August 2022 Newsletter

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 – 2pm 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 board in 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.

You must attend an info session below in order to participate in the program for 2022-22:
BF Info Session #1
Thurs. Sept 1 @ Noon
Blau Colloquum, Blau Hall

BF Info Session #2
Wed. Sept 7 @ 4 pm
Room3240, 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:

Zell Lurie Institute: Information Session
Tues, Aug. 30 @ 4:30 pm

Ross R0210

Ross Admissions: Sustainability at Ross
Wed, Sept. 7 @ 8:30 am ET

Ross Admissions: MBA Tour – DEI
Wed, Sept. 7 @ 5 pm ET

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 $7500 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.


MBA Impact at Ross Happy Hour/Kickoff

Wed, Aug. 31 @ 5:30-7 pm
Casa Dominick’s
812 Monroe St., Ann Arbor

Business+Impact and Net Impact are excited to welcome all MBAs to a kickoff Happy Hour at Dominicks, celebrating the beginning of the academic year and renewing friendships while refreshing ourselves. New and returning MBAs interested in impact are invited to gather at this special event featuring sangria and pizza, co-sponsored by Business+Impact and Ross Net Impact.

Attendees will be limited.



+Impact Studio Summer Summary

The +Impact Studio is a proud partner of Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project (DNEP) +Impact Studio for Local Business. This summer, undergraduate students developed pivotal solutions for Detroit businesses, and the program has been meeting in the +Impact Studio. Our final story from the program, “DNEP Thinks Ross’ +Impact Studio Space Is Amazing.” is written by Christie Baer, Assistant Director of UM’s Center on Finance, Law & Policy.

Our podcast series, Social Impact Design for Business, recently released an episode on crowd funding. We want to focus your attention on our recent interview with Donna Harris of Builders+Backers, on “New Venture Capital: Crowdfunding, Crowd Loans, and Crowd Grants.”

Impact News & Notes

Ryanair critics call European airline racist for ‘colonial’ flier test – featuring Andries Coetzee

University awarded $53M to expand Great Lakes research

Elizabeth Cole named NCID’s new director effective July 1

Donating ‘portion of the proceeds’ to a charity? Take a step back, expert says – featuring Aradhna Krishna, and Uday Rajan

Race and racism at U-M is Inclusive History Project’s initial focus

Q&A-Sherelle Hogan: Helping Detroit children with incarcerated parents thrive

U-M Faculty members receive Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Awards

Detroit’s need to address pollution, heat waves and flooding

Detroit promised to end water shut-offs for low-income residents. Advocates say we’re not there yet.

U-M awarded $53M to expand federally funded Great Lakes research institute over next 5 years

Student groups spur progress toward U‑M sustainability

New approach reduces EV battery testing time by 75%

University-developed software that doubles 3D printing speeds hits the market

Is Prince George’s still the richest majority-Black county in America? – featuring Karyn Lacy

Scholarship support enabled LSA senior Julia Gray to study climate change in Iceland

U-M remains committed to DEI through transition period

Six University Diversity and Social Transformation Professors appointed

Arthur Lupia to lead Bold Challenges initiative as executive director

‘Clear and present danger’: Climate’s new normal – featuring Barry Rabe

U-M researchers partner with UP community to improve firearm safety, reduce injuries

Most evictions filed in Detroit during pandemic ‘not in compliance’ U-M group finds

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:



Impact Investing Group Donations

Donate Now!

The Impact Investing Group at Michigan Ross serves business that face inequitable financing. IIG’s Microfinance Fund provides microloans to entrepreneurs in Detroit and Ann Arbor. Now you can donate to this fund and impact SE Michigan.

More Info


Get Volunteer Support for Your Team

Apply Now

Have an information-based project you’re having trouble prioritizing? Your organization can get the help you need from the University of Michigan School of Information (UMSI). Organizations and units on the U-M campus are invited to host a student team who will provide high impact deliverables on your project. Interested? 

Apply here


Pride Outside 2022

Sun, Sept. 4 @ 2 – 4:30 pm
Palmer Field

Pride Outside is a yearly event that occurs during Welcome Week on Palmer Field with games, drag performances, student performances, food, and information about campus resources. It is an opportunity for incoming first-year students and transfer students to get to know the campus LGBTQ+ community and resources.

