University of Evansville Receives Renewal of Changemaker Campus Designation; Celebrates 5 Year Anniversary
Posted: Wednesday, November 8, 2023
The University of Evansville (UE) is proud to announce that it has been granted the renewal of its Changemaker Campus designation by Ashoka U, solidifying its position as one of the nation's leading institutions dedicated to fostering social innovation and community engagement. The renewal also marks UE's fifth consecutive year of being a Changemaker Campus.
Ashoka - rated one of the top five most impactful social good organizations by NGO Advisor - confers the Changemaker Campus designation to institutions worldwide that exhibit an exceptional commitment to promoting positive social change within their communities and beyond. The leading designation for social innovation in higher education, this achievement highlights the University of Evansville's unwavering dedication to empowering students, faculty, and staff to become active participants in addressing the world's most pressing challenges. UE remains Indiana's only Changemaker Campus, and one of only a handful in the Midwest.
"It is a true honor to be part of an institution that places a priority on positive change the way UE does," said Erin Lewis, Executive Director of UE's Center for Innovation & Change. "This recognition by Ashoka U is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our entire community in fostering a culture of innovation, social impact, and positive change across all disciplines. Our students, staff, and faculty drive meaningful transformations that address some of the most significant challenges of our time, and we're thrilled to continue being in the Ashoka network of colleges prioritizing that work."
Students need interdisciplinary, entrepreneurial, and solutions-oriented skillsets to succeed in today's complex world that is changing at an accelerating pace. "Changemakers at UE have made an impact addressing issues such as food and housing insecurity, environmental sustainability, and promoting equitable access to the arts - many of these projects that have been pursued by students in our flagship program, Change Lab," said Lewis. "Whether they are tackling large projects like the Toyota Trinity Stormwater Park being built in downtown Evansville right now, providing pro-bono physical therapy to uninsured patients, or helping minority-owned businesses gain access to capital, UE's changemakers work hard to make the world better than they found it."
One notable illustration of UE's commitment to fostering positive change in the community is the receipt of $30 million federal grant to establish the Evansville Promise Neighborhood. With this designation, UE becomes the first institution in the world to host a Promise Neighborhood grant as an Ashoka Changemaker Campus.
Ashoka U noted that UE exhibits changemaking through its deep community engagement locally as well as its role in fostering social innovation in global issues and with global partners. One reviewer stated: "This university leads the way in communicating changemaking, and their community embeddedness is exemplary."
"Ashoka U is thrilled to have the University of Evansville continue serving as a global leader in changemaking. UE has demonstrated an exceptional dedication to equipping its students with the tools and mindset needed to address complex global challenges and drive meaningful impact," said Heather MacCleoud, PhD, Chief Network Officer for Ashoka U. "Particularly through innovative programs like ChangeLab, I am confident that UE's students will continue to shape a brighter future for our increasingly complex world."
By earning this renewal, the University of Evansville remains in an elite group of fewer than 50 academic institutions around the world that are at the forefront of social innovation and creating a meaningful impact on a global scale. Other Changemaker Campuses include such distinguished institutions as Brown, Cornell, Tulane, Arizona State University, and Duke, to name a few. This recognition is a testament to the University's integration of social innovation and changemaking principles throughout its core values and academic programs, and to the community's willingness to engage with students and faculty to address challenges in our region.
"We are immensely proud to have our commitment to social innovation and community engagement recognized once again with the renewal of our Changemaker Campus designation," said University President Christopher M. Pietruszkiewicz. "Our students, faculty, and staff continue to make a positive difference in the world, and through the Evansville Promise Neighborhood, we will continue to provide a transformative educational experience that empowers our entire community to be agents of change."
In recognition of this achievement, UE is designating 2024 as a year to highlight changemaking on campus and in our community. More details will be available in the new year.