Four students named University Innovation Fellows

Publication Date

Four students are the latest to be named University Innovation Fellows, a highly-selective program designed to help foster entrepreneurship and innovation among students nationwide.

They are:

Elina Dave ’19, Interdepartmental major (ID) in economics and science, medicine and technology in culture, Hillsborough, N.J.; Talha Janjua ’19, economics, Islamabad, Pakistan; Justin Nguyen ’19, computer science, Hanoi, Vietnam; and An Nguyen ’18, economics and computer science, Hanoi.

The four are among 224 students from 58 schools chosen for the program, which is run by Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design.

In the last three years, 10 Union students have been named fellows.

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

Fellows design innovation spaces, start entrepreneurship organizations, host experiential learning events and work with faculty to develop new courses.

“The core belief of our program is that students can be partners with faculty and administrators to help lead change in higher education,” said Humera Fasihuddin, co-director of the program.

“When we empower students to be the co-designers of the education experience, they create a better educational environment for others as well as themselves. Fellows grow as change agents in the process, and their peers benefit from an increased number of resources that expose them to skillsets and mindsets essential to the 21st century economy.”

Fellows are selected after an application process that includes an essay and a video highlighting their thoughts on innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. Once chosen, fellows complete six weeks of online training.

This week, Union’s Innovation Fellows are attending a meetup in Silicon Valley, which includes immersive experiences at Stanford University, Google, Microsoft and other organizations.

The students are 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; Erika Nelson, associate professor of German; Michael Hagerman, professor of chemistry and co-director of Nanotechnology; Joseph Johnson, director of Writing Programs; Megan Ferry, associate professor and chair of Chinese and Asian Studies; and Jia Gao, visiting professor of economics.

To watch a video about Union’s project, click here.