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.
Marina DeLuca ’20, a music and biology major from East Marion, N.Y.; Samantha Kruzshak’19, a biology major from Newtown, Conn.; Ha An Nguyen ’20, an economics and computer science major from Hanoi, Vietnam; and J.P. Elmblad ’20, an economics major from Boulder, Colo.
The four are among 258 students from 64 schools chosen for the program, which is run by Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design.
In the last three years, 14 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.
For their project, Union’s fellows hope to create more collaborative design spaces on campus for student use. This includes securing funding and surveying students for their ideas.
“We believe students can help accelerate the pace of change in higher education,” said Humera Fasihuddin, co-director of the program. “They have creative ideas and are very resourceful. With proper training and mentorship, they are initiating positive lasting changes at their schools and making a difference in the lives of their peers.”
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.
Next week, Union’s Innovation Fellows will attend 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; and Erika Nelson, associate professor of German.
Ha An Nguyen ’20, Samantha Kruzshak’ 19, Marina DeLuca ’20 and J.P. Elmblad ’20 are the College's latest University Innovation Fellows.