.

More Info & RSVP


CEW+ Annual Advocacy Symposium

Wed, Sept. 21 @ 12 – 5:45 pm
Michigan League

The advocacy symposium features a keynote lecture from a nationally or internationally renowned advocate, the presentation of the Carol Hollenshead Inspire Award for Excellence in Promoting Equity and Social Change, a capstone presentation by the outgoing Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist, and the introduction of the next activist.

More info



Thurs, Sept. 22 @ 10 am – 2 pm
On the Diag

Earthfest celebrates sustainability initiatives across U-M and the surrounding communities, while providing an inclusive platform to educate and engage the campus community on opportunities to support sustainability and environmental justice on campus and in our daily lives. Come learn about sustainability on campus and particpate in fun engagement opportunities.

More Info


Social Policy Is Health Policy: Lessons from the Pandemic

Fri, Sept. 23 @ 4-5 pm
Room 1120, Weill Hall

Join Ford School Dean and founding director of the U-M Center for Racial Justice, Celeste Watkins-Hayes, along with and Paula Lantz the James B. Hudak Professor of Health Policy, as they discuss the devastating structural inequities exposed by the COVID pandemic—and why all policymakers must now be equipped with a toolkit for navigating pandemics.

More Info


DEI Summit 2022

Wed, Oct. 12 @ 10-11:30 am
Power Center

This year’s summit theme, DEI: Nurturing the Heart, Mind and Soul, explores the role of the arts in supporting our humanity (heart), mental health and wellness (mind), and religious/spiritual diversity (soul). Although distinct, these topics all address components of self-identity and influence how we show up in the world.

More Info

In the Impact Community:

Detroit Month of Design

Detroit, MI

The 12th annual Detroit Month of Design is here and runs through September 30! The citywide collaboration of creativity that gathers designers and the greater community to celebrate Detroit’s role as a national and global design capital. The theme this year is United By Design, and the intention with the 2022 festival is to bring unity to the forefront.

More Info

Rally Winter 2023 Cohort

Apply Now!

Come join Rally and get all of the tools you need to accelerate the success of your social enterprise! The mission of Rally’s social enterprise accelerator is to help local, national, and international entrepreneurs transform their early-stage work into sustainable ventures that create positive social change, with support from mentorship & 1-on-1 coaching.

More Info

Centering Justice

Wed, Sept. 21 @ Noon – 1:30 pm ET

Centering Justice offers the insight and guidance we need to realize our vision for the future. In these monthly virtual gatherings, you’ll hear the stories and live experience of inspiring leaders of color. You’ll witness passionate dialogue between nonprofit leaders, artists, activists, faith leaders, and others. Join us to hear their invitations and live into their calls to action.

Registration info

Women Leading Nonprofits

Wed, Sept. 28 @ 4:30 – 6:30 pm
614 First St NW, Grand Rapids

Michigan Nonprofit Association presents this year’s annual “Women Leading Nonprofits” event!. Guest Speakers will share lessons in leadership and how emotional intelligence can help you succeed, no matter what your role.  For student discount, contact Jen Fiandt at 

More info

FATE Program Mentoring

Apply by Fri, Sept. 30

Give Merit’s mentorship program, FATE, is looking for University of Michigan students to become mentors! Give Merit is a Detroit-based nonprofit serving high school students that seeks to enhance and extend educational opportunities to Detroit youth through innovative enrichment and mentorship activity. If you are interested in mentoring for the FATE Program during the 2022-2023 academic year, email Give Merit’s Program Success Director, Rachel Mazzaro, at for more information!

More info

Michigan Angel Summit

Mon, Oct. 10 @ 8:30 am – 4 pm
Sheraton Ann Arbor
3200 Boardwalk, Ann Arbor

The fifth annual Michigan Angel Summit is a great opportunity for individual investors to meet like-minded people from around the state and learn more about this exciting asset class.  Our keynote speaker is Peter Adams, Angel Capital Association board member and teacher of the ACA Angel University course on exits.

Registration info


Oct. 17-20
San Francisco

SOCAP convenes the largest and most diverse impact investing community in the world.  We are at a precipice in impact, and we need to urgently accelerate the boldest, brightest ideas to put capital to work solving the world’s biggest problems. It’s time to demand and create the changes our world requires to allow all people and the planet not just to survive but thrive.

