7 Days. *5 Campuses. 25 Fellows.
Saturday, April 18th, 2015
Humera and Katie are hitting the road, traveling through eight states to visit University Innovation Fellows, faculty sponsors and administrative leadership, to experience their spaces of innovation and hear stories of the way in which student engagement is expanding opportunities for peers and creating lasting institutional change.
First stop is James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where Fellows are holding Bluestone Hacks, the first-ever student led hackathon. Innovative students are prompted to hack solutions to real issues over 24 hours. We’re excited to judge ‘food and agricultural’ innovations, and view team projects in the ‘healthcare’ and ‘consumer devices & tools’ categories.
Next stop — Richmond, VA, to visit our University of Virginia Fellows. Our venue is the infamous Tom Tom Festival which we’ve heard about for years from Elliot Roth, a Fellow from Virginia Commonwealth University. There, we’ll be crashing the Genius Hour, “a showcase of interactive technology with all kinds of innovators, students, creators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers and enthusiasts.”
We’ll hit the road again, headed to Kent State in Kent, Ohio, for a walk-through of innovative spaces on campus including their TechStyleLAB, Blackstone Launchpad, Student Multimedia Studio and the Architecture Library. Afterwards, we’ll attend a meeting where Fellows present their experiences and plans to campus administration. We’ll end our time at Kent meeting the team at HacKSU, the masterminds behind the growing annual Kent Hack Enough, the Kent State Fashion/Tech Hackathon (which explores the growing wearables technology industry), and many other cool learning opportunities that get Kent-area students excited about making, tinkering and engineering new and creative innovations.
Heading back East, we’ll hit Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where Fellows at the University of Pittsburgh have a strong partnership with numerous innovative faculty. Our first Fellow, Karuna Relwani (who has since graduated), tells the story of the early days when she and her student colleagues worked to form the ESMD Club (Engineers for Sustainable Medical Development). Now, the program has grown substantially, has systematized its organizational structure (currently on its third President), expanded into a new space which is staffed by an Innovation Director, and has undertaken a beautiful rebranding with the name Pitt DesignHub.
Our trip may include some surprise stops along the way in PA, NY and CT, so be sure to stay tuned with LIVE tweets, photos and video right here on this page!
Hittin’ the road!
Humera and Katie
**Updated 5/5/15: Our surprise stop was to La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pa., making this a 5 campus-tour. (Posts coming soon)
Read all posts in this series here:
UIF Roadtrip April 2015