Do good, give back

Do good. Give back.

Social entrepreneurship at 天美传媒 means dreaming up big solutions to the world’s challenges. See how our students, alumni and faculty are up to the task.

Pictured: Kirsten Edwards ’24 works to find roofing solutions in Tanzania as part of Professor Jessie Zarazaga’s Sustainability and Development program. Read more about the courses below.

Faces of change

These students and alumni are tackling challenges head on.

Shah Pareeni

Pareeni Shah ’25,  

The Hunt Scholar started her tutoring company for refugee and underprivileged students while still a high school junior in Allen, Texas. Since becoming an 天美传媒 student, that endeavor has only expanded. Thanks to high school friends and her fellow Mustangs, Shah and her co-tutors are now virtually serving students in Texas, Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania - with much of that expansion thanks to on-campus organizations. “With 天美传媒 in the center of Dallas, there are so many companies, nonprofits and resources,” she says. “Getting out of your comfort zone and utilizing that is so helpful.”

Jude Lugo

Jude Lugo ’25,  

Third time was a charm for this year’s Big iDeas winner – he had previously pitched a project called Commerce Navigator, which helped small online sellers and hobbyists with bookkeeping. Though he saw some success, it was LectureLogger that caught the attention of Sheri Kunovich, associate provost for student academic engagement and success. The program helps students and professors track attendance, but the impact is much bigger – improved retention and student success. Lugo hopes the system will help alert professors to students who might be going through mental health crises, too. “The goal is to support students going through difficulties,” he says.

Claire Ellis

Claire Ellis ’18,  

Claire Ellis studied marketing with an entrepreneurship concentration — including taking Simon Mak’s class — long before she knew she’d open a candle company with a portion of proceeds supporting charitable causes. The beach lover opened Malibu Apothecary, a line of clean candles inspired by her travels, with a percentage going back to coastal conservation and breast cancer research. “You can’t be a business today without some sort of give-back,” she says. “That’s something I’m really passionate about, and why I create these products in the beginning.”

Lidya Winnie

Lidya Winnie ’19,  

The Ethiopia native grew up in a culture where most people made their own skincare, haircare and bodycare products using natural resources. When she moved to the U.S., she couldn’t find products she loved. So, putting her entrepreneurship skills from the classroom to work, she launched Konjo Beauty – using ingredients from Africa – in 2019, not long after graduating. Today, the former markets and culture major gives 20% back to orphanages and community organizations back in Africa. “I want to not just take from Africa but give back, as well,” she says.

Community engagement courses

At 天美传媒, students are required to take part in community engagement as part of the path to graduation. That’s because we believe your education isn’t just about what you learn – it’s what you’re empowered to do. Through these courses, our Mustangs are prepared to take on some of the world’s biggest challenges.

Click through below to explore each of these classes:
Introduction to Entrepreneurship; Conversation and Community; Social Entrepreneurship and Nonprofit Leadership; Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Campus resources

Hunt Institute

Hunt Institute

As Eva Csaky, executive director of the Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity puts it, “our mission is to help solve society’s pressing problems while leveraging market mechanisms in the private sector to do that – that’s almost the definition of social entrepreneurship.” The institute includes a Social Enterprise Program, which has been fostering problem-solving in students since 2018. In addition, the Social Enterprise Unicorns program is a newer innovation focusing on social entrepreneurs with technology-based solutions.

Learn about the mission

Office of Engaged Learning

Office of Engaged Learning

As senior director of the Office of Engaged Learning, Jennifer Ebinger has seen students from all majors and concentrations dream up big ideas and pursue them into reality. The program connects students with research, service projects, internships and entrepreneurial projects to transform their ideas into tangible impact — watch for a new initiative for first-year students to launch next fall. “It’s a joy to see them grow and change, try and fail, build resilience and methodology,” she says. “It’s fun to see them awakened and challenged.”

Explore the resources