Semester in Social Entrepreneurship
Westmont Downtown is an off-campus program training students to learn for life. Through tailored mentoring and empathetic collaboration, students are liberated to creatively disrupt their comfort zones and faithfully love their neighbors
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Applications for the 2021-22 academic year are open on a rolling basis. We welcome you to apply today.
Bravery: Erin Erickson
Erin Erickson is a free-spirited entrepreneur who reminded me of the benefits of risk-taking and saying ‘yes.’ She thrives when problem solving and seeks out opportunities to innovate. Erin prioritizes relationships and ‘giving back’ alongside working three different jobs, managing two social impact projects, and launching a business in freelance photography.
Dedication: Thomas Cochrane
Bursting with confidence and emanating joy, Thomas Cochrane is a truly unique and memorable person. Having known Thomas at Westmont, it was clear from our first meeting that he was interested in a life of creativity in business. The founder of a startup during his college years, Thomas loved to talk about new ideas, entrepreneurial opportunities, and the work that went into building something unique.
Courage: Katherine Kwong
Katherine is an avid artist and storyteller who interned with The Moth— a non-profit storytelling organization that hosts live events and also produces a podcast, The Moth Radio Hour. Katherine has the courage to say whatever is on her mind regardless of the social norms she may be breaking. This is what makes Katherine such an excellent innovator and storyteller — she is authentic and unafraid.
Westmont Downtown offers a wide variety of internships across sectors and disciplines. A majority of students are able to receive major credit for their internship. See below for a small sample of where students are placed for their 20 hour a week internship with Westmont Downtown.
Community Challenge Assignment
Two physicians and a project coordinator from Sansum Diabetes Research Center invited the students to help them solve how to better publicize their smartphone app for mothers at risk for having children with gestational diabetes, getting it into the hands of those who could really use it. Three seniors—English major Holli Morrow, Economics & Business major Bryce Cohen, and Spanish/Economics & Business double major Katie Skiff—won the fall challenge with the photo and social media campaign Mas De Nueve Meses (“more than nine months”). Sansum began incorporating the student’s campaign right away, using the slogan with donors at a November event.
Santa Barbara County foster care services desired existing foster parents to make better use of available resources. In response, Izzy Esber (Art), Ellie Rouse (History), Caroline Thomas (Psychology), and Kaylee Deal (Economics & Business) devised the Our County, Our Kids Directory App. The directory offers resource parents in Santa Barbara County a mobile app and website filters so that families can locate resources efficiently and simply, streamlining a cumbersome process and helping more parents to benefit from existing resources. The County was delighted with the results and the directory is being launched Summer 2018.
The State Street Revitalization Task Force comprised of local business owners and stakeholders tasked students with figuring out how to bring more college students to State Street. The Heart of State Festival designated rotating blocks for a monthly street fair that brings together families and spotlights local businesses. The City of Santa Barbara and the task force is moving forward with parts of this idea under the leadership of Nina Johnson: https://www.independent.com/2019/04/14/the-s-b-questionnaire-nina-johnson/
The Santa Barbara Zoo asked WD students to draw 18-28-year olds to the zoo--an underrepresented demographic at zoos across the country. Through discounted and school-subsidized memberships, as well as educational programming, CUE (College and University Engagement) at the Zoo attracts college and university students to visit the Santa Barbara Zoo. More than just a way to increase membership numbers, this program seeks to shape student visitors into advocates for the zoo’s conservation efforts. The Zoo is working on unveiling this program in Fall 2019.
Westmont's Hub for Technology, Creativity, and Moral Imagination
The Westmont Hub (WestHUB) brings the campus together to incubate and accelerate entrepreneurial ventures across disciplines. Dr. Don Patterson shared more about WestHUB in his recent YouTube video during a virtual faculty forum.
Westmont Initiative for Public Dialogue and Deliberation
This public dialogue works with neighbors to speak and listen well together about challenges facing the Santa Barbara community for our common good and human flourishing.
Click here to read a brief overview of the Fall 2018 WIPDD Forum held in downtown Santa Barbara.
Westmont College's Center for Social Entrepreneurship rated #10 of America's most entrepreneurial schools. Forbes evaluated schools based on a ratio of the total number of alumni and students who have identified themselves as founders and business owners on LinkedIn, divided by the school's combined undergraduate and graduate student body number.
Rachel Rains Winslow has joined the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission board of directors. She currently serves as a fellow with the Kettering Foundation, working on the intersection between public deliberation and local action as a way to engage students in democracy. Her teaching, research, and community work bring together her interest in U.S. social policy, social change practices, and American political culture, the Rescue Mission said.
A House on Beekman started when two college girls from NYU moved to the South Bronx on an adventure to live more like Jesus and love the marginalized in their City. Nearly 7 years later, A House on Beekman is building a seamless series of holistic programs from birth to college to empower their neighbors to break the cycles of poverty. AHOB offers classes for pregnant women and parents of young children, a licensed Preschool and an After School Program as well as summer programs.
