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SUMMIT Experience Highlighted at SXSW EDU 2022

Dr. Gundolf Graml, associate vice president for curriculum and strategic initiatives, recently presented on Agnes Scott College’s award-winning SUMMIT programming as a part of an experiential learning session at SXSW EDU in Austin, Texas. 

On March 7, Graml joined administrators and peers from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Miami Dade College and Bellevue College to lead a panel titled “Educating Changemakers for Global Impact.” During the panel discussion–moderated by current WPI president Laurie Leshin–each expert explained how their institution uses project-based learning and global leadership opportunities to shape the experiences of their students. 

Agnes Scott’s focus on a four-year experience centered around leadership and professional success was highlighted in Graml’s presentation on learning formats such as Global Journeys travel and the Sophomore Class Atlanta Leadership Experience (SCALE). Integrating rigorous academic learning with hands-on experiences has become a proven model for how Agnes Scott delivers on its educational mission and continues to evolve. 

Danita Knight (right), vice president for marketing and communications, joined a team to discuss the impact of SUMMIT at SXSW EDU.

“The SUMMIT experience connects academic, college-level learning with hands-on experiences,” says Graml. “To put it simply, we’re combining the what with the how.”

“We want students to become familiar with leadership principles, identify different leadership styles and observe how critical decision-making by leaders can and must be grounded in interdisciplinary knowledge, critical reflection, and clear communication,” he continued. 

The four-year SUMMIT curriculum positions students for professional success by emphasizing outcomes. “Students graduate from Agnes Scott College with the ability to weave together their knowledge and their skills in ways that position them for continuing success in an ever-evolving global professional environment,” stated Graml. 

The college recently expanded its offerings for juniors and seniors, providing more guidance through professional success initiatives like Applied Career Experiences (ACE) and internship opportunities domestically and abroad and integrating hands-on learning across all majors. Building partnerships between Agnes Scott College and businesses and non-profit organizations in the Atlanta metropolitan area has been key to developing these initiatives. 

“As we work with our community partners on experiential learning components, we are engaged in the ongoing process of translating and transforming the liberal arts experience. Establishing long-term and mutually beneficial relationships results in a learning environment that truly prepares students for the needs of today’s professional world with a global perspective,” concludes Graml.

The whole of the SUMMIT curriculum has continued to be at the cutting edge of project-based learning in higher education, a consistent catalyst for Agnes Scott being named the No. 1 Most Innovative Liberal Arts College by U.S. News and World Report’s Best College rankings.


About Agnes Scott College 

Agnes Scott College educates women to think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times. Ranked No. 1 Most Innovative School, No. 1 First-Year Experiences and No. 2 Best Undergraduate Teaching by U.S. News & World Report in its 2022 Best Colleges edition, Agnes Scott is a premier institution known for SUMMIT, its signature approach to a liberal arts education focusing on global learning and leadership development. Learn more at