University Innovation Fellows

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SIU University Innovation Fellows

The University Innovation Fellows program empowers students to become leaders of change in higher education. Fellows are creating a national movement to ensure that all students gain the necessary attitudes, skills and knowledge to compete in the economy of the future.

The program was created by the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter), a five-year National Science Foundation grant. The University Innovation Fellows is now a program of Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design ( The program has trained 1,838 Fellows at 258 global institutions. They range from undergraduates to Ph.D. students and engineering majors to architecture majors. All of them demonstrate a passion for innovation, creativity and the entrepreneurial mindset as well as a drive to make a lasting impact at their schools. Each university also invests in each Fellow for their training and participation at a national meet-up which includes activities at Google's campus, Microsoft, and the Stanford  Deborrius Jeffries, one of SIU's University Innovation Fellows, wrote a great article about his trip, and Mary McGee added her perspective after her 2017 trip.

Southern Illinois University had its first Fellow in 2013. There are currently seven active student Fellows on campus and two faculty/staff members. Recent activities include half-day design-thinking workshops, technology entrepreneurship activities, and the Saluki Innovation Series.

SIU University Innovation Fellows

Name Year College
Jacob Coddington 2018 College of Business, MBA
Emma Johns 2018 College of Science, Physiology/Pre-Medicine
Nathaniel Jordan 2018 College of Science, Plant Biology
Carly Kasicki 2018 College of Science, Biology
Claire Moore 2018 College of Mass Communications & Media Arts, Communications Studies
Adam Vogel 2018 College of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering
Robert Caswelch 2017 College of Liberal Arts, Art and Design
Mary McGee 2017 College of Liberal Arts, Psychology
Mara Decker 2016 College of Liberal Arts, University Studies
Deborrius Jeffries 2016 College of Liberal Arts, Speech Communication (graduate)
Trevor Jones 2016 College of Liberal Arts, Industrial Design (graduate)
Asia Lee 2016 College of Business, MBA (graduate)
Dan Bach 2015 College of Mass Communication & Media Arts, Cinema & Photography (graduate)
Thomas Birch 2015 College of Applied Sciences and Arts, Information Systems Technology
Alex Hutchinson 2015 College of Business, Finance & Management (graduate)
Brandon Nolte 2015 College of Business, Management (graduate)
Katie Dzugan 2013 Colleges of Business & Mass Communications & Media Arts, MBA & Master of Arts (graduate)

SIU Faculty Fellows

Name Year College
Lynn Andersen Lindberg 2016 Research Park/Center for Innovation
Karla Berry 2016 Center for Teaching Excellence

SIU Champions

Name Year College
James Garvey 2018 Interim Vice Chancellor for Research
Kyle Harfst 2018 Economic Development/Research Park
Thomas Hovatter 2019 Workforce Innovation and Research
Scott Ishman 2019 College of Science
Karen Midden 2019 College of Agricultural Sciences
John Pollitz 2019 Morris Library