Dunn Richmond

November 30, 2022

SIU Innovation Showcase on Dec. 8 to include students selected for special innovation experience

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Three Southern Illinois University Carbondale students have been selected to participate in a unique experiential training program to help them become more innovative, creative and entrepreneurial and to foster those characteristics in their fellow students.

The trio of University Innovation Fellows will be recognized at the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Showcase, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Dec. 8 at Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, 1740 Innovation Drive. Everyone is welcome to attend the event, which will include refreshments and cocktails, a pinning ceremony of the fellows, patent presentations and Launch That Business graduates. For more information about the event, call 618-536-4451.

Saluki entrepreneurs

The three Salukis in the national leadership program are among 242 students from 63 institutions of higher learning in 16 countries to be chosen for the program. The SIU students, nominated for the program by faculty members, are:

  • Sarah Cassady, a junior mathematics major with a minor in computer science from Auburn, Kentucky.
  • Olakunle Moses, a senior philosophy major, from Nigeria.
  • Skylar Fails, a sophomore allied health sciences major from Brighton, Colorado.

“Sarah, Moses and Skylar, along with the other SIU University Innovation Fellows, personify the creative problem-solving skills and the innovative solution implementation that is intrinsic to the Saluki family,” said Lynn Andersen Lindberg, executive director of the Office of Innovation and Economic Development. “These fellows have the opportunity to have a positive impact on a campus or regional challenge as they interact with other students, faculty, staff and community members of like minds and interests. They receive specialized training and immediately put it to use to make a difference.”

Intensive training

The students participated in six weeks of online training and will attend the University Innovation Fellows Silicon Valley Meetup, a concentrated training experience set for March 2023. They will also take part in business and innovation immersive experiences at Google and at Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school.)

Throughout the year, they will join with other participants in events and conferences designed to help them grow, learn and share as they explore diverse topics and innovative models for change in higher education. Each choses an area of particular interest and works with administrators, faculty, staff and fellow students to create and foster research, innovation and creative opportunities and to seek solutions to real-world problems through a special project. They study problems and issues, formulate plans for action and move toward implementing their concepts to address the areas of concern.

The fellows program was created by the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter) in conjunction with a five-year grant from the National Science Foundation. The program has provided specialized entrepreneurship training to more than 2,668 students from over 302 higher education institutions around the world since its inception. SIU’s first participant was selected in 2013.

For more information about the University Innovation Fellows or other innovation and entrepreneurship activities and initiatives at SIU, contact Lindberg at lindberg@siu.edu, call 618-453-6754 or visit the University Innovation Fellows webpage.