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Zack Jones (left) and Matt Criscuolo.
University Innovation Fellows visit Stanford – Zack Jones (left) and Matt Criscuolo.

UD students attend University Innovation Fellows event

Photo by Daniel Farmer

The UIF program is sponsored by Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design

Senior in chemical engineering major Matt Criscuolo and recent University of Delaware honors graduate Zachary Jones were chosen by the University Innovation Fellows (UIF) program as one of 23 student event leaders for the program’s Silicon Valley Meetup, which took place Nov. 16-21, 2017.

These 23 Fellows were selected out of an international community of more than 1,200 Fellows for the impact they have had at their schools and for their contributions to improving the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem on college campuses. At the event, they represent their schools in front of 300 student and faculty attendees from 77 higher education institutions around the world.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to meet and learn from so many world changers, as well as share the work we’ve been doing here in Delaware,” Criscuolo said regarding his selection.

The University Innovation Fellows at UD are responsible for starting 20k Passions, a student-led event designed to get more people talking about their passions. After analyzing the campus ecosystem, Jones spearheaded a movement to encourage students to take action. The result was 20k Passions, an annual event held in April that reaches nearly 1,000 students each year.

Jones says he was inspired by seeing the other UIF projects happening around the country.

“Over the past two years we’ve grown 20k Passions and shared what we learned with the UIF community,” Jones said. “We’ve written a guide for other campuses to run their own 20k Passions and given a webinar about best practices. Other schools have shared photos of their successes running similar events. We’re hoping to create a model for encouraging more collaboration on campuses across the country.”

During the Silicon Valley Meetup Criscuolo and Jones were scheduled to present their UIF work to all the attendees and model for the new Fellows the kind of impact they can have at their own schools. Additionally, their demonstrated facilitation and leadership skills will be put to work as they lead and mentor teams of Fellows from different areas of the world.

About University Innovation Fellows

The University Innovation Fellows program is a global program run by Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school) that empowers student leaders to increase campus engagement with innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity and design thinking.

About Horn Entrepreneurship

Horn Entrepreneurship serves as the University of Delaware’s creative engine for entrepreneurship education and advancement. Built and actively supported by successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders, Horn Entrepreneurship empowers aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs as they pursue new ideas for a better world.


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