CSSW Toasts the Return of Management Fellows Program

October 18, 2018 @ 3:58 pm

A revitalized Management Fellows Program was rolled out in style on September 14, when Program Director Dr. Tara Batista introduced this year’s 11 fellows at a champagne reception.

The Management Fellows curriculum, an especially beloved and prestigious part of SSW’s Social Enterprise Administration program, trains students to start and lead social service agencies. Its first iteration, from 2009 to 2014, offered a curriculum in management and leadership. This year, in response to student feedback, the revived program has added a concentration in social entrepreneurship.

Dr. Batista pointed out that Columbia’s “multimillion-dollar entrepreneurial ecosystem” makes it “the best university for social entrepreneurs.”

Introducing the students, she added, “We think that social purpose organizations are too important to be managed poorly. These organizations tackle some of the world’s most pressing and complex social problems and serve the most vulnerable. And they do it often without enough resources. At CSSW, we think it’s important to teach managerial, administrative, and program operation skills so graduates can strengthen the effectiveness of nonprofits, public agencies, and social enterprises.”

This year’s fellows already have experience as founders, managers, or teachers.

Dr. Batista told them, “I hope you paid attention to who is in the room because you will be working with each other to leverage your diverse skill sets to solve some of the world’s most complex social problems.”

Senior Associate Dean Julien Teitler, in his welcoming remarks, referred to the renewed program as “version 2.0.” Alumni of the program are excited to see it return.

“My 2012-14 Management Fellows Program truly gave me the skills for my professional opportunities since I graduated,” says Lee Hopkins, now senior manager of health and social services at CASA de Maryland, “whether it’s about analyzing budgets or human resource questions or how to write a proposal. I always say that the Management Fellows Program was like a nonprofit business degree with the added value of being grounded in the context of social work and social justice. Best of luck to the new scholars!”

SEA faculty members Drs. Barbara Simon, Rick Greenberg, Monique Jethwani, and Lecturer Matthea Marquart worked for a year with the help of Assistant Dean Karma Lowe to redesign the curriculum and bring the program back, then meticulously selected the new cohort of fellows.

Incoming Management Fellows: Banner photo (above, left to right): First row: Zeel Patel, Victoria Muthoni Tswamuno, Paige Watson, Laura Kriegel, Shuwen Yang. Second row: Monica Rahman, Brandon Hadi, Shari Simon, Daniella Spencer-Laitt, Sierra Murray. Pictured below at right is Incoming Management Fellow Brittany Smith.