By Dani Moritz-Long
No matter our profession or ambitions, each of us can (and should) make a positive impact on our society — and this includes our students. So, as New Student Experience Faculty Jerrid Kalakay explains, Valencia educators should help mold students into active, forward-thinking and contributing members of their communities.
“We need to create a more profitable and sustainable future for society,” Jerrid explained. “The issues and challenges that face our students today and tomorrow are growing increasingly more difficult and complex. We have a duty to prepare our students to tackle these challenges with leadership and innovation.”
To accomplish this, Jerrid is spearheading two projects at the College — one devoted to offering social entrepreneurship education opportunities to students and the other to help faculty incorporate systems thinking and sustainability into their pedagogy.
The first project, centered on social entrepreneurship, helps students understand how business can bring social value and wealth creation. “Think of doing well (making money) by doing good (improving society),” he explained.
Through this project, Jerrid and his colleagues have already made significant strides. To infuse social entrepreneurship into the Valencia curriculum and culture, a class and a student organization focused on social entrepreneurship, called Social Entrepreneurship Student Organization, have been developed. Furthermore, Jerrid along with Business, Information Technology and Public Service Dean Carin Gordon and Business Professor Storm Russo will present Valencia’s efforts at the The 2017 Ashoka U Exchange in March 2017.
The second project, focused on faculty development, will provide opportunities for faculty to tour organizations in Central Florida that are dedicated to solving social and environmental issues. These trips will precede a Destination track focused on systems thinking and sustainability.
“As a community college, Valencia College has always had a tremendous commitment to the Central Florida community, and these projects are building on that commitment by providing our students with the skills and knowledge they will need to improve society,” Jerrid said. “These projects are what our community needs to provide the educational opportunities for our students to continue to have better tomorrows.”