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Fordham University Student Priorities

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Strategy 1: Ideate Day (2019 Fellows)

Ideate Day: We identified this idea to be our top priority, After discussing as a team, we determined that being allowed the time and space to ideate and collaborate with peers is an enriching experience applicable in any course. We figured that courses at Fordham that assign a group or individual projects will benefit from a day when students can collaborate with their peers to come up with ideas, prototype and gain feedback.

To make this project a reality, we would need to contact the appropriate Deans (specifically Dean Marisa Villani) and University Provost and provide them with a strong argument as to why an ideate day would prove beneficial for students and professors alike. The next step would be to speak directly to students to evaluate whether our peers believe that an ideate day would add value to their educational experience.

Logistically speaking, persuading professors to allow time to ideate can prove difficult, especially with educators who are disinclined to modify their syllabi and lesson schedule for such an activity. The goal is to have an ideate day be incorporated in select courses to aid students in their brainstorming stage of their projects resulting in higher quality deliverables. Once professors notice an improvement in the quality of work students have produced, they will see the value in having a day to ideate.

Strategy 2:Cross-Discipline Innovators Program (2019 Fellows) 

Cross-Discipline Innovators Program: We have identified the Cross-Discipline Innovators Program as our second priority. This program will draw from all areas of study and assist students in exploring the cutting edge of their field by exposing them to the work of innovators within their discipline and teaching them how they can follow this path.

This semester-long program is designed for students who have already selected a major/field and requires students to research innovators within this discipline. In weekly meetings, they will engage in a thorough study of the field’s most recent developments and come to a better understanding of the challenges that are currently at play in this discipline. After familiarizing themselves with the ways in which innovators are working within their field and the ways the field is changing, students will learn innovation and entrepreneurship strategies. They will use these strategies (such as design thinking and rapid prototyping) to generate and flesh out an innovative/entrepreneurial idea over the remaining time in the semester. The two main deliverables are an analysis of innovation currently happening in the field and a prototype/report on an innovative idea that the

This program is designed to expand the definition of innovation and entrepreneurship held by many students by showing that there is innovation happening in every field. By broadening these horizons, students can be alerted to potential career paths that they may not have previously considered and develop new skills that they may not have previously worked on. The project-based model will allow students to immediately put what they learned into action and develop their ideation and prototyping skills.

Strategy 3: Entrepreneurship Podcast (2019 Fellows) 


Entrepreneurship Podcast: This project is our third priority beneficial because it truly caters towards our target audience: busy entrepreneurial students and students who are curious but too shy to fully commit to participating in I&E conventions. Furthermore, we found the control that we have over this project really appealing. It requires little funding and its implementation does not depend entirely on efforts made by stakeholders. That being said, our goal is, of course, to have their support as it will allow our project to be successful. While our ultimate goal will be to make a change in the way Fordham teaches entrepreneurship: this project, which is attainable and straightforward, will allow us to grow the community of entrepreneurs making it easier and more attractive to implement more courses related to I&E.

The podcast could host a guest and post an episode every month. The leadership circle would operate quite independently at first and be in charge of finding interested people, curating a list of questions, and hosting the episodes. As we gain traction and popularity, we could form an official club and recruit interested volunteers to continue creating podcast content and organize bi-annual events where students can physically come together and discuss topics related to I&E.

Finally, this project could be fully integrated within the university by partnering with the college career advisors that could help us find professionals to come and talk on the show. While also using our platform to advertise entrepreneurship and innovation internships and positions.  

Strategy 4: Venture Network (2019 Fellows) 

Venture Network: We have identified the Venture Network as our fourth strategic priority because we feel that it may not have as much of an impact on students as some of the other strategic priorities will. Also, it could be done in conjunction with other strategic priorities. The effect that this will have on students is that it will create a network of Fordham students and faculty to make them more aware of the current entrepreneurial ventures that members of the Fordham community have created. Social media accounts will be created, and they are designated to inspire others, Gabelli or Fordham College alike, to become more entrepreneurial and create their start-ups. 

Currently, the Instagram account @venture.network is already up and running, ready to share success stories. To make this happen officially, we will need to get approval from the Office of Student Affairs on campus. We would need to reach out to many students and faculty who currently run their businesses and interview them. The entire leadership circle would create the questions, schedule for these posts, and meetings at Fordham, and the tasks would be split up according to everyone’s schedules. Eventually, a club could be created where the accounts can all be run by passionate students, and possibly develop into a newsletter.

