The Chicago School’s unique educational model that focuses on learning through community service and teaching students to apply their knowledge and skills for the greater good is an approach that Dr. Martha Lappin implements in her teaching, and also embraces in her own life.
“You have to get people engaged at the community level to feel empowered to make a difference-to do something positive for their neighborhoods, communities, and professional groups,” says Dr. Lappin, lead faculty for the D.C. Campus’ Industrial and Organizational Psychology program. “That is where change starts. First, you figure out how to engage people and empower them at the community level, and that inspires change at the systemic level.”
She will soon bring this approach to Ukraine where she will be meeting with students and administrators at the National Academy for Public Administration in Ukraine, as well as faculty at several leading universities. Discussions will center on various models for Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Private Partnerships aimed at enhancing civic engagement and community development. The project is an outgrowth of the Legislative Fellows Program in which she hosted a Ukrainian student for a month in the U.S., providing her with experiences to learn about democracy and civic engagement.
Not only will Dr. Lappin apply her psychology and business expertise to help a new generation in an even newer democracy find its footing, but she also plans to explore future study abroad opportunities for D.C. Campus students while in Ukraine.
“I think it would be a wonderful experience for our students to understand how a post-Soviet era country and culture is trying to adapt to the global economy and find their place among the democratic nations of the world,” says Dr. Lappin. “It’s important to understand different ways of doing business across cultures.”