We would like to thank everyone for applying to be a Werth Innovator for 2020-2021! For any future references or interests, applications will open up again in March 2021.
Benefits to becoming a Werth Innovator:
- Receive a one-time $3,000 scholarship for participating in their sophomore year.
- Invited to events with industry experts.
- Exceptional networking opportunities.
- Funded trip to Silicon Valley and San Francisco to visit top tech and entrepreneurial companies and UConn alum leaders during spring break of sophomore year.
- Professional guidance and goal setting facilitated by recent UConn alums.
Expectations of Werth Innovators during sophomore year:
- Attend and promote the “Experience Innovation Expo” and our featured speaker event in October.
- Build innovative campus programs or solutions based on individual interests. Current examples include the student venture fund, Chrome extension for student admin, lead machine learning consulting project, or an opportunity to offer student-led workshops for peers.
- Volunteer at UConn’s entrepreneurship and innovation programs.
- Take the lead in handling logistics for a Werth Institute event.
Expectations of Werth Innovators during junior and senior years:
- Create new opportunities for student programs based on individual interests.
- Assume an ambassador role in identifying students who would benefit from becoming involved with UConn’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Werth Innovators are students ambassadors for entrepreneurship and innovation at UConn who play a central role in building interest and participation in our wide range of programs. They are selected annually from a pool of freshmen applicants and receive a $3,000 scholarship that includes mentoring and unique, transformative experience during their sophomore year. There are currently seventeen Werth Innovators for the 2019-2020 academic year who were selected based upon their innovative projects and interest in increasing student involvement in entrepreneurship and innovation at the university.
Aditya is an honors Computer Science and Engineering major also pursuing a minor in Mathematics. He created a smart pill dispenser which he calls "The Dose Defender" as part of his 2019 Hack UConn team project with the goal of providing a preventative solution to the opioid crisis. The project won an award at Hack UConn and placed within the top three at the 2019 IQ Competition.
Aside from "The Dose Defender", he is also a part of LaundryCheck which is a service being developed in which students can check on the status of their washer and dryer without having to leave their dorms. Aditya is a member of the IEEE branch at UConn and is deeply interested in machine learning and AI and hopes to find himself working on these in the future.
Eva is currently a sophomore Animal Science major. Aside from being a Werth Innovator, she is actively involved in the University of Connecticut Marching Band, where she plays the trumpet, and is a member of the Innovation House alongside two Learning Community Council Committees - Innovation and Enrichment.
This past summer, Eva took part in an internship in Israel where she worked alongside a veterinarian that worked in areas such as Jerusalem and the West Bank. She hopes to pursue future opportunities similar to her experience in Israel and looks forward to potentially returning once again.
Jake Winter is a mechanical engineering major at the University of Connecticut with a strong interest in mechatronics -- this can be seen in his high school senior capstone project in which he designed and constructed a robotic exoskeleton. The exoskeleton's result was enhancing the user's strength three fold. Jake is a strong critical thinker with a powerful desire to change the world around him.
Currently, he is starting a company that focuses on building a line of pneumatically powered exoskeleton products. Jake has placed in multiple competitions including the CTC College Tech Challenge and the UNH 24 Hour IQ as well as received funding as a part of Get Seeded.
Kevin Fiddler is currently a student at UConn pursuing a degree in economics. He works for the university at the Office of Veteran's Affairs and Military Programs, helping veterans and military affiliated students navigate their benefits. In addition to this, Kevin serves in the United States Army National Guard as an All-Source Intelligence Analyst, preparing and briefing intelligence products to inform and influence combat operations.
Outside of his service with the army, Kevin finds himself growing in the graphic design field, having a fundamental proficiency with Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. He also conducts training for workers in his father's physical security business in covert entry, escape, and evasion.
Michael Jesuorobo Aisevbonaye is a second-year undergraduate student attending the University of Connecticut, majoring in Mechanical Engineering with minors in Computer Science and Mathematics. He is the Publications Chair of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), the Marketing Chair of the Learning Community Executive Council, the Assistant Secretary of the NAACP, a co-founder and former Vice President of the UConn Maker Club, a proud member of the ScHOLA2RS Learning Community, and a graphic designer for the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) and the Center for Career Development.