More Info


PHAST Info Session

Wed, Sept 7 @ 5:30 pm
1655 SPH 1 Building

Established in 2005, the Public Health Action Support Team (PHAST) deploys graduate students to health organizations and non-profit organizations throughout Michigan, nationally, and globally in order to assist with various public health projects. Interested in learning more about PHAST or have questions about the application process? Then this is for you!

Register Now


SEAS/PitE Fall Welcome

Fri, Sept. 9 @ Noon
Ingalls Mall North

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.

More Info


Diversity 101

Tues, Sept. 13 @ 10 am – Noon
Room 2001, LSA Building

In order to have meaningful, productive conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion, we must start with a common language. This session will provide an introduction to key terminology as well as the categories and labels we use to describe others and ourselves. We will also examine how our identities shape the way we enter the world and our interactions with each other.

Register Now


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

In the Impact Community:


2022 Workplace Mental Health Conference

Wed, Aug. 17 @ 1 – 5:30 pm ET

This 3rd annual University of Michigan event will bring together key stakeholders to discuss strategies to improve employee mental health. Topics will include retention of young employees, case studies, special presentations on code-switching and novel programs to support mental health, and an interactive session on resilience at work.

More Info

Crain’s New World of Work Certificate Program

Register by Thurs, Aug. 18
8 week program begins Thurs, Sept. 29

The flexible work arrangements and advanced technologies introduced over the past two years have changed the workplace as we know it.  At the same time, conversations about diversity and inclusion in the workplace have put an emphasis on leading from a position of empathy — and from a posture of equity.  Mid-level managers and leaders across all industries will benefit from this program, facilitated by Wayne State University.

Registration info

Paragon One Nonprofit Consulting Remote Externship

Apply by Mon, Aug. 29

In this externship program, students will learn strategic consulting skills to analyze and evaluate challenges from nonprofit organizations using consulting frameworks, in an overall effort to help them solve their important problems. Selected individuals will dive into their strategic problems, such as development, impact assessment, process improvements, talent engagement, communication, and strategic positioning.

Application info

Afua Bruce – The Tech That Comes Next

In this March 30, 2022 book chat between author Afua Bruce (Ross MBA ’11) and Michigan Ross Business+Impact Faculty Director Jerry Davis, she shares her vision of a more equitable and just world along with practical steps to creating it, appropriately leveraging technology along the way. This event was co-sponsored by Net Impact @ Ross (grad) and Michigan Ross Tech & Innovation Alumni Association.

Michigan Ross and U-M Students Navigate a High-Stakes HR Prejudice and Unconscious Bias Simulation During this Year’s Leadership Crisis Challenge

Six months prior to product launch, a whistleblower reveals your HR software as a service company is using artificial intelligence to make systematically biased decisions, not the unconscious bias-free decisions you promised to clients.

You and your executive team now have to quickly develop a solution to the PR nightmare. That is because in a matter of hours you’ll soon have to present that solution to a board of directors, all the while dealing with backlash from concerned stakeholders and the public. 

That was the nightmare scenario presented to more than 170 graduate students from the Ross School of Business and 14 other colleges at the University of Michigan as part of the 2022 Leadership Crisis Challenge. 

Read the full article on the Michigan Ross website

This Alum Is Leading the Powerful Michigan Ross Black Business Alumni Association, Creating Impactful Connections and Giving Back to Students

As president of the Black Business Alumni Association at the Ross School of Business, Kendra Jackson, MBA ’12, is able to witness the strength of the Michigan Ross Black alumni network firsthand.

From reaching out to fellow Black alumni to help navigate career advancement to mobilizing BBAA members to make a difference in the lives of current and future Black students at Ross, Jackson sees the community as a constant resource that she can rely on – both on a personal level and to achieve the association’s goals. 

Moreover, Jackson has been extremely successful in leading BBAA since becoming president two years ago, fostering an engaged membership base and serving as an important connection between Michigan Ross and its Black alumni. She also continues to be an impactful voice for the Black community at school and beyond.


