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Hartwick College Student Priorities

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Hartwick College is liberal arts undergraduate institution located in Oneonta, NY and has a student population of roughly 1,400 individuals who study 31 different majors. 2017 is the second year Hartwick College has participated in the University Innovation Fellows Program, as part of an effort to increase Innovation and Entrepreneurship on campus.

Through our research, we have identified that our generation (Millennials, people born between '82 and '04) is perceived as a group of lazy and technology-obsessed individuals, when rather we merely have different values and tolls in contrast of previous generations. We have grown up in a world vastly different than that of our predecessors, where there is an update in technology in almost every day, different and updated education system, and a decrease in jobs available. With information pushing through ur veins in a world with fewer predetermined paths we can take, Millennials face a different problem.:How can I reach success?

We think if Millennals are able to and together and collaborate to solve problems (acheiving career goals, for example), then together we can change the world. Of course, changing a generation is a tall order, but if collegesand universities can go the distance to change the atmosphere on their campuses, together we can succeed. To implement this project at Hartwick, we came up with four strategies, in addition of what the previous year's cohort came up with to foster a culture of I&E on campus.

Project Pitch Video

Please refer to the video at the end of the page

Strategies to foster a culture of innovation - By 2016-2017 cohort

Strategy #1: Creation of a makerspace with the supplies and resources necessary to inspire/nurture student ideas

  • Maintain support and strong ties with administration
  • Create relationships with the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA, currently Business Club)
  • Have professors in different departments incorporate makerspace into class either through the curriculum or for extra credit
  • Incorporate community into makerspace (ex. Tech Center for Gravity in Troy, NY associated with RPI)
  • Look into how corporate sponsors could install endowed funding to maintain makerspace and keep up with technology advances in exchange for collaboration with students (i.e. look for upperclassmen to recruit)
  • Ensure students find makerspace useful by explaining how all resources can be used (Wick 101/Orientation)

Strategy #2: Regular TedX Talks on campus

  • Tie in TedX talks to campus themes; use campus theme as a source of funding
    • Develop campus theme into a student-run program
  • Incorporate Ted Talks into faculty classes
  • Work with other student organizations to put on events like this that will impact different groups: Alliance, Student Senate, etc.
  • Ensure talks are relevant to students and emotional, not completely based on scholarship
  • First hold Ted Talk screening events in lieu of hosting an actual TedX Talk to cut down on costs and gain student support/interest.
  • Open events up to community and SUNY Oneonta students to charge entrance fees AND bring together I&E champions within the larger community.

Strategy #3: Incorporate I&E into Curriculum

  • Identify professors most likely to be interested in teaching I&E.
  • Have students compete in Innovation Challenges (Utica 2015, SUNY Oneonta 2016)
  • Ensure professors are able to use all resources in makerspace
  • Make I&E a LAiP requirement (similar to EL, ILS)
  • Move tutoring to makerspace
  • Incorporate I&E into FYS classes to familiarize students with Design Thinking/Lean Startup at beginning of college experience
  • Heavy emphasis on I&E in senior-level courses where students would be excited to take advantage of networking with leaders of I&E in business

Strategy #4: Give scholarships/funding for I&E projects

  • Develop a program for students to submit proposals for funding
  • Proposals oriented for on campus or community implementation
  • Identify a group of faculty willing to select and mentor student projects
  • Have resources and networking opportunities offered through the maker’s space
  • Have ideas inspired, and collaborated on in the makerspace


Please refer to the infographic at the end of this page.

We are NOT Millennials - By 2017-2018 cohort

Strategy #1: Programming Design Thinking workshop into Welcome Weekend

  • Bring students from all majors together
  • If possible, have students of similar interests (not major/minor based) in one group
  • Have a 2-3 hours long workshop where groups are given a challenge to solve
  • Ensure each student group has a mentor (a faculty/staff member, for example)
  • Ensure there is networking between the team members

Strategy #2: Training faculty in Design Thinking

  • Identify professors that are most likely to be interested in incorporating Design Thinking challenges in their courses
  • Ensure professors are well trained in carrying out these challenges
  • Ensure professors are able to understand and use the resources provided to them
  • Incorporate Design Thinking into classes

Strategy #3: Inviting local businesses to Makerspace at Hartwick

  • Identify local businesses that need support/help and are willing to seek it out from students
  • Invite those businesses to Makerspace (hold an event)
  • Invite students from all majors to participate in that event
  • Ensure businesses are able to share their problems/issues with students
  • Have students come up with a solution to the problems local businesses are facing
  • Offer students the opportunity to work with those businesses to resolve their issues (an internship opportunity, for example)
  • Make sure students build networks with those businesses

Strategy #4: Shark Tank Design Thinking Course

  • Offer a full semester course on Design Thinking to all students, across all majors
  • Have the students come up with a project/product
  • Have students work on their idea throughout the semester
  • Offer guidance to students if/when they need it
  • Have a Shark Tank event at the end of the semester as the "final exam"
  • Have alumni be the judges at the event
  • Offer students an opportunity to build upon their idea/project (provide funding)
  • If they choose to continue working on it, count it as an Honors Program challenge

Written by: Stephanie Sacco, Jacqueline Davis, Kelly Sprague, Christine Hughes

Updated by: Farheen Fatima, Robert Shepard, Allison Schroeder, Diana Bechdol

Related Links

Watch our video here!!

Check out our infographic!!

We are NOT Millennials.png

Hartwick College

Hartwick College Student Priorities

Jacqueline Davis

Kelly Sprague

Stephanie Sacco

Christine Hughes