Press Release: 169 Students Named University Innovation Fellows

University Innovation Fellows gather at the d.school during the Silicon Valley Meetup in March 2016. Photo by Ryan Phillips.

University Innovation Fellows gather at the d.school during the Silicon Valley Meetup in March 2016. Photo by Ryan Phillips.

 

169 students from 49 higher education institutions in four 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, the 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 776 students at 164 institutions since the program’s creation. Read about what activities the new Fellows plan to create at their schools here.

“We believe that students can be so much more than just the customers of their education. They can be leaders of change and they can co-design the higher education experience,” said Humera Fasihuddin, co-director of the University Innovation Fellows program. “This core belief has driven the program since its inception, and we’ve seen the results of this belief put to action at schools around the world. Fellows are collaborating with their peers, faculty and administrators to create more educational opportunities for students at their schools. They are making measurable gains, both in the number of resources and the students served by the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.”

Individual Fellows as well as institutional teams of Fellows are sponsored by faculty and administrators 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.

“Through this program, Fellows learn how to analyze their campus ecosystems for new opportunities, understand the needs of stakeholders at their schools, collaborate with peers from different disciplines, and solve open-ended problems,” said Leticia Britos Cavagnaro, co-director of the University Innovation Fellows program. “All of these mindsets and skills will help Fellows make a difference in higher education as well as in the increasingly complex world that awaits them after graduation.”

The new Fellows join the program from the following schools:

  • Ajay Kumar Garg Engineering College, India
  • Boise State University, USA
  • Bucknell University, USA
  • California State University, Fullerton, USA
  • City College of New York, USA
  • Clemson University, USA
  • CMR Institute of Technology, India
  • Cooper Union, USA
  • Furman University, USA
  • George Fox University, USA
  • Grand Valley State University, USA
  • Gujarat Technological University, India
  • Hartwick College, USA
  • James Madison University, USA
  • JNTU College of Engineering, India
  • JNTUA College of Engineering Pulivendula, India
  • JSS Academy of Technical Education, India
  • Kamla Nehru Institute of Technology, India
  • Lawrence Technological University, USA
  • Madanapalle Institute of Technology & Science, India
  • Michigan Technological University, USA
  • Missouri University of Science and Technology, USA
  • Morgan State University, USA
  • North Carolina A&T State University, USA
  • North Dakota State University, USA
  • Rice University, USA
  • Rowan University, USA
  • Siddharth Institute of Engineering and Technology, India
  • Smith College, USA
  • South Plains College, USA
  • Southern Illinois University Carbondale, USA
  • Susquehanna University, USA
  • Tennessee Technological University, USA
  • Texas A&M University, USA
  • Texas Tech University, USA
  • Universidad de Ingeniería & Tecnología, Peru
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA
  • University of California, Riverside, USA
  • University of Connecticut, USA
  • University of Delaware, USA
  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA
  • University of Miami, USA
  • University of New Hampshire, USA
  • University of North Dakota, USA
  • University of Southern California, USA
  • University of Twente, Netherlands
  • University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, USA
  • Visvesvaraya Technological University, India
  • Western State Colorado University, USA

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 the d.school, Google 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 Spring 2017 cohort are due on October 31, 2016. Learn more and apply 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
laurie@dschool.stanford.edu

58 U.S. Students Named University Innovation Fellows by NSF-Funded Epicenter

For Immediate Release
October 2, 2014

58 U.S. Students Named University Innovation Fellows by NSF-Funded Epicenter

Palo Alto, CA – Fifty-eight students from 26 higher education institutions across the United States have been named University Innovation Fellows by the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter).

The University Innovation Fellows program empowers students to become agents of change at their schools. The Fellows are a national community of students in engineering and related fields who work to ensure that their peers gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to compete in the economy of the future. To accomplish this, the Fellows advocate for lasting institutional change and create opportunities for students to engage with entrepreneurship, innovation, creativity, design thinking and venture creation at their schools.

