Fellows Featured On White House Blog – November 7, 2014

In this year’s proclamation of November as National Entrepreneurship Month, President Obama stated:

Across our Nation, in laboratories and around kitchen tables, passionate and creative entrepreneurs are developing new sources of clean energy, cures for life-threatening diseases, and inventions that will transform the way we see the world. America has always been a country of risk takers and dreamers – where anyone who is willing to work hard can turn a good idea into a thriving business – and our spirit of ingenuity remains a powerful engine of growth, creating jobs and bolstering our economy. This month, we recognize the grit and determination of American inventors and innovators and their many contributions to our Nation, and we reaffirm our commitment to support these entrepreneurs as they develop the products, services, and ideas of tomorrow.

University Innovation Fellows take inspiration from these words. They embrace Epicenter‘s mission to expand the innovation ecosystem in engineering… but they take it one step further. It is their belief that ALL students – not just engineers and business students – need tools that foster their creativity, innovation, leadership and entrepreneurial mindset. Why? Because the workforce requires it. Today’s graduates need to be better prepared for the skillsets and mindsets of their future employers. Students need to know how to come up with the really bold ideas that solve our society’s most throny problems, while also knowing how to execute on those ideas. Fellows understand this and work with faculty, administration and peers to identify, reframe and create infrastructure, programs and language that reaches a broader segment of the student population with essential learning opportunities, resources and more. With the speed that only comes from knowing they’re going to graduate soon, Fellows are laser focused on create lasting institutional change.

Today, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy featured the work of nine University Innovation Fellows who are implementing unique offerings based on the assets of that campus/region and their own personal passion and interest:

Bre Przestrzelski, Clemson University

Greg Wilson, University of Georgia

Lauren Abston, University of Oklahoma

Ryan Phillips, University of Oklahoma


Meenu Singh, Atin Mittra, and Valerie Sherry, University of Maryland


Mary Wilcox, Arizona State University


Ben Riddle, Furman University

We are very proud of their work and the impact they are making on their campuses. For the entire White House blog post, including their stories of making change in higher education, click here: http://1.usa.gov/13RFhF0. To learn how to become a Fellow, visit http://www.dreamdesigndeliver.org/apply.

~ Humera Fasihuddin, Leader, University Innovation Fellows

Twitter: @ihumera

Higher Education Maker Summit @ ASU, October 23-24

The University Innovation Fellows are excited to take part in the upcoming Higher Education Maker Summit. The event is the inaugural convening of 150 higher education institutions that recently committed to creating maker spaces, as part of the first-ever White House Maker Faire. Once realized, these maker spaces will provide thousands of people  access to the tools and skills that 21st century makers, creators, inventors and innovators need to be successful.

Fellows attending the event will speak to student-led strategies they’ve employed to create innovation spaces quickly and cheaply to begin innovation activities on campus. Often times this programming and community building has attracted the much-needed investment campuses need from alumni and state sources. Investment in student engagement strategies has had a profound affect in creating vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems. Attend this important Summit to learn more about strategies that University Innovation Fellows are employing to bring about these lasting ecosystem enhancements.

Read about our Berkeley University Innovation Fellows success in developing innovation spaces on this earlier blog post.

For more about the summit visit http://entrepreneurship.asu.edu/makersummit/.

– Humera Fasihuddin