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George Fox University

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George Fox University has a community that is ready to encourage an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset. The physical resources and infrastructure have been heavily improved, and hands-on learning is a priority among the faculty. Where it is lacking is in implementation. Students face a lack of resourses and mentoring which makes spinout difficult.

Promoting student innovation and entrepreneurship

George Fox University promotes many opportunities for students to discover innovation and entrepreneurship. One way this is done is through classes that encourage innovative thinking through projects. These are classes like Engineering Principles, which is two parts, each part consisting of an end of semester project with an open-ended way to solve a problem; and Microprocessors, where students are allowed to design a completely custom circuit board that does whatever they want as long as they meet a few requirements.  In the business department, George Fox offers a variety of entrepreneurship and start-up focused classes which attempt to be as close to real business settings as possible. In a managerial accounting class students have to create their own hypothetical restaurant and present financial projections. In a marketing class, students are currently working with an outside insurance agency to apply what they've learned in market research. In A manufacturing class offered at the school, students learn about manufacturing processes before visiting a variety of factories so that they may make educated observations and suggestions. All around the business and engineering departments George Fox University has the ability to promote innovation and entrepreneurship through their many communication channels and deep industry connections. 

Another Avenue for student entrepreneurship is through the newly built Maker's space. The impressive 16,000 sq. ft engineering playground boasts a full machine shop, surveying shop, woodworking equipment, an additive manufacturing and prototype lab, an extensive tool room, and several computer labs. It is here that every freshman engineer learns to build an engine which they will compete against their classmates for a final grade with. It is here students learn to fail. It is here where full-size arcade machines, and pendulum-based clocks are everday personal projects for students across many disciplines.

Encouraging faculty innovation and entrepreneurship

George Fox faculty do not conduct as much research as most universities because George Fox encourages teaching as a high priority. In order to advance at George Fox as a faculty member, you need to show quality teaching and some form of continuing scholarship, where scholarship is an article in a peer-reviewed journal or at a conference. That said, the faculty have diverse industrial backgrounds and passion projects, and they are beginning to share those with the students. As an example of this, several faculty members with experience in the developing world have been attempting to recruit students for a summer service trip to Peru. The faculty's passion for service has the potential to foster a positive I&E culture on campus.

Actively supporting the university technology transfer function

Unfortunately, George Fox University has no technology transfer office or any means of aiding students in connecting with industry to share new ideas. 

Facilitating University-Industry Collaboration

George Fox has connections with many local businesses such as A-dec, Legacy Health, and Nike, to name a few. Employees of these companies serve on advisory boads and attend regular career fairs. Many are also George Fox alums. Classes in manufacturing and start-up style business make trips to see companies practicing the principles they are learning about in class. The engineering program also has close relations with local industry through Senior Design, a capstone class in which senior students develop a product in conjuction with an industry partner.

Engaging with regional and local economic development efforts

Despite our close ties with local industries, George Fox University makes a minimal effort to benefit the community economically. At the beginning of the year, students receive a 'coupon card' with various discounts that students can use at local shops and restaurants, but the focus of this is to plug students into the community, and not necessarily to benefit the local economic development efforts. Some outside contracting is done through the maker's space, print shop, ceramics labs, sporting events, or other resources on campus but very little advertising goes into these functions and they are not widely encouraged.

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Related Links

George Fox University

George Fox University Student Priorities

University Innovation Fellows

Fall 2018:

Gabriel Clark

David Bacher

Venedict Matveev

Matthew Hull

Fall 2017:

Gabriel Gutierrez

Thomas Noel

Drake Dawson

Alexander Knopp

Fall 2016:

Kelsey Dody

Caleb Hubbell

Ethan Moss

Codi Morton

Fall 2015:

Bryan Neufeld

Keiko Fujii

Dieter Mueller

Drew Camp

Michael McCleskey