Priorities:Hollins University Student Priorities

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First Year Seminar Program - Sustainability & Social Innovation

The First Year Seminar Program at Hollins is set to help first year students navigate their academic, social, and professional paths. At the heart of the concepts of sustainability and social innovation is stewardship—the responsible use and protection of the environment around you through thoughtful and intentional practices that enhance ecosystem resilience and human well-being. The concept of stewardship can be applied not only to the environment and nature, but also to economics, health, information, theology, cultural resources, and beyond. The United Nations has identified sustainable development goals addressing the world’s most pressing problems. This class embarks on exploring ways to address those problems as they present themselves in our local community. Students will be challenged to develop innovative solutions to complex problems by applying design thinking principles while working in multidisciplinary collaborative teams. FYS facilitators will challenge students to ask not what your community can do for you but what you can do for your community. Moreover, the structure and layout of the class is based on the Stanford model for design thinking where students are encouraged to find problems that personally move them to go greater things for the community. If this model works well and the outcomes are positive from the class, this framework will become the model that all first year seminar programs follow.

Entrepreneurship Month Highlighted in the Museum & Library Exhibits

In relation to the first year seminar program, to showcase the work and encourage innovation and entrepreneurship at Hollins, the projects of the students will be highlighted at the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum and the Wyndham Robertson Library. This exhibit will feature works of the student from not only the first-year programs but also other entrepreneurial and innovative research and opportunities that students have not yet gotten the chance to highlight. The exhibit will run for at least a month where students can give presentations on their work during scheduled hours, and can even make it a class session with a designated class.

Re-vamping Entrepreneurship Club

Hollins University first started it's Entrepreneurship Club when the Entrepreneurial Institute was founded in 2019, since the institute has been put on a hiatus, it is essential to understand and collaborate with other departments to get the club up and running again as a free-standing club. To ensure student participation and enthusiasm, the club is looking for members and faculty sponsors that can collaborate to highlight the existing entrepreneurial spirit on campus. Whether that be in the form of a class field trip to a pitch competition in Virginia Tech, or organizing a bazaar that features products and services started by Hollins students and alumnae or simply gathering together to talk about things that excite people to innovate and get creative.

Institutional Collaboration to bring Innovative Thinking as a part of the core curriculum

Hollins is a liberal arts university that encourage interdisciplinary learning and compels students to spread their knowledge across different areas. Thus, entrepreneurial and innovative thinking is something that is already very prevalent in the community but is not identified as such. To make this a component of learning at Hollins, most courses should highlight in their course description or syllabus how entrepreneurial and innovative thinking as a part of the class despite the stigma of it being a 'business' concept. This will not only help students understand the value in that type of thinking, but give them an avenue to try it out for themselves in the class to see that they are capable of innovative thinking that benefits them and their community.