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.
Sai Lyon Ho ’22; an Interdepartmental major (ID) in economics and computer science from Caracas, Venezuela; Madison Holley ‘22, a political science major from Chicago; Blake Newcomer ’21, an ID major in geology and economics from Stamford, Conn.; and Aikaterini Petridou ‘21, a computer engineering major from Thessaloniki, Greece.
The four are among 360 students from 90 schools chosen for the program, which is run by Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design.
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.
In the last five years, 22 Union students have been selected as 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.
“Higher education needs to change faster to meet the needs of students and industry today,” said Humera Fasihuddin, co-director of University Innovation Fellows.
“In traditional education systems, students have to wait until they graduate to make a difference. We do not believe that. As the key stakeholders of higher education, students should be active participants in a change process that helps them learn the skills and mindsets necessary to create the future. The students who participate in our program are ideally poised to help accelerate the pace of change at their schools.”
In the spring, Union’s Innovation Fellows may attend a meetup in Silicon Valley, which includes immersive experiences at Stanford University and Google.
The students are supported by faculty sponsors Shane Cotter, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering; Erika Nelson, associate professor of German studies; and Nicole Theodosiou, associate professor and co-director of biochemistry.
To learn more about Union's project, visit here.