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Ohio Northern University Student Priorities

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Ohio Northern University is an independent university in Ada, Ohio. ONU is known for their undergraduate education experience with research being the foundation to ONU's experiential education. The unique collaboration between professors and students in research yields countless opportunities for progress, as well as, opportunity for innovation. The two key components missing between the colleges on ONU's campus to catalyze a greater level of innovation and entrepreneurship are communication and collaboration. The following proposed strategies will create a greater awareness of I & E on campus, communication, and collaboration.

Project Pitch Video

Spring 2016

Spring 2015

Strategy #1: Create opportunities for efficient communication across campus

Numerous faculty and students have expressed a lack of a college to college communication which is a large inhibitor to the channel of progress. The colleges should have seamless communication of research, opportunities, and ideas between them leaving an opportunity for multidisciplinary collaboration.

Tactic #1: Hold Meetings Between Active Professors and Students from all Departments

Meeting 1: The first meeting will be just to identify the needs of each college and what they want help accomplishing. We can achieve this by doing brainstorming activities and spending time talking one on one. The most important part of the first meeting is that everyone becomes comfortable identifying the needs and desires of their department. After needs have been identified we can split into groups and all work on solutions to the problems presented

Meeting 2: After spending time working on solutions, each group will present their solution to the whole group. This will not only help us fulfill the needs of all departments but it will also build relationships across the college of students and professors from various colleges.

Strategy #2: use interdisciplinary relationships to spread I&E campus wide

Many students have expressed their desire to actually participate in more activities that provide a greater experience related to not only their major, but other majors as well. The Landscape Canvas revealed current opportunities available for interdisciplinary collaboration through KEEN events, senior capstones, EPICS, and student clubs. The canvas also revealed areas where new opportunities must be created in order to support students in their ideas and untapped potential in innovation. Learning about how to effectively tie in other disciplines on-campus is key to generating momentum needed for innovation.

Tactic #1: Creating Interdisciplinary workshops/classes

Event 1:  In this event professors from different colleges will work together to build the curriculum for a class or workshop. For example, in a drafting class for the technology department a professor might work with a colleague from the art college to learn different techniques of making technical drawings more aesthetically pleasing. The tech college could even have the art professor in to teach on this topic.

Tactic #2: Encourage more awareness and participation for KEEN Challenges and ION ideation

ONU currently hosts KEEN Innovation challenges on a semester basis. The KEEN Challenges are centered on a different challenge each time requiring the application of innovation with the supplied materials students need to complete the presented challenge. The KEEN Innovation challenges are a great introduction to innovation for students on campus. The challenges will be utilized as the gateway for students gaining an understanding of innovation. An ONU group, ION, currently holds Ideation sessions focused on helping students tap into their creative side to design space and furniture for the college. These Ideation sessions can be very helpful in fostering I&E and are severely under utilized.

Tactic #3: Generating more participation in the EPICS Program by offering general education tags with the course

The EPICS program currently allows students to apply engineering principles in community service locally and internationally. But, too often students have to take other courses that will fulfill their general education requirments and will not have the option to take the EPICS course. If these courses could be embedded with interdisciplinary education then General Tags could be created allowing more students to take these courses.

Strategy #3: Creating how-to events that utilize any resources on campus

Many students expressed their desire for being more familiar with applications or resources that are available to them. Additionally, students of all majors can partake in these events. For example, a chemistry student interested in engineering could learn about engineering related software applications, theory etc. The goal is to create a program on campus that makes every possible resource available to students. This will make them better equipped to not only exceed the university's standards, but also make great strides in professional experience at an undergraduate level.

Tactic #1: Provide monthly workshops where students can learn about various resources and tools

These monthly workshops, will teach students about software and resources used for their majors, as well as, software/resources that other majors use. Within these workshops, experiential learning will be the driving force in ensuring that students feel confident enough to take their knowledge to the next step in implementing their ideas to actual projects.

Tactic #2: Advertising professional speakers at ONU to the student body

Countless professionals come to Ohio Northern and speak with students. Often, these speaking events have low turn out. The goal is to get students and faculty together to brainstorm ways in which the vast majority of students will be aware of the speakers and understand the value of these speaking events. This tactic will also be a networking opportunity for both students and professionals.

Strategy #4: Create a mentor program for the University Innovation Fellows Program on-campus

Tactic #1: Connecting current fellows with new students

In order to keep the momentum of the University Innovation Fellows Program on-campus, current fellows should have at least one mentee taht is an academic year or more lower than them. In these mentee relationships, it will be the responsibility of the fellow to share knowledge and resources that the underclassman fellow will need to make an impact during their time here, while also keeping the program active.

Initial Projects of Focus

As a team, we plan to convert the Tinker Lab into a maker space that is able to not only better serve the engineering students, but also begin serving all students. Additionally, we plan on starting a YouTube channel that highlights the work of innovators and changemakers on campus in order to raise the profile of innovators on campus and to generate excitement for innovation. We plan on creating effective ways for promoting KEEN and exactly what KEEN's goals are. We also hope to promote KEEN events at a greater level. Currently, our campus hosts KEEN Innovation Challenges each semester that introduce students to innovation through a series of new challenges. Secondly, we will work with the T.J. Smull College of Engineering to establish the Grand Challenge Scholars Program on-campus. Currently, the college of engineering has the EPICS program which gives students an opportunity for experiential learning and earn credit towards their coursework. We hope to pair the GCSP with the EPICS  program. We will also conduct research to see if EPICS can be taken by non-engineering majors, as well as, seeing if the EPICS courses can count as a general education requirement that can help students meet their core requirements, while having the opportunity to practice innovation and entrepreneurship. Lastly, We plan on establishing the UIF mentor program to recruit future UIF candidates and ensure that the momentum the University Innovation Fellows Program has on Ohio Northern's campus continues. Once, ONU has a team of UIF fellows from all of the colleges, the other projects mentioned in the previous sections can be enacted.

Related Links

Campus Overview

Ohio Northern University Student Priorities

Spring 2018:

Matthew Walker

Georgia Snelling

Kenton Jarvis

Connor Hull

Matthew Schweinefuss

Spring 2017:

Jared Emerson

Jeanne Graessle

Dan Musci

Cheyenne Raker

Spring 2016:

Adam Berry

Nathan Craft

Jonathan Szczerba

Spring 2015:

Alexandra Seda