Move over, tech and retail: Higher education is moving into downtown Santa Barbara.
Westmont College recently expanded its downtown campus space into a second floor at the Hutton Parker Foundation building on Anapamu Street.
This program is open to ALL MAJORS. If you are a student who is eager to be apart of social change in your community, this program is for you. Here are a sample of majors that have participated in the program so far. We hope to continue to add to this list!
- Communication Studies
- Computer Science
- Data Science
- Economics & Business
- Political Science
- Religious Studies
- Theatre Arts
Tuition for a semester on Westmont Downtown is the same as tuition on campus. Therefore, your financial aid package goes with you. If you have any questions, please contact the Program Coordinator, Ellie Jolly, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the office at (805) 565-6300 for more details.
Students are required to live in the city of Santa Barbara during their semester downtown, either in the Ocean View apartments or in Santa Barbara. Sophomores will be in OV the semester they are downtown, while juniors and seniors have the chance to apply to be in OV all year. Seniors can also apply to off campus all year. Here are a couple things to keep in mind:
- If you choose to live in the city (not in OV), you are required to find your own living arrangements and the cost of living is not billed to you through Student Accounts. You are responsible to pay for all meal/food costs for the semester.
- Students participating in the program are permitted to live off-campus for the full school year (not just the semester downtown) to accommodate most lease agreements.
- Students living off-campus are still required to live according to the Community Life Statement signed upon entry to Westmont.
Students participating in Westmont Downtown are not required to purchase a Westmont parking pass for their semester downtown. However, students are still required to purchase a parking pass for the semester they are not in the program.
Parking in downtown Santa Barbara near the center can be tricky! There is a lot right outside the center, and it is paid parking (75 minutes free and then $1.50 for every subsequent hour). There are also several parking spaces on the street surrounding the center, but make sure to watch out for street sweeping hours!
If you have any questions about the program, please contact the Program Coordintator, Ellie Jolly, via email at email@example.com or by calling the office at (805) 565-6300.
If you have questions about the internship component of the program, please contact the Internship Director, Dr. Ed Song, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the office at (805) 565-6300.
A 20-hour/week internship is the core of the program. Fulfills GE Serving Society
Interns, in most situations, earn a small stipend. We will work together to ensure that your internship is a great fit—tailored to your discipline, career goals, and/or skills.
Fulfills GE Understanding Society
This seminar-style course explores a range of methods to resolve pressing social problems. We examine locally specific, solutions-oriented social change efforts and then place those efforts into global context. Class sessions, group activities, and assignments reinforce that we learn best by doing. In this vein, students gain skills—such as designing a business plan, setting SMART goals, and using innovative technology—while also situating social ventures into theoretical, historical, structural, and scriptural context. This seminar offers students the opportunities to start their own initiatives or enterprises.
EB 105: Business Law taught by Professor Raymond Gupta (4 Units)
- Prerequisites: EB-003, EB-011, EB-012, EB-020, or EB-030 and MA-005.
- Topics covered include: legal rights and their enforcement in the civil and criminal setting; contract law; real property and personal property; sales and negotiable instruments; commercial paper; creditors rights; bankruptcy; agency and principal law; corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies; cyber law; intellectual property law, and international laws.
KNS 140/AN 140: Food Systems taught by Professor Cynthia Toms (4 units)
- Surveys food production and consumption systems practiced in cultures around the world. Addresses issues of hunger, ethics of consumption, and social and environmental justice.
PHI 137: Justice & Public Policy taught by Professor Ed Song (4 units)
- Satisfies GE Thinking Globally requirements.
- Prerequisites: PHI006 or PHI 006H
- Analysis of philosophical accounts of distributive justice as well as policy proposals dealing with such issues of poverty, global justice, multinational corporations, human trafficking, immigration, health care, and climate change.
COM 128: Facilitating Deliberation & Dialogue taught by Professor Deborah Dunn (2 units)
- Satisfies GE Serving Society Requirements
- This course provides practice, research, and discussion surrounding the nature of group deliberation in community and civic life, as well as the nature and practice of facilitating dialogue in community.
HIS 177: Transnational America taught by Professor Rachel Winslow (4 units)
- Satisfies GE Thinking Globally & Thinking Historically Requirements
Explores how transnational connections have shaped the United States politically, cultural, and socially throughout the long twentieth century. By analyzing representations of migration and exchange in popular culture and memoir, the course considers shifting American ideas about transnationalism and the ways this has shaped consumer culture, reform and social movements, and migration, policy, and the state.
Alex Lillenberg graduated from Westmont College in 2013 with a degree in Religious Studies. After serving a year with AmeriCorps in Buffalo, NY, Alex returned to Santa Barbara to work for Westmont as the Student Life Assistant. She joined the Westmont Downtown team during its inaugural semester in the fall of 2015. In 2018, Alex earned a Masters Degree in Social Justice from Kilns College. As the Program Coordinator, Alex maintains the administrative elements of the program and serves as a liaison to on campus departments. Alex also enjoys leading the students in Bible study, prayer, and other student development programs. She lives with her husband and two children in Buellton.
