Priorities:University of California Berkeley Student Priorities

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There are many opportunities for enhancing the Innovation and Entrepreneuership ecosystem at Berkeley. 

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Below are four such opportunities:

Strategy #1: Introducing design thinking to multidisciplinary students

Many non-design students from UC Berkeley do not have the opportunity to learn the design process or gain design thinking skills. This process and these skills are very important in real life and give students an advantage in jobs and in their future. Students from most majors and students who don't seek out this knowledge are at a disadvantage. This strategy aims to provide students from multidisciplinary backgrounds design thinking skills through The Invention Corps of Berkeley. Students from multiple different majors and fields that normally wouldn't get the design experience would be taught so and furthermore use it in projects paired with professors and PhD students here at Berkeley.

Project leads: Precious Listana & James Zamora & Alexander Kamgar & Sydney Zachariah

Tactics & Execution

1. Create a club on campus called The Invention Corps of Berkeley that focuses on design thinking and innovative technology (BY: 12/2016)

2. Introduce students who may have never gotten the chance to learn the design process to the Invention Corps of Berkeley (BY: 02/2017)

3. Hold voluntary classes in which we invite students from all majors to learn more about the design process (BY: 05/2017)

4. Host a spring showcase that highlights the collaborative work of the inventors and the professors (BY: 05/2017)

5. Introduce group design thinking to the Golden Bear Orientation Leaders to educate newly admitted students to collaborative innovation (BY: 08/2017)

Strategy #2: Forming relationships between students and professors

One of the biggest resources on campus that connects students and professors is the Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program (URAP), but most students do not optimize this resource. Students want to get exposed to application-based opportunities, and one way to do that is to collaborate with professors & graduate students through the Invention Corps of Berkeley. 

Project leads: Precious Listana, James Zamora, Alex Kamgar & Sydney Zachariah

Tactics & Execution

1. Organizing a Professor Pitch Night where students from The Invention Corps of Berkeley are able to pick semester projects based on the professor pitches (BY: 02/2017)

2. Establish a mentorship program between a project group and their respective professor (BY: 03/2017)

3. Host a spring showcase that highlights the collaborative work of the inventors and the professors (BY: 05/2017)

Strategy #3: Creating modular-segmented classes that guide freshmen to multiple disciplines 

Students coming into college often have a hard time choosing their major. As 17-18 year olds, it can be extremely stressful and difficult to choose the path they want to take that will affect their careers and success in such a huge way. Often times, students don’t have a well-rounded view of the majors on campus; for example, students who are an intended biology major may never have been exposed to any sort of engineering class that may impact their decision on their major. Therefore, it is important that students are able to experience the different majors on campus before making a decision.

To address this problem, we have designed a strategy that designs modular-segmented class to guide freshmen to multiple disciplines. This course would outline the course work of various majors, prerequisites, possible careers that utilize each major and corresponding salaries, and what the day-to-day life would be in each of those careers (i.e. hours, amount of work, freedom for a personal life, etc.) In designing such a course, students are able to be exposed to a few of the most popular majors on campus and can therefore make a more well-informed decision on their future path.

This strategy focuses on delivering students the knowledge of various fields and majors. The goal of this course is to reduce the number of students who switch their majors during sophomore and junior year, and provide a holistic approach to choosing majors. 

Project leads: Precious Listana, James Zamora, Alex Kamgar & Sydney Zachariah 

Tactics & Execution

1. Start asking around students to gauge interest in a class like this (BY: 03/2017)

2. Populate a repertoire of the top 10 most popular majors at UC Berkeley (BY: 03/2017)

3. Talk to professors that are already doing something similar like Robert Full's Bio-inspired design class and Sara Beckman's Collaborative Innovation (BY: 03/2017)

4. Contact the Department chair of Interdisciplinary Studies to support and mentor a seminar (BY: 04/2017)

5. Discover all "pre-professional" career options such as: pre-med, pre-law, pre-business, and integrate an umbrella system that can count for a major requirement/breadth within their respective departments (BY: 04/2017)

6. Meet with professors and administration to better understand the complexity of creating this type of class and better understand the scope of this project (BY: 04/2017)

7. Contact the Department chair of Interdisciplinary Studies to support and mentor a seminar (BY: 04/2017)

8. Decide curriculum priorities and structure of class, such as how ofter professors should come, how long each module would be, what majors to offer, etc. (BY: 04/2017)

9. Research the economic barriers and provide a pitch deck that will highlight the monetary gain for not only the school, but also the professors (BY: 05/2017)

10. Innovate upon already existing curriculums and further develop a curriculum that will embody design thinking alongside collaborating professors from Jacobs Institute of Design, Saturdja Center (CITRIS) and the Blum Center (BY: 05/2017)

Related Links

University of California, Berkeley Campus Overview

University Innovation Fellows

Spring 2017

Precious Listana

Alex Kamgar

Sydney Zachariah

James Zamora

Fall 2013

Jared Karp

Adam Eastman

Related links