Following the release of the Social Innovation Task Force's final proposal, a need to amplify and develop social impact initiatives at the University has emerged in the Arcadia community.
Beginning this academic year, the Office of Social Impact and Innovation (SI2) will be established within the Office of the President to provide the proper resources to nurture community initiatives that seek positive transformation around the world. Dr. Alison LaLond Wyant has been appointed the founding director to coordinate and lead these efforts. She assumes her new role as director of the Office of Social Impact and Innovation on Aug. 19.
"During our visioning process, social impact emerged as a major theme and part of the fabric of our community," said President Ajay Nair. "Alison has shown tremendous leadership over the past year, co-chairing with Carole Loeffler two important community-wide efforts, the UKnighted Aspirational Committee and the Social Innovation Task Force. Alison's background in social impact and innovation and deep understanding of our community made her a catalyst of the Social Innovation Task Force, and the ideal candidate to serve as the founding director of this newly instituted office."
Dr. Lalond Wyant joined The College of Global Studies at Arcadia in 2012 as assistant dean for Experiential Education, a position she held until 2017 when she was appointed associate dean for Teaching and Learning. Before joining Arcadia, Alison held multiple positions at the University of Pennsylvania, including as Stouffer College house dean (2008-2012), associate director of Civic House (2005-2008), and partnership coordinator for Greenfield Intercultural Center & Netter Center for Community Partnerships (2004-2005). She has taught at Arcadia, the University of Pennsylvania, and Immaculata University. Previous to her career in higher education, Dr. Lalond Wyant worked in non-profit organizations, including a term of service through AmeriCorps. She earned a doctorate and a Master of Education in Higher Education at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Loyola University in Maryland.
Under Dr. Lalond Wyant’s leadership, the Office of SI2 will establish standards and guiding principles for social and civic engagement work, our community partnerships, and the global service-learning programs that make a social impact. The office will work with faculty leadership to develop a framework for service-learning pedagogy. It will also build essential partnerships with offices such as Development, Sponsored Research, and Community and Civic Engagement to secure funding, build upon the University's successes, and explore new growth opportunities. Dr. Lalond Wyant also will form an internal Advisory Board and lead an external Community Advisory Committee to gather perspectives from and share our vision with professional and organizational partners.