This new cohort of Fellows brings the total number to 168 Fellows from 85 schools. The program is run by Epicenter, which is funded by the National Science Foundation and directed by Stanford University and VentureWell (formerly NCIIA).

“It is so critical for students to have an entrepreneurial mindset in today’s economy. They need more than just technical skills to solve the big problems our world is facing,” said Humera Fasihuddin, leader of the University Innovation Fellows program for Epicenter.

“This mindset helps students learn to be flexible, resilient, creative, empathetic. They learn how to identify and frame problems rather than simply solving what’s put in front of them. With these skills, students will be able to leave school better prepared to tackle challenges and create new and fulfilling jobs for themselves and others.”
Individual Fellows as well as teams of Fellows are sponsored by faculty and administrators at their schools and selected through an application process twice annually. Following acceptance into the program, students complete six weeks of online training, where they connect with their new network, examine their current entrepreneurial ecosystems and formulate action plans to implement their ideas. Throughout the year, they take part in events and conferences across the country and have opportunities to learn from one another, Epicenter mentors, and leaders in academia and industry.

Fellows have created student design and maker spaces, founded entrepreneurship clubs and organizations, worked with faculty to design courses, and hosted events and workshops. In the last academic year alone, Fellows created 553 activities, 22 new spaces and 65 innovation and entrepreneurship resources at their schools.

“Fellows are having a powerful impact at their schools,” Fasihuddin said. “They are working alongside students, faculty and their university leaders to help all students learn an entrepreneurial mindset, dream big and pursue their career aspirations.”

Learn more about the University Innovation Fellows at http://epicenter.stanford.edu/university-innovation-fellows and http://www.dreamdesigndeliver.org.

About Epicenter:
The National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter) is funded by the National Science Foundation and directed by Stanford University and VentureWell (formerly NCIIA). Epicenter’s mission is to empower U.S. undergraduate engineering students to bring their ideas to life for the benefit of our economy and society. To do this, Epicenter helps students combine their technical skills, their ability to develop innovative technologies that solve important problems, and an entrepreneurial mindset and skillset. Epicenter’s three core initiatives are the University Innovation Fellows program for undergraduate engineering students and their peers; the Pathways to Innovation Program for institutional teams of faculty and university leaders; and a research program that informs activities and contributes to national knowledge on entrepreneurship and engineering education. Learn more and get involved at http://epicenter.stanford.edu/.

Media contact:
Laurie Moore
Communications Manager, Epicenter
(650) 561-6113
llhmoore@stanford.edu

Epicenter-NSF-Stanford-VW-logos-stacked

Congratulations Spring 2014 Fellows!

We are pleased to announce the launch of to 66 University Innovation Fellows from 45 U.S. campuses! A complete list of students is below. University Innovation Fellow bios, campus profiles and strategic priorities can be found on the student universityinnovation.org wiki here: http://universityinnovationfellows.org/wiki/University_Innovation_Fellows_Program.

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Epicenter University Innovation Fellows – Press Release April 2014.

 

For Immediate Release
(April 9, 2014)

Media contact:
Laurie Moore
Communications Specialist, Epicenter
(650) 561-6113
llhmoore@stanford.edu

66 U.S. Students Named University Innovation Fellows by NSF-Funded Epicenter

(April 9, 2014) — Sixty-six university students from 45 higher education institutions across the United States have been named University Innovation Fellows by the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter).

The University Innovation Fellows are a network of student leaders working to create lasting institutional change that will increase student engagement with entrepreneurship, innovation, creativity, design thinking and venture creation. The program is part of a national movement to help all students gain the attitudes, skills and knowledge required for them to compete in the economy of the future.

The new cohort of Fellows brings the total number to 110 Fellows at 78 schools in the U.S. The program is run by Epicenter, which is funded by the National Science Foundation and directed by Stanford University and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA).

“It is no longer enough for engineering students to graduate with a purely technical education,” said Tom Byers, Director of Epicenter and Professor at Stanford University. “Whether they start their own companies or join established organizations, engineers need to have an entrepreneurial mindset to identify and seize opportunities, bring their ideas to life, and solve global problems.”