Jeff lives in Buellton with his wife Juia and three chilren - Kairos, Kennah, and Kalum. He has worked in Santa Barbara since 1992 and founded the Uffizi Mission Project under Christian Associates in 2005. Uffizi has since become the Uffizi Order and he is currently the Director of Missional Initiatives. He is also involved with Common Ground Santa Barbara County and is the Coorinator of C3H - The Central Coast Collaborative on Homelessness.
Dr. Dunn earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in communication arts and sciences from the University of Southern California. Her BA is in speech and communication with an emphasis on social movements from San Francisco State. She came to Westmont in the Fall of 1997 from Pepperdine, was awarded Teacher of the Year in 2008, and has led seven summer study abroad programs on conflict, memory, and pilgrimage to Northern Ireland, South Africa, Germany, Israel/Palestine, and the Camino de Santiago in Spain. Her research and teaching focuses on grassroots peacemaking organizations, dialogue, and transforming conflict. She also co-directs the Westmont Initiative for Public Dialogue.
Mr. Gupta received his J.D. from the University of Washington Law School. He concentrates his practice in the areas of business and real estate finance, commercial property development, real estate acquisitions and dispositions, and business entity formations and transactions. His experience includes assisting clients with public and private debt and investor financing as well as troubled-loan workouts and foreclosure proceedings. He has worked with clients on residential, hotel and other commercial property developments, leasing, land use and purchase and sale transactions. He has represented start-up businesses in formation planning and documentation, and established businesses with restructuring and mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Gupta came to Mullen & Henzell from the tax consulting group at Deloitte & Touche with a strong background in income tax law, and works with clients on income tax, property tax and estate and gift tax matters.
Mr. Gupta is actively involved in the community. He is on the Board of the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission. He also serves as an adjunct professor of business law at Westmont College. Mr. Gupta and his family are actively involved with Santa Barbara Community Church. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of Amigos de Honduras, a non-profit fundraising organization that supports development work in Honduras, and Life Network, a local non-profit.
Anna Jordan graduated from Westmont with a BA in English Literature in 2007. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2012, and since then has led a number of writing workshops and instructed learners of all levels and abilities. Anna is a freelance writer whose work has been published across the Internet. She's on the writing team for the popular motherhood site, Coffee + Crumbs, and is a contributing writer for The Magic of Motherhood (HarperCollins 2017). She lives in Goleta with her husband and three children.
Kiah Jordan moved to Santa Barbara to attend Westmont College, where he graduated with Bachelors in economics/business and Spanish. While working for a local real estate investment firm, Santa Barbara Capital, he completed his Certified Financial Planner™ designation and found a passion for applying a holistic planning perspective to personal finances and business operations.
After completing his Master’s in Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, Kiah launched Impact Family Office to focus on the alignment of capital resources with an impact strategy by providing financial consulting, planning, strategic philanthropy, and infrastructure for individuals and businesses. Though his clientele have operations in Ethiopia, Sweden, and throughout the US, intentional and meaningful local impact is a primary focus for each of them.
In Santa Barbara, he has dedicated much of his time to startups and organizations focused on benefiting our local community. Kiah currently serves on the board of the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission, is an Ambassador at the Impact Hub, completed the Katherine Harvey Fellows program in 2016, and was featured in the Pacific Coast Business Times 40 Under 40 in 2015. When not working he’s spending his time with his wife and three kids and playing soccer.
Aaron grew up in San Luis Obispo and has degrees from George Fox University (BA, Interdisciplinary Studies), Talbot Seminary (MA, Philosophy), and the University of Edinburgh (Ph.D., Education). He serves Santa Barbara Zoo as Chief Operating Officer. Keeping a toe in academics, Aaron teaches adjunct graduate courses for Miami University, serves as affiliate faculty for the Kurt Hahn Consortium for Values and Experiential Learning (Penn State), and pens the occasional academic piece.
Beyond his zoo work, Aaron spent a decade in secondary education, ran a small business, founded a service learning NPO, consults/coaches for a number of local organizations (culture, strategy, and strengths), serves as a Board Director for Kids Helping Kids, coaches club water polo, and writes kid’s books. He recently completed an Executive Leadership Development Program with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (2018), and was featured in the Pacific Coast Business Times 40 under 40 (2015).
Aaron and his brilliant wife (and Westmont alum) Janay have three children. They attend Santa Barbara Community Church. In the event that some portion of their lives goes un-programmed, you’ll find them enjoying life together – hiking, biking, paddling, skating, or surfing locally.
The headquarters for Westmont Downtown are located in the Upper Downtown area at 26 W. Anapamu Street on the 3rd floor. Our facility is newly remodeled and includes state-of-the-art classrooms and technology. Designed with collaboration in mind, the space provides students, faculty, and community partners with the adaptability that helps innovators to thrive. It is just steps away from businesses, local government, start-up hubs, coffee shops, restaurants, shopping, museums, and public transportation. It is also less than a block away from the Westmont shuttle stop.