Four Marshall students selected for global University Innovation Fellowship program

Four Marshall University students were named University Innovation Fellows by Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design. The global University Innovation Fellows program aims to empower student leaders to increase campus engagement using innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity and design thinking.

The Marshall students named to the program include:

  • Maddy Branham, Marketing, Class of 2023
  • Isabella Schrader, Entrepreneurship, Sustainability Management/Technology, Class of 2024
  • Josh Maddy, Computer Science, Class of 2024
  • Isabel Horter, Business/Marketing, Class of 2025

They are among 242 students chosen this year and a legacy of more than 2,800 prior student leaders from schools around the globe who have completed the program with goals of creating opportunities to help their peers build the creative confidence, agency, and entrepreneurial mindset needed to address global challenges.

Fellows create student innovation spaces, start entrepreneurship organizations, facilitate experiential workshops, work with faculty and administrators to develop new courses, and much more. They serve as advocates for lasting institutional change with academic leaders, lending the much-needed student voice to the conversations about the future of higher education.

“The new fellows are designing experiences that help all students learn skills and mindsets necessary to navigate these uncertain times and to shape the future they want to see,” said Leticia Britos Cavagnaro, co-director of the University Innovation Fellows program at Stanford. “They are giving back to their school communities, and at the same time, they’re learning strategies that will help them serve as leaders in their careers after graduation.”

Applying for the program is a rigorous undertaking, said Paige Leonard, assistant director of the iCenter at the Lewis College of Business, who coached the students through the admissions process and is a 2022 Marshall graduate who was named “Faculty Champion” for Marshall’s University Innovation Fellows program.

“These four students underwent an extensive application process, which took in account their academic standing, campus involvement, life experiences and impact goals for Marshall University. These students also received a letter of recommendation from Provost Avi Mukherjee and one of the university’s first University Innovation Fellow, Annika Behnke,” said Leonard, who provided support as they applied and helped them connect with stakeholders.

It has already been a valuable experience, with more to come, students said.

“I enjoyed discovering ways to spread innovation and entrepreneurship to help students at Marshall,” Branham said.

“We are excited to refine our ideas throughout the rest of the school year and are looking forward to the Silicon Valley meet-up,” Schrader said.

“The Lewis College of Business prepares students to be innovative, engaged, entrepreneurial thinkers,” said Dr. Nancy Lankton, associate dean for accreditation and strategic initiatives at the Lewis College of Business. “The entrepreneurial mindset is at the heart of our mission and is carried throughout our curriculum, programs, and centers. The college’s iCenter (Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation) in particular, transforms students by helping them practice and use design thinking to solve real-world business problems. We congratulate these students’ great achievement in being selected as Innovation Fellows.”

Both the university and a fund to support students aided the students in this endeavor.

“We would like to thank the Lewis College of Business for its support and the late Mr. Richard Jackson, who established the Dick Jackson COB Student Success Fund, which funded this program,” Leonard said. “We are thankful for Mr. Jackson’s generosity.”

For more information about Marshall’s Lewis College of Business, visit


Photo: Four Marshall University students were chosen for Stanford University’s international University Innovation Fellows program for 2022. They include, from left, Isabella Schrader, Maddy Branham, Isabel Horter and Josh Maddy.