Pinning Ceremony

On March 20-22, 88 students from across the U.S. descended on Silicon Valley in California for our University Innovation Fellows (UIF) Meetup 2014. Over the course of three days, we convened at Google, Stanford University and OPEN 2014 to participate in an action-oriented, highly-engaging agenda (which was shared here a few days back). These 88 students comprised of elders, current Fellows, and new Candidates of the UIF program who are completing their training this week.

This event marked the first meeting of the Fellow Candidates and allowed them to forge partnerships with students from neighboring schools, find peers who were interested in the same opportunities, and create lasting friendships.

At the meetup, we recognized the University Innovation Fellows in our previous cohorts, who have already been incredibly active at their campuses. These students have put in tremendous amounts of work. They took part in 6 weeks of demanding training sessions last fall and spring that included researching strategic resources, interviewing other Fellows to learn from their activities, analyzing their campus ecosystems, learning about what students on campus want to see, and combining all of their new knowledge into a strategic vision to deploy on their campuses. This amazing group of talented, smart students have put in countless hours to engage students on their respective campuses to take interest in innovation and entrepreneurship and empower other students to harness their ideas and take control of their learning.

Below are students from our 2013 fall and spring cohorts.

Back row (from left): Dean Tate (Texas A&M), Brian Rhindress (UPitt), Valerie Sherry (UMD College Park), Mary Wilcox (ASU Tempe), Breanne Przestrzelski (Clemson), Brittany Wouden (WSU), Gregory Wilson (University of Georgia), Jennifer Mayo (Oklahoma State), Yifan Ge (Bucknell), Derek Dashti (Tulane)
Front row (from left): Katelyn Stenger (Rose-Hulman), Graham Leslie (Texas A&M), Terrence Agbi (NYU Polytechnic), Nate Smialek (UPitt), Ellery Addington-White (Beloit), Chen Cui (University of Iowa), Nolan Nicholson (University of Nevada, Reno), Andrew Dalman (North Dakota State)
Not pictured, but present at the Meetup: Jared Karp (UC Berkeley), Sharang Phadke (Cooper Union), Jack Goodwin (UC San Diego), Karuna Relwani (UPitt)

On the afternoon of March 21, we called these 18 Fellows up on stage, and symbolically welcomed them into our program by presenting them with Epicenter pins. We asked they choose a Candidate Fellow from the audience with whom they recently bonded to “pin them” (see below).

Front (left): Jorge Sanchez (ASU at the Polytechnic Campus); (right): Nolan Nicholson (University of Nevada, Reno)
Back (left): Kelly Thomas (UVA); (right): Brittany Wouden (WSU)

Each Fellow from the 2013 cohort now wears this pin with pride:

Congratulations to these students for tackling their learning needs and inspiring others to harness their creativity in order to make the world a better place! They represent a diverse group of leaders who will continue to inspire our up-and-coming generations.

Our Candidate Fellows will be finishing their training at the end of this week and we will acknowledge their efforts by presenting them with Epicenter pins in the very near future. The optimism and hope illustrated by this group of Fellows and the Candidate Fellows is remarkable. We are training groups of Fellows every semester. To host a University Innovation Fellow at your campus, apply today. Our fall deadline is September 8, 2014.

We truly believe students will change the world. Our nation needs us. The time is now.


 By: Katie Dzugan, Program Associate, University Innovation Fellows

Robert Tercek Delivers Riveting Address at 17th Annual OPEN Conference

tercekphoto(38)Twenty Student Ambassadors sat at the edge of their seats for today’s lunch keynote by Robert Tercek who spoke about the future of many of today’s companies driven by change sin mobile and information technology. Ten Student Ambassadors waited in line to meet Tercek, run an idea by him or invite him to keynote their campus events. His premise is that anything that can be ‘vaporized’ – miniaturized or made into software – will be vaporized.

~ Humera Fasihuddin, Manager of Student Programming, T: @ihumera