He was the 2019 recipient of the First Year Excellence in Innovation Award. As an alumnus of the 2019 Obama Foundation Community Leadership Corp, Michael spent his summer and third semester honing his skills in civic leadership under the oversight of the Obama Foundation, which will benefit him in his future aspirations. In the future, Michael wishes to work in a job that combines STEM with the imaginative aspect of design, such as a UX Engineer at Google, or a Mechanical Engineer at Boston Dynamics, and intends to spend his time advocating for minorities in the STEM field.
Mitchell is a sophomore Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Connecticut who is also pursuing a minor in Astrophysics. He was a member of his high school robotics team which inspired him to begin his journey in engineering. The team became a top 50 VEX VRC robot in the world during his senior season.
More recently, Mitchell was involved in HackUConn, where he and his team created a prototype for a smart pill dispenser called the Dose Defender with the goal of preventing opioid misuse. The team won the Innovation Quest award, then proceeded to place in 3rd out of 98 teams at the Innovation Quest Competition. This device saw the creation of their own LLC in hopes of further pursuing the project. Mitchell hopes to expand his company and work with 3D printing and robotics.
Natalie is a student at the University of Connecticut majoring in Digital Media and Design and minoring in Computer Science. She works part time at the UConn Innovation Zone (Makerspace) as a Maker Specialist, teaching students how to use different machinery and encouraging them to push their creative boundaries. Natalie also volunteers with Team Rubicon, Camp Hometown Heroes, and other organizations to help accomplish her goal of giving back to her community.
As a current member of the UConn Innovation House Learning Community and the Werth Innovators, Natalie is passionate about innovation. She strives to bring an innovative, adaptive, and positive mindset to all the projects she works on both in and out of the classroom. Her specific interests include web design, programming, and video production. In the future, Natalie hopes to have a career involving UX or UI design, bridging the gap between humans and technology.
Olivia is a sophomore at the University of Connecticut pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Physiology and Neurobiology. She plans on attending graduate school to become a Surgical Physician's Assistant. She is currently a Certified Nurse's Assistant and works as a Home Health Aide.
Olivia recently won first place in the healthcare technology competition, HackUConn. She is also a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, Pre-PA society, Paws and Claws, Triathlon Club, and is a morale captain for HuskyTHON. Olivia will be both a Biology and Husky Ambassador Mentor in the upcoming year.
Raisa is a sophomore Mechanical Engineering student hoping to become an example for young women interested in STEM careers. Her interest in engineering began at her first internship at a Naval Collaborate where she learned how to conduct her own research and collaborate with other engineers. It was at this internship that she created an interactive sound poster that reads A-weighted and C-weighted sound levels. More recently, Raisa has been engaging in work with CAD modeling.
Raisa is a member of the Engineering learning community, Engineering Ambassadors, and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. She likes to spend her free time painting, woodworking, and writing.
Sana is a sophomore at the University of Connecticut pursuing a degree in Business Management with a minor in Computer Science. She is the Undergraduate Representative of the Indian Students Association and a First Year Experience mentor to incoming freshman for the Women in Math, Science, and Engineering learning community.
Sana is also a part of the Husky Ambassador Program, assisting potential students with the college decision process. In the future, she hopes to run her own business that benefits society and hopes to gain skills, contacts, and experiences in both the business and entrepreneurship world through the Werth Innovators.
Andi is a sophomore Computer Science major at UConn. He immigrated from Italy with his parents to Hartford, Connecticut when he was 6 months old. He has been programming since he was 9 and has developed software and hardware in the web, mobile, robotics, blockchain, and IoT spaces. Andi has his own Mac app on the Mac App Store and has also published several iOS apps. He developed a jailbreak tweak in middle school that has over 800,000 downloads to date. In high school he built a garage door opener with a companion iOS app and a 3D printed NFC locker. In addition, he participated in FIRST Robotics Competition, reaching the international finals with his team two years in a row.
Aside from development, Andi is heavily interested in transportation (specifically, aviation and cars) and cybersecurity.
