CPPS Faculty & Staff

Principled Problem Solving

Mission Statement: The Center for Principled Problem Solving equips Guilford students, individuals and organizations with principled decision making models and experiential learning opportunities, enabling them to work productively with others to make their communities and the world a more just and sustainable place.

The Center for Principled Problem Solving (CPPS) is an intentional community of teachers and learners who seek to both understand and engage the world through the lenses of Guilford’s seven core values of community, diversity, equality, excellence, integrity, justice and stewardship. The CPPS provides opportunities and support for students, faculty and staff to use their knowledge, creativity, critical thinking and life experience to address problems at the campus, local and global levels. Since its inception, it has engaged students, faculty, staff members and alumni in projects, classes and events.

The PPS curriculum is a three-fold process of foundation, practice and application. It cultivates critical thinking and analysis grounded in the core values, applies it to case studies in the classroom, and then moves into the community to take on real problems that affect people’s quality of life.



In the fall of 2007, the College called for a campus-wide Principled Problem Solving (PPS) initiative. This initiative sought to strengthen the Guilford transformative educational experience by emphasizing the existence of PPS as a central theme in its academic programs. It can be seen as one thing that is shared throughout every classroom, within each student’s experience, in every meal, and from each department. Later in the same fall, the College established the Center for Principled Problem Solving to support the initiative and to promote and name that which is so essential to our College’s mission and functioning. 

Dan and Beth Mosca of Brown Summit, N.C., and parents of two Guilford alumni, made a $2.5 million challenge gift toward the goal of a $5 million endowment for the Center for Principled Problem Solving. Dan Mosca, retired president of AdvoCare, is a former chairman of the Board of Visitors and formerly a member of the Board of Trustees. The Moscas also served as chairs of the Parents’ Executive Council and Parent/Family Co-Chairs of the “Our Time in History” capital campaign, completed in 2002. The Moscas will match dollar-for-dollar contributions from all trustees, alumni, and friends of the College. Please visit Guilford’s giving page to make your contribution today. 

Art in the CPPS

The Hunger Project

Donn Young, photographer, and Maureen Berner, UNC School of Government, have documented hunger in North Carolina through The Hunger Project. The exhibit is co-sponsored by the Center for Principled Problem Solving, the Guilford Art Gallery and the Bonner Hunger Fellows.

Esse Quam Videri - Self Portraits by Bahraini Muslims

In response to the stereotyping of Muslims and in recognition that it is human nature to fear what we do not know, community based artist Todd Drake has worked with Muslims in North Carolina and Manama, Bahrain to create self-portraits that share real, rather than seeming, reflections of self to a wider audience. Muslims from a variety of backgrounds and living in a variety of communities participated in this series by working collaboratively with Drake to realize their own vision. Photographs, collaged images, and self-drawn portraits were created with short essays to add context. American Muslim Self Portraits were exhibited in the CPPS and Self Portraits of Muslims in Bahrain was exhibited in the Guilford College Art Gallery. The exhibits were co-sponsored by CPPS, Guilford College Art Gallery, and American Friends Service Committee.

Diversity Photos

Based on the inspiration and training provided by Todd Drake and his Muslim Self Portraits, 11 students submitted images to help us examine diversity at Guilford College. Using the photos as a springboard for significant conversation about our experiences with diversity as a community, we considered these and other questions: What does diversity mean to us? How does diversity strengthen our community? What issues of diversity need to be exposed and considered? In what ways is diversity a strength of the Guilford community? What challenges does diversity bring?

Guaruma Photos

CPPS, the Photo II Class, and the Photo Club combined forces to raise funds for a student in Honduras to attend university. Public university in Honduras is free but the student needed funds for books, clothes and transportation as well as a stipend for the student’s family to offset the loss of wages while the student is attending. Two Guilford alumni asked for our assistance in this project, both of whom were involved with Guaruma, a non-profit working with communities in the Cangrejal watershed of Pico Bonito National Park in Northern Honduras on education, conservation, and self-sufficiency. Students in Honduras and Guilford students submitted photos to be sold to raise the university funds. Photos were exhibited in CPPS, in Founders and in several community venues.


Core Values in Action

Principled Problem Solving (PPS) is the practice of applying our core values of community, diversity, equality, excellence, integrity, justice and stewardship to real world problems and situations.

Principled Problem Solving is…

  • Interdisciplinary – looks at issues from a variety of angles
  • Experiential – puts theory into practice through action
  • Practical – develops tangible skills you can market to employers and graduate schools
  • Leadership – uses knowledge and experience to teach and empower others