The program offers undergraduate students in engineering and other fields the guidance and support to become agents of change on their home campuses. The Fellows have made it their mission to expand the number and quality of resources available to students and to advocate for necessary advancements with external advisory boards, trustees and institutional leaders.

Fellows are sponsored by faculty and administrators at their schools and selected through an application process each spring and fall. Following acceptance into the program, students complete six weeks of online training, during which they connect with their new network of Fellows, examine their current entrepreneurial ecosystems and formulate action plans for their ideas.

At their schools, Fellows have founded entrepreneurship clubs and organizations, worked with faculty to create courses, hosted events and workshops, and created student design and maker spaces. Read more about their activities at epicenter.stanford.edu/story/engineers-take-action-university-innovation-fellows.

“University Innovation Fellows help their peers complement their coursework with interdisciplinary projects that build on their passions, career goals and desire to make a real impact in the world,” said Humera Fasihuddin, leader of the University Innovation Fellows program for Epicenter and Senior Program Officer at NCIIA.

“Students are capable of honing their leadership abilities by leveraging creativity, design thinking and an entrepreneurial mindset to solve problems on campus, in the local community and around the globe – all while still enrolled in school,” Fasihuddin continued. “These experiences give students a highly competitive edge in the job market because they are able to demonstrate the ability to bring products and services to market.”

The Fellows gathered in Silicon Valley March 20-22, 2014, for their annual meeting, where they took part in immersive experiences at Google, Stanford University and NCIIA’s Open Conference. Fellows participated in workshops and exercises focused on design thinking, creativity, brainstorming and team building. They engaged with entrepreneurs and leaders from Google, Google Ventures, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Design for America, 3 Day Startup, StartX and many others.

Learn more about the University Innovation Fellows program and learn how to apply at epicenter.stanford.edu/university-innovation-fellows.

About Epicenter:

The National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter) is funded by the National Science Foundation and directed by Stanford University and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA). Epicenter’s mission is to empower U.S. undergraduate engineering students to bring their ideas to life for the benefit of our economy and society. To do this, Epicenter helps students combine their technical skills, their ability to develop innovative technologies that solve important problems, and an entrepreneurial mindset and skillset. Learn more, and get involved at epicenter.stanford.edu.

Spring 2014 Fellows

University Innovation Fellows Manifesto from Epicenter on Vimeo.

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Manifesto

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Welcome to the brand new home of the University Innovation Fellows Program!

new*** NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR FALL TRAINING: We are searching for 27 University Innovation Fellows to join current team of 33. Deadline for Fall Training is September 16th. APPLY NOW. ***

Welcome to the brand new home of the University Innovation Fellows Program! So much has changed, where to we begin? Let’s start from the top:

  • First, the name University Innovation Fellows (UI Fellow) refers to the students who we train and groom to lead the movement on their campuses. This retires the name that gave us our start back in 2010, the Student Ambassadors Program… no offense to all you other Student Ambassadors out there, there are just way too many of you representing anything from software to consumer products. We wanted a name that conveyed the leadership qualities our students embody and conveys the prestige that comes with it. The new name also says a little bit more about what they do, which is to work to enhance the innovation ecosystem on campus. Learn more.
  • We are excited to announce that our application for Fall Training is now live! We are seeking 27 bright new students to join our team of 33 to bring us to 60 University Innovation Fellows for the 2013-2014 academic year. Learn more about the advantages of becoming a UI Fellow and of having one on your campus here.
  • Next, the new website address dreamdesigndeliver.org … University Innovation Fellows are inspiring students to ‘Dream. Design. Deliver.’ new solutions to the world around them. This is a call for engineers and their interdisciplinary peers to think creatively, invent and adopt an entrepreneurial mindset. So, if your campus is selected to have a University Innovation Fellow, you’ll likely see cool-looking students sporting fabulous T-shirts that urge students on campus to ‘Dream. Design. Deliver.’ along with them in a movement that will sweep their campus and the nation.
  • Finally, you’ll notice a lot of great new content written by University Innovation Fellows. These from-the-trenches perspectives on catalyzing student innovation on campus, tools and resources that hone the entrepreneurial mindset and examples of institutional change. This is the place you’ll learn how the actions of two students and their team helped land $20 million to fund a design institute. You’ll hear one University Innovation Fellow strategy of creating something every day to hone his creativity skills. And occasionally other contributors, from staff to students at large, will share lists of seed funding sources or free online courses that strengthen your innovation skills. You’ll want to make sure you follow this blog by email so you don’t miss anything. Just follow the link on our home page and make it so.