February 2022 Newsletter

Kyla Carlsen, Co.act Detroit; Kelly Maxwell, DDNRC; Courtney Smith, Detroit Phoenix Center; and Kevin Thompson, Good Inc.

B+I Public Panel Event Feb. 18 – Stronger Together: How Nonprofits Can Collaborate

Board Fellows Forum
Fri, Feb. 18 @ 10 -11:30 am ET
Virtual Event – Open to the Public

Each year, the Ross School’s Business+Impact Initiative places a cohort of Nonprofit Board Fellows to serve as non-voting members on boards across Southeast Michigan. The Ross community prides itself on using business to create a more equitable and just society, and for over 20 years this program has served as an action-based opportunity for graduate students to become involved in, and contribute to, local communities and causes. The program hosts an annual panel discussion with representatives from local nonprofit organizations. This event is open to the public and we invite you to join us!  This year, the theme of the forum is “Stronger Together: How Nonprofits Can Collaborate.” We believe that collaboration between nonprofits will only become more instrumental in combating injustices across America. Join us for a panel discussion featuring four local nonprofit experts: Kyla Carlsen, Co.act Detroit; Kelly Maxwell, DDNRC; Courtney Smith, Detroit Phoenix Center; and Kevin Thompson, Good Inc.


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

Impact Internship Funding – Round One Application

Application Due:
Tues, Mar. 1 @ Noon ET

Each summer, Business+Impact awards competitive grants for summer internships to MBAs and BBA juniors in the Ross School of Business as well as MPP students in the Ford School of Public Policy.
There are two deadlines to apply: Tues, Mar. 1 by Noon ET and Friday, April 15 by Noon ET. Award decisions will be made in two rounds after each of these dates and they are based on the level of need (taking into account other funding being received), consideration of the position, the organization’s impact, and the quality of the application.



Ariel Cruz (MBA ‘22), Pablo Hernandez (MBA ‘21), Joi James (MBA ‘23), Loren Townes Jr.

The +Impact Studio Welcomes New Ventures and Mentors

The Michigan Ross +Impact Studio 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.


Young woman writing in a journal

Designing for Wellbeing: Student Innovators Use U-M Research to Enhance Mental Health on College Campuses

In Winter 2021, students in the +Impact Studio course BA670 interviewed local small business owners, finding a strong theme of mental health and well-being challenges in their community. Students engaged U-M faculty members Dr. Ethan Kross and Dr. Sue Ashford about their research, and what emerged was a prototype for a research-based journal that puts Kross and Ashford’s research into practice to enhance well-being. Applebaum Impact Design Fellows have developed the prototype over the last year and are partnering with OptiMize this semester to test it with student innovators.


Ross Event Highlights:

Professor Andy Hoffman smiling

CPO: Andy Hoffman: Management as a Calling
Thur, Feb. 17, 4-5 pm ET

Asia Business Conference logo, showing words and a geometric symbol.

Ross: Asia Business Conference
Feb. 11-12, 18-19

Picture of Ross Impact Gateway websiteA 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. 


Cover of Innovation in Impact Report with diverse group of 4 students showing a Michigan Ross flag

Read the B+I Innovation in Impact Report

Recently released by Business+Impact, the Innovation in Impact Report notes all the ways the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan has recently innovated for positive societal impact and sustainability through research, education, and outreach.


Hattie McKinney, BA ’16, JD ’22, founder of Great Quality Developments

Great Quality Developments Wins the 2021 Michigan Business Challenge — Seigle Impact Track

We’re excited to share that the winner of the 2022 Michigan Business Challenge – Seigle Impact Track is Great Quality Developments ( Hattie McKinney, BA ’16, JD ’22). The venture won the finals on Fri, Feb. 11. Great Quality Developments is a community focused, mixed-use development company that specializes in integrative developments that increase affordable housing, homeownership, and community resources in Detroit, MI. Clear Computing won second prize in the Seigle Impact Track. This competition, co-sponsored by the Zell Lurie Institute and Business+Impact, began in November with 40 teams. The Round 1 video pitch took place in mid-November, while the Round 2 video pitch took place a month later, and the eight semi-finalists pitched on Fri, Jan. 21.


Diverse group of eight Ross faculty and students who received diversity awards last year, standing in front of Ross.

