University Innovation Fellows


The University Innovation Fellows program, co-directed by Stanford University and VentureWell, empowers students as leaders of change in higher education. As a University Innovation Fellow, I work to catalyze a culture of innovation, develop entrepreneurial mindsets, teach Lean Startup methods, and engage others in the process of human-centered design, inspired by the Stanford d.school. I design and implement cross-disciplinary strategies for William Jewell College, focused on preparing our students for the economy of the future and pushing the boundaries of higher education while remaining grounded in the liberal arts.

  • (September 2014) Created William Jewell College Landscape Canvas, which enabled Fellows to assess student resources and opportunities and understand the College’s strengths, weaknesses, goals, and momentum.
  • (October 2014) Launched five University Innovation Fellows,​ with our first Leadership Circle completing their Fall training. The William Jewell Fall 2014 cohort included Fellows Bradley Dice, Conner Hazelrigg, James Milam, Amelia Hanzlick, and Kate McFerren.
  • (October 2014) Attended UIF Mid-Atlantic Meetup in Washington, D.C.,​ where Fellows learned design thinking and how to engage students in I&E (Innovation and Entrepreneurship) from University of Maryland’s Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and visited one of the capital’s startup incubators, 1776.
  • (November 2014) Hosted Design Thinking for Physicists,​ a workshop during the Society of Physics Students conference that aimed to solve challenges in STEM education ranging from gender biases to increasing real-world laboratory experience.
  • (November 2014) Hosted Global Entrepreneurship Week, ​bringing in a speaker on student intellectual property and engaging students with the KC entrepreneurial community.
  • (February 2015) Participated in Global Service Jam, ​where a team of five students from Jewell joined five professional developers, marketers, and designers to conceptualize and prototype end-to-end services through human-centered design.
  • (February 2015) Attended UIF National Meetup in Palo Alto, California, ​where Fellows spent a day at Google working with their Chief Innovation Officer, discovered how innovation is applied broadly in high-tech industries, and spent two days in Stanford’s renowned d.school (Hasso Plattner Institute of Design) facility learning from world-class educators and re-designing the higher education experience.
  • (April 2015) Hosted OneDayKC,​a 12-hour workshop that brought together 30 student entrepreneurs, hackers, urban designers, and policy minds from 7 universities to create ventures that solve civic challenges through smart devices and new infrastructural changes in Kansas City.
  • (April 2015) Joined #uifresh,​an initiative sponsored by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to combat attrition in STEM fields and encourage success in first-year students.
  • (May 2015) Celebrated Creativity and Innovation Awards, which recognized and rewarded students and faculty who have committed themselves to creatively making a difference on our campus.
  • (August 2015) Held Creativity & Innovation Orientation Workshop, our first #uifresh initiative, which engaged First-Year students in creativity exercises, connected them with innovative faculty from physics, marketing, and music, and enabled them to ambitiously envision their “Jewell Journey” from Day 1 with an activity called “I Will.”
  • (October 2015) Launched 5 new University Innovation Fellows,​with a new Leadership Circle completing their Fall training. New William Jewell Fellows are Trevor Nicks, Macy Tush, Alex Holden, Gretchen Mayes, and Ben Shinogle.
  • (November 2015) Attended James Madison University Meetup, engaging in human-centered design and sharing UIF initiatives with campuses across the nation in the JMU X-Labs maker space. The meetup’s theme, “Own It. Do It,” empowered students as innovative campus leaders.