Priorities:The Ohio State University Student Priorities

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The Ohio State University offers premier services to pockets of students through organizations such as the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Technology Commercialization Office, and various student organization. However, these are not widely utilized within engineering and business, let alone the rest of the university. The typical student receives little to no of the entrepreneurial and innovation education that prepares them for the modern economy. To extend the long-term I&E Ecosystem at Ohio State; to provide students with resources and environments that facilitate innovation learning; to advise, incubate, and accelerate student generated ideas, the following Student Priorities have been created.

[UIF Initiatives for Ohio State Campus]




Columbus has become home to a vibrant community of innovation and entrepreneurship, and we want to highlight the past OSU students who have gone on to start ventures so that current students can learn from their experience.;

  • Fellows Involved: Kaylee Chang, Angela Heaney, Tinia Larkins, and Mick Rash 

Milestone 1: Conduct Stakeholder Meeting - November, 2020

  • Description: During the month of November, our cohort will facilitate a meeting to meet the stakeholders on campus and begin to foster a relationship.

Milestone 2: Gauge Initial Student Interest

  • Description: Create and distribute a survey for the alumni and student body to determine how many startups and students can and will attend. 

Milestone 3: Develop and Organize Event Specifics 

  • Description:The next responsibility will be to make sure that an event can be properly organized and put on through the auspices of UIF. 

Milestone 4:Create a system of connection among participants.

  • Description:After this event, it is of the utmost importance to create a network of participants who can continue their growth and knowledge in the startup space. 


At a university as large as Ohio State, it is paramount that students be able to connect with the resources that they can take advantage of most effectively. As such, it is vital that we create a newsletter through the Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship to inform students interested in the resources of the I&E space at Ohio State.;

  • Fellows Involved: Kaylee Chang, Angela Heaney, Tinia Larkins, and Mick Rash 

Milestone 1: Direct Student Body Interest in I&E to the Keenan Center

  • Description: It is vital for a newsletter from the Keenan Center to be created that we demonstrate need among the student body for resources from the Keenan Center.

Milestone 2: Create a signup for monthly newsletters

  • Description: With the connection between those who are interested in the startup space and the Keenan Center, the ability for individuals to sign-up for the newsletter from the Keenan Center will be complete. 


Throughout your four years at OSU, with such a large student body, you may graduate without knowing more than a small percentage of what activities and opportunities within organizations were available to you. While this is an inevitable part of a campus of more than 50,000 students, there needs to be an easier way to navigate. That is why our cohort believes that a new restructuring of how student organizations and activities presented on the OSU app and website needs to be better organized and broken down, so that aspiring students can easily find the right organization and home for them.;

  • Fellows Involved: Kaylee Chang, Angela Heaney, Tinia Larkins, and Mick Rash 

Milestone 1: Categorize Organizations Based on Interest

  • Description: By breaking down organizations into categories, students can easily navigate in a way tailored to their personal and specific interests. This can be approached in the same manner in which the student involvement fair is structured, including broad categories such as sports, environmental, business, and so on.

Milestone 2: Specify Time/Overall Commitment

  • Description: After breaking down by category, we want to give more comprehensive information for each organization. And as we know that organizations vary in time constraints, meetings, and projects, with some simply having optional meetings, and others having constant projects and deliverables, we want students to know what they’re getting themselves into. Also, this avoids the hassle of sending out multiple emails to understand what you signed up for.  

Milestone 3: Make it Public 

  • Description:Once this restructuring is complete, we want this to be accessible on the OSU app and main website for easy student access. This way, not only can new freshmen feel comfortable looking through what they might be interested in, any college student can be easily equipped to get involved with a new organization without hassle. 



After 3 years of the UIF program at The Ohio State University, we have noticed that our university is lacking an owner for the I&E landscape. As the university becomes more siloed with the growth of its individual colleges, I&E projects continue to be held in the dark due to the lack of communication. The University Innovation Fellows have decided that it will be our continuous priority to own the state of the I&E landscape by creating board 

  • Fellows Involved: Andrew Benisek, Lauren Saggar, Kai McKinney, Jen Schlegel 

Milestone 1: Conduct Stakeholder Meeting - November, 2018

  • Description: During the month of November, our leadership circle shall facilitate a stakeholder meeting with key faculty and administrative personal. The goal of this meeting is to introduce our various ideas as well as establish a fundamental relationship between the student body and faculty moving forward.

