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“We believe students can change the world” Donna Covington, Dean of College of Business at Delaware State University (DSU), reaffirmed as these the above words crossed the morning presentation at the workshop.

This was day two of the three-day Design Thinking Workshop on Project Propel for HBCU’s (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) held at the d.school: Institute of Design at Stanford. One of the many guest-thinkers that DSU Faculty & students got to work with Baba Shiv, Professor of Marketing at Stanford Graduate School of Business. The faculty together with the team thinkers were well-matched for asking and converging on the experience-based pointed questions, including bringing tangible alliances to the front of the discussion with each stage of our workshop.


The “train-the-trainer” mission of the workshop has been set up to empower an accelerated wave of world-class faculty/student/industry training at Delaware State University as the Center of Excellence for Project Propel for the broader network of HBCU’s later this July. For a quick reference on the scope of Project Propel, I recommend reading the Newsbyte “SAP, the Americas’ SAP Users’ Group and Delaware State University Work Together to Support Historically Black Colleges and Universities”.


The workshop blended academic expertise, industry perspectives, and current student career concerns including from recent MIS graduate from DSU, Julian Vanderhost. The presence of Julian Vanderhost together with Leah Williams, a prime example of the top-performing grad student of business at DSU, fueled the momentum as top-tuned, passionate, and disciplined talents for the Next Generation Digital Economy. They are at home in the rich network of design thinkers they worked with across the Stanford University campus last week.

I had a privilege to talk, walk, and work with each faculty member and student that came from DSU to Stanford this week. Our 3 interns, Kali Ruppert, Daniel Nava and Rohit Kapoor blend sharp millennial perspectives into the discussion alongside Leah Williams and Julian Vanderhost who took the lead — a perfect combination with DSU’s faculty and administrative sights.

The virtue of “thinking differently” among these faculty, students, & graduates as change agents in DSU among peer faculty is in high supply. It is inspiring to experience and see their commitments to innovation and progressive critical thinking. Obstacles and challenges were met with new ideas, and better understanding  which informed concrete design ready for application next week on a larger scale at DSU.

Project Propel makes the world better by preparing and propelling robust & diverse talent into hard to fill jobs for companies in the digital economy while meeting the career needs of recent graduates & empowering the faculty and schools of diverse talents with next-generation educational prominence.

Ben

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