Priorities:University of Georgia Student Priorities

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Fall 2023

Hosting an innovation olympics for heightened awareness and collaboration

  1. Fostering institutional collaboration by leveraging current college ambassadors to work together in planning an innovation olympics day during syllabus week
  2. Ambassadors will also conduct a series of white boarding sessions throughout the semester where questions will build upon one another to promote the innovation ecosystem and make an inviting space where students feel welcome to learn more and engage with content

Hosting a design spring during orientation small groups for early adoption

  1. Shifting undergraduate priorities
  2. Aligning student values and skillset to future career goals through experiential learning
  3. Emphasizing innovation and entrepreneurship at earlier stages to carry forward throughout college
  4. Addresses the lack of longevity with programs by incorporating young adopters of innovation during orientation
  5. The sprint will be centered around what each student wants their UGA journey to look like and will guide them in envisioning their place in the UGA ecosystem as well as how they could improve UGA by the time they graduate to leave their UGA imprint
  6. The sprint resources will be developed by the innovation team at UGA to increase awareness of their ecosystem

Establishing an interdisciplinary lab to create go to market products and for knowledge sharing

  1. Enhance marketing of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship ecosystem to increase awareness and accessibility
  2. Increasing the usage of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship ecosystem and resources
  3. Addresses silos across campus by providing a space for multidisciplinary collaboration without any hurdles
  4. Options for involvement:
    1. A team can present a product facing idea and can begin working on their project after it passes a pressure testing session to ensure feasibility for a go to market product
    2. The teams can post their projects and crowdsource support/manpower to allow others who want to get involved simply sign up without an idea
    3. Anyone who can demonstrate mastery in a skill can come to the lab and teach others as well as get credit for a class if they spend the equivalent amount of hours at the lab teaching

Leadership Circle Project Pitch

Fall 2019

Innovatively Create an Inclusive, Multicultural and Diverse Environment for Students, Faculty and Staff

- Primary Contact: JeDawn Gaither

  1. Create a “Think Tank” for idea sharing to improve inclusivity and diversity on campus.
    1. Establish a safe space where students, faculty, and staff feel comfortable sharing ideas.
    2. Implement ideas and suggestions gained from the “Think Tank”.
    3. Share and incorporate all ideas shared on and around campus.
    4. Determine whether the “Think Tank” has increased idea sharing and improved inclusivity and diversity con campus.
  2. Incorporate a Multicultural Inclusive Networking and Diverse Space (MIND Space) for students, faculty and staff can go engage in conversation and fellowship.
    1. Establish a permanent and safe space to house MIND events and training.
    2. Evaluate and ensure benefits of the MIND Space are maximized.
  3. Create an institutional brochure that defines IMD and provides information on events
    1. Provide information on Inclusion, Multiculturalism, and Diversity. Provide tips on how to utilize inclusive approaches around campus.
    2. Develop a “Diversity Day” and add to the campus brochure.
    3. Develop a semi-annual “Diversity Date” which gives students, faculty and staff the opportunity to interact with one another for 4 minutes.
  4. Introduce IMD to students, faulty, and staff and begin mandatory training
    1. Develop a training program that will provide education to all students, faculty, and staff.
    2. Commence IMD training on campus through multiple platforms (i.e. online or in class instruction).
    3. Evaluate the IMD training and ensure it is beneficial on campus.
    4. Ensure that all members on the university level are successful complete the training. 

Connecting Students of Various Disciplines

-Primary Contact: Chelsea Johnson

  1. Create proposal and curriculum for course that expands student understanding of multidisciplinary work
  2. Meet with stakeholders – Fall 2019
    1. The Office of the Vice President for Instruction
    2. Faculty members leading course
    3. UGA junior/senior students of various majors
    4. Leaders from Athens community that work across disciplines
  3. Create course and pilot - Spring 2020
    1. Students giving tours of their buildings and individual projects of their discipline
    2. Guest speakers from community that work across disciplines
  4. Outcome evaluation – Spring 2020
    1. Evaluate students
    2. Evaluate faculty
    3. Evaluate speakers
  5. Make changes to course as needed – Summer 2020
  6. Partner with additional universities in Georgia to run course – ongoing
  7. Teach and Organize class – Fall 2020
    1. Students giving tours of their buildings and individual projects of their discipline
    2. Guest speakers from community that work across disciplines
  8. Outcome evaluation – Fall 2020
    1. Evaluate students
    2. Evaluate faculty
    3. Evaluate speakers

