The National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter) selected Case Western Reserve University students Marc Bouchet and Calin Solomon as “University Innovation Fellows” in a national program that empowers student leaders to increase campus engagement with innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity and design thinking. 

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

An official pinning ceremony inducting the students as Innovation Fellows is scheduled Friday, March 25, at noon in Sears think[ box ]. All campus and community members are welcome to attend.

Bouchet and Solomon are among 155 students from 47 institutions to be named University Innovation Fellows. Fellows design innovation spaces, start entrepreneurship organizations, host experiential learning events and work with faculty to develop new courses.

Bouchet, a second-year aerospace engineering major, has worked in front-end design and marketing at a local health IT startup, Triple Analytics, and on product design with SensID, a local biomedical device startup. He is also executive director of the university’s Design for America studio.  

Solomon, a senior pursuing mechanical engineering and Japanese language degrees who has studied in Japan, has long been involved with the university robotics club, founded and played on the water polo team and has been involved in a startup venture.

Malcolm Cooke, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and executive director of Sears think[ box ], and Lisa Camp, associate dean for strategic initiatives at Case School of Engineering, are the students’ co-sponsors and advisors for the program. Marc Buchner, associate dean of academics for the engineering school, also has provided support and direction.

Solomon and Bouchet are intent on bringing Sears think[ box ] into the daily experiences of students across the university. They proposed working with SAGES administrators and faculty to incorporate more innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E) elements into some existing seminars, and to offer seminars focusing exclusively on I&E. The plan is to create workshops within Sears think [ box ] that get students to think creatively, work in teams, solve important issues and create prototypes within Sears think[ box ] that select SAGES seminars could incorporate into their curriculum. Solomon and Bouchet encourage others to let them know of any suggestions or ideas for incorporating I&E on campus.

“The students’ main focus will be on further expanding the opportunities for which having an incredible asset such as Sears think[ box ] on campus allows,” Cooke said. “They want to make sure this resource is understood by all and used by as many people who can benefit from it.”