Priorities:Georgia Institute of Technology Student Priorities

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2022 Fall

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Fall 2022

The priorities of the fall 2022 Design Bloc UIF cohort are:

  1. Encourage more people of different majors and age ranges to get involved with Design Bloc by providing a larger range of guidance and workshops
  2. Focus on ways to enhance learning by evaluating the effectiveness of Design Bloc's programming

Strategy 1: Expanding design bloc's mini-mester program

  • Host seminars for various fields of study not taught at Georgia Tech, like visual communication, digital art, philosophy, and more, taught by visiting experts and fellows (some UIF-ers?)
  • Foster a culture where students from all disciplines can communicate without pressure, both online or face-to-face
  • Offer various perspectives as a source of inspiration and guidance through diversity of participants

Junzhe Yan

Strategy 2: Bringing design bloc to a higher and more collaborative level

  • Introduce and supply various creative and/or niche software and tools to students and faculty
  • Inspire various ways of prototyping beyond the typical physical model/3D modeling framework
  • Ensure students from various majors are comfortable working at and with design bloc

Yixiao Zhang

Strategy 3: Evaluating effectiveness of pre-existing design thinking programs

  • Survey design bloc workshop participants on how effective the programs are
  • Encourage the development of strong professional support systems and healthy, career-centric mentorships that continue even as people graduate
  • Ensure students have access to feedback from people of varied perspectives and ranges of opinion as they work

Jemma Siegel

Fall 2020

The primary priorities of the Fall 2020 Design Bloc cohort are to:

  1. Spread Design Thinking to the entire campus
  2. Foster community among students and faculty to facilitate innovation & entrepreneurship

Strategy 1: Faculty Learning Initiative

  • Teach design thinking to all incoming faculty
  • Create a culture of collaboration and interdisciplinary work
  • Equip assistant professors with design thinking tools to improve their research and teaching

Owner: Tynan Purdy

Strategy 2: Project Development Class

  • Supply space, resources, and class credit to develop upon a project that was deemed "finished"
  • Emphasize the user testing, iteration, and redesign parts of the design process
  • Equip students with a stronger knowledge of how these processes work within the industry and with actual users

Owner: Madison Lovelace

Strategy 3: Virtual Collaboration

  • Encourage academic and non-academic collaboration beyond on-campus meetups
  • Recreate the spontaneity of "mutual friend meetups" as a way to meet new people
  • Develop a centralized location for students to find each other online

Owner: Yuma Tanaka

Strategy 4: Design Thinking in Freshman Seminar

  • Expand design thinking within the introductory freshman course, GT 1000, in order to increase exposure to design thinking early on
  • Create multiple Introduction to Design focused classes within this program as well as implement design thinking curriculum into both general courses as well as major-specific courses where design thinking becomes applied to the specific major.

Owner: Cole Campbell

Fall 2019

The primary priorities for the Fall 2019 cohort are to:

  1. Build awareness of opportunities in I&E through interdisciplinary courses, clubs, and spin-outs.
  2. Enhance discovery of innovation and entrepreneurship by integrating course topics with I&E - especially in classes with a focus on one or the other - so that the two areas can be combined.

Strategy 1: Enhance discovery of I&E by connecting course topics with those areas

  • Start monthly "Entrepreneurial Spotlight" where a short, 2-3 minute presentation is given at the beginning of the lecture period. The presenter will talk about an entrepreneurial opportunity on campus - such as CREATE-X - and relate the opportunity to course topics or projects.
  • Work with Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Innovation Team to organize TA's and students in BME to be presenters first.
  • As project gains momentum, can be worked on with other major-related student organizations to work the projects into other majors' classes.

Strategy 2: Improving the teaching of I&E across campus by integrating learning and experimentation processes

Tactic 1: Courses are lacking in the combination of both innovation and entrepreneurship

  • Create a portfolio that allows students to reflect on the innovation and entrepreneurship skills that they have gained throughout their curriculum.
  • Improves upon previous design by making portfolio project more ambiguous to encourage personalization and personal reflection.
  • Helps to thread together multiple years of reflection and design thinking.

Tactic 2: The combination of experimentation and learning is not interdisciplinary

  • Create a club enabling all students to develop conceptual and experimental I&E skills.
  • Facilitate activities encompassing both innovation and entrepreneurship.
    • Mock Startup
    • Student Shark Tank
    • Escape the Startup

Fall 2019

Strategic Priorities of the Fall 2019 Design Bloc Cohort

  1. Bridge the gap between college and industry
  2. Reward students for pursuing their personal development goals in place of grades
  3. Direct student entrepreneurs to solve immediate issues in the communities surrounding Georgia Tech

Strategy 1: Bridge the gap from college to industry

Tactic 1

  • Develop an app to solve a simulated problem related to a company’s product, which also includes a wireframing session
  • Students partner with companies in industry to solve a problem

Owner: Margaret Lu

Tactic 2

  • Developing “minimester” classes that teach students specific skills used in their own industry.

Owner: Jordan Lym

Strategy 2: Reward students for pursuing their personal development goals

  • Allow formation of groups to define their own problem statement for an extra credit semester-long project that applies the theoretical principles learned in class on a topic of interest of the students
  • After 4 weeks of accelerated instructional lectures that cover all the fundamental theoretical principles of the class, the project is released. As a result, the students will be able to apply theoretical principles taught in class on a project that lies within an area of interest to them, ensuring that they visualize the curriculum of the class as a stepping stone in achieving their personal goals
    • Giving the students the opportunity to define their own problem statement will trigger their curiosity to explore the material to a deeper level of understanding
    • The group project will foster a collaborative culture instead of the competitive culture that is present in most classroom environments, that will extend beyond the group project module to the lectures, recitations, written assignments etc

Owner: Stefanos Charalambous

Strategy 3: Enable student-entrepreneurs to solve problems in the local community

  • Address high-profile incidence of crime in nearby Home Park neighborhood
  • Coordinate partnership with Georgia Tech Police Dept. and Create-X startup incubator to host Crime-Prevention Hackathon
    • Challenge student teams to develop, prototype and test a solution to prevent crime in Home Park neighborhood over 24-hour competition
  • Encourage both technical and non-technical specialists to apply
    • Advertising event as open to all majors and backgrounds
    • Leave a wide range of possibilities for requested final product: ranging from community-engagement event to physical crime-prevention tool
  • Design for key stakeholders’ requirements by:
    • Hosting firsthand victims of crime from Home Park community, GT student body, and GTPD officers to share their experiences at event kickoff
    • Facilitating conversations and client-feedback between these stakeholders and student teams throughout the event
  • Ensure long-term execution of winning project
    • Offer winning team a position in summer-long startup incubator program through Create-X
    • Grant winning team $5,000 in seed funds to implement solution
    • Over the following semester, winning team meets monthly with GTPD, Create-X entrepreneurship advisor and Home Park community representatives to review progress and receive feedback

Owner: Hunter Schaufel

Fall 2017

The primary priorities for the Fall 2017 cohort are to:

  1. Build awareness and visibility of interdisciplinary courses on campus, especially for first-year students.
  2. Combat the following issues with I&E resources on campus: they are too competitive with each other, they are too exclusive, they serve too small a niche, and they are inaccessible.

Strategy 1: Build awareness and visibility of interdisciplinary courses on campus, especially for first-year students

  • Curate in-person experiences where we can engage with first-year students.
  • Encourage hands-on activity and experimental learning, as a gateway to enrolling in the course.
  • Use social atmospheres to advertise and help students catch the "design bug".
  • Assist students in registering for the courses that they like.
  • Use the data and feedback from students to improve the I&E curriculum on campus.

Strategy 2: Combat the following issues with I&E resources on campus: they are too competitive with each other, they are too exclusive, they serve too small a niche, and they are inaccessible.

Tactic 1: Resources are in constant competition with each other

  • Currently, different I&E initiatives on campus are competing for funding, visibility, and students. How might we encourage them to work together, and also prevent further competitive initiatives from beginning?
  • Create a map of I&E resources available to students at Georgia Tech. Use the following categories to sort the resources: maker space, mentorship, funding, classes, events, industry connections
  • Use the map to display 1) what of the 6 categories is offered at what initiative, 2) where partnerships exist, 3) how students can get involved, and 4) how partners can get involved.
  • Incentivize partnerships (as in, instead of creating your own makerspace with a special mentorship program only for one major, partner with a currently existing makerspace to create a mentorship program) by using it as a status symbol on the map.

Tactic 2: Resources are too exclusive, and silo-ed off in different departments

  • Partner with the Vertically Integrated Projects program
  • Teach classes to students in VIPs, who are often diverse in major and age
  • Engage a broad range of students in design thinking exercises, while teaching them how to apply it to the work they are already doing
  • Advertise VIPs that now have design thinking experience

Tactic 3: Resources are too inaccessible, and too under-the-radar

  • Initiate a low-barrier to entry course for freshmen that introduces them to design thinking through makerspaces
  • Each person in the class gets to work on a tangible project where they apply design thinking, and can visualize what success looks like

Spring 2017

The primary priorities for Spring 2017 are to:

  1. Teach students to be more innovative, by involving the industry in all capstone projects and internships.
  2. Build a sustainable and accessible resource center for first-time innovators and entrepreneurs.
  3. Create student-company partnerships that allow both parties to learn and engage with one another.

Strategy 1: Motivate students to be more innovative, by involving the industry in all capstone projects

  • Validate the idea through more thorough faculty and student interviews.
  • Incentivize better capstone projects and more student effort into them by introducing the industry involvement of potential employers.
  • Get a system where both professors and the respective industry professionals have access to the work done by student teams.
  • Get those industry professionals on campus for capstone judging.

Strategy 2: Build a sustainable and accessible resource center for first-time innovators and entrepreneurs

Tactic 1

  • Elaborate on our online guide for first-time entrepreneurs, with the content provided using existing entrepreneurship education material online and through the experiences of entrepreneurs from Georgia Tech.
  • Popularize this resource through organizations like the startup exchange.
  • Create a resource to share and access prototyping tools, such as a check-out service.

Tactic 2

  • Introduce some sort of mentoring program/office hours with students experienced in entrepreneurship so that first-timers can be given the right knowledge and direction
  • Update: An office hours desk in the Innovation and Design Collaborative space has been installed, with people manning it constantly. We're working on increasing the number of people coming to the desk for help, but so far, it's going well!

Strategy 3: Create student-company partnerships that allow both parties to learn and engage with one another.

Tactic 1

  • Reach out to companies in the local area and analyze company issues and roadblocks that can be solved with the help of students.

Tactic 2

  • Create more job opportunities and internships for students to access through Career Buzz which gives them a chance to practice their entrepreneurship and innovation skills.

Tactic 3

  • Create opportunities for students to tackle issues and hold workshops on creative thinking for local companies and start-ups. A hackathon layout would be ideal for this situation.

Georgia Tech Student Vision

We believe GT students can change the world. Our campus offers many resources, and even better faculty, to help innovation and creativity on campus. We need to connect the GT community by creating an umbrella organization to help students flow toward these resources on campus, and create channels for student-faculty relationships.

University Innovation Council

Despite the many great resources Georgia Tech currently has, the innovation and entrepreneurial movement, which is currently overtaking the nation, has been stalled on our campus due to lack of organization.

Students are unsure of, and mostly unaware of, the opportunities available to them beyond big-name resources such as the Invention Studio or the inVenture Prize competition.

Organizations are struggling to grow, hold large events, or simply stay operational, because of a lack of assisted communication and constant overlap.

Professors are additionally wasting large amounts of time trying to connect with students, due to a lack of protocol and standardized connection.

Our program will exist to foster a passion and create sustainability for innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E) among all members of the Georgia Tech community.

