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NDSU students named University Innovation Fellows

NDSU students Timothy Straus, Theodore Zipoy and Jackson Gleason have been selected as University Innovation Fellows, a national program designed to empower student leaders to increase campus engagement with innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity and design thinking.

The three NDSU students are among 229 students from 62 institutions included in this year’s cohort.

The program, run by Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, has trained more than 1,000 students at 185 colleges and universities.

Straus will be mentored by Val Marinov, professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering; Zipoy will be advised by Bashir Khoda, assistant professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering; and Gleason will be mentored by Dilpreet Bajwa, associate professor of mechanical engineering.

Straus is a junior from West Fargo majoring in manufacturing engineering. “As a fellow, I’ll have access to great resources, as well as knowledgeable and inspiring people who can help me to make a difference in classrooms all over campus,” Straus said. “Today, we all see a need for education to adapt to an ever-changing world. But I don’t want to see classrooms just barely keeping up with the times, I want to see them leading the way.”

Zipoy, a junior industrial engineering major from Kimball, Minnesota, said, "The University Innovation Fellows program gives me access to a vast network of resources and driven students to help foster and expand the already prevalent innovation and entrepreneurship culture on campus. As a fellow, I hope to bring new opportunities for success to students from all disciplines here at NDSU.”

Gleason is a senior from Dell Rapids, South Dakota, majoring in mechanical engineering. “It means a lot to me to be inducted as a University Innovation Fellow,” he said. “There are already some great opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship here at NDSU, and I can’t wait to help expand those opportunities for students.”

The purpose of the University Innovation Fellows program is to help students develop skills to become catalysts for change.

“During training, fellows gain skills, mindsets and knowledge to face complex challenges at their schools and in the world,” said Humera Fasihuddin, co-director of the program. “Fellows design learning experiences that better prepare peers for their careers.”

Leticia Britos Cavagnaro, co-director of the program, said, “In traditional education systems, students have to wait until they graduate to make a difference. We don’t believe that. Our fellows are working with their peers, faculty and administrators to co-design a different educational experience and bring about change where it’s needed most.”

NDSU’s latest fellows join previous recipients Lydia Gregersen, Samantha Schultz, David Syverson, Deni Danielson, Ben Ferguson, Kyle Stapleton, Diedrich Harms, Robert Kringler, Jordan Brummond, Jacob Larson, Drew Spooner and Andrew Dalman.

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