Four engineering students named University Innovation Fellows

Four Texas A&M University engineering students have been named University Innovation Fellows (UIF) by Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school) at Stanford University, a program to empower students to help their peers gain an entrepreneurial mindset and creative confidence.

Momore Adesanmi (chemical engineering), Kanika Gakhar (aerospace engineering), Jusung Lee (computer science and engineering) and Mack Ragland (mechanical engineering) are among 169 students from 49 institutions in the newly selected group. They completed training to join the University Innovation Fellows, a global program that empowers student leaders to increase campus engagement with innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity and design thinking.

“Supporting our UIF students provides them with tremendous opportunities for professional growth and it empowers them to start new initiatives, strengthening our engineering entrepreneurial eco-system,” said Magda Lagoudas, executive director for industry and non-profit partnerships.

The students were selected to represent Texas A&M Engineering and spent several weeks completing training on innovation and entrepreneurship, leadership practices and how to be change agents on campus. The students left training with the confidence that they can implement a real solution and make a positive impact on campus.

The UIF program puts an emphasis on innovation, entrepreneurship and being leaders on campus. The students have several initiatives they hope to implement on campus throughout the year. Their goals are focused on promoting innovation and entrepreneurship activities in engineering.

“Some people are entrepreneurs at their core, but it takes a lot to discover it,” said Ragland. “It’s intimidating and you’re not told what to do, but entrepreneurship adds so much value to yourself and to others.”

The Fellows hope to encourage students to learn what entrepreneurship means in engineering and how they can get involved within the college. They recognize that freshmen are often apprehensive about becoming involved, but they want to breakdown that barrier. They want to help students discover the different pathways they can take while in college to become more innovative and to become entrepreneurs.

“We are truly excited about the contributions of the Texas A&M Fellows, faculty and administration to this movement,” said Leticia Britos Cavagnaro, co-director of the University Innovation Fellows program.

Stanford University’s Hassoo Plattner Institute of Design (d.school) and the UIF program has trained 776 students from 164 universities since its inception.