Four Tech students among 198 worldwide named University Innovation Fellows

Four Louisiana Tech students are among the 198 students from 45 higher education institutions in 14 countries who have been named University Innovation Fellows.

Biology major Abigail Hildenbrand, Jatavion Jackson (sociology), Kayley Kraig (supply chain management), and Courtney Wessels (industrial engineering) are now University Innovation Fellows, a program of Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design that empowers students to become agents of change at their schools. Fellows work to ensure that their peers gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to compete in the economy of the future and make a positive impact on the world.

This is Tech’s third group of UI Fellows but the first time the University has had four on a team; the other two were a “team” of one. Mechanical engineering major Noah Borden was a UI Fellow in 2019, and marketing major Lexie Lybran was a UI in 2018.

These student leaders from schools around the globe create opportunities to help their peers build the creative confidence and entrepreneurial mindset needed to address global challenges. Fellows create student innovation spaces, start entrepreneurship organizations, facilitate experiential workshops, work with faculty and administrators to develop new courses, and much more. They serve as advocates for lasting institutional change with academic leaders, lending the much-needed student voice to the conversations about the future of higher education.

Fellows are sponsored by faculty and administrators as individuals or teams of students and selected through an application process each year. Following acceptance into the program, students participate in a six-week online training experience.

During training, Fellows learn to analyze their campus ecosystems and identify opportunities for change related to innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking, and creativity. They work to understand the needs of peers across disciplines and the perspectives of faculty and administrators. They apply this new knowledge and perspective to design new educational opportunities for their peers.

After training, Fellows implement the projects they crafted. They continue to serve as change agents and leaders at their schools and beyond.

With the addition of the new Fellows, the program has trained nearly 2,400 students since its creation.

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