Minneapolis—June 6, 2017—Reflecting on nearly 50 years of educating scholar-practitioners to have a greater impact on society, Walden University renews its commitment to its mission by launching the Walden University Center for Social Change and announcing its inaugural class of Social Change Fellows.

“Throughout its history, Walden University has been committed to effecting positive social change through the education of a diverse community who share our passion to improve the world,” said Jonathan A. Kaplan, president of Walden University. “We believe it’s the responsibility of every member of our Walden community to have the opportunity to make a difference, and we are publicly renewing our commitment to inspire and empower a positive social change movement that can carry us through 2020—and well beyond.”

The Walden University Center for Social Change will be a connective hub to foster networks to support research, practice, partnerships and collaborations related to social change initiatives. The center will also partner with its community and other stakeholders to promote and support ongoing, sustainable community-based research and other initiatives, such as Global Days of Service, Scholars of Change video contests, service learning initiatives and other related programs. The center will also help facilitate relationships and partnerships to support social change initiatives as well as connect Walden students, alumni, faculty, staff and other university stakeholders with one another.

The Center for Social Change will also facilitate and support efforts to build ongoing, interdisciplinary streams of related research and practice. As such, Walden is pleased to announce its inaugural class of Social Change Fellows who are recipients of its Research and Applications for Social Change grant, which was established to enable members of the Walden community and others to make a significant and meaningful change in academic and social communities, both locally and globally.

As fellows, they will receive funding to carry out projects with a demonstrable social change impact, present their research outcomes to the university community and serve in an advisory capacity to the president on advancing the university mission. Three faculty members and two students were selected, all of whom have strong partnerships with the organizations and communities affected by their research and are poised to translate their research into positive social change.

  • Dr. Aimee Ferraro, Faculty, School of Health Sciences
    Socio-Ecological Factors Impacting Zika Virus Transmission in Lima, Peru
    Her study proposes a qualitative study examining the socio-ecological factors that influence individual-level prevention practices of residents in four shantytown communities in Lima, Peru.
  • Dr. Richard Jiminez, Faculty, School of Health Sciences
    Dr. Faith Foreman, Contributing Faculty, School of Health Sciences
    Phronie Jackson, PhD Candidate, School of Health Sciences
    Wounded Healers: HIV+ Community Health Workers as Agents of Social Change
    Their study examines the experiences of HIV-positive community health workers who serve HIV-positive clients in the Washington, DC, area.
  • Chinonso Nnorom, PhD Candidate, School of Health Sciences
    Health System Determinants of Access to Maternal Health Medicines: An Analysis of WHO Low-and Middle-Income Country Profiles
    The study investigates the association between health system building blocks and pregnant women’s access to oxytocin, misoprostol and magnesium sulfate in low- and middle-income countries.

Additionally, as part of its renewed commitment, the university published the Walden 2020: A Vision for Social Change 2017 report—the outcome of a 2-year working plan—with the goal to foster social change through research, practice and the education of motivated scholar-practitioners. The working plan began in 2015 and aimed to address how the university makes a positive impact on society and creates benefits for the public.

Walden 2020 outlines four goals for the university:

  • Leverage research capacities, expertise, networks and curricula to serve external organizations and communities in the application of social change.
  • Strengthen the impact of its curricula to educate agents of social change across all offered programs.
  • Raise the social change consciousness, skills and knowledge of Walden’s internal communities.
  • Continually strive to improve how it supports ongoing social change initiatives that engage current students, faculty, alumni and its partner communities.

Learn more about the social change initiatives guiding Walden University at www.WaldenU.edu/socialchange and read the Walden 2020: A Vision for Social Change 2017 report.

About Walden University:
For more than 45 years, Walden University has supported working professionals in achieving their academic goals and making a greater impact in their professions and their communities. Students from all 50 states in the U.S. and more than 155 countries are pursuing their bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees online at Walden. The university offers more than 85 degree programs with more than 435 specializations and concentrations. Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. Walden is one of more than 70 institutions in 25 countries that comprise the Laureate International Universities network. For more information about Walden, visit www.WaldenU.edu.

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