Creating Innovation in every field of study to increase student impact on their community

-Primary Contact: Ariel Scholl

Create and Present Project Outline (Fall 2019)

  • Outline what project will look like
  • Outline where it will fit in the UGA general curriculum 
  • Decide who will oversee projects
  • Present ideas to Stakeholders

Pilot Project (Spring 2020)

  • Find interested students
  • Get permission to give them credit of some kind for participating
  • Obtain funding and resources to help them complete project

Evaluate (Summer 2020)

  • Evaluate Completed Projects
  • Interview Involved Student
  • Make Necessary Changes
  • Find Consistent Funding and Management

Introduce Project as Regular Curriculum (Fall 2020)

  • Get a larger Cohort of Students Signed up
  • Get Project Included in UGA Course Catalog
  • Raise Awareness of the Opportunity

Using Inclusive Language to Increase Diversity in Innovation

-Primary Contact: Avital Wulz

  1. Create a "Tip List" for ways to use inclusive language for organizations, companies, departments and individuals who hope to increase diversity within their programs, activities and/or courses
    1. Premise: Increasing diversity of ideas and perspective will increase innovation. While there are various I&E initiatives around University of Georgia, a major challenge for these programs and initiatives is how to increase the diversity within these activities. Often, the biggest barrier to attracting different people who may not see themselves as “innovators” is the use of language.
    2. Distribute “Tip List” to three or four stakeholders and evaluate their implementation of the resource
    3. Meet with stakeholders and individuals who utilize the “Tip List” to improve the quality and content of the resource on a quarterly basis.
    4. Evaluate whether the “Tip List” has increased diversity among the various initiatives and program around UGA.
    5. If successful and helpful, disseminate “Tip List” across campus.
  2. Add an “inclusivity and cultural humility” standard to UGA’s Online Learning standard requirements
    1. Premise: Currently, UGA’s Online Learning courses are required to meet eight general standards to be approved as an online course. While one of the standards includes “Accessibility and Usability,” there is no mention of ensuring inclusivity or cultural competence. Both inclusivity and cultural competence are essential ingredient to promote a classroom environment with diverse ideas and voices. Additionally, Online Learning is a way of increasing diversity by making courses more accessible for remote, working and non-traditional students.
    2. Determine the current “general standards” and their respective components to better understand what is presently being used for Online Learning courses.
    3. Collaborate with the Office of the VP for Instruction and other stakeholders in the Online Learning space to develop and implement the new standard.
  3. Develop and train staff and faculty teaching online courses on cultural humility and inclusivity
    1. Premise: If the “inclusivity and cultural humility” standard is added to the general standards required for Online Learning courses, it is imperative to train the instructors of these courses in these skills.
    2. Collaborate with School of Social Work, students, and other departments who have experience in cultural competency and inclusivity trainings.
    3. Develop training with interdisciplinary partners.
    4. Pilot training with small focus-groups from various backgrounds, including student focus-groups.
    5. Add the components of this training to previous trainings for online instructors or create a separate online and/or in-person version of the training.
    6. Work with the Office of the VP for Instruction to require this training for all instructors of Online Learning.
    7. Evaluate the training and added standard by incorporating added questions related to cultural humility and inclusion to the Course Evaluations.

