UIF Workshop Featured in Chronicle of Higher Education

The Chronicle of Higher Education published an in-depth article about our program’s Teaching and Learning Studio faculty workshop.

What does it look like to learn and apply design thinking in higher education? This was the focus of a Chronicle of Higher Education article about our program’s Teaching and Learning Studio faculty workshop. The feature article, “Can Design Thinking Redesign Higher Ed?” was written by reporter Lee Gardner, who attended the workshop in July 2017, alongside 50 faculty and administrators from around the world.

The Teaching and Learning Studio workshop helps higher education faculty use design thinking to create student-centric and active learning experiences. It also helps administrators reimagine other aspects of higher ed institutions beyond the classroom and adopt a student-centric approach. This four-day, in-person training is held three times each year at Stanford University’s d.school.

Read the article here.

Learn more about the Teaching and Learning Studio, and how to apply, at http://universityinnovationfellows.org/teachingandlearningstudio/

Understanding Student Perspectives

The pilot of the Shadow a Student Higher Ed Challenge will take place April 20-27, 2017.

Credit Patrick Beaudouin

In the University Innovation Fellows program, empathy is a big part of our daily practice. One of our core values is the emphasis on learning and understanding the experiences, challenges and joys of others so we can solve our world’s problems. Gaining empathy is essential for us as we work with Fellows and faculty colleagues to create change in higher education.

Last year, we learned about the Shadow a Student Challenge, run by School Retool, another d.school program. We were inspired by this broad-reaching exercise in empathy that asked K-12 teachers, principals and administrators to shadow a student at their school for one day. The challenge is simple but impactful.

As educators, it’s important to continuously connect with the students at our schools. This is how we can adapt our classes, culture and spaces to better fit their needs. There’s no better way to practice empathy than by putting ourselves literally in the shoes of our students. More than 2,500 educators have done just that over the last two years as part of the K-12 challenge (check out their insights on Twitter at #shadowastudent).

We wondered, with all this enthusiasm for the K-12 challenge, what this challenge would look like in higher education. What would college and university leaders learn from spending a day in the life of a student at their institution?

Well, we’re going to find out together. We’re excited to announce the Shadow a Student Higher Ed Challenge, a small higher education pilot of the K-12 challenge in collaboration with the School Retool program. In true d.school form, we’re testing out this idea to see what works, what doesn’t, and what our shadowers learn from their experiences.

For this pilot, we’re working with teams of administrators, faculty and staff from several institutions: Boise State University, Clemson University, Stanford University, Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología in Peru, University of Maryland, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

From April 20 (National High Five Day!) through April 27, we’re challenging leaders at these schools to pick a day, shadow one of their students for the day, and share their insights on Twitter at #shadowacollegestudent. We invite you to follow along, ask questions and share what this community is learning.

Read more about the challenge at universityinnovationfellows.org/shadow-student-higher-ed-challenge.

Press Release: 224 Students Named University Innovation Fellows

224 students from 58 higher education institutions in 7 countries have been named University Innovation Fellows.

The University Innovation Fellows program empowers students to become agents of change at their schools. Fellows work to ensure that their peers gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to compete in the economy of the future and make a positive impact on the world.

To accomplish this, Fellows advocate for lasting institutional change and create opportunities for students to engage with innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking and creativity at their schools. Fellows design innovation spaces, start entrepreneurship organizations, host experiential learning events and work with faculty to develop new courses.

The program is run by Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school). With the addition of the new Fellows, the program has trained 1,000 students at 185 schools since its creation.

Fellows are sponsored by faculty and administrators as individuals or teams of students, and selected through an application process twice annually. Following acceptance into the program, schools fund the students to go through six weeks of online training and travel to the annual University Innovation Fellows Silicon Valley Meetup. Throughout the year, they take part in events and conferences and have opportunities to learn from one another, Stanford mentors, and leaders in academia and industry.

