The Saint Mary's School of Economics and Business Administration (SEBA) is proud to announce the official launch of the Saint Mary's Graduate Business Net Impact Chapter.

Saint Mary's joins over 270 accredited Graduate and Undergraduate Business programs across the nation that have joined the Net Impact Chapter program.

A San Francisco-based nonprofit, Net Impact is a volunteer-led network of university chapters that focuses on corporate responsibility, social entrepreneurship and sustainability programs for the corporate world. The goal of the program is to connect future and current business leaders that are committed to using the power of business in order to improve the world.

"The program offers networking opportunities, career resources, and information about what's happening in the business world regarding sustainability," says chapter Co-President Katherine Cooney. Along with co-President Neelu Shaikh and additional help from Associate Dean of Business School Dr. Shyam Kamath and Net Impact Faculty Advisor Dr. Berna Aksu, the program aims to provide students with "the opportunity to look into sustainable works" by offering a "range of opportunities."

"The founding of the Saint Mary's Net Impact Chapter is very much in parallel with what our College stands for, and what SEBA stands for. It is one way for us to achieve our SEBA mission of 'thinking globally and leading responsibly'. It also ties in very well with not only our Lasallian heritage but also two out of the four major goals set in the Saint Mary's academic blueprint: 'preparing students for ethical and effective engagement in a diverse and global environment', and 'building leadership that enhances social justice,'" says Aksu.

The program is currently only open to students in the Graduate Business program, though Cooney believes the program will continue to expand and encompass the undergraduate business program as well. "I would love for the chapter to take off, and have an Undergraduate Net Impact Chapter that would mirror the Graduate program" Cooney, who has worked with eco-tourism in Rwanda, is in the Trans-Global Executive Masters (T-GEMBA) program.

"Net Impact is a great database of non/for profit companies that are spearheading projects and initiatives in order to protect the planet," she says. "The program is advantageous to both SEBA, as well as the Saint Mary's community as a whole. Anyone can be a member; just apply for the program and immediately start receiving the benefits."

Faculty Advisor Dr. Aksu says, "I always tell my students that their extracurricular and co-curricular activities during their MBA programs are at least as important as the content they learn in their classes. With the Net Impact membership, they will get to practice things they learn and make a real impact on communities, as well as put their skills into action for social justice and environmental betterment. What SEBA does in the area of social justice is, I believe, what differentiates us from every other MBA program in the Bay Area, and I know our Net Impact Chapter will greatly enhance that reputation."

Students interested in the chapter will have a chance to gather information and meet chapter members and leaders at an upcoming on-campus film screening in May that will focus on corporate ethics and their social and environmental impact, details will be posted at www.smcbusinessalumni.com. Future events will also highlight community service projects in the area, as well as offer networking opportunities with local and national business involved in the program. For more information or to get involved, contact Katie Cooney, kec3@stmarys-ca.edu or Neelu Shaikh, nhs1@stmarys-ca.edu.

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