More info

Pre-College and Youth Outreach Conference

Oct. 21 @ 8 am – 4:30 pm
Eberhard Center, Grand Rapids, MI

Each year PCC brings together 200+ professionals in the higher education space who focus on K-12 outreach and DEI initiatives. Other attendees are college admissions staff, first-year professionals, new to outreach, or high school administrators and college counselors. It’s a great community to share your insights and learn from others throughout the state of Michigan. 

More info


Course Spotlight: Michigan Ross and U-M Students Create Designs For Equitable Enterprises

by Hannah Shapiro

Can restaurants be good employers and good businesses? How should they recover from the pandemic?

Ten teams of graduate students from the University of Michigan presented their answers to those questions in April at Demo Day, a key component of an award-winning, impact-themed business course at the Ross School of Business.

That course, Impact Studio: Translating Research into Practice, is hosted by the +Impact Studio and co-taught by Jerry Davis, the Gilbert and Ruth Whitaker Professor of Business Administration at Michigan Ross and the Business+Impact initiative faculty director; and Cat Johnson, managing director of Business+Impact. Through the course, students have the opportunity to enhance their research and design skills while collaborating across boundaries to tackle some of the world’s most pressing business challenges. 

Read full story on Michigan Ross Website

The +Impact Studio Welcomes New Ventures and Mentors

The +Impact Studio Welcomes New Ventures and Mentors

The Michigan Ross  is excited to be growing! The Impact Studio Founders Program is a community where impact-driven student innovators can nurture and launch their early-stage ideas to make significant, positive change in the world. This Winter 2022 semester, the studio is welcoming three new founders, as well as an +Impact Studio Program Manager to help lead the studio and support its growth.

Read full post on +Impact Studio Medium page

October 2021 Newsletter


A woman and a man talking at the Board Fellows meeting

Business+Impact Announces its 2021-22 Board Fellows and Nonprofit Partners

Welcome to our 2021-22 Board Fellowship participants! This year’s Board Fellowship Program brings together a record 25 partner organizations and 33 students from four U-M schools. The Fellows will serve on the governing boards of these partner organizations for the academic year and complete a strategic project by April 2022.


 Winners of the Gordon Scholarships (left to right): Nathan Alston (MBA ’22), J’Taime Lyons (MBA/MPP ’22), and Elizabeth Wallace (MBA/MS ’22)

MBA2s Win Gordon Scholarships for Commitment to Impact

Business+Impact (B+I) is pleased to announce that Nathan Alston (MBA ’22), J’Taime Lyons (MBA/MPP ’22), and Elizabeth Wallace (MBA/MS ’22) are the recipients of the 2021-22 Skip and Carrie Gordon Scholarships for outstanding commitment to solving complex social challenges. The award comes with $5,000 for each recipient. Gordon Scholars serve as B+I Student Ambassadors for the 2021-22 academic year.


Thumbnail of the Welcome to the Impact Studio video

Update from the +Impact Studio

The +Impact Studio  brings impactful ideas to life using business knowledge, design tools, and research expertise. We are glad to welcome back our fellows, founders, and staff into the studio space in Ross for the upcoming semester. Take a peek inside a recent Community Coworking Session.

Design Equitable Enterprises in the Winter +Impact Studio Course

The award-winning Impact Studio course BA670 will be offered Winter term. This 3 credit course is open to all graduate students and in the course you’ll tackle questions such as: How can you use the tools of design to create a more just and inclusive economy? To build enterprises that uplift rather than deplete their communities? To enable sustainable livelihoods rather than financial precarity?

This course received an "ideas worth teaching" award for its "resilient, inclusive, sustainable version of capitalism."In Winter 2022, the Impact Studio course (BA670) will engage with IT-enabled changes that have transformed the raw materials of enterprise (labor, capital, supplies, distribution) and what that means for its stakeholders. Then, using the tools of design, we will prototype new forms of enterprise in an industry undergoing radical change around the globe right now: restaurants. Covid rapidly accelerated changes already underway, from a shift toward ghost kitchens and delivery to the use of QR codes in place of human servers. How might we use these same technologies to reimagine capitalism? To create equitable enterprises that provide a living wage and foster community?