Milestone 2: Invite Faculty to be on the I&E Board - December, 2019

  • Description: After the stakeholder meeting, we want to form a board of faculty advisors from across the various areas of campus to provide a consistent pulse on the I&E developments in their particular department. Getting together the UIF faculty board will not only assist in with the longevity of the UIF program but will help us have the connections across the university required to push new initiatives. 

Milestone 3: Hold 1st Faculty Board Working Session 

  • Description:After the board has been set, the UIF program will attempt to host working sessions every semester to help align the groups priorities, create sub-working groups, and get a pulse of changes that have occurred to the campus landscape. 

Milestone 4: Industry Invitations to the Board - April, 2020

  • Description:After multiple semesters in operation, the UIF I&E board would hope to add members of industry onto the board. Industry members will help guide the board in with perspective from outside the university and would ideally help to source resources outside of the reach of students and faculty. 


Last year, the UIF team helped to create the Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship Council at The Ohio State University. The council was focused on bringing student leaders in the I&E space together from around campus to discuss what they are doing and encourage open collaboration between organizations. The general idea was that together, we could increase access to entrepreneurship and innovation at Ohio State. 

  • Fellows Involved: Andrew Benisek, Lauren Saggar, Kai McKinney, Jen Schlegel 

Milestone 1: Send invitations to be a member of SIEC - Dec 2019

  • Description: SIEC meetings have been discontinued for over a semester. UIF will need to re-invite organizations to continue the conversation. 

Milestone 2: Hold First Meeting - Jan 2020

  • Description: After invitations have been sent, the goal would be to have our first large council meeting at the beginning of Spring semester. This would be a chance for everyone to be updated on what they have been doing and where they plan to head in the short term

Milestone 3: First Breakout Session - Feb 2020 

  • Description:Our goal is to have smaller working groups within SIEC that work to help further a specific initiative in the I&E landscape. Whether this is joint events, joint sourcing of partners and resources, etc. our goal would be for 2  - 3 of these groups to form in the early spring semester. 


The University Innovation Fellows is a program that has impacted the lives of not only the fellows, but many other on campus. However, at a university of Ohio State’s size, it is very difficult to have a sustained impact as cohorts change and projects last outside of the scope of an academic year. As the UIF program, we will be working towards developing a sustainable model for UIF in order to ensure that the program has strategic and constant presence within the University. 

  • Fellows Involved: Andrew Benisek, Lauren Saggar, Kai McKinney, Jen Schlegel, Astha Rastogi, George Varcarcel 

Milestone 1: Addressing Key University Stakeholders - Nov 2019

  • Description: At the November Stakeholder meeting, the entire UIF program will not only be addressing current progress but setting up discussions to set up a permanent board for guidance over our program. 

Milestone 2: Defining a permanent home - Feb 2020

  • Description: The UIF program at the Ohio State University has been housed within a specific college of study. The UIF team plans to have discussions with university administration to determine if this is the best home for our program given our priorities moving forward. 

Milestone 3: Defining Project Lifetimes - March 2020

  • Description: As a program, we must consider the size and complexity of projects we can and cannot take on. As we look to position ourselves as strategic connectors between university silos, we must define what we can and cannot support as a program moving forward.

Milestone 4: New Recruiting Cycle - March 2012

Description:For the 2020 recruiting season, our programs goal is to increase the diversity of our team to include not only more areas of academic study, but pools of though. By more accurately representing campus on our team, we can better serve the I&E needs of the university. 


The Ohio State University is composed of diverse expertise and strong research, but this is often siloed into respective disciplines. Effective impact means that everyone has access to resources and the ability to share perspectives in order to create change on a systematic basis.

  • Fellows Involved: Andrew Benisek, Lauren Saggar, Kai McKinney, Jen Schlegel, Astha Rastogi, George Varcarcel 

Milestone 1: Map Stakeholders - Nov 2019

  • Description: Begin effective organization with identified EI-related stakeholders, including students, university centers, student organizations, and academic faculty in order to comprehensively frame further initiatives

Milestone 2: Create a Framework - Feb 2020

  • Description: Define a structure for multidisciplinary collaboration across many fields. This would include delegating contact and collaboration to the above identified stakeholders. 

