UWM’s new Innovation Fellows spark student entrepreneurship

Four UWM students recently completed a national program that trains them to be “change agents” who create opportunities for other students to engage with entrepreneurship and creative thinking at their schools.

The training of University Innovation Fellows is run by Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school), which has trained 776 students at 164 institutions since the program’s creation.

The new University Innovation Fellows at UWM include (from left) Jim Lee, Hoda Barzegar Ganji, Mashid Jalalian Hosseini and Alycia Doxon. 

Mashid Jalalian Hosseini and Hoda Barzegar Ganji from architecture, and Alycia Doxon and Jim Lee from business, bring the current number of UI fellows at UWM to nine. In addition to architecture and business, current fellows at UWM represent the fields of engineering, visual design and health sciences.

UI Fellows go through six weeks of training and travel to the annual UI Fellows Silicon Valley Meetup. Throughout the year, they take part in events and conferences and have opportunities to learn from one another, Stanford mentors and leaders in academia and industry.

At their schools, fellows host experiential learning events and involve students in projects such as designing innovation spaces. During September and October, the UI Fellows at UWM have reached 700 of their classmates in “pop up” courses and design-related workshops.

“Fellows activate other students, faculty members and administration to enhance curriculum and build infrastructure for innovation and entrepreneurship education at UWM,” said Ilya Avdeev, associate professor of mechanical engineering and a UIF faculty mentor. “These students act and move fast – they are in the driver seat.”

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