Ross DEI Research Awards Program

Applications Due
Mon, Feb. 28

Carolyn Yoon, Associate Director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, is please to announce that the Business +Impact initiative at Ross, in collaboration with the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee and the Dean’s office, will hold the second annual research awards to celebrate and honor research related to diversity, equity and inclusion conducted at the Ross School of Business. Applications are now open until February 28. Please send your submissions to



Ariel Olaiz (Ross '07), co-founder of ePesos, wearing an ePesos shirt

ePesos: Fostering Economic Inclusion in Mexico

Last year Business+Impact introduced a new series on U-M alumni who have created social enterprises and continue the work of entrepreneurship after graduation. Previous Social Enterprise Spotlights included Thawra and FoodFinder; now we focus our spotlight on ePesos, a tech platform expanding economic inclusion to the population least affiliated with the banking system in Mexico.

Ariel Olaiz, BBA ’07, has come full circle — from studying business at the base of the pyramid at the Ross School of Business to fostering economic inclusion in Mexico. Olaiz says his U-M education comes into play every day in his role as co-founder and chief financial officer at ePesos. We caught up with Ariel to learn more about his experience running a company in the FinTech space.


At the University:


Black History Month

Black History Month poster for U-M, featuring smiling black people in cartoon formatMulti-Ethnic Student Affairs affirms and celebrates  the lives, success, struggles and beauty of the Black and Afro-descended peoples from around the globe.  The theme for this year’s Black History Month is: Black Joy.  Below are some highlights:


Seeking Sustainable Food Leaders

Apply by
Wed, Feb. 16

UMSFP logo, with hands planting a seedling.

UM Sustainable Food System (UMSFP) is a student-led organization that coordinates, connects, and supports U-M students that are developing innovative solutions to food system problems. SFP is seeking a group of 14 students that collectively manage all of UMSFP’s programs and operations. LT members work 5-12 hours per week managing one program, supporting the organization’s collective goals, and participating in weekly meetings. The ideal candidate is a creative, food-loving self-starter who is committed to social justice and collaboration. Pay starts at $15/hour.

Learn More and Apply


A Conversation on Academic Freedom and Responsibility in a More Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Campus Community

Tues, Feb. 22 @ 4 – 5:30 pm ET
Virtual Event

Poster showing diverse group of speakers in Academic Freedom presentation.Faculty have the benefit of academic freedom that encourages a search for deeper knowledge and understanding, and the academic responsibility to ensure that complex content is presented through inclusive pedagogy that promotes positive learning environments. This community conversation will further explore the principles and practices of academic responsibility and academic freedom, and how these are effectively exercised in a  diverse, inclusive and equitable campus community.

More Info & Registration


20th Peter M. Wege Lecture: Expanding the Base for Climate Action and Social Justice

Wed, Feb 23 @ Noon
Online Event

Poster for Wege Lecture, showing Dr. Ayana Elizabeth JohnsonJoin an engaging conversation about climate action and social justice with Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson. A marine biologist, policy expert, writer, and Brooklyn native, Johnson is the co-founder of Urban Ocean Lab, a think tank for costal cities, as well as co-creator of the Spotify/Gimlet podcast, ‘How to Save a Planet,’ which focuses on climate solutions. The event will be moderated by SEAS assistant professor Sara Hughes and will include a live Q&A with students.

Info & Registration


Cultural Humility Workshop

Thurs, Feb. 24 @ 10:30 – 11:30 am ET
Virtual Event

Picture showing fingers changing letter cubes from "Humanity" to "Humility"In this one-hour workshop, facilitated by OHEI’s Michael Herrington, cultural humility is defined, and behaviors and practices that foster better relationships are explored. Through self-reflection and dialogue, participants will examine how our respective cultures and identities influence our interactions with others and how to better navigate cultural interactions and relationships. Open to all in the U-M community.

More Info


40th Annual Women of Color Task Force Career Conference

Fri, Mar. 4

Diverse group of women watching a presenter, with Women of Color Task Force Career Conference logo in front of them.Save the date for the 40th anniversary Women of Color Task Force (WCTF) career conference on Friday, March 4, 2022!! This historic event will be a virtual 1-day conference featuring a keynote fireside chat with Tamika D. Mallory, one of the organizers of the 2017 Women’s March on Washington and co-president of The Women’s March, Inc. Ms. Mallory will be discussing the conference theme: “The Time is Now!” 

