Priorities:Berea College Student Priorities

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Project Pitch Video

Strategy#1  Expose students to Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Tactics#1.1 Innovation and Entrepreneurship Meet-up

Description: A 1-2 day conference event based in Berea College and free to all students, which will act as an introductory/exploratory course in I&E. The event will include panels, workshops, and discussions highlighting the application of Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Design Thinking to all disciplines. Students could network with innovators within their field, refine their critical thinking skills, and explore the varieties of entrepreneurship available. 


  • Meet with the Dean and Faculty for partnerships and resources (Spring 2018)
  • Establish a date and reach out to off-campus resources (Spring 2018)
  • Format and organize panels, workshops, spaces and presenters (Summer 2018)
  • Begin marketing to students and encouraging faculty participation (Fall 2018)
  • Execute event and receive feedback (Fall 2018)
  • Analyze event feedback and pivot (Winter 2018)

Tactics#1.2 A Date With Design Thinking

Description: A Date With Design Thinking will be a quarterly one-hour long design thinking workshop series for interdisciplinary students. It is intended to familiarize and engage students with the concept of design thinking through a fun series of activities. This workshop is designed to not only expand I&E to a bigger audience on campus but to also engage them in addressing existing problems on campus.


  • Launch A Date With Design Thinking series with a small scale workshop reaching 20 students (Spring 2016 - completed)
  • Evaluate the success and failure of the workshop and review feedback of participants to revise the plan of the workshop (Spring 2016)
  • Collaborate with different departments such as Dining Services, Café, Sustainability Department, TAD and Computer Science to address problems within the department and design workshops centered towards the issues discussed (Fall 2016)
  • Continue series by organizing two workshops per semester (Fall 2017)

Strategy#2 Create Opportunities for students to learn and experiment

Tactics# 2.1 PopUp Classes

Description: PopUp Classes is intended to be short and elective classes and workshops to provide curious students, innovators, problem-solvers and lifetime learnerswith vital soft skills in their toolbox. It is inspired by the interest and need of various innovative, entrepreneurial and practical skills such as blogging and web designing but a lack offlexible and informal environment to teach them in a brief time.


  • Reach out to all clubs & organizations on campus to identify what their community is interested to learn (Mar 15, 2016)
  • Develop a format or structure for PopUp Classes (Mar 30, 2016)
  • Identify a list of students/faculty who would be interested in conducting the PopUps (Apr 10, 2016)
  • Prototype first PopUp (April 15, 2016)
  • Develop a strategy to continue offering PopUps once every two weeks ( May 10, 2016)

Tactics# 2.2 Open Lab Days

Description: Open Lab Days are weekends, where the labs in the Physics and TAD departments (Technology and Applied Design Department) will be open at specific times Students would be given the chance to participate in laboratories on weekends such as  the Physics machine shop with the help of collaboration between the Society of Physics Students and Physics department. Similar collaborations would take place between the Tech club and the Technology department. This will help students from various departments to become more creative with their prototypes which will also encourage them to pursue STEM careers.


  • Initiative to be discussed with Chairs of Physics, Chemistry, TAD department and Laboratory Assistants (March 2016)
  • Create Open lab Schedules that accommodates TA’s presence (May 2016)
  • Marketing to encourage student participation (August 2016)

Strategy#3 Provide opportunities for students to test new ideas

Tactics#3.1 Idea Bounce

Description: Berea Innovation Studio (BIS)  hosts Idea Bounce every semester. Students from different majors participate in an idea pitch competition. Prior to the actual event, participants attend an hour workshop where they are trained to develop their idea and pitch. This competition was started by last year’s UIFs hunting for creativity and problem-solving skills across campus.    


  • Recruit Judges and Sponsors for the competition (third week of each semester)
  • Open submission for initial ideas and thoughts (fourth week of each semester)
  • Evaluate the submitted ideas and provide feedback to the selected applicants (sixth week of each semester)
  • Coach the applicants: How to pitch ideas in 2 minutes (seventh week of each semester)
  • Hold Idea Bounce (eighth week of each semester)

Tactics#3.2 Idea State U

Description: Idea State U is a Kentucky statewide business competition to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship by rewarding student teams from the Commonwealth’s colleges and universities,  Entrepreneurship for the Public Good (EPG) program sponsors selected Berea College students to participate in this state idea competition. Students are coached by the director of EPG and guided throughout the whole process. One of the major achievements of past Berea college applicants was last year when a team of two freshman and one sophomore won the third place beating MBA students. This achievement is and will always be an inspiration and empowerment.


