This grant program supports faculty and instructors interested in integrating design- and entrepreneurial thinking into their courses. The goal of the program is to expand the umbrella of Ideas Challenge Courses in order to expose more UWM students to innovation and entrepreneurship.

About Curriculum Innovation Grant Program

We are seeking UWM faculty and instructors interested in integrating creative-, design- and entrepreneurial thinking into their courses. The goal of the program is to expose more UWM students to innovation and entrepreneurship. The program supports two tracks: (1) ideas for individual course instruction from individual applicants and (2) ideas for new co-instruction from a pair of faculty members (evidence of departmental/college approval/support of a new course must be provided). Expected outcomes of each grant – new curriculum either embedded into an existing course, or a brand-new course.


Faculty or instructors selected will receive the following support for FY22:

    • Professional development grant (up to $5,000) or discretionary support (course buy-out, summer support, materials, and supplies) ($5,000);
    • Curriculum design and implementation coaching from LEC staff or affiliated faculty;
    • If you are applying for track (2) – the discretionary support from two applicants can be combined for a course buy-out for one of the applicants to enable co-teaching opportunities.

Proposal Submission Guidelines

All proposals should be received by the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center staff by December 31, 2021.
Two-page proposals should address the following questions:

    • Is this an existing or a new course?
    • Why do you want to integrate creative- design- or entrepreneurial thinking into curriculum?
    • What is your idea (even if it is in an early stage of development)?
    • What is your curriculum implementation plan/timeline

Proposals should be emailed to Dr. Ilya Avdeev, Director of Innovation and Kellner Entrepreneurship Fellow, Lubar Entrepreneurship Center –

Program Timeline

  • Proposal submission window: December 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021
  • Review complete: January 7, 2022
  • Awardees notified: January 10, 2022
  • Support period: January 1, 2022 – December 31, 2022
  • Curriculum implementation: Spring 2022, Summer 2022 or Fall 2022 semesters



2021 – Grant Recipients and Project Descriptions

  • Abigail L. Phillips – I am incorporating design thinking into a public library course.
  • Adam Hudson – Incorporating design thinking U/G work with nonprofits.
  • AkkeNeel Talsma & Jeana Holt – Integrate design and entrepreneurial thinking into the existing curriculum for two graduate nursing programs to address current healthcare problems.
  • Anne Basting – Creating a new U/G course in English in Narrative and Entrepreneurship.
  • Barbara Meyer & Kyle Ebersole – A team science approach for leveraging the health performance continuum to optimize individual and organizational productivity.
  • Christ Willey & Nathaniel Stern – Establish Creative Technology as a cross campus concentration that leverages innovation and entrepreneurial tools.
  • Coe Douglas & Kim Beckmann – Using human-centered design to break and remake a more ecologically inclusive human-centered design practice.
  • Hamid Seifoddini – Incorporating system thinking into industrial engineering courses.
  • Erica Bornstein – Integrating social entrepreneurship into my anthropology classes on human rights, humanitarianism and global justice.
  • Erica Ceka – To build students’ abilities to collaborate in defining and solving complex problems and to generate unique solutions in addressing global challenges.
  • Jacob Rammer – Motivate BME Capstone design students to pursue medical device entrepreneurship.
  • Jean Creighton & Robin Mello – Collaboratively teach students to design storytelling events to communicate astronomy performatively.
  • John Gardner & Jenny Kehl – Incorporating entrepreneurial thinking into water stewardship planning for local business.
  • Mohamed Ayoub – Joy of Teaching & Learning S.T.E.M. Entrepreneurship.
  • Nathan Jung – Integrate entrepreneurial design into STEM communications by developing STEM toys.
  • Priyatha Premnath – Inculcating Design Thinking and Entrepreneurship in freshman Biomedical Engineers.
  • Trudy Watt – Using kindness as a cornerstone to enhance collaborative experiential learning across disciplines.
  • Yaron Zoller – Create a new Business course on data analytics & innovation.

Current LEC Teaching Fellows

profile photoAyoub, MohamedProfessor of ChemistryCollege of General Studies(414) 251-9184ayoubm@uwm.eduCampus: Washington County

Professor of Chemistry, College of General Studies

profile photoBasting, AnneProfessorTheatre General(414) 229-2732basting@uwm.eduTheatre Building 242

Professor, Theater General
Coordinator, Artist in Residence Program

profile photoBornstein, EricaProfessorAnthropologyelbornst@uwm.eduSabin Hall 397

Professor, Anthropology

profile photoCeka, EricaVisiting Assistant ProfessorPublic and Nonprofit Administrationceka@uwm.eduAlumni House 388

Visiting Assistant Professor, Public and Nonprofit Administration

profile photoChakrabarti, AvikAssociate ProfessorCollege of Letters & Science - Economicschakra@uwm.eduBolton Hall 836