DEI at Ross banner

Inaugural DEI Research Awards Honor Impactful Work at Ross

B+I is a sponsor of the Ross DEI Research Awards, instituted in 2021, which celebrate and honor research related to diversity, equity and inclusion conducted at the Ross School of Business, at every stage of the academic journey. Also established in 2021, the annual J. Frank Yates Diversity and Inclusion Teaching Excellence Award, honors a member of our teaching faculty who demonstrates a commitment to diversity and inclusion and makes a significant positive impact on the learning and personal growth of our students. In a ceremony on September 29, the award winners received their awards and presented a brief lightning talk on their area of expertise.

The research award winners were:
Faculty: Sarah Miller (Business Economics & Public Policy), Mohamed Mostagir (Technology & Operations)
Ph.D.: Virginia Traweek (Finance)
BBA senior thesis: Karthik Nagappan

See Flickr Gallery of Photos

Ross Event Highlights:

Women who fund forum

Women Who Fund: Forum
Wed, Oct 20 @ 10 am ET

A woman at the Forte/Women's MBA Forum

Ross: Forté/Women’s MBA Forum
Thurs, Oct 21 @ 11 am ET

Speaker at the Story Lab Retreats

Sanger: Story Lab Retreats
Thurs, Nov. 4, 4 – 9 pm ET
Fri, Nov 5, 10 am – 3 pm ET

First-generation students

Ross DEI: First-Gen Students
Thurs, Nov. 18 @ 6 pm ET

Participants of the Michigan Business Challenge Seigle Impact Track

Michigan Business Challenge – Seigle Impact Track Begins

Info Session
Wed, Oct. 20 @ 5 – 6 pm

The Michigan Business Challenge Seigle Impact Track, with prizes totaling over $26,000, recognizes the business plan that best pursues a mission-driven goal. This track aims to stimulate the creation of new businesses, products or services that prioritize social and/or environmental considerations. The Seigle Impact Track is sponsored by the Mark and Robin Seigle Entrepreneurial Innovation Fund and co-managed by Business+Impact at Ross, the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, and the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies.

Apply for the Competition by Mon, Nov. 1 @ 8 am

Give-A-Day-Fund logo

Give-A-Day-Fund Match Campaign Live for MBA2s

The Give-A-Day Fund (GADF) fundraising campaign is underway! GADF is a student-driven fund supporting MBAs interning in social impact, enabling them to focus on their mission instead of stressing about finances. You can read about 2021 interns here. If 90 students donate, we’ll unlock a $5,000 donation from an anonymous alumni donor!



Woman with a backpack standing outside of a building

Impact Advantage Open for Full-Time MBA May 2021 Grads

Have you heard? The new Ross School of Business Impact Advantage program now provides educational loan repayment assistance to Ross full-time MBA graduates who pursue careers in nonprofit or public sector organizations.

Launched this year, full-time MBA students like you who graduated in May 2021 or after will be eligible to apply for the Impact Advantage program and receive up to $7,500 per year for the first 5 years after graduation, towards Ross-related loan obligations. You must be in a full-time position at a public or nonprofit sector organization, earning below the median base salary of the most recent graduating class.

Info and Application

Impact News & Notes

Ashley Cureton Received 2021 Diversity Recognition Award from the Johns Hopkins Diversity Leadership Council

Community brings a fresh spin to Detroit alleyways

Reflecting on U-M’s anti-racism initiatives a year later

Grants from OVPR, NCID advance anti-racism research, scholarship

More companies pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – featuring Jennifer Haverkamp

Dotson named University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor

Share of Michiganders living in poverty falls in 2020, largely due to aid

Michigan Ross Faculty and Students Help Launch New Michigan Climate Venture Fund at U-M

Nominations sought for president’s awards for public engagement

Can Colleges Reform Their Police Departments? One Says Yes, and Here’s How – featuring Charles Davis III

A Guide on Racism, Inequality, and Health Care for African Americans

MIDAS leads multi-university collaboration on data equity systems

Michigan Ross MBA Students Take Home $10,000 Prize and Much More from the National Black MBA Case Competition

