Social Impact Scholars

The Social Impact Scholars program gives inquisitive, thoughtful students the opportunity to make an impact on the world while they work toward their college degree.

Launched in 2018, the Social Impact Scholar program integrates three key elements of a Champlain College education—a professional education, a strong liberal arts complement, and an emphasis on preparing global citizens—with the passion many of our students have for creating positive social change. Social Impact Scholars don't just prepare to thrive in their professional careers, they push their professions towards greater equity, justice, and responsibility. Social Impact Scholars do not just learn to become a part of global citizenry, they make conscious efforts to address and solve the numerous social and political problems that plague our communities, whether that be our campus, one's home town, or the planet as a whole.

SI Scholars represent a diversity of backgrounds, identities and beliefs.

Social Impact Scholars are identified through the admission process and selected through a personal interview with lead faculty Eric Ronis. Because the SIS program is intended to be integrative across all aspects of the student experience, the composition of the program also needs to integrate across disciplines, ideologies, and life experiences.

When looking at candidates for the program, we intentionally look to create a diverse cohort where ideas and skill sets and personal stories from many different corners can come together and create something synergistic, new, and exciting. They come from major programs across the college: Filmmaking, Business Administration, Game Programming, Creative Media, Communication, Game Design, Game Art & Animation, Marketing, Computer Networking & Cybersecurity, Psychology, Environmental Studies & Policy, Broadcast Media Production, Social Work, and Law. These students work individually and collaboratively to create positive social impact.

Interested in Joining the Social Impact Scholars?

For any student interested in getting involved with the Social Impact Scholar program, there are the following opportunities:

  1. Special SIS designated sections in Core and Math.
  2. Participating in service days.
  3. Attending discussion sessions around topics of social and political importance.
  4. Going on local field trips to businesses, arts events and political meetings that focus on impact.

We will be allowing self-nomination in the Fall based on available spots, and following an interview process. More details to come later in the summer.

Making A Difference Everywhere


Please support our service trips

Champlain Colleges Social Impact Scholars program is raising funds to ensure that in the next academic year (2020-2021) ALL twelve of our third-year scholars will get the opportunity to partake in an international service trip. Our goal is to send seven of our scholars to Jordan in November 2020 and the other five of our scholars to Zanzibar in March 2021.



Now more than ever we need your support

As COVID-19 continues to spread and international travel becomes more and more challenging, we recognize that our planned service learning trips abroad may seem like impossible dreams. While the health, safety, and security of the SI scholars and of all students is our highest priority right now, we also choose to hope and look forward. We will therefore continue to plan and raise funds for our service trips for November 2020 and March 2021. Should these trips need to be postponed, rest assured that all funds will be used for service trips in the future. We hope you will contribute.

Social Impact Scholars In Action


Social Impact Scholars Speak Out About the Negative Effects of COVID-19 to the World.

Since the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has drastically changed. Self-isolation and stay-at-home orders were mandated to help prevent the spread of the virus. Businesses were forced to close to keep the public and employees safe. Across the globe, schools transitioned to online learning. Initially, Champlain’s Social Impact Scholars planned to hold a Speak Out event on campus. When the world turned remote, they decided to each choose a topic to speak out about that had somehow been affected by COVID-19.



A Vermont Certified B-Corp Committed to Doing Good

With refugees making up more than 30% of their workforce and a commitment to improving social and environmental conditions, Rhino Foods doesn’t just aim to bring about positive social change, it’s doing it.

Our Social Impact Scholars recently met with the B-Corp's President to learn more about the company's mission-driven practices.



Social Impact Scholars Create Positive Social Change and Explore Issues of Justice

Each semester, Scholars experience a series of modules that expose them to various attributes of our local community. One month they might focus on local politics. In another, community service. In December and January, they explored local businesses like Skinny Pancake and Rhino Foods that are committed to positive social impact as part of their mission.