Wilson Center Courses

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.

Fall 2018 Courses

Women in Leadership

Sept. 17 - Oct. 3

What makes a leader? Is it the title or the person’s effectiveness? How does gender influence leadership success? What about race, ethnicity, culture, and organizational context? This course will consider different theories on leadership and apply these to exploring women – including Aung San Suu Kyi – in leadership positions in different countries and roles.

Instructor: Kathryn Mohrman '67

Kathryn Mohrman is a Trustee of Grinnell College. She has served as a Professor in public policy analysis at several institutions and as the President of Colorado College.

The Start up Ecosystem: Entrepreneurs and Investors

Sept. 3 – Sept. 26

This course will expose students to the startup ecosystem by understanding how entrepreneurs and investors behave both on an individual and collective level. Through this course, we will examine the following: growth in startups, startup ideas & team formation, financing entrepreneurial ventures, international startup markets, and more. The course will benefit students who are considering starting a business, joining a startup, and/or are aspiring investors.

Instructor: Hemant Bhardwaj ’07

Hemant Managing Partner at Taurus ventures, investing in people and technologies across the United States & Southeast Asia.

SPARK Social Innovation Challenge

Oct. 1 –Dec. 10

This course provides a series of workshops to support participants in the SPARK Community-Based Social Innovation Challenge and others who are looking to build their skills in researching and effectively presenting solutions to social problems. Fall and spring versions have distinct content. The SPARK Challenge pairs Grinnell organizations and students to address poverty related challenges faced by the larger Grinnell community. The challenge concludes in the spring with a pitch contest in which one proposal can earn up to $15,000 in implementation funding.

Instructor: Prof. Monty Roper

Leading Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Aug. 30 –Dec. 21

This coursetakes 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. Prerequisites: 1 course in the social studies division.

Instructor: Prof. Doug Caulkins