A Tool for Exploring & Preparing for Graduate School

Breaking Up the Philanthropy ‘Boys Club’ – featuring Megan Tompkins-Stange

We don’t know where all the lead pipes are. This tool helps find them – featuring Eric Schwartz

McDonald’s Cannot Get to ‘Net Zero’ by Feeding the World Hamburgers, Experts Say – featuring Andy Hoffman

Journalist urges audience to ‘opt in’ to confront ‘twin plagues’

UM-Flint partners with city on sustainability goals for the future

Making a Positive Impact: Students Engaged in Sustainability Efforts at Michigan Ross

Impact Gateway website page

A Searchable Platform for All Things Impact at Ross and Across Campus

The Business+Impact Gateway provides you with a single location for all things impact. Here you’ll find all of the activities, people and key partners working to use their learning to make a real impact in the world. 


At the University:


Optimize Social Innovation ChallengeOptimize Social Innovation Challenge poster

Apply Now!

optiMize is an organization at the University of Michigan that offers programs, courses, mentorship, and funding for students of all ages and majors to work on self-directed projects. Submit a Challenge form right now and tell optiMize a bit about you and your interests. It should take 10 minutes or less. From there, we’ll connect with you to explore how optiMize can help you turn your ideas into impact!

More Info


Policy Talks @ the Ford SchoolFord School of Public Policy logo

The Ford School hosts a diverse array of timely, meaningful events that engage with students, community, and public policy leaders. During the coming month, the Ford School will host this wide-ranging and powerful series of talks on diversity, poverty and immigration.


Public Scholarship GrantsRackham Public Scholarship recipients

Letter of Intent
Due by Wed, Oct. 20 @ 11:59 pm ET

Rackham Public Scholarship Grants provide support for publicly engaged scholarly projects created between Rackham students and community partners. Rackham students may apply for up to $8,000 to lead and implement a public scholarship project over the course of a one year grant period.Students may apply individually or as part of a team of students.

Info and Application



“Through My Lens” Discussion“Through My Lens” Discussion poster

Fri, Oct. 29 @ 4:30 – 6:30 pm

To build awareness about the ongoing challenges facing Women of Color in academia and to celebrate 25+ years of advocacy work, the Women of Color in the Academy Project (WOCAP) invites you to the first of three anniversary events series entitled, “Connecting the Past to the Present: Honoring the Experiences of Women of Color in Academia.” This springboard event will be a virtual viewing of the WOCAP-curated 1999 film, “Through my Lens” paired with a moderated discussion as part of the U-M annual DEI Summit.

Register here



Social Work Speaker EventsMichigan School of Social Work logo

The School of Social Work (SSW) continues to raise awareness of important issues through events on campus and online. This month SSW will host a broad spectrum of events and speakers on subjects like social impact, racial justice, and affordable housing



GSP ApplicationsGlobal Scholars Program students

Early Decisions: October 8, 2021
Fall Deadline:  December 10, 2021
Winter 2022 Deadline:  December 3, 2021

Info Session: Thurs, Nov. 18 @ 7 pm
Location TBA

The Global Scholars Program (GSP) is now accepting applications for winter 2022 and academic year 2022-2023. The fall deadline for applications is December 10. There will be an Info Session November 18, 2021, 7:00-8:00 pm. Please RSVP if you plan on attending and the location of the meeting will be emailed to you.

Info and Registration


In the Impact Community:

Wege PrizeWege Prize logo

Apply by
Mon, Nov. 1 @ 11:59 pm ET

Wege Prize 2022 will again be open to undergraduate and graduate students from anywhere in the world, and will again be focused on the circular economy. When does it start? Well, right now! The Team Application period has been open for a while, but final deliverables and team names are due next month.

More Info


Income 4 InternsIncome 4 Interns logo


Submit by
Tues, Nov. 2 @ 11:59 pm

Unpaid internships exacerbate socioeconomic and racial inequalities as minority families may be disproportionately unable to subsidize their child’s college expenses in order for them to participate. Eligible participants must submit a video telling us what the right paid internship would empower them to do to build a career of meaning and impact. Finalists will be selected from the videos earning the highest votes or displaying the greatest potential and strongest need before being interviewed by our judging panel. The winner will be awarded $5,000 to support an unpaid internship in the social sector of their choosing in the subsequent 12 months.


