Tuskegee University student named University Innovation Fellow by Stanford d.school program

February 18, 2022

Contact: Kawana McGough, Office of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing


A Tuskegee University student is one of 277 students named a University Innovation Fellow (UIF) by Stanford University. The recipient, Ezekiel Mills, is majoring in materials science and engineering.

The UIF program is a global program that enables student leaders to increase campus engagement with innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity, and design thinking. As a Fellow, Mills will become an agent of change at Tuskegee. Scholars ensure that all students acquire the attitudes, skills and knowledge needed to navigate a complex world and build the future.

The UIF program is part of the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school) at Stanford University, which was established by the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicentre) and funded by a five-year grant from National Science Foundation. Tuskegee joined the program in 2021 as part of the program’s HBCU initiative, marking the new initiative’s first HBCU cohort. Over the next three years, approximately 60 HBCUs are expected to participate.

“Just over 100 schools award 20% of college degrees to African-American students in the United States. HBCUs prepare young people for successful careers at a time when our country is tackling issues of inequality race,” said Humera Fasihuddin, co-director of the University Innovation Fellows program. “This makes HBCUs vitally important in fueling our country’s talent pool and helping to bridge the economic gap.”

Scholars are nominated by faculty and administrators as individuals or teams of students and selected annually through an application process. Students participate in a six-week online training experience after being accepted into the program. During the training, fellows learn to analyze their campus ecosystems and identify opportunities for change related to innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking, and creativity. They strive to understand the needs of peers across disciplines and the perspectives of faculty and administrators. They apply this new knowledge and insights to design new educational opportunities for their peers. After the training, the fellows implement the projects they have developed. They continue to serve as agents of change and leaders in their schools and beyond.

About the University Innovation Fellows Program:

The University Innovation Fellows program empowers students to become agents of change in their schools. Scholars are a global community of students leading a movement to ensure that all students acquire the attitudes, skills and knowledge needed to compete in the economy of the future. These student leaders from schools across the country are creating new opportunities that help their peers develop an entrepreneurial spirit, build creative confidence, seize opportunities, define problems, and tackle global challenges. Fellows create spaces for student innovation, found entrepreneurship organizations, host experiential events, and work with faculty and administrators to develop courses. They serve as advocates for lasting institutional change to university leaders and represent their schools at national events. The University Innovation Fellows are a program of the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school) at Stanford University. Learn more about collegeinnovationfellows.org.

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