Priorities:Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis Student Priorities

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Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) has very recently been developing its identity as a site of innovation and entrepreneurship. Ideas have been in place for a while among students and faculty and now over the last semester, plans have started to take shape. The most recent ideas to action have come through interdisciplinary ideations and collaboration through The Brain Trust at IUPUI, the recent UIF chapter of IUPUI, the newly formed Innovation Student Union, and many other student organizations focused on innovative change at IUPUI.

Project Pitch Video

Spring 2016

Spring 2017

Strategy #1 Develop a unified voice for the Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E) movement

In addition to the participating of the UI Fellows, there are many conversations about the importance of I&E on campus and in the student experience. 

  • Participate in design research to develop a unified campus definition of what I&E means to us
  • Identify opportunity spaces where solutions can be implemented to improve the student experience of I&E on campus
  • Develop solutions that will create a desirable student experience
  • Implement solutions

Strategy #2 Promote Innovation and Entrepreneurship to the general student body.

Students at IUPUI are still largely unaware of the vision for IUPUI to become an innovation hub. Because of its proximity to so many businesses and large corporations, IUPUI has an amazing physical proximity to natural resources of Entrepreneurship as well as access to some crucially helpful individuals. However, there is no direct flow of knowledge or outstanding awareness of these resources; they are all hidden in the depths of the schools' websites and commonly unknown to the student body. 

  • Collect resource information and keep it organized.
  • Make connections with the faculty who are in charge of and aware of the opportunities inside and outside of IUPUI.
  • Meet with the influential individuals of IUPUI and the surrounding community to expand information.
  • Promote a plan for distributing information to students through workshops, lectures, etc. 
  • Create a widespread ideation platform with an easy-to-use software or game-like appearance.

Strategy #3 Bring awareness to innovation spaces at IUPUI.

Students at IUPUI are still largely unaware of the future plans for the campus, but one of the pending goals is to create and utilize more maker spaces. These spaces are for student creativity and collaboration to come to life and to provide the necessary equipment for ideas to happen.

  • Receive training through UIF to establish a complete goal for the future space.
  • Stay in contact with faculty who are already interested in helping to create this space.
  • Continue to reach out to more individuals who would be interested in a maker-space. 

Currently, IUPUI has a variety of maker-spaces located within schools and departments.  The current goal (as of Spring 2018) of the students is to include these spaces in our efforts to unify the I & E landscape across campus.

FALL 2018

Strategy 1- Monthly Workshops

Students at IUPUI have skewed ideas on what innovation and entrepreneurship entail as a whole. Holding monthly workshops to help explain innovation and design thinking would bridge the gap between schools while also educating other students about innovation, entrepreneurship, and design thinking. These workshops would be held in the newly established IDEA Garden, a space for innovation and design thinking, which aligns with the previous cohort’s goal of bringing awareness to innovation spaces at IUPUI.

  • Gain access to the IDEA Garden monthly.
  • Draw in interested students/Create student interest.
  • Create a plan for workshops.

Strategy 2- Innovation Sprint

Currently at IUPUI, there is no event specifically for innovation/design thinking ideations. With the goals of creating a culture of innovation on campus and bridging the gap between schools, we have helped plan an IDEA Sprint event with a previous cohort. This prototype will launch in November full force and full scale.

  • Market the event/Create student interest.
  • Plan the logistics of the event
  • Create the event plan

Strategy 3- Engineering Innovations

Certain engineering students in their freshman and sophomore years are still dubious about how their knowledge from the courses they attend here at IUPUI applies in practical and industrial scenarios. These “case studies” can pave the way for aspiring students to gain connections with their innovative side.

  • Bringing in alumni or innovators with engineering backgrounds can help students get clarity on how they are supposed to apply their skills in the field.
  • Seminars/workshops/meetings could be held monthly to connect students to give an insight into the requirements of the field.

Strategy 4 - Individualized Academic Planning (Peer Academic Advising)

This issue applies to almost any major on campus where students have to wait a lot to get hold of their academic advisors to determine their ideal degree map. Also because of the limited appointment time, students don’t get to know a lot of options or career paths and just have to stick what their advisor suggests.

One way to solve this issue is having peers of higher class standings (eg: Juniors or Seniors), act as academic advisors for students in their initial college years.

This would definitely be beneficial as students will be able to know more options and also know the different pathways (or reasons for the pathways) chosen by their senior students. It also reduces wait time and students can get their classes scheduled on time.

Initial strategies:

  • Finding incentives for students to become peer academic advisors (hourly pay, scholarship, extra credit, required class assignment, etc).
  • Determining the type of interface between peer academic advisors and students getting advised (Eg: Workshop, One-on-one, database creation of different paths, etc).
  • Work with stakeholders (Existing academic advisors or academic advising centres) to implement the initiative.  

