October 18-20 | Tucson, AZ

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Iowa State University New Innovation and Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellows cohort announced 

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October 18-20, 2023 / Tucson, AZ
The annual summit for research institution gap fund and accelerator programs, including proof of concept programs, startup accelerators, and university venture funds

The Story

Projects using artificial intelligence to solve agricultural problems, cultivating Iowa’s wild yeast, and enhancing a food product development class are just a sampling of what faculty will be working on this coming year.

A group of 11 faculty representing eight departments in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University have been selected to participate in the 2024 Innovation and Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellows program. Each of the faculty will receive funding to support their proposed projects.

Established in 2022, the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellows program aims to foster and expand a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship among CALS faculty. It was initiated by the Dean’s Office for Academic Innovation and Start Something CALS. Nine faculty were part of the inaugural cohort, made possible by funding from CALS Dean Daniel J. Robison and President Wendy Wintersteen.

Carmen Bain, CALS associate dean for academic innovation, said there was a strong response this year from departments across CALS to apply for the program.

“The committee was impressed with the quality and range of proposals, all intended to enhance efforts to engage undergraduate students in innovative and entrepreneurial thinking and doing, which will better prepare them to be problem solvers of the future,” Bain said.

A common theme among projects is the effort to engage students in more interdisciplinary collaboration and engagement. The faculty also will seek to engage students with external stakeholders, including commodity groups, industry and non-governmental organizations, and K-12 students.

Additional information about the program and links to stories about the 2022 cohort’s projects can be found on the CALS Innovation and Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellows webpage.

Meet the 2024 IEFF cohort

  • Erica Beirman, teaching professor of food science and human nutrition, “Culinary Boot Camp for College Students – Fueling a Healthier Future”
  • Steven Bell, teaching professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, “Transforming TSM 214 and TSM 397 to include Entrepreneurial Mindset with industry connections”
  • Elnaz Ebrahimi, assistant teaching professor of agronomy, “Advancing Undergraduate Education through Smart Agriculture: Introducing Smart Rhizobox Facility”
  • Kate Gilbert, associate professor of teaching of food science and human nutrition, “Enhancing FSHN 412 Food Product Development through Innovation and Ideation”
  • Dior Kelley, assistant professor of genetics, development and cell biology, “Curator of Art-Science”
  • Dawn Koltes, assistant professor of animal science, “Providing a Well-rounded Egg-cellent Education”
  • Jelena Kraft, assistant teaching professor of genetics, development and cell biology, “Building Bridges: Connecting genetics teaching laboratory data to classroom analysis”
  • Scott Nelson, associate professor of biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology, “Cultivating Iowa’s Wild Yeast: Fostering Innovation in Iowa’s Craft Brewing Industry”
  • Joshua Peschel, associate professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, “Generative AI to Solve Problems in Agriculture”
  • Timothy Stewart, associate professor of natural resource ecology and management, “Field Ecology Teaching: A course enabling students to gain professional skills while engaging children in scientific exploration”
  • Catherine Swoboda, associate teaching professor of global resource systems/horticulture, “Leading for Innovation”

Full story: New Innovation and Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellows cohort announced | College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

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