Establish Changemakers as the integrative framework for the Nazareth education.


  • To increase student engagement and deepen student learning through an integrated, intentional Changemaker experience at Nazareth that provides opportunities for students to personalize their experiences based on what they find meaningful
  • To illuminate a campus culture of changemaking by establishing a supportive environment that provides access to changemaking opportunities big and small
  • To become a Changemaker catalyst/convener by establishing Nazareth as a leading institution in Changemaker education
Chris Hilderbrant, in a wheelchair, in his office

Challenge the status quo

Chris Hilderbrant '99 (sociology) seeks to effect change through action both at work — as executive director of the Rochester Spinal Association and owner of a consulting firm helping businesses comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act — and in his personal life.

His life's work story


What’s happening?

  • The Changemaker integrated student experience, being implemented this year, provides a structure that helps all students discover and engage in curricular and co-curricular opportunities that are personally meaningful and offers a way to explore the connections across these experiences to realize deeper learning through their Nazareth education. A key to achieving this is to ensure that all students are exposed to the Changemaker framework and model, and then providing flexibility in the extent to which students can choose to pursue Changemaker experiences.
  • Nazareth's Changemaker Conferences enable Nazareth students, faculty, and staff to learn from community social innovators and develop changemaking skills. "I feel like people can be really cynical about where the world is today, and our future, but I feel like if we keep trying, if we all put in the effort and really care, we can make a great difference in society," Nazareth junior Aziza Simpkins (studying sociology; social research; and technology, AI, and society) told WROC-TV Channel 8 at the February 2023 conference.
  • The Changemakers in Action idea incubator call for proposals elicited 14 responses from across the College, and 12 were selected for internal grant funding in 2022.
Arlene Lopez selfie with friends at a Black Student Union bowling night

"Your voice can make a change"

College has been more than Arlene Lopez 18, '22G ever expected. She appreciates her helpful advisor, fellow students who advocated with her to lead the Black Student Union club, and Professor Kim McGann, Ph.D. — who inspired a new career idea.

Arlene's experience

Susan Rollinson poses on campus with stethoscope

Illuminating hygiene

"Educating kids about health through germ boxes was a highlight of my experience working with the Mexican migrant community," says Susan Rollinson '21 (public health, nursing). Read her blog post about this Naz-community collaboration supported by Greater Rochester Health Foundation and Mother Cabrini Health Foundation.

Matt Krieg stands outside York Wellness & Rehabilitation Institute

Changemaker Revolution

Students such as Matt Krieg '20, '22G are excited to work on creating change for social good in areas that matter to them.

Changemaker Revolution »

Nazareth Treble Choir performing in the chapel

"We sing to change lives"

Nazareth Choirs Director Brian Stevens and students Jonathan Benn and Elena Parkins talk about the choirs' mantra "we sing to change lives." The choirs actively collaborate with living and under-represented composers to support creation of new music and bring their work to the world.

Listen to the Prez Paul podcast »

Madison McIntee outside York Wellness and Rehabilitation Institute

Research and Best Buddies

Hear Maddie McIntee ‘22 talk about her changemaking through her autism research, supported by a Nazareth SPARK Grant, and how she promotes inclusivity for people with disabilities.

Story & podcast


Nazareth earns a high ranking for social justice work and  pandemic response. News story »

Noheli Ruiz and Jasmine Torres on staircase in York Wellness and Rehabilitation Institute

Addressing a need

Noheli Ruiz '19G and Jasmine Torres '19G met at Nazareth in the speech-language pathology (SLP) master's program. People of color (POC) account for just 8% of the workforce in the field. With the help of two professors — Carly Maldonado Alicea '12 and Rupert Johnson — they formed the Speech-language Therapy and Audiology Minority Program (STAMP) to provide a safe space for Nazareth students in the CSD programs who identify as POC.

Story: Seen and supported »

Matthew Reimann by waterfall

SPARK-supported experience built empathy

Matthew Reimann '24 says interning with a refugee service agency, with the support of a SPARK grant and summer housing on campus, was life-changing for him.

His blog post »

Watch video

    Malik Evans, Naz alum, poses with Rochester skyline behind him

    Prepared to lead

    Leadership degrees help prepare people to guide change effectively. Malik Evans '17, elected in November 2021 to be mayor of Rochester, completed a master's degree in management at Nazareth.

    Orchestrating change »

    Students measure distances between bocce balls at a Special Olympics competition at Nazareth

    Wellness for all

    Special Olympics Club members Grace Whitenack '23 (left) and Rachel Hance '23 — both communication sciences and disorders majors — volunteered as referees and scorers to support a Special Olympics bocce competition at Nazareth's Golisano Training Center.

    Physical therapy and occupational therapy students provided fitness screenings and wellness stations, supporting the athletes' health and gaining valuable experiences for the future clinicians.

    Wellness story »

    LifePrep@Naz student and buddy work with dirt and plants together

    Exploring firsts

    One way to be a changemaker: Take a risk and be the first to do something — like the first Black student to attend Nazareth, the first Nazareth students to study abroad (by ship!), the students who started a student club that supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students — and the faculty and staff who started the LifePrep@Naz program for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, enabling meaningful connections for Naz students. Pictured: a LifePrep student and buddy working with plants.

    Story: Researching Nazareth changemakers