Empowering Change Agents: The Impact of the Thriving Catalyst Endorsement Program

March 8, 2024

The Center for Positive Organizations’ Thriving Catalyst Endorsement Program is a launchpad for positive change makers grounded in the science and practice of thriving organizations. Students craft personalized program trajectories and pacing that align with their unique career goals and interests and emerge equipped with the capacity to unlock greater passion, energy, connection, and purpose. Upon completion, students are awarded a resume-worthy badge that publicly demonstrates their commitment to promote thriving for themselves, others, and organizations as a whole. 

Give to support the Thriving Catalyst Endorsement Program

How and when did the Thriving Catalyst Endorsement Program start? 

The Thriving Catalyst Endorsement Program evolved from the +LAB co-curricular program that ran from 2013 to 2021. The +LAB Program immersed U-M students from all majors and schools in the science of thriving.  

Using the successful foundation of the +LAB, the Thriving Catalyst Endorsement Program emerged based on student feedback requesting more flexibility and access. Since the launch of the endorsement, more than 155 students have engaged in exclusive events, including learning forums about cutting-edge research directly from scholars, crafting their personal purpose statements in an immersive workshop, engaging in small-group learning sessions with industry leaders and alumni, and so many more learning opportunities. 

Featuring Research from Michigan Ross Doctoral Students 

Hilary Hoyt Hendricks presenting in Catalyst Forum

Presenting my work-in-progress at the Thriving Catalyst Forum was a great opportunity to gauge the real-world relevance of my findings. MBA students shared insights from their own work experiences. Undergraduate students from across campus asked questions that pushed me to better articulate my framing. One attendee stayed after the presentation to talk about a new application for my theory–an application I will incorporate into the dissertation chapter I’m writing next. The students’ attention and generosity made a difference for my research.” 

– Hilary Hoyt Hendricks, PhD Candidate, Michigan Ross



Ways We Engage with Thriving Catalyst Students 
Learning from Luminary Scholars 

In a half-day workshop, Creating an Organization of Higher Purpose, with Robert E. Quinn, a Co-Founder of the Center for Positive Organizations, Thriving Catalyst students had the opportunity to engage with Positive Organizations Consortium members, business leaders, and scholars, and learn how to create and prioritize a purpose-driven life. Bob shared how to focus on personal purpose and how it flows into organizational purpose. Students left with clear ideas on how to create their personal purpose statement and ways to help them influence change and create impact. 

Sharing the Wisdom of Executives in Residence 

In a recent Thriving Catalyst luncheon, students learned from CPO Executives in Residence Richard J. Smalling, former American Innovations CEO, and Laurita Thomas, former U-M Associate Vice President for Human Resources, in a session themed around Making Positive Organizational Scholarship Come to Life as a Leader. Rich and Laurita shared their experience, wisdom, and success stories and answered questions from the Thriving Catalyst students. 

Student Impact    

Anjana Chiluka headshot“Thriving Catalyst has been a valuable part of my learning journey, providing a unique platform to engage with experts, senior leaders, faculty, and fellow U-M students. The open and inclusive environment fosters meaningful discussions, offering diverse perspectives on a wide range of topics. It’s been a refreshing and enriching experience that goes beyond traditional classroom learning.“

– Anjana Chiluka, Part-time MBA Student, Michigan Ross 





Impact Snapshot Thriving Catlyst GBD24Learn more about and enroll in the Thriving Catalyst Endorsement Program

Read The Center for Positive Organizations Recognizes First Thriving Catalyst Endorsement Recipient

Give to support the Thriving Catalyst Endorsement Program