The Day of Innovation is the culmination of hard work and bright ideas students at The University of Tulsa have developed and implemented to benefit the college campus and local community. On March 30, the NOVA Fellowship hosted the event which featured 17 student projects. The Day of Innovation is free and open to the public and many community members came to celebrate the innovation happening at TU.
“The event is all student run and highlights the innovative work we are doing across campus,” says Charles Wood, Associate Professor of Marketing in the Collins College of Business at The University of Tulsa. Wood says, “The Day of Innovation does a great job of showcasing the interdisciplinary work being done on campus and lets everyone know what creative initiatives other colleges are doing.”
Wood is the principle investigator on the NOVA Fellowship grant which hosts The Day of Innovation. As the advisor, Wood helps organized the group and select NOVA students from the applications they receive. He says his main contribution, however, is guiding students along their inquiries and connecting them to local experts and resources to facilitate their projects.
Two such students are juniors Brenna Michaels and Sam Trizza. Michaels is majoring in Business Management specifying in Innovation, Change and Entrepreneurship. She is a student lead of the NOVA Fellowship which she describes as an “innovative and creative club on campus.” Michaels goes on to say that, “NOVA is short for innovation. The group encourages you to think creatively and think about things in a new way.”
Trizza is majoring in Computer Information Systems and also studies Innovation and Chinese. For his part in NOVA he has developed a project called NOVA Kids. Every Monday he and two other TU students go to Kendall Whittier Elementary School in Tulsa and teach 17 fourth graders creativity, design thinking and dreaming big.
The Day of Innovation is a day full of projects like Trizza’s, workshops, keynote speakers and a banquet. This year there were 17 diverse student projects featured. Each team was tasked with creating and executing an initiative that benefited campus or the surrounding community. Every project was honored with $1,000 to invest in their projects. The teams were nominated by deans and fellow students as innovative projects that represented a variety of fields across the different colleges at TU.
This year’s winner was the PTSD Float Tank Interface and App, which was designed to help those impacted by PTSD to relax and monitor their heart beat. “The team was able to explain their work to people in everyday terms, which is really important,” Wood said. Audience members voted for their favorite project after teams shared their projects at tables before the banquet.
The day itself also included workshops that had the teams creatively solve different problems facing campus. TU 2040 was a time students imagined what the future of higher education will look like. Areas of discussion included housing and curriculum during an interactive activity. The Center for Global Education also added a component called the World’s Challenge Challenge where teams worked through different problems facing the globe.
The Day of Innovation began three years ago at The University of Tulsa as a high school competition. TU reached out to high schools in Tulsa and across Oklahoma with the goal to encourage high school entrepreneurs. As the program developed, TU students were integrated into event as well. This year The Day of Innovation was a little different in that only TU students participated.
Check out other events that are happening at TU on the events calendar.