Center for Social Entrepreneurship Westmont Downtown
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.
Brave: 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.
Heart: Abby Gritter
Here is a glimpse into the life of Abby Gritter: a Michigan native who who found her way back to Santa Barbara after exploring the world of microfinance and international development in Ethiopia, Uganda, and Honduras. People are drawn to her intellectual curiosity and ability to confidently and authentically articulate opinions. She has high aspirations to make change on a global scale.
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.
Staff from SBACT asked the students to devise a way to make their non-profit financially sustainable in the communities that they serve. The winning group included Jordan Baldridge (History), Erin Erickson (Economics & Business), Daniel Kohl (Economics & Business), and Annaliese Yukawa (Political Science). They proposed a co-working and event space, called Unidos, that brings non-profits and social businesses together to rent space on the Westside while also providing a community hub for the neighborhood. SBACT loved the idea and is currently working with the Free Methodist Conference to locate an appropriate site. They plan to launch Unidos in partnership with several other participating organizations by Fall 2018.
Immigrant Hope asked student groups to design creative ways to reach the local immigrant community and better publicize their services with a limited budget. The winning team devised Dia de Esperanza--a day in which community partners, stakeholders, and friends would wear shirts expressing solidarity with immigrants. Coupled with a community event, this method offers a safe, unthreatening way to build awareness to those who most need Immigrant Hope’s services.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- Theatre Arts
A semester at Westmont Downtown is the same as the price of tuition if you were a student on campus, and therefore your financial aid package does apply. If you have any questions, please contact the Program Coordinator, Alex Lillenberg, for more details.
Students are permitted to live off-campus during their semester downtown, either on Ocean View apartments or elsewhere! Here are a couple things to keep in mind:
- If you choose to live off-campus, you are required to find your own living arrangements and the cost of living is not included in the tuition you pay for the program.
- 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 into 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, Alex Lillenberg, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com or by calling the office at (805) 565-6300.
A 20-hour/week internship is the core of the program.
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.
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 (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.
HIS 177: Transnational America (4 Units)
- Satisfies GE Thinking Globally and GE Thinking Historically requirements.
- This reading and discussion seminar explores how transnational connections have shaped the United States politically, cultural, and socially throughout the long twentieth century.
PHI 137: Justice and Public Policy (4 Units)
- Satisfies GE Thinking Globally and GE Understanding Society requirements.
- Analysis of philosophical accounts of distributive justice as well as policy proposals dealing with such issues as poverty, global justice, multinational corporations, human trafficking, immigration, health care and climate change.
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.
Alex has been with the Downtown Program since its inaugural semester in 2015. She worked at the college the year prior as the Assistant to Student Life. Alex graduated from Westmont with a degree in Religious Studies in 2013. She has since gone on to earn her Master in Social Justice. As the Program Coordinator for Westmont Downtown she enjoys both managing the logistics of the program and walking with students as they engage in the local community. She lives with her husband and two children in Buellton. She is committed to finding the best tacos along the central coast and jumping in the ocean every chance she gets.
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.
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 First Financial 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.
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.
Rick Ifland is a successful entrepreneur and private equity investor. He started a company that transformed automation of the mortgage credit industry, eventually selling it to a Fortune 500 company. He has since purchased 29 companies, improving and then selling 24 of them. Still active as an executive or shareholder in five ventures as the general partner of Oxford Holdings LLC, he plans to engage students in his work, exposing them to businesses as varied as new product medical device innovation, air ambulance transportation and global research. While excellence in business typically translates into making a profit, Ifland also seeks to make a difference. He's led and established non-governmental organizations to help the poor in the Middle East and Africa.
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.