The University Innovation Council will support three main areas: the student body, current campus organizations, and faculty/administration. This will improve the community by eliminating overlap, bringing students of all backgrounds and ages together, and encouraging administrative involvement. This will be done in the following ways:

For Student Members of the Georgia Tech Community

  • Provide access to an umbrella calendar of I&E events
  • Connect individual student interests to the I&E movement with others in the Georgia Tech community
  • Formulate methods to encourage innovation at Tech
  • Provide updates and other opportunities on a regular basis

For I&E Campus Organizations

  • Host Forums
  • Connect I&E organizations
  • Provide consulting advice, support, and membership numbers
  • Provide a yearly I&E wheel featuring individual organizations

For the Administration

  • Dissolve the communication barrier between students, organizations, and the administration
  • Form strategic partnerships with supporters of entrepreneurship
  • Provide ‘voice’ of I&E for consulting
  • Create a mentoring program for faculty to get involved in; help students develop ideas and turn them into a reality

Additionally, please refer to our Campus Landscape Canvas for both on-campus and off-campus resources, as well as local Atlanta-based resources.

This Campus Landscape Canvas illustrates all the resources on Georgia Tech’s campus for undergraduates, graduates, organizations, and faculty through perceived, potential, applied, realized, reframing, and institutional resources. Through this map, we are able to fully maximize student, faculty, undergraduate, and graduate student interactions and improve the map for the future, based on our knowledge of the current environment.

Student-Faculty Relations

Through the University Innovation Council, student-faculty interaction will be facilitated in three main ways:

  1. Students interested in getting involved with the I&E movement will be directly connected with a professor based on their ideas, needs, and goals. This introduction will save valuable time for the student by removing the searching process. This will also save time for the professor by introducing them to a student who is serious about their work and eager to network.
  2. Faculty will be able to directly interact and engage with movements on-campus that organizations and students are working on. Instead of being directed by several groups of people, faculty members will know all I&E-related movements are being directed by the University Innovation Council.
  3. Resources for both students and faculty will be maximized due to a new lack of overlap. The process of starting an I&E movement will have the ability to become streamlined, through its implementation in our organization.

Wide Net Impact

By creating a centralized hub, the University Innovation Council will be able to run all I&E movements that Georgia Tech is starting. Our organization, the University Innovation Council, is one that will exist for the betterment of the entire university; not just one major, one club, or even one type of student.

Many undergraduate students have been inspired to create projects and invent in their classes and many graduate students have also been encouraged to turn their research and theses into entrepreneurial companies. This organization would really help graduate students network with undergraduates to easily allocate research positions, internships, and special projects, as well as vice-versa. It is a much more desirable way for them to see what undergraduate students are passionate about, instead of just going off of resumes and shallow connections.

Again, by providing an overarching umbrella, students will be able to focus on their ideas and goals, rather than spending so much time finding the necessary resources. The unique characteristic of I&E is that it's not limited to undergraduate and graduate students, it's for everyone.

Sustainable Impact

By providing a council and infrastructure for I&E to operate under, new students will not have to worry about finding resources or connections (because they will already be provided). They will be able to just focus on the movement and their ideas, goals, and design processes. It will make the entrepreneurial experience less of a trial-and-error process, and more success stories will come out of the Georgia Tech entrepreneurial landscape. In addition, it will create a foundation on campus for other I&E movements to be built upon.

Through the University Innovation Council, students and faculty will be able to grow the I&E movement on campus together, as well as facilitate other movements going forward. This means that they will become more reliant on, and trusting of, each other. If both students and faculty are invested in the same issue and working together to make change happen, Georgia Tech's campus landscape in I&E will continue to grow in the future, which will only perpetuate the success of the I&E campus.

Related Links

Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology Student Priorities

University Innovation Fellows

Fall 2020:

Tynan Purdy

Madison Lovelace

Yuma Tanaka

Cole Campbell

Fall 2019:

Margaret Lu

Jeremy Levin

Cassie McIltrot

Sierra Mulrine

Stefanos Charalambous

Fall 2017:

Risha Parikh

Matthew Lim

Taft Weber-Kilpack

HanSung Kim

Spring 2017:

Julie Leonard-Duke

Fang Shi

Monali Shah

Jason Weis

Spring 2016:

Thomas Clifton

Kshitij Kulkarni

Arshiya Lal

Fall 2015:

Utkarsh Garg

Spring 2014:

Alex Flohr

Megna Saha

Rachel Ford

Related links