Milestone 3: First Workshop - March 2020

  • Description: Prototype effective collaboration around a research problem, identify and contact stakeholders, including students, researchers, and university centers, and experiment with collaborative approaches. 

Milestone 4: Structural Growth - Autumn 2021

Description:Make relevant changes to the framework after prototyping, and start building a structure towards growth, reaching more disciplines, solving more problems, and fostering more involvement.

University Innovation Fellows 2018-2019 

Priority 1: Development of Ohio State Innovation Lab

The first area of focus for the second fellowship is the development of a physical lab on campus. The Ohio State Univeristy has a strong foundational system for innovation, however, the school now requires a physical to allow students to access Innovation materials. Our method of developing this space will involve vigorous work with faculty to create such a space. 

  • Fellows Involved: Amun Mehta, Nolan Hanna, Erica Carlson, Astha Rastogi

Milestone 1: Conduct Stakeholder Meeting - November, 2018

  • Description: During the month of November, our leadership circle shall facilitate a stakeholder meeting with key faculty and administrative personal. The goal of this meeting is to introduce our various ideas as well as establish a fundamental relationship between the student body and faculty moving forward.

Milestone 2: Begin Conceptual Design of Innovation Lab - February, 2019

  • Description: Begin formalizing a space for the new innovation lab to be built in, with hopes of the location being on North / Central Campus. Using previous designs by Fellows as well as receiving feedback from the student body will be crucial. 

Milestone 3: Recieve Funding for Establishment of Lab - May, 2020

  • Description:By the end of the 2019/2020 Academic Year, fuding should be secured for the creation of the Innovation Lab. The process will be given extra time due to the fact that the University has many phases it must go through in order to build such a space.

Milestone 4: Implementation of Ohio State Innovation Lab - May, 2021

  • Description: By the end of the 2020/2021 Academic Year, we hope to have a fully functioning Innovation Lab in which students have all the required materials to pursue their innovation aspirations. A series of modules will have been established to certify students to use this space, allowing their student ID's access to this space. 

Priority 2: Freshman Engineering Curriculum Reform

The Freshman Engineering Curriculum Reform aims to revamp the second semester design course (ENGR 1182) that all engineering freshmen and those pursuing an engineering minor are required to take. Traditionally, this course is very linear, the curriculum does not promote creativity as much as it should, and does not encourage students to make connections between what they design and how it could create social or economic value. This project is part of a KEEN grant project to promote Entrepreneurial Minded Learning across engineering education at OSU.

  • Fellows Involved: Amun Mehta, Nolan Hanna, Erica Carlson, Astha Rastogi

Milestone 1: Begin In-Class Pilot, August, 2018

  • Description: During the month of August, initial training of the course's instructional team took place, including teaching assistants. Classes officially began on August 22nd, 2018. KEEN TA's (UIF role) is to be in class, support grading, working on enhancing the instructional team's familiarity with EML, and ultimately gathering feedback to improve the spring course.

Milestone 2: Redesign Course Material - October 2018

  • Description: In October, enough feedback will have been compiled from the fuzzy front end of the course to serve as data for beginning the redesign of the pilot course for spring 2019 semester. In spring 2019 there will be 8 sections of the EML Freshman Design Project

Milestone 3: Train Instrcutional Team for Spring Semester Rollout - December 2018

  • Description:By the end of the 2018 Autumn Semester, the upcoming instructional teams should be trained in EML concepts to

Milestone 4: Implementation of Ohio State Innovation Lab - May, 2021

Description: By the end of the 2020/2021 Academic Year, we hope to have a fully functioning Innovation Lab in which students have all the required materials to pursue their innovation aspirations. A series of modules will have been established to certify students to use this space, allowing their student ID's access to this space.

Priority 3: Experiential Learning Initiative

The Experiential Learning Initiative aims to promote and facilitate more experiential learning opportunities on campus, specifically in the business school and eventually the engineering school. It is also a stepping stone for incorporating more entrepreneurial development on campus that involves students and student-led projects. The peak of learning happens at action and implementation, so it seems counter-intuitive for business students to be learning solely from lecture. This initiative will push the bounds of the current curriculum for multiple classes and encourage more project-based work and real-world learning outcomes.

It is also aimed at encouraging students to start businesses and then house those businesses on-campus, therefore encouraging more students to become involved in start-up initiatives during the school year and beyond. In the long-term, I would love to push for actual community spaces on campus for entrepreneurs to work and recruit directly from Ohio State.