Associate Professor, College of Letters and Science, Economics

profile photoCreighton, JeanDirectorManfred Olson Planetarium414-229-6812jcreight@uwm.eduPhysics Building 150

Director,  Manfred Olson Planetarium

profile photoDouglas, CoeAssociate LecturerDesign & Visual

Associate Lecturer, Design & Visual Communications

profile photoEbersole, KyleAssociate ProfessorCollege of Health Sciences414-229-6717ebersole@uwm.eduPavilion 364

Associate Professor, College of Health Sciences, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences & Technology

profile photoGardner, JohnProgram & Policy AnalystOffice of Sustainability414-977-7642gardne37@uwm.eduArchitecture & Urban Planning 333

Program & Policy Analyst, Office of Sustainability

profile photoGoranova, MariaProfessor, Organizations & Strategic Management; Ronald E. Pawasarat Faculty ScholarLubar School of Business(414) 229-5429goranova@uwm.eduLubar Hall S381

Professor, Organizations & Strategic Management
DirectorM&I Marshall & Ilsey Center for Business Ethics
Business Advisory Council Faculty Scholar
Ronald E. Pawasarat Faculty Scholar

profile photoHolt, JeanaAssistant Professor; Family Nurse PractitionerCollege of Nursing414-229-6768jmholt@uwm.eduCunningham Hall 645

Assistant Professor, College of Nursing
Family Nurse Practitioner

profile photoHudson, AdamSenior LecturerSchool of Information Studies(414) 229-3822arhudson@uwm.eduNWQB 3414

Senior Lecturer, School of Information Studies

profile photoJansson, KyleDirectorPrototyping Center(414) 316-3081jansson@uwm.eduMitchell Hall 235

Director, Prototyping Center

profile photoJung, NathanLecturerCollege of Letters & Science - Englishnajung@uwm.eduCurtin Hall 508

Lecturer, College of Letters & Science - English
Editor, Letterpress LLC

profile photoLitwack, KimDean and ProfessorNursing414-229-4189litwack@uwm.eduCunningham Hall 767B

Professor, Nursing
Dean, Nursing

profile photoMello, RobinProfessor, ChairTheatre(414) 251-5462rmello@uwm.eduTheatre 220

Professor, Theatre
Chair, Department of Theatre

profile photoMeyer, BarbaraProfessorCollege of Health Sciences414-251-6393bbmeyer@uwm.eduPavilion 369

Professor, College of Health Sciences

profile photoNelson, KateChief Sustainability OfficerOffice of Sustainability(414)254-1595knelson6@uwm.eduArch & Urban Planning 333

Chief Sustainability Officer, Office of Sustainability

profile photoPhillips, Abigail L.Assistant ProfessorSchool of Information Studies(414) 229-3304abileigh@uwm.eduNWQB 3483

Assistant Professor, School of Information Studies

profile photoPremnath, PriyathaAssistant ProfessorBiomedical Engineering414-229-2634premnath@uwm.eduEng. & Mathematical Sciences EMS 913

Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering

profile photoRahman, HabibAssociate ProfessorBiomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering(414) 251 8406rahmanmh@uwm.eduUSR 201D

Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Director, BioRobotics Lab

profile photoRammer, JacobAssistant ProfessorBiomedical Engineering414-229-3403jrrammer@uwm.eduUSRB 201P

Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering

profile photoSeifoddini, HamidAssociate ProfessorIndustrial And Manufacturing Engineering(414) 229-4442seifoddi@uwm.eduEng & Math Sciences E306

Associate Professor, Industrial And Manufacturing Engineering

profile photoSingh, RomilaAssociate ProfessorOrganizations and Strategic Management(414) 229-4905romila@uwm.eduLubar Hall S326

Director, Master's Programs
Associate Professor of Organizations & Strategic Management, Lubar School of Business

profile photoStern, NathanielProfessor // DirectorPSOA Art & Design // Student Startup Challengesternn@uwm.eduUWM Lubar Entrepreneurship Center 201

Professor, Art & Design / Mechanical Engineering
Director, Startup Challenge

profile photoTalsma, AkkeNeelAssociate Professor / Schroeder ChairNursing(414) 229-5503talsma@uwm.eduCunningham Hall 627

Associate Professor, Nursing
Schroeder Chair, 

profile photoWatt, TrudyRA NOMA, Assistant Professor, School of Architecture & Urban PlanningSchool of Architecture & Urban Planning(414) 229-4014watt@uwm.eduArch & Urban Planning 377

Assistant Professor, School of Architecture & Urban Planning

profile photoWilley, ChrisLecturerPeck School of the Artswilley@uwm.eduArt 316

Lecturer, First Year Program - Peck School Of the Arts
Lecturer, Digital Studio Practice - Peck School Of the Arts

profile photoZoller, YaronLecturerLubar School of Business(414) 229-2516zoller@uwm.eduLubar Hall N399

Lecturer, Organizations & Strategic Management
Director, Business Scholars Program