The center aims to prepare students to be “transformative leaders for the common good.”
Tracy Dustin-Eichler has been named director of the Center for Social Impact, Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs Elizabeth Agosto announced today.
Since July, Dustin-Eichler has served as interim director of the center, overseeing the implementation of the center’s recent name change from the Center for Service to the Center for Social Impact. Previously she was the center’s assistant director.
“Tracy is a student-centered leader who cares passionately about transformative experiences for all students,” says Agosto. “I have no doubt that under her leadership the Center for Social Impact will continue to develop and offer opportunities for students to make change in our Upper Valley community as well as the world.”
“I am excited about continuing the tradition of Dartmouth making an impact on the world,” Dustin-Eichler says. “Each day I meet passionate students and alumni who are seeking solutions and improving communities. They inspire me, and I am honored to be a part of supporting that important legacy.”
Dustin-Eichler says the center’s new name, which was launched this winter, “is intended to better represent the many ways the center works with students, alumni, and communities—including direct service, philanthropy, activism, social impact research, and social innovation.” The push to include “social impact” in the center’s name began with former director Theresa Ellis ’97.
With a mission of preparing students to be “transformative leaders for the common good,” the Center for Social Impact sponsors experiential learning opportunities in the Upper Valley community and beyond, including service-based internships, the chance to partner with local organizations, immersion trips around the country and the world, leadership training, mentorship, and more. The center also works closely with faculty to embed social service practicums in the curriculum.
Dustin-Eichler says she sees the center as “a place where students can forge a unique path to becoming a positive force for the common good—in the Upper Valley and in the world.”
The center, she says, “is working to develop opportunities that enable students to cultivate the skills and knowledge they need, however they hope to make their impact.”
Emma Hartswick ’17 double majored in sociology and biology and is currently working with a nonprofit in Boston as a Lewin Fellow—one of several postgraduate opportunities the center offers. She considers Dustin-Eichler a mentor.
“I first met Tracy in my sophomore year through the Upper Valley Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship, where she guided me through developing project goals and supported weekly reflection that helped me achieve them. Later, Tracy helped me find a junior summer internship that pushed me outside my comfort zone and allowed me to explore my career interests. That internship opened the door to the Lewin Fellowship, an incredible postgraduate service opportunity that has let me keep Tracy as an adviser and mentor even as an alumna.”
Anthropology major Abigail Ward ’18 got to know Dustin-Eichler as student director for the Social Impact Careers program. She calls Dustin-Eichler “tireless” in her work to provide students with opportunities to serve in the community.
“Importantly, she shows students that there are so many different avenues to create social impact,” Ward says. “She helps students find their ‘why’—the thing that drives them and motivates them to make social change. I am very excited for Tracy as she embarks on this new leadership role, and for all the changes she has and will make at the center.”
Hartswick agrees. “I can’t think of a better leader for the Center for Social Impact than Tracy. Through my four years at Dartmouth, the center has evolved, but through these innovations, Tracy has always held its core mission in her heart. She is constantly seeking areas for improvement and has her eye toward collaboration within and beyond campus.”
Dustin-Eichler credits the center’s staff with building strong, student-centered programs. “The Dartmouth Center for Social Impact has an amazing team of educators who care deeply about students and their engagement with the local and global communities,” she says. “I feel fortunate to work with this team and support their roles in educating Dartmouth students.”
Dustin-Eichler came to Dartmouth in 2003 as volunteer coordinator and later as program officer for the then-William Jewett Tucker Foundation, which in 2015 divided into two separate organizations: the Tucker Foundation, focused on spiritual life on campus, and the Center for Service.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in theology and elementary and intense special needs education from Boston College, and a master’s of divinity from Harvard. She has worked, through AmeriCorps, as an environmental educator with the Student Conservation Association, led National Park trail crews across the country, worked as a hiking guide in the White Mountains, and was the assistant coordinator of the Center for Public Interest Careers at Harvard University.
In addition to her work at the Center for Social Impact, Dustin-Eichler is president of the board of Hartford Dismas House, a transitional home for former prisoners in Hartford, Vt.
Marty Lempres ’84, chair of the center’s board of advisers, praises Dustin-Eichler’s service as interim director. “The board of advisers is thrilled with Tracy’s promotion to this role,” Lempres says. “Tracy has made very significant contributions to the College’s efforts to prepare students to lead lives of purpose. We look forward to her strong leadership of the important work of the Center for Social Impact moving ahead.”
Hannah Silverstein can be reached at [email protected]