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UE Announces the Creation of a New Center for Innovation & Change

Posted: Monday, May 14, 2018

The University of Evansville announces the creation of a new Center for Innovation & Change. This new center builds on the University’s strength in experiential education that makes an impact in the community.

The central programs of the center include the ChangeLab, which provides a way for students to test their skills addressing real needs in the community, and the Changemaker Challenge programs which encourage young people to develop and implement programs that make a positive impact locally and globally.

These programs have made an impact by fueling the launch of Evansville’s Upgrade Bikeshare, obtaining $90,000 in grant funding for Carver Center to install solar panels, providing essential market research and neuromarketing services to businesses locally and nationally, developing sustainable art therapy programs in Guatemala, identifying international expansion opportunities for regional companies, developing communication plans to reduce infant mortality, and more

“The Center for Innovation & Change serves as a resource for students, faculty, businesses, nonprofits, and other community partners to adopt a future orientation and to innovate for a more just, prosperous, and sustainable world. It is supported by a team that includes faculty from all of our colleges and schools, staff from a wide range of departments, students from various majors and years, and a variety of community members. Through innovation and collaboration, we can identify bold new ways to simultaneously address social, environmental, and financial goals,” says the Center’s executive director Jill Griffin

Griffin notes that, “Today’s complex challenges do not come in neat disciplinary packages and cannot be solved in isolation. Collaboration and innovation are essential to succeed in the careers of the future. Our programming in the Center for Innovation & Change will equip people with the skills needed to succeed in the twenty-first century.”

In addition to these programs and offerings, the center will foster a culture of innovation throughout a range of UE’s educational offerings.

President Tom Kazee says, “The traditional model of educating students in isolated academic silos does not fully prepare graduates to address challenges, identify opportunities, and effect the changes needed to thrive in the future. That is why we are innovating our educational model at the University of Evansville to combine a rich liberal arts foundation with ample opportunities for students to work in diverse teams, to collaborate at the intersections of disciplines, and to transform ideas into action.”

“UE’s Center for Innovation & Change is poised to serve as a tremendous asset to our community,” says Mayor Lloyd Winnecke. “It will help to foster collaboration to address problems, enrich our region’s innovation ecosystem, contribute to quality of place, and promote opportunities for growth and transformation.”

The University of Evansville recently joined an elite group of fewer than 50 universities who have received the global designation of Changemaker Campus by Ashoka U, and the programs and initiatives of the Center for Innovation & Change are central to this prestigious designation.

“UE is indebted to the Lilly Endowment for their generous grant funding that allowed us to create the structures and programs that have become integral to this new center,” said Griffin. “Support from the Lilly Endowment allowed us to establish the Institute for Global Enterprise, build programs to develop global business leaders, and provide a resource to Southern Indiana’s business community. The programs of the Institute for Global Enterprise will continue under the auspices of the Center for Innovation & Change along with a variety of programs broadly supporting innovation that makes an impact for businesses and community.”

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