Sean Farrell ’17 selected as a University Innovation Fellow

Publication Date

Sean Farrell ’17 has been named a University Innovation Fellow, a prestigious program designed to help foster

Sean Farrell

Sean Farrell '17, far right, at the Innovations Fellows gathering in Silicon Valley

entrepreneurship and innovation among students nationwide.

Farrell is among 123 students from 52 schools selected by the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter). The program is funded by the National Science Foundation and directed by Stanford University and VentureWell.

The program empowers student leaders to increase campus engagement with entrepreneurship, innovation, creativity, design thinking and venture creation.

“In today’s economy, it is imperative for all students to acquire an entrepreneurial mindset. College graduates need to enter the workforce skilled in assessing complex problems, conceiving innovative solutions and developing scalable solutions, whether they join a company or non-profit organization or start a new venture,” said Humera Fasihuddin, co-leader of the Fellows program.

A mechanical engineering major (with a minor in mathematics) from Amsterdam, N.Y., Farrell applied to be a Fellow last fall, which included an essay and a video highlighting his thoughts on innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. Once he was accepted, he completed six weeks of online training and participated in the Innovation Fellows Annual Meetup in Silicon Valley over the winter.

The group also took part in immersive experiences at Stanford University and Google.

Farrell was supported by faculty sponsors Shane Cotter, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering; Hal Fried, the David L. '39 and Beverly B. Yunich Professor of Business Ethics; and Wendy Sternberg, dean of academic departments and programs.

“I’m looking forward to bringing the innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial mindset to the campus in a broader and more enveloping way,” said Farrell. He plans to organize workshops, propose changes to the curriculum and create programs to achieve his goal.

“Our program provides a platform for Fellows to learn to be strategic thinkers, examine the landscape of learning opportunities at their schools, and formulate action plans to implement their ideas,” said Leticia Britos Cavagnaro, co-leader of the Fellows program and deputy director of Epicenter.

“Fellows develop a community and share strategies about what’s working at their schools. Ultimately, these students, with their drive and motivation, are leading accelerated change in higher education.”

Hristina Milojevic ’15 was selected for the program last year.