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Two UMD Students Selected as National University Innovation Fellows to Engage the Campus in I&E

November 2, 2015

Brooke Smith 301-405-5882

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – As part of National Entrepreneurship Month, the University of Maryland announced today that two new students have been named University Innovation Fellows (UIFs) by the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter). Noga Raviv and Nick Aversano join the UMD University Innovation Fellows Leadership Circle of six previously named UIFs. 

Aversano (right) coaching students as an Academy Peer Innovation CoachThe students in UMD’s Leadership Circle represent diverse majors such as engineering, business, architecture, government and social sciences. Each member of the UIF Leadership Circle is charged with strengthening the ever-growing UMD innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. UMD’s previous UIFs, Valerie Sherry, Meenu Singh, Atin Mittra, Mackenzie Burnett, Jordan Greenwald, and Ashmi Sheth, helped pave the way for Raviv and Aversano to continue to what they started. 

The University Innovation Fellows are a network of student leaders across the country working to create lasting institutional change at their universities that will increase student engagement with entrepreneurship, innovation, creativity, design thinking and venture creation. The program is part of a national movement to help all students gain the attitudes, skills and knowledge required for them to compete in the economy of the future.

Raviv and Aversano embody the UIF principles by engaging different facets of campus in innovation and entrepreneurship. They promote student entrepreneurship as members of the Startup Shell leadership team, a UMD student-run incubator and co-working space. They foster innovation and creativity by coaching students on design thinking in the classroom as part of the newly created Peer Innovation Coach program through the Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.  They are also helping organize Technica, a new all-female hackathon promoting women in tech.

UIFs Noga Raviv (left) and Meenu Singh (right) with their green empathy hats on teaching design thinking“The UIF program likens themselves to the Navy SEALs program, and I couldn’t agree more,” said Dean Chang, UMD’s associate vice president for innovation and entrepreneurship.  “It inspires and trains our most passionate and innovative students to work together to tackle seemingly impossible and game-changing missions that positively impact thousands of students.”

UMD prides itself as a pioneer in educating the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs, ranked as one of the nation's top public schools in the U.S. for entrepreneurship and innovation. U.S. News and World Report recently named UMD one of the Top 25 Most Innovative Universities and ranked UMD No. 19 among public universities in 2016 for overall Best Colleges. 

Epicenter is funded by the National Science Foundation and directed by Stanford University and VentureWell.

Learn more about the University Innovation Fellows program at