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Tuskegee University student named University Innovation Fellow by Stanford program

February 18, 2022

Contact: Kawana McGough, Office of Communications, Public Relations & Marketing

Ezekiel Mills

A Tuskegee University student is one of 277 students named as a University Innovation Fellow (UIF) by Stanford University. The recipient, Ezekiel Mills, is majoring in materials science and engineering.

The UIF program is a global program that empowers student leaders to increase campus engagement with innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity, and design thinking. As a Fellow, Mills will become an agent of change at Tuskegee. Fellows ensure that all students gain the attitudes, skills, and knowledge required to navigate a complex world and build the future.

The UIF program is under Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (, which was created by the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter) and funded by a five-year National Science Foundation grant. Tuskegee joined the program in 2021 as part of the program’s HBCU initiative, marking the first HBCU cohort of the new initiative. Over the next three years, roughly 60 HBCUs are expected to participate.

“A little over 100 schools grant 20% of higher education degrees to African American students in the U.S. HBCUs are preparing young people for successful careers in a time when our nation is addressing issues of racial inequity,” said Humera Fasihuddin, co-director of the University Innovation Fellows program. “That makes HBCUs vitally important in fueling our country’s talent pipeline and helping bridge the economic divide.”

Fellows are nominated by faculty and administrators as individuals or teams of students and selected through an application process each year. Students participate in a six-week online training experience following acceptance into the program. During training, Fellows learn to analyze their campus ecosystems and identify opportunities for change related to innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking, and creativity. They work to understand the needs of peers across disciplines and the perspectives of faculty and administrators. They apply this new knowledge and perspective to design new educational opportunities for their peers. After training, Fellows implement the projects they crafted. They continue to serve as change agents and leaders at their schools and beyond.

About the University Innovation Fellows program:

The University Innovation Fellows program empowers students to become change agents at their schools. The Fellows are a global community of students leading a movement to ensure that all students gain the necessary attitudes, skills, and knowledge required to compete in the economy of the future. These student leaders from schools around the country create new opportunities that help their peers develop an entrepreneurial mindset, build creative confidence, seize opportunities, define problems and address global challenges. Fellows are creating student innovation spaces, founding entrepreneurship organizations, hosting experiential events, and working with faculty and administrators to develop courses. They serve as advocates for lasting institutional change with academic leaders and represent their schools at national events. The University Innovation Fellows is a program of Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design ( Learn more at

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