Erin Hirtzel is from Lititz, Pennsylvania. She is a University Innovation Fellow and a junior undergraduate student majoring in chemistry with minors in French and mathematics at York College of Pennsylvania., where she is a Graham Innovation Scholar, an American Constitutional Freedom Scholar, and a French tutor. She hopes to obtain a PhD in organic or analytical chemistry after graduation.
She first engaged with design thinking through the York College of Pennsylvania Graham Innovation Scholars program. She connected with the user-based approach and wanted to pursue empathetic change further, so she jumped at the chance to join the University Innovation Fellows when approached with the opportunity. On campus, her main priority is to redesign pre-existing student study spaces into maker spaces to give students more creative, collaborative areas to work. She wants to make areas across campus where students can flex their creativity and innovate rather than just sitting silently together.