Courses Tailored Toward Leadership & Innovation

The Wilson Center sponsors courses that complement the existing curriculum of majors and concentrations, as well as provides course offerings in areas of student demand consistent with our mission but with no departmental home.

Wilson gives special attention to connecting our students with professionals, particularly alumni, who serve as leaders and innovators in their fields and can offer inspiration, mentorship, and valuable lessons. Our courses also feature opportunities for discovery-mode, practice-based or experiential learning.

Each year, Wilson offers a core repertoire of courses, including our highly popular Creative Careers: Learning from Alumni. Wilson also sponsors a number of short courses with diverse and varying foci, often taught by our accomplished alumni. Lastly, Wilson sponsors enhancements to existing courses to add opportunities for leadership and innovation to the existing curriculum.

Upcoming Courses

Ethical Leadership (SST 295-03)

This course address several ethical issues in the workplace settings focusing on effective communication and analytical skills to enhance leadership skills. Students will frequently discuss case studies, engage in group work, and prepare memos.

Sept. 11 – Nov. 20, 2 credits

Steve Weiss ’77Instructor: Steve Weiss ’77

Retired general counsel and senior VP of MidAmerican Energy Company, and retired administrative law judge at the Illinois Commerce Commission

Leading Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ANT/SST 201)

This Course takes a case-study approach to understanding leadership and management of innovations, or generating solutions to social, economic, and environmental problems, using case studies by alumni innovators. We start, of course, with Grinnell's most famous entrepreneur, Robert Noyce. This course covers a broad range of fields, bringing in new case studies each year. Many of the alumni from whom we draw case studies will visit class.

4 credits

Caulkins DougInstructor: Doug Caulkins

Emeritus Professor of Anthropology and Emeritus Director of the Donald L. Wilson Program in Entrepreneurship and Leadership

Real Life Entrepreneurship

Students will gain insights into business realities and pitfalls. They will learn how to establish a company as an entrepreneur, and how to improve a business segment within an existing company as an intrapreneur.

1 credit

Sanjay Khanna ’85 and dogInstructor: Sanjay Khanna ’85

Mr. Khanna has worked as a consultant and entrepreneur in a number of industries. He was instrumental in bringing the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet to South Asia and raising its subscriber base from 0 to 21 million. In 2001, he founded Peninsula Consultants and has since worked with foreign and Indian companies including media, IT related services, consumer durables, retail food, real estate, and more on issues ranging from start-up to administration.

Past Courses

Spring 2016

Creative Careers: Learning from Alumni

Alumni return to campus and discuss their success, challenges and overall experience post-graduation.

Fall 2015

Real Life Entrepreneurship: How to build a Brand/Business

Taught by Sanjay Khanna ’85, this course shows you what entrepreneurship, or intrapreneurship, really looks like.

Spring 2015

Special Topic: Managing Organizations for Sustainability and Social Responsibility

Seven alumni collaborate to discuss how to make an organization more sustainable and socially responsible. Grinnell President, Howard Bowen, the father of the Corporate Social Responsibility Movement’s work is considered throughout.

Fall 2014

Learning from CS Alumni

This course details Computer Science alumni. These alumni return to Grinnell and share their experiences with undergraduate students.