Design Sprint challenges students to use creative thinking to solve problems | national news

ATHENS — The Summer Design Sprint was sponsored by the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, Terry College of Business and the UGA Entrepreneurship Program in partnership with Cox Enterprises.

A design sprint encourages students to practice human-centered design methods to create an innovative solution to a complex problem with the help of industry partners, said FACS faculty member Dee Warmath.

“It was wonderful to see these students engage in the human-centered design process to produce very thoughtful solutions to improve workspace and classroom experiences,” Warmath said. “Every time we give our students the opportunity, they exceed our expectations.”

After a six-week program in which the teams worked closely with industry partners on the design of the project, the students pitched their ideas to a panel of judges on August 15 at the Delta Innovation Hub in the UGA.

Four teams of three students participated in the final round.

The team of Sejal Khanna and Shourya Seth from Terry College of Business and Conner Dunahoo from CAES won first place and a $1,500 prize for their project, MINT (Mutualism, Integration, Nonlinearity and Reflection).

MINT envisioned an industry partner creating a course that offered students real-world experience, an internship, and potentially a full-time job offer.

The judges said they were impressed with the idea’s potential impact and how it would meet the needs of students, the university and industry partners.

“While we all came from different disciplines, different backgrounds and didn’t have much in common at first, we realized we were all passionate about building university-student-corporate relationships,” Khanna, a management information systems major at Terry College of Business, says. “Together, we believed that students would greatly benefit from a program that was grounded in supporting different learning styles, providing work experience, and focusing on relevant, up-to-date techniques and technologies.”

Representatives from Cox Enterprise who also served as judges were Brian Anderson, Enterprise Senior Director, Human-Centered Design; Amy Lin, Senior Director, Human-Centered Design and User Experience; and Amit Vyas, Vice President, Team Member Experience.

Andrew Potter, director of experiential learning at UGA, and Don Chambers, associate director of UGA entrepreneurship, also served as judges.

The runner-up team of Milan Richard (School of Social Work), Catalina Giang (Franklin College of Arts and Sciences), and Maggie Wang (Terry College of Business) won a $750 prize for their Study app idea Space Hub which would allow students to quickly find their own personalized study space.

The team of Joyce Anne Shepherd and Shweta Sainathan from Terry College of Business and Shanne Low from the University of Wisconsin came third and claimed a $250 prize for their project, LiveLearning, a platform for students to connect with professionals through a university-sponsored entity. .

“I was really impressed with the level of rigor of the research conducted given the short timeline of the project,” Anderson said. “The teams didn’t come up with just one solution, and I appreciated the flexibility of the options presented, ranging from a low-tech approach that can be implemented almost immediately, to more sophisticated options that you can plan for. the necessary budget and resources.”

The design sprint was funded by a donation from Cox Enterprises and facilitated by FACS PhD student Camryn Cobb.

“It was wonderful to partner with Cox and give students the opportunity to share their ideas in a professional setting,” Cobb said. “This design sprint allowed us all to share ideas and make new connections, which is crucial to the college experience.”

About Octavia A. Dorr

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