Inside USD

USD Changemakers Named ‘Metro Movers’

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The University of San Diego’s Patricia Marquez and Chris Nayve are leading a movement to create more social innovators and the world is taking notice.

Last fall, their work resulted in USD being named the only AshokaU Changemaker campus on the west coast and this month the two will be recognized as “Metro Movers” by SD Metro magazine for 2012. The award honors those who are expected to make outstanding contributions to San Diego County during the new year.

The pair will be featured in the magazine’s January issue later this month and honored at a Feb. 15 ceremony at The University Club in downtown San Diego.

“It will be an honor to represent USD at this ceremony,” said Nayve, a USD alumnus and director of USD’s Center for Community Service-Learning. “Our award is symbolic of the work that the entire USD community is involved in.”

Nayve and Marquez, an associate professor of management in USD’s School of Business Administration, are leading the charge to create social innovators who can help find innovative solutions to social and environmental problems both at home and around the globe.

Ashoka: Innovators for the Public is a nonprofit, global association of more than 2,500 leading social entrepreneurs. The Ashoka designation, bestowed upon 14 U.S. colleges and universities and one in Mexico, recognizes the university’s efforts to become a hub of social innovation through education, research and service.

Each year, USD students volunteer nearly 400,000 hours of community service ranging from mentoring and tutoring local youngsters to creating a solar power project for a village in Sudan or providing health care to residents in Haiti.

As co-chairs of USD’s Changemaker Hub, Marquez and Nayve want to expand on USD’s efforts such as microfinance projects to help small businesses and entrepreneurs both in San Diego and Mexico. They’ve already created the Social Innovation Challenge that will give USD students the opportunity this spring to win a share of $30,000 in seed money for social ventures to make a positive impact on the world and are looking to do even more.

“We’ve got a real opportunity to emphasize the value of social innovation and integrate it into our curriculum,” Marquez said. Added Nayve, “Social entrepreneurship opportunities develop from new ideas, new research and new approaches to the social issues that define our times. At USD, it is our mission to teach students not only how to make a living but how to make a difference through academics and hands-on application.”

During the upcoming spring semester, Marquez will be teaching a course, “Globe Entrepreneurship for Social Change,” that emphasizes looking at finding fresh paradigms for solving problems such as environmental degradation, increasing inequality in the U.S. and other industrialized nations and persistent illiteracy and isolation in the developing world.

“Entrepreneurship for social change is about combining business and management skills, imagination, passion and the courage of individuals to effectively tackle some of these issues,” Marquez said.

— Liz Harman

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