You can learn more about Andi at his website, and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andrew is a sophomore computer science student at UConn. Over the past seven years he has been teaching himself full stack, iOS development and have launched a few projects. The latest project being a social food ordering app called MunchBunch. It allowed students to place orders with friends and strangers around them to get savings, discounts, and meet new people. He built the iOS app, backend, and signed on six restaurants with 200 downloads in the time the app was up. Currently, he is working on helping local businesses by connecting them with talented college students, who can help solve their needs and issues. His ultimate goal is to use technology to build cool things with cool people. Working on projects with motivated people working towards making meaningful products is what gets him excited. You can read about some of his projects and more about him at: aburns.me.
Ashley is a sophomore biomedical engineering student at UConn. She spends most of her time in and studying for classes, but she also takes part in a few extracurriculars. She is a member of the Women in Math Science and Engineering (WiSME) Learning Community, Women in STEM (WiSTEM) Mentoring Program, UConn FirstGen, and the Werth Innovators. She is extremely passionate about women in STEM related fields, so she spends quite a bit of my free time mentoring younger women in these fields, working with each of these groups on events and meetings, as well as advertising for them. In addition to being passionate about helping women in STEM, UConn FirstGen allows her to help fellow first-generation college students succeed in the same way. Apart from this, she joined the Werth Innovators to further her entrepreneurship skills as she hopes to develop a fully automated prosthesis and work with wounded veterans. The Werth Innovators provides excellent guidance and support to help her accomplish all her goals.
Bethany Pilon is a sixth semester junior at the University of Connecticut majoring in Animal Science with a minor in Molecular and Cell Biology. She is currently working on a research project exploring the effect of inbreeding on phenotypes of commercial interest in beef cattle. Bethany has shown horses under saddle for 13 years and began competing with the UConn equestrian team as a Freshman. During the summer months she has completed internships at the Connecticut Veterinary Center and Petcare Veterinary Services and enjoys working in both an emergency hospital and general practice setting. She recently volunteered abroad in Roatan, Honduras through World Vets to provide medical aid to exotic sanctuary animals and will be volunteering through this organization again in Moldova at the completion of the school semester. Following graduation in May 2021 she plans to continue her studies at veterinary school and become a licensed general practice veterinarian.
I have a lot of energy, and that is probably why I am constantly on the run. Being as energetic as I am is a good thing, especially since I have to juggle schoolwork, being an athlete on the University of Connecticut Men's Track and Field Team, running my company (mxersaudio.com) and building entrepreneurship here on campus. I grew up just outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and from early on in my high school career l have been involved in entrepreneurship. I co-founded MXERS Audio my sophomore year of high school, and have never looked back. MXERS Audio patented, manufactures and sells modular earbuds that give users an optimized listening experience. Running a self funded business while in high school gave me the opportunity to become very involved in building the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Minneapolis. Through working with the Werth Institute and other entrepreneurship and innovation based organizations on campus I am extremely excited to see UConn bloom into an entrepreneurial hub.
Carlie is a sophomore at the University of Connecticut pursuing a degree in Nursing and a minor in Spanish. She is interested in pursuing a masters degree in nurse midwifery and wishes to specialize with mothers who have cognitive and physical disabilities. With this expertise, she hopes to open her own labor and delivery practice. She also serves as a mentor for other women in STEM through the Women’s Center at UConn, in hopes of encouraging others to pursue unique careers in STEM.
Currently, she is collaborating with the UConn School of Nursing in the Health Care Innovation program to design new lines of hospital gowns to accommodate disabled patients. This January, she was a member of a group that won the 2019 ASHOKA Making More Health program. ASHOKA is an innovation firm based out of DC that provides workshops and funding to student social entrepreneurs. Carlie was recognized for creating an effective and creative body-positivity campaign to combat eating disorders among young women. She is also a member of the Werth Innovators, a group of students who advocate for innovation and entrepreneurship on campus and collaborate on their own innovative ventures.
