Professional Master of Arts in Social Innovation (PMASI)

Preparing graduate students to be change agents, leading cross-sector innovation throughout their organizations, businesses, and communities

Social innovation (SI) is an emerging professional field focused on impact-driven, cross-sector careers (e.g. governmental and nonprofit work, socially-focused entrepreneurship, B Corps). Social innovation is engaged in addressing complex social problems such as: childhood hunger, illiteracy, domestic violence, air pollution, food deserts, contaminated drinking water, racism, poverty, and homelessness.

The SI Program is housed in SCLD: The School of Community Leadership and Development. It is a signature GVSU program and the only social innovation program in Michigan. 


Resources available to prospective and current students in the Social Innovation Graduate Program:

Master's Project Presentations

Save the date! Join us for the Summer 2022 Master's Project Presentations on July 28, 2022 at 6:00p.m. Social Innovation graduate students will showcase their culminating projects and respond to questions and feedback.

This is a virtual event. Please register to attend at

For more information about Social Innovation master's projects, refer to the SI Master's Project page.


Denise Goerisch,
Interim Graduate Program Director
[email protected]
(616) 331-8226

Sherry Moyer
Academic Coordinator
(616) 331-6576

Meet the Graduate Program Director

For the duration of Spring/Summer 2022, Dr. Denise Goerisch will serve as Interim Director of the Graduate Program in Social Innovation. 

Following the spring/summer semester, Dr. Azfar Hussain will resume as Graduate Program Director. Dr. Hussain is an Associate Professor in the Integrative, Religious, and Intercultural Studies (IRIS) Department within the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies (BCOIS) at Grand Valley State University (GVSU).

Recipient of GVSU’s Outstanding University Teacher Award (2018) and former Fulbright scholar, Dr. Hussain is also Vice-President of the US-based Global Center for Advanced Studies (GCAS)—an international consortium of academics, artists, and activists committed to debt-free education, innovation, and social change. He previously taught English, World Literature, Ethnic Studies, and Cultural Studies at Washington State University, Bowling Green State University, and Oklahoma State University. He held the title of Summer Distinguished Professor of English and Humanities at the University of Liberal Arts-Bangladesh (ULAB) from 2017 to 2019 while he held the “Neoliberalism in the Neighborhood” Distinguished Lectureship at the Evergreen State College in January 2017. Dr. Hussain brings a deep commitment to graduate education, including extensive work in graduate teaching and mentoring at multiple universities both in and outside the US.

Read more about Dr. Hussain

Dr. Azfar Hussain

Azfar Hussain, PhD
Graduate Program Director, Social Innovation
Associate Professor, Integrative, Religious, and Intercultural Studies (IRIS)

Page last modified June 1, 2022