Fellows are working with peers, faculty and administrators to create new learning opportunities for students at their schools to engage with innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking and creativity.

Below are just a few of the activities that Fellows have worked on in the last few years.

  • Workshops & Challenges
  • Campus Engagement
  • Spaces
  • Student Organizations & Communities
  • Community Engagement
  • Hackathons & Makeathons
  • Campus Resources
  • First-Year Engagement
  • Classes
  • Talks & Speaker Series
  • Global Leadership Opportunities

Workshops and Challenges

The UIF team at KLS Gogte Institute of Technology organized a workshop in November 2019 called “Mind Kraft” that focused on creative thinking and team building.

Canberk Bal and Aristides Milios of Dalhousie University ran a pop-up innovation workshop, where students had a chance to learn about the fundamentals of design thinking through an innovation challenge.

Fellows at KL University in India hosted an event series called Inspire Hour, which helps students learn the fundamental skills required for innovative idea generation, startup establishment, and more.

In March 2018, Fellows at Universidad del Turabo, Puerto Rico, mentored at a StartUp Weekend event. They followed up this event with a workshop to cover the first three steps of design thinking process for first-year students.

Shivanika Shah from JSSATE Noida, India, held an interactive student event in April 2017 focusing on teamwork, leadership, brainstorming techniques, design thinking, and the business model canvas.

South Plains College Fellows Nancy Munoz and Timmy Friesen hosted the “Refill Your Creative Juices Workshop” in April 2017. They held a series of short, hands-on activities to help students at their school think creatively.

Fellows from Rowan University held the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Convention in April 2017. The event featured speakers, collaborative workshops, networking sessions, and interaction with other entrepreneurs and innovators. More »

In November 2016, Seline Dogan from Dalhousie University held a series eight of free entrepreneurship and innovation workshops with 30-40 attendees each week.

Fellows from Madanapalle Institute of Technology & Science hosted a day-long event that involved nearly 1,000 students. They held activities focused on campus resources, innovation and Google’s Android Development course.

Campus Engagement

Fellows Ceren Kocaoğullar and Mine Hazal Şenol held a Mental Wellbeing Week during finals at Koc University as well as a panel for first-year students called UIFTalks: Inspiring Women Students.

At Menlo College, Fellows hosted a pop-up event to gather feedback from students. They created a “bug box” for students to share things that bugged them about their school experience and their lives (and for some, things they were thankful for).

Fellows at William Jewell created a poster campaign #WeNeedMore to showcase what students are doing with their liberal arts education. They placed the posters around their school to motivate other students to find unique opportunities.

Fellows at the University of Delaware have held two annual interactive campus events called 20K Passions, where students get the opportunity to express themselves through written sticky-note submissions at several stations around campus. More »

Drew Spooner and peers created the Hammock InitiativeNorth Dakota State University to bring people together and relax. Events have attracted hundreds of participants and have spread to other schools through self-proclaimed “Hammbassadors.” More »

Fellows at Koç University in Turkey threw an event to gain exposure on campus. Attendees wrote down the things they wanted to change in their lives or at their school, and relieved stress with fun activities.

Tanner Wheadon of Utah Valley University created a mobile prototyping cart to test out the need for a campus makerspace. He spent the Fall 2015 semester rolling the cart around campus to teach students design thinking. More »


Fellows at Swarthmore College worked with a faculty colleague to expand the use of a campus space as a meeting place for student groups and a space to teach design thinking. More »

Brad Turner and Magann Dykema converted an old bowling alley in a Michigan Tech student union building into the Alley Makerspace. The space was launched in October 2016. More »

In February 2016, Fellows and faculty mentors at the University of Alabama at Birmingham launched a student-run makerspace offerings 3D printing, electronics building kits and prototyping materials. More »

Fellows at the Colorado School of Mines opened the first campus makerspace in January 2017. They also created a second space for students to make progress on their low-resolution prototypes. More »

Zach Patterson led the launch of the first open Makerspace at the University of Pittsburgh with the help of administrators, professors, and other students. More »

Alan Xia gave new life to an underutilized space at Kettering University when he created Open Lab Days for campus community members to work on projects in an existing lab. More »

Fellows at La Salle University created the Innovation Factory makerspace in their library, which offers 3D printing, prototyping spaces and a gathering place for a community of makers. More »

Jade Garrett of George Mason University created MIX (Mason Innovation eXchange), a student-run space that provides workshops and access to making materials. More »

Jonathan Bopp of Missouri S&T helped to create a design bay for students to learn design thinking. He hosts a weekly event called IDEAS labs to help the space users discover new problems to tackle.