Carson Stifel is a sophomore communication major who will be completing her degree in three years instead of the traditional four. Stifel is a member of UConn’s Innovation House Learning Community, where she promotes innovation, entrepreneurship, and creativity within UConn and beyond by spearheading her own entrepreneurial ventures and collaborating with fellow student entrepreneurs. Stifel advises first-year entrepreneurship students on business development and marketing strategies. She is employed on-campus as a Student Communications Specialist for the Office of the Vice President for Research, executing journalistic projects relevant to UConn’s research, entrepreneurship, and innovation communities. Stifel is skilled in photography, videography, and the digital arts. She served as the Marketing and Graphic Design Intern for the Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CCEI), working closely with the startups participating in CCEI’s Summer Fellowship program. Stifel was named the 2018 recipient of UConn’s First Year Excellence in Innovation Award for her contributions to Uconn’s entrepreneurship ecosystem. She can be contacted via her email: email@example.com
Everett Grethel is a sophomore student at University of Connecticut majoring in Digital Media & Design with a double minor in Computer Science and Studio Art. He aims to work in the tech industry with focuses in entrepreneurship, marketing, development, and design. His current projects include an augmented reality experience using the Microsoft Hololens, working with volumetric video capture, motion effects, and scripting in Unity Game Engine. Everett is also co-founder, product designer, marketer, and web developer of Sickpuppy, a campus-based clothing company focused on marketing experimentation and counterculture fashion appeal. Additional activities include officer role as vice-president of UConn’s Artificial Intelligence Club and a student organizer role in HackUConn, UConn’s premier annual hackathon. Everett’s job experiences are as a children’s sailing instructor in 2015 at Guilford Yacht Club Sailing Camp, assistant to the groundskeeper in 2016 at the Florence Griswold Museum, and graphic designer/web developer in 2019 at the UConn Homer D. Babbidge Library. In his spare time he enjoys rock climbing, backpacking, drawing, and sailing.
Gordon is an industrial designer and fabricator. He emphasizes the process of making as it leads to the conception of new ideas and techniques. He is currently pursuing an individualized major in product design here at UConn. He specializes in things experimental & three dimensional; from interactive installations and experiences to furniture and houseware. His comprehensive body of work is a blend of design art and technology. Past projects of his have included a 1,300 LED Arduino animated sign for a Brooklyn pin company, an abstract chair composed of organic materials and much more. He is well versed with the creative process; research & conceptualization, rapid prototyping & iteration, and final fabrication. Over the past summer Gordon interned at a design agency in New York city and is looking for his next gig. In his free time you can find Gordon playing and recording music on the sax or one of his other seven instruments.
For more info and projects check out Gordon's website.
"Entrepreneurship allows for one to foster significant change, and it uniquely allows for the ability to add your own personal touch to that change. It allows you to act on a vision and bring others along your journey — and that is an invaluable experience. As an entrepreneur, I can gather others along my journey while maximizing the experience of life. This journey, with both ups and downs, is what excites me and gives me drive. And if I find that something I envision is important enough, I will do it for the greater good and also because I just want to.
My program of study at UConn is Economics, I have an expected graduation date of 2021, however, my entrepreneurial spirit makes me want to drop out. My greatest accomplishment is making friends with people who will support me throughout the wave of life. They say that life is like a river, and that how you manage the obstacles in the river determines the quality of life. It is easy to throw your hands up into the air and give up, but what good would that do? If there is a will, there is a way."
Michael Russell is a Sophomore at UConn studying both Game Design and Studio Art. His time at UConn has been focused on combining his creative skillset with his passion for Game Design, with the goal of working for Hasbro as a Game Designer or Creative Director. He has designed t-shirts, many different games (video games, board games, card games), done promotional artwork for his clubs at school, while also honing his skills in the fine arts with painting and drawing. Concept art and storyboarding with pen and paper is an area where he is strongest, but he also makes use of different digital tools like Maya and most of the Adobe Creative Suite. He is known for being very energetic and all over the place, but when he truly sits down and focuses on a project, you can tell how motivated he is to produce a work that is imaginative and from the heart.
If you want to see his portfolio or have any other inquiries, you can email him at Michael.Russell@uconn.edu or get a sneak peek on his Instagram @Mike.F.Russell .