  • Start with identifying the problems and recognizing opportunities (early February)
  • Finalize Teams (mid-February)
  • Organize weekly training sessions with Faculty Sponsor (mid-February - mid-March)
  • Conduct customer discovery in order to gain empathy and develop business idea and plan (mid-February - mid-March)
  • Participate in Idea State U (end of March)
  • Winners follow up with the angel investors (early April)

Tactics#3.3 StartUp Weekend Berea (New)

Description: Berea Innovation Studio (BIS), in collaboration with Entrepreneurship for the Public Good (EPG) program, will launch StartUp Weekend Berea during the spring semester. It will be an interdisciplinary event, where participants will work in teams to come up with creative solutions to challenging real-world problems, identified by students. They will develop sustainable Business Models surrounding the solution. A series of workshops will be made available for students to learn and deepen their skills. The event will be gamified to make it also a fun activity.


  • Identity interested facilitators and meet to finalize event date (Sep 2, 2016)
  • Design the workshop and action plan (Sep 15, 2016)
  • Prototype Startup Weekend Berea Model (Oct 15, 2016)
  • Identify organizations and request for funding (Oct 30, 2016)
  • Reach out to facilitators to lead different workshops (Oct 30, 2016)
  • Devise a marketing campaign (Nov 10, 2016)

Tactics#3.4   #BCmakerspaces

Description: #BCmakerspaces will be a monthly rotational Makerspace workshop, open to students of all majors. The focus of the pop-up styled class is to teach students the design process and how to prototype, by building an object in a specific lab using whatever materials that space is designed to process. Examples include “make-a-mug”, “website 101”, “build-a-box”, etc. The Danforth Technology building currently boasts a variety of makerspaces, including a: Digital Crafts Lab, MAC & 3D Printing Lab, Woods Lab, Metals Lab, Ceramics Lab, Appalachian Crafts Lab, and the Graphics Lab- which features a dark room and a soundproof recording studio. Highlighting the existent Makers Spaces on campus will promote cross-departmental communication, and perhaps expand student interest into new fields previously unconsidered.


  • Host a Stakeholder meeting with I&E champions to discuss establishing #BCmakerspaces (Feb 2018)
  • Partner with sponsors, involved Departments, Faculty & staff to conduct a thorough SWOT analysis with special consideration given to budgeting, staff hours, safety precautions (Feb 2018)
  • Visit 2-3 other Makerspaces to observe operations & training procedures (February & March 2018)
  • Conduct extensive customer discovery to determine what needs #BCmakerspaces can satisfy (March 2018)
  • Coordinate with the TAD department to host the first makerspace event (April 2018)
  • Gather Feedback about the #BCmakerspaces event, strategize and plan accordingly. (April & May 2018)
  • Coordinate with participating departments to form a schedule of #BCmakerspaces classes (Summer 2018)
  • Develop a Marketing Plan for #BCmakerspaces (Summer 2018)
  • Launch #BCmakerspaces and continue to gather data (Fall 2018)

Strategy#4 Inspire students to pursue I&E

Tactics#4.1 Inspirational Talks

Description: To encourage students to pursue entrepreneurship we plan to hold TEDxBerea starting the Fall 2016 term. This will create excitement amongst students to learn the value of the entrepreneurial mindset while helping them understand the importance of failure, design thinking and prototyping.


  • Talk to Dean/President to get permission (April 2016)
  • TEDxBerea license application (April 2016)
  • Pick the event type and brainstorm ideas for the program (May 2016)
  • Logistic planning and fund allocation (June 2016)
  • Choose a tentative date for the event (July 2016)
  • Invite speakers (July 2016)
  • Branding and marketing (August - September 2016)

Tactics#4.2 Innovation Coffee Stop

Description: Starting in Fall 2018 we will open a home-made, bring-your-own-mug coffee stop on campus in order to facilitate and ecourage innovation between students on campus. Being in the coffee stop will provide two major benefits to the students:

  • Students can work on projects, start new projects, or get help on academic related problems fostering collaboration between majors
  • We will be providing monthly events to showcase the power of ideation and innovation including prototyping challenges and pop up classes


  • Present idea to Faculty Champion and discuss the possibility of an allocated neutral space (February 2018)
  • Discuss with key head departments - Technology and Applied Design, Computer Science, Natural Sciences, Business and Economics, Art (March 2018)
  • Submit proposal to the Dean (March 2018)
  • Identifying sponsors in the key departments (April - May 2018)
  • Invite speakers for grand opening panel (July 2018)
  • Plan and organize the grand opening (July - August 2018)
  • Marketing efforts around campus (July - August 2018)
  • Grand Opening/Panel Event (August 2018)

Related Links

Berea College

Berea College Student Priorities

University Innovation Fellows

Spring 2018:

Andreea Teban

Julia Roberts

Kayla Barbour

Rodney Kimbangu

Spring 2016:

Ishwar Agarwal

Bessaad Syrine

Minashsha Lamisa

Talha Rehman

Spring 2015:

Tran Nguyen

Dylan Mullins

Jacob Heller

Eugeniu Prodan

Anthony Ayebiahwea

Robert Hosking

Spring 2014:

Ali Djire

Solomon Alolga

Ability Kakama