D-Prize Global Competition for Poverty InterventionD-Prize logo

Regular Application Due:
Sun, Nov. 7 @ Midnight

The world has already invented products and services to end poverty. Yet we have found dozens of proven interventions with large delivery gaps. Millions of people still don’t have access. Can you design a new business or NGO that delivers a proven poverty intervention at scale? Submit your idea to build a new organization and solve one of our Distribution Challenges below. We will award the most promising teams with up to $20,000 USD to launch wherever extreme poverty exists.


Epic Social VenturesEpic Social Ventures logo

Deadline Dec. 20
Apply Now

Do you have an idea for a product or service that is affordable to those impacted by poverty while creating employment opportunities? Apply for EPIC and your idea could be funded to impact the communities you care about most. OPEN to all social entrepreneurs who want to make a systematic change from the ground up on the #1 UN SDG: No Poverty.



Some images in this newsletter are Pre-COVID.

September 2021 Newsletter


Student talking to an organization at the B+I showcase


Fourth Annual Business+Impact Showcase Features 35 Impact Organizations

As part of Business+Impact’s mission to make students aware of all the impact opportunities across campus, B+I welcomed incoming and returning students from across campus to its fourth annual Business+Impact Showcase on Sept. 14. Students met with 35 exhibiting organizations from U-M in areas of interest like social justice, equality, sustainability, social entrepreneurship and economic development.

If you weren’t able to make it or would like to learn more, a complete list of exhibitors and descriptions is available in this article, and a photo album is on Flickr.


Gordon Scholarship Recipients (left to right): Claire Babilonia (MBA ’21), Tieranny Baker (MBA ’21) and Kevin Finnegan (MBA ’21)

MBA2 Gordon Impact Scholarship – Apply by Sept. 26

Application due
11:59 pm, Sun, Sept. 26

Are you an MBA2 committed to addressing complex social challenges? This year the Skip and Carrie Gordon Scholarship Fund will award three scholarships to MBA2s who demonstrate a dedication to impact. Applications are open now and due by Sun, Sept. 26.

Claire Babilonia (MBA ’21), Tieranny Baker (MBA ’21) and Kevin Finnegan (MBA ’21) each received $5000 Gordon Scholarships in 2020-21.


Dimitri Alejo Giraldo poses side by side with Jason Gordon, internship funder

A Summer of Impact: Insights from Impact Studio & B+I Summer Interns

In the summer of 2021, Business+Impact supported 55 student interns with multiple regional and global organizations and within our +Impact Studio. In the +Impact Studio  nearly 30 students used design and business to make an impact. Read about the lessons learned developing and prototyping impactful ventures in the Applebaum Impact Design Fellowship and Founders Program, and read about the first +Impact Studio Summer Demo Day. Right here in Detroit, students in the +Impact Studio for Local Business developed consulting products that made a big impact for Detroit’s small business owners. Additionally, learn about how Michigan Ross students are putting design tools to use such as Adobe XD to use as part of the UM Adobe Creative Campus.

Students from Ross and Ford created impact through virtual or onsite internships, where they developed skills in business and policy that expanded their horizons exponentially and created value for numerous impact organizations. Read these snapshots of student experiences from this summer and see photos from their experiences.

A group of diverse people smiling with a Ross flag

Ross Admissions: UpClose Diversity and Women’s Weekend
Thurs, Aug.19 @ 5 pm ET

Graphic of people walking at different speeds with rectangular blocks behind them

Inaugural DEI Awards

Wed, Sept. 29 @ 2:30 pm
Robertson Auditorium
Ross School of Business

B+I is proud to be a sponsor of these awards, instituted in 2021, which celebrate and honor research related to diversity, equity and inclusion conducted at the Ross School of Business, at every stage of the academic journey. Also established in 2021, the annual J. Frank Yates Diversity and Inclusion Teaching Excellence Award, honors a member of our teaching faculty who demonstrates a commitment to diversity and inclusion and makes a significant positive impact on the learning and personal growth of our students.

