Social Impact Toolkit Mini-Series: Reflections from Marin Klostermeier

During undergrad, I was chronically involved.  While I loved being a part of the campus community in almost every possible way, it was also too much. Now, six years later, with a more developed understanding of my values, and in the rarefied air of graduate school, much like the thin air of the Rocky Mountains that I called home before moving to Nashville, I am craving focus.

With the determination to be focused, I wanted to be intentional about the opportunities that I sought outside the classroom. Something that would help me reflect on who I am and who I want to be as a professional, and how I can grow to be more fully myself; someone who goes through life with empathy and efficacy to create equitable, inclusive, empowering relationships and work environments. As a student, I can spend more concentrated time on this work, but also it is work that I will be doing for the rest of my life. For such a long and effortful journey, it is always a good idea to have a toolkit.

With that mission in mind and being drawn to the idea of underscoring the business focus of the perfectly unconventional business degree offered by the M.Ed. Leadership and Organizational Performance (LOP) program (not to mention the fabulous people at the Turner Family Center for Social Ventures (TFC), the Social Impact Mini-series and Toolkit seemed to be and has proven to be an opportunity too perfect to pass up. It has been an opportunity to connect with an interdisciplinary group of students, staff, and faculty. And starting from the first module gave me an additional perspective to bring into my Peabody classrooms.

TFC Social Impact Toolkit Series included:

  • Tuesday, Jan 26 – Kathleen Fuchs Hritz, TFC Assistant Director & Megan Skaggs, TFC Graduate Associate, Social Enterprise 101
  • Tuesday, Feb 9 -Mario Avila, TFC Founding Director, The Social Business Model Canvas
  • Tuesday, Feb 16, 2-3pm – Panel on Social Impact with Practitioners: Shana Berkeley (Corner2Corner), Nancy Gent (Alyn Vaughn), Donovan Robertson (CCSI), Buddy Teaster (Soles4Souls)
  • Tuesday, March 2, A Consultant’s Approach with a Social Impact Lens, Mike O’Hara (Deloitte, Owen ’19, TFC Board Chair 2018-19)
  • Tuesday, March 16 – Impact Evaluation with Kymberly Byrd, PhD Candidate, Community Research and Action, Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt has so many resources, just like the Social Impact Toolkit miniseries, and it will be a privilege to have a degree from this institution. As with many other privileges, this comes with opportunities to be responsible, to grow and learn to dismantle systems that gave you those privileges in the first place or to stay comfortable. Through the generosity of mentors I have had throughout my life who have shown me what positive social impact means and looks like I have a strong sense of responsibility for the privileges that I have. And I am so glad that I found corners of Vanderbilt that provide space for developing tools I can use to take action on this sense of responsibility and create positive social impact.