Santa Clara University

Katrina Van Gasse

Katrina Van Gasse is a Marketing major and Environmental Studies minor in the graduating class of 2014. From a young age she has always had a love for people and nature.  Through her travels, experiences, and her passion has catalyzed to help solve pressing environmental and social justice problems. She believes that through
social entrepreneurs, innovation and sustainability can be achieved. She was first inspired to work in this field her freshman year of college during the Global Medical Brigades immersion trip to Panama where she helped set up medical clinics in rural communities.  She was able to draw connections between her passion for social justice and strategies for conducting business ethically and effectively in developing and emerging economies. Following her love for adventure, she studied abroad at the University of Cape Town in South Africa for the fall semester in 2012. She had a transformative experience teaching at an orphanage in the Khayelitsha Township and interning for the marketing director of Outward Bound South Africa. Working for the non-profit abroad exposed her to the need for locally responsive solutions in developing nations. The fellowship will give her the skills and experience to continue making a positive impact on people and the planet in her future. She will be working for the social enterprise Solar Sister where she will be documenting the benefit of their solar lantern products in the communities in Uganda. She is a firm believer in the power of social entrepreneurship and is so excited to be a change agent in a positive way.