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University of Colorado Denver Learning With a Purpose

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Strategies to a better Innovation and Entrepreneurial Environment  University of Colorado Denver

Purpose 1: Develop a Location for Innovation and Research


Project: Develop a D-School by implementing a location for the students of UC Denver to be able to have a place to sit and discuss research, innovation, and new ideas. I have already allocated space within the campus and will work to get enough funding to get a building put together. This facility will have everything from engineering labs to simple conference rooms where students can convene and let their minds develop themselves and the world with their futuristic thinking. It will be imperative to also have this D-School be student-led, student-initiated, and student-run; if we are to keep this a student space for students, we need to make sure that the major policy-makers are the students who will occupy the space. 




Purpose 2: Integrate Curriculum



Project: Develop 1-2 credit courses that are interdisciplinary for innovation and entrepreneurship. Currently at UC Denver there are no courses that are interdisciplinary in nature for innovation and entrepreneurship. The idea would be to have courses that students can take within engineering that will count as needed credit, even if they are a biology or physics major. By doing this, you are incentivizing the innovation idea by having students who want to learn about it take small courses that are not centralized on their major. 



Purpose 3: Events


Project: RaCAS, the UC Denver innovation conference. It would be pointless to have all these solutions and not have an avenue for students to present their work and their ideas. I would like to see events where students have opportunities that most universities can’t give on the Front Range. One of these events is what is called RaCAS. It has already been implemented at our university; however, there are many improvements to be made. I was able to arrange to get students from the School of Education and the Business School to participate along with the conventional majors. I would like to see this expand even more and have disciplines from all over the university meet up. As for the conference, I would love to see us partner with other universities around the Denver area to throw an innovation conference where we can pull student innovators into the middle of central Denver to be able to meet CEO's of major development companies, etc.



Purpose 4: Innovation Committee


Project: Form a committee of students and faculty as the University of Colorado Denver moves toward implementing more plans to develop innovation and entrepreneurship here on campus. A committee must be formed to make sure that things are moving in the direction that the students want it to. It is imperative that, if we are to strive for innovation here on this campus, we need to make sure that our students' voices are heard. They are the ones that this effort is built for, so it only makes sense to actually have students be the guiding source of this initiative. The committee would include deans (or their designees) of all colleges, along with student government members and students at-large. 



Purpose 5: Integration


Project: Integrate Anschutz Medical Campus with the downtown campus. Currently, the Anschutz Medical Campus is an hour drive from the downtown campus, creating a separation that is very hard to fix. However, Anschutz has many facilities for innovation and design, it has a center for bioengineering, and our Tech Transfer Office is located on the campus. I would like to see those doors open up more to undergraduates, rather than opening just for the conventional graduate student already at the medical school. By doing this, you open up the amount of resources that the university can give to students who are trying to be innovative and those that have done it all before can provide the much-needed insight in relation to future design and development ideas. 



Purpose 6: Freshmen Innovators


Project: Freshmen seminar courses in innovation. Currently, at the University of Colorado Denver, we have freshmen seminar courses that our freshmen are required to take. It will be my goal to make one of the options for freshmen seminar an innovation-focused course. By doing this, you are opening the eyes of freshmen to the idea of innovation and by introducing them to the idea, you can better publicize the idea of research. UC Denver has been known for its undergraduate research; however, there is no way to get students to know about it. By doing a class such as this you can ensure that the students here know they have options to be innovators and researchers. 

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Caleb Carr

University of Colorado Denver