As Marymount University prepares to launch its second of three interdisciplinary research centers on campus, a generous gift has moved it closer to reality.
A recent gift of $250,000 from the Soloviev Foundation will support the new Center for Professional Ethics and Social Responsibility, which will serve as a central hub for inter-professional research, education, leadership and community engagement related to professional ethical conduct and the social responsibilities of individuals and institutions. Fostering dialogue, training, research and problem-solving, the Center will be dedicated to impacting social change and commitment to social responsibility at the individual, professional and community level.
“In our increasingly complex and globalized world, it’s more important than ever that we educate the next generation on how to be ethical citizens and leaders in their communities. There’s no better time than now to have a research center that focuses on this urgent need,” explained Dr. Irma Becerra, President of Marymount University. “We are thankful to the Foundation and its CEO, Michael Hershman, for providing the necessary funds to embark on this important endeavor.”
Hershman, a Marymount trustee, is also President of The Fairfax Group, LLC, a risk management firm. An internationally recognized expert on matters relating to transparency, accountability, governance, litigation and security, he is well-known for his unwavering commitment to the ideals of business ethics and integrity.
“Given the breadth of resources the University has in the national capital region, we think Marymount is the perfect place to start this Center and open up a lively debate about an issue that has only raised in importance over the last several years,” said Stefan Soloviev, Founder and Chairman of the Foundation. “A lot has happened in our society that has made people question whether American values have changed – integrity, transparency, accountability. We hope this new center will study and learn from existing research, and take it a step further and explore whether our values have indeed changed – for the better or worse – and if the latter, how we can get back on track.”
Core goals of the Center for Professional Ethics and Social Responsibility include:
- Fostering and overseeing interdisciplinary research to advance knowledge concerning ethics, integrity and leadership in professional practice and social responsibility
- Promoting applied ethics education across the curriculum and opportunities for students and other to explore the interconnections of these issues across professions
- Providing a public forum for scholars to share their research and experience
- Growing partnership opportunities that connect ethics research and education with practice
- Preparing Marymount’s students to be ethical leaders
While there are many ethics centers across the U.S., it’s common for them to limit their focus to one individual discipline, social issue or theoretical construct. With Marymount’s focus on a truly inter-professional approach, results are expected to effectively promote change and create ethical and responsible pathways across professional practice.
“Marymount’s mission emphasizes the education of the whole person, including the intellectual and ethical development of each student. This Center is an excellent opportunity for us to combine our values-based mission with the interests of our student body by creating a new initiative with a focus on professional ethics and responsibilities to society,” said Dr. Hesham El-Rewini, Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs at Marymount University. “Our coveted location in Arlington, just outside D.C., also offers the ability to develop relationships with government agencies and major public and private organizations to allow us to quickly identify pressing issues of importance that we can hone in on for research and educational opportunities.”
The Center for Professional Ethics and Social Responsibility will follow Marymount’s Center for Optimal Aging as the University’s second interdisciplinary research center that has been established in recent years. More information on the Center’s launch will be announced at a later date.