Noah is a Management Major, minoring in Chinese (Mandarin) and Data Analytics. He will be graduating in 2021. After graduation, he wants to work in venture capital. While at UConn, Noah has been an active member of the business school as a Management Department Ambassador, Werth Innovator, and co-founder of Get Seeded, a startup competition for students looking to get funding for their idea/company. Noah is working on raising the Student Venture Fund, which will give students the experience of investing real money in real companies. This past summer he interned at Stanley Black & Decker, supporting their Techstars accelerator. For fun, he likes to cook and play ultimate frisbee.
Patrick J. Hocking is a developing leader in business development focusing on the biotech sector. Overseeing the entrepreneurial activities of the Breastfeeding Diagnostic Device, he participated in two accelerators as well as assisted in the fundraising of over $15,000 for the company Dyadic Innovations, LLC. Following work with Dyadic, he succeeded in the graduate level management course of Biomedical Entrepreneurship where he successfully developed a device automating the process of Uterine Massage, along with a pre-market operations strategy for the device. He currently is working on the creation of a program connecting University students to local small business’ through targeted, human interventions, with intent to expand the program to a national-level platform. Through his work in the high-impact entrepreneurial field, he has established skills in Market Hypothesis Testing, Venture Analysis, Public Speaking, Cold-Calling, and Design Thinking.
Patrick is studying Biomedical Engineering at the University of Connecticut (Class of 2021) where he also works as a Resident Assistant and participates in the Werth Innovators, along with Club Track and Field. He is currently seeking opportunities where he can apply and grow his skills in a dedicated, entrepreneurial culture.
To schedule a conversation, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paul is a fourth semester Computer Science and Engineering student seeking technology development and design opportunities. He has advanced his experiences in many fields of engineering through curricular, extracurricular and personal projects since the beginning of high school. One of these personal projects was designing and building a door knock pattern recognizer that unlocks the deadbolt from the inside if the user enters a pattern of knocks that matches the password pattern programmed previously. Paul is also working with a few other students to develop a web platform designed to increase long term retainment of material and increase users’ natural intuitions through visual, module-based learning. He assisted the installation of a new automated canning and packaging system for a regional beverage manufacturer. After, he continued to work as an operator and assistant technician for this system and helped repair and maintain other equipment. To complete his Eagle Scout project, he led a group of peers to construct two picnic tables that he designed and manufactured 21 labeled street-crossing signs using his CNC machine. He is eager to learn and use new skills to finish new projects.
He can be reached at email@example.com .
Priscilla Ly is a second year pre – pharmacy student studying at the University of Connecticut. Her interest in the pharmaceutical field stems from her passion to help people, interact with patients, and focus on the wellbeing of others. As a Werth Innovator, she has been contributing to the newly instituted Get Seeded program to support others on their journeys as start-up businesses. Previously, Priscilla has interned seasonally at the Massachusetts Property Insurance Underwriting Association (MPIUA) assisting supervisors and vice president under various tasks. Additional activities include active memberships in the American Pharmacist Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA -ASP) and in the Women in Mathematics, Science, and Engineering (WiMSE) Learning Community as she hopes to promote women empowerment in STEM. Currently, Priscilla is a research assistant for the Korey Stringer Institute for kinesiology. She aspires to work in the medical field and pursue an MBA following her interests to develop her own pharmaceutical company. Priscilla spends her spare time as a photographer and enjoys urban and landscape photography.
She can be contacted through email at Priscilla.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stanley Chen is second year student at the University of Connecticut studying Chemistry on the pre-medical track. He is an open minded individual always looking to meet new people and discuss new ideas. Stanley has participated in research and field work by working in an introductory Organic Chemistry research lab studying the potential of environmentally friendly oxidants. He has enjoyed field work such as studying ecological trends with university professors focused on studying hypoxia in the Long Island Sound.
While Stanley has research experience in chemistry and environmental studies, he is very interested in learning more and gaining more exposure to the biological fields. More specifically he endeavors to learn more about biological engineering and genomic medicine as a personal interest. Stanley has followed projects such as the 2045 Initiative which offer an insight into the potential future of science and technology and how we could get there. Stanley is a strong believer that the idea of tapping into the human body as a huge step forward for science, but a societal conversation must be had on its ethical implications.
Outside of classes he has participated in Air Force ROTC as an AS500 Cadet and as a competing team member in UConn Taekwondo. In addition, he enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee and is a member of Greek Life on campus.