By reaching out to the Fordham community and connecting those who are passionate changemakers, it will inspire Fordham to connect with each other and become inspired to make more change. The goal is to connect the entrepreneurial community at Fordham further, and a social media network we feel would be a good start. 

Strategy 1: I & E Coalition (2018 Fellows) 

I & E Coalition: We have identified this idea to be our top priority, along with the App. After discussion, we have determined that this coalition has long-term potential and its impact has the possibility to reach the entire student body of Fordham. We also determined that it will take roughly a month to form this coalition but relies on the effort and mindset of the clubs in regards to its impact and effect.

The I & E Coalition would meet on a bi-monthly basis and consist of 1 or 2 e-board members from every I & E club/organization, 1 or 2 representatives from the United Student Government Budget Committee and 1 representative from the United Student Government Operations Committee. These meetings would be a platform for each club to discuss the problems they are facing, potential solutions for their solutions, and ways to collaborate.

In time, the coalition will increase the synergy between the different clubs and they will work together tomakemore significant difference. Change like increasing the resources at our second campus, creating events together, gaining more involvement by marketing the clubs as a whole, teaching Design Thinking workshops, creating new classes and much more! We truly believe if this is successful, Fordham as a whole will be on a much better path with an innovative future.

Strategy 2: App (2018 Fellows)

App: We have also identified the App as a top priority as well as the I&E Coalition. After our discussion, we came to the final conclusion that an app has the potential to impact every Fordham student if they all use the app, but it would take a while to build and work out the bugs. We estimate it could take up to a year to get the app up and running, but the timeline is not clear as of now due to the fact that the Foundry, the entrepreneurial hub on campus, has created apps and could possibly help us achieve it sooner.

In order to bring this project to life, we would need to connect with people who have the ability to code andhaveappropriatesoftware. The next step in the process is to speak with the Foundry about the help they may be able to provide and how many people would need to be involved in creating the app. Specifically, I would like to speak with Sean Johnson, an entrepreneur in residence who helped with the creation of another app over the course of this past summer. In addition, I intend to call upon students who have created apps in the past like a colleague named Joseph VanGostein.

In terms of logistics, not only would we need to create the interface that is user-friendly manner (and none of us know how to code!), but we would also need to market it correctly to clubs. While we have gotten positive feedback as of now from clubs, making sure the platform would be used by all the organizations would be an important part of ensuring that it does fix the communication problem.

I&E Club Showcase (2018 Fellows)

Showcase: Our third priority is currently the Innovation and Entrepreneurship showcase. It has the potential to inform students of the clubs available but we worry about the possibility that it might not gain traction. The ability to coordinate this many clubs to each join our mission and produce something outside their norms is also a perspective issue.

To make this a reality we would need to establish a close relationship with a variety of the clubs offered at Fordham. After this, we would need to get together and find a similar format to which they would all agree to participate in this. The responsibility of finding and/or funding a guest speaker would also be on the UIF team and we would most likely start with the Alumni foundation as well as speaking with Christine Jansen among other professors that are involved in this field to see if they are willing to utilize their connections.

Logistically speaking, it might be a challenge to establish a day in which so many variables would be willing to meet t the same time. For the Rose Hill campus, there are many spaces that serve as options to host such an event, as the campus is quite large both inside and out. As for the Lincoln Center campus, the options are significantly smaller and we would have to coordinate with multiple advisors and faculty to see which spaces we have the ability to reserve and the process to secure it.

Design Thinking Workshop (2018 Fellows)

Workshop: Our fourth priority would be the design thinking workshop in the freshmen Intro to Business classes (The Ground Floor class). Because this solution would only have the potential to impact the freshmen class, we did not think it should be a top priority. Moreover, because freshmen take this class during their first semester at Fordham, we would not be able to actually begin conducting workshops tillFall of 2019.

The key tactics to bring this workshop to life would be getting approval from the administrators overseeing the curriculum of the Ground Floor, and figuring out the logistics of who will conduct the workshop during which days and class times.

Another key tactic would be to train volunteers (perhaps students who passionate about I&E or are participants in I&E resources such as clubs) to teach and moderate these workshops in order to scale this workshop to all Ground Floor classes. Caterina would be in charge of bringing this project to life.

Related Links

Fordham University

2019 Fellows

Giana Barko

Alia Benabdeljalil

Gerald De La Cruz 

Brittany Gesell

Student Entreprenuerial Workshop At Fordham

2018 Fellows

Caterina Carra

Darr Fuchs

Julia Butler

Teddy Stratis