See Sessions & Register

Also, the Center for the Education of Women (CEW+) has opened applications for four fellowships covering bold advocacy, study abroad, women’s research, and women’s health. Applications are due at 11:59 pm, Mon, Feb. 21.

Find out more and apply


Engelhardt Social Justice Fellowship

Apply by
Fri, Mar 11

Cartoon drawing of a city, showing streets and buildings.The Engelhardt Social Justice Fellowship (ESJF) offers an opportunity for students and non-profit organizations to propose a mutually beneficial summer project. Students whose projects are selected will be paid $5,000 for ~300 hours of work with the sponsoring organization. Interns and organizations create their own work schedule, but the required hours must be completed by August 31, 2022. Fellowship recipients must be available from Monday, May 9th, 2022 through Friday, July 8th, 2022.

Apply here


Desai Summer Interns Sought

Apply by
Sun, Mar. 13

Diverse group of 10 students with "Paid Startup Internships" as a border above the photo.Desai is hiring software development, design, business development and generalist interns who will help portfolio companies with business development, financial modeling, product QA/testing, customer development/support, user acquisition, user experience, design, marketing and market research. Students who thrive in a fast-paced environment and are currently enrolled in the University of Michigan are welcome to apply. Interns will work virtually, full-time and should have a strong interest in 1) technology and startups, 2) great execution, organizational and communication skills 3) desire to learn more about startups and entrepreneurship and 4) the ability to work individually and as part of a team.

More Info


Learning Levers

Proposals Due
Mar. 13, 2022

James A. Kelly Learning Levers logo in maize and blue.Bring your passion and make an impact on pre-K–12 Education. The James A. Kelly Learning Levers Prize is a student pitch competition that supports scalable, research-based ideas that promote learning in pre-K–12 education. All U-M undergraduate and graduate students from the Ann Arbor, Dearborn, or Flint campuses can enter as individuals or teams.

Learn More


Dinners for Democracy

Dinners Mar. 9, 10, 15, 23, 24

Poster for Dinner for Democracy on Gender and Climate, with a globe at the top.Dinners for Democracy are nonpartisan presentations and small group discussions on topics students care about. Participants can expect to gain:
– A deeper knowledge of the issue and an opportunity to discuss your thoughts
– Information about how your vote in local offices can affect the issue
– Additional resources you can use to learn more
– Free food! Virtual attendees receive a $15 gift card as a thank you for participating. You’ll have an opportunity to select from a list of restaurants/stores at the end of the event. You are welcome to participate in as many dinners as you like, though gift cards are limited to one per student per topic.

More Info


In the Impact Community:


Detroit Financial Well-Being Innovation Challenge

Apply Now

Logo for United Way's Detroit Financial Well-being Innovation Challenge, in blueThe Detroit Financial Well-being Innovation Challenge is committed to gathering and acting on feedback from community residents who have first-hand experience with the financial difficulties the Challenge is trying to address. Here are a few ways you can participate in the Detroit Financial Well-being Innovation Challenge as an individual.

Learn more

Apply for the SafeHouse Center

Winter 2022 Training
February 17-20

Applications open
Mon, Feb. 21

Blue save-the-date image for SafeHouse Training dates.SafeHouse Center provides support for those impacted by domestic violence or sexual assault. SafeHouse provides free and confidential services for any person victimized that lives or works in Washtenaw County. At this time our next training will be May 19-22 for the Shelter & Helpline Program. Applications will open on February 21 for May’s training. 

Application link

Detroit’s Green Task Force

Attend and Get involved

Detroit's Green Task Force logo.The Green Task Force advises Detroit City Council on sustainable principles and practices to better serve the City of Detroit. Focused on moving the needle in all areas of sustainability, the Task Force has focus groups to build comprehensive progress.

