As an important component of the McGowan Fellows experience, the social impact project is designed to introduce Fellows to a complex societal issue, collaborate with great organizations doing impactful work, and foster a learning community of like-minded peers. The project kicks off in November, during the annual McGowan Symposium on Business Leadership & Ethics weekend, includes two in-person meetings in January and April, and officially concludes in July when class representatives present a final report to the McGowan Fund board of directors at the board meeting. Structured similarly to a consulting project, students are expected to devote 2-3 hours a week on average towards completing their work.
Past projects include a compilation of case studies on ethics which led to the development of an Ethics Curriculum by Aurora University; a collaboration with the American Heart Association on how to increase participation for the Get With The Guidelines program; and a series of projects with Rush University Medical Center, including recommendations on the delivery of healthcare for patients with mental illness, as well as a business plan and cost-effectiveness analysis for a lifestyle management program aimed at reversing metabolic syndrome. The Class of 2019 will work on a project focused on frontline workers and the challenges facing the working poor in the United States.
Both the project and all relevant travel (Annual Symposium, winter weekend session, and spring retreat) are required elements of the Fellows program.