- Primary Contact: Shalin Jyotishi

  1. Write a proposal to establish a Thinc at UGA doctoral assistantship for students in student affairs and higher ed administration academic departments
    1. Premise: Currently, UGA's campus-wide entrepreneurial initiative is managed by a part-time committee of administrators and faculty. This makes it difficult for I&E to progress on campus. Greg Wilson, a current fellow and PhD student, has significantly improved Thinc at UGA through his Thinc-a-thon series. Greg will be graduating in May which is why it's essential for fellows to identify ways to ensure sustainability, growth and institutionalization of Thinc at UGA
    2. Meet with campus and community stakeholders to gather feedback, ideas and thoughts
    3. Incorporate Economic Development & Innovation Scholars into proposal
    4. As part of Student Council on Economic Development & Innovation semester meeting, present proposal to VP for Research and VP for Public Service & Outreach
    5. Spring/Summer 2015
  2. Develop infrastructure and strategies for Thinc Planning committee to easily disseminate information to community and student stakeholders
    1. Premise: Currently, UGA's campus-wide entrepreneurial initiative is managed by a part-time committee of administrators and faculty. This makes it difficult for I&E to progress on campus. Greg Wilson, a current fellow and PhD student, has significantly improved Thinc at UGA through his Thinc-a-thon series. Greg will be graduating in May which is why it's essential for fellows to identify ways to ensure sustainability, growth and institutionalization of Thinc at UGA
    2. Create Thinc at UGA email listserv on website and increase following
    3. Increase following on Thinc at UGA social media accounts
    4. Link I&E to broader economic development and service goals of the university
    5. Promote UGA successes to national groups such as the University Economic Development Association
    6. Assist Kevin Wu and Greg Wilson in updating UGA I&E campus roadmap
    7. Meet with Student Government Association, Student Affairs, Admissions, Honors Program, leaders from select student organizations, community and local leaders and other stakeholders to inform them of Thinc at UGA
    8. Establish Director of Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Student Government Association
    9. Spring/Summer 2015
  3. Establish National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenge Scholars Program at UGA
    1. Premise: There are a myriad of resources available to students at the University of Georgia. In addition to the issue of awareness, there is little incentive for students to pursue opportunities in innovation and entrepreneurship, especially outside of the business school. The NAE GCSP will galvanize opportunities on campus in the form of one incentive for engineering students. The program is in existence on several UGA peer and aspirational campuses, and will set up the engineering school to continue to develop its culture of innovation and economic engagement.
    2. Work with Leadership Circle to finish program proposal
    3. Present proposal to Donald Leo, Dean of Engineering
    4. Assist Dean Leo where needed
    5. Spring/Summer 2015
  4. Create a “What If” Idea book for future fellows/recruit "torchbearers"
    1. Premise: Under the leadership of President Jere Morehead and Vice-Presidents Jennifer Frum and David Lee, innovation and entrepreneurship along with the broader mission of economic development has come a long way. However, this May most fellows will graduate, leaving a dire gap in student engagement with I&E. UGA needs new champions of I&E to invest time into the ecosystem.
    2. Work with faculty, staff, students and fellows to recruit a stellar, diverse and ambitious Fall 2015 fellowship cohort and request funding from OVPR and PSO for a third set of University Innovation Fellows.
    3. Create a comprehensive, succinct and useful binder of ideas UGA’s senior leadership and future fellows can undertake to carry on the progression of I&E at the University of Georgia. This resource will incorporate all the experiences of the Student Council on Economic Development & Innovation, fellows, faculty, staff and student leaders into one cohesive publication, saving invaluable time and resources that would have been spent breaking campus silos and gathering information.
    4. Summer 2015

Increase Visibility of Campus I&E Facilities/Resources - Primary Contact: Kevin James Wu