Attend and Get Involved

Public Allies

Apply Now

Logo for Public Allies of Metro Detroit, showing a cartoon hand print in African style.Public Allies Metro Detroit is a program of the U of M-Dearborn, and a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. The program is made possible through funding of the Corporation for National and the Community Service and Michigan Community Service Commission. Apply now for fall opportunities.

Application info

Some images in this newsletter are Pre-COVID.

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.

Applebaum Impact Design Fellows and Founders Showcase Their Work This Summer During +Impact Studio Summer Demo Day

August 18, 2021 – ANN ARBOR – Michigan Ross +Impact Studio‘s Applebaum Impact Design Fellows and Founders in the newly launched Founders Program shared their venture concepts and summer learnings with key entrepreneurial stakeholders during a demo day co-hosted by +Impact Studio Innovator-in-Residence, Moses Lee and Business+Impact Managing Director, Cat Johnson.

Through the generosity of Applebaum Family Philanthropy, students this summer were able to collaborate in the Founders Program to develop and prototype ideas for impact. Students from the Ross School of Business, School of Social Work, STAMPS School of Art and Design, LSA, U-M School of Information, and Michigan Engineering worked on multidisciplinary teams to move these student impact ventures forward. 

Each impact venture team worked with an Applebaum Impact Design Fellow to identify key stakeholders, conduct interviews, and ultimately move the enterprise forward on its path toward impact. They did this work primarily remotely but had periodic in-person meetings following Covid-19 protocols.

Andrew Echt, Director of Applebaum Family Philanthropy (AFP), congratulated all of the students and shared “Applebaum Family Philanthropy is proud to partner with Business+Impact. By supporting Applebaum Impact Design Fellows and Founders in this program, we are supporting ideas and innovation that can be leveraged from inspiration to creation to ultimately help change the world. This connectivity and focus is core to our DNA at AFP!”

Recap of the Applebaum Founders Presentations

Each Applebaum Founder spent 5 minutes discussing the mission and vision of their enterprise, where they started the summer, goals they set with their partner Applebaum Fellows at the beginning of the summer, work that was performed during the summer, and what they believe their next steps will be as a result of this work. After each presentation, there time for Q&A. Below are summaries of each team presentation:

EQuity – Founder: Justin Woods (MBA/MSW); Fellow: Claire Babilonia, MBA
EQuity is a learning and development platform that focuses on advancing racial justice by developing emotional intelligence. The prototype Justin has developed is a digitally immersive course (15 hours of learning over 8 days) that uses mixed methods like live training, virtual modules, office hours, and a learning community to give people practical skills for building emotional intelligence and advancing racial justice. This summer the team launched a scholarship essay contest with a $5000 prize to support students and raise awareness around these issues. Next steps include developing a new B2B business model to launch and test the course prototype.

Venture Field Guide – Founder & Fellow: Jess Halter, MBA/MS

Jess chose to lead development of this venture because while in the +Impact Studio course BA670, she had the chance to engage with small business owners in Detroit and SE Michigan. They shared their experience facing tremendous stressors as entrepreneurs and leaders. Journalling can help entrepreneurs reflect, be intentional, get important work done, and be less stressed about the rest. This summer Jess worked with the studio to conduct entrepreneur interviews, develop a 36 page print prototype and run 21 user tests. In addition to fine tuning this prototype, Jess will be prototyping a new Sustainability Field Guide using her insights from the summer to help people seeking to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Plucky Comics – Founders: Nathan Alston, MBA, Daniella Gennaro, MBA/MA Education; Fellows: Onyekachi  Ezirike, MBA, Lucy Jiang, MSI

Stories and facts about Black queer historical figures are often not taught, and there are currently very few resources for teaching it. Plucky Comics seeks to develop imaginative, affirming, and informative historical materials for learners of all ages using comics and graphics, teacher editions, and innovative learning approaches. This summer, Plucky released four comic book covers on James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry, Sylvester, and Marsha P. Johnson and reached 15,000 Instagram accounts. Next steps include a merchandise-focused revenue model to further advance the brand and develop a full print and digital prototype comic book.

