This summer, Denison proudly presents a specially curated suite of free summer programs that will sharpen thinking, build skills and forge experiences and connections that will put students ahead in careers and academics.

Read kudos for Denison’s Summer Accelerator program from the New York Times »

Business Essentials 2020 | Red Frame Internship | Lisska Mini Courses | Level-up Leadership Challenge

Essentials of Business 2020

Business exploration to boost your resume and help you win at work from day one.
Through Essentials of Business 2020, students will gain practical, resume-boosting experience highly valued by companies. Students will apply liberal arts thinking to commercial problems, connect personally and build their network with influential business leaders, and gain skills to prepare for success from day one in any career.

Presenters and Leaders

Leveraging the university’s extraordinary alumni network and corporate community connections, our list of presenters and program leaders grows daily. Students will learn from and work with C-Suite and other executives from Fortune 500 companies and innovative start-ups, including Matt Harrington ’84 (Edelman), James Anderson ’85 (WarnerMedia), Melissa McManamy ’96 (Accenture), Ty Henkaline (Singularity University), Jeanine Bassett (General Mills), and many more.

Functional Tracks

Choose a specific functional track from the following:

  • Finance & Accounting
    Learn from finance and management executives as you dive into topics covering corporate finance, investment banking, commercial banking, private equity, venture capital, insurance and public accounting and more.
  • Human Resources & Recruiting
    Learn about professional and organizational development, diversity in the workplace, compensation and benefits and other human capital topics as you work with and learn from talent experts from Fortune 500 companies, consulting firms and more.
  • Information Technology & Data
    Work with and learn from corporate data scientists and career data consultants as you dive into cloud computing, network systems, business intelligence, consulting, information security, software web development and more.
  • Marketing & Sales
    Explore advertising, brand management, content marketing, digital marketing, public relations and more with marketing and brand executives from Fortune 500 companies and award-winning creative agencies.

Schedule Overview: June 1 - July 2

The time commitment will vary based on the student’s choice of functional track and optional sessions. Students will devote approximately 6 to 10 hours per week in a combination of online learning courses, skill-building workshops, and one-on-one coaching.

The Red Frame Internship

Real businesses. Real problems. Real insider connections. Total Denison support.
Through a five-week hands-on consulting project, participants will gain real-world experience while being supported, coached and mentored at every turn by a facilitation group of staff, alumni and business leaders. By the end of five weeks, student-consultants will have seen multiple business problems through from start to solution.

Project Examples

As a Red Frame Intern, participants might be asked to:

  • Review digital customer engagement data for insights to improve newly implemented digital customer service tools.
  • Create new journey maps for customers to reduce points of friction, or to develop ideas for re-branding a product or service.
  • Envision entirely novel solutions that help a client increase efficiency while simultaneously improving the quality of experience.

Schedule Overview: May 26 - June 26

To ensure participants gain substance and value, students will spend about 20 hours/week engaged in this opportunity. (No, not on Zoom the whole time!).

  • Morning session (between 10-Noon Eastern): All participants together as a full group—gaining exposure to tools, knowledge and resources that will make our project outcomes more successful.
  • Afternoon session (1-3 hours): Participants work on their own or within their team.

Lisska Summer Mini Courses

Engage in intellectual conversation with your favorite faculty members and fellow students as you explore topics including political ideologies, the legacy of the Vietnam war, food history across time and culture, and even GRE preparation.

Topics and Presenters

  • Political Ideologies (with Dr. Pool)
  • Economic Justice (with Dr. Burczak)
  • Plagues and Peoples: From the Black Death to Covid-19 (with Dr. Davis)
  • In Touch/Out of Touch: Creatively Crafting a New Normal (with Sara Abou Rashed)
  • The Legacy of the Vietnam War (Dr. Katz)
  • A Hopeful Book Club for an Uncertain Time (with Sarah Scheuer and Elena Rogers) will meet for 6 weeks, every 2 weeks. Books will include Wild by Cheryl Strayed, When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, and The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
  • Applying to Medical School and Dental School (with Sam Swentosky and guest speakers). Topics include the application process, the MCAT, DAT, and campus visits
  • Food History Across Time and Culture (with Alexandra Dayka)
  • GRE Study Group (with Jess Spitzer and guest speakers)
  • Forging Creativity in Isolation (with Adam Venrick and Scotia McMullen)
  • Intro to Excel: tips and tricks to make your life easier (with Matthew Kelsey)
  • Crafting your Career in the Arts (with Michael Morrison and Katherine Peter in the Eisner Center): The Eisner Center is offering a series of panel discussions with recent grads and professionals working in the fine arts. We’ll talk through questions and anxieties about pursuing a career in the arts with young alumni and folks who have walked that path and have insights to share. We’ll take a closer look at areas such as arts administration, arts marketing, and production (sound, lights, projection) with an eye towards the practical steps of developing a career in the arts. Sessions will last about an hour, and students can opt in or out of the sessions as they like.

Courses are filling up fast. Interested students should contact the Lisska Center at

Level-Up Leadership Challenge

Take your leadership to the next level! Learn alongside veteran student leaders and alumni who will share their tips and tricks for building strong teams and getting things done. This seminar is ideal for both emerging leaders in campus organizations and experienced leaders looking to strengthen their club or team.

Program Sequence and Topics

Each of the two tracks of the Level-Up Leadership Challenge lasts one week, or “double-up” by completing both weeks. Sessions will occur daily, Monday through Thursday between 1:00-3:00 PM ET. Each day will conclude with a leadership challenge activity that applies the content of the day to real-world leadership situations on campus. Participants are expected to commit to the full eight hours of a track to complete the Challenge.

Each session will be co-facilitated by a veteran student-leader and a knowledgeable content expert from the Denison staff/faculty. Participants will work in small cohorts designed to provide space for rich feedback and putting ideas into action.

Win the Challenge!

Finish each of the daily challenge activities to complete the Level-Up Leadership Challenge, then document your achievement! Graduates will be equipped with the leadership skills that employers are looking for. Better yet, the Level-Up Leadership Challenge is designed to prepare positively impact our Denison community through student leadership roles on campus. Apply the daily challenges to your campus org and “level-up” what your club achieves next year!