Thomas Baldridge and Alim Chandani

Creating a Culture of Student Entrepreneurship at Gallaudet

Tom BaldridgeThomas F. Baldridge is the Director of Gallaudet University's Business Administration program and has taught filmmaking and honors interdisciplinary courses as well as business courses since joining the faculty in 1993. He currently teaches business ethics, business law, global business and entrepreneurship, particularly social entrepreneurship. For the past two years he has partnered with colleague Dr. Alim Chandani to promote social entrepreneurship through teaching classes as well as mentoring student initiatives such as the Boomerang Café in LLRH6, the ThinkBiz student entrepreneurship organization, and an annual student business plan competition. Professor Baldridge also facilitated Gallaudet's first-ever Student Think Tank in Spring 2013, which is the subject of another TEDx presentation at this forum. The ultimate goal is to establish a culture of student entrepreneurship, innovation and empowerment on Gallaudet University's campus and to partner with the world-renowned Ashoka Foundation to make Gallaudet a changemaker institution.

Professor Baldridge earned an A.B. at Harvard University, a JD and MBA at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master of Fine Arts in Cinema at the University of Southern California.  He also earned a certificate in International Business Management from Georgetown University and studied at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.   Before joining the faculty at Gallaudet, he was an attorney licensed in California and Indiana, and a writer/director of documentary and short children's films, including So Long Silence, Tobey's Tale and The Clean Club.


Alim ChandaniAlim Chandani, Ph.D, is a veteran of TEDx talks as he presented about the cross-cultural "Peer to Peer" approach at the first annual TEDxIslay forum in Austin, Texas in 2010. 

Dr. Chandani has been working in the field of international development and social entrepreneurship since 2007, when he founded and became Executive Director of Global Reach Out Initiative, Inc. (GRO), a global non-profit 501(c) (3) organization that has connected over 1,000 deaf individuals worldwide through cross-cultural educational delegations and empowerment workshops.

At Gallaudet, Dr. Chandani has partnered with Professor Thomas Baldridge to promote social entrepreneurship by teaching classes on the topic as well as mentoring student initiatives such as the Boomerang Café in LLRH6, the ThinkBiz student entrepreneurship organization, and sponsoring an annual student business plan competition. Their ultimate goal is to establish a culture of student entrepreneurship and innovation on Gallaudet University's campus and to partner with the world-renowned Ashoka Foundation to make Gallaudet a changemaker institution.

Dr. Chandani's research interests also include assessing the quality of educational services for deaf students at universities in India, and facilitating opportunities for them to gain the confidence and skills necessary for successful careers post-matriculation.

Dr. Chandani obtained his doctorate in Administration and Supervision in Special Education from Gallaudet University in April 2013. Currently, Dr. Chandani is a Student Success Specialist coordinating the peer mentorship program for first year students at Gallaudet University.   

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