Student Organizations and Communities

Bre Przestrzelski co-founded The Design and Entrepreneurship Network, or The DEN, at Clemson University in 2014. The DEN is a community and a collection of spaces where students and their ideas come to grow, with mentoring from stakeholders from the community and campus ecosystem. More »

Tad Davis of South Plains College created the student club Student Entrepreneurs After Real Change or S.E.A.R.Ch. The club hosted an unconference on campus to give students an opportunity to discuss issues that they were passionate about. More »

Vincent Arena at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute created the organization Technology Innovation Entrepreneurship and Sustainability (TIES). He hopes to create a habitat where innovation and entrepreneurship can thrive, funded by savings from sustainability projects on campus.

Fellow Erin Winick established a Student Innovation Council for the University of Florida’s College of Engineering.

Ishwar Agarwal runs the Berea Innovation Studio, which promotes innovation and entrepreneurship at Berea College. The organization has hosted several pop-up classes and a design thinking workshop. More »

Community Engagement

Fellows and students at Boise State worked with the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation on a grant project. They facilitated design thinking workshops for school and community teams to design ways for students to learn on Fridays when they don’t have school.

Yaser Alkayale (left) of Dalhousie University co-organized a free weeklong coding camp for Syrian refugees who were new to Canada. More »

Atle Alexander Johansen (right) from the University of North Dakota co-founded Volunteers Together to bridge the gap between students and the city of Grand Forks. More »

LaRissa Lawrie and Hannah Hund from Wichita State University held a design thinking workshop with local high school students.

Hackathons and Makeathons

In April 2016, Justin Hall from the University of Connecticut and team members from the UConn Entrepreneurship and Innovation Society hosted a hackathon focused on smart cities.

In April 2017, Fellows from the Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología in Peru held a challenge called “Eco-Making.” Participants worked in teams to create prototypes of products using only recycled and easy-to-find materials. More »

Robin Bonatesta, Paul Dilyard, Sami Glass and other Fellows from Kent State University run the annual Kent Hack Enough hackathon. This brings together students to “hack” a great time building software and hardware projects in a weekend. More »

Josh Halverson led a team of students from the University of Minnesota to host the second annual 10,000 Makes Makeathon and embedded the event in a pre-existing student organization where it will continue in the future. More »

A team of Fellows from Tennessee Tech University held a survival-themed makeathon in Fall 2016. Participants were directed to “create a solution to help you survive or get off a deserted island with the supplies provided.” More »

Campus Resources

Mara Decker from SIU Carbondale created the Ultra Mobile Design Thinking Cart to teach the topic to students in various locations.

Adrien Feudjio from Morgan State University developed the Morgan Konnect app to keep students connected to opportunities and resources. More »

First-Year Engagement

Bucknell Fellows are launching Design-Thinking Leadership, their school’s first pre-orientation program centered around concepts of design thinking, innovation and entrepreneurship. First-year students will go through a 5-day pre-orientation program where they’ll work in teams with local citizens on problems facing the community.

As part of the #uifresh initiative, Ben Matthews at the University of Virginia held a design thinking workshop and an event connecting first-year students with entrepreneurial alumni. More »

Fellows at Michigan Tech held “Chill out with #uifresh” with 1,300 incoming students from all majors. The activity, which focused on ways to cope with winter weather, introduced students to the school’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. More »


Fellows Carly Kasiki and Jake Coddington of Southern Illinois University Carbondale created and co-taught the honors course “Innovations in Sustainability,” which was fully accredited and had 13 students enrolled. The class will take place again in Fall 2020.

Fellows and faculty mentors at Union College designed the curriculum for the new ICE (Innovation, Creativity and the Entrepreneurial Mindset) course. This 10-week interdisciplinary course is open to all students. More »

KC Christopher, a Fellow and now adjunct faculty at Grand Valley State University, changed the curriculum of the freshmen engineering class to include design thinking. More »

Fellows and faculty at James Madison University’s JMU X-Labs space to offer free pop-up classes — non-credit workshops to help faculty, students and community members learn new skills. More »

Talks and Speaker Series

Menlo College Fellows hosted the school’s first TEDx event in September with the theme “This is America,” including a talk by Fellow Mahmoud Khedr. Watch Mahmoud’s talk »

In April 2017, Hannah Hund (left), LaRissa Lawrie and Saad Syed (right) hosted TEDxWichitaStateUniversity with the theme “Curiosity, Creativity, and Connection.” More »

Christina Oelsner (left) and a team of students organized TEDxWakeForestU in 2013 with the theme “Defining Our Future.” More »

Global Leadership Opportunities

A group of 11 Fellows and UIF team members presented their work to nearly a thousand attendees at the Association of American Colleges & Universities annual conference in January 2017.

14 Fellows hosted a design thinking workshop at Google Developer Days in Bengaluru, India, in December 2017. The Fellows held a series of design thinking workshops at their schools in order to qualify for the event.

Fellows co-facilitated a workshop at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit at Stanford University in June 2016 called “Hack Your Creative Culture.” More »