Skip to main content

Venture College Welcomes New Women in Leadership Residence Program

Tara Russell
Tara Russell

Boise State’s Venture College will welcome Tara Russell as the first resident of a new program, the Venture College Women in Leadership Residence.

Russell founded the local nonprofit Create Common Good that provides training and employment for refugees and others who struggle to find jobs, as well as NightLight International, an organization that serves women at risk in Thailand. She is currently president of Fathom and Global Impact Lead for Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest leisure travel company. Fathom promotes “deep travel,” offering meaningful experiences and authentic cultural insights to clients.

“I always found myself stuck between the traditional corporate world and international volunteerism and development. I felt like I didn’t fit fully in either, “ said Russell. “ So 15 years ago, I took the plunge into the abyss of what Thoreau calls ‘living the life you’ve imagined’ and tried to combine both.”

Venture College Director Mike Sumpter said the new residence program will promote inclusion and encouragement for students.

“We are eager to introduce to the VC culture a strong and active engagement with distinguished models of success like Tara and her team,” he said.

Initially, Fathom will have dedicated space at the Venture College. Fathom also will sponsor events for students and community members, including discussions and workshops focused on creating social enterprise nonprofits and purposeful for-profit enterprises.

“I believe each of us has tremendous, unique gifting — we were all made to do something great. I’m passionate about mobilizing individuals, organizations and companies to take a hard look at their innate DNA structure to really find their sweet spot and understand how to best impact the world for good,” said Russell.

The college will host a “Welcome Fathom to the VC” mixer from 4:30-7 p.m. on Thursday, April 5, at the Venture College. The program will include Venture College student startup intros as well as a visit with Russell about the Fathom mission. Contact Mike Sumpter at to RSVP.