Skip to main content
Enter search terms below…

Member News

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Students Named University Innovation Fellows



Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) students Jacqueline Curtsinger ’18, M.S. in technology commercialization and entrepreneurship; Jacquelyn Demshick ’19, biomedical engineering and design, innovation, and society; and Ria Shroff ’19, biomedical engineering and design, innovation, and society, have been named University Innovation Fellows by the Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school).

The Rensselaer students were nominated by the Paul J. ’69 and Kathleen M. Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship at the Rensselaer Lally School of Management as well as the Emerging Ventures Ecosystem (EVE) at Rensselaer. This year, 229 students from 62 higher education institutions in 10 countries have been named University Innovation Fellows. With the addition of the new fellows this year, the program has trained more than 1,200 students since its creation in 2014.

“The University Innovation Fellows program brings together talented student leaders and gives them the training and opportunities to create real change on their campuses,” said Jason Kuruzovich, academic director of the Severino Center. “Fellows bring strong encouragement to their peers and show how entrepreneurship- and innovation-related education can be a critical component of preparing for a changing world.”

In November 2017, the students will have the opportunity to participate in the Silicon Valley Meetup, which brings together all fellows trained in fall 2017. During this gathering, fellows will take part in immersive experiences at Stanford’s d.school and Google, and work with leaders in education and industry. They will 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.

To accomplish their goals, fellows advocate for lasting institutional change and create opportunities for students to engage with innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking, and creativity at their schools. Fellows have designed innovation spaces, started entrepreneurship organizations, hosted experiential learning events, and worked with faculty to develop new courses.

“These students reflect the passion and strong participation in our vibrant innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem at Rensselaer,” said Esther Vargas, director of EVE. “The training, experiences, and networking they receive as University Innovation Fellows benefits not only their career aspirations, but also those of their student colleagues and the Institute as a whole.”

Curtsinger, Demshick, and Shroff want to increase and enhance the communication and understanding around the large variety of Rensselaer entrepreneurship curriculum, resources, and culture on campus to connect students with these opportunities in a clear and helpful way. They are working on an entrepreneurial project class, centralized information on campus workspaces, and a website that can connect students who want to be part of a project and those who need a team.

“Students don’t really know what a career as an entrepreneur looks like, or working on a startup,” said Curtsinger. “It’s great to be able to use the training and information we learn from the University Innovation Fellows program to help our peers identify the resources and build the skills required while at Rensselaer to make their great ideas and innovations a reality.”

These fellows at Rensselaer have learned that it is important for students to understand intellectual property policies, form great interdisciplinary teams, know the process to start a business, have good faculty and student mentors, build confidence in their entrepreneurial skills, take risks to try something new, and not be afraid to make mistakes. They are excited to help their peers get connected to these resources on campus for this great knowledge and support.

To date, 10 Rensselaer students have been named University Innovation Fellows. In addition to Curtsinger, Demshick, and Shroff, this list includes Meghan Olson ’14, M.S.’15, Jordan Dunne ’17, Ray Parker ’17, Jim Boulter ’17, Vincent Arena ’17, Zaire Johnson ’18, and Hayley Roy Gill ’19.

The Rensselaer students selected as University Innovation Fellows exemplify The New Polytechnic, an emerging paradigm for teaching, learning, and research at Rensselaer. The New Polytechnic emphasizes and supports collaboration across disciplines, sectors, and regions to address the great global challenges of our day, using the most advanced tools and technologies, many of which are developed at Rensselaer. Research at Rensselaer addresses some of the world’s most pressing technological challenges—from energy security and sustainable development to biotechnology and human health. The New Polytechnic is transformative in the global impact of research, in its innovative pedagogy, and in the lives of students at Rensselaer.

From 1883 to 2018 the means of drilling and blasting has changed, but the process has remained consistent; and so has the uniqueness of the Callanan family operation. It’s what has led employees to stay with the company for 30 years or more. With a woman at the helm of the most formative years of the company—something unheard of at the time—an…
The Tri-City ValleyCats and Community Resource Federal Credit Union have teamed up again in 2018 on the “Home Run Community Heroes Starting 9” initiative, a program that aims to highlight those that go above and beyond in the Capital Region community. A selection of nine nominees will be recognized in an on-field ceremony on Thursday, July 19…
Whitney Young Health held an official ribbon cutting and open house for their renovated Albany Dental Practice located at 900 Lark Drive in Albany. This $2 million dollar project is part of Whitney Young Health’s Campaign for Smiles, a fundraising initiative to expand and enhance dental services in the Capital Region. The new space allows for…
May
23
Learn tips and tricks on how to ask for a donation from local businesses. It can be intimidating to ask businesses to invest their money in your…
8-10 a.m.
May
23
Join us for a ribbon cutting celebrating the new Discovery Center at the Robert C. Parker School. A letter from the school: We are thrilled to announce,…
10 a.m.
May
25
Join us as we celebrate the grand opening of The Little Rice Ball! The Little Rice Ball believes that any restaurant can play their part in protecting our…
11 a.m.