Four N.C. A&T Students Named University Innovation Fellows by Stanford

GREENSBORO, N.C. (May 3, 2018) – Four students at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University have been named University Innovation Fellows by Stanford University.

Folasade Adekanle, senior, bioengineering; Princeton Perry, senior, electrical engineering; Katarrey Smith, a junior, management; and Talia Thomas, senior, mechanical engineering completed training in earlier this year to join more than 250 students from 64 colleges and universities across nine countries to become agents of change at their respective institutions.

university-innovation-fellows.jpgThe University Innovation Fellows program works to ensure participants gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to compete in the economy of the future and make a lasting, global impact. Fellows are expected to design innovation spaces, start entrepreneurship organizations, host experiential learning events and work with faculty members to create new courses.

Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford UniversityThis program is operated by Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (, and with this new group, has trained more than 1,500 students since its inception. Fellows are sponsored by faculty and administrators and selected through an application process annually.

Students complete six weeks of online training and travel to a Silicon Valley Meetup. Throughout the year, fellows participate in events and conferences and opportunities to learn from each other and Stanford mentors, as well as industry and academic leaders. Bala Ram, Ph.D., serves as the faculty sponsor for these students at N.C. A&T.

“We believe students can help accelerate the pace of change in higher education,” said Humera Fasihuddin, co-director of the University Innovation Fellows program, in a press release. “They have creative ideas, and are very resourceful. With proper training and mentorship, they are initiating positive lasting changes at their schools and making a difference in the lives of their peers.”