198 students named University Innovation Fellows for 2020

198 students from 45 higher education institutions in 14 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 all students gain the attitudes, skills and knowledge required to navigate a complex world and build the future. 

These student leaders from schools around the globe create opportunities to help their peers build the creative confidence, agency, and entrepreneurial mindset needed to address global challenges. Fellows create student innovation spaces, start entrepreneurship organizations, facilitate experiential workshops, work with faculty and administrators to develop new courses, and much more. They serve as advocates for lasting institutional change with academic leaders, lending the much-needed student voice to the conversations about the future of higher education.

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 nearly 2,400 students since its creation. 

“Higher education needs student change agents now more than ever,” said Humera Fasihuddin, co-director of the University Innovation Fellows program. “The global pandemic has forced higher education leaders and faculty to change the way they educate and connect with students. Students have a unique opportunity to help their schools adapt to the challenges presented by this unprecedented time, and schools have an opportunity to engage students as co-designers of today’s educational experience.”

“We’ve trained these new Fellows to identify opportunities for change at their schools and to design experiences that help all students learn skills and mindsets necessary to shape the future,” said Leticia Britos Cavagnaro, co-director of the University Innovation Fellows program. “These Fellows are giving back to their school communities, and at the same time they’re also learning strategies that will help them serve as leaders in their careers after graduation.”

The new Fellows join the program from the following schools:

  • Bogazici University  
  • Bucknell University  
  • Clemson University  
  • Colorado School of Mines  
  • Elon University  
  • Fordham University  
  • Georgia Institute of Technology  
  • Grand Valley State University  
  • Hamburg University of Technology  
  • Illinois Institute of Technology  
  • Iona College  
  • Istanbul Technical University  
  • James Madison University
  • Khalifa University of Science and Technology  
  • Koç University  
  • Lingnan University  
  • Louisiana Tech University  
  • Loyola University Maryland  
  • Madanapalle Institute of Technology & Science  
  • Menlo College  
  • Michigan Technological University  
  • Milwaukee School of Engineering  
  • National Institute of Development Administration  
  • Ohio University  
  • Prairie View A&M University  
  • Salzburg University of Applied Sciences
  • Sophia University  
  • Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering  
  • Swarthmore College  
  • The Ohio State University  
  • Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología  
  • Universidad de los Andes, Chile  
  • Universidad del Desarrollo  
  • Universidad Tecnológica del Uruguay
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha  
  • University of North Florida  
  • University of Richmond  
  • University of St. Thomas  
  • University of Technology Sydney
  • University of Tulsa  
  • University of Twente  
  • Utah Valley University  
  • Vidyavardhaka College of Engineering  
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • Wichita State University  

Fellows are sponsored by faculty and administrators as individuals or teams of students, and selected through an application process each year. Following acceptance into the program, students participate in a 6-week online training experience. During training, Fellows learn to analyze their campus ecosystems and identify opportunities for change related to innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking, and creativity. They work to understand the needs of peers across disciplines and the perspectives of faculty and administrators. They apply this new knowledge and perspective to design new educational opportunities for their peers. After training, Fellows implement the projects they crafted. They continue to serve as change agents and leaders at their schools and beyond.

This year, the University Innovation Fellows program team launched the inaugural Faculty Innovation Fellows cohort. This two-year program is for Faculty Champions — the faculty and staff mentors of University Innovation Fellows. This program helps educators work to identify and design their own projects to make a difference at their schools. Led by a team of experienced Faculty Champions, candidates are part of a community of practice, collaborating with other faculty and staff from around the world to learn new change strategies. Those who complete the program in Fall 2022 will be launched as Faculty Innovation Fellows.

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.

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

2 replies
  1. Elaine Monroe
    Elaine Monroe says:

    I am curious how COVID has influenced the university innovation fellows program & their interaction with the campuses that they were affiliated with?

    • Laurie Moore
      Laurie Moore says:

      Our training program for student University Innovation Fellows has always been virtual, so the format for that has not changed. Early in the pandemic, Fellows found some challenges when it came to meeting and talking with stakeholders, as most interactions then were virtual. And connecting with one another was more challenging as well. Despite these challenges, the 2020 cohort persevered and came up with some remarkable projects to help their schools navigate the ambiguity of these times. The 2021 cohort didn’t experience quite as many challenges, as most of them resumed in-person education this year.


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