We’re really excited about some important enhancements to the University Innovation Fellows program and the plans in place for the year ahead! You’ll see a lot more coming from us in the next few months. We want this movement to bring together campus changemakers. Innovation and the entrepreneurial mindset are the way forward for us personally and as a nation and it will take ALL OF US pulling in the same direction to make it happen. Join us, either as a University Innovation Fellow or join us as a collaborator. We would love make students aware of the opportunities, resources and tools you offer to help strengthen the campus ecosystem. Join us!

You can contact me at humera at nciia dot org or post your comments below!

~ Humera Fasihuddin, @ihumera

Senior Program Officer, University Innovation Fellows.

*** NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR FALL TRAINING: We are searching for 27 University Innovation Fellows to join current team of 33. Deadline for Fall Training is September 16th. APPLY NOW. ***

Five Lessons for a Student Ambassador Candidate: Some Short Stories of Excitement, Fear, and Prezi

These thoughts and stories, and whatever messages or lessons they may convey, are not limited to the experiences of Student Ambassadors. Perhaps one of the most significant strengths of the NCIIA Student Ambassador program is its ability to quite accurately simulate student entrepreneurship; the two are not mutually exclusive!

What it means to dive head-first into a pre-med schedule while embarking on the journey of a Student Ambassador candidate?

The clock was just pushing noon. I’d already been in class for several hours. But right on time, I sat down in a quiet computer lab and logged into the WebEx call. While Humera debriefed all of us on the highlights of the week, my Prezi flew into view from its previously minimized position in the screen’s corner. While I’d like to say that everything was meticulously arranged and ready for an elegant presentation, this was not the case. I’d poured a few hours into learning about the powerful presentation tool (free academic license! woohoo!), but was still getting the hang of it. One of the more significant takeaways from my time as Student Ambassador Candidate was simply the importance of jamming productivity into every nook and cranny of every day. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m beginning to love the feeling of looking ahead to a really jam-packed day.

Lesson 1: Learn, and learn to love, using Prezi. Prepare and rehearse in advance, if only the night before.

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My first Prezi!
(click on the image to check it out)

Fortunately, my hastily written notes carried me through the presentation; it wasn’t until several months later that I realized why the SA and Epicenter leadership decided to use Prezi. Unlike PowerPoint or Keynote, Prezi incentivizes the author of a presentation to keep everything simple, light, and graphical enough to truly complement my speaking style, rather than cluttering up the flow of ideas I intend to convey.

Breathe, relax, focus

My second story (and subsequent personal lesson) is slightly less lighthearted. About three weeks into Student Ambassador training, a family emergency arose. I’m generally not one to let my personal life combine extensively with my academic and early professional efforts. However, as the distraction grew, I knew something had to give. It was at this point that I began searching for some reprieve from the daily grind. Fortunately, I had recently read about “mindfulness meditation,” more or less the beginner’s version of the age-old practice. Despite my distinctly non-mystic personal philosophies, the science (breathe, relax, focus) seemed sound enough. Suffice to say, the change was profound and nearly immediate. After just four days of meditation (exactly 15 minutes each day), my ability to focus on tasks and drive anything I started to completion radically improved.

Lesson 2: Find a healthy, uncomplicated way to regain your composure and determination. Anything goes, as long as you can stick with it!

