By Aron Smith
Jackson State University honors four students selected as part of the latest cohort of University Innovation Fellows by the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University. This prestigious program molds students into dynamic agents of change within their academic communities.
“This journey was truly engaging and eye-opening. This whole experience has expanded my understanding and altered my approach to ensure the solutions I develop are truly user-friendly and effective. I learned to look at solutions not just as a developer or service provider but also from the user’s perspective,” said Peter Goshomi, a sophomore computer engineering major.
The JSU students were chosen after submitting a proposal that focused on increasing student retention using campus resources that students may be underutilizing or unaware of their existence.
University Innovation Fellows is founded on the idea that every student develops the mindset, skills, and knowledge required to succeed in a complex world and tackle global issues.
The four W.E.B. Du Bois Honors College awardees were chosen for the program because of their The fellows completed a 6-week online training program that encouraged them to adopt innovative thinking to enhance campus involvement, creativity, and entrepreneurship.
At the heart of their drive for change, they shared their dedication to developing strategies that boost retention rates, ensuring students stay the course toward graduation.
Emmanuel Onung, a senior computer engineering major, is on his own journey through college, which he navigated against uncertainty.
“My whole experience, as I entered college, was not knowing what to expect. We’ve witnessed others face these challenges before, and we’re motivated to help solve this problem,” Onung said. “We thought of ways to make ourselves visible to showcase these opportunities so students can easily find the resources they need. This realization highlighted the importance of sharing our experiences and ideas. This is why we decided to act.”
Marlvin Goremusandu, a sophomore computer engineering major, sees the program as an opportunity to contribute to the JSU community that supported him.
“I was fortunate to receive a full scholarship and secure various internships. I see this as an opportunity to assist my peers, to be able to utilize the resources and information our university offers, so they can improve themselves,” Goremusandu said.
Students from 68 higher education institutions across 15 countries have been recognized as University Innovation Fellows. With the addition of its newest fellows, the University Innovation Fellows program has now trained over 3,100 students since it began. After intensive training, these students will prepare for an international study experience at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. They will work on developing projects aimed at fostering positive change at Jackson State University, demonstrating their commitment to innovation and excellence in higher learning.