Sophomore Marketing student named a University Innovation Fellow

Lexie Lybrand, a sophomore Marketing major, has been named a University Innovation Fellow.

The University Innovation Fellows, a program of Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, empowers students to become agents of change at their schools. Fellows work to ensure that their peers gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to compete in the economy of the future and make a positive impact on the world.

Lybrand’s proposal focuses on sharing Innovation and Entrepreneurship with freshmen students though the First Year Experience course at Louisiana Tech.

Fellows advocate for lasting institutional change and create opportunities for students to engage with innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking and creativity at their schools. Fellows design innovation spaces, start entrepreneurship organizations, host experiential learning events, and work with faculty to develop new courses.

With the addition of the new Fellows, the program has trained more than 1,800 students since its creation.

“Higher education needs to change faster to meet the needs of students and industry today,” said Leticia Britos Cavagnaro, co-director of the University Innovation Fellows program. “As the key stakeholders of higher education, students should be active participants of a change process that helps them learn the skills and mindsets necessary to create the future. The students who participate in our program are ideally poised to help accelerate the pace of change at their schools. They are highly motivated to make progress quickly, as they’re only on campus for a short time, and they care deeply about their schools and the experience of all students.”

Fellows are sponsored by faculty and administrators as individuals or teams of students, and selected through an application process each year. Following acceptance into the program, schools fund the students to go through six weeks of online training and travel to one of two in-person Meetups to continue their projects and skill building. Throughout the year, Fellows have many opportunities to learn from one another, Stanford mentors, and leaders in academia and industry. Fellows also present their work and facilitate workshops at events and conferences around the world.

In Spring 2019, Fellows will have the opportunity to participate in one of the program’s two signature events: the Silicon Valley Meetup in California or the Eastern Hemisphere Meetup, which will be held in Dubai. During these gatherings, Fellows take part in immersive experiences at local universities and organizations, and work with leaders in education and industry. They participate in experiential workshops and exercises focused on topics including movement building, innovation spaces, design of learning experiences, and new models for change in higher education.

“Through this program, Fellows gain skills, mindsets and knowledge to face complex challenges at their schools and in the world,” said Humera Fasihuddin, co-director of the University Innovation Fellows program. “During training, Fellows analyze their campus ecosystems and identify learning opportunities related to innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking, and creativity. They work to understand the needs of peers across disciplines and the perspectives of faculty and administrators. Armed with this knowledge and perspective, they design strategies to take advantage of these opportunities for change.”