Serving as UIF Since: Spring 2018
School:University of Florida
What does she do now: PhD in Biomedical Engineering at UF, Success Manager at Startup Grind
What that means: A full time student who also works on community management and community development for founders and entrepreneurs world wide.
Contact her about: Design thinking workshops, communications workshops, facilitating design competitions, high school programming, pop-up events, guest lectures and public speaking, community development, relational leadership, Startup Grind, graduate school, and trying to do too many things at once.
Jessica Aldrich is a University Innovation Fellow at the University of Florida. She completed her BS/MS in biomedical engineering at Wichita State University in 2018/2019 (respectively). During her undergraduate career, Jessica studied Biomedical Engineering with minors in Math and General Business. She spent her freshman year as a student athlete playing volleyball at Avila University before transferring to Wichita State. After graduation, Jessica spent the summer working on her thesis and spent a few weeks in Europe taking a course in design from the University of Twente. Since completing her Masters degree, Jessica started interning with Startup Grind and works on the Community and Success teams to connect founders and entrepreneurs around the globe. She moved to Florida and began her PhD in fall 2019.
As a UIF on campus Jessica was involved in hosting the Midwest Regional Meetup that was held in February 2018 and again in fall 2019. During that time she also facilitated the Invent for the Planet design competition (2018 and 2019). After completing her UIF training in March, she facilitated numerous design thinking workshops on campus and guest lectured in courses through the Bill and Dorothy Cohen Honors College. Additionally she ran the 32-Second Challenge, a pop-up design thinking experience for students from diverse backgrounds on campus. She attended the Utah Valley Regional Meetup, the European Regional meetup, and the Colorado School of Mines regional meetup as well as presented at the ASEE National Meeting in 2018 and 2019. She launched Startup Grind on her campus in collaboration with the community Startup Grind chapter and the Wichita State University Foundation. Jessica also developed and ran an empathy-based design thinking program for local high school students to empower them to create positive change in their community. Additionally, Jessica has hosted workshops and guest lectured at events and in classes through University admissions and the Honors College as well as organizing and moderating the ASEE Sectional Conference. Jessica was a FAB at the 2019 Silicon Valley Meetup and a UIGuide for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years.
While a student, Jessica was involved in everything from BMES to Gamma Phi Beta. She spent most of her undergraduate career working in research labs where she put the skills she learned as a UIF to use in her every day job. Since moving to Florida she has continued her hyper-involvement on campus by leading the graduate student council and teaching Engineering Ethics. Outside of the university, she is also an avid triathlete and enjoys all of the outdoor activities that Florida has to offer!