Fit with Ayo – Founder: Ayodele Ojo, BBA; Fellow: Claire Babilonia, MBA

Fit with Ayo is focused on inclusive, accessible fitness and overcoming barriers to health for all women, so they can grow into their strongest selves. During the summer, Ayo and Claire looked at their audience and conducted interviews to discover what was most important to them. They discovered that a planner, motivational texts and bi-week community workout classes could help customers, along with a subscription box to help them with accountability and motivation. The next step includes testing a series of boxes with their clearly identified demographic.

Team TBD – Founders: Cindy Gu, LSA, Edward Huang, MBA, Raeed Rasul, BSE, Ronit Tiwary, BE; Fellow: Elizabeth Sofranek, MBA

After a pivot guided by interview insights gleaned this summer, the founders on this team noticed that a lot of athletes are opening up about their mental health experiences, and that these mental health challenges begin in youth. Now that college athletes are allowed by law to earn money from their name, images, and likeness, there is an opportunity for them to partner in a new business where they mentor youth on mental health issues unique to athletes. This team plans to develop a prototype of their app and try it out with college and youth athletes.

Studio X – Founder: Seth St. Pierre, BA; Fellows: Onyekachi Ezirike, MBA, Lucy Jiang, MSI

Studio X founder Seth St. Pierre graduated this month from the STAMPS School of Art and Design. He formerly worked with Marvel and now works at Dreamworks. He asked the question, “What if the entertainment industry used a portion of the billions of dollars a year they make in revenue to teach communities around the world to create and take risks?” This summer, the +Impact Studio was helpful in providing clarity on the direction of Studio X, and the team did countless interviews. Now Studio X will work to develop a few shorts demonstrating its work, and will finish its website.



EQuity a Finalist in the 2021 Michigan Business Challenge – Seigle Impact Track

One of the finalists for The Seigle Impact Track finals that will take place on February 26, 2021 is EQuity. EQuity is a learning and development venture that provides digital training and coaching to help clients advance racial justice by developing emotional intelligence.

Contact Information:
Justin Woods (MBA/MSW ’21)
Facebook: @equitysv
IG: @equitysocialventure

What was the origin of your venture?
After five years of working in the social justice space, most recently working to address racial HIV health disparities, it became clear that addressing systemic racism was a prerequisite to undoing race-based disparities in all life outcomes. As I began to engage more dialogue on the topic of anti-Blackness, white supremacy, and racial inequality, it became clear how emotionally charged and discomforting the conversation was for everyone involved. My increased engagement in racial justice work coincided with my own personal journey on better mental and emotional health. The more I explored emotional intelligence on my personal journey, the more clear it became that skills like emotional self-awareness and self-regulation are also critical competencies for doing the emotionally charged work of advancing racial justice.

What do you think will be the long-term impact of launching your venture?
I think the long-term impact of EQuity is creating more courageous individuals, organizations and communities wherein we have the skill sets necessary to advance racial justice in a way that is emotionally healthy.

How did you form your team?
EQuity is still growing our team. We look forward to bringing on individuals energized about business development, content development, and marketing!

How has participation in MBC helped move your venture forward?
MBC has forced us to really clarify our value proposition, solidify our revenue model, and better define the marketplace for our services. Most importantly, we’ve been forced to think about how to communicate those insights in a clear, concise, and compelling manner. Seeing our vision for a more equitable world spelled out in a business plan and pitch deck has been a validating journey that we look forward to carrying forward!

What has been your biggest takeaway from the MBC experience (so far)?
As a founder that is a dual-degree MBA/MSW student, I’ve always been motivated by the social work values of social justice and human connection. MBC forced me to translate my social work values into a business framework that will allow our venture to be financially sustainable. The ability to bridge my academic disciplines in an action-based manner that advances my professional ambitions has been the highlight of my graduate education.

What are your plans following MBC? How would prize money help your venture?
EQuity looks forward to investing our MBC earnings into expanding our team and continuing to develop content as we digitize and scale our racial justice, social-emotional learning curriculum.

What advice do you have for other student entrepreneurs?
When you’re starting a business, there is a lot of building the train as its going down the track. So first, just start. Your idea will never be perfect, but as you put it out into the world, you will continually get feedback on how to iterate and refine, and it’s that process that gets you to a viable idea. Second, build a community that will sustain you as you go on that emotionally taxing, uncertain journey. The world needs your actualized ideas in it!