  • Fellows Involved: Amun Mehta, Nolan Hanna, Erica Carlson, Astha Rastogi

Milestone 1: Pinpointing Classes, November 2018

  • Description: Exploring the Fisher College of Business for classes that have already implemented experiential learning into their curriculm. Then the idea is to see how that can be applied to a wide range of classes and allow as many students as possible to benefit form it. It is important to choose the right classes that have the ability to allow their students more leverage and project-based learning. 

Milestone 2: Strategic Partnerships - Feburary 2019

  • Description: Start-ups and businesses in the Columbus area will be targeted and tested as potential partners for this initiative. It is important to find businesses that are willing to work with students, while still giving there time and advice to helping the students succeed in the project. My hope is that all of these business will be local and able to connect with students face-to-face.

Milestone 3: Project Development - April 2019

  • Description: Work with professors and businesses to develop feasible projects that will allow students to obtain the same learning outcome they would have in a lecture setting, but in a more applicable way. These projects also need to be scalable. 

Milestone 4: Implementation of Experiential Projects - August 2019

Description: At the start of the 2019-2020 year I would like to have at least one pilot class in place. This is where the project will be implemented and success measured. During this project students will need to work with professionals to tackle an entrepreneurial problem that a local firm is actually facing. 

Milestone 5: Collaborative Spaces - April 2020

Description: By the end of my college career I want to see entrepreneurs and students continuously collaborating on projects and businesses on campus. This initiative is larger covered by my team members, but I am hoping that the experiences students recieve in the classroom will make them better business partners to actual firms in the long run. 

University Innovation Fellows 2017-2018

Priority 1: Formalizing the Innovation Fellows Program

The first area of focus is to formalize the UIF program at Ohio State. The University had one previous fellow in 2014, Peeyush Shrivastava. However, since then, the program has not garnered continued support. Therefore, in order to ensure continued success, our first priority is to work with faculty and administrators to ensure the university will have a leadership circle per year. 

  • Fellows involved: Liyang Feng, Juan Tramontin, George Valcarcel, Kai Vogeler

Milestone 1: Conduct Stakeholder meetings - February 15th, 2018

  • Description: On Feburary 15th, the leadership circle will meet with faculty and administrators in order to enducate them about the UIF program and summarize the leadership team's mission and priorities. 

Milestone 2: Define Affiliation with Ohio State University - March, 2018

  • Description: The UIF program is primarily student driven. However, it is innately dependent on the university for funding and support. Therefore it is imperative to define how future leadership circles will be chosen and how they will interact with stakeholders. 

Milestone 3: Create Application Process for Spring 2019 Fellow Candidates - May, 2018

  • Description: In order to ensure student from any major are able to be part of this program, Ohio State will have a competative application process where a students are chosen to apply to the fellows program. The existing leadership circle and stakeholders will determine an application and evaluation process. 

Milestone 4: Advertise Program and Collect Applications - Summer/Early Fall, 2018

  • Description: Through a variety of streams yet to be determined, the Fellows program will be advertised to the student body. 

Milestone 5: Select Leadership Circle assist them application process - Septemer, 2018

  • Description: A new leadership circle will be selected to apply to the UIF program. With the help of current fellows and stakeholders the new circle will complete the application to the fellows program.

Priority 2: Expand Innovation and Entrepreneurial Education

Ohio State has a few programs that teach innovative and entrepreneurial methods including the Entrepreneurship and Innovation minor and the Integrated Business and Engineering (IBE) Honors program. However, these are both multi-year commitments that many students are unwilling to make. In addition to these, we would like to create programming that provides a one semester introduction to concepts such as Lean Startup, Design thinking, and other problem-centric methodologies.

  • Fellows involved: Liyang Feng, Juan Tramontin, George Valcarcel, Kai Vogeler

Milestone 1: Landscape existing courses - April 2018

  • Description: Before any new curriculum is considered, existing courses are identified and analyzed to determine gaps in access and course content. If possible, changing an existing course would be much easier than developing a new course. 

Milestone 2: Discover Education Methods at other Universities - March, 2018

  • Description: Thorugh networking which the Innovation Fellows program gives, the leadership circle will be discovering how other schools approach I&E education in for Engineering, Business, and the general student. 

