Fellow:Alec Kauffman

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Alec is a University Innovation Fellow in training and an undergraduate student at the University of Portland. He is studying Civil Engineering with a Computer Science minor. Alec is from the small town of Phoenix, Oregon. He grew up in the Rogue Valley and developed a love for the outdoors early in his life. He grew up skiing, climbing, and rafting, but still managed to have a strong academic career. After graduating from Phoenix High School with honors he started his undergraduate work at University of Portland.


At the University of Portland, Alec got involved in the innovation and entrepreneurship program. In the spring of his freshman year he was starting to feel like college was basically high school and it was not the educational experience he had hoped. That same spring, he took a course called Intro to Innovation. In Intro to Innovation he really felt he was learning the way people, in his opinion, were supposed to learn, and there was no stress, no pain, and no sleepless nights (unless driven by inspiration). He was learning the material because he wanted to. From his experience, he developed a drive to one day change the educational system so that it may reach and engage students in this way.


In addition, after taking the Intro to Innovation course he got involved in the other courses in the innovation and entrepreneurship program. In Intro to Entrepreneurship this he heard about the University Innovation Fellows program and instantly knew this was for him. He hopes to engage his peers in innovative thinking for he believes everyone has a passionate problem he or she wants to solve and just needs the drive and knowledge of all the resources available to solve it


Lastly Alec is also an avid rock climber, skier, and a bit of an overall jack of all trades of outdoor activities. As well as a fan of How I Met Your Mother, West World, The Office, Game of Thrones, Vice, and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, to name a few. Alec may sound like a really serious guy, but don’t be fooled he loves to talk about crazy ideas as much as How I Met Your Mother or any other one of those shows or outdoor activities, so if there is some question you want to ask, don’t be afraid to ask it. 

Related Links:

University of Portland

UP Pitch Video

UP Priorities

Other Fellow Candidates:

Elizabeth Rowe 

Jeremy Revlock

Jean Paul Mugisha