Mindfullness_Meditation

Take it and run with it

Here’s another issue that I noticed arose both for me and my peers: it can be very unsettling to picture yourself in a newfound, and perhaps seemingly unwarranted, leadership position. After all, college teaches everyone very quickly that there’s almost always somebody who’s better at something than you. I recall being invited (perhaps even selected?) to the Student Ambassador training program and wondering, “Why do I have this opportunity?” The simplest and most elegant answer is this: you have the opportunity to pursue the Student Ambassador position and gain incredible amounts of experience and insight because you chose to pursue this non-trivial opportunity.

Lesson 3: Actively avoid looking into your past and wondering why you did not choose to explore an opportunity. The best decisions you make will often take you toward the more difficult journeys.

Net positive

Second to last, and this narrative is a short one. As you’ll soon realize (or perhaps you already do), the Student Ambassador candidacy is not for the faint of heart. Furthermore, many skills you learn as an Student Ambassador candidate will also present themselves, albeit in different and less accessible forms, during your life as a student entrepreneur. Thus, the obvious question with which I personally struggled is, does the ROI of Student Ambassador training result in a net negative opportunity cost when combined with ROI of unstructured entrepreneurial pursuits (i.e., is the Student Ambassador training a better use of time that regular student entrepreneurship)? The answer is yes, and here’s why: while some brilliant, talented, and lucky young adults can self-direct in almost all of their learning, most of us cannot. I attend college, take Coursera classes, and involve myself with the Student Ambassador “legion” because I know without a doubt that I will and do learn more with some amount of structure.

Lesson 4: Don’t shy away from structure; chances are, you’re not in the top 0.1% of individuals who can truly stay focused on learning something completely new without any outside guidance or community support.

Listen up

The final tale of the day is one I still use to motivate myself (so pay attention!). Everything was going as well as I could hope (and I’m pretty hopeful), and strangely, I began to notice that my good news wasn’t always received as positively by others as I expected. Sometimes it was a simple case of sour grapes; other times, however, I realized that I wasn’t listening sincerely and completely to others’ updates, good and bad. Particularly when you feel strongly about some part(s) your life, for better or worse, it can be very easy and very dangerous to cast aside the feelings and news of others in favor of sharing your own. While I sincerely doubt we’ve evolved to have two ears and one mouth simply because we’re supposed to listen twice as often as we speak, there is serious value in the skill of paying wholehearted attention to everyone with whom you interact. This is especially true when you, my fellow Student Ambassador or candidate, only speak every week or so with the rest of the Student Ambassador team. This leads me to the last lesson, which needs no explanation…

Lesson 5: Don’t let your excitement, whether it’s positive, negative, or somewhere in between, pull you away from paying attention to others.

By all means, please send comments, critiques, quandaries, and croissants to blake@blakemarggraff.com or post your comments below — I’m happy to keep the dialogue going!

Blake_Marggraff_photo Blake Marggraff is a Student Ambassador and currently a sophomore and Biochemistry major at Washington University in St. Louis, where he is enjoying a life of academics, multiple business ventures, and the occasional hiking or camping trip. Prior to attending Washington University, Blake won the top award at Intel’s International Science and Engineering Fair with a project that used pegylated tin to augment the efficacy of radiation therapy for treatment of simulated cancer cells with low to mid-energy X-ray sources. Blake’s enthusiasm for entrepreneurship began with his success in numerous public speaking competitions, and was furthered by his work as a leader of local National Youth Leadership Training courses. Looking toward the future, Blake intends to help shape the bioethics and consumer biotechnology industries, while inspiring peers to engage in entrepreneurship.

We Believe Students Can Change the World

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NCIIA and Epicenter are pleased to announce an expansion of the Student Ambassadors program. The program, founded in 2009, trains student leaders to promote entrepreneurship and venture activity, particularly in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) disciplines, among their peers on college and university campuses throughout the U.S.

Today’s announced expansion consists of a six-session online training, piloted in Fall 2012. With this new programming, the national organizations will be able to train many more students and do so in parallel with their academic coursework. Read more about the program, register or read the release here.

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