  1. Create an institutional brochure mapping out campus Innovation & Entrepreneurship resources
    1. Model brochure after similar handouts at NYU & UVA
    2. Highlight key locations/contacts on campus; Use the UGA landscape canvas.
    3. Create an overall design similar to a design thinking brainstorming board
    4. Print initial copies, seek internal funding to hand out the flyer in larger numbers on campus
    5. Spring/Summer 2015
  2. Update the Thinc @ UGA website to highlight I&E at UGA
    1. Update biographies of local entrepreneurs on the website
    2. Setup a forum so users can easily add profiles on themselves and their start-ups on the website.
    3. Highlight local events and workshops regarding I&E on the website for easy access.
    4. Spring/Summer 2015
  3. Create an updated I&E map roadmap for UGA students and faculty
    1. Use the landscape canvas to highlight resources on campus, and feature them on an interactive google maps based website (Based on prior fellow work).
    2. Transition the roadmap to Thinc @ UGA to increase visibility
    3. Talk to developers of the UGA smartphone application and work to get the roadmap added as a key feature on the application.
    4. Summer 2015
  4. Increase awareness of on-campus I&E resources and events
    1. Update the roadmap as a static page highlighting major resources.
    2. Make large prints of the updated campus I&E roadmap to distribute and display on campus (Terry College of Business, Engineering College, College of Art and Design, etc…).
    3. Contact UGA PR departments to ensure that poster prints are displayed in major facilities, and I&E handouts are kept in stock to be widely distributed on campus
    4. Inquire about setting up an I&E “newspaper stand” on campus to house I&E pamphlets and handouts for students to view/take in major dining halls and student stores.
    5. Summer/Fall 2015
  5. Ensure longevity of proposed organization and visibility techniques
    1. Contact Society of Entrepreneurs at UGA to pass down pamphlet/poster files and to ensure that the documents remain up to date.
    2. Inquire to Student Affairs in order to add related duties to the student worker responsible for updating the Thinc @ UGA website.
    3. Fall 2015 - Spring 2016

Sustainable Engineering Entrepreneurship Center: UGA Medical Innovation Studio - Primary Contact: T. Stan Gregory

  1. Utilize a laboratory space to serve as a temporary workshop until further future funding is secured.
    1. Currently, we have setup a dedicated workspace for fellows of the UGA Medical Innovation Studio.
    2. Design/build a support structure to handle to recruitment of new members.
    3. Spring/Summer 2015
  2. Recruit an advisory board to ensure Studio sustainability across multiple generations of students.
    1. Contact key faculty from departments across campus.  Use the Landscape Canvas.
    2. Reach out to local entrepreneurs and start-up incubators to serve as board members
    3. Spring/Summer 2015
  3. Encourage the development of student-drive technology-based innovations
    1. Recruit Fellows from our Research Laboratory to mentor teams of Entrepreneurial Students (E-teams)
    2. Use internally generated research questions to start E-teams with; the advisory board will aid in prelim idea generation.
    3. Beginning Spring/Summer 2015 → No End Date
  4. Maintain the interdisciplinary nature of the Studio
    1. Reach out to faculty members teaching STEM, business/entrepreneurship, and design coursework.  Encourage them to broadcast the studio to their classrooms.  Use the Landscape Canvas.
    2. Recruit the Society of Entrepreneurs to tour and train in the Studio.  Familiarize them with the facility, and develop a level of collaboration.
    3. Fall 2015 / Spring 2016
  5. Encourage the translation of innovations into IP and entrepreneurial ventures.
    1. Invited speakers from Technology Commercialization Office, Georgia BioBusiness Center, etc… Use the Landscape Canvas à Develop a short workshop series.
    2. Give a talk on VentureWell funding sources for E-teams (and related ventures) to the Studio.  Provide overviews of proposals.
    3. Ensure that each E-team contains a team of interdisciplinary students (1 business major for business plan development, etc…).
    4. Spring/Fall 2016
  6. Start a Studio Home Page (www)
    1. The page will feature calendars, projects, open-source solutions, and engineering blogs, meant to build strong community support.
    2. Offer small kits built by students to support stipend/fellowships
    3. Spring 2017
  7. Secure external funding to ensure studio longevity
    1. Use landscape canvas to contact key personnel to pitch the studio, and potentially gain University Support
    2. VentureWell Course and Faculty Grants
    3. Internal UGA Funding
    4. Alternative funding sources (locate and apply)
    5. Begin Applications Spring/Summer 2015

Lay Groundwork for Gaps in Interdisciplinary Collaboration - Primary Contact: Aditya Muralidhar