Each award winner, in addition to being recognized for their contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion, will present a short TEDx-style lightning talk.  


Blueprints for Pangaea members standing in front of a Hope Clinic board

Interested in Healthcare and Entrepreneurship? Join Blueprints For Pangaea!

Speed Dating
Thurs, Sept. 16 @ 6 – 8 pm
Ross School of Business

Originally a finalist in the Michigan Business Challenge – Social Impact Track, Blueprints for Pangaea is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that ships excess, unused medical supplies from U.S. hospitals to areas in need overseas. The application for the Fall 2021 cycle can be found HERE, or on their website,, under the “Apply Now” tab. The deadline to apply is Saturday, September 18th at 11:59PM EST.  Interviews will be conducted in person on September 24th and 26th on an invite-only basis.



Donna Harris (MBA ’99)Donna Harris (MBA ’99)

Donna Harris is an investor, technologist and serial entrepreneur whose work and investments have helped thousands of startups worldwide to grow and scale while solving some of our greatest challenges.   She is currently serving as Founder and CEO of Builders and Backers, but also is a General Partner in 1776 Ventures, a venture capital fund she co-founded, which is investing in more than 30 countries on five continents, and she is also a Venture Partner at Praxis. We caught up with her recently to discuss her thoughts on her work since she graduated from U-M’s Business School.



Picture of Ross Impact Gateway website

A Searchable Platform for All Things Impact at Ross and Across Campus

The Business+Impact Gateway provides you with a single location for all things impact. Here you’ll find all of the activities, people and key partners working to use their learning to make a real impact in the world. 


At the University:


EarthfestEarthfest logo

Thurs, Sept. 23 @ 10 am – 2 pm
The U-M Diag

Earthfest celebrates sustainability initiatives across U-M and the surrounding communities, while providing an inclusive platform to educate and engage the campus community on opportunities to support sustainability and environmental justice on campus and in our daily lives.  Earthfest is organized by representatives from the Office of Campus Sustainability, School for Environment and Sustainability, Student Life, and Graham Sustainability Institute.

More Info


5th Annual CEW+ Advocacy Symposium: Accessing and Navigating Systems5th Annual CEW+ Advocacy Symposium banner

Tues, Sept. 28 @ 8:30 am – 1 pm ET

Join CEW+ virtually for its annual fall advocacy symposium themed Accessing & Navigating Systems. This event is free and open to all activists, advocates, and allies. This year’s symposium will feature opening remarks on Advocating for Your Financial Future by Christina R. Cutlip, PhD, Senior Managing Director, Head of Client Engagement and National Advocacy at TIAA, and the Mullin Welch Lecture given by C. Nicole Mason, PhD, who currently serves as the president and chief executive officer of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR).

More Info


Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda: Moving Beyond Failure and Actively Cultivating a More Equitable AcademyShoulda, Coulda, Woulda in text bubbles

Tues, Oct. 5 @ 3 – 4:30 pm ET

Through session activities, participants will reflect on what failures of this kind indicate about the educational environments in which they occur and how such reflection might prime them to reshape the spaces in which they have responsibilities.  This workshop is designed for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. For faculty and staff, please contact to see if we can accommodate your attendance.

Register here


A Breath of Fresh AirA Breath of Fresh Air event banner

Thurs, Oct. 7 @ 4 pm, Sept. 5 @ 2 – 4:30 pm ET

Pure Michigan is a phrase used to attract visitors to the state. As the industrial hub of Michigan, Detroit isn’t seen to be as pure as the rest of the state. The environmental challenges in Detroit are not just industrial. They range from Climate Action to Green Infrastructure, with a lot in between. Join us as we explore the environmental challenges of Detroit with some of the leaders taking action in the city. 

RSVP Today!

In the Impact Community:

Volunteer with Detroit YouthVolunteer with Detroit Youth event flyer

Apply by Fri, Oct. 1

Give Merit’s
mentorship program, FATE, is looking for University of Michigan students to become mentors for high school students in Detroit who attend the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy. Mentors help facilitate workshop activities where students learn skills in business, marketing, and design-thinking while also supporting their mentees as they develop personally and academically.If you are interested in mentoring for the FATE Program this academic year, email Rachel Mazzaro at for more information!


Centering JusticeCentering Justice event banner

“It’s Okay to Not be Okay”
Wed, Sept. 15 @ Noon – 1:30 pm


Wed, Oct. 13 @ Noon – 1:30 pm

From the first wave of COVID-19 to the rekindling of the Black Lives Matter movement, our communities have been in constant flux. Each month, the New Center will think about a theme that we hope will resonate with what’s on your heart and mind. At the core of our sessions are the questions, “What does it look like to live in a just and thriving society? How must we shift to move toward this vision? “

More Info

Net Impact Climate Ambassador CertificationNet Impact logo

Submit Interest Form Now!

 Net Impact Climate Ambassadors will learn to use data and Climate Interactive’s tools to model scenarios that mitigate the worst impacts of climate change. Ambassadors have a 3 part experience: learning cutting edge climate data and tools, building relationships with climate-concerned Net Impact members from around the world, and amplifying impact by leading presentations to communities and climate decision makers worldwide. Submit your interest with the form below to be notified first when the application is live.

More Info

VF Sustainability Case CompetitionA hiker on a mountain overlooking clouds

Register for the competition Fri, Oct. 1
at 5 pm ET

Download the case
Virtual Case Competition: Sat. Oct. 23

This virtual case competition will expose participants to a specific sustainability-related challenge that VF and its brands face and give them the opportunity to develop a plan to address it. The competition judging will consider the strength of the plan and the creative ideas for solving the central issue of the case. $10,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to the top finalists.

See Info and Application

Detroit Month of DesignDetroit Month of Design flyer

The entire month of September
Detroit, MI

Today, Detroit designers are focusing on the future, creating solutions to complex problems, and accelerating our transition into a better world. 2020 changed how we live and this year’s festival will be a reflection of that change. This September, Detroit Month of Design is back for its 11th edition. The 2021 festival will offer events and experiences that can be enjoyed outside, indoors, or from the comfort of home.

See Schedule and Register

Nominations for Notable Women in Banking Crain’s Detroit Business’ Notable Women in Banking banner

Nominations due:
Fri, Se
pt. 24

Candidate Applications due:

Fri, Oct. 1

Nominations are now open for Crain’s Detroit Business’ Notable Women in Banking award program, celebrating Michigan women executives who have distinguished themselves by innovating, advancing and impacting banking in our state.  Winners will be profiled in a special section of the Dec.13 issue of Crain’s Detroit Business. Part of the criteria is asking if the nominee has made positive and substantial contributions to her industry and/or community.

More Info

Michigan Angel SummitMichigan Angel Summit banner

Mon, Oct. 4 @ 9 am – 4 pm
Sheraton Ann Arbor
Tickets: $150

The fourth annual Michigan Angel Summit has valuable information for people considering angel investing and those who have been investing in entrepreneurs and startups for years. We’re pleased to welcome our keynote guests, Scott Shane of Comeback Capital and Commissioner Hester M. Peirce of the U. S. Security and Exchanges Commissions.

More Info

D-Prize Global Competition for Poverty InterventionD-Prize logo

Application Due:
Sun, Oct. 17 @ Midnight

The world has already invented products and services to end poverty. Yet we have found dozens of proven interventions with large delivery gaps. Millions of people still don’t have access. Can you design a new business or NGO that delivers a proven poverty intervention at scale? Submit your idea to build a new organization and solve one of our Distribution Challenges below. We will award the most promising teams with up to $20,000 USD to launch wherever extreme poverty exists.

More Info

Some images in this newsletter are Pre-COVID.

How the University of Michigan brings human-centric design to business students

August 23, 2021 – You may be surprised to know that some of the confusion we experience while going about our everyday lives might actually be more a result of poor design, and not a fault of our own. For instance, have you ever walked up to a door and given the handle several hard tugs, only to realize that you need to push? While the mistake might make some people feel foolish, design experts argue that it really reflects on the door’s design, not the person using it.

For a long time, businesses looked at design purely through the lens of aesthetics with the goal of creating visually appealing products or brand images that capture consumers’ attention. Things started changing at the end of the 20th century when cognitive scientists began promoting new views of design.

Continue reading the full Adobe Blog post