Milestone 3: Work to Expand IBE Curriculum - Spring, 2018

  • Description: The Integrated Business and Engineeing (IBE) program is a select group of Engineering and Business Honors students taking cross-disciplinary courses and design cornerstone and capstone classes. With the KEEN grant Ohio State has recently received, the Engineering Educatiton Department is determining how to expand the curriculum beyond IBE to the entire Fundamentals of Engineering program (first year engineering program). 

Milestone 4: Prototype course open to all students - Fall, 2018

  • Description: Through the summer of 2018. the fellows will work with faculty to develop a curriculum that satisfies the needs of students. In the fall, the students will help prototype the course material.

Priority 3: Create a Network of Innovation Labs

Ohio State is very large university where space for studetns and organizations to collaborate is rather limited. One of the large initiatives we are pushing for are a network of open collaboration spaces, Innovation Labs, across campus. These spaces will be open to student organizations, project groups, and single students and geared towards ideation. These spaces will also be used to run workshops for I&E topics. 

  • Fellows involved: Liyang Feng, Juan Tramontin, George Valcarcel, Kai Vogeler

Milestone 1: Visit other Universities - March 2018

  • Description: The leadership circle will be visiting other Universities to discover how they make spaces available to students and how they are set up to help student groups be successful. 

Milestone 2: Transform IBE Capstone Lab - Summer 2018

  • Description: The fellowship circle will be proposing changes to the existing Integrated Business and Engineering Capstone lab, a space available to student groups, to be more open and collaborative. The space will use design to enhance the effectiveness of student groups working in the space.  

Milestone 3: Identify Additional spaces on Campus - March, 2018

  • Description: The fellows will be working with departments to identify open spaces on campus that can be transformed.  

Milestone 4: Serve as a Student Voice in Planning of Energy Innovation Center - Spring, 2018

  • Description: Ohio State University recently granted Engie, a french energy company, the energy production rights for the next 50 years. As part of the partnership, Engie has earmarked $50 million towards the creation of an Energy Innovation Center. The leadership circle, along with other students will play an integral part in defining the needs of students and assisting in making spaces accessible for students.  

Priority 4: Connect Students with Entrepreurial and Innovative Extra-Curriculars

Ohio State has a number of opportunities for students to get involved in I&E events to build connections and their resume. However, these events have difficulty gaining a large following due to poor visibility among the student body. 

  • Fellows involved: Liyang Feng, Juan Tramontin, George Valcarcel, Kai Vogeler

Milestone 1: Innovation and Entrepreneurship Involvement Fair - April 14th, 2018

  • Description: During the first week of each school year, Ohio State puts on an involvement fair. As a part of this event, or seperately, The leadership circle will be organizing an I&E involvement fair to connect students with clubs and opportunities for involvment and developing their resume. 

Priority 5: Support Buckeye Entrepreneurs

Columbus has a burgeoning entrepreneurial ecosystem. However, this ecosystem has difficulty extending to OSU as there is a lack of entrepreneurial spirit on campus and the company's that students start are often not well publicized. One of the priorities the fellows will be leading is to foster an entrepreneurial and innovative community on campus as well as enhance the quantitiy and availability of mentorship, funding, and accelerators.

  • Fellows involved: Liyang Feng, George Valcarcel

Milestone 1: Ohio State Startup Day - April 14th, 2018

  • Description: On April 14th, a showcase will be held on OSU's campus that brings together OSU student startups as well as startups from Columbus and Ohio in general. At this even the startups will each have booths in an expo setting and this will allow OSU students to see the great entrepreneurial endevors happening all around them. Many VC's have been invited to come from across the country and there will be keynote speakers featuring successful entreprenueurs. The goal of this event is to raise awareness for the OSU/Midwest entrepreneurial community and inspire students to pursue their ideas.

Milestone 2: Buckeye Accelerator - 2020

  • Description: Currently there is no support for student founders on OSU's campus. Student entrepreneurs mostly have to create solutions and make decision completely by themselves without any mentorship from industry experts and this barriers are turning many students away from pursuing their startup ideas. The fellows plan on working with the administration as well as other related parties in the Colubmus area to eventually open up an accelerator program where student founders can be put through a rigorous program where their will fine tune their ideas and get the funding and mentorship they need to successfully launch their business.

Related Links

The Ohio State University

2014 Fellows:

2017 Fellows: 

2018 Fellows:

2019 Fellows