  1. NAE Grand Scholars Program
    1. ​With team, meet with Dean Leo
    2. With team, complete application
    3. Timeline: Spring 2015/Summer 2015
  2. Open Doors Program
    1. Connect Entrepreneurs from different fields to prospectives at UGA
    2. Establish a network of entrepreneurs in STEM and at UGA
    3. Spring 2016
  3. Entrepreneurship Learning Community
    1. Analyze faculty’s willingness to form more learning communities where students with similar interests can be housed in the same location with specific opportunities to benefit them.
    2. Spring 2016
  4. Connect Entrepreneurial programs under the Thinc brand.
    1. Have Thinc. sponsor several entrepreneurship-related events all throughout the year.
    2. Expand Thinc Week to a year long ordeal with these events.
    3. Spring 2017

Create Opportunities for student I&E; Thinc-A-Thon - Primary Contact: Gregory Wilson

  1. Establish Thinc-a-thon as the framework for conducting a hackathon or design thinking event on campus. 
    1. NCIIA Program grant for Thinc-a-thon:
    2. Provide opportunities to develop student e-teams to compete in NCIIA competitions
    3. Use qualitative and quantitative research methods to develop best practices for hosting entrepreneurship, innovation, and design thinking events on campus.
    4. Create a web platform for sharing projects, continuing collaborations, and recruiting new student team members post event
  2. ​Entrepreneurship Roadmap on Thinc site
  3. Develop curriculum to increase exposure to design thinking, entrepreneurship, and innovation principles
    1. Organize 3 popup classes for Fall 2014 (Design Thinking crash course, Startup Engineering, Rapid Prototyping) 
    2. Organize a Design Thinking First Year Odyssey for Fall 2014
    3. Collaborate with Stanford to bring online Design Thinking course to UGA
  4. Begin to organize a K-12 Entrepreneurship Week for 2015 
  5. Create a portable ideation lab that can be checked out by students and faculty to turn any room into an ideation space.
    1. Inspired by the MakeSpace book:    
    2. Alternative solution: Design an ideation space in the library 

Thinc Week for Thinc@UGA

-Primary Contact: Fernando Cruz

1. Organize Thinc Week committee that connects faculty and students across campus

Records the faculty’s responsibilities and resources, along with matching students of similar interests with them.

2. Schedules and leads the committee meetings for this sector within Thinc.

3. Help committee members keep their commitments regarding lining up speakers or roles relating to the program

Act as key contact for headline speakers and creating the order of their presentations

  1. Reconciles the subject matter of the presentation to Thinc’s principals and mission of Thinc. week

4. Organize logistics on spaces, media, promotion, advertisements, and other event planning

Acts as the organizational and logistical muscle to execute Thinc Week

  1. Communicates with other sectors within Thinc coordinate the events that relate to branding and storytelling. 

Pop-Up Classes for Thinc@UGA

- Primary Contact: Heather Huynh

  1. Create Pop-Up Class Series that helps increase student participation in Thinc events
    1. Some grants from ICE (UGA Organization on campus)
    2. Provide opportunities for students to develop practical skills for the real world
    3. Create a web platform to help spread the basic structure for classes to other schools (similar to the website CSFirst has)
  2. Develop curriculum to increase exposure to design thinking, entrepreneurship, and innovation principles
    1. Organize 3 popup classes for Fall 2014 (Design Thinking crash course, Startup Engineering, Rapid Prototyping) 
    2. Organize a Design Thinking First Year Odyssey for Fall 2014
    3. Teach and organize classes 
  3. Extend classes to greater UGA community (including Athens high schools, Athens-area in general, etc)


Fall 2015

University Innovation Fellows at UGA (Leadership Circle)

UGA's University Innovation Fellows are passionate self-starters who believe the University of Georgia can be a leader in innovation and entrepreneurship. Fellows come from diverse backgrounds representing different parts of campus including engineering, political science and policy studies, education and biochemistry. Learn more by clicking on each fellow's profile below!

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