School:Colorado State University

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Promoting student innovation and entrepreneurship

One goal that every university has is to guide students to become innovators and entrepreneurs. At Colorado State University (CSU), courses, clubs, workshops, facilities, etc. are available for students to participate in to expand their skills. Not only are these programs benefiting the students, but also the university as whole. Students take what they learn in these programs then apply it to different classes or new clubs they are involved in. Some courses that are offered at CSU that lead students in discovering the start the process of entrepreneurship are; a Minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation,  ESOL – Advanced 3 Academic English Listening & Speaking and BMS 200 Concepts in Human Anatomy and Physiology. In addition to these learning courses, there are experimental courses that go more in depth and allow for students to do hands on learning. Examples include, COM 351 Field Management, LAND 449 Professional Practice, and a certificate in Design Thinking. The new Richardson Design Center is a multidisciplinary space, that allows students from a multitude of courses to work with the "Makers Spaces". While some of these innovative courses are specific to majors and are located in certain colleges, there are several innovation spaces that are open to everyone. With these programs embedded into CSU's campus, it creates a knowledgable environment and opens the doors for many students.

Encouraging faculty innovation and entrepreneurship

With thousands of students, it can be difficult for a single student to feel personally supported by the university and its faculty. However, CSU does an outstanding job aiding students by providing numerous outlets for student interaction with professors, advisors, and administration. Every department on campus has numerous staff members who are there to answer questions and support student education. Many students are provided the opportunity to work alongside faculty in various research scenarios or through different organized groups on campus. Faculty advisors are appointed to each club or society, allowing students to connect with them in environments other than a classroom. Professors are also encouraged to head their own research studies, while simultaneously teaching courses. It keeps them up-to-date with the latest information in technology and research. Also, many programs on campus advise students to seek education or internships abroad. CSU hopes that sending students overseas will increase their scope of the world and provide them with new ideas and ways of thinking. It is a great entrepreneurial tool that teaches independence and self-motivation, making students more successful. Faculty are involved throughout the entire process and they conduct extensive research on education programs around the world to ensure students at CSU are receiving the best education possible.

Actively supporting the university technology transfer function

There are numerous organizations and systems in place at this institution that aid students by providing information, funding, and support. When related to incubating or bootcamp type offerings, CSU has developed several different showcases that support and appreciate student work. One is the Graduate Student Showcase, and the other is the Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity Showcase (CURC). Both offer opportunities for current students to display a variety of projects or assignments they have completed in school. These newer events provide a chance to have student work seen and critiqued by the campus community. For students seeking more than reviews for their work, there are several great funding systems at CSU. The Research Acceleration Office offers many outlets for students to apply for grants to conduct research projects. Students submit proposals that are reviewed by faculty and administration, and the proposals are deemed as worthy or unworthy ventures for the school. A less formal approach available to students is using RamFunder. It functions similarly to, in that anyone can request financial assistance for any academic-related research or project they wish to investigate further. Many students and faculty members donate to this site, allowing individuals to bring their ideas to fruition. As far as technology assistance at the institution is concerned, there are several departments where students can receive assistance and gather more information. Once they decide they have new and innovative concepts they wish to explore, a great place to visit is the Technology Transfer Office, which is under the umbrella of the campus Research Foundation. Here, the staff works to protect and manage the intellectual property of the university and its students. It also acts as a liaison with the community, connecting students to local businesses and opportunities that can further their innovative ideas or research. Another program that offers industry connections is the Office of Engagement; it works to connect different communities both on and off campus through different collaboration and leadership events. Built in to the curriculum of CSU are a number of innovative strategies that students can utilize without needing a proposal or idea. A great example of this is a course offered in grant writing. It is taught online and gives students the chance to gain a knowledge and understanding of what information and tools they need to create a grant for future endeavors they may pursue. On a larger scale, a minor is offered in legal studies, which benefits individuals wanting to understand the legality of entrepreneurship, such as business ownership, protecting intellectual property, and patents.

