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Three Pitt Business Students Selected to Join University Innovation Fellows Program

Pitt Business students Mark Doman and Grant Jacoby, were selected for the nationally competitive University Innovation Fellows (UIF) program. Upon completion of the program training, the candidates will join the program as fellows. Three Pitt Business Students Selected to Join University Innovation Fellows Program.

The students wasted no time in making the most of this opportunity. As part of his training, Doman is working through live training modules with other UIF candidates from across the country and has interviewed past UIFs to prepare a how-to guide to emulate their accomplishments at other universities. He is engaged in a design thinking exercise to understand how this methodology could be applied to topics in education. 

“The design thinking exercise is a visual way to solve a problem. The process walks through stages of understanding and empathizing with a person’s problem to identifying and testing potential solutions to that problem,” said Doman

The program is operated by the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter) and is funded by the National Science Foundation and directed by Stanford University and VentureWall. The national program has trained 452 Fellows at 131 schools, ranging from undergraduates to PhD students. 

Doman and Jacoby will join Jennifer Sommers, a dual major also studying computer science, and six more UIFs on the University of Pittsburgh campus, which includes students from the Swanson School of Engineering. Together they will collaborate with Pitt faculty and staff to work toward the goal of expanding the innovation landscape and culture on campus. 

A range of Pitt programs have been created by Pitt UIFs including The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Boot Camp, which introduces students to concepts such as design thinking and the business model canvas; Mapinnitt, a platform for students and faculty to upload innovation-related events and activities to an interactive campus map; and Developing Makerspaces, a space dedicated to a hands-on system design and engineering course and for students to work on projects at any time of the day.

“As a UIF candidate, I am working on building an entrepreneurship ecosystem at Pitt Business. I believe there is a huge opportunity for students to learn and grow within the startup world in Pittsburgh,” said Jacoby. 

The growing community of entrepreneurs at Pitt Business benefit from an array of interactive courses and certificate programs, student organizations, dedicated faculty, and Entrepreneurs in Residence. 

“We want to equip Pitt Business students with the experience and resources they need to be successful in their entrepreneurial journeys. We are here to support the students’ big ideas and to watch them grow,” said Audrey J. Murrell, associate dean of the College of Business Administration and director of the David Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership.

All three Pitt Business UIF candidates say that Associate Dean Murrell has been instrumental in the development of their entrepreneurial endeavors. 

“Associate Dean Murrell is setting Pitt Business down a path toward being a leader in innovation and entrepreneurship at the undergraduate level,” said Doman. 

For more information about the Innovation and Entrepreneurship resources available to Pitt Business students, visit