FALL 2019

Strategy 1 - Resource Access Kiosk

During the interview I conducted one of the major problems that came forth was that with the several resources available on campus, students did not know how to access them or what was the best suited resource for the problem they were facing. 

To this issue the solution that we came taught was apt, was that we would have a digital kiosk for students in the various buildings on campus that would be able to let them view the events happening on that particular day as well as see the resources on campus, such as, Math Assistance Center, Speaker’s Lab, Writing Center, Bepko Learning Center that students could use for academic mentoring and success coaching. These kiosks would should the location of these resources as well as give directions on how to get to the place from your current location. 

This would be useful as students would be able to easily see what kind of a resource they would like to access and what would be the best fit for them. This would also allow the students to see what events are happening on campus and enable an increased chance of participation. 

Initial Strategies:

  • Design the software with all necessary information 
  • Talk to students, faculty and get feedback 
  • Look for suitable places to place kiosks to get maximum engagement

Strategy 2 - Develop New Connections with Student Groups

Our workshops have mixed turnout for students. Our most successful workshops have been in collaboration with already existing student groups. Therefore, we reached out to several different communities to offer individualized workshops to increase exposure for design thinking. The first community we developed a relationship with was the Honors College.We shall continue to reach out and develop program for the following communities.

  • Graduate Students
  • Postdocs
  • Computer Science Club
  • Visual Communication and Design

Strategy 3 - Connect students to design spaces at IUPUI. 

In the past year, a design space named the Idea Garden opened on campus. Even with this new addition students are still largely disconnected from the design spaces throughout campus. Many of them have no idea they exist and others have never visited one. Breaking down the barriers to these spaces can help students connect with an innovation mindset.

  • Connect with the faculty in control of the design spaces.
  • Explore and create workshops that train students with the technologies involved in the design space.
  • Build awareness of these spaces for students and connect them to these workshops.

Strategy 4 - Sharing the Knowledge From Upperclassmen to Their Younger Peers

Students at IUPUI that have successfully gone through a couple years in their program are the best resource to overcome these challenges for younger students going through it. This project aims to connect those two groups of people in a meaningful way to allow the passing of knowledge down to the younger students. It would be a mobile application that you would sign in with your university ID and it would provide message boards and chat areas of people in similar fields at the school. 

  • Provides a way for upperclassmen to give back and help younger students
  • Allows younger students to get answers and knowledge to things they could only otherwise learn from experience. 
  • Fosters community between the years which may not otherwise happen

FALL 2022

Strategy 1- Hackathon/ Innovation Sprint

There are few activities at IUPUI right now that encourage students to think entrepreneurially or creatively. However, the majority of students either don't seem to be aware of them or don't seem motivated enough to engage in them. We have tried to give these events more structure and update the current sprint strategy in an effort to promote an innovation culture on campus and close the gap between schools.

  • Market the event/Create student interest.
  • Plan the logistics of the event
  • Create the event plan
  • Have leaderboards from time to time have a track of their progress.
  • Add mentoring session as a part of the event.

Strategy 2- Cultivate Individual Exploration

The resources and goals of IUPUI are still generally unknown to students. Because it is located so close to so many organizations and significant companies, IUPUI has incredible access to entrepreneurship resources and many influential people. These resources are all buried in the depths of the schools' web pages and are generally unknown to the student population.

  • Collect resource information and provide easy access to the students.
  • Organize events where there is a scope to know more about these resources.
  • Contact the faculty and students who are in charge of and knowledgeable about the opportunities at IUPUI.
  • Keep the students engaged by promoting these resources via different active platforms.

Strategy 3- engage the students through the Innovation events

Most of the students do not tend to participate in the existing events due to major reasons like lack of motivation, knowledge, and nervousness being the top reasons. We have planned to apply a few strategies that could minimize this gap.

  • Market more about the events especially via social media such that it can reach as many students as possible.
  • Conduct talks with alumni, and industry leaders to know about what is going on in the industry and cultivate interest to pursue and apply learnings in practice.
  • Conduct team bonding activities to increase the culture of having fun along with learning and improve network and bonding among students.

Strategy 4- Form a committee to ensure the Innovation is being spread on campus over the time.

A committee is to be formed which overlooks the whole of Innovation and Entrepreneurship across the campus and monitors the events promoting this culture. This committee would be the point of contact if any Innovation or Entrepreneurship related change is to be implemented or needs to be updated. The committee members will be meeting every now and then to analyze how the above said culture is being promoted and take necessary actions based on it.

Related Links

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Student Priorities

University Innovation Fellows

Spring 2016:

Spring 2017:

Spring 2018:

Fall 2018:

Fall 2019:

  • Lincoln Anderson
  • Nevin Anderson
  • Gauri Nagaraj
  • Travis Kening

Fall 2022: