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Denise Crossan


Director, Strategic Initiatives

President's Office

Center for Innovation & Leadership (CIL)

Peace & Conflict Studies

Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility


  2. Phone: (610) 957-6165
  3. Parrish Hall E260
  4. Parrish Hall 101

Dr. Denise Crossan was appointed Swarthmore College's Director of Community and Strategic Initiatives in July 2021.   Working in the President's Office, Denise collaborates with colleagues to help develop and implement strategic initiatives that strengthen the community and support the College's mission.   Projects planned for 2021 will include engaging with the strategic planning process for the College, supporting Garnet Collaborative 2.0, among other community initiatives. In October 2022, Denise became the Interim Director of the Center for Innovation and Leadership leading ideation, innovation, leadership and entrepreneurial programs and activities for the campus. 

Before this role, Denise was the Eugene Lang Visiting Professor for Issues of Social Change in Swarthmore from Sept 2009-2015, teaching and collaborating with Peace and Conflict Studies and the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility.   In 2017 she created the Social Innovation Lab within the Lang Center and will continue to act as the Director of the Social Innovation Lab.   Projects generated in the Social Innovation Lab include the Engaged Scholarship Map and a new online collaborative Social Business Model Canvas tool.   The academic focus of the Social Innovation Lab for 2021/22 will involve carrying out systems thinking mapping for the campus community.   In addition, Denise will occasionally teach her Social Business Model Canvas class in partnership with Peace and Conflict Studies.