The first class of 12 seniors to graduate with Duke’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship Certificate showed off their research in the new field at an E-Portfolio Fair earlier this month. One junior also participated.
The e-portfolio, one of the components of the I&E Certificate, is a digital collection of the coursework and co-curricular experiences that students completed through the program.
“When you talk to these students you find totally different backgrounds,” said Jeffrey Glass, a professor of electronic and computer engineering at Pratt. “Most of them really weren’t focused on entrepreneurship before coming into the program but they noticed that they could learn how to identify, assess, and solve problems within the I&E program. I think that’s really a fantastic common thread and illustrates that every discipline needs to adopt an innovative approach to problem-solving.”
Students used their portfolios and the e-portfolio fair as an opportunity to reflect on and share what the certificate has meant to them.
“The I&E certificate has been a great complement to my engineering curriculum,” said senior Regan Fiascone. “The program is flexible in that you can apply what you learn to any major or interest. I think it works well as an interdisciplinary certificate program.”
Fuqua professor Jon Fjeld, who played a key role in developing the I&E certificate, said a program in entrepreneurship “is a wonderful addition to a liberal arts education.”
“It gives our students a set of skills that aren’t as easily rendered from a normal academic curriculum,” Fjeld said. “It sharpens their powers of observation so they can look more deeply into a situation or an issue. It also introduces a discipline of creativity that forces students to think about how things might be better and to devise solutions that haven’t been thought of before.”
Eric Toone, vice provost and director of Duke I&E said, “We are absolutely delighted with our first graduating class. The program has brought a tremendous diversity of students to our own particular brand of entrepreneurship, and it is gratifying to see the range of problems our students have tackled. The tremendous growth we have seen over the last year really has me excited about the future of the program.”
Many attendees said they viewed the fair as a great opportunity to see an example of how the certificate model is being applied on campus.
The participating students were Emily Bauman, Regan Fiascone, Jason Guo, Andrew Jacobs, Jared Lin, Jenna Poplausky, Karishma Poplin, Yolanda Qin, Rainier Rubin, Jay Sullivan, Emma Smith, Deanna White, and Cameron Winders.
Videos and links to e-portfolios for some of the graduating seniors can be found at www.entrepreneurship.duke.edu/certificate/profiles.