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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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School of Innovation plans to transcend traditional college boundaries

School+of+Innovation
School of Innovation

Presented as a vision in President Young’s recent 2017 State of the University Address, the School of Innovation takes its first steps to provide opportunities to further enhance education through the creative efforts of entrepreneurship.
Since its official opening on Aug. 1, Andy Morris, Dean of the School of Innovation, said he has been talking to a wide range of leaders on campus as well as different schools to determine their needs in order to find ways to help them and apply his findings to the school.
“What we’ve got on the way is the processes to get input from students, faculty and staff to see how we can best accomplish these very ambitious goals the president has set,” Morris said.
The School of Innovation’s office suite is temporarily located at the Heep Laboratory Building, east of the Student Computing Center, but will be permanently relocated to Nagle Hall by summer of 2018.
According to Jennifer Briggs, creative manager of the School of Innovation, the school is a meant to be a place to connect people and their passions.
“We want to be that connective tissue to unite everybody together, students and faculty across all disciplines and connect them with their passion and have them work on a project or a challenge that will have an impact on the community, the state, the nation, or the world at large and really allow them to obtain some transformational experiences,” Briggs said.
One of the main objectives for this initiative is to encourage student led projects and solutions in order to prepare students to assume roles in leadership, responsibility and service to society as emphasized by President Young in the 2017 State of the University Address.
“A unique thing about the School of Innovation is that we are a very small team, we anticipate staying small,” Briggs said. “Because again it’s all student led so we’ll be the core administrative group but everything else will be run and managed by students, which is really the ultimate goal to provide them with that opportunity.”
The School of Innovation is designed to transcend traditional college boundaries according to Program Manager for Student Engagement of the School of Innovation, Sonia Jimenez.
“Once here, students will be able to formulate and become confident in what they’re studying before they have to get paid for it so transformatively. That gives them a safe space to fail before they need to go out and be leaders.” Jimenez said. “ It’s no longer, ‘I’m an engineer and that’s all.’ Now it’s ‘I’m an engineer who can speak the language of psychologists or know enough about architecture to be able to help in more than one way.’”
According to Briggs, the School of Innovation is meant to be an inviting place where people can come share their ideas, talk freely, brainstorm and just be a part of a creative process.
“I really look forward to actually start getting students in here actually working on projects and challenges,” Briggs said “We want to make sure that we’re listening to what the students need and were listening to the faculty and were also in line with what Texas A&M means and sort of making this unique and our own and something that stands alone from anything else in the nation.”

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