“During their training, Fellows learn how to analyze their campus innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems and understand the needs of stakeholders with the goal of uncovering opportunities to enrich the educational opportunities for their peers,” said Leticia Britos Cavagnaro, co-director of the University Innovation Fellows program. “They utilize frameworks like Design Thinking and Lean Startup to bring their ideas to life and work with peers from different backgrounds and disciplines.”

“The core belief of our program is that students can be partners with faculty and administrators to help lead change in higher education,” said Humera Fasihuddin, co-director of the University Innovation Fellows program. “When we empower students to be the co-designers of the education experience, they create a better educational environment for others as well as themselves. Fellows grow as change agents in the process, and their peers benefit from an increased number of resources that expose them to skillsets and mindsets essential to the 21st century economy.”

The new Fellows join the program from the following schools and countries:

  • ABES Engineering College, India
  • Ajay Kumar Garg Engineering College, India
  • Annamacharya Institute of Technology and Sciences Rajampet, India
  • Arizona State University, USA
  • Binghamton University, USA
  • Boise State University, USA
  • Clark Atlanta University, USA
  • Colorado School of Mines, USA
  • El Centro Latinoamericano de Economia Humana (CLAEH), Uruguay
  • Elon University, USA
  • Florida Institute of Technology, USA
  • Galgotias College of Engineering and Technology, India
  • Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
  • Godavari Institute of Engineering & Technology, India
  • Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), USA
  • James Madison University, USA
  • JNTUA, India
  • JNTUK Kakinada, India
  • Kettering University, USA
  • La Salle University, USA
  • Lawrence Technological University, USA
  • Loyola University Maryland, USA
  • Madanapalle Institute of Technology and Sciences, India
  • Menlo College, USA
  • Morgan State University, USA
  • Ohio Northern University, USA
  • Pepperdine University, USA
  • R.V.R & J.C College of Engineering, India
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA
  • Sagi Rama Krishnam Raju Engineering College, India
  • Santa Clara University, USA
  • Sri Padmavathi Mahila Viswavidhyalayam, India
  • Sri Venkateswara University College of Engineering, India
  • Union College, USA
  • Universidad de Montevideo, Uruguay
  • University of British Columbia, Canada
  • University of Dayton, USA
  • University of Louisville, USA
  • University of Miami, USA
  • University of New Haven, USA
  • University of Oregon, USA
  • University of Pittsburgh, USA
  • University of Portland, USA
  • University of St. Thomas, USA
  • University of Technology Sydney, Australia
  • University of Twente, Netherlands
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
  • V R Siddhartha Engineering College, India
  • Vasireddy Venkatadri Institute of Technology, India
  • Villanova University, USA
  • Washington State University, USA
  • Washington University in St. Louis, USA
  • Western Michigan University, USA
  • Western New England University, USA
  • Wichita State University, USA
  • William Jewell College, USA
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute, USA
  • Zhejiang University, China

This cohort of Fellows includes 55 students from 14 schools in India, who are partially funded by Google to take part in the University Innovation Fellows program. Read more about the program’s work in India here.

In March 2017, students will have the opportunity to participate in the Silicon Valley Meetup, which brings together all Fellows trained in Fall 2016 and Spring 2017. During this gathering, Fellows will take part in immersive experiences at Stanford’s d.school, Google, Microsoft and other Silicon Valley organizations. They will participate in experiential workshops and exercises focused on topics including movement building, innovation spaces, design of learning experiences, and new models for change in higher education.

Applications for the Fall 2017 cohort of University Innovation Fellows are due on March 24, 2017. Learn more and apply at universityinnovationfellows.org/apply.


About the University Innovation Fellows program: 

The University Innovation Fellows program empowers students to become agents of change at their schools. The Fellows are a global community of students leading a movement to ensure that all students gain the necessary attitudes, skills and knowledge required to compete in the economy of the future. These student leaders from schools around the country create new opportunities that help their peers develop an entrepreneurial mindset, build creative confidence, seize opportunities, define problems and address global challenges. Fellows are creating student innovation spaces, founding entrepreneurship organizations, hosting experiential events, and working with faculty and administrators to develop courses. They serve as advocates for lasting institutional change with academic leaders and represent their schools at national events. The University Innovation Fellows is a program of Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school). Learn more at universityinnovationfellows.org.


About Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school):

The Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University (known as the d.school) brings together students and faculty from radically different backgrounds to develop their creative confidence and their potential as innovators by tackling real-world challenges. Learn more at dschool.stanford.edu.


Media contact:
Laurie Moore
Communications Director
University Innovation Fellows Program
(650) 561-6113


Update May 3, 2017: 10 additional students from the following 4 schools have been launched as Fellows: Marquette University, USA; University of California, Berkeley, USA; Universidad Tecnológica del Uruguay; and University of New Hampshire, USA.

University Innovation Fellows Program Partners with Google on India Initiative

By the UIF program team (Leticia, Humera, Katie and Laurie)

We are thrilled to share that the University Innovation Fellows program is partnering with Google on a new international initiative. Google India has committed to training 2 million mobile developers in India to meet the increasing pace of global technological innovation. At the Google University Summit in India, the University Innovation Fellows program was launched as one of the higher education efforts of this initiative.

The pace of technological innovation has been advancing at a historically unprecedented rate. In order for an economy to take advantage of this great potential, it needs to cultivate its citizens’ intellectual, technical and professional capacities. To support this substantial and game-changing economic impact, we must also cultivate and nurture the creative, innovative and entrepreneurial mindset of this emerging workforce.

To complement Google’s developer training initiative, our program’s goal as part of this initiative is to empower students in these countries as higher education change agents and equip them with the knowledge, skills and mindsets that will help them succeed in the workforce after graduation. Fellows in India will be tasked with creating educational opportunities to help their peers learn to be entrepreneurial, creative and innovative in addition to upskilling technical mobile development skills.

“Since we started this program in the U.S. in 2012, our campus partners have experienced significant benefits in collaborating with students to create lasting institutional change,” said Humera Fasihuddin, co-director of the University Innovation Fellows program. “We believe our partnership with Google will help us seed a similar innovation revolution in India.”

“By some estimates, India will overtake the United States in 2018 and become the largest developer population globally. But currently less than 25% of these developers are building for mobile, even though 65% of current internet users, and a majority of future internet users in India and other emerging markets around the world will access the internet only on their mobile phone,” said William Florance, Head of University Programs for Developer Training. “In addition to our faculty training efforts and recently announced Google Developers Codelabs, we are thrilled to help bring the University Innovation Fellows program to India. It is our belief the combination of these efforts can help prepare future mobile developers to become more creative and entrepreneurial in solving problems both locally and around the world.”

In early September, we accepted our first Indian cohort of 22 students from 10 schools. The UIF program team then visited India to better understand the challenges and opportunities in the higher education system there. We met with UIF candidates, their faculty sponsors, students and faculty at four school site visits. We were blown away by their passion and enthusiasm for this opportunity, and we’re excited to continue to collaborate with them. We accepted the second Indian cohort of 55 students from 14 schools in February 2017. This year, our India Fellows will visit the U.S. to attend the Silicon Valley Meetup, the program’s signature in-person event. We will continue to accept students from India with support from Google in our future application cycles.

In the next two years, we hope to reach more than 50 schools in India with the program. We are exploring new means of engagement including two upcoming events in Bangalore: a Regional Meetup for Fellows and their peers, and a Teaching and Learning Studio workshop for faculty and teaching staff.

“Cross-pollination and collaboration among students from different schools is at the core of our program’s success,” said UIF program co-director Leticia Britos Cavagnaro. “Thus, this initiative in partnership with Google will not only be a transformative opportunity for schools and students in India, but also for the schools and Fellows already participating in the program in the United States and beyond. It will be an unparalleled learning journey for all, and we are truly looking forward to making the most out of it.”