Facilitating university-industry collaboration

As it stands, Colorado State University’s Industry outreach efforts are thorough and diverse. CSU has relationships with many companies in many industries to allow students to keep up with the pulse in the business world. This symbiotic relationship allows students to learn from businesses and for businesses to benefit from the world of academia and student perspectives. For example, CSU and New Belgium Brewing have partnered to teach new brewery classes and the founder of Otterbox has donated over 8 million dollars for the new Richardson Design Center at Colorado State University. CSU also engages in various incubators and start-ups through the Colorado State University Research Foundation (CSURF) and Venture Validator through the College of Business. There are also collaborations with tech transfer offices, namely, Innosphere Incubation Program, CSU Ventures and Office of Sponsored Programs. Grant writing and legal assistance is provided through the Research Acceleration Office and CoWood Grant Writing Support. In addition, the Dean of the College of Business has an advisory board called the Global Leadership Council. This is a group of the best and brightest minds in business and related fields and they provide a vital link to real-world business. Furthermore, CSU has a list of employers that they partner with in order to improve the collaborative efforts of recruitment and iterations of the job itself. 

Engaging with regional and local economic development efforts

Colorado State University is well versed in creating opportunities for facilitating University-Industry collaboration. CSU collaborates with a variety of research centers, industrial parks and industry/mentor networks to help entrepreneurial ventures succeed. A wet lab space is provided by Innosphere Incubation Program, who is an official partner of CSU. The GetWET Observatory provides in-field learning experiences and reaches out to the wider community through means of K-12 education through CSU's Behavioral Sciences College. CSU's partnership with New Belgium Brewery has allowed its Fermentation Science major to flourish and those graduates are able to give back to the community by working in one of Fort Collins' 25 breweries. Entrepreneurial mentoring and advice is offered by Colorado State University Research Foundation (CSURF) through their program CSU Ventures. The Institute of Entrepreneurship is also an excellent resource for knowledge gathering and application in the real world. 

Strategic Priorities

2019 CSU Group:

Venture to Improve Residence Halls (Tracey Trickey): The majority of CSU's Residence Halls are old and very inaccessible to students with disabilities. This inaccessibility makes those students feel ostracized and unwelcome. All residence halls need to be retrofitted or designed with elevators and automated door openers so that differentially able students are not confined to the first floor. New buildings should be designed with not only ADA federal requirements, but Universal Design. Universal design is inclusive design that caters to ALL regardless of age, ability, sex, race or other. Stereotypes need to be challenged - not all disabled people need wheelchairs. Further education and awareness of differentially able students should be implemented so that all students can thrive. 

Upperclassman mentor/panel (RK Hancock IV): First year students will be given the opportunity to get in touch with upperclassman in their same department to build authentic relationships where the mentors can give relevant guidance about any topics, big or small, that the first years have. 

Peer Mentorship Program (Trenton Beeh): A big problem I have seen and heard is that there is a disconnection between class levels and students in the same major connecting with one another. School work is challenging, but there is an easier way to be successful. The idea I propose is to have an Upperclassmen/Peer Mentorship Program that focuses on quickly getting younger students to adapt to new semesters.

Major Exploration Program: (Dylan Frost): I realized early on in my college career that thousands of students at CSU and frankly around the country don't know why they’re in college or what they want to do here. I want to create a major exploration program that analyzes the student and helps guides them into finding a major that best suits them.

2018 CSU Group:

Cross-Disciplinary Collaborative Makerspace (Annaliese Cole-Weiss): Steps to achieve goal - Physical Meeting Space Faculty Advisor Variety of Technology/Equipment Materials Art/Office Supplies Funding Course/Usage Fee Assessment Training Program Membership Program Support from CSU Student/Faculty Awareness

Hack-A-Thon (Nicholas Hahn): Steps to achieve goal -  Meet-Up Location Date and Time Richardson Design Center Approval Faculty/Administration Representation Materials for Brainstorming (Paper, Markers, etc.) Technology/Equipment (Computers, Projectors, etc.) Guest Speakers, Lectures, Brainstorming Sessions, Panels Competitions Advertisements Refreshments

Incoming Freshman/Transfer Student Outreach Program (Alonzo Alcocer): Steps to achieve goal - Voluntary Program Leaders Communication with Freshman Advisors/Advocates Designed Seminar Curriculum/Presentations Meeting spaces in freshman dorms RamWelcome Orientation Booths in plaza Seminar scheduling Mentoring programs Materials (pen, paper)

Innovation Club (Eric Thorson): Steps to achieve goal - Physical Meeting Space (Makerspace?) Access to Makerspace/Equipment Access to Technological Resources Elected President and Board Members Faculty Advisor Support from CSU Student Organizations Funding/Student Fees Mission Statement Social Media Presence Club Following/Participation


2019 UIF team

2018 UIF team

2019 Team member links

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