11 Purdue students selected for first cohort of Burton D. Morgan Fellows Program

August 25, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Eleven undergraduate and graduate students from diverse majors across campus have been selected for the first cohort of the Burton D. Morgan Fellowship Program, a student-driven initiative focused on thought leadership, mentorship and community building.

The program, led by the Purdue Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program and housed in the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship in Discovery Park, picks students based on merit and leadership aptitude.

The 2015-16 undergraduate student fellows are: Natalie Berea, biological sciences; Jason Brier, computer graphics technology; Spencer Christian Brown, computer science; Aaron Dunajeski, agriculture; Rachel Foster, management; Zach McCormack, pharmacy; and Lauren Rourk, industrial engineering.

Fellows pursuing Purdue graduate degrees are Julian Archer, industrial engineering; Rachel Borsa, aviation and aerospace management; Rucha Joshi, a doctoral student in biomedical engineering; and Craig Sweet, who is in the interdisciplinary life sciences graduate student program, known as PULSe.

"Purdue offers a wide range of financial and business incubation resources to students who are actively pursuing new ventures through entrepreneurial competitions and entities such as the Purdue Foundry and Purdue Research Foundation," said Nathalie Duval-Couetil, associate professor of technology leadership and innovation and director of the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program.

"The Burton D. Morgan Fellows Program differs in that it recognizes high-performing students in the area of entrepreneurship and is focused on fostering thought leadership through support of their professional development."

For the first cohort, faculty recommended standout students who had demonstrated strong performance, energy and commitment to entrepreneurship education and careers, and then were invited to apply. In future years, the goal is to turn over the recruitment process to the fellows themselves.

Requirements include participating in monthly professional development and community building activities (representing a one-hour seminar) within the fellowship year, selecting a national mentor, contributing to developing a cohort and community of entrepreneurial leaders, reporting on fellowship-related activities, and serving as a role model to inspire others.

Rourk also has been selected as a University Innovation Fellow, participating in a program run by the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter), which is funded by the National Science Foundation and led by Stanford University and VentureWell. The program empowers students to become agents of change by acquiring knowledge that will help them develop an entrepreneurial mindset and creative confidence.

Nearly 5,000 students have participated in the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program since its launch in 2005, including almost 2,000 students who have received the certificate. The program is administered by Purdue's Office of the Provost and is supported with funding from the Burton Morgan Foundation. 

Writers: Anna Schultz, 812-447-5229, schult70@purdue.edu

Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133, pfiorini@purdue.edu 

Sources: Nathalie Duval-Couetil, 765-494-7068, natduval@purdue.edu

Jennifer Dexter, internship and outreach program manager, 765-496-9350, dexterj@purdue.edu

Jeanette Greener